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Wheat Thins extends ad campaign to support new flavors

BY Allison Cerra

EAST HANOVER, N.J. — Wheat Thins has launched the next phase of its "Do What You Do" advertising campaign.

The two new television ads feature "Saturday Night Live" alumnus and "30 Rock" star Tracy Morgan and legendary "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek, each enjoying Wheat Thins’ new flavors, spicy buffalo and zesty salsa, respectively. The new ads build on the brand’s first ad earlier this year, which featured characters from the animated comedy "Family Guy."

"We’re proud that Wheat Thins can be the snack that goes with what our fans love to do," Kraft Foods senior marketing director Jim Low said. "From going to music festivals to watching sports to hanging out with friends, our fans are passionate about what they do and the ‘Do What You Do’ campaign gives us a fun, pop-culture way to celebrate it."

Spicy buffalo and zesty salsa Wheat Thins join the current lineup of ranch, smoky BBQ, sundried tomato and basil and white cheddar flavors. Both new items feature 100% toasted whole grain crunch, the company noted.

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Walmart to cut grocery prices by $1 billion

BY Katherine Field Boccaccio

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart said Thursday it will reduce prices on groceries by $1 billion in 2012, in hopes to draw customers in and encourage them to cross-shop in other areas of the store.

Walmart had $145 billion in grocery sales last year in the United States, making it the largest player in terms of domestic grocery sales. It says the price reductions in food and consumables are an investment and won’t impact margins ,especially if shoppers respond as planned with additional traffic and loyalty.

Chief merchandising officer Duncan Mac Naughton described the program at an industry conference, and said that some key momentum is building inside Walmart U.S., referring to the recent sales turnaround trends.

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Meijer acquires Michigan dairy

BY Alaric DeArment

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Mass merchandise chain Meijer has acquired a Michigan-based dairy, the company said.

Meijer announced the purchase of Bareman’s Dairy, a family-owned company based in Holland, Mich., and the intention of investing more than $8 million into expansion of the plant.

"This is an exciting day for our company," Meijer co-chairman and CEO Hank Meijer said. "As Meijer continues to grow, it’s crucial we invest in the operations that will help us keep our promise of higher standards and lower prices to our customers. Expanding into dairy operations will do just that."

The company also announced the creation of the Purple Cow Creamery, which will supply white and chocolate milk to Meijer’s stores in Michigan. Meijer said that while it would be several months before it started shipping milk products to Meijer stores, the chain would assume ownership of dairy plant operations starting on Monday, and Carlinville, Ill.-based Prairie Farms Dairy would acquire the Bareman’s Dairy brand and the dairy’s distribution centers.

"The creation of the Purple Cow Creamery is an important step forward as we continue to expand our manufacturing operations," Meijer EVP supply chain and manufacturing Rick Keyes said. "Producing our own Meijer brand milk allows us to continue to focus on keeping our prices low for our customers while also reducing the number of food miles for a very important product."

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