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The Hershey Company Names New Executive Team

The Hershey Company has announced the new executive leadership team that incoming President and CEO Michele Buck has chosen to lead the organization. The new team balances continuity in key positions through exceptional leaders from within the company and world-class talent from outside of Hershey.

“Hershey is an innovative snacking leader with its number one market share in U.S. confection and increasing breadth across U.S. snacking,” said Buck. “I’m extremely confident in the individuals who will lead our organization as we delight our customers and consumers with innovation and news in the marketplace and strive to deliver leading sales growth and margins across the food industry. This is a great team, with a range of experiences, expertise and backgrounds to accelerate our innovation, execute with excellence, instill a commercial mindset in all we do, and inspire our remarkable employees to achieve our goals.”

The following eight leaders will comprise Hershey’s new executive leadership team, effective March 1, unless otherwise noted:

Todd Tillemans, President, U.S. – Tillemans will join Hershey on April 3 to lead the company’s flagship U.S. business including core confection, its expanding portfolio across snacking, and its sales and go-to-market teams. Tillemans joins the company from Unilever, where he worked for more than 23 years. He has held multiple leadership positions, including leading Unilever’s skin care business in Europe and Russia, its personal care business in the United States, and most recently serving as President, Customer Development U.S.

Steven Schiller, President, International – Schiller, currently President, China & Asia is named President, International.  He will continue to oversee the China and Asia markets and will assume responsibility for the Americas region, India and Europe, Middle-East, and Africa.

Terry O’Day, Senior Vice President, Chief Product Supply and Technology Officer – O’Day, currently Chief Supply Chain Officer, will continue to oversee the company’s supply chain organization and will assume responsibility for Hershey’s productivity, information technology and enterprise connectivity initiatives.

In connection with these announcements, Chief Knowledge and Technology Officer Waheed Zaman will retire from the company effective March 31.

The Hershey Company has undertaken a search for a Chief Growth Officer who will lead Hershey’s insights and analytics, strategy, marketing excellence functions, innovation, research and development, mergers and acquisitions and The Hershey Experience. The company has identified an external candidate who is expected to join the team this spring.

Continuing in their roles are:

  • Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Patricia Little
  • Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary Leslie Turner
  • Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Kevin Walling
  • Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Mike Wege

“These appointments reaffirm our commitment to creating opportunities for remarkable people to grow within the company and to attracting world-class talent from outside of Hershey. On behalf of the board of directors and management, I would like to thank Waheed Zaman for his work over the past four years to advance our technology, data and analytics capabilities,” Buck said.

Three New Spreadable Cheese Flavors from President Cheese

Président® brand cheese launches three new flavors of its award-winning rondelé cheese: Thai Sweet Chili, Pineapple & Ginger, and Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper. Beginning March 2017, the new flavors, which emphasize a distinct balance of two contrasting yet complimentary tastes, will be available at retailers nationwide. To find the store closest to you, just use the store locator on the company’s website.

sea saltA testament to the superior quality and taste of rondelé by Président, the rondelé Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper Gourmet Spreadable was awarded first place in the Flavored Cream Cheese category at the 50th Annual World Dairy Expo Championship in 2016, the only contest in North America that includes all dairy products, and the Silver medal at the 2016 World Cheese Awards in San Sebastián, Spain.

rondeleBy combining simple ingredients with high quality milk and cream in the Old World tradition, Président brand produces gourmet spreads that are savory, flavorful and fit for any occasion. The rondelé gourmet spreads not only add a unique element to a number of recipes, they are also the perfect addition to a cheese board; served in a decorative, table-ready cup for easy and convenient presentation. Marketing Director Karine Blake adds, “rondelé by Président is already loved by consumers for its versatility. We are thrilled to offer these new flavors for recipe creators and we’re excited to see what they dream up.”

 

 

 

Neilsen Report Explores Strategies for Appealing to Multicultural Shoppers

With the rapid growth of multicultural households in America and their unparalleled influence on the marketplace, there is a strong need for retailers to revise their in-store strategies to include a wider range of fresh food products and flavor profiles that cater to the multicultural consumer set.  With this in mind, Nielsen has released a comprehensive report to help retailers understand the influence multicultural consumers wield across the meat, produce, seafood, deli, and bakery categories.  The report entitled, “A Fresh Look at Multicultural Consumers,” reveals strategic insights for retailers looking to leverage new growth opportunities across the perimeter, over the next several decades.

Multicultural consumers are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population and the growth engine for fresh food categories within the grocery space.  According to the latest Nielsen report, multicultural households spend a higher share on fresh food as a percentage of their total food spend compared to non-Hispanic white households. In fact, multicultural consumer shoppers make 3 percent more trips to the store containing fresh items and spend 4 percent more per year on fresh items, resulting in a $2.2 billion opportunity for retailers.  For many multicultural families, fresh is a dietary staple.  The multicultural preference for fresh comes from cooking and eating norms that centrally reflect the unique cultures of African Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanics.  That said, the allure of multicultural flavors and desire for fresh are influencing a wider range of shoppers, and becoming a key driving force for fresh growth.

“In order to tap this critical market, retailers need to rethink their delivery and assortment strategies of fresh products being offered to today’s increasingly multicultural shoppers,” said Courtney Jones, Vice President of Multicultural Growth & Strategy at Nielsen.   “To be successful, retailers must understand the importance that culturally relevant, fresh offerings play in the multicultural shopper landscape.  Retailers must also embrace the many layers of multicultural consumers and the undeniable ‘halo effect’ that those consumers are having on mainstream non-Hispanic white shoppers. The multicultural consumer covers a broad spectrum, from multi-generational families to Millennials, to Asian American, African American, and Hispanic subgroups that have been influenced by distinct global culinary traditions. Retailers must consider the multi-ethnic tastes of their current and desired customers and recognize that the palates that favor multicultural flavors are influencing the taste preferences of non-Hispanic whites and society at large.”

KEY REPORT FINDINGS

  • INSIGHTS FROM THE DELI DEPARTMENT:
    • Multicultural flavors are “mainstream” in the deli and continue to grow.
    • Non-Hispanic white shoppers are inspired by the ethnic flavors found within the deli.
    • Multicultural consumers are taking advantage of the quick and easy meal solutions and meals for large families within the deli department.
  • INSIGHTS FROM THE PRODUCE DEPARTMENT:
    • Multicultural produce excites all kinds of shoppers.
    • Social media influencers and popular restaurant flavor trends are infiltrating the produce aisle. For example, the growth of habañero, with items popping like habañero grilled vegetable and even habañero margaritas.
  • INSIGHTS FROM THE MEAT + SEAFOOD DEPARTMENT:
    • Multicultural consumers spend more in meat and seafood departments than any other fresh department.
    • Within the seafood department, multicultural households spend $62 a year compared to non-Hispanic white households at just $43.
    • Multicultural consumers are less willing to purchase branded fresh meat and seafood items; instead there is preference towards made-to-order, unbranded meat products, typically prepared behind the counter.
  • INSIGHTS FROM THE BAKERY DEPARTMENT:
    • The bakery offers the biggest opportunity for multicultural consumers, who spend only 9.8 percent of their fresh dollars on bakery items.
    • The bakery’s proximity to the deli should be leveraged to create strong cross-department connections for multicultural shoppers across multiple entertaining categories.

Funky Chunky Debuts Cafe Product Line

Funky Chunky, LLC is launching its new Funky Chunky Café product line. Inspired by coffee shop flavors, Caramel Latte starts out with Funky Chunky’s buttery non-GMO popcorn, then layers of caramel latte white chocolate drizzle, milk chocolate drizzle, chewy caramel are added, and the treat is highlighted with dark chocolate covered espresso beans.

Funky ChunkyVanilla Sweet Crème is similar but with vanilla sweet crème white chocolate, chewy caramel and white chocolate covered espresso beans. Lastly, Dark Chocolate Mocha loads up with dark chocolate mocha drizzle, milk chocolate drizzle, chewy caramel and dark chocolate covered espresso beans.

“We worked on this for over a year and a half… I guess it takes time to perfect something you love. The aroma alone whisks you to a comfy chair in a local coffee shop, then the taste will certainly exceed your expectations,” says Jeff Skogen, Sales and Marketing for Funky Chunky.

Beetology Juices Offer Clean Label Nutrition

BeetologyBeetology is a new line of delicious, organic, cold pressed juices from Kayco, and it’s offering the “clean” attributes health-conscious shoppers demand along with an amazingly delicious, crisp, and refreshing taste.

According to Charles Herzog, Chief Beetologist and Vice President of New Business Development at Kayco, “The movement toward simple, easy-to-understand healthy ingredients is now in the mainstream. Beetology beverages contain no more than five ingredients – nothing but organic, natural, cold-pressed juice. We’re especially proud of their pure, farm-to-table pedigree. You can taste the difference with our juices-we use only the best of the best in order to offer perfectly crafted blends for a crisp and uniquely flavorful difference in every sip.”

All five varieties are 100 percent non-GMO, USDA-certified organic, and certified fair trade. The 100 percent juice blends contain no preservatives, additives, artificial colors, or flavors. They are also non-soy, non-dairy, and certified kosher, making them perfect for anyone, any time.

As for those who balk at beets, Kayco says the trend is here to stay. “Beetology is out to prove just how sweet and tasty this misunderstood root vegetable is,” Herzog said. “We travel the world to find the best tasting beets, because we think that beet juice will be the next big craze since pomegranates.”

The myriad benefits of beets are well-documented. Dense in nutrients and high in antioxidants, they’re great for the heart, brain, and blood pressure. They help boost energy, aid in weight loss, support cleansing and detoxing, and have anti-inflammatory properties.

Best of all is the way beets harmonize with other natural juices. Every perfectly-crafted Beetology blend packs a delicious punch that’s refreshing, nuanced, and not too sweet. Varieties include Beet + Lemon + Ginger, Beet + Veggie, Beet + Tropical Fruit, Beet + Berry, and Beet + Cherry.

Refrigerated and merchandised inside the refrigerator, every bottle of Beetology is fresh and ready to grab and go. The new drink is distributed exclusively by New Jersey-based Kayco and will be available this spring at health food, specialty, grocery and kosher food markets .

Beetology is packaged and shipped in six 8-ounce bottles per case and retails for about $3.99 per bottle. Kayco, also known as Kedem, is headquartered in Bayonne, New Jersey, and is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of kosher food products.

 

KRAVE Launches the KRAVE Stick

On the heels of the KRAVE Bar launch in December, KRAVE continues to elevate the protein snack space with the launch of its newest line of meat snacks: the KRAVE Stick. The KRAVE Stick will hit retail shelves this month in three unique flavors: Spicy Red Pepper Pork with Black Beans, Rosemary Lemon Turkey with White Beans and Sesame Garlic Beef with Sweet Potato.

Krave stickWith the brand’s Wine Country roots in mind, the KRAVE Stick was thoughtfully crafted with the prestigious Culinary Institue of America’s consulting group in Napa Valley to create a unique twist on the traditional meat stick. Layered with unexpected ingredients like whole beans or sweet potatoes, the KRAVE Stick is an evolution of the typical meat snack that provides consumers with a good source of protein and less fat than the leading sticks on the market.

“Meat sticks have been around for a while and there’s no shortage of competition in that area; however, the KRAVE Stick combinations that we created with the Culinary Institute of America’s consulting group have an unexpected twist that has yet to be seen,” said Shane Chambers, General Manager at KRAVE. “We are confident that these better-for-you sticks are going to continue to deliver the delicious fuel that our consumers have come to expect from KRAVE, and we look forward to continuing to disrupt the category with elevated meat snack options.”

The KRAVE Stick will retail for $1.79.

Driveline Retail Hires Ken Drish, Ed Kovatch

Driveline Retail, a provider of large-scale retail services and technology, has appointed two industry professionals with significant experience in driving growth for retailers and manufacturers.

The company has appointed Ken Drish as Executive Vice President, Business Development, and Ed Kovatch as Vice President, Business Development. Drish will report directly to Randy Wilson, Driveline’s CEO, and will be responsible for delivering a portfolio of retail solutions that drive real value for its current and future client base of retailers and manufacturers.

“I’m excited to join this talented team at Driveline and I look forward to leveraging my skill set and experience to help deliver real value to our clients, and to also develop lasting partnerships with our current and prospective clients,” says Drish. “At Driveline, retail execution is a core strategic focus of our company, not an obligation as part of a traditional sales agency agreement.” An industry veteran of 25 years, Drish’s extensive experience includes roles at Acosta Sales & Marketing, SPAR Group, and most recently, CROSSMARK, where he was Vice President, Business Development for CROSSMARK’s Walmart division.

Kovatch brings nearly 30 years of experience in sales, business development, and operations across a wide array of categories and channels. He has held senior-level positions at Foster Grant, CROSSMARK, and most recently, Chief Sales Officer at Planorama, a SaaS provider of image recognition technology for the retail environment.

Wicked Joe Organic Coffees Celebrates New Look

Wicked Joe Organic Coffees, the family-owned, 100 percent organic certified, Fair Trade™ coffee roastery known for its single origin varietals and blends such as “Wicked French,” has rolled out new packaging after more than 12 years in business.

Wicked Joe coffee imageThe Wicked Joe product line – available at retail stores all over New England and in more than 1,500 grocery retailers nationwide as well as online – previously featured a black bag with a red and green coffee cup logo. Wicked Joe Organic Coffees now sports a cleaner, more modern look, including black and chrome brand elements and an array of accent colors indicating the individual blend, flavor or bean’s origin.

The company has grown and refined its operations significantly over the last decade, including increasing sales by 25 percent and growing capacity by 67 percent in 2016 alone. Owners Bob and Carmen Garver wanted a design that would more accurately reflect the roastery’s progress and focus on quality and professionalism.

“We are very excited about where we are with the business right now, and we think a fresh new look captures that feeling,” said Carmen Garver. “We worked collaboratively with our staff and explored many possibilities, and ultimately we wanted to communicate a vintage feel that could translate in today’s market.”

The colorful, lively nature of the new bags aims to stand out on retail shelves among dozens of competitors. Along with their ever-growing team of coffee experts, the Garvers have spent more than two decades – long before the Maine roastery opened – traveling the world in search of the highest quality coffee bean. From the beginning, the company has had a razor-sharp focus on quality, in addition to a commitment to community, farmers and the cooperative partners at bean origin.

“We are constantly evolving,” added Bob Garver. “Our close relationships with the farmers that grow our beans provide so many opportunities for sustainable business practices, education and above all else, inspiration for the next cup of joe.”
Wicked Joe’s new packaging is available in stores now. Visit www.wickedjoe.com for more information.

Larry’s Market: Surviving and Thriving on the Power of Lunch

By Lorrie Baumann

Photo by Uriah Carpenter

Photo by Uriah Carpenter

When Larry Ehlers started working at his local grocery store in Brown Deer, Wisconsin after his return from World War II, it was the kind of neighborhood grocery that sold everything that the neighborhood families really needed from day to day in about 3,000 square feet of selling space. Then times changed, local roads gave way to superhighways, the small village of Brown Deer became a suburb of Milwaukee, and big box stores entered into the grocery marketplace.

Larry’s Market changed with the times by evolving into a specialty grocer. Its produce and meat departments have been eliminated in favor of prepared foods that cater to the lunchtime needs of the workers employed in the nearby office buildings, a highly regarded specialty cheese market makes the store a destination for tourists looking for the best of Wisconsin cheeses, and a busy catering department now provides more than half the store’s revenue.

“It’s an old, old grocery store, but it’s a charming building,” said Patty Peterson, the Manager of Larry’s Market and the daughter of Larry himself. “We’re not on the highway. We’re on the byway…. We don’t have a thousand people walking in front of our store each day.”

After his return from the war, Larry Ehlers worked for the store for years before he finally bought it in 1970. His son, Steve Ehlers, bought the store from him in the late 1980s, and Steve’s wife became the owner upon Steve’s death in 2016.

Around 1971, Peterson’s parents had become fans of French cheeses after their introduction to them at a Summer Fancy Food Show. After tasting some of those cheeses at the show, Larry placed an order. A few days after the cheese was delivered to the store, it was gone, sold to upscale customers who’d learned to appreciate traditional French cheeses during their travels overseas. Larry continued ordering. “Of course my father is the consummate salesman. He can still sell like nobody’s business,” Peterson said. “He still comes in three days a week.”

Steve carried on that romance with French cheeses as he traveled in Europe in the 1970s for his own version of the Grand Tour once made by Victorian gentlemen to broaden their horizons as they started out on their lives as independent adults. “He loved France,” Peterson said.

i-54V7VWv-XLSteve and his father decided to start carrying artisanal American cheeses in the store after Mike Gingrich of Uplands Cheese won the American Cheese Society’s Best of Show Award for Pleasant Ridge Reserve, and today, the cheese counter with its 200 to 300 cheeses in it is a destination for travelers who come to Larry’s Market just to buy their cheese.

Most of the business rung up by the store’s 15 full and regular part-time employees, though, comes either at lunchtime or through the store’s catering business. The regular Friday grill-out events are also huge draws that bring 250 to 300 people into the store over the course of a couple of hours.

All told, the deli and catering departments represent about 60 to 70 percent of the business today. “We do a lot of corporate catering, so on any given day, we’ll have five people out delivering, and we can do 400 to 500 people for lunch, just catering,” Peterson said.

The typical lunchtime purchase for the 100 to 150 people who usually come in then is about $12 to $15, although customers will frequently spend $40 to $50 at a time if they’re also buying groceries and cheese. Among the most popular offerings are killer brownies, Wisconsin artisan cheeses and fresh soups, including the turkey chili that’s a particular favorite among Larry’s regulars. “We sell a ton of soup, summer and winter,” Peterson said. “Our local health inspector comes in for lunch quite often.”

JNB Salsas Finding Fans Across the Globe

By Lorrie Baumann

Barry Moore is known as “The Salsa Guy,” co-Founder of JNB Specialty Foods and the “B” in JNB, the company he cofounded with his son, Jason, in 2011 after his retirement from the U.S. Postal Service. “After I retired, I rode my motorcycle for six months and golfed. And then winter came,” he says.

JNBOnce the winter sent his motorcycle to its space in the garage, Moore decided to pick up the threads on an idea he’d been weaving with his son, a talented chef, Barry had been been making the Bruschetta from an old family recipe and serving to friends and family during the holidays. “Jason developed the Apple Corn salsa a year or two before the business started,” Moore says. “He cooked it when he was going to watch a football game with his friends. His friends all raved about it, and we decided that when I’d retired, we’d do the Bruschetta and the Apple Corn Salsa.”

The two launched their business with 24 cases of product that they took to a local Women’s Expo, where it became an instant hit. “We went there on Friday night, but on Sunday, we had three bottles of salsa left, and that was it,” Moore says. “At that very first event, we were approached by a grocery store that wanted to sell the products. They actually had someone at the show who tried it.”

From there, the JNB’s product line has grown to six products, now including Pineapple Salsa, Habanero Salsa, Red Pepper Salsa and Cranberry Chutney as well as the original Bruschetta and Apple Corn Salsa. “The products are all natural, gluten-free,” Moore says. “This is something that we developed ourselves. We didn’t copy it from anybody. We developed all these products ourselves, and we had a lot of fun doing it.”

“The Cranberry Chutney was because customers asked for something sweet,” he continues. “The Habanero was because customers asked for heat. The Pineapple was because customers asked for sweet heat.”

Although JNB is still selling product at local events, where Moore enjoys the social contact, the products are also sold in about 140 to 150 stores, including sales in China that have come about through trade missions sponsored by the state of New York. Those started about a year and a half ago, when New York asked him if he’d be interested in going on a trade trip to China if the state paid a portion of his expenses for the trip. “I went to Beijing, went to a free trade zone, and got some interest there,” he says. “In one week in China, I got some contacts and some distributors.”

That was in September, 2015, and then around the beginning of 2016, New York asked him if he’d be interested in another trip to a Chinese food show. “I said, ‘I guess I’ll do it,’ and so I went to Chengdu,” Moore says.

In the U.S., the JNB Specialty Foods Salsas retail for about $4.29 to $5.30 or so, depending on the market. “In a specialty market, they sell very well at $8 to $9,” Moore says. “It’s a wonderful product. The Cranberry Chutney is good over soft cheese or mixed with mayo for a turkey sandwich. Or you can use it straight as a dipping sauce for pork or chicken.”

“If you like pork or beef, the salsas will pair well,” he adds. “The Apple Corn Salsa makes a great stuffing for a pork shoulder.”
For more information, call 607.267.5874 or email barry@jnbfoods.com.

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