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Survey ranks customers’ favorite grocery shopping destinations

BY Alaric DeArment

BOULDER, Colo. — Giant-Landover and ShopRite are shoppers’ two favorite supermarkets, according to results of a survey released Tuesday.

Market Force Information released results of a survey of 6,428 U.S. and Canadian consumers conducted in March, showing Giant-Landover in the top spot, followed by ShopRite, Walmart, Publix and Costco. Giant, officially known as Giant Food and based in Landover, Md., got high marks for its fast checkouts and organic options, but discount grocer Aldi beat out the others on price, while Publix was recognized for atmosphere and courteous staff. Walmart was recognized for convenience as a one-stop shopping destination, but placed last for courteous staff and high-quality meat and produce.

Shoppers ranked the deli, butcher and baker as the most important departments, and considered high-quality produce more important than high-quality meat, with long wait times in the checkout lines causing the most dissatisfaction. The survey also found that private-label products showed little differentiation from retailer to retailer, indicating an opportunity for grocers to distinguish themselves.

"We discovered that merely satisfying customers isn’t enough to move them to action," Market Force chief marketing officer Janet Eden-Harris said. "When grocers can create experiences that truly delight customers, they can establish brand advocates who are almost guaranteed to recommend that grocery store to friends and family."

The survey found that among "delighted" customers — those who rated their shopping experience at 5 on a five-point scale — 70% were likely to recommend the store to another person, while only 11% of those who rated their experience at 4 were likely to recommend it. A large majority, 88%, said they were either somewhat or very satisfied by their experience, while 12% were neutral, dissatisfied or not at all satisfied. Among those reporting dissatisfaction, 52% reported long wait times at the checkout line as the reason, while 48% cited the inability to find a desired item, 39% cited poor cashier service and 29% cited produce quality.

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Hellmann’s ‘fine-tunes’ olive oil mayonnaise

BY Allison Cerra

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — Hellmann’s has introduced its new mayonnaise dressing with olive oil.

Available at retailers nationwide, Hellmann’s said it has "fine-tuned" its olive oil mayonnaise recipe to include 50% more olive oil, while still delivering the taste of Hellmann’s consumers know and love.

"We take great pride in listening to our consumers, so we’re always focused on creating the best tasting products that enhance everyday meals," said Lori Norian, senior brand manager for Hellmann’s mayonnaise. "Our mayonnaise dressing with olive oil is made with high-quality ingredients like olive oil, cage-free eggs, and vinegar. Consumers can feel good about choosing it to make their favorite summer dishes. We hope they will enjoy the delicious goodness of everything Hellmann’s has to offer."

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General Mills unveils restructuring plans

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS — In an effort to focus on its key growth strategies, General Mills has announced a productivity and cost savings plan that will include a reduction in its workforce.

The company said it will eliminate approximately 850 positions globally, as well as asset-related costs of approximately $13 million pre-tax associated with the write-down of selected production equipment. The total restructuring charges will be approximately $109 million pre-tax. Approximately $94 million of these restructuring costs will be recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, which ends on May 27, while the remaining costs will be recorded in fiscal 2013.

General Mills said it expects its adjusted diluted earnings per share for fiscal 2012 to be a range from $2.53 to $2.55.

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