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Dr Pepper Snapple Group CFO to retire

BY Allison Cerra

PLANO, Texas John Stewart, EVP and CFO of the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, announced his retirement Tuesday after three years with the company.

To facilitate the transition of his duties as CFO, Stewart has agreed to remain in his position until March 31, 2010. The company said it will conduct an external search for his replacement, and Stewart will assist in his successor’s transition.

“John has played a critical role in our successful business transformation from a subsidiary to a publicly traded company,” said Larry Young, the company’s president and CEO. “He has built a strong and highly effective finance and IT organization and has led significant improvements in our systems and controls. All of us at Dr Pepper Snapple thank John for his lasting contributions to our great business.”

Stewart has served as CFO since November 2006. Prior to joining the company, he was SVP and CFO of Diageo North America, a subsidiary of Diageo PLC.

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Giant Food announces voluntary recall of ice cream flavor

BY Allison Cerra

LANDOVER, Md. Giant Food, following a recall by Unilever, announced it removed from sale cartons of Breyer’s all natural mint chocolate chip ice cream due to an undeclared allergen.

Unilvever announced a voluntary recall of Breyer’s All Natural Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream because it was mispackaged and may contain undeclared wheat, posing an allergy issue.

The following code dates and UPCs are affected: All Natural Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, 48 oz UPC code of #7756725425 with the following Best if Used by dates: FEB1711GH, FEB1811GH, FEB1911GH.

Giant Food has not received any reports of illness related to the consumption of this product. This product poses no threat to individuals who do not suffer from a wheat allergy. Customers who have purchased the affected products should discard any unused portions or bring their purchase receipt to Giant Food for a full refund. Consumers also may call Unilever at (877) 270-7402 or Giant Food Customer Service at (888) 469-4426 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for more information. Customers can also visit the Giant Food website at www.giantfood.com.

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Duane Reade chips in to health trend with DR Delish snack line

BY Barbara White-Sax

Duane Reade has joined the ranks of retailers beefing up their private-label consumables lines. The New York-based chain recently unveiled its DR Delish food-and-beverage brand with 25 new products. With the new introduction, the chain will phase out the Fifth Avenue brand it previously used for its private-label consumer packaged goods.

The launch includes four cookie varieties, six varieties of juices and four teas in gallon containers, Trail Mix Crunch and a selection of sweet and savory snacks.

The chain is aggressively marketing its brand’s point of difference. In-store signage will compare Delish products with leading national brands, and the chain’s circulars and Web site will feature the brand.

In developing the line, the chain has tuned in to what consumers want. The Delish launch contains all-natural, gluten-free and 100% vegan trail mixes, vitamin-enhanced teas without artificial colors or flavors, 100% juices, soy snacks without trans fats and baked potato crisps with zero cholesterol.

“We found that our loyal customer base wants tasty, quality food products, so we developed a brand that not only satisfies those wants, but does so in an exciting way that reflects the unique desires of New Yorkers,” said Joe Magnacca, Duane Reade’s chief merchandising officer. Magnacca said the chain expects to expand the brand to 100 products for the holidays.

Introductory pricing is sharp, at $1.99 for a 12-oz. package of cookies and gallon teas for $2.99. Pricing is likely to increase, but the line will continue to have a value focus.

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