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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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Kettle Foods releases sea salt and vinegar baked potato chips

BY Melissa Valliant

SALEM, Ore. Beginning in January, supermarkets and natural food stores will be offering Kettle Foods new Sea Salt & Vinegar Baked Potato Chips in 4-ounce bags for about $3.79.

The new chips combine a tangy vinegar taste with a touch of sea salt and are made from whole potato slices, oil and all natural seasonings. Adhering to Kettle Foods’ commitment to all-natural, healthy snacks, the new product contains no trans fat, MSG, artificial colors or flavors, gluten or preservatives. All ingredients are natural and non-GMO. The snack contains 65 percent less fat than regular potato chips and only 120 calories per serving.

Kettle Foods guarantees great taste, despite the low fat and calorie content. In fact, the company is backing their guarantee with the Snackback Flavor Guarantee in which consumers can return an opened bag of Kettle Brand Baked Potato Chips for the original Kettle Brand Potato Chips if they are unsatisfied with their original purchase.

“Our new Baked Chips are loaded with flavor so consumers can finally hold a healthier snack to a higher standard,” said Julie Dunmire, brand director for Kettle Foods. “Kettle Brand fans will enjoy the same delicious, all natural potato chip, just baked for 65 percent less fat‹we promise.”

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Coors Light sweepstakes offers trips to Super Bowl XLIII

BY Jenna Duncan

MILWAUKEE, Wis. Coors Light is currently running a sweepstakes promotion that offers the chance for one of three pairs of tickets, plus travel and room expenses, to next year’s Super Bowl XLIII. Two addition trips to two Super Bowl XLIV, to be held in 2010, are also available as prizes, Coors Brewing Company said.

The sweepstakes is being promoted in English and Spanish-language packages of Coors and Coors Light “banquet-vented” wide mouth cans and “cold-activated” bottles.

For TV spots, Coors will continue “Coaches” ad campaign airing Super Bowl messages from Mike Ditka and Barry Switzer will begin to air. The spot with Coach Ditka airs Dec. 12 and the TV ad with Switzer is set to debut  Jan. 3. 

“Every NFL fan dreams of experiencing the Super Bowl in-person, and Coors Light is the only beer that can make that dream a reality,” Lee Dolan, vice president of marketing for Coors Light, said. 

Players can enter by texting or entering online access codes found on specially marketed packages of Coors and Coors Light. Consumers over the age of 21 can register online at http://www.coorslight.com/superbowl/ to enter the contest, or text their entry numbers to 42653 (4COLD) for a chance to win. A drawing will be held on Jan. 13 for the Super Bowl XLIII trips and another drawing for trips to the Super Bowl XLIV is scheduled for Feb. 3.

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