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Frito-Lay uses online contest to find inspirational stories for new TrueNorth ad campaign

BY Melissa Valliant

PLANO, Texas Frito-Lay is asking for the help of inspirational individuals to fill a TV ad spot during this year’s 81st Annual Academy Awards with a story about their life’s passion. The 60-second ad spot, airing Feb. 22, 2009, will mark the beginning of a national, multimedia ad campaign for Frito-Lay’s TrueNorth nut snacks and will be directed by Oscar-winning actress Helen Hunt.

TrueNorth will be the only advertiser in the snack category during the awards show, and the contest spot will be one of several of TrueNorth’s to air during the pre-show, as well as the show itself. TrueNorth has already found three inspirational stories that it will promote online and in print as part of its new campaign.

Essays can be submitted now through Dec. 31 at www.truenorthsnacks.com/story. 

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Ahold reports results for 3Q 2008

BY Jenna Duncan

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands Ahold, a company that owns and operates hundreds of supermarkets in the United States as well as Europe under Stop & Shop, Peapod, Giant-Landover grocery brand banners, has reported its earnings for the third quarter 2008.

Ahold reported earnings of 7.6 percent for the quarter. Ahold reported that its operating costs total 262 million euros ($327.9 million U.S. dollars), up 26 million (EU), or about 10 percent.

Ahold reported its net income totaled 195 million EU (U.S. $244 million.), which was down 19 million EU (U.S. $23.8 million), or about 10 percent.

“We delivered a solid performance in our third quarter. I was particularly pleased with the increase in identical sales at Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover as a result of the actions we have taken under the Value Improvement Program over the last two years,” Ahold chief executive officer John Rishton said. “The company has a healthy balance sheet and is well-positioned to offer value to our customers in the current economic environment. The price investments made in recent years have strengthened the competitive position of all our banners, but we remain vigilant and will respond to changes in consumer and competitor behavior. 

“Underlying retail operating margin guidance for the year remains unchanged at 4.8 percent- 5.3 percent.” 

The company also said that same store sales at Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover stores had improved. And that underlying retail operating margin guidance for the period remained the same.

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Winn-Dixie sells reloadable prepaid cards

BY Jenna Duncan

TAMPA, Fla. Winn-Dixie has announced that working with the prepaid card company nFinanSe, the Winn-Dixie nFinanse Network reloadable prepaid card now is available in all Winn-Dixie grocery stores.

A reloadable card may be purchased for $5.95. Customers can then add more money to the card account at their choosing without the requirement of a credit check or bank account. Customer service is available free of charge, however, there is a $2.95 monthly maintenance fee due for card holders.

“We are very pleased to offer this dynamic new financial product to our customers,” Winn-Dixie’s director of communications, Robin Miller, said. “The nFinanSe Discover Network program provides shoppers with value and convenience by allowing them to reload their cards every time they visit their neighborhood Winn-Dixie, and to use them wherever Discover Network is accepted. This is just one more way for us to continue earning trust and loyalty in the communities we serve.”

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