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Stop & Shop to place deli kiosks in 200-plus stores

BY Tara Smith

QUINCY, Mass. Ahold-owned Stop & Shop on Monday announced plans to install a deli ordering kiosk solution in more than 200 stores by the first quarter of 2008.

The retailer is using the Modiv DeliVision by Boston-based Modiv Media, a provider of retail interactive media delivery solutions. The system enables customers to place their deli order without waiting in line, tells the customer when the order will be filled and presents targeted offers. According to Modiv Media, this helps retailers reduce line abandonment and “tickets not served,” improve deli operations and increase deli sales.

To use the kiosk, shoppers enter their order on the kiosk’s touch screen and have the option to scan their loyalty card for one-touch ordering of their “favorites.” Customers have options to select a specific category, such as turkey or cheese; item, including store or other well-known brand; weight and cut—thick, medium or thin. They can add as many items they choose and can remove items, as well. Once the order is complete, the kiosk will print a ticket with the estimated pickup time, allowing customers to continue shopping and return at the specified time.

Retailers and consumer packaged goods manufacturers can use DeliVision to leverage brand awareness by coordinating their offers and advertisements on the touch-screen self-service kiosk, the deli department’s overhead electronic display monitor, as well as on the printed-coupon tickets from the kiosk and the queue ticket dispenser. DeliVision also can integrate with a store’s sound system, allowing deli-kiosk orders to be announced over the in-store speakers.

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Miller brews up light craft beers for masses

BY Tara Smith

MILWAUKEE Miller Brewing Co. announced late last week that it would test market the Miller Lite Brewers Collection in Minneapolis, Charlotte, N.C., San Diego, and Baltimore beginning in February.

The three new versions of Miller Lite will be a blonde ale, an amber beer and a wheat beer—each with fewer calories and carbohydrates than a typical beer for that style. The three new beers will target mainstream drinkers and capitalize on trends that favor light beer, greater variety of beer styles and a willingness to pay more for higher-quality beers. They also could help establish a new beer industry category, something Miller chief marketing officer Randy Ransom calls “craft-style light.”

Light beer makes up roughly one-third of U.S. beer sales volume and is the dominant category in the beer industry, but craft beers, such as Samuel Adams Boston Lager, are taking a growing share of sales. That niche accounted for only about 3 percent of sales in 2006 but saw an 11.7 percent sales volume increase over 2005, compared with industry-wide growth of 2 percent.

The three beers will initially be available in six-pack bottles and priced between mainstream light beers and typical craft beers, the company said.

Miller Lite is Miller’s largest brand, accounting for 47 percent of the company’s sales volume in 2006.

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Kellogg to expand research facility

BY Tara Smith

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. Kellogg Co. on Wednesday announced plans to expand its W.K. Kellogg Institute for Food and Nutrition Research facility. The 157,000-square-foot addition will accommodate up to 300 employees, though president and chief executive officer David Mackay said job creation is not necessarily tied to the expansion.

The expanded facility will include food and packaging review rooms, chemistry labs, test kitchens, development labs and a large, flexible production pilot plant where new ideas for products are tested before full-scale production in any of the company’s manufacturing facilities. Construction is to begin in the second quarter of 2008; the facility may be operational in the third quarter of 2009.

The Battle Creek-based maker of cereal and snacks proposed the $54 million expansion plan to the Battle Creek City Commission in October.

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