Private Label Buyer

Bits and Pieces

January 27, 2009

  • To help consumers keep tabs on what they’re eating, West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee Inc. and Schenectady, N.Y.-based Price Chopper Supermarkets rolled out the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System (from NuVal LLC, a joint venture formed in 2008 by Skokie, Ill.-based Topco Associates LLC and Griffin Hospital). The system, pilot tested last year at Hy-Vee’s locations in Iowa, is designed to help consumers understand the nutritional value of the foods they buy. Hy-Vee CEO Ric Jurgens said the aims are big picture and broad-scale. “When we’re in a position to make a difference in people’s lives, we should,” he said. “This program has the potential to improve the health of our nation.”
  • Hannaford Bros. Co., Scarborough, Maine, announced last week on its Web site that it is introducing an exclusive line of wines from Chile. The Mar del Sur wines include a Cabernet, Chardonney and Merlot.
  • In a marketing move geared to help it compete with club stores, Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans Food Markets is encouraging customers to try its own club-sized products. The chain pledged to match or beat club store prices and pointed out that it does not charge membership fees. Wegmans also is providing recipe tips on its Web site to help people “start cooking with Club Pack.”
  • Fortune magazine is out with its annual list of the “100 Best Companies to Work for,” published earlier this month. Among the supermarket retailers making the list are Wegmans Food Markets (#5), Whole Foods Market (#22) and Publix (#88). Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix is one of only 13 companies to be included on the list every year since the list was launched 11 years ago, according to a Publix press release.
  • As Target Corp. redoubles its efforts to promote value and the quality of its house brands, the Minneapolis-based retailer announced last week that it is set to unveil a home décor collection called Orla Kiely for Target. The exclusive, limited-time line features the bold and colorful deigns of Kiely and includes pieces ranging from $2.49 for a small tumbler to $21.99 for a tablecloth.
  • In another sign of shifting advertising tactics, Deerfield, Ill.-headquartered Walgreen Co. created one-minute online video ads targeted to its prescription customers. The videos are posted on One Minute Media’s online “platform,” called In remarks published in the January 22 edition of Brandweek magazine, Christine Kubisztal, Walgreens’ manager of media strategy and services, noted that consumers are being more selective about how and when they view information. “We need to make information on our products and services available to consumers so it’s there when they are ready to retrieve it,” she stated.