The numbers have been gathered, sorted, crunched and now delivered! Welcome to the 34th annual Food Trade News Market Study. Still the definitive word in retail food industry, we strive to give you the information you need and the expert opinions we know you want.
As you know, it takes a village to put Food Trade News and Food World together every month, but the Market Study issues are a full court press effort to give our readers the numbers that matter. Our publisher and fearless leader Jeff Metzger with his Wikipedic mind, could most likely quote the statistics from the first Market Study and all of them in between. Interpreting the numbers in our ever changing markets is no easy task, and nobody does it better than Jeff! At Best-Met, there is no “I” in team, and many thank yous need to go ‘round as we wrap up this issue. Terri Maloney, vice-president/editorial director extraordinaire, who along with Matt Danielson and Jenny Jones at e-ink work tirelessly to make sure Food Trade News is perfect and full of the latest information. This past year has been historic for us with the addition of Karen Fernandez, director of sales and marketing. Karen, a digital native, has brought the rest of us digital immigrants into the present with the launch of our new website. It has been a pleasure working with this Johnson & Wales graduate and certified foodie! Thanks to our circulation manager Beth Pripstein who makes sure you all get your papers every month, and adds our new subscribers every time I get back from an event. Veteran salesman Mike Keba is still giving us his time and efforts, and to our chairman emeritus, Dick Bestany, a huge thank you for his continued support and enthusiasm for our industry. Most importantly we thank you, our loyal readers and advertisers for your support throughout the year. A special note to our advertisers; we get requests each month from industry members asking for subscriptions to our publications. You can be sure your message will be see by those who need to see it. Ours is a targeted market. With this issue in particular, we compile the data you need to know to make your business grow year after year.
Acme Markets opened its first store in many years on June 1 in Bryn Mawr, PAto rave reviews from the neighborhood. I have never seen people so excited to have a store open, even with Acme’s pricing still out of whack. My dearest friend lives five minutes from the store. She went the opening day and three times more during opening week. Thrilled to find kosher chicken, she told me she was going to tell the manager so he would keep bringing it in. The store is a huge improvement from what stood there before. “Hyper-local” (wink) would be a good description of this 37,000 square foot store. Boasting a large prepared foods/deli/bakery, it still has just six checkout lanes, but manages to integrate brand variety throughout the store. In his opening remarks, new Acme president Keith Wyche told the crowd of vendors that he thought the grand opening pre party was for him! It may well be. Keith is a down to earth, approachable and affable man. He and his team comprised of Dennis Clark and Dan Croce seem upbeat and ready to take on the challenges Acme is facing. With the enthusiasm surrounding the opening, it should do well even with Wegmans not far inKing of Prussia and the two new Giants coming soon downLancaster Avenue in St. Davids and Wynnewood. Keith, I hope you brought a box of sharpened pencils, you will need them.
Once again, on June 6, the New Jersey Food Council (NJFC) threw a fabulous Trade Relations Conference at the Borgata in Atlantic City. More than 170 people were in attendance as John DePuy of Advantage Sales and Marketing received the Max Stone Award. The award is named in honor of the long time trade relations leader for Best Foods (Unilever) in recognition of his accomplished career in trade relations in New Jersey. Jeff Reagan, Wakefern Food Corporation was the featured speaker of the evening.
Jeff spoke about the current state of the economy in our area and gave an update on Wakefern. As of today, Wakefern has 47 members in the co-op with eight new members coming on board in the past five years that operate 292 stores with 199 pharmacies. ShopRite has 7.2 million Price Plus customers who make approximately 197 million shopping trips per year scanning more than 3.8 billion items. One million cases of product per day are shipped from the seven facilities distributing to the stores. The charitable arm of Wakefern, Partners in Caring, has raised more than $25 million in 12 years to aid in the fight against hunger. Jeff wrapped up his speech with a challenge to all present at the dinner: are you prepared and capable to meet the needs of the consumer? You must be!
The International Dairy Deli Bakery Association broke records this month with its 30th annual seminar and exhibition. More than 1,600 companies displayed their wares of food, equipment and supplies to more than 8,500 attendees gathered in sultry New Orleans. Carol Christison, executive director of IDDBA, and her team put together seminars that were entertaining, informative and anything but boring. IDDBA president Steve Beekhuizen, SVP-sales for Dawn Foods began Monday with “Are Supermarkets the New Restaurants?” (The answer is yes.) Ready to eat and reheat to eat are concepts that drive sales. He said, “Taste and convenience – think of your store as a meal destination.”
The Executive Women of New Jersey (EWNJ) recently recognized Cheryl Williams, pice president of digital commerce and innovation at Wakefern during its “Salute to Policy Makers” dinner. This event honors women of professional distinction in New Jersey. Providing some of the state’s most prominent organizations with an opportunity to recognize the achievements of women in their companies, this event also raises funds for the EWNJ graduate scholarship program and other programs that support the advancement of women. Since the program’s inception, dinner proceeds have provided more than $1.1 million in scholarships to more than 350 deserving New Jersey women seeking advanced degrees. “Since joining Wakefern in 1997, Cheryl has made a powerful impact on the success of the company, and on the evolution of the supermarket industry as a whole,” said Joe Sheridan, president and COO of Wakefern Food Corp. “We are proud to stand with EWNJ in recognition and appreciation of her many accomplishments and contributions to the advancement of women professionals in the great state of New Jersey.”
“Since its founding in 1980, EWNJ has championed the advancement of women to the most senior levels of international corporations, non profits, and public service firms. At this year’s ‘Salute to the Policy Makers’ event, we celebrated the professional accomplishments of 36 exceptional New Jersey executives,” said EWNJ president-elect and 2012 salute dinner chair Keitha M. Lackey, who also serves as a director for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie served as this year’s distinguished honorary dinner chair.
On May 23 the new $138 million HighlandsBridgewas dedicated to the late Captain Joseph Azzolina to honor his immense contributions to New Jersey and his country. The dedication took place at the War Memorial located at the intersection of Highland Avenue and Portland Road in the Highlands to celebrate the captain’s life in the borough he loved. Azzolina grew up in the Highlands where his family had their first food store on Miller Street. Years later, their first Food Circus Supermarket Foodtown was built and opened in Middletown. From there he owned and operated Super Foodtowns in Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties. Azzolina served the people of New Jersey as a state senator and an assemblyman in the 13th District which covered the Bayshore area. “We are very excited to pay tribute to my father with the naming of this magnificent bridge in his honor. It is most fitting as he lifeguarded at the beach under the bridge, helped build Fort Hancock, learned the value of hard work from his growing up at their family grocery store. Captain Joe loved the Bayshore and the people in the community” said Joseph Azzolina Jr. New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno was also on hand to make the dedication.
In mid-May employees of The Fresh Grocer completed a six month Fresh ‘n Fit Challenge, a program designed in-house to help improve personal health and wellness throughout the company. Originally piloted to a small group of corporate-level associates, the program proved to be highly successful and led to The Fresh Grocer bringing the opportunity to compete in the challenge to all employees. The company-wide Fresh ‘n Fit Challenge kicked off this January with more than 100 associates weighing in. The final weigh-ins took place on the rooftop of The Fresh Grocer at ProgressPlazain North Philadelphia. Contestants were weighed, winners were announced and prizes were awarded. Grand prize winner, losing a total of 20 percent of her body mass index (BMI) was Rachael Myrick. Myrick was presented with a commemorative plaque and a check for $500. In second place, losing 17 percent of her BMI, and presented with a $250 check, was Charlotte McDonalds. In third place, losing 15 percent of her BMI and awarded $100 was Keewonas McDonald. All participating contestants are eager to maintain a healthy lifestyle and continue on their weight loss journey. With more than 500 pounds lost in total by all contestants, The Fresh Grocer plans to sustain the Fresh ‘n Fit Challenge as an annual contest with hopes to increase the amount of participants and motivate more people to initiate their journey to a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Congratulations to Neil Brassell Jr. son of Neil Brassell, Hanover Foods, on his graduation from Father Judge High School. Neil is going toGwyneddMercyCollege in the fall where he will study criminal justice and play soccer.
Continuing the circle of life, we note the death of Andy Jingozian, who passed away on May 19 in Marco Island, FL. Andy worked for many years as vice president of Master Food Distributors in Aston, PA.
Birthday shout-outs for the beautiful month of June go out to: Tom Canuso, Turkey Hill; Jim Burke Sr., Seafood America; Jeff Geiges, Acme Markets; Mark Tarzwell, Ahold USA; Brian Chick, Charles Ritter, Inc.; Barry Kahn, Food Scene; Bill Derbyshire, CCR; Ralph Nagle, industry veteran; Nancy Rodgers, JLA Bakery Solutions; John Sottile, LaMagna Cheese Co.; Best-Met editor Terri Maloney and publisher, Jeff Metzger. Buon Compleanno a tutti!
Anniversary wishes go out to: Charlie and Pat Poletti, Acosta; Curt and Trish Gruber, Acosta; Ron and Michelle Benjamin, Star/Pro-Star; and to my parents, Rosalie and Mario Maggio, still crazy about each other after all these years! Congratulations!
Quote of the month:
“If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not taking enough chances.” Carol Christison, executive director, IDDBA