Metro Beat

Print Friendly

Has Spring finally arrived in the Northeast??? Baseball has started, lacrosse is in full swing, March Madness is a memory……I suppose it’s really so. Now let’s hope that means everyone gets out and starts entertaining and shopping which means more business for everyone!

Well, even though it was a bitter cold day when the opening occurred at the end of March, Kings Food Markets unveiled their newest store prototype in Gillette, NJ. There were smiles and warm feelings all around as Judy Spires and her team proved that they have launched a real destination store. The site introduced several new concepts, notably its MarketSquare located at front of the store. MarketSquare will feature Inspirations-To-Go, where shoppers can pick-up fully prepared meals including hibachi dishes, gluten-free and vegetarian soups, and brick-oven pizza. It will also house a flower boutique, an international cheese shop, and a coffee house that serves cappuccino, espresso, and pastries.

Judy saidat the opening, “Our entire team has worked hard over the last year to ensure that inspiration strikes our customers in every aisle, in every department – just as our tagline suggests and our Gillette location brings this brand promise to life in such a multi-sensory way for our shoppers!” The 21,000 square feet of selling space also offers local and organic produce and sustainable, “top of the catch” seafood. As part of the opening ceremony, Kings also made a $7,500 contribution to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey through its “Act Against Hunger” initiative, which aims to end hunger in the communities Kings serves. The store will be managed by Donna Lewis.

Also from Kings Food Markets came word that several executives were promoted to new responsibilities within the organization. Longtime Kings executive Rich Durante has been elevated to chief operating officer from his previous position as EVP merchandising/engineering and operations. Jennifer Gasser was promoted to vice president of human resources, labor relations and administration. She will also oversee IT in her new role. Joseph Parisi was promoted to senior director of operations from his position of regional area director. Paul Kneeland, vice president produce, floral and seafood has added the meat department to his responsibilities. Scott Zoeller, senior director of deli and prepared foods has added the catering department and finally Antonio Acosta has been promoted to the newly created role of manager private label, in addition to specialty/confection categories. Congratulations to all!

An interesting new line will hit supermarket shelves soon as Beech-Nut Nutrition and Goya Foods have partnered to launch a new line of “authentic, Hispanic-flavored” baby foods. The 22 flavor line reflects statistics which state that one-fourth of all births in Americatoday are to Hispanics, and Hispanic families who purchase 15 percent more baby food than non-Hispanics, according to both companies. The new line, offering natural ingredients and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, is designed to bridge “Hispanic mothers’ desire for healthy, traditional baby food with their need for convenience and nutrition in today’s hectic world,” according to Goya Foods president Bob Unanue. The companies will engage in a dual sales effort, with Beech-Nut handling sales to majorU.S. supermarket chains and Goya working more closely with independent grocers and in high-density Hispanic market.

Kudos to the good folks at Hannaford Supermarkets and TOMRA of North America for putting together a fundraising program enabling shoppers to help the community when they recycle. Customers who recycle their deposit-valued bottles and cans at 22 Hannaford locations in the greater Capital Region and Hudson Valley of New York will have the option to donate the five cents they get for each redeemed container to select local charities. The first beneficiary is a local chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Customers can take part in the program in two ways. Each TOMRA reverse vending machine at the Hannaford locations will feature an option to convert recycled deposit-valued bottles and cans into a donation or customers can give recyclable cans and bottles to a staff member who will process the containers and ensure the redemption value is donated to the designated charity.