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Safeway wins award from Ore.-based craft brewer

BY Alaric DeArment

PORTLAND, Ore. — Independent brewer Craft Brew Alliance gave Safeway one of its Retailer of the Year awards at its inaugural annual conference for beer wholesalers in Las Vegas earlier this week, the company said.

CBA said the Retailer of the Year Awards recognize retailers that have contributed to the company’s sales growth and demand for its products. Safeway was named the off-premise retailer of the year, while restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings was named on-premise retailer of the year.

CBA’s brands include Omission Brewing and Square Mile Cider Co., as well as Redhood Brewery, Kona Brewing Co. and Widmer Brothers Brewing.

“Our retailers play a critical role in driving consumer awareness and demand for our distinctive, great-tasting beers, and we’re thrilled to honor Buffalo Wild Wings and Safeway for their outstanding support,” CBA VP national sales operations Derek Hahm said. “Whether it’s through Buffalo Wild Wings’ eagerness to be first to market Redhook’s Game Changer to millions of wings, beer and sports fans, or through innovative in-store programming with Safeway, both of these retailers demonstrated exceptional support, and we wanted to find a special way to recognize their contributions.”

 

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Progresso gives mainstream flavors a twist with new Artisan Soups line

BY Rebecca Haughey

MINNEAPOLIS — Progresso has expanded its soup offerings with a new line of Artisan Soups that feature a new repertoire of ingredients in five  varieties.

The soups incorporate simple ingredients, such as kale, and unique spice blends, including Masala curry and coconut milk, to offer original twists on classic soup varieties. The Artisan Soups line includes two vegetable bisques — Creamy Tomato with Roasted Red Peppers and Masala Curry Butternut Squash — and three "hearty" soups — Rustic Tomato with Chicken and Dumplings, Creamy Potato with Sausage and Kale, and Smoky White Bean and Winter Vegetables.

"I’m so excited we’re featuring vegetables like fire-roasted red peppers, butternut squash and wonderful root vegetables like turnips and parsnips in this new line of soups," said Progresso culinary expert Heidi Teoh, who led the development of the new line.

The Artisan Soups also are the first ready-to-serve soup line from Progresso to be available in a Tetra Pak carton, which better preserves the freshness and flavor of the ingredients, according to the company. The cartons make recycling easier, too, as they are constructed mainly from paper, and 70% of Tetra Pak cartons are made from selectively harvested and regrown trees.

Artisan Soups are available in grocery stores along the Eastern Seaboard from Southern Florida to Maine and can be found for a suggested retail price of $2.99 for a 17.6- or 17.2-oz. carton.
 

 

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Peapod offers fresh, aquaponic produce to Chicagoland customers

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO — Peapod is offering customers in the Chicago area organic produce from a local, indoor urban farming company, shortly after its announcement of a new pickup location near the city.

The online grocer said its Chicagoland customers would be able to buy salad mixes, arugula, basil, mint and others from Farmedhere. Farmedhere uses aquaponic growing techniques that combine hydroponics with aquaculture.

"Locally grown is the way to go," Peapod VP merchandising Tony Stallone said. "At Peapod, we support the farm-to-shelf movement, and Farmedhere’s fresh, flavorful greens — sourced within 15 miles and 24 hours of harvest — will be a welcome addition to our online produce aisles."

Farmedhere uses a growing process that does not use chemicals, pesticides or soil, planting indoors in vertically stacked beds with nutrient-enhanced, recycled water. According to Peapod, the controlled environment optimizes plant growth and allows a crop success rate of 90% or more. The company uses compostable packaging that includes 95% less packaging while prolonging the freshness of the produce.

In other news, Peapod announced the opening of a Peapod Pick-Up location in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, Ill., which follows pilot locations in the suburbs of Palatine, Deerfield and Lincolnshire. The location, which opened on Sept. 24, allows customers to order groceries online and schedule a pickup for the next day or beyond; Peapod employees meet customers at the location and then load their groceries for them.

Peapod also offers pickup locations in the Northeast, in partnership with the supermarket chains Stop & Shop, Giant-Carlisle and Giant-Landover, which are owned by parent company Ahold USA.

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