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Ralcorp taps former Kraft VP to be president of Post Foods

BY Jenna Duncan

ST. LOUIS Ralcorp Holdings today announced that it has asked Stephen Van Tassel corporate to join Post Foods as corporate vice president and president of its Post Foods business. Van Tassel will report to co-chief executive officer and president of Ralcorp, David Skarie.

Van Tassel joined the Ralcorp team in Aug. 4 during the purchase of the Post Foods business from Kraft. At Kraft he served as vice president of marketing for Post Cereal in North America. According to reports, Ralcorp purchased post for $2.6 billion.

Ralcorp is the maker of cereals, crackers, cookies, dressings, frozen bakery products, snacks and sauces, as well as syrups and jellies.

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Safeway announces its Q3 earnings for 2008

BY Jenna Duncan

PLEASANTON, Calif. Safeway today reported a net income total of $199.7 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, for 2008’s third quarter. This total compares to its net income for the same time 2007, $194.6 million, or $0.44 per diluted share.

Safeway said that its total sales were up by 3.9 percent, totaling $10.2 billion for the third quarter 2008, up from last year’s third quarter total of $9.8 billion. The company said that the rise was caused by profits from Safeway’s Lifestyle stores as well as an increase in fuel prices. Same-store sales were up 2.8 percent with fuel (0.5 percent not considering fuel).

“During the third quarter we took action to provide our customers with better everyday values,” chairman, chief executive officer and presiden, Steve Burd, said in a statement. “As we begin the fourth quarter, our sales momentum is building, with identical-store sales (excluding fuel) currently above 1.5 percent, and we are continuing to reduce costs. We continue to believe our diluted earnings per share for 2008 will be in the range of $2.25 to $2.35 for this 53-week year.”

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Meijer adds bulk groceries to its list of online shopping items

BY Jenna Duncan

HOLLAND, Mich. Meijer grocery chain has announced the start of its Grocery By The Case bulk shopping program online.

More than 2,000 dry goods and groceries have been added to the Web site and free delivery is offered for orders over $150, the company has said.

Meijer said it is expanding its bulk offerings to better compete with bulk chain stores, such as Costco and Sam’s Club. It will offer a special discounted delivery charge to elderly customers every other Friday for $3.

Online grocery shopping at Meijer is available at www.meijer.com.

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