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Kroger named 2013 Retailer of the Year by Wine Enthusiast magazine

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger on Wednesday announced today it was named the 2013 Retailer of the Year by Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Wine Enthusiast selected Kroger Retailer of the Year because of the company’s "dynamic growth, dedication to wine, ability to foresee trends and customer service," the editors stated. According to a profile of the grocer, Kroger surpassed $1 billion in wine sales in 2012 and is expected to post double-digit growth in 2013. 

"We are honored to receive recognition from the experts at Wine Enthusiast," Michael Donnelly, Kroger SVP merchandising said. "Kroger is focused on providing our customers with spectacular wine experiences – from our exclusive offerings such as Acronym to showcasing their favorite varieties from local wineries."

Kroger sources wines from local vineyards, employs 450 wine stewards across its store base to enhance the shopping experience, and advocates for customers where laws prevent access to wine in grocery stores. In Tennessee, for example, the company is advocating for expanded customer options through the Red, White and Food initiative, a grassroots effort to support legislation that would eventually allow customers the convenience of purchasing wine at their local grocery store.

This is the first time Kroger has been honored by the magazine.

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Del Monte to market flavored syrups for SodaStream

BY Alaric DeArment

MONACO — Del Monte is partnering with SodaStream International to produce a series of new flavors for the carbonation machine maker, the two companies said Tuesday.

The portfolio of Del Monte-branded syrups include tropical, Caribbean and orange flavors.

"Del Monte is excited to partner with SodaStream as we enter the category of homemade sparkling drinks," Del Monte EA VP food operations Frans Van Melis said. "We are delighted that our consumers will be able to experience our high-quality brand in a fun, new, innovative way."

 

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Arizona Beverages announces partnership with Skinnygirl

BY Ryan Chavis

WOODBURY, N.Y. — Arizona Beverages will partner with the Skinnygirl brand to produce Skinnygirl Sparklers, a new line of sparkling waters. The announcement was made on Monday by Skinnygirl creator Bethenny Frankel on her daytime talk show, "Bethenny."

The beverages will launch in New York, Florida and Chicago at the end of November, with national distribution to follow. Skinnygirl Sparklers will come in four flavors: Tangerine Mango, Strawberry Lemonade, Pink Grapefruit and Pineapple Coconut.

"This partnership was a natural fit. We love creating new products for our fans who are looking for innovative, low-calorie options. Bethenny has developed a fantastic brand with Skinnygirl, she has a loyal fan base and is a remarkable businesswoman. We look forward to working with her to bring more great tasting flavors of Skinnygirl Sparklers to market," said Wesley Vultaggio, co-owner and creative director of Arizona Beverages.

Frankel is inviting viewers to create new flavors for the Skinnygirl Sparkler line as part of the "Create the Next Skinnygirl Sparkler" contest. The winning entry will receive a $10,000 cash prize from Arizona Beverages. Viewers can submit their recipes on Bethenny.com.

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