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Brännland Cider Wins Double Trophies at International Cider Challenge

Brännland Cider won two trophies and were announced class winners in two competition categories, as well as winning gold medals for its remaining entries at the International Cider Challenge.

Brännland Cider Barrique 2014 was announced category winner in the Specialty Cider category. Brännland Iscider x 3, multipack, was announced the winner in the design Innovation category. Brännland Iscider 34 Brix 2014 and 35 Brix 2015 won gold medals in the Specialty Cider category.

“We’re once again pleased to have shown that our ciders hold their own in an international setting. The fact that we managed to win categories that underline both the quality of the cider itself as well as how we approach the presentation of the product is fantastic. We’ve been working with Pernilla Sundgren Graniti at Congenial advertising from the beginning and are very happy to have confirmed by an independent judging panel that our packaging communicates the premium product that we produce,” said Andreas Sundgren Graniti, Brännland Cider.

“Out of this year’s entries the Scandinavian entries stood out a bit more than those from the other countries and they seem to have taken the category a bit more seriously,” said Chairman of the Design Judges Paul Foulkes-Arellano on the Design and Innovation award. “One of these was the clear winner: Brännland Cider’s Iscider from Sweden. What was really interesting was that it had a really stripped back design and it was understated but elegant and it looked a million dollars. It really reflected that Scandi design feel. As an ice cider going up against ice wine the producer wants it to be paired with food, and this really came across in the design. It stood head and shoulders about everything else; a great design and not overloaded with stuff.”

Brännland Cider produces cider using 100 percent Swedish apples for a national and international market. The company’s first vintage, an ice cider produced in the Swedish county of Västerbotten, not far from the arctic circle, using Swedish apples in adherence to the denomination set in the country of origin of ice cider, Canada, was released in 2012.

Executive Leadership Forum Challenges Roles of CIO and CTO

Executive leaders from key retail, insight and technology companies — including The Kroger Co., Nielsen, Cisco, SAP America, Brookshire Grocery Company and RangeMe – will delve into prioritizing digital strategies and why and how these companies have put their chief information officers (CIO) and chief technology officers (CTO) at the center of enterprise-wide digital initiatives at the Food Marketing Institute’s Executive Leadership Forum on June 13.

FMI Chief Collaboration Officer, Senior Vice President, Industry Relations, Mark Baum offered, “Our forum presenters will make the case that the position of the CIO/CTO has transformed into a strategic enabler in today’s retail landscape, a departure from their traditional role as the interpreter of techno-talk or the head of a capital-hungry cost center. The developments will further challenge CEOs and other C-suite executives to co-lead technology discussion and decision in the board room, and subsequently better meet the changing needs of today’s digitally engaged consumer.”

Contributors to the forum include:

  • John D’Anna, Executive Vice President Chief Strategic Officer, Brookshire Grocery Company
  • Annette Franke, Vice President, Kroger Technology (Moderator)
  • Glo Gordon, Vice President, IOT Cloud, Cisco
  • Nicky Jackson, President & Co-Founder, RangeMe
  • Lori Mitchell-Keller, Global General Manager Consumer Industries, SAP
  • Laurie Rains, Group Vice President, U.S. Retail Consumer & Shopper Analytics, Nielsen

A supporting corporate partner for the event, SAP’s Mitchell-Keller noted, “The CIO is the new strategic innovation and information officer – aligned to the CEO, and the enabler of new business processes – because the digital transformation of grocery is the future and is something the entire organization must embark on together.”

SAP will also host roundtable discussions that focus on critical omnichannel infrastructure areas: digital store operations and commerce; digital supply chain; digital marketing and merchandising; and digital fresh. C-level industry participants from major grocery, regional, independent operators and wholesalers will participate and represent companies such as Brookshire Grocery Company, Meijer, Inc., Price Chopper Supermarkets, Publix Super Markets, Inc. and The Kroger Co.

“The industry has changed, retail has changed, and we’ve turned to technology leaders to take us into a new era of intelligence and scalability,” RangeMe’s Jackson said. “I cannot think of a more forward-thinking and appropriate group of leaders to address our new digital reality for the food retail industry.”

Kings Food Markets And Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market Select KeHE

Kings Food Markets and Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market selected KeHE Distributors as a specialty distributor for natural & organic, specialty, and private label items. The agreement is effective immediately. The transition is scheduled to be complete this summer.

“Across the KeHE community, we are energized to put our compelling service, pricing and promotions model to work for Kings and Balducci’s,” said Brandon Barnholt, president and CEO, KeHE. “We are honored to be a part of their distribution network and to help achieve their future growth plans.”

An upscale gourmet food market, Kings is recognized as a pioneer within the specialty food industry. Kings began in 1936 with the humble purpose of finding the freshest available produce, and today Kings provides a unique shopping experience paired with the highest quality foods. Its founders identified the best local farmers and established long-lasting relationships that have grown. Today, it has 25 stores in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut that sell local, national and international specialty food products. Specialty food retailer Balducci’s was started in Brooklyn in 1916 by “Pop” Balducci and has grown to become a gourmet powerhouse, specializing in hand-selected meats and cheeses, restaurant-quality prepared foods, and fresh baked goods with 10 store locations in Maryland, Virginia, New York and Connecticut. Both companies were acquired by KB Holding, Inc. in 2016.

“By choosing KeHE, we have selected a specialty supplier that shares our collective passion for food, which continues to be the enduring foundation of our success,” said Judith Spires, Chairman and CEO, Kings and Balducci’s. “This partnership will continue to grow our business while enhancing our ability to deliver an expertly curated selection of offerings to the communities we serve.”

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