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Fresh & Easy slows expansion plans for the United States

BY Jenna Duncan

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. Fresh & Easy, the grocery chain operated by U.K.’s Tesco corporation that was slated to move into more California and West Coast markets by February, has announced that it will curb development of many stores, the company announced on Wednesday.

Tim Mason, chief executive officer of Fresh & Easy, said that due to the uncertainty of growth in the U.S. market for the remainder of 2008 and looking forward, the openings of 200 U.S. Fresh & Easy stores will be pushed to November 2009.

Tesco said that it had taken the decision because of the wider economy rather than because of concerns about how its stores were performing.

Tesco said that there was no doubt the U.S. economy was in a different place than it was when the company originally released plans for expansion. It said that initially its plans were to accelerate growth by the second quarter 2008, but now will delay plans for growth.

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Meijer updates databasing technology with aid from QuantiSense

BY Jenna Duncan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Meijer grocery and general merchandise business has announced that it will build onto its current business intelligence systems by adding QuantiSense data tools.

The tools will help Meijer with improved information fathering, sorting and storage operations, reports said. Meijer will also have more support to for interaction between parts of their IT working on operations and also their business team to better execute strategy decisions, the company has said.  

Meijer is first integrating QuantiSense tools into its merchandising staff and will then roll out the system to executive management reporting, consumer insight groups and supply chain services, the company said. The tools help staff by monitoring dashboards which evaluate performance data.

Meijer also currntly uses the QuantiSense Developing Your Playbook for technology and management consulting services.

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EPA awards WhiteWave Foods for efforts to use and advance green energy

BY Melissa Valliant

DENVER The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency named WhiteWave Foods the 2008 Green Power Leadership Award winner at an event held in conjunction with the 2008 National Renewable Energy Marketing Conference in Denver, Colo. This is the fifth time the company has been recognized as the leader in purchasing green power in an effort to increase the use of renewable energy.

WWFC started buying renewable energy credits in 2003 for the manufacturing of Silk Soymilk. Today, the company uses these sustainability practices for its Horizon Organic, International Delight and Land O’Lakes, as well as at its corporate headquarters. WWFC combines wind energy and recycling to reduce its carbon footprint. Its wind energy purchases have saved 450 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually, the equivalent of taking 40,200 cars off the road for one year. It also developed a recycling and composting program in 2006 that resulted in the equivalent of saving more than 328,000 gallons of water and planting approximately 800 trees.

Silk and Horizon Organic spread awareness of the benefits of green energy through consumer promotions, messages on their packaging and through their Web sites. The two brands have also purchased Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs, or Green Tags) for the past three years to offset the electricity used to power the convention centers that host the annual natural and organic products trade shows. For the past two years, they did the same with the annual Farm Aid concerts. WWFC also “greened” the University of Colorado?s football stadium through recycling, composting, the promotion of alternative transportation and replacing the electricity with renewable energy.

“Our nation is shifting to a ‘green culture,’ with more and more Americans understanding that environmental responsibility is everyone’s responsibility,” said EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson. “The EPA commends WhiteWave Foods Company for making a long-term commitment to protecting the environment by purchasing green power.”

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