In & Around Food World

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All of us at Best-Met Publishing were saddened to learn last month of the death of James E. Kinney, of Northampton Township, PA. Many of our longtime readers will remember Jim as the man who ran our Pennsylvania paper, Food Trade News, for many years.

Jim was an avid golfer and loved the game. A member of Spring Mill Country Club, he played well into his 70s. According to his daughter, Carolyn K. DuMont, he had English friends who came to Bucks County to golf. He also traveled to England to golf with them. She called it a “golfing brotherhood.” He was also very active in local politics having served for 24 years as Republican supervisor in his township.

During his tenure as general manager of Food Trade News, Jim increased the visibility of the paper as well as the advertising revenue. He attended all of the many affairs and meetings of food industry clubs and associations. He was known as “Mr. Food Trade News” in the markets served by the paper. He never missed a meeting or a social event and was always present with camera to record the event.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife of 56 years, Joan, sons James Jr. and Robert, and three granddaughters. Contributions can be made in his name to the American Cancer Society, 1626 Locust St.., Philadelphia, PA 19103.

In retailer news, six recently built Ahold USA stores have received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the national accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance sustainable buildings. This latest round of certifications gives Ahold USA the largest fleet of LEED-certified stores among U.S. grocery retailers. The stores include: a Burtonsville, MD, location operated by the Giant/Landover division; a Trexlertown, PA, location operated by the Giant/Carlisle division; Cranston, RI and Roslindale, MA locations operated by the Stop & Shop New England division; and a Arverne, NY Shop location operated by the Stop & Shop New York Metro division. These stores feature white roofs to reflect sunlight and reduce heat gain in the stores, skylights to harvest daylight and lower electricity consumption during peak daylight hours and LED lighting throughout. To date, the company has 56 stores that have achieved LEED certification for existing buildings.

Ahold USA will also soon introduce a dairy cooler for new products topped by a promotional digital screen at its Giant/Landover and Giant/Carlisle stores following the deployment of a similar freezer for frozen foods.

The Dairy 1st cooler and the Frozen 1st freezer are supplied by 3 Feet Media of Atlanta. Both are used to introduce new products with the help of high-definition digital advertising. The Frozen 1st equipment has been in place at more than 500 Ahold USA stores for five years. Products displayed in Frozen 1st achieved higher initial sales, according to 3 Feet Media. 3 Feet Media said the Dairy 1st deployment would “double its presence” at Ahold USA.

From the manufacturer side of the world of food comes news that Snyder’s of Hanover used the 30th anniversary of National Pretzel Day to create a series of nationwide events to engage with consumers. Events were held at: Penn Relays in Philadelphia, the world largest track and field meet; Bicentennial Plaza at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore; Fountain Square in Cincinnati; the Minnesota Twins baseball game at Target Field in Minneapolis; and the San Diego Zoo in front of the Zoo’s Kids Store. Attendees at these events were able to sample three of Snyder’s flavored pretzel pieces at an old-fashioned pretzel cart with a modern twist. Consumers also earned free giveaway items like pretzel-shaped glasses or “I Tasted How Great a Pretzel Can BE” T-shirts in exchange for sharing a picture on Instagram or Twitter with hashtag #NationalPretzelDay while at the events.

National Pretzel Day was initially declared in 1983 by U..S. Representative Robert S. Walker of Lancaster County, PA, who proclaimed that his favorite food deserved a holiday. Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell re-declared the holiday in 2003 to acknowledge the importance of the pretzel to the state’s history and economy. Today more than 80 percent of America’s pretzels are made in the state.

The National Pretzel Day sampling events and social media served as a teaser for the Snyder’s of Hanover national TV and digital campaign that will launch this month in 27 markets across the country.

The National Grocers Association (NGA) recently released the results of a study on the impact of independent grocers on America’s economy. This groundbreaking research provides a clear picture of the key role independent grocers play at the national, state, and congressional district level. The research was conducted by John Dunham and Associates, an economic and government relations research firm based out of New York. The report provides information on independent grocers and wholesalers sales, jobs created, wages paid, and federal and state taxed paid. For more information visit www.grocersimpactamerica.com.

Congratulations to Laura Williams, senior VP and deputy general counsel at Ahold USA, who has been named a recipient of one of the 2013 Women of Influence Awards from the Central Penn Business Journal. Williams earned the honor for her leadership and achievements with Ahold USA, as well as for her contributions to the wider community.