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Walgreens toys with fresh food idea

BY Antoinette Alexander

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens is looking to make a bigger play in the fresh food market by testing this fall chilled foods at up to a dozen store locations, according to a Dow Jones report.

Walgreens spokeswoman Tiffani Washington told Dow Jones that the test would be limited to 12 locations; however, sources indicated that the test is likely occurring in as many as 50 locations in September in the Chicago area.

Washington did say that the company may sell sandwiches, fresh cut fruit, soups and wraps.

Earlier this year, Walgreens acquired Manhattan-based retailer Duane Reade, which has made headlines with its food initiatives. While Washington told Dow Jones that Walgreens was pondering fresh food before it acquired Duane Reade, there’s no doubt that it will take some “learnings” from the regional chain.

In March, Duane Reade opened a new Chelsea store location featuring expanded fresh food and grocery offerings, a move that clearly reflected yet another phase in its transformation. The fresh food and grocery offerings have since been rolled out to other select locations.

Soon after the opening of the Chelsea location, Drug Store News stopped by for a store tour.

Upon entering the two-story Duane Reade location at 16th Street and 8th Avenue, shoppers immediately see a center island packed with prepared soups, microwavable single-serve meals, sushi and fresh sandwiches.

To the right of the island, positioned against the wall, is a vast assortment of baked goods and self-serve Starbucks coffee.

But perhaps the most impressive is the expansive food offering toward the back of the 15,000-square-ft. store. This area is much like entering a grocery store, as there are more than 500 SKUs of frozen convenience items, such as boneless chicken breasts, hamburger patties and frozen vegetables.

There’s also an array of organic grocery items and exclusive food and beverage brands under the retailer’s exclusive DR Delish banner.

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Latinum Network seeks to aid brands in infiltrating Hispanic market

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Latinum Network recently hosted a meeting to uncover standardized methodologies to assess overall performance and metrics in the U.S. Hispanic market.

With the Hispanic population becoming a major consumer force, brand marketers’ need for comprehensive consumption and media measurement on this segment is essential, Latinum said. The business network recently brought together media experts from SymphonyIRI, Millward Brown, Integration-IMC, Bromley Communications, Lotame and Univision, along with marketing executives from 24 brands, including 7-Eleven, Clorox, DirectTV, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo and Subway Restaurants, to assess ways to make their presence in the Hispanic market strong.

According to David Wellisch, principal at Latinum Network, “A total market approach will ensure that you’re investing each dollar where the return is highest, yet without sales tracking and comprehensive panel data, understanding the interactions and spillovers between the general market and the Hispanic market becomes very difficult.”

Said SymphonyIRI SVP Lance Goodridge, “We are looking forward to working with Latinum to address these concerns in new ways – including options like increasing the size of our U.S. Hispanic panel.”

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Rite Aid launches private-label brand

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Wednesday launched its new private label, called Simplify, as part of the company’s plan to revamp its entire private-brand program with a new look, new brands and additional offerings to meet the needs of today’s value-driven consumer.

Simplify products in stores now include two-ply paper towels, one- and two-ply bath tissue, strawberry- and berry-flavored drinks, and bottled water. Additional household items, food storage bags and trash bags, soda and snack foods are scheduled to be added to the Simplify line later this year.

“Customers continue to look for the best price for the items they need, and that’s exactly what they are getting with Simplify, our first-ever value line,” stated Kathy Horton, senior drector of Rite Aid brands. “Our new price fighter private brand offers customers quality products at prices they’ll love.”

Shoppers can watch short informational videos about Simplify paper towels and bath tissue on Rite Aid’s Video Values online savings program site at RiteAid.com. Videos on the site can be viewed by brand, category or manufacturer. Customers also receive a $5 Rite Aid bonus coupon when they earn 20 video credits.

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