Rob Santoni Jr., Santoni’s Supermarkets, was invited last month to a meeting at the White House to discuss Health Food Financing Initiatives (HFFI).
Santoni, along with other National Grocer’s Association (NGA) members, attended a meeting with President Obama’s domestic policy staff to discuss current programs available for HFFI projects such as “Food Deserts,” and ways to improve these programs and grow participation locally and nationally.
The group also met with the United State Department of Agriculture, Health and Human Services and Treasury to discuss projects currently taking place around the country which included Baltimore’s own Virtual Supermarket Project, a partnership between Baltimore City’s Health Department and Santoni’s Supermarket that currently service Baltimore City residents in “Food Desert” communities.
Ahold USA has been named to DiversityBusiness.com’s “Top 50 Organizations for Multicultural Business Opportunities,” ranking 47th in the United States. Ahold USA will be honored at a special awards ceremony at DiversityBusiness.com, the nation’s leading multicultural B2B online website. Over 750,000 businesses were asked ten questions regarding diversity, based on factors such as volume, consistency and quality business opportunities granted to women and minority-owned companies.
Diversity plays a vital role in business today and we are honored to be recognized by DiversityBusiness.com for the opportunities we provide,” said Jeff Martin, EVP Merchandising and Marketing, Ahold USA Retail. “Supplier diversity is an integral part of our business and we embrace it with a proactive commitment to developing business opportunities with small, local diverse vendors.”
For the past four years, Ahold USA and its supermarket divisions have hosted a Supplier Diversity/Regional and Small Business Trade Show with a goal of strengthening the connection between agricultural, minority and retail industries. Participants have an opportunity to meet with Ahold USA’s procurement teams to discuss future business opportunities with the companies.
And, Ahold USA will be recognized by the Academy of Food Marketing at St. Joseph’s University with its 43rd Citation Award on October 1. The organization’s senior leadership team, led by president and CEO Carl Schlicker, will accept the award at the dinner, which will be held at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. As our regular readers know, we are big supporters of the Academy, which provides top-notch education for those interested in entering the retail food industry. And, the Citation Dinner is always a class affair, attending by anyone who’s anyone in the business. To register for the event, go to www.sju.edu/afm/aholdcitation dinner. Or, if you’d like more information, contact Robert Higgins, executive director of the Academy, at 610-660-1600.
Last month we had the pleasure of visiting with David and Harriet Finkelstein (David, now retired, was president of the former Kluge, Finkelstein food brokerage company in Columbia, MD) at their beautiful condo in Miami. While there, David took us to one of his favorite places, Gulfstream Race Track. He also treated us to a delicious lunch at Gulfstream where we met executive chef, Will Hughes. Will, who is a Baltimorean and a delightful and charming gentleman, owns, Barracuda’s Tavern in the Fort Point section of Baltimore. If you’re in or around the Locust Point area, you should make a visit to Barracuda’s. It’s a delightful place with excellent food and of course, excellent drinks. For more information, visit www.cudabarracuda.com .
While in Miami, we also had dinner at one of the finest, if not the finest, Italian restaurant I have ever visited, Il Gabbiano. Italian cuisine at its best is the only way to describe the food, it is simply put, delicious. Classy, sophisticated and situated on the water, Il Gabbiano is located practically right in Biscayne Bay in the heart of Miami. It is a beautiful setting with wonderful views of Miami Harbor.
The restaurant is run by brothers Gino and Fernando Masci along with Luigi Tullio, who came to Miami by way of their hometown Abruzzi, Italy, with a 26-year stopover as owners of Greenwich Village’s renowned Il Mulino. Il Gabbiano is one of Miami’s top spots for quality, authentic Italian fare. Should you visit America’s favorite vacation spot, you must dine at Il Gabbiano. You won’t be sorry. For more information visit, www.ilgabbianomiami.com
Giant Food of Landover, MD recently announced the launch of its first mobile application for iPhone and Android devices. The new addition to its suite of digital offerings is the evolution of Giant’s to offer customers a variety of solutions to simplify the shopping experience. Customers are invited to download the mobile application for free at the App Store or Android Market.
“With mobile applications gaining popularity, Giant is committed to keeping up with the latest technology,” said Jamie Miller, public and community relations manager for Giant Food of Landover, MD. “We’re thrilled to launch our mobile application and look forward to continuing to develop new ways to engage and satisfy our customers in the months ahead.”
The mobile application syncs with customer loyalty cards, providing customers with access to their online accounts including monitoring Gas Rewards points, A+ School Rewards and personalized savings. Customers can access store circulars to check out every day savings on the go and also get directions to the nearest Giant.
Giant is committed to rolling out additional features to its mobile application and to continuing its tradition of staying on the cutting edge of technology and convenience in a grocery store setting. Giant also intends to conduct consumer testing to ensure that the digital application offers what customers are looking for in the latest offering of grocery shopping technology.
Zacks Investment Management, a Chicago-based investment firm, reports that Kroger ranks first with a beta of 0.54. (A beta is a mathematical measure of the sensitivity of rates of return on a portfolio or a given stock compared with rates of return on the market as a whole. A beta greater than 1.0 indicates greater volatility than the market.)
Zacks also reports that Safeway ranks second with a beta of 0.59 and Weis Markets ranks third with a beta of 0.62
Here’s an interesting piece of information. Empathica Inc., a leading provider of customer experience management solutions, recently announced a consumer ranking of industries on their adoption of technology to enhance the customer experience. The data was compiled from the Empathtic Consumer Insights Panel Survey that polled 11,000 North American consumers.
On an industry level, at the top of the ranking, 78 percent of consumers believe the supermarket and grocery store industry currently uses technology that enhances their experience. Gas stations ranked second, with 60 percent of consumers. However, only 15 percent of consumers said convenience stores were successful in doing so. C-stores ranked 13th on the list, tied with home improvement stores. In addition, only one in five consumers felt quick serve restaurants successfully leverage technologies that enhance customer service.
Supermarkets and convenience stores were ranked highest out of all industries for consumers who would like to receive mobile offers on a daily basis, with 8.8 percent and 8.1 percent reporting they preferred this contact, respectively. All other industries were at, or below 5 percent.
And in case you haven’t noticed, more and more women are in key positions with food product companies and that number is growing.
Speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s “Women in the Economy” conference last month, Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, told attendees that consumer products companies shouldn’t overlook the role of women as employees or customers.
“There’s a feminization of the environment that’s happening,” Nooyi said, according to a Dow Jones report. “Having women in your organization enhances your ability to make your numbers. Women are our shoppers, our consumers. We have to have women’s voices in the company.”
The most senior levels of U.S. corporations won’t include more women unless there’s a larger pipeline of women rising through the ranks, Nooyi warned. “If you don’t fix the pipeline issue, overnight you can’t fix the top management issue,” she said. If companies promote women who aren’t prepared for leadership roles, they don’t succeed and it’s a worse position for women,” she said.
While PepsiCo does not use specific quotas, approximately 30 percent of PepsiCo executives are women, Dow Jones reported.
Sincere sympathy is sent to AWI’s Bernie Ellis on the death of his mother, Helen Ellis.
Sincere sympathy is also sent to the family of Jim Bakalis, a prominent Washingtonian who passed away last month. Jim, who was a good friend of this paper, was born in Beckley, WV. He attended Wake Forest University before entering the Navy during World War II. After the war, he received scholarships to Marshall University where he was a star basketball player having played for the school’s 1947 National Championship Team. An avid sports fan his entire life and as a season ticket holder he never missed a Redskins game in over 40 years.
After graduation from Marshall, he moved to Washington, DC, where he opened and owned many successful nightclubs. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Lillie, two daughters, Barbara Bakalis and Linda Pinkston and two grandsons.
Birthday wishes go out this month to: Safeway’s Roger Herding; Acosta Fresh Foods’ Joe Barrie and Ted Kopp; Dietz & Watson’s Rich Wright; Magruder’s Mark Polsky; Metromedia’s David Finkelstein; Southeastern Mills’ Leon Gleaves; Nestle’s Nancy Dorsey; An Pointin Stil’s—America’s Best Irish Pub—Dorsey Baldwin; and to our good friend and long time subscriber to Food World, Jim Rich. Anniversary wishes go out to AWI’s Don (retired) and Eleanor Tiesenga, their 4rd; and to Mark and Donna Tarzwell, their 30th.
Coming next month in Food World is the annual June Market Study. This issue is the most definitive study done on the retail grocery industry in the Mid-Atlantic. It has set the standard for over 30 years and next month will be no exception. It is the tool that is used by anyone talking or writing about the retail grocery industry. If you have a message to tell the grocery industry, this is the issue in which to do it. YOU WILL GET RESULTS! Food World’s June issue is read by just about every retail executive and sales executive in the United States and beyond!