In & Around Food World

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Senior executives from some of the most successful CPG/retail companies will share their insights on climbing to the highest levels at the (Network of Executive Women) NEW Leadership Summit 2012, October 22 -24 at the Omni Dallas Hotel in Dallas.

Irene Chang Britt, president of Pepperidge Farm; Susan Chambers, chief people officer for Wal-Mart; Tom Falk, president of Kimberly-Clark Corp.; and Bhavdeep Sing, executive vice presidentof operations for Ahold USA, will share their views from the c-suite. The executive round table will be moderated by NEW past chair Alison Kenney Paul, vice chairman,U.S. retail leader and principal for Deloitte.

The NEW Leadership Summit 2012 will kick off October 22, with two one-hour NEWLeadershipAcademyworkshops. The afternoon also will offer NEW regional officers a session on best practices, member-company affinity group meetings and a networking workshop for first-time NEW Leadership Summit attendees.

The NEW Town Hall 2012 will include the organization’s annual members meeting plus special remarks from sociologist, educator and talk show host Dr. Bertice Berry, author of the memoir, “The Ties That Bind: A Memoir of Race, Memory, and Redemption.”

For more information or if you are interested in attending this meeting, visit www.newonline.org .

And speaking of the Network of Executive Women, 75 NEW members learned how to grow their persona at the NEW Mid-Atlantic spring networking event last month held at theHiltonGardeninGreenbelt,MD.

Lynn Lewis, author of “Climbing The Ladder in Stilettos,” offered practical tools for developing a professional persona and led a bonus workshop on identifying and leveraging unique traits and networking during even casual interactions.

Among the organizations sending delegations to the NEW Mid Atlantic network event were Acosta, Advantage Sales & Marketing, Catalina, Melitta, Pepsico, Publix, Sara Lee, Sweetbay Supermarket,UniversityofFloridaand theUniversityofTampa.

I recently learned that O’Bryne Distributing, Inc. has been acquired by Snyder’s-Lance. Both companies operate DSD networks with the O’Bryne routes expected to be integrated into Snyder’s Lance routes. (On a personal note, I love the Lance snacks, so with the acquisition of O’Bryne Distributing maybe we will be getting a larger variety of snacks.)

The Chicago Sun Times recently reported on a new American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ASCI) saying that McDonald’s got the poorest customer satisfaction rating – 73 percent – of any fast food chain in the survey. The rating was up one point, but continues a three-year tradition of McDonald’s having the worst customer service perception of fast food chains.

The story notes, “Papa John’s earned the highest customer satisfaction rating – 80 percent – followed by Subway, Little Caesar, Dunkin’ Donuts, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, Taco Bell, Starbucks, KFC and Burger King.”

Starbucks saw its customer satisfaction drop five percent, the biggest decline in this year’s survey.

The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Convention, taking place October 6-9 at theMarriottWardmanParkinWashington,DC, is the place where real business happens for the entire frozen industry. This unique event, hosted by the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA), gives attendees the opportunity to meet one-on-one with dozens of leading companies in just a few days.

This convention is different from other trade events because attendees will spend a majority of their time in face-to-face business meetings with the trading partners of their choice. NFRA provides its retailer members with complimentary meeting rooms so they may hold appointments throughout the convention. Last year’s event united more than 1,300 attendees from every segment of the frozen and refrigerated foods industry to network and conduct business.

From beginning to end, the convention is structured to help attendees make valuable connections. The event kicks off with the popular Taste of Excellence Reception on October 7, where frozen and refrigerated food manufacturers can showcase their latest products. The Taste of Excellence allows delegates the opportunity to interact with industry colleagues while sampling the newest items in frozen and refrigerated foods.

This year’s agenda features Monday morning breakfast speaker Chris Wallace, Fox News analyst. Also, former Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan and Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile will engage in a point/counterpoint debate of the upcoming presidential election.

Additionally, the NFRA will present the prestigious Golden Penguin Awards to the winners of the “best frozen promotions” during National Frozen Food Month.

NFRA is a non-profit trade association representing all segments of the frozen and refrigerated foods industry. Headquartered inHarrisburg,PA, NFRA is the sponsor of March Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month, June/July Ice Cream & Novelties and the October Good Food for Kids educational outreach program.

Summer brings us fresh fruits from all over the country. The sweet cherry harvest has begun inEastern Washington, which will produce most of the nation’s crop.

The Tri-City Herald reports only minimal damage has been reported from recent rains, which can cause ripe cherries to split. The state ofWashington is expected to provide about 18 million boxes of a national crop estimated at 20 million boxes. A box holds 20 pounds of cherries.Oregon,Idaho,Montana andUtah also produce sweet cherries.

The president of the Washington State Fruit Commission and Northwest Cherry Growers, B.J. Thurlby, says the cherry harvest will be in full blast by the Fourth of July.

Safeway, Inc. has joined the global custom market research companyDuke-IpsosResearchCenteras a board advisor.

The Duke-Ipsos Research Center, jointly led by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Ipsos, consists of seven premier consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers as well as retail board advisors.

The purpose of the center is to advance the knowledge of participating members through a better understanding of the decision theory associated with creating demand generation through the shopping experience. While board members consist of CPG companies, retail board advisors will predominantly consist of retailers that guide the board on their research plans and share in the learning from theDuke-IpsosCenter’s research projects. Participating retailers will also provide access to their stores for research testing.

According to a recent study by Kantar Retail ofCambridge,MA, Wal-Mart Stores’ SuperCenters exhibited lower prices in a comparison with Amazon and Walmart.com, though each option had its own strengths.

Selecting 36 national-branded items from edible grocery, non-edible grocery, HBC and general merchandise, the study found SuperCenters had the lowest overall prices in the two consumables categories and was tied in HBC.

Walmart.com was priced percent above SuperCenters overall, although its general merchandise products were the least expensive of the three; and Amazon was priced 20.5 percent above SuperCenters. However, though Amazon was more expensive than SuperCenters in the non-edible grocery category, it was lower than Walmart.com by 12.2 percent, Kantar noted.

J&J Snack Foods Corp. of Pennsauken, NJ, has acquired Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels. Kim & Scott’s is distributed throughout food service and retail channels. Gerald Shreiber, president and chief executive officer of J&J, said, “Kim & Scott’s is an entrepreneurial company built on hard work and a love for soft pretzels. Co-founder Scott Holstein will continue to work for the company. The Chicago-based soft pretzel manufacturer utilizes all-natural, premium ingredients in every hand twisted & scratch-made product.

Headed to Cape Cod, one of my favorite vacation spots, and will spend a little time at my favorite watering hole, Land Ho in Orleans Center—great food and drink! Enjoy the summer.

Birthday greetings go out this month to: Michele Muckle, daughter of Safeway’s Craig and Yolanda Muckle; Nestle’s Anthony McPhail; Integrity/ESM’s Bob Gossweiler; the owner/operator of America’s largest laundromat chain, Michael Finkelstein; retired Box’n Save’s John Sieglein; Solomon Enterprises’ Esther Solomon; Sherry Rich, wife of International Food and Beverage (IFB) president, Frank Rich; and Bernadette Quinn, wife of LaFamiglia’s mixologist, Burt Quinn.

Celebrating anniversaries are: Michael and Linda Hughes, Hughes Sales, their 18th;  retired Box’n Save’s John and Penny Sieglein, their 43rd; and Pete and Barbara Manos, Giant/Landoverretired; their 51st on July 16th.