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Kroger to provide $2.3 million to support the USO

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger on Friday announced that, together with customers, employees and vendors, the grocer will provide $2.3 million to support the USO. Since 2010, Kroger has provided more than $8.5 million to support the USO — the largest cumulative gift to the USO in that organization’s history. 

"The USO supports our military and their families in so many ways — from being right there for the wounded, injured and ill, to helping those who are on deployment record a bedtime story for their children," stated Lynn Marmer, Kroger’s group VP corporate affairs. "The USO connects with our service men and women every step of the way, and Kroger is proud to honor our troops and veterans by supporting them."

Over the ensuing two weeks, store-wide promotions will feature hundreds of popular products at special sale prices. Customers can support brands that make Kroger’s donation possible by purchasing participating items identified by customized shelf tags, including Kroger’s own products and items from such key partners as Coca Cola, Frito Lay, Kraft, Mondelez and Post assorted cereals.  

All of the funds raised will support the broad range of programs and services the USO provides to service members, their families, wounded troops and veterans. 

Kroger also is recognizing company employees and their families who are active and former military members. Kroger has hired more than 22,456 veterans since 2009, and helped the "100,000 Jobs Mission" surpass its original goal to hire 100,000 transitioning service members and military veterans by 2020 in January 2014, seven years early.

Customers can read stories about active-duty or veteran Kroger employees by visiting HonoringOurHeroes.com.

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Nutella celebrates milestone with limited-edition Cronuts

BY Ryan Chavis

SOMERSET, N.J. — Nutella, a brand from Ferrero U.S.A., on Monday celebrated its 50th anniversary by teaming up with Dominique Ansel, chef and owner of Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City and the originator of the Cronut — a donut-croissant pastry for the uninitiated — to create limited-edition Cronut holes made with Nutella. The special treats will be available today only in New York City, with Ansel distributing them throughout the event, which took place at the Broadway Pedestrian Plaza.

"I’m thrilled to be partnering with Nutella to help celebrate its 50th anniversary. I have fond memories of enjoying Nutella at breakfast as a little boy in France and have always been an enthusiast. Having the opportunity to incorporate Nutella into bite-size versions of the Cronut has been a real joy, and I look forward to seeing fans enjoy this special treat," Ansel said.

The celebration also marks the debut of a new Nutella food truck that will "Spread the Happy" throughout 16 U.S. cities by offering complimentary samples of Nutella, games and more.

"The passion our fans have for the Nutella brand is incredible. They have a deep personal connection to the hazelnut spread and are constantly engaging with us via social media. We’re so excited to celebrate alongside them at this anniversary event and kickoff our national tour, which will spread the happiness one finds in a jar of Nutella throughout the country," said Eric Berger, senior brand manager for Nutella at Ferrero U.S.A. "We look forward to continuing to promote their love and passion for Nutella and celebrating 50 more years!"

 

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L’Oréal unveils ‘game-changing digital experience’

BY Antoinette Alexander

PARIS — L’Oréal Paris is bringing the personalized service of a department store to the mass market with its latest in beauty digital innovation — “Makeup Genius.”

Based on the insight that beauty is one of the most “Googled” topics in the world — with about 4 billion searches a year — the group’s innovation incubator decided to respond to the needs expressed by consumers by offering greater customization and interaction with their brand.

“By combining our knowledge of consumers and the science of colors with technologies for monitoring facial expressions, we have been able to calculate the best possible algorithm capable of producing an extremely realistic colur-rendering in real time using just an iPhone camera,” stated Guive Balooch, director of the Connected Beauty Incubator for L’Oréal Research & Innovation. This innovation will enable L’Oréal Paris to offer all women an unprecedented beauty “e-routine.”

The world market leader in beauty, L’Oréal Paris aims to be a pioneer in tools offering consumers a personalized experience. L’Oréal’s Makeup Genius enables consumers to test makeup products using their mobile phone or tablet as a virtual mirror and play with new looks in real time.

Unlike other virtual makeup apps that render colors onto a pre-uploaded static image, L’Oréal Paris uses facial mapping technology to transform your iPhone or iPad’s front-facing camera into a virtual mirror where you can try on L’Oreal Paris products. Facial expressions are detected and reproduced, allowing for a result that looks like you actually applied makeup. Makeup Genius captures 64 facial data points and up to 100 expressions.

Consumers can now test makeup products, a new makeup look or scan a bar code at the point of sale and instantly experience the most premium and innovative Before & After service.

“We believe that one of the major trends to come concerns the virtual reality experience, which will offer consumers a new and effective way of trying products, learning how to use them and personalize them, with unparalleled results for the consumer,” said Cyril Chapuy, president of L’Oréal Paris International.

Makeup Genius will be launched in France, the United States and China in May, then in other countries where the brand is present.

 

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