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Hy-Vee boosts private label with cheap meal options

BY Jenna Duncan

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa Hy-Vee has launched a new program that provides 30 recipes to feed a family for cheap. The “30 meals for $3 per serving” launch includes recipes for popular dinners such as ham and swiss quesadillas, bar-be-cue cheeseburger sliders and French dip sandwiches with au jus.

The recipes all include Hy-Vee brand ingredients such as Hy-Vee bakery buns, Hy-Vee canola oil, Hy-Vee salsa and Hy-Vee shredded cheese.

The complete list of meal recipes from Hy-Vee’s “30 meals for $3 per serving” can be found online at http://www.hy-vee.com/30meals/30meals.asp 

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Winn-Dixie names Forehand to regional vice president

BY Michael Johnsen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Winn-Dixie Stores on Tuesday promoted Cheryl Forehand to regional vice president, where she will oversee the day-to-day and strategic operations of the company’s 135 stores in the Jacksonville region. Forehand has held numerous positions in the company including director of special projects, division manager and most recently vice president of operations.

Last year, she was named as one of 2007’s Top Women in Grocery by Progressive Grocer magazine.

Taking over as vice president of operations will be Shawn Sloan, the company stated, who is being promoted from his post as director of maintenance and energy management. He will work to strengthen the company’s inventory management programs while continuing to improve its hurricane preparedness program, Winn-Dixie said.

And Rich Cline has joined Winn-Dixie as the vice president of operations support from Pamida, located in Omaha, Neb., where he was vice president of store operations. Cline began his career in grocery retail at Jewel-Osco, later moving to Albertsons, and will be responsible for providing leadership to retail support functions and developing cross-functional operations strategies at Winn-Dixie.

Forehand, Sloan, and Cline will report to senior vice president of retail operations Frank Eckstein.

In another personnel move, Mike Istre has been named vice president, maintenance, energy and property management. Istre has held positions throughout the organization including vice president of operations, regional vice president and division president. He will report to group vice president of development Phil Pichulo.

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Hormel’s Spam benefiting from poor economy; sales soaring

BY Melissa Valliant

AUSTIN, Minn. These days, people are keeping a close eye on their checkbooks while grocery shopping, and it seems many are looking to Hormel Foods Corporation’s Spam as an inexpensive source of high-protein food. According to the New York Times, the gelatinous rectangle of spiced ham and pork is flying off shelves at about $2.40 per 12-ounce can.

Though there is no independent data provider that gathers Spam sales numbers, Hormel’s chief executive, Jeffrey M. Ettinger, claimed in September that sales were increasing by double digits. Spam “seems to do well when hard times hit,” said Dan Bartel, business agent for Spam’s union local. “We’ll probably see Spam lines instead of soup lines.”

And it’s not the only product that seems to feed off of the failing economy. Vitamins, beer, fruit and vegetable preservatives, macaroni-and-cheese, Jell-O and Kool-Aid have all flourished recently while the majority of other food products struggle with the changing times. Spam’s popularity may have a lot to do with its potential to last for years, due to its vacuum-sealed can and the fact that it does not require refrigeration, as well as its low price.

The unique product is the result of a combination of ham, pork, sugar, salt, water, potato starch and sodium nitrite, which provides Spam with its pink tint, according to Hormel’s Web site. Spam is available in Spam Low Sodium, Spam with Cheese and Spam Hot & Spicy varieties.

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