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Family Dollar names Jeffrey Thomas SVP, merchandise operations

BY Antoinette Alexander

MATTHEWS, N.C. — Family Dollar Stores has named Jeffrey Thomas as SVP, merchandise operations, succeeding Scott Zucker, who left the company at the end of May

Thomas will report to Jason Reiser, EVP, chief merchandising officer.

“For more than 54 years, our merchandise operations team has focused on providing the items our customers want and need at great everyday prices,” stated Reiser. “Jeff’s supply chain, logistics and replenishment experience along with his proven leadership skills will ensure that we continue to bring value and convenience to customers at each of our more than 8,100 stores across the country.”

Thomas joined Family Dollar in 2003 as a director of vendor performance with responsibility for item data integrity and vendor relationships. Between 2005 and 2013, Thomas assumed greater roles with increased responsibilities, and in 2013, he was named VP, merchant services.

 

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SexyPop introduces banana popcorn flavor

BY David Salazar

SEA CLIFF, N.Y — A new flavor that company SexyPop Popcorn is debuting at this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show will make eating bananas a crunchier experience. The new flavor, Bodacious Banana, uses real bananas and gives the popcorn a dose of antioxidants and potassium.

Bodacious Banana joins Sexypop’s lineup of five flavors and will be on display at Sexypop’s Booth at the Specialty Food Association’s summer show, which starts June 29 at New York’s Javits Center.

The new flavor is one part of the snack company’s grouth since it was founded in late 2013 by Robert Ehrlich, whose Pirate Brands was purchased by B&G Foods for $195 million last year.  

“With a swirling buzz and growing fan base, our NYC subway, bus, train and yachting campaign is being raved about everywhere,” Ehrlich said

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CRN addresses deceptive ads for weight loss products during Senate hearing

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade association serving the dietary supplement industry, testified during a Senate hearing in an effort to demonstrate the industry’s commitment to combat deceptive advertising of weight-loss products.

CRN testified before the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance. The hearing was titled, "Protecting Consumers from False and Deceptive Advertising of Weight-Loss Products."

In his remarks, Steve Mister, president and CEO of CRN, addressed the current weight-loss market as part of the ongoing tale of two industries with "legitimate manufacturers who responsibly produce products that work and make claims for their products within the bounds of the law, and unscrupulous players who prey on consumer desperation and the insatiable desire to be thin, and will say almost anything to make a quick profit."

Acknowledging weight management as a critical issue in the United States, Mister pointed to the fact that there are dietary supplements that can serve as helpful weight-loss tools when used in combination with other healthy habits. He emphasized that, in their pursuit to achieve a healthy weight, consumers deserve to receive "truthful, accurate and non-misleading information on dietary supplements and nutritional products."  

Mister presented CRN’s industry-wide program with the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ National Advertising Division, which helps self-police the advertising claims of dietary supplement marketers, as an example of CRN’s commitment to prevent dietary supplement marketers from making fraudulent claims. Part of the solution to deceptive advertising of weight-loss products is "expanding and strengthening self-policing programs among manufacturers and marketers within the industry," like the NAD initiative, according to Mister.

However, in addition to expanding self-regulatory programs, Mister emphasized that more must be done to protect consumers, "who unrealistically yearn for a magic bullet," including increasing resources and enforcement by both the FTC and FDA; calling on the media and online retailers to conduct advertising clearance and reject those with illegal claims; and educating consumers on how to have realistic expectations for weight loss and protect themselves from weight-loss claims that are too good to be true.

 

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