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Fresh & Easy slows expansion plans for the United States

BY Jenna Duncan

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. Fresh & Easy, the grocery chain operated by U.K.’s Tesco corporation that was slated to move into more California and West Coast markets by February, has announced that it will curb development of many stores, the company announced on Wednesday.

Tim Mason, chief executive officer of Fresh & Easy, said that due to the uncertainty of growth in the U.S. market for the remainder of 2008 and looking forward, the openings of 200 U.S. Fresh & Easy stores will be pushed to November 2009.

Tesco said that it had taken the decision because of the wider economy rather than because of concerns about how its stores were performing.

Tesco said that there was no doubt the U.S. economy was in a different place than it was when the company originally released plans for expansion. It said that initially its plans were to accelerate growth by the second quarter 2008, but now will delay plans for growth.

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Stop & Shop expands holdings with conversion of two C&S stores

BY Jenna Duncan

QUINCY, Mass. Stop & Shop this week announced that it has agreed to buy out two Massachusetts Grand Union Family Markets stores and switch them to the Stop & Shop namesake.

The Grand Union in Provincetown, Mass., as well as the Ro-Jack’s in Seekonk, Mass. Will close in December for updates and reopen as Stop & Shop locations in time for the holidays, Stop & Shop said.

C&S Wholesale Grocers, based in Keene, N.H., has been operating the Grand Union store in Provincetown since its 2001 acquisition and the Ro-Jack’s store in a 2003 asset exchange with Supervalu.

C&S is also the supplier to Massachusetts area Stop & Shop stores.

 

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Commerical Bakeries partners with Ganeden to develop probiotic cookies

BY Michael Johnsen

TORONTO Commercial Bakeries, manufacturer of private label cookie products in the United States and Canada, on Wednesday announced a partnership with Ganeden Biotech on the development of a variety of probiotic-enhanced cookie products.

“For the first time, we have the ability to produce baked goods with the added benefit of powerful, health-promoting probiotics,” said Phillip Fusco, vice president of Commercial Bakeries Corp. “Probiotics aren’t limited to the yogurt section any longer.”

“The ability to bake cookies and other products with probiotics is something that was unheard of until recently,” said Mike Bush, vice president for business development for Ganeden Biotech.

Ganeden Biotech’s patented probiotic, GanedenBC30, is the only commercially available probiotic strain that can survive baking and other manufacturing processes, Ganeden asserted. The ability of the probiotic strain to survive harsh manufacturing conditions makes it ideal for inclusion in shelf-stable, baked good products, such as cookies.

Commercial Bakeries Corp. produces an assortment of cookie varieties, including sandwich cream, wire cut and rotary cookies, for private labels in the United States and Canada.

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