Campbell Soup, Pepperidge Farm Recognized For Innovative Packaging
Campbell’s Go soups, the company’s first soups packaged in flexible, stand-up pouches in the U.S., received a Silver Award for innovative packaging. The soups were specifically created to appeal to a new generation of younger soup-lovers with more adventurous palates. The packaging was designed to complement the flavorful new soups, featuring greater surface area than traditional soup packages and commanding attention with eye-catching graphics and a dash of humor. In addition, the custom-made pouch features a clear gusseted bottom that helps it to stand on shelves or in the microwave, and also allows consumers to have a peek inside at the unique ingredients that make up the product.
“Our goal as part of Campbell’s innovation team is to solve consumer needs that may not be achieved through product innovation alone,” said Mary Gregg, director of packaging for Campbell North America R&D. “Pouches are contemporary and incredibly relevant to younger consumers, who purchase many of their favorite foods and other products in pouches. For the new Campbell’s Go soups, we believe our custom pouches are the right package for the right product.”
Pepperidge Farm’s packaging team was honored for a second consecutive year by the DuPont Awards. This year, the company received a Silver Award for adding a first-of-its-kind, Seal Tab re-close feature to its Pepperidge Farm Baked Naturals Cracker Chips bag. Created in collaboration with Sonoco Flexibles, this development was based on consumer insights that pointed to a key need—flexible packages typically lack convenient re-close features.
“For consumers who want to eat only a portion of the chips and keep the rest of the product fresh, the best option was to use a chip clip or creatively fold over the bag. We knew there had to be a better way,” said Eva Peters, director of packaging for Pepperidge Farm R&D. “We worked with our packaging supplier to create a unique solution built right into the front panel of the package so the consumer couldn’t miss it.”
The packaging features a large and visible re-close tab with a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) system incorporated into the film lamination. The result is greater surface area and better adhesion that easily re-closes for the consumer and also solves a challenge for marketing—brand appeal even when the bag is re-sealed, something that alternate methods could not achieve without obscuring the brand name.
New CEO Named At Kettle Cuisine As Founder Transitions To Board Chair
Kettle Cuisine, a market leader in premium quality, all-natural soups for foodservice and grocery operators, says that Joe Rainert will take on the role of CEO of the Chelsea, Mass.-based company. Jerry Shafir, who founded Kettle Cuisine 27 years ago, will transition from CEO to chairman of the board of directors and continue to help the company navigate future opportunities.
Rainert first joined Kettle Cuisine in January as EVP of sales, marketing and innovation. Before joining Kettle Cuisine, he served as managing director of a $200 million fresh, chilled foods company in London. Rainert also boasts an 18-year career at Bakkavor in the U.K., where he ran soup, sauce and ready-meal businesses serving leading retailers such as Marks and Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury and Asda. Prior to his career in chilled foods, Rainert was a chef and restaurateur, running a Michelin-rated restaurant in England.
Shafir expressed his confidence that Rainert will bring outstanding leadership to Kettle Cuisine and carry the company on to much success while staying true to the core food values on which the company was built.
“I look forward to seeing Joe lead Kettle Cuisine into the future,” Shafir says. “Joe has an extraordinary background, combined with a passion and commitment to food quality and innovation. He is customer focused, results oriented and has a fantastic track record of developing high-performance senior teams. I am supremely confident in Joe and the excellent management team at Kettle Cuisine.”
Shafir will continue to stay active with the company as chairman of the board. He also plans to take more time for personal pursuits, including travel and philanthropy.
Both Shafir and Rainert will be in attendance at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show in Chicago that begins Saturday, May 18, as well as the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA) Seminar and Expo in Orlando in June.
In the featured photo at top is Jerry Shafir, left, and Joe Rainert.
Just Born Celebrates 90 Years Of Candy Making
Just Born Quality Confections, the family-owned maker of Peeps, Mike and Ike, Hot Tamales and Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews Brand Candies, is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.
The company was incorporated on May 23, 1923, in New York City and has been operating in Bethlehem, Pa., since 1932. Today, Just Born is led by cousins Ross Born and David Shaffer who share the title of co-CEO.
“It’s wonderful to be celebrating Just Born’s 90th anniversary,” Shaffer says. “To have made it to 90 years, three generations of family ownership, and grown to become the 10th largest candy company in the U.S. is amazing to us. Our iconic brands and 600 dedicated associates are the key to our success.”
Just Born also is celebrating the Peeps Brand’s 60th anniversary this year. Peeps has become one of America’s most recognized brands and has been the No. 1 non-chocolate candy at Easter for more than 20 years, according to the company. This Easter alone, fans consumed more than one billion Peeps and the brand has grown beyond Easter to sweeten other holidays and seasons, including summer.
As it focuses on transformational growth, the company says it remains committed to the communities where it operates through its philanthropy, associate volunteerism and sustainability programs.
In March, Just Born was certified as a Landfill Free enterprise by Sustainable Waste Solutions (SWS). The company recycles 92 percent of its waste and the remaining 8 percent is converted into energy. Additionally, Just Born this year was selected one of the “Lehigh Valley’s Top Workplaces” in an independent survey conducted by The Morning Call and WorkplaceDynamics. It is one of only two large food and beverage manufacturing companies across the U.S. to be named a top workplace.
“We are excited about the future,” says Born. “And we believe our work has just begun as we strive to become the most respected confectionery company in the world.”
Whole Foods Opening Ninth Connecticut Store On Friday
Whole Foods Market is opening its ninth Connecticut location on Friday. The new store is located in Danbury at 5C Sugar Hollow Rd. in the Shops at Marcus Dairy, located directly across from the Danbury Fair Mall. The store opening celebrations will kick off with a traditional bread-breaking ceremony at 8:30 a.m. followed by storewide tastings, vendor sampling, special sale items, giveaways and other events for all ages.
The new Danbury store will feature more than 35,000 s.f. of retail space and offer natural and organic goods, with a heavy emphasis on products catering to the distinct tastes of the area, according Whole Foods. Customers can expect to see favorites like local and seasonal fresh produce, the company says. The store also will showcase in-store venues and departments.
Whole Foods says the Danbury store will pay homage to the location’s former resident, Marcus Dairy. The Burgers & Shakes bar draws inspiration from the location’s history and its famed Dairy Bar Restaurant. Topnotch burgers (grass-fed beef, turkey and veggie options available), push-cart-style hot dogs and made-to-order milkshakes are all featured on the menu, Whole Foods reveals.
“We’re excited to join the Danbury community and fulfill the needs of its shoppers with natural, organic and wholesome products,” says Pat Mulrooney, Whole Foods Market Danbury store team leader. “With its rich agricultural history, Danbury was a natural fit for Whole Foods Market, and we look forward to this fruitful partnership as we aim to provide the town with a unique shopping experience.”
The Danbury store will introduce several “first to market” specialties, such as all-natural varieties of retro-inspired desserts in the bakery department. The store also will feature made-in-house fruit juicing and smoothie kits available in 14 varieties, offering flavor combinations like Berry Berry, Kale and Celery, Apple and Beet as well as the company’s first fill-your-own coconut water growler option. The prepared foods section will showcase a stir-fry bar, while the meat department will offer a variety of cheese- and meat-stuffed burgers. Whole Foods Market Danbury will be the area’s first location to offer in-house dried fruit.
The Danbury store will continue to deliver quality meat free of antibiotics and added hormones, including locally sourced options from farms in the Northeast. It will offer fresh-caught seafood sourced by local vendors throughout the Northeast. Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value line of household staples and its Whole Body department of personal care products will be available as well.
With this opening marking the 350th store for the Austin, Texas-based company, Danbury will celebrate by offering the first 350 customers entering on May 17 both a free pound of raw and peeled shrimp and a free pound of fresh boneless, skinless chicken breast. The store’s Whole Body department will be holding an early bird sale from 9 a.m.-1p.m on body care and supplements.
Additionally, 5 percent of the day’s sales will be donated to the Danbury Museum and Historical Society. Whole Foods also has dedicated 5-percent day grants to four other local organizations through summer 2014, including:
• The Ridgefield Playhouse—fall 2013;
• CityCenter Danbury—winter 2014;
• The Land Trust of Danbury—spring 2014; and
• Plow to Plate of New Milford—summer 2014.
Crunch Pak Heads To Broadway With Electronic Billboard
Crunch Pak, a leader in fresh sliced apples, is headed for a yearlong run on Broadway as the company participates in a marketing campaign that puts its fresh apple product portfolio on display on an electronic billboard in the heart of New York City’s Times Square.
The billboard, located at 1541 Broadway, is the only bi-directional screen in Times Square with screens that measure 10 feet by 90 feet. The first Crunch Pak ad will start running later this month and will appear more than 17,000 times over the agreement period.
“The screens reach out over the sidewalk to engage millions of people every day,” said Tony Freytag,
SVP of sales and marketing. “This particular billboard is located in the heart of Times Square and is the only screen that you can see from all corners of the square due to its unique bowtie-shaped design.”
Times Square is a major commercial intersection in New York City, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. More than 1.5 million people pass through Times Square daily; with an average of more than 547 million visitors annually.
The campaign’s ability to reach millions of people from across the U.S. is what appealed to Crunch Pak, according to Freytag.
“We are in 18,000 stores across the country and the billboard gives us an opportunity to reach a cross-section of our consumers as well as our local shoppers in New York City who can find us at places like Shoprite, King Kullen, Target, Walmart, Costco and through FreshDirect,” Freytag said.“We have the flexibility to tell all the many stories we have in 15-second increments.”
In addition, the billboard is visible by television viewers of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade—generating millions of additional media impressions, Freytag reveals.
“This campaign is our opportunity to show our retail partners that we support them by doing what we can to build awareness for Crunch Pak as a national brand,” Freytag said.
Pepperidge Farm Employees Get Norwalk Beaches Ready For Season
Pepperidge Farm Inc. recently held its seventh all-employee service day for headquarter employees in Norwalk, Conn. More than 200 employees donated their time by gardening, painting and picking up litter in time for Memorial Day weekend later this month.
“As with many beaches along the shores of Connecticut, Calf Pasture Beach was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy last fall and getting the resources to fix it in time for the summer season was challenging,” said Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia. “And then our community partner, Pepperidge Farm, stepped up to help as they always do. We can always rely on them to assist the city of Norwalk whenever it needs it the most.”
“A healthy community requires a good working relationship and collaboration from all parties including the business sector, city hall, nonprofits and the community. Pepperidge Farm is committed to doing its part to strengthen and improve Norwalk,” said Ruthann Walsh, Pepperidge Farm’s director of corporate citizenship. “In this particular case, we came out today with two goals in mind: to beautify the beach for Norwalk residents and to be sure the beach was cleaned up and safe for the hundreds of children who will enjoy it over the summer months. With the national obesity rates at epidemic proportions, it is critical that today’s children get plenty of exercise and there is no better place to get that than at the beach.”
Some of the supplies used in the cleanup were donated by The Home Depot of Norwalk.
Past Pepperidge Farm all-employee service days have included painting, refinishing furniture and re-stocking pantry shelves at Norwalk’s food pantry, renovating the camp at the Carver Foundation of Norwalk and building edible gardens at Norwalk’s public schools. In addition, Pepperidge Farm has donated time and money to the community of Norwalk through various programs such as the Kids Back Pack program, participating in building a new playground in South Norwalk and supporting Project LEAN, in its third year at Jefferson Science Magnet School. This pilot program is an initiative Pepperidge Farm is co-leading with the Norwalk Health Department, the Norwalk Hospital and Jefferson School to reduce the rate of childhood obesity.
Pepperidge Farm’s contribution to the Norwalk Community has been recognized by awards from the Human Services Council, the Connecticut Food Bank, The Carver Foundation of Norwalk and induction into the Chairman’s Circle of the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County.
C&S Wholesale To Supply Winn-Dixie Stores
Will continue to provide services to all BI-LO stores
BI-LO Holding, parent company of BI-LO and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, announced today a long-term agreement under which Keene, N.H.-based C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc. will provide warehouse, transportation and most procurement services for all 480 Winn-Dixie stores and continue providing services to all 206 BI-LO stores.
“We believe this deal will allow us to leverage the experience and buying power of C&S so that we can continue to reinvest in our company and focus on selling great products at a good value to our customers,” said Randall Onstead, president and CEO of Jacksonville, Fla.-based BI-LO Holding.
By the end of the year, Winn-Dixie’s six distribution centers—located in Baldwin, Jacksonville, Miami and Orlando, Fla., Montgomery, Ala., and Hammond, La.—and the functions that support them, will be transitioned. C&S intends to operate the facilities as they are today, with minimal change to existing associates or their wages and benefits. As each distribution center is transitioned over to C&S, associates of the distribution centers will become employees of C&S.
“We thank our Winn-Dixie distribution center associates for their contributions over the years,” added Onstead. “While we are saying goodbye to them as part of the Winn-Dixie family, we are very pleased that this transition provides them with continued employment. In addition, they will provide C&S with the knowledge and experience needed for a smooth transition.”
“C&S is very excited about extending its eight-year relationship with BI-LO to include the Winn-Dixie stores and to further extending our presence in the South. We are proud to be a part of the ongoing transformation of the BI-LO/Winn-Dixie business and look forward to welcoming the many Winn-Dixie associates to the C&S family,” said Rick Cohen, C&S chairman and CEO.
C&S has provided procurement, warehouse and transportation services for BI-LO LLC since 2005. The new agreement covers both the BI-LO and Winn-Dixie banners across the companywide network of nearly 700 stores.
Frozen Food Month Showed Positive Results For Category
The 30th annual March National Frozen Food Month showed an encouraging lift in dollar and unit sales as compared to last year. The promotion, sponsored by the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA), achieved a 4 percent increase in dollar sales and a 3 percent increase in unit sales over the previous year, according to Nielsen.
“We made a concerted effort to reinvigorate the March promotion, encouraging retailers to plan early, get their supplier partnerships in place and promote Frozen Food Month in a big way,” says NFRA President and CEO Skip Shaw.
“Dollar sales grew by 1.6 percent and unit sales by only 0.4 percent through Feb. 23 of this year,” said Todd Hale, SVP of consumer and shopper insights for Nielsen. “The March numbers show things are looking better. All but three categories drove unit growth. Only ice, frozen novelties and frozen juice didn’t show gains, but their performance was hindered by better-than-expected year-ago growth during our unusually warm 2012 winter.”
Earlier this year, NFRA and its agency, Edelman, launched a PR program designed to change the frozen food conversation and to let consumers know that frozen foods are “Real Food. Frozen.” Since January, NFRA has enhanced its traditional, digital and social media outreach and activity and made an aggressive PR push during March Frozen Food Month.
The “Real Food. Frozen.” campaign elements have included a Cool Food Panel of bloggers sharing recipes and tips on their social platforms as well as representing NFRA in various media outlets, distribution of an infographic full of “cool” frozen food facts for March and a video depicting frozen foods’ progression through the farm to fork story.
The success of March Frozen Food Month 2013 can be attributed to the hundreds of manufacturers, retailers, sales agents and local associations who participated in the promotion and are currently preparing their entries for the Golden Penguin Awards competition, which recognizes excellence in promoting and merchandising.
NFRA is a nonprofit trade association representing all segments of the frozen and refrigerated foods industry. Headquartered in Harrisburg, Pa., NFRA is the sponsor of March Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month, the June/July Ice Cream & Novelties promotion and the October Cool Food for Kids educational outreach program. NFRA holds the annual National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention in October.