SEATTLE'S BEST COFFEE CAFES OPEN IN 3 SPARTAN STORES
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Seattle's Best Coffee cafes have opened inside three Family Fare supermarkets in Holland and Zeeland, Mich., a new market for the coffee cafe operator. The cafes offer a full line of Seattle's Best Coffee's premium coffee and non-coffee beverages including lattes, mochas, hand-shaken cold brewed coffees and the “JavaKula,” the company's signature blended beverage line. Decorated with fun, contemporary graphics, the cafes also offer an assortment of pastries and other bakery items, Seattle's Best Coffee merchandise and a variety of whole bean coffees. Family Fare is a banner of Spartan Stores here. Spartan distributes food to more than 350 independent grocery stores in the Midwest, and operates 87 supermarkets and deep-discount food and drug stores.
SAM'S CLUB STORES HOST HOLIDAY TASTING EVENT
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Sam's Club warehouse stores were scheduled to host the annual Holiday Taste of Sam's Club, an all-day sampling promotion last weekend, Nov. 17-19. The menu included a variety of holiday dishes including citrus grilled pork loin, rosemary and garlic rack of lamb, prime rib, cheesecakes and quiche. The event was open to members as well as guests who could use a one-day guest pass to gain entry into the club stores. However, all non-member purchases were subject to a 10% service fee, the company said. A division of Wal-Mart Stores, Sam's Club stores have more than 47 million members in the U.S.
SHOPPERS GET TASTE OF WILD OATS HOLIDAY FARE
BOULDER, Colo. — Wild Oats Markets showcased a new selection of fully cooked turkey and vegetarian holiday meals at a sampling fair held in the stores earlier this month. In its e-newsletter, the natural food retailer touted its holiday meal offerings, which include turkey, classic prime rib, classic vegetarian and petite vegetarian dinners. The classic turkey dinner, feeding six to eight people, includes a fully cooked 11-pound turkey, three pounds of potatoes, three pounds of dressing, two pounds of gravy, 1.5 pounds of cranberry-orange relish and two pounds of vegetables, and retails for $99.99 Other fully cooked meals ranged in price from $49.99 for a “petite” turkey dinner serving two to three, to the classic prime rib dinner, serving six to eight people and retailing for $129.99.
AVOCADO RIPENING SYSTEM OFFERED TO RETAILERS
ORANGE, Calif. — Prime Produce International here has launched its “Prime Ripe” program, a new process that ripens avocados in special bags that provide retailers and food-service operators with a cost-effective, flexible way to offer ripe avocados year-round, company officials said. Prime Ripe fruit was introduced at the Produce Marketing Association Show in San Diego last month and will begin shipping to retailers this month with additional product offerings planned for 2007. The avocados are placed in a temperature-controlled bag that ripens the fruit directly in the box rather than using ethylene gas. Company officials said the process allows for consolidated shipments, uniform ripening, and reduced transportation costs, shrink and waste. Integrated Marketing-Works, Irvine, Calif., will support the national marketing launch of the program with advertising, public relations and trade outreach.
CONGRESSMEN PROMOTE SPINACH SALADS
WASHINGTON — In a show of support for the beleaguered spinach industry, two congressmen — U.S. Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., and U.S. Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, R-Md., were scheduled to host a “Spinach is Back” congressional luncheon for the House Agriculture Committee last week. Members of Congress, congressional staff and administration officials were invited to make their own spinach salad at what was billed as the “world's biggest spinach salad bar,” set up in the Longworth House Office Building here. In a letter sent to members of Congress, Farr and Gilchrest noted the questions about tainted spinach that surfaced following the E. coli outbreak have been resolved and new safety protocols have been put into place. “Our spinach producers and those from around the country take a great deal of pride and effort to bring you the best — and safest — product they can,” the congressmen said in the letter.