WEGMANS LAUNCHES $6 MEALS
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Wegmans Food Markets here is advertising $6 meals, featuring one entree and two sides from the company's prepared-food departments. Shoppers can choose from a small selection of entrees, which may vary from store to store, with options including brown sugar barbecued chicken breast, pulled pork with Memphis barbecue sauce, “Chicken French,” or stuffed shells with seasoned tomato sauce and mozzarella. Sides include harvest vegetables, macaroni and cheese, roasted cauliflower, roasted red potatoes and more.
SAFEWAY PROMOTES LOCAL FOODS
PLEASANTON, Calif. — As part of Safeway's new “Locally Grown” initiative, Rick Pickering, vice president of Safeway this month, joined with Will Brown, undersecretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and Ron Fong, chief executive officer of the California Grocers Association, to distribute samples of locally grown produce at one of the company's Sacramento locations. Representatives from farms including Jopson Ranch, G&S Farms, Ratto Brothers Produce, Blossom Hill of Patterson and M&R Co. were on hand as well. Through its Locally Grown initiative, Safeway has increased its sourcing of local fruits and vegetables, and emphasized to shoppers that buying local helps boost the economies of California's many agriculture-rich communities, while decreasing the carbon footprint of fresh fruits and vegetables. Currently, nearly 45% of all produce sold in Safeway's California stores is grown in-state.
PUBLIX TEACHES KIDS TO COOK
LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix Super Markets here has announced it will offer a special hands-on cooking event for children ages 6 through 12 next month. Food experts will be on hand to teach kids about healthy recipes in the “Making Healthy Food Fun for Kids” sessions, which are scheduled from 12:30-1:30 p.m. and 3:30-4:30 p.m. at select locations on Monday, July 13. Customers can sign up at Publix's Apron's Meal Centers.
PCC'S BIALIC NOMINATED FOR NOSB
SEATTLE — PCC Natural Markets here has announced that Trudy Bialic, PCC's director of consumer affairs, is a candidate for retailer representative on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Standards Board, which consists of four farmer/growers, two handler/processors, one scientist, three consumer/public interest advocates, three environmentalists, one retailer and one USDA-accredited certifying agent. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture appoints board members to serve five-year terms, during which they assist the secretary with matters related to the integrity and implementation of the National Organic Program, such as deciding standards for ingredients used in USDA Certified Organic products.
RECESSION BOOSTS BOLOGNA AT A&P
MONTVALE, N.J. — Sales of bologna are up 124% at A&P this June, compared with a baseline established in March 2007. Bologna sales tend to spike during challenging economic times, noted Eric Claus, president and chief executive officer, in a recent press release. Presumably, consumers who are financially pressed are looking to save money by trading down to less expensive products, brown bag their lunch more often, or both. Sales of bologna were up 5% over baseline at the chain in February 2008, peaking last year at 67% over baseline in September and October 2008. The steepest increase in sales occurred this year, however, with sales 41% over baseline in February 2009, spiking to 124% over baseline currently.