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MusclePharm hires 30-year vet to improve supply chain

BY Michael Johnsen
DENVER, – MusclePharm on Thursday announced the appointment of Jon Heussner as its VP operations. 
 
Heussner has a proven track record as a seasoned supply chain executive, with experience in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer operations. He brings more than 30 years of food manufacturing knowledge, focusing on operations management, engineering, contract manufacturing, new product commercialization and project management.
 
"Jon will fit nicely into our improvement plan, helping reshape our supply chain operations. He is a veteran in supply chain and manufacturing, with a vast array of critical relationships that will bring tremendous value and cost savings to the company, creating efficiencies," stated Ryan Drexler, MusclePharm executive chairman. "This hiring further enhances our capabilities in order to build a best-in-class supply chain and operations team."
 
Heussner has held senior management positions at Hain Celestial Seasonings Group, ConAgra Foods, Tyson Foods and Gilroy Foods & Spicetec. He earned a B.S. from Miami University.
 
 
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SmartyPants Vitamins intros several ‘firsts’ with new women’s multi

BY Michael Johnsen
MARINA DEL RAY, Calif. – SmartyPants Vitamins earlier this week announced the availability of its first premium gummy formulated specifically for women – SmartyPants Women’s Complete. Made with 15 essential nutrients packed into a non-GMO gummy, SmartyPants new Women’s Complete includes important and easily absorbable nutrients that seem to be difficult for women to get consistently from diet alone.
 
“Our new Women’s Complete features many firsts packed into one delicious gummy – the first to use methylfolate instead of folic acid; the first to use vitamin K2 as MK7; the first to contain CoQ10, with a full multivitamin, all in rarely used, more bio-available forms,” stated Courtney Nichols Gould, co-CEO of SmartyPants Vitamins. “They set a new bar for nutrient density and quality, which is the why we started SmartyPants in the first place.”
 
SmartyPants Women’s Complete is also an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E, B6, B5, niacin and zinc, the company stated.
 
“At SmartyPants, quality and transparency are our highest priorities,” said Gordon Gould, co-CEO, SmartyPants Vitamins. “That’s why we test all of our ingredients at every step of the manufacturing process. Once our internal testing is complete, an independent third party lab tests each batch for purity and potency. It’s how we ensure our customers are getting the most premium product available every time.”
 
 
 
 
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Costco sales up 2.6% for first half

BY Michael Johnsen
ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco’s profit fell short of analysts’ estimates at the mid-point in its fiscal year, but business trends were solid in the company’s second quarter with a 4% same-store sales increase at U.S. locations.
 
The company said its total revenues for the period ended Feb. 14, which included the holidays, increased 2.6% to $28.2 billion. Merchandise and service sales increased 2.6% to $27.9 billion and membership fees increased 3.6% to $603 million.
 
Total company same-store sales increased a modest 1%, however, strip out lower year over year fuel prices and the effects of the stronger U.S. dollar and the same store sale figures look quite different. On a constant currency basis excluding fuel, comps increased 4% in the U.S., 10% in Canada and 6% internationally for a total company average of 5%.
 
The sales strength translated to net income of $546 million, or $1.24 a share, down $598 million, or $1.35 a share, in the fourth quarter the prior year. However, these numbers are not as they seem as the prior year’s profit figure on an adjusted basis was $1.25 due to a non-recurring tax issue. Profits were negatively affected by expenses which grew at a faster rate than sales and contributed to the company’s earnings per share falling four cents shy of analysts’ consensus estimate of $1.28.
 
Expense pressures will persist in the back half of the company fiscal year as Costco said it would increase its starting wage to $13 to $13.50 an hour from $11.50 to $12 an hour.
 
The company ended the quarter with a worldwide network of 698 warehouses, consisting of 488 U.S. locations, 90 in Canada, 36 in Mexico, 27 in the United Kingdom, 24 in Japan, 12 in Korea, 11 in Taiwain, eight in Australia and two in Spain.
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