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May 19, 2017
■ Ready-To-Cook Meats

Gold Meat Products Now Available at Sedano's and Presidente Supermarkets

Gold Meat is making the taste of Brazil available to more Florida consumers. The company's signature sausages are now available at all Sedano's markets in the state and five more Presidente Supermarkets in South Florida (Hollywood, Miramar, North Bay Village and two in West Palm.) The demand for the company's Brazilian-style sausages continues to grow as more and more consumers discover the unique taste and texture in each carefully crafted product.
Gold Meat's Brazilian sausage uses a special blend of spices, seasonings and casings that were created by the owners' father in his butcher shop in the small town of Ipuã, Brazil some 45 years ago. Based in Brazil, the company expanded to the U.S. with a state-of-the-art production facility in Tavares, Florida. Gold Meat sources all its ingredients - meats, spices, etc. - in the U.S. for its Tavares facility, which has become the base for its U.S. operation.
The company's line includes several flavors of Pork Thin Style, Chicken Thin Style, Pork Links, Chicken Links, as well as its new ready-to-cook pork loin and pork tenderloin. Later this month the company will introduce its first corned beef brisket.
Brazilian style sausages are great for the grill, as the thinness allows them to be coiled and skewered, or sautéed, poached or roasted.


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May 16, 2017

7-Eleven Acquiring 1,108 C-Stores

7 Eleven, Inc., the largest chain in the convenience-retailing industry, has entered into an asset purchase agreement with Sunoco LP. As part of the agreement, 7 Eleven will acquire approximately 1,108 convenience stores located in 18 states.
“This acquisition supports our growth strategy in key geographic areas including Florida, mid-Atlantic states, Northeast states, and Central Texas,” said Joe DePinto, President and Chief Executive Officer of 7 Eleven Inc. “It also provides 7 Eleven entry into Houston, the 4th largest city in the United States, and a strong presence in Corpus Christi and across South Texas. Total consideration in the transaction is $3.3 billion in cash plus fuel, merchandise and other inventories. SUN expects to use the proceeds to repay indebtedness and for general partnership purposes.
SUN President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Owens stated, "The sale of these retail assets to 7-Eleven is the beginning of an exciting evolution for SUN into a premier nationwide fuel supplier. Our supply agreement with 7- Eleven provides SUN with a predictable long-term income stream, and this transaction quickly allows SUN to improve its financial profile."
Assets being sold to 7-Eleven include approximately 1,110 convenience stores in 19 geographic regions primarily along the East Coast and in Texas, and the associated trademarks and intellectual property of the Laredo Taco Company and Stripes. As part of the transaction, SUN will enter into a 15-year take-or-pay fuel supply agreement with a 7-Eleven subsidiary under which SUN will supply approximately 2.2 billion gallons of fuel annually. This 1 supply agreement will have guaranteed annual payments to SUN, provides that 7-Eleven will continue to use the Sunoco brand at currently branded Sunoco stores and includes committed growth in future periods.
Approximately 200 convenience stores in North and West Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma will be sold in a separate process. SUN's Aloha Petroleum business unit in Hawaii will continue to operate its highly efficient and integrated business model within SUN. Likewise, the transaction does not include SUN's highly successful APlus franchisee-operated stores.
SUN's transaction with 7-Eleven is the first step in SUN's strategic shift away from company-operated convenience stores to focus on its industry-leading fuel supply business. Led by the iconic Sunoco fuel brand and successful APlus franchise, SUN plans to be a leading consolidator in the domestic wholesale fuels business, supplying fuel to a network of more than 8,900 locations of third-party dealers, distributors and other commercial customers, with an enhanced focus on MLP qualifying income. Additionally, the proceeds received in this transaction will be used to further enhance SUN's credit profile and leverage profile.
7 Eleven, Inc. has 8,707 stores in the United States and Canada. This acquisition will be one of the largest in 7 Eleven, Inc.’s history, and it will bring 7 Eleven, Inc.’s total number of stores to 9,815 in the U.S. and Canada.


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January 24, 2017

Cooking Up A Comeback for a 100-Year-Old Tomato Soup Recipe

Campbell is taking us back 100 years and deep into their archives. In the back of the vault we discovered our founder’s original 1915 Campbell’s Beefsteak Tomato Soup recipe and decided to not only make the original recipe once again, but package and share a limited batch with consumers.
Many of us have moments like this. You’re going through an old collection of pictures and keepsakes and happen to find a gem. You pull it out, set it aside and share it with family and friends. It triggers memories of the past, brings people together and reminds you of your heritage—where you came from.
With the food industry undergoing some pretty sizeable shifts to respond to changing consumer demand for simple and real food, the Dr. John Dorrance recipe reminds that he pioneered the idea of bringing real food to consumers and was ahead of his time. He gave Campbell a heritage that they can be proud of—that taps into its purpose as a food company.
We made a limited supply of 10,000 jars using seasonal New Jersey beefsteak tomatoes from southern New Jersey farms. The original Beefsteak Tomato Soup features a perfect balance of texture and sweet and tart flavors — making it just as good as it was 100 years ago. You can find Campbell’s Beefsteak Tomato Soup in select Cracker Barrel stores across New Jersey and Pennsylvania this January.


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January 4, 2017

Four Key Beverage Industry Trends for 2017

Are Changing What Consumer Buy

Changing demographics and purchasing behaviors make it crucial for beverage industry leaders to understand and capitalize on key consumer insights that identify growing trends. Evergreen Packaging, a global leader in creating fiber-based packaging solutions, has worked with EcoFocus Worldwide to identify four key trends from the annual EcoFocus Trend Study that reveals growing themes expected to impact the industry in the coming year.
“The research reveals key areas brands must deliver on in order to appeal to discerning consumers in 2017,” said Erin Reynolds, marketing director for Evergreen Packaging. “The consumer insights gained through the EcoFocus Trend Study reveal opportunities for choosing packaging that provides appropriate product protection and aligns with enhanced brand values for health and environmental responsibility. At Evergreen Packaging we are committed to helping our customers achieve their corporate goals and meeting changing consumer needs.”
The survey, conducted independently by EcoFocus Worldwide, examines wellness and sustainability trends impacting the food and beverage industry. In its seventh year, new study results show how consumer tastes, demographics and values are reshaping purchasing decisions. These shifts in consumer priorities are prompting companies to make changes. From Walmart’s commitment to sustainably sourced packaging to McDonalds’ pledge to source 100 percent of all fiber-based packaging from recycled or certified sources by 2020, and Food Business News declaring clean labeling as the top trend of the year – it is clear that fresh and sustainable will be trends at the heart of consumer demands throughout 2017.
“These study results show that a majority of grocery shoppers have identified products’ fresh, clean, and sustainable benefits among their top purchase priorities when it comes to healthier choices,” said study author and Chief Executive Officer of EcoFocus Worldwide, Linda Gilbert. “The message is clear: if you are a brand aiming to attract consumers to your healthy beverages, be sure your packaging and processing line up with your ingredient list. And be sure to tell your fresh and clean story effectively on your packaging.”
Insights from the research call out four trends: 1) Millennials’ impact on food and beverage priorities, 2) the importance of clean packaging, 3) the power of leveraging of fresh and clean attributes to position healthy products, and 4) the growing popularity of functional beverages:
1. MILLENNIAL MOTIVATORS
Millennials hold huge buying power in today’s market, and are expected to spend more than $200 billion in 2017 alone. In order to successfully reach Millennials, it’s important for brands to understand what influences their purchasing. According to Forbes, more than 50 percent of Millennials make an effort to buy products from companies that support the causes they care about, and they’re twice as likely to care about whether or not their food is organic than any other generation. The EcoFocus survey results illustrate additional details that tie into this larger national trend:
• Millennials are leading the escape from mass produced, over-processed and over-packaged foods and beverages with a demand for real, less processed ingredients. They want the preservatives and artificial ingredients out, and natural, nutrient-dense ingredients in.
• 69% of Millennials have changed what they buy in order to avoid artificial ingredients in foods and beverages.
Millennials aren’t just thinking about the product’s contents, they are differentiating packaging for improved personal and planetary health.
• 73% say they try to buy products in packaging that is recyclable.
• 59% say they look for beverages in packaging that is made with renewable materials.
2. CLEAN PACKAGING GAINS MOMENTUM
The new EcoFocus Study results show the strong clean labeling movement is expanding to clean processing and clean packaging trends. As a recent Prepared Foods article highlights, the rules have been rewritten and clean and clear labeling is the new global standard, extending to a more holistic demand for a clean supply chain. These demands apply to packaging as brands are expanding their transparency on all fronts – from supply chain details to their packaging choices. The EcoFocus study shows:
• 70% of Grocery Shoppers strongly agree or agree that foods and beverages with healthier ingredient lists should use packaging materials that are healthier too. (74% of Millennials)
• With the demand for healthier packaging materials, it’s important to keep in mind that 86% of Grocery Shoppers and 87% of Millennials believe some types of packaging can leave undesirable chemicals in beverages. They say cartons and glass containers are the least likely to do so – and that cartons and glass best protect freshness without preservatives.
3. THE NEW VALUE-ADD: FRESH + CLEAN = HEALTHY
The definition of what makes foods and beverages healthier is becoming increasingly complex. Clean ingredients have moved from a trend to the norm for many categories and brands. Creating products that are fresh and eco-friendly is the new go-to as these attributes will become increasingly crucial contributors to consumer’s measurement of “healthy” in 2017.
• 74% of Grocery Shoppers and 78% of Millennials say better personal health is a big benefit of an eco-friendly lifestyle.
Many brands have already taken out preservatives and removed artificial ingredients - the next challenge is to leverage packaging to convey and deliver freshness without the chemicals that consumers view as undesirable for their health. Brands need to ask themselves if their packaging is aligned with their focus on clean ingredients and messaging.
• 71% of Grocery Shoppers say that packaging that keeps beverages fresh without preservatives is the most important quality for healthy beverage packaging. (72% of Millennials)
Grocery shoppers’ perception of different packaging materials heavily impacts the grocery industry. Smart brands and retailers must align with consumer values and effectively communicate the commitments behind their product, processing and packaging choices.
• 67% of Grocery Shoppers and 69% of Millennials say recyclable packaging is an extremely or very important quality for healthy beverage packaging.
• 59% of Grocery Shoppers and 64% of Millennials say packaging made with renewable materials is an extremely or very important quality for healthy beverage packaging.
4. NATURALLY FUNCTIONAL BEVERAGES
Consumers are increasingly looking to beverages to play new roles in their diets and health routines. Drinkable breakfasts and the “snackification” of beverages are fueled by consumer interest in nutrition and performance drinks that act as meal replacements and guilt-free snacks. In fact, BevNet reports that the carbonated soft drink category is continuing a five-year decline while demand for natural and organic drinks increases as consumers gravitate toward healthier options, with natural beverages driving 40% of dollar growth in the industry. Industry leaders should expect consumers in 2017 to demand beverages that work harder, whether for refreshment, satiety, energy, immunity boosting, sleep aid, blood sugar management, or a host of other functional benefits now associated with these multifunctional power beverages.
• When identifying the most desirable nutritional attributes for healthy beverages, grocery shoppers surveyed shared the following preferences:
63% are seeking a good source of calcium.
61% are looking for beverages that are a good source of fiber.
61% want their beverages to contain lowered or reduced sugar.
60% are drawn to beverages that are a good source of antioxidants.
57% want to consume beverages with increased protein.
55% buy beverages because they are a good source of omega 3.
46% of grocery shoppers are looking for beverages that contain probiotics.
These findings reveal important communication, innovation, and value-added opportunities for beverage manufacturers as they make key decisions in 2017. Overall, consumers put high priorities on making healthy and environmentally responsible purchases. “For consumers, the priorities of health and sustainability are clearly linked together, packaging has a growing role in their perception of both of these attributes,” said Gilbert. “These are powerful synergies that speak to the 2017 consumer’s holistic view of what is healthy.”


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December 26, 2016

Patrick Cudahy Donates $5,000 to Hunger Task Force

Holiday Promotion Feeds Local Families in Need

Patrick Cudahy, The Home of Sweet Apple-Wood Smoked Flavor, has teamed up with Pick 'n Save and Metro Market to Lend a Helping Ham this holiday season by feeding local families in need. Recently, representatives of Patrick Cudahy, Pick 'n Save, and Metro Market presented a check for $5,000 to the executive director of Milwaukee's Hunger Task Force.
Founded in 1974, Hunger Task Force is Milwaukee's first food bank. The organization provides a safety net of emergency food to a network of local food pantries and meal programs and is the only food bank in Milwaukee that does not charge for food, delivery, or network membership.
"Patrick Cudahy understands the importance of giving back to our local community and feeding those in need," said Bud Matthews, Patrick Cudahy senior vice president. "This is why we partnered with Pick 'n Save, Metro Market, and our friends at Hunger Task Force to help make a difference, especially leading up to the holidays. We're proud to make this donation today, and we thank loyal patrons of Patrick Cudahy products for helping in this effort."
Patrick Cudahy raised funds for this donation through a promotion with Pick 'n Save and Metro Market, which serves communities throughout Wisconsin. From November 1 through December 31, Patrick Cudahy is matching the price of retail and deli ham purchases made by customers at participating stores, up to $5,000.
Pick 'n Save and Metro Market customers also supported this initiative by donating hams directly to Hunger Task Force through their website www.hungertaskforce.org/donations/helping-ham.
The campaign has also been promoted through Milwaukee radio station 102.9 The HOG. The hams will serve as the centerpiece for meals delivered to local families in need during the holidays.
"We're proud to partner with Patrick Cudahy to help local families enjoy a festive holiday meal, complete with a ham, this year," said Sherrie Tussler, Hunger Task Force executive director. "This program really makes a positive impact on our local community just in time for the holidays, and we're incredibly grateful for the continued partnership."


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December 21, 2016

Carando Cares Serves National Guard Holiday Feast

At Barnes Air National Guard Base

Carando, the artisans of Classic Italian Meats, hosted a special event to show gratitude for the brave men and women of Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, MA. Recently, Airmen and their families were served a holiday meal from the Massachusetts-based company.
This meal is part of the ongoing Carando Cares program, an initiative which supports organizations that are making a positive difference in local communities. The hundreds in attendance were served a feast of Carando premium hams, green beans, oven roasted potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and chocolate chip cookies.
With its production facility located in nearby Springfield, MA, Carando has directly seen the displays of valor and selflessness that Barnes Air National Guard Base Airmen have made. The company wanted to share some holiday cheer with its hometown heroes who protect the nation's freedom.
"We can never take for granted all of the sacrifices that our military makes for us," said Michael J. Sargent, Carando senior brand manager. "It is truly an honor to serve these individuals who have served us. This meal is just our way of saying 'thank you' for all of their dedication and the sacrifices they have made for our country."
Carando Cares has made more than $250,000 in monetary and in-kind donations since the program's inception in 2013.


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December 16, 2016
■ Meijer President

Rick Keyes Assumes Role of Chief Executive

Hank Meijer becomes Exec. Chairman of the Board

Effective January 1, 2017, Meijer President Rick Keyes will add the title of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The announcement was made today by Hank Meijer, who has held the role of CEO and will now serve as Executive Chairman of the Meijer board.
"We have witnessed Rick's deep understanding and appreciation of our culture and his passion for the people who make Meijer a great company," said Hank Meijer. "His accomplishments throughout a 27-year career--and his leadership as President for more than a year now--give us tremendous confidence in the future as he assumes a new title that better reflects his responsibilities."
Traditionally, the role of Meijer President has been held by a non-family member, with the title of Chief Executive Officer through the years being held by Fred Meijer and Hank Meijer respectively. The decision to make an adjustment in titles is based on the company's desire to align the roles more accurately with current responsibilities.
Meijer has been privately owned and family operated since it was founded in 1934, and in keeping with the Meijer family's ongoing significant involvement, Executive Chairman Hank Meijer will work closely with CEO Rick Keyes in developing and executing strategies consistent with the values at the heart of our team. Doug Meijer and Mark Meijer will also stay actively involved through their roles as Directors of Meijer Inc.
All new roles will become effective January 1, 2017.



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