In & Around Food World

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Congratulations to Weis Markets on receiving the Silver Award in the 25th DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation, for developing the industry’s first closed-loop 100 percent recyclable modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) meat trays made from recycled plastics. The trays were developed in partnership with Clearly Clean Products, which specializes in custom thermoformed packaging solutions.

Outback Steakhouse and Panera Bread are tops among U.S. restaurant/food service brands when it comes to responding to the needs of their customers, according to a new Customer Centricity Index (CCI) from Dunnhumby, which analyzes and distills insights from more than 400 million customers world wide for retailer clients.

Dunnhumby’s new CCI weighs U.S. customers’ perceptions of retailers against seven “pillars” or primary business areas most critical to achieving long-term customer-centricity (experience, loyalty, communications, assortment, promotions, price and feedback), to help retailers understand where and how they can improve.

The results of Dunnhumby’s first CCI report, focused on the restaurant/food service sector, confirm the companies with higher CCI scores also tend to have higher long-term comparable sales growth over a two-year period.

Sincere sympathy is extended to the family of Joseph Unanue, former president of Goya Foods who passed away last month at his home in Alpine, NJ.

“Supermarket Superstar,” Lifetime’s all-new competition series, gives everyday Americans the chance to prove they have the next great product consumers will love.

Hosted by Stacy Keibler, Supermarket Superstar gives undiscovered food entrepreneurs their chance to shine among the big brands in the highly competitive food industry. This is the first food competition show that provides a platform for individuals that can change the way millions of Americans shop and eat, according to a news release.

Each one-hour episode of Supermarket Superstar follows three home chefs as they pitch their product concepts to titans of the food world for the opportunity to have their creation launched nationally in a major grocery chain.

Chef, vintner, TV host and specialty foods pioneer Michael Chiarello, cookie mogul Debbi Fields of Mrs. Fields Cookies and branding expert and food product visionary Chris Cronyn serve as the series’ mentors to share their expertise with the contestants as they prepare their products for mass production. With the help of Chiarello and research and development chef Andrew Hunter, the hopefuls must refine and perfect their recipes to impress targeted focus groups of real-life consumers to make it to the checkout line.

(This writer feels that without the aid of a good food broker, they’ll never make it to a supermarket shelf.)

On a personal note, all of us at Best-Met Publishing, Food World and Food Trade News, were saddened to learn of the death of Lou Rosenthal. Lou had been a very important part of the sales team at Best-Met Publishing and all of us truly enjoyed working with him. He had spent his entire working career in some sort of sales – mostly door to door or company to company. His last job, before joining Food World and Food Trade News was with Entenmann’s Bakery where he retired from. Of course, retirement was not for Lou, and we persuaded him to come to work – whenever he felt like it – at Best-Met Publishing selling space in Food World and Food Trade News.

He loved it. And he was a part of our company up until it was no longer possible for him to come in to the office. He was a wonderful man who was full of stories of “the good old days” when he would drive from house to house selling the wares of whatever company he represented at the time. He was very successful, but his stories of those house to house calls were hilarious. He loved to be kidded and he loved to kid. Lou was 91. He will be missed.

I’m closing on a very personal note, Kathy and I are very proud of our two grandsons, Richard John Bestany III and Samuel James Bestany, who attend TrinitySchool in Illchester, MD. Both received end of the year recognition awards .

If any of our readers would like to have their children or grand children recognized in Food World, please send me an e-mail with all the details to: rbestany@best-met.com or drop me a line at: Food World, 5537 Twin Knolls Rd. Columbia, MD 21045. We will be happy to include them in future issues.