Safeway Rings in 2012 with Private Brands

Pleasanton, California-based grocer Safeway announced that entertaining and design expert Debi Lilly, has teamed up with Safeway, and Jeff Anderson, executive chef of Safeway’s Culinary Kitchens, to offer tips and savings to make it easy for shoppers to plan a memorable New Year’s Eve party. Shoppers have said they are “stressed” about sticking to holiday entertaining budgets, and eager for ideas and solutions to help create an extraordinary but economical midnight affair.

Tips to Host and Toast
Hosting a stunning New Year’s Eve ‘cocktails and sweets’ bar in a monochromatic theme of white will delight guests and help entertain affordably this year. Safeway’s debi lilly design, an exclusive Private Brand collection of contemporary scented candles, elegant vases and beautiful floral arrangements and bouquets, is perfect to set the theme and mood of your event; shoppers will be proud hosts of this elegant affair when incorporating the elements of the collection with the sweets being served.

“As a working mom, I understand how busy this time of year can be,” said Lilly. “With my new collection paired with simple tips, Safeway provides everything customers need to create an affordable, unforgettable, and effortless New Year’s Eve.”

Lilly’s tips for a memorable New Year’s Eve buffet:

  • Use debi lilly design Elegant Candle Holders to add an extra element of depth and set the mood as you get ready to ring in the New Year with your loved ones.
  • Revamp your traditional glassware by customizing each glass with debi lilly design Double Faced Satin Ribbon in Taupe.
  • Dress the buffet line with several groupings of debi lilly design Unscented Candles ($4.99 to $11.99), an easy way to add a touch of romance to New Year’s Eve festivities.
  • Sprinkle white rose petals along the edge of the display to add an element of softness and romance to your design.

Ring (and toast!) in Good Cheer
While these subtle decor accents are an easy way to add style to your New Year’s Eve party, Chef Jeff has also developed refreshing cocktail and mocktail recipes including Private Brand ingredients, available on Safeway’s Holiday Inspirations site, to add dimension beyond the traditional beverage of choice, champagne.

“I like to toast to my loved ones at midnight with cocktails or mocktails that can be made from Safeway branded ingredients,” said Jeff Anderson, executive chef of Safeway’s Culinary Kitchens. “Products like O Organics Organic Frozen Raspberries make for a tasty Kir Royale, Safeway Seltzer Water gives a Pomegranate Rickey a festive fizz and Eating Right Cranberry-Raspberry Juice Cocktail Light brings the focus in for a delicious non-alcoholic Cranberry-Raspberry Spritzer. Hosts do not need to stress by going to specialty stores when all the ingredients can be found affordably at Safeway.”

Cocktails or mocktails, shoppers can enjoy these recipes in the New Year:

Kir Royale
1 O Organics Organic Frozen (or fresh) Raspberry
2 Tablespoons creme de cassis
1/2 cup champagne or sparkling wine

Directions: Place 1 raspberry in a champagne or wine glass. Add 2 tablespoons chilled creme de cassis and 1/2 cup chilled champagne or sparkling wine.

Tip: If you add in frozen berries, use your leftovers to create a delicious smoothie on January 1, 2012 – a healthy and delicious way to start the New Year.

Pomegranate Rickey 
1 cup 100% pure pomegranate juice
1 cup Safeway Granulated Sugar
1 cup gin
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
6 cups Safeway Seltzer Water, chilled
Fresh pomegranate seeds, for garnish (optional)
Ice cubes

Directions: Pomegranate syrup: In a medium saucepan, combine juice and sugar over medium heat. Stir constantly for 2 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Raise heat slightly and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes; immediately remove from heat. Refrigerate until cool, at least 15 minutes. Can be prepared and chilled, covered, up to 3 days ahead.

To prepare cocktails, combine 2 tablespoons each pomegranate syrup and gin, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in each of 8 tall glasses. Stir. Fill glasses with ice and 6 ounces of chilled seltzer. Garnish with pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately.

Tip: To prepare non-alcoholic Rickey’s, simply substitute the straight pomegranate juice (not the syrup) for the gin.

Cranberry-Raspberry Spritzer
5 cups Eating Right Cranberry-Raspberry Juice Cocktail Light
2/3 cup Grenadine
5 cups Safeway SELECT Lemon-Lime Seltzer or Soda
1 lemon

Directions: In a 3 to 31/2-quart pitcher, mix 5 cups Eating Right Cranberry-Raspberry Juice Cocktail Light and 2⁄3 cup grenadine. Add 5 cups Safeway SELECT Lemon-Lime Seltzer or Soda (see tip below) and 1 lemon (about 5 oz.), rinsed and thinly sliced (ends discarded). Pour into 12 oz., ice-filled glasses.

Tip: Add mineral water or soda just before serving. For an adult version, add 3 to 4 tablespoons of vodka or Campari to each glass.

What about the Wine? Safeway Holiday Promotion
After the cocktails and sweets’ bar is set, a starter glass of wine can help hosts unwind before guests arrive to ring in the New Year. To bring warmth and good cheer to the year-end, Safeway is offering 30 percent off all wines priced $20.00 or more (excludes sparkling and champagne). Stock up through January 8,2012 at Safeway stores (all divisions excluding: Denver, Eastern and Genuardi’s) and you’ll be set to entertain well past January 1, 2012.  Shoppers with a Club Card will receive an additional 10 percent savings when six bottles or more are purchased. Shoppers can also utilize the online Store Locator to help find a Beverage Steward for recommendations on pairings, availability and special orders. With over 1,000 varietals to choose from, you’re sure to find a delicious wine to fit your budget.

For more information on helpful tips and ideas for ending the year in style, visit Safeway’s Holiday Inspirations site.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.