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Target taps grocery veteran to drive food reinvention

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS — Target announced on Monday the appointment of grocery veteran Anne Dament to the role of SVP, merchandising. In this role, she will be responsible for leading the strategic repositioning of Target’s food business.

Dament brings more than 19 years of grocery and consumer packaged goods experience to the role. She started her career in food, as a buyer at Supervalu and then at Safeway where she held various category and sales management positions. Later she led Safeway’s Homecare and GM business operations, where she worked closely with a variety of consumer packaged goods partners and focused on the company’s global buying strategy. In her final role at Safeway, she served as group VP, perishable strategy, where she introduced newness in assortments and merchandising, including meal solutions and grab-and-go options.

Dament’s background also includes positions at ConAgra Foods subsidiary Grist Mill Co. and Otis Spunkmeyer. She joins Target from PetSmart, where she most recently served as VP, services.

Target leadership previously announced the company will reposition its approach to food over the next 12 to 18 months. Based on guest insights, focus areas will include making better-for-you options simple and attainable, providing meal solutions and offering unique selections for everyday occasions as well as entertaining.   

“Our guests tell us they expect Target to inspire them with differentiated food offerings like we do in other areas. We have an opportunity to make food more reflective of our brand, elevate the shopping experience and make Target a food destination for our guests. Having previously worked alongside Anne, I know her industry expertise and proven ability to reinvigorate existing businesses make her the right leader to drive our reinvention,” stated Target chairman and CEO Brian Cornell.  

“My very first job was in a local grocery store and I’ve had a passion for food ever since. Joining the team at Target gives me an opportunity to bring my professional experience and love of food to the organization as their transformation is just getting underway,” stated Dament. “I’m excited to return home to Minnesota and work alongside great leaders for such an iconic brand.”

Target’s food reinvention will emphasize six key categories that resonate most with its guests: better-for-you snacks, coffee and tea, premium sauces and oils, specialty candy, wine and craft beer, and yogurt and granola. It will also expand the availability of natural, organic, locally grown and gluten-free choices to fit guests’ wellness-focused lifestyles. Work on the reinvention is underway, with the most significant changes slated to arrive in stores in 2016.
 

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Auntie Anne’s expands product line

BY Ryan Chavis

LANCASTER, Pa. — Auntie Anne’s, a soft-pretzel franchise, on Monday revealed that it’s introducing an expanded collection of retail pretzel products just in time for National Pretzel Day on April 26.

The line is now available in grocery and mass-market stores across the countries and now includes Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Pocket Sandwiches.

 
“We are so proud to be sharing this news with Auntie Anne’s fans in time for National Pretzel Day,” said Kat Cole, group president of Focus Brands, parent company of Auntie Anne’s. “Our awesome fans appreciate convenience and wholesome, quality ingredients, so they will ‘eat up’ these new prepare-at-home products. The new retail line brings the fresh-baked taste and aroma we’re known for right into their kitchens.”
 
In addition to the sandwiches, the collection includes Auntie Anne’s original Soft Pretzels and Pretzel Nuggets — available in classic and cinnamon sugar varieties — as well as the Pretzel Dogs. Each package of soft pretzels and pretzel nuggets comes with individual pretzel butter and salt or cinnamon sugar packets. 

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Mountain Dew brings back Blast

BY Ryan Chavis

PURCHASE, N.Y. — Mountain Dew has some great news for fans of its Mtn Dew Baja Blast beverage: The oft-requested flavor will be available in bottles again for spring and summer 2015, beginning April 20. And for the first time, Mtn Dew Sangrita Blast, a citrus-punch beverage available only at Taco Bell will also be available for a limited time in bottles and cans. 
 
"Mountain Dew has always been committed to having ongoing conversations with our loyal fans and really listening to what they want," said Greg Lyons, VP of marketing, Mountain Dew. "After seeing the excitement DEW Nation had with last year's surprise announcement of Mtn Dew Baja Blast coming to shelves, there was no question we had to bring it back."
 
The two beverages are only available while supplies last. Baja Blast made its debut over a decade ago as an exclusive beverage at Taco Bell. According to the brand, it’s the second largest and fastest growing beverage sold at Taco Bell, amassing more than $1 billion in sales since it was first introduced. 
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