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CVS’ Merlo to kick off Network of Executive Women’s Leadership Summit

BY Antoinette Alexander

CHICAGO Larry Merlo, president and COO of CVS Caremark and president of CVS/pharmacy, will kick off the Network of Executive Women’s Leadership Summit in Charlotte, N.C., in September.

The event will be held Sept. 27 to 29 at the Westin Charlotte. Merlo will welcome more than 700 Network members at the Summit’s opening reception on Sept. 27.

The event will “provide tools to help CPG/retail executives transform their careers, lives and companies to better profit from the consumer industry’s ‘new normal,'” according to the Network, which is the consumer products and retail industry’s largest diversity organization.

The three-day event will also include three SuperSessions, featuring Bill Fournet, corporate strategist and president and CEO of the Persimmon Group; Kevin Coupe, journalist, author and industry blogger at MorningNewsBeat.com; and DeLores Pressley, a consultant and coach specializing in building relationships.

Founded in 2001, the Network of Executive Women, Consumer Products and Retail Industry, has more than 3,000 members from more than 400 companies and 66 corporate sponsors.

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Hostess debuts Breakfast Classics

BY Allison Cerra

IRVING, Texas Hostess is getting sweet on breakfast.

New Hostess Breakfast Classics are designed for on-the-go consumers. The new line includes:

  • Twin pack blueberry muffins
  • Twin pack chocolate chip muffins
  • Cinnamon rolls
  • Glazed honey buns
  • Jumbo honey buns
  • Berry and cheese danishes
  • Cheese danishes
  • Iced cheese danishes
  • Apple danishes
  • Bear claws

“For consumers on the go, Hostess Breakfast Classics offer convenient and delicious options that deliver the fresh, great taste consumers look for in our products,” said Mike Touhey, VP snack marketing at Hostess.

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Kettle introduces Tias! tortilla chips

BY Allison Cerra

SAN FRANCISCO Diamond Foods’ Kettle brand is expanding to include all-natural tortilla chips.

New Kettle Tias! line will be offered in six flavors, including salsa picante, zesty ranch, nacho cheddar, toasted corn, sweet Baja barbeque and chili con queso. The entire line is made of certified organic corn, expeller pressed oil and all-natural seasonings.

“Kettle Brand Tias! is a strong opportunity for our company to leverage the innovation strength of the Kettle brand and place it into an adjacent segment. The natural tortilla chip segment is 40% larger than the natural potato chip segment,” said Michael Mendes, chairman, president and CEO of Diamond Foods.

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