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Walmart, Kroger top Kantar Retail’s annual PowerRanking survey

BY Michael Johnsen

NORWALK, Conn. — Both Walmart and Kroger were named to the top spot in Kantar Retail's 2016 annual U.S. PoweRanking survey, released Wednesday, which measures best-in-class retailers according to the supplier community.

"As we entered the 2016 calendar year, many of the same trends of 2015 continued, all of which reinforce the idea that we are in an era of permanent transition and change," stated Daniel Raynak, EVP strategy and development Kantar Retail. "However, those organizations that have embraced the change in 2016 and took swift actions against big, relevant opportunities are beginning to see the return on the changes they have implemented.”   

According to Kantar, while Walmart’s long-standing dominance among U.S. retailers now has a formidable challenger, the supercenter chain continues to outrank all other retailers in the areas of clear strategy and supply-chain management. One manufacturer noted: “Walmart has consistent, clear, widespread strategies.”

A major factor in Kroger’s performance this year has been its ability to innovate and maximize the shopper experience by applying insights derived from both suppliers and its own 84.51° shopper insights firm. Manufacturers voted Kroger No. 1 in the categories of “best retailer to do business with,” “best buying teams,” “most innovative merchandising” and “best practice category leadership.” One manufacturer summarized: “Kroger has developed strong collaboration and partnership with manufacturers, and they continue to deliver strong business results.”

"We deeply value our CPG and manufacturing partners' commitment to our Customer 1st Strategy," stated Mike Donnelly, Kroger EVP merchandising. "We are excited about our ability to drive innovation for customers using data-driven insights from both our suppliers and our customer insights firm, 84.51°."

Polling retail partners to identify the best-in-class manufacturers, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola topped the rankings in the 2016 annual U.S. PoweRanking survey. The first- and second-place finishes for PepsiCo and Coca-Cola represent their highest historical rankings ever in the annual benchmarking study, which Kantar Retail has now conducted for 20 consecutive years.

PepsiCo showed broad improvement across many of the strategic and operational metrics measured in the study. The company was particularly praised for providing top-class capabilities in the area of data analytics. One major retailer noted: “PepsiCo has embraced the data and has brought new insights and analytics. They have really transformed the conversation [between our companies].”

Coca-Cola received the top ranking for innovative marketing, receiving plaudits from retail partners for creative campaigns, such as “Share a Coke.” One retailer commented: “Coke is building the interest of consumers with their new ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. The customers are excited to look for their names or favorite songs on the bottles.”

The purpose of Kantar Retail’s annual PoweRanking study is to identify the manufacturers and retailers viewed as best in class by their major trading partners and to provide insight into what distinguishes them across key areas of the manufacturer-retailer business relationship.

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Nutella asks FDA to reclassify the spread as a jam

BY Gina Acosta

WASHINGTON — Nutella's maker, Ferrero, has petitioned the FDA to have the chocolate hazelnut spread reclassified into the same category as jam and honey, which has a smaller serving size.

In a petition to the FDA, Ferrero writes that the two-tablespoon serving size on the U.S. label could be confusing and make people think they should use that much on their toast.

“Because Nutella is used in the same manner as jams and jellies, uniformity in RACC values among Nutella, jams, and jellies would enable consumers to make informed nutritional comparisons of these similar products,” Ferrero wrote in its petition.

The FDA sets “reference amounts customarily consumed,” or RACC for 139 categories of food products. That helps determine serving size. Since 1993, the FDA has considered Nutella among “other dessert toppings.” 

Read more about Ferrero's claim by clicking here.

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KIND introduces new bar just in time for holidays

BY Gina Acosta

NEW YORK — KIND bars and snacks is launching a new product just in time for the holiday season.

KIND Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Spice has only 5g of sugar (no artificial sweeteners), is gluten free and dairy free, and is high in fiber.

KIND Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Spice retails for $1.79 per bar. It's available now at retailers nationwide.
 

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