Campbell sees success in gravity stocking system
CAMDEN, N.J. Campbell is expanding its innovative gravity-feed shelving system to 1,200 Wal-Mart stores nationwide. The “gravity-feed” shelving has been installed at hundreds of retail locations since 2002 and works to move product from the back of the shelf forward, while providing a cleaner presentation.
Some skeptics had claimed the display system would be too labor-intensive for sellers, but analysts at Campbell say the company has seen sales boosts since it initially installed the systems six years ago.
“It’s driven by where we put the system and what the customer base is,” said Joe Ruiz, director of merchandising strategies for Campbell. “We’ve seen lifts [as high as] 5 percent to 8 percent [and as low as] 1 percent to 3 percent.”
By the company’s end of fiscal year on July 31, the gravity-feed system will be in place at 23,000 locations.
Campbell has also made the system available to rivals through retailers. At one Port Washington, N.Y., Stop & Shop, for example, Progresso soups occupy gravity-feed shelf space near Campbell soups.
Budweiser unveils new ale coming to stores this fall
CHICAGO Anheuser-Busch says it will release its new beer, Budweiser American Ale, this fall.
According to Anheuser-Busch’s vice president of consumer strategy and innovation, Marlene Coulis, the new brew will be a darker, richer beer than Budweiser lager.
Just a few weeks prior, rival Miller Brewing announced a new line of craft-style beers under the Miller Lite brand—the Miller Lite Brewers Collection,
But Coulis says Anheuser-Busch wasn’t copying competitors, the brewer was simply expanding on their craft and imported Michelob brand.
Coulis said branching out could help the core brands by bringing new beer enthusiasts to the Bud family. “We believe this will positively reflect on Budweiser,” she said. “It’ll help us reach a whole new set of consumers.”
U.S. study finds healthier, low-calorie foods more expensive
SEATTLE A recently released study from the University of Washington reports that the prices of high-calorie foods are less likely to be impacted by inflation. As a result, the cost of low-calorie foods can rise more readily with inflation and that could mean less access to healthy food options for lower income Americans.
Researchers at the University of Washington used funding from the USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service to study price trends at Seattle-area supermarkets. They compared the costs of around 370 foods by calorie density and price. They concluded that on average high-calorie foods cost less per calorie while low-calorie foods were more expensive. They also found trends that indicate that the price of high-calorie food is less likely to rise as a result of inflation, keeping high-calorie foods cheaper.
The researchers say that these findings may explain why calorie-dense foods are chosen more frequently by lower-income individuals.
“If you have $3 to feed yourself, your choices gravitate toward foods which give you the most calories per dollar. Not only are the empty calories cheaper, but the healthy foods are becoming more and more expensive. Fresh vegetables and fruits are rapidly becoming luxury goods,” said Adam Drewnowski, director of the Center for Public Health and Nutrition at the University of Washington.