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Walgreens, Supervalu brew biz with beer

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — The real question behind the introductions of a store-brand beer from both Walgreens and Supervalu is whether or not the new brews will be hits by year’s end. In other words, can Big Flats 1901 and Buck Range Light be to beer what Trader Joe’s Two-Buck-Chuck was to wine?


To date, there really hasn’t been a strong private-label, mass-market beer. There’s Trader Joe’s Hofbrau Bock and Costco’s Kirkland Signature handcrafted ales, but both of these retailers proffer craft beers — premium beers that cater to a niche market. 7-Eleven introduced the value-priced Game Day in April 2010, but according to published reports, that store brand has performed poorly. 


U.S. private-label penetration into the branded beer business is slim — store-brand beer grabbed only a 0.9% market share across food, drug and mass for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 25, 2010, according to Nielsen Co. data.

Of course, how you interpret that data all depends on your perspective — whether you’re a beer-half-full or a beer-half-empty kind of person. While some may see an impenetrable wall of branded 12-packs stacked to the ceiling, others see opportunity.


After all, that 0.9% private-label market share represents a 100% improvement over the prior year, when store-brand market share was tabulated at less than 0.1%.


And private-label beers in Europe enjoy a much greater share of the market — as high as 36.5% in Italy and 34.5% in Spain, according to the Private Label Manufacturers Association. Private-label beers even enjoy as much as 21.2% market share in the United Kingdom. “It gives you some idea what the potential may be if retailers make a commitment to promoting their own brands in the category,” suggested Dane Twining, PLMA spokesman.

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Kellogg’s emphasizes fiber-rich cereals

BY Allison Cerra

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Kellogg’s is emphasizing its fiber-rich cereals, following the release of a study that examined the link between dietary fiber from grains and the lower risk of death from certain diseases in both men and women.

The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, examined the diets of more than 388,000 adults (ages 50 years to 71 years), who were participants in a nine-year diet and health study conducted by the National Institutes of Health and AARP. Researchers noted that those with high-fiber diets were at a lower risk of death from heart disease, infectious and respiratory illness and, in the case of men, certain cancers. The risk of dying from these diseases was reduced by 24% to 56% in men and 34% to 59% in women with high-fiber intakes.

In response to this, Kellogg’s is highlighting its breakfast cereals that boost high fiber content, stating that the research "should serve as wake-up call to all Americans to start making some small changes to their diets to ensure they are getting enough of this nutrient so important for overall health."

"Kellogg has long understood the important role fiber plays in overall health, and is committed to helping Americans increase the fiber in their diet through foods they already eat and enjoy. This study is further proof of the significant contribution of fiber to the diet," said Lisa Sutherland, VP nutrition for Kellogg North America.

Kellogg’s lineup of fiber-rich cereals includes All-Bran, Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain cereal, Kellogg’s FiberPlus cereal and more.

More information on the benefits of fiber and Kellogg’s efforts to increase fiber in foods can be found here.

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Dr Pepper Snapple Group reports Q4 results

BY Allison Cerra

PLANO, Texas — Earnings per share for Dr Pepper Snapple Group increased 5 cents to 49 cents, compared with the year-ago period, thanks to an increase in consumer spending and new licensing agreements with Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

Net sales totaled $1.4 billion, a 4.2% increase from fourth quarter 2009. DPS said the increase was attributed to sales volume growth, positive pricing and deferred revenue from its licensing deals with Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Under these agreements, PepsiCo began distributing Dr Pepper, Crush and Schweppes in the U.S. territories — brands that were distributed by the Pepsi Bottling Group — while Coca-Cola began distributing Dr Pepper in the United States and Canada Dry in the northeastern United States, where the products previously were distributed by Coca-Cola Enterprises.

For its volume, DPS experienced a 3% increase, while its "Core 4" brands declined 1%. Crush and Canada Dry grew double digits. Sunkist soda declined high-single digits, 7UP declined mid-single digits and A&W declined low-single digits. DPS added that Snapple and Hawaiian Punch volumes were up 3% and 4%, respectively.

Looking ahead, DPS said it expects full-year reported net sales to increase 3% to 5% and diluted earnings per share to be in the $2.70 to $2.78 range.

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