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Meijer makes its debut in ‘cheesehead territory’

BY Michael Johnsen

MILWAUKEE, – Meijer on Tuesday officially opened its first two Wisconsin supercenters. 
 
Initially announced last month, the 192,000-square-foot stores in Grafton and Kenosha feature new pharmacies witgh drive-thru pick up and the Meijer free prescription program. Since its inception in 2006, the program has filled nearly 26 million free prescriptions, saving Meijer customers more than $376 million. 
 
"It's been nearly 20 years since we've chosen to enter a new state, so we are grateful for the enthusiastic response we've received as we've built these first stores,"  stated Meijer president J.K. Symancyk. "We are serious about our commitment to Wisconsin and plan to add two to three new stores per year through 2019."
 
In August, Meijer will open two additional stores in Wauwatosa and Oak Creek. The retailer has plans for continued growth in Wisconsin.
 
"We are proud to open our doors on this first historic day in Wisconsin," Meijer co-chairman Hank Meijer said. "Since announcing our intention more than two years ago, we've done our best to understand the Wisconsin market and truly become a part of the community. We think our neighbors in southeastern Wisconsin will be really pleased with the fresh options they can experience beginning today."
 
Opening celebrations began with a ribbon-cutting event at each store, followed by remarks from Meijer leadership and local officials. The stores demonstrated their commitment to the community by making donations to two local organizations.
 
In Kenosha, Meijer donated $25,000 to Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha to revamp and reopen its "Kids in the Kitchen" program, which teaches youth members about healthy eating habits, as well as how to prepare and cook fresh meals and snacks for their families. In Grafton, Meijer donated $25,000 to the Village of Grafton to install five new informational kiosks and new pavilion as part of the community's Riverwalk.
 
Meijer now operates 219 stores in six states and employs more than 65,000 team members throughout the Midwest.
 
 
 
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Hawaii raises minimum age for tobacco products to 21

BY David Salazar

HONOLULU — Hawaii’s governor, David Ige, signed a bill Monday that prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from buying, selling, consuming or possessing cigaretetes and other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Hawaii is the first state to raise the minimum age of legal access to 21, with most states’s MLA being 18 years old, or 19 in four states.
 
“Raising the minimum age as part of our comprehensive tobacco control efforts will help reduce tobacco use among our youth and increase the likelihood that our [children] will grow up to be tobacco-free,” Ige said, citing the statistic that 86% of the state’s adult smokers started before they were 21 years old and 34 percent had started between the ages of 18 and 20.
 
The law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016, and is part of Hawaii’s larger effort to curb smoking, which includes another law signed Monday that prohibits smoking in Hawaii state parks.
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Ideavillage’s Snackeez launches new 2-in-1 snack, drink cup

BY Lesley Thulin

NEW YORK — Snackeez, a product by Ideavillage, has launched a new, disposable 2-in-1 snack and drink cup called the Snackeez DUO. 
 
DUOs can hold up to two ounces in the cup and six ounces in the snack bowl, which nests into the cup’s rim and snaps in place to close. The product also includes a straw and a no-spill, flip-top snack bowl lid. 
 
Unlike the original Snackeez unit, the BPA-free, recyclable DUOs are designed to be disposable but are sturdy enough to be reused. Snackeez DUO are sold in packs of 10 for $9.99 and can be bought at CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Walmart, as well as Bed Bath & Beyond. 
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