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FMI elects new officers, board members

BY Allison Cerra

ARLINGTON, Va. The Food Marketing Institute has elected two new vice chairmen and five new board members, in line with its annual showcase in Las Vegas.

The industry group said David Ball, president and CEO of Ball’s Price Chopper/Hen House Markets in Kansas, will be vice chairman of independent retailers and will continue to serve as chairman of FMI’s independent operator advisory board. Additionally, Safeway chairman, president and CEO Steven Burd will be FMI’s vice chairman of finance.

New members of FMI’s board of directors include:

  • Jim Donald, president and CEO of Haggen
  • Dennis Eidson, president and CEO of Spartan Stores, a grocery wholesaler and retailer based in Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Joey Hays, owner and president of five supermarkets under the Food Rite banner, based in Dyer, Tenn.
  • Tom Heinen, president and COO of Heinen’s Fine Foods
  • Steve Junqueiro, president of Save Mart Supermarkets.

“These new leaders bring to FMI great vision, talent, creativity and utmost dedication to the industry. They exemplify the many ways we serve our customers, communities and, ultimately, America. They make FMI’s leadership more diverse, running companies large, mid-sized and small, including retailers and wholesalers, and many of their businesses are family-owned,” said FMI president and CEO Leslie Sarasin.

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‘Ridiculously long-lasting gum’ may spell success for confectioners

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Advertisements for gum boasting long-lasting flavor may yield big bucks for its makers.

Although it was recently acquired by Kraft Foods, Cadbury — whose gum brands include Stride, Trident and Dentyne —  held 33% of the company’s revenue in 2009, and increased 2%, which the company contributed to the U.S. launch of Trident Layers in the second half, “[re-establishing] strong growth momentum in the category.”

But its Cadbury’s Stride brand that really has made waves. Introduced five years ago, the brand now is known for its marketing campaign — featuring such quips as menacing ostriches, secret agents and more, looking for gum patrons to spit out their old yet flavorful piece of gum. The threatening and hilarious message, “Start chewing that new piece of Stride gum… or we’ll find you,” has garnered some attention from specific chewers: teens, college kids and gamers, which could boost its sales. Additionally, the introduction of new Stride Shift, in which the gum flavors change, speak to younger generations looking for fun. The two new flavors include berry-to-mint and citrus-to-mint and now are available at sotres nationwide.

“Stride speaks to younger consumers who chew gum not for functional reasons but for emotional reasons,” Gary Osifchin, director of marketing at Stride, told The New York Times. “Younger consumers have a disdain for the ordinary, and they like to be snapped out of boredom.”

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Eating nuts may lower cholesterol levels, study finds

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK A pooled analysis of 25 trials found that nut consumption may improve blood cholesterol levels.

The findings — which were published in the May 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine — noted that nuts contain plant proteins, fats (especially unsaturated fatty acids), dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins and other such compounds as antioxidants and phytoesterols.

Joan Sabate, M.D., Dr.P.H., of Loma Linda University in California, and colleagues pooled primary data from 25 nut consumption trials conducted in seven countries and involving 583 women and men with high cholesterol or normal cholesterol levels. All the studies compared a control group with a group assigned to consume nuts; participants were not taking lipid-lowering medications.

Participants in the trials consumed an average of 67 grams (about 2.4 oz.) of nuts per day. This was associated with an average 5.1% reduction in total cholesterol concentration, a 7.4% reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad” cholesterol) and an 8.3% change in ratio of LDL cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good” cholesterol). In addition, triglyceride levels declined by 10.2% among individuals with high triglyceride levels (at least 150 milligrams per deciliter), although not among those with lower levels.

“Nuts are a whole food that have been consumed by humans throughout history,” the authors wrote. “Increasing the consumption of nuts as part of an otherwise prudent diet can be expected to favorably affect blood lipid levels (at least in the short term) and have the potential to lower coronary heart disease risk,” noting that different types of nuts had similar effects on blood lipid levels.

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