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Funky Chunky Debuts Newest Sweet Innovation

Funky Chunky®, LLC, the gourmet snack featuring buttery caramel popcorn drizzled with different types of chocolate with added combinations of pretzels and nuts, has introduced an unexpected yet delicious flavor with its Funky Chunky Café Trio. The trio of new products, debuted at this year’s Sweets & Snacks Show, offer a flavor best known for being an early morning must-have.

Inspired by a local coffee shop and Funky Chunky’s coffee loving staff, Caramel Latte begins with the company’s traditional decadent caramel popcorn. For this treat, layers of caramel latte white chocolate drizzle, milk chocolate drizzle and chewy caramel are added to the caramel popcorn, then highlighted with dark chocolate covered espresso beans for an explosion of flavors.

“Funky Chunky is known for our delicious mash-ups of caramel popcorn and decadent drizzles. We combine fan favorites with our popcorn, and coffee is a flavor that is unexpected yet delicious,” said Laura Kruse, National Sales Manager.  “We expect Funky Chunky Café to become a fast favorite.”

Vanilla 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.

All flavors come in both 5-ounce bags and 19-ounce canisters that work as gifts.  Two-ounce will be launched this fall.

 

 

Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board Names Rich Mende Director of Channel Programs

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) has named Rich Mende its new Director of Channel Programs.

Mende joins WMMB with nearly 20 years of experience in retail sales management. Most recently, his experience included sales management roles at Dietz & Watson in Philadelphia, InnovAsian Cuisine in Tukwila, Washington, and Willow Brook Foods in Springfield, Missouri.

“WMMB is thrilled to add Rich Mende to our organization,” said Chad Vincent, CEO of WMMB. “Not only does he bring a wealth of industry knowledge and experience to the position, he is also a skilled leader and manager. I’m confident our retail team will continue to grow and succeed under his guidance.”

As the Director of Channel Programs, Mende will manage the development of WMMB’s consumer and retail cheese and dairy promotional programs and coordinate their implementation. Mende will also provide leadership and supervision to WMMB’s team of regional marketing managers.

Mende has a Bachelor of Science in Food Distribution from Western Michigan University. He and his family currently reside in Springfield, Missouri, with plans to relocate to Madison in the coming year.

For more information about WMMB, visit www.wmmb.com or connect with the company on Facebook.

Albertsons Companies Hires to Ramp up eCommerce Platform

Albertsons Companies has hired two key digital leaders who will collectively add 30 years of digital leadership experience in product and digital technology. They are Karl Varsanyi, who helped develop macys.com into one of the largest eCommerce sites in the United States, and Ramiya Iyer, who was instrumental in building and scaling Levi Strauss & Co.’s platforms and analytic capabilities worldwide.

“After being relatively unaffected by digital for many years, the grocery industry is starting to see several parts of the customer journey being transformed by digital. In this context, we need to continue to enhance our digital capabilities, and Karl and Ramiya will play a key role in this journey,” said Narayan Iyengar, Senior Vice President of Digital Marketing and eCommerce.

Iyengar himself joined the company in January with more than 20 years of eCommerce experience, most recently with the Walt Disney Company where he built, enhanced and optimized eCommerce capabilities across an ecosystem spanning 20 websites and apps.

“The addition of these leaders with diverse and rich retail experiences will position us to accelerate our efforts to having a differentiated digital experience for our customers,” said Anuj Dhanda, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer.

Together, these additions underscore Albertsons Companies’ commitment to eCommerce leadership in the grocery industry with proven experience building winning digital strategies around well-known brands. The company already operates its highly popular just for U® digital loyalty program, a rapidly growing eCommerce home delivery program, and wide range of digital and data capabilities.

Karl Varsanyi joined Albertsons Companies as the General Vice President of Digital Product Management with responsibility for the digital experience (web, app, and in-store) for all brands and locations. Varsanyi is a customer experience leader with 16 years of practice in the digital retail and technology industries. He has a strong track record of building new innovative products, platforms, teams and cultures across digital and physical retail, having most recently turned Macy’s into an omnichannel retailing leader as its GVP of Product Management, Strategy and Experience.

Ramiya Iyer joined Albertsons Companies as the GVP of Information Technology Digital and Marketing/Merchandising. She has a deep understanding of how digital technology is changing consumers’ shopping behavior, and she brings a unique combination of retail, technology and global leadership experience. Prior to her tenure as the Vice President of eCommerce at Levi’s, she held various IT leadership roles at Walmart.com and SamsClub.com.

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