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More shoppers buying economy-sized items to save money in hard times

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO Given the current state of the economy, nearly half of U.S. consumers are looking to help stretch their dollars by buying larger economy-sized offerings, according to a consumer survey released by the Nielsen Company on Tuesday.

Conversely, only 17 percent of consumers prefer new, smaller pack products at lower pricepoints.

“Without question, this is an extremely tough time for today’s consumer,” said Todd Hale, senior vice president, consumer and shopper insights for the Nielsen Company. “CPG manufacturers and retailers have few options to manage rising commodity costs beyond absorbing increased costs, passing on increases to consumers by raising prices or cover increased costs by downsizing offerings,” he said. “Downsizing, in particular, is not a new option—we’ve seen downsizing over the last few years in a number of categories, including ice cream, cereal, candy bars, salty snacks and paper products.”

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Tops plans store renovations; considers opening seven to 10 new stores

BY Jenna Duncan

BUFFALO, N.Y. Tops Markets announced this week that it may add seven to 10 stores to its roster and also may overhaul existing stores with a $150 million renovation plan.

Tops has said that its plans for renovations are part of a strategy to strengthen competition as the nation’s leading U.S. grocery chain. The renovation plans would be applied to 60 of the 76 Tops stores and would take about five years to complete, the company said. Tops also said that new stores would be located in Rochester, Buffalo and New York City, New York.

The Tops network of grocery stores was acquired last year from Royal Ahold by Morgan Stanley Private Equity for $310 million.

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Delhaize makes Stefan Descheemaeker new CFO

BY Melissa Valliant

BRUSSELS, Belgium Major food retailer Delhaize last week announced the hiring of Stefan Descheemaeker as its new CFO, effective Jan. 5.

Forty-eight-year-old Descheemaeker previously worked for Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, spending the past 12 years witnessing its growth. Initially known as Interbrew when Descheemaeker joined the company in 1996, the brewer has only recently become Anheuser-Busch Inbev. It merged with Brazil’s AmBev in 2004 and bought Anheuser-Busch this year.

Pierre-Olivier Beckers, Delhaize’s president and chief executive officer, expects Descheemaeker’s experience in Europe and North America to benefit the company. Descheemaeker will be replacing Craig Owens, who left Delhaize in September.

 

“Stefan’s leadership and drive are outstanding. He has large general management experience on both sides of the Atlantic and extensive financial know-how,” Beckers said.

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