Private Particulars

November 1, 2006
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Private Particulars

The introduction by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Bentonville, Ark., of its own private label organic milk brand is expected to boost awareness, acceptance and incremental sales of organic milk across the country. The New York Times reported that the new line, which will be sold under Wal-Mart’s Great Value label, will be priced an average of 10 percent lower than national brands, such as Horizon Organic which Wal-Mart carries. Industry observers told the Times that this lower price removes one of the principle objections many consumers have to organic products. According to the paper, the milk is produced by Aurora Organic Dairy of Boulder, Colo., which also supplies Safeway, Costco Wholesale, Target and Wild Oats Markets with their private label organic milk. The giant retailer’s move into organic milk is not without controversy, as an organization that represents organic family farmers says Aurora’s production methods are not in keeping with the principles of organic agriculture. Both Wal-Mart and Aurora dispute that charge and say that they are in full compliance with Agriculture Department standards.
Whole Foods Market of Austin, Texas, also enters the private label organic milk arena with its 365 Organic Everyday Value milk in whole, 2-percent, 1-percent and fat-free varieties. Whole Foods says its milk is produced regionally throughout the country as close as possible to the markets in which it is sold, by a cooperative of organic farmers.
Dollar General Corp., Goodlettsville, Tenn., announces that it now accepts Visa credit cards at its more than 8,000 stores in 34 states. The company, like competitor Family Dollar Stores, had been accepting PIN-based debit cards. Though Dollar Tree Stores began accepting credit cards last year, the dollar store segment is one of the last markets to accept credit cards.
Winn Dixie Stores Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., reaches an agreement with Star-K Certification of Baltimore to ensure that the retailer’s private label kosher products follow Jewish dietary laws.
Kohl’s Corp., Menomonee, Wis., announces a license agreement with Scripps Networks Inc. in which Kohl’s is granted exclusive rights to sell a new line of cookware, dinnerware, cutlery, food storage, linens and other items under the Food Network brand.
On the Supplier Side:
Gold Kist Inc., Atlanta, opens a new $70-million, 180,000-square-foot expansion of its poultry processing facility in Live Oak, Fla., to support the growth of one of the company’s largest private label retail customers, Publix Super Markets.
PL Developments, Melville, N.Y., moves to a new state-of-the-art pharmaceutical facility in Westbury, N.Y., and announces the company’s Journey Forward Art Project. Meshing a creative project with the company’s pharmaceutical business, the art project is an initiative to outsource artwork for an internal art gallery, exhibit the work of a broad range of artists within the community and make charitable donations on the artists’ behalf.

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