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Eagle Snacks may see a comeback

BY Jenna Duncan

CHICAGO Reserve Brands, a small Chicago-based start-up, has obtained the exclusive license to market Eagle Snacks, a brand whose familiarity is known by retailers and consumers across the country.

But what many consumers do not realize is that Eagle Snacks are not currently on the market, and haven’t been since Eagle was purchased from Anheuser-Busch by Procter & Gamble in 1996. Though the brand name is still easily recognized, its line of snacks hasn’t been in production for some time. The fact that Eagle’s absence has seemingly gone unnoticed might actually be a great “comeback” strategy for the brand, Reserve said. It plans to reintroduce Eagle Snacks to grocery and retail shelves later this year.

“When people say, ‘I didn’t even realize you can’t buy Eagle Snacks any more,’ you know you’ve got a business opportunity,” Reserve Brands president and chief executive, Scott Lazar, said.

Many consumers remember Eagle as the first brand to have snack nuts on airplanes, company spokespersons said. The name recognition will be a good thing, they said, for the company to introduce new products. Eagle plans to roll out two new product lines into Chicago-area Dominick’s stores later this year; Eagle Bursts and Poppers.

Reserve Brands’ goal is to reach $50 million in sales in its first year and to reach $100 million in sales in the next two to three years. After that, the company said, it plans to sell to a bigger player.

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San Francisco drug stores face possible ban on tobacco sales

BY Jenna Duncan

SAN FRANCISCO A proposed ordinance to ban the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco items from San Francisco drug stores could be in place by the end of this week.

The law, proposed by Mayor Gavin Newsom last Tuesday, would put a ban on tobacco sales at any stores with pharmacies, but would not include big box chain stores, like Costco, or grocery stores. A spokesperson for the mayor said that this ordinance is part of a series of actions supported by Mayor Newsom to promote independent healthy living.

“The spirit of this is that pharmacies are places people go to get better,” spokeswoman Giselle Barry said. “They shouldn’t be selling products that cause cancer.”

The new law would go into effect on Oct. 1. The San Francisco Department of Public Health [the regulator of tobacco sales in San Francisco] would be responsible for enforcement of the law and those in violation would have to pay fines of $100 to $1,000.

The proposed ordinance must have the approval of the Board of Supervisors. The topic is on the agenda for the Board’s City and County of San Francisco City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee special meeting on Thursday.

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General Mills names chief executive officer as chairman

BY Jenna Duncan

MINNEAPOLIS General Mills said yesterday that it will appoint Kendall J. Powell to cover the job of chairman. Powell is already chief executive officer of the company.

Powell was voted by the board to take over duties as chairman on May 23, when Stephen Sanger, a 34-year veteran of the company, retires.

Sanger served as chairman and chief executive since he was elected to the seat, about 13 years ago. Powell, 54, joined the company in 1979 and was promoted to chief executive in September 2007.

Wall Street today reported that General Mills shares rose 16 cents to $61.83 during afternoon trading.

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