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Widespread ad campaign released for first all-natural, zero-calorie sweetener

BY Melissa Valliant

MINNETONKA, Minn. Cargill, an international provider of food, agricultural and risk management products and services, is launching an aggressive ad campaign for Truvia, the first natural, no-calorie sweetener made from the stevia leaf. Calorie-conscious consumers have been using no- and low-calorie sweeteners like Splenda and Sweet’n Low for a while now, but both of these products are artificially engineered.

Truvia will be debuting on national network and cable TV, national consumer print publications and women- and wellness-focused Web sites. Respected commercial director Mikon van Gastel, who has directed ads for Nike, IBM, Reebok, Olympus, Absolut and Target, among others, will be directing four 30-second TV spots for the new product. The ads will include close-up shots of the stevia leaf, conveying to consumers the sweetener’s purity.  

“Through research, we found that consumers are trying to live more balanced lives but have a complicated relationship with sweeteners,” said Zanna McFerson, director at Cargill Health and Nutrition. “The marketing campaign to launch Truvia tabletop sweetener is designed to inform consumers that for the first time, there is a natural great-tasting zero calorie sweetener that comes from a leaf, not a lab.”

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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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Delhaize makes Stefan Descheemaeker new CFO

BY Melissa Valliant

BRUSSELS, Belgium Major food retailer Delhaize last week announced the hiring of Stefan Descheemaeker as its new CFO, effective Jan. 5.

Forty-eight-year-old Descheemaeker previously worked for Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, spending the past 12 years witnessing its growth. Initially known as Interbrew when Descheemaeker joined the company in 1996, the brewer has only recently become Anheuser-Busch Inbev. It merged with Brazil’s AmBev in 2004 and bought Anheuser-Busch this year.

Pierre-Olivier Beckers, Delhaize’s president and chief executive officer, expects Descheemaeker’s experience in Europe and North America to benefit the company. Descheemaeker will be replacing Craig Owens, who left Delhaize in September.

 

“Stefan’s leadership and drive are outstanding. He has large general management experience on both sides of the Atlantic and extensive financial know-how,” Beckers said.

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