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Mark Phillips to lead pharmaceutical merchandising at Walmart

BY Mike Troy

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Mark Phillips was elevated to the role of VP of pharmaceutical merchandising at Walmart after previously serving as the retailer’s senior director of merchandising for small formats.

In his new role, Phillips will lead the pharmaceutical merchandising team and report to Labeed Diab, president of health and wellness at Walmart. Phillips began with Walmart in 1990 as an hourly employee in the company’s accounts payable department at Sam’s Club. He also worked in the Walmart’s U.S. store operations group as an assistant manager in Joplin, Mo., and Garden City, Kan., before becoming a buyer in the retailer’s supercenter food division.

“Mark has a successful history as a buyer for multiple departments within Walmart U.S. and Walmart International. He most recently served as the senior director of merchandising in small formats and helped to turn this area into a key growth vehicle for the company,” according to an internal Walmart memo. “We will take the opportunity to utilize Mark’s experience and talents to grow our pharmaceutical business and help our customers save money and live better.”

Phillip’s promotion follows a key personnel change in April that saw Diab elevated to the role of president of health and wellness to fill a position occupied by Dr. John Agwunobi who left the company. Diab had previously served as an SVP of operations for Walmart’s Midwest division.

 

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Mike’s Hard Lemonade celebrates social media milestone

BY Ryan Chavis

CHICAGO — Mikes Hard Lemonade Co., producer of the flavored malt beverage Mike’s Hard Lemonade, recognized its 1 millionth fan on Facebook by going all out. Literally.

In recognition of the social media milestone, Paul Siano of Orland Park, Ill., is the star of the company’s temporary rebranding from Mike’s Hard Lemonade to Paul’s Hard Lemonade. The company pulled out all the stops, creating a new logo and packaging, and updating its website and social media profiles to reflect the new name.

"As we celebrate this social media milestone, we wanted to honor our fans who have helped us get to where we are today," said Sanjiv Gajiwala, senior director, marketing activation, Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co. "Rebranding as ‘paul’s hard lemonade’ this week is our unique way of creating a personal connection with our fans and rewarding one passionate consumer with the flavors he loves."

The rebranding will last until Friday, June 20. Video of the company’s rebranding can be seen at MikesHard.com, Twitter.com/MHL and YouTube.com/MikesHardLemonade.

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Harvard Pilgrim Health Care rewards healthier eating with EatRight Rewards program

BY Antoinette Alexander

WELLESLEY, Mass. — Health insurer Harvard Pilgrim Health Care is offering the EatRight Rewards program to its employees and members. EatRight Rewards provides financial rewards to employees who buy healthy foods at the grocery store.

Through the company-funded initiative, Harvard Pilgrim employees can earn up to $20 every month as an incentive to improve their grocery shopping and eating habits. Harvard Pilgrim employer groups will be able to design their own rewards programs.

The program is based on a nutritional scoring method that assigns healthiness values to more than 100,000 foods, taking more than 30 different nutrient factors into account. Each food item that an employee or family member places in his or her shopping cart is scored, and an average for each shopping trip is calculated.

EatRight Rewards was rolled out as a pilot to Harvard Pilgrim’s workforce last fall; it offered savings on healthy foods through eCoupons, as well as education for healthy shopping and recipes. The financial rewards were added this spring. To be eligible for the $20 reward, employees must register their store loyalty cards, make at least one shopping trip a month and have an average monthly shopping basket score of 60 or above. Employees can choose to have their reward deposited into their checking or PayPal accounts.

Currently, more than one-third of Harvard Pilgrim employees are participating. They have recorded more than 4,000 shopping trips. More than 65% of the shopping trips have registered average shopping basket nutritional scores of 60 or higher on a scale of one to 100, with 100 as the best. The average shopping basket score nationally has been calculated at between 30 and 45.

A number of supermarkets are actively participating in this program, including Shaw’s, Star Market, Roche Brothers, Hannaford, Wegmans and others. Discussions are ongoing with additional local and regional supermarket chains, Havard Pilgrim stated.

Harvard Pilgrim will offer the EatRight Rewards to its employer groups later this year. Employers will be able to design their own employee rewards.

EatRight Rewards is powered by NutriSavings, a Newton, Mass.-based company that developed the first online ecosystem where produce growers, supermarkets and food and beverage companies join forces with employers to get employees healthy.

Harvard Pilgrim employees can earn additional savings by accessing eCoupons offered by food and beverage companies and the growers of fresh produce on the EatRight Rewards site.

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