“We created an elevated, premium design that cues appetite appeal and presents the product in an artfully striking way. The unique sculptural composition for each flavor celebrates the inherent quality of the ingredients and the clean aesthetic delivers delight. From the joyful colors highlighting the flavor names and corresponding lids, to the simple type treatments, the overall package commands an unexpected and exciting presence within the frozen dessert section.”
Pleasanton, California based grocer Safeway has opened voting for the Eighth Annual Lucerne The Art of Dairy contest. Talented student finalists brought this years theme “ImaginDairy” to life on life-size fiberglass cows and are one step closer to the Grand Prize of $20,000 for their school\’s art department. “ImaginDairy Places” is all about taking imagination to the next level and re-imagining the world made entirely of dairy. Voting for the top design will take place through May 17th at www.artofdairy.com.
This year’s finalists are:
- Rachel R., Sehome High School, Bellingham, WA.
- Yul J., La Veta High School, La Veta, CO
- Sierra N., Sandy High School, Sandy, OR
- Kayla A., Northwest Christian School, Phoenix, AZ
- Gissella M., Weber Institute, Stockton, CA
- Melissa P., Tinley Park High School, Tinley Park, IL
- Riley K., Loudoun Valley High School, Purcellville, VA
- Nhung (Julie) L., South Grand Prairie High School, Grand Prairie, TX
- Hagen A., Northwest Career and Technical Academy, Las Vegas, NV
Safeway is encouraging voting by giving away Safeway gift cards, every 100,000th voter will receive a $100 Safeway gift card, through 1 million votes. As of today there have been 494,814 votes cast. Consumers may enter to win by participating in the “Lucerne Little Tweet. Big Treat.” contest and by tweeting a picture of their favorite Lucerne product with the hashtag #artofdairy for a chance to win one of 10 $100 gift cards.
Pleasanton, California-based grocer Safeway presented it’s plans for 2013 at its annual investors conference this past Wednesday March 6, 2013. The plans focused heavily on the evolution of the store and the Safeway retail brand and of course the Private Brand Portfolio. Executive’s participating included: Melissa C. Plaisance – Senior Vice President of Finance & Investor Relations. Steven A. Burd – Executive Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Executive Committee, Robert A. Gordon – Chief Governance Officer, Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel, Diane M. Dietz – Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, William Y. Tauscher – Independent Director and Member of Executive Committee and Robert L. Edwards – President
Steven Burd CEO of Safeway laid out this vision: “Today, we\’re a supermarket company. We\’re a grocer, if you will, selling wellness services and wellness products. I think in 10 years\’ time, we [indiscernible] part of more of a wellness company selling food…This should be the highest growth piece of our business for the next 10 years, and I think Safeway can own the wellness space.”
Chief Marketing Officer Diane Dietz spoke to attendees about strategy, Private Brands and differentiation:
“I want to touch on our strategy and how that guides all of the work that we do within this organization. At the end of the day, it\’s about building loyalty. It’s about creating unique brands that have our shoppers want to come to our store because they can\’t get the brand anywhere else. And so we are very focused on innovation. And I guess the key point I wanted to make as I kind of list off the strategies, many times, you think about private label and I remember thinking of this when I worked at P&G is that retailers are just going to knock off the brand that we launched. That\’s not what Safeway is about. We are about true innovation versus replication. We actually look at trends. We try to meet our consumers\’ needs in a unique way, and we are not about replicating the national brand.”
And she even got to the core advantage that a retailer has over CPG’s the ability to build a brand that solves customer problems, crosses multiple categories and is not restricted by manufacturing capabilities
“We try to build lifestyle brands. You\’ve heard this term before. What does it mean, a lifestyle brand? A lifestyle brand is a brand that it\’s such big idea, it can go across multiple categories. And I\’ll talk a little bit about that. And that\’s again a unique competitive advantage. Many of the CPGs, they\’re in a brand world and a brand silo. They\’re not thinking about how they take that brand across multiple categories because often, they are just — they have their brand lens on.
Health and wellness is growing. It\’s an important segment. As Steve talked about it, it\’s a cornerstone of what Safeway is about, and our private-label business innovates and focuses on health and wellness. We have also spent a lot of time focused on our quality. One of the things again from my background as we use to call it, a moment of truth when your consumer tried your product. It may look great on the shelf, it may have beautiful packaging, but at the end of the day, it\’s when that consumer experiences your product. When the mom uses the diaper that you made, when the consumer tasted the new cereal that you launched doesn\’t live up to the quality standards that they expect. If it doesn\’t, you won\’t get them back, they won\’t be loyal. And it\’s our brand with our name, so that quality has to rise to the level that delights our shoppers.”
Not to mention differentiation:
“Today, I want to talk a little bit about where we\’re focused on differentiated offering. Obviously, we\’re focused on high-growth segments: Health and wellness, organics, open nature, eating right fits into that. We have efforts underway on Hispanic.”
And the Culinary Center (I would love to visit this)
“So what defines the success? Why do we feel good about what we\’re doing? I thought it might be interesting for you to see kind of how we believe we have driven this success, and the first thing I would say is for those of you who attended the culinary center, hopefully, you are impressed, and you weren\’t necessarily impressed just by the facility. For me, it\’s about the people that are in the facility. It\’s not about the kitchen. This group of chefs has over 125 years of restaurant experience. They were trained by chefs like Wolfgang Puck, Julia Child. Pretty amazing. They\’re not over there just taste-testing, they\’re actually developing new products. They know the trends in food. So again, this is a competitive advantage.”
As well as leveraging and managing a portfolio of BRANDS that speak to different target customers and consumer needs.
“We have a very balanced portfolio. This may surprise many folks, but we appeal across all income. We\’ve got a very strong business and a high household penetration with folks making below $30,000, and we have a high penetration with folks making above $100,000. And often, what we hear is many of the brands are not even perceived as Private Label. Open Nature, for example, most people think it\’s a national brand that\’s out there, again, based on the innovation we brought. We focused on kind of core consumer needs: convenience, nutrition, value and experiential.
We have lifestyle brands that range from value brands and really target towards the value shopper. We\’ve got premium brands. We have brands that go against specific target shoppers like Mom to Mom. So again, we\’ve built a house of brands that appeal to very diverse and different consumer targets.
Health and wellness continues to be an important area for us. These are kind of our 3 big brands in that space. They appeal to different target shoppers. In the U.S., over 70% of consumers are buying organic, either food or beverage, within the last year. It\’s a growing business. It\’s a growing brand. I\’ll touch on Open Nature and the success we\’ve had there. And then I\’ll talk a little bit about how we\’re repositioning the Eating Right brand. But in 2012, these 3 businesses represented over $750 million in sales.”
And she ended her section revealing the upcoming evolution of Eating Right to simplify the shopping experience for customers with specific health and eating mindsets (gluten free, calorie counters); the name shift of Primo Taglio to Primo and the repositioning and redesign of Safeway brands to elevate Safeway within the packaging and dramatically improve appetite appeal.
Source: Seeking Alpha
Minneapolis, Minnesota based SUPERVALU announced yesterday several changes to its executive and banner retail leadership teams, as it continues preparations to move forward with a focus on serving wholesale grocery operators, growing its hard discount format and running a smaller, more efficient retail operation following the close of its previously announced transaction with AB Acquisition LLC. That transaction is expected to be completed the week of March 18, 2013.
The announcement includes additions to SUPERVALU’s corporate leadership team as well as new presidents at Save-A-Lot and Shop ‘N Save. There will be additional announcements in the coming weeks as new president and chief executive officer Sam Duncan continues to finalize his leadership team.
Corporate Leadership Changes
Mark Van Buskirk has been named executive vice president, merchandising and marketing for SUPERVALU, where he will be responsible for overseeing companywide retail merchandising and marketing efforts, along with directing SUPERVALU’s Private Brand offerings and retail pharmacy teams. He spent the past 20 years in leadership positions with Kroger, most recently serving as vice president, meat and seafood merchandising and procurement.
Rob Woseth has been named executive vice president, chief strategy officer. In addition to overseeing real estate and corporate development, Woseth will focus on identifying strategic growth opportunities that support independent grocers, as well as working with banner leadership to build and maximize the company’s traditional and discount retail businesses. He spent the past 10 years in business development, strategy and leadership positions with Albertsons Inc. and Albertsons LLC.
Steve Fox has joined SUPERVALU in the role of senior vice president, food merchandising, reporting to Van Buskirk. He comes to SUPERVALU after spending 41 years in retail leadership positions with Fred Meyer, a division of Kroger. During his tenure with Fred Meyer, Fox spent 10 years as vice president of produce merchandising/procurement and 11 years as vice president of grocery merchandising/procurement.
All three appointments are effective immediately.
Casteel Named President and CEO at Save-A-Lot
Duncan also announced a leadership change at the company’s hard discount retail chain, appointing Ritchie Casteel as president and CEO of Save-A-Lot, effective immediately. Ritchie has more than 40 years of experience in retail, including over 30 years in a variety of leadership positions with the original Albertsons Inc, where he finished his tenure as vice president of operations for Albertsons’ Intermountain West Division.
Casteel also served as director of sales and operations for Grocery Outlet from 2005-2009 where he worked closely with independent owner operators to improve sales, margin, shrink, marketing, expense controls and financial balance. Casteel replaces Santiago Roces who will remain with the company over the next several weeks to assist Casteel in ensuring a smooth and efficient transition.
Banner Presidents Announced
Following the transaction, SUPERVALU will retain five strong regional retail banners: CUB Foods based in Minnesota; Hornbacher’s in North Dakota; Farm Fresh in Virginia; Shop ‘N Save in St. Louis; and Shoppers in Baltimore/Washington DC. Together these banners operate 191 traditional retail grocery stores and represent slightly more than 25 percent of the company’s anticipated revenues after the banner sale is complete. The five banner presidents will report directly to Duncan and serve on his leadership team.
Those appointments include:
- Eric Hymas has been named president of Shop ‘N Save, replacing Marlene Gebhard who will remain with the company over the next several weeks to assist Hymas in ensuring a smooth and efficient transition. Hymas most recently served as senior vice president of merchandising for SUPERVALU, which included responsibility for all categories across center store, as well as beverages, fuel and convenience, and fresh departments. Hymas has more than 30 years of experience in grocery retail having started his career in an Albertsons store in Idaho Falls, ID.
- Bill Parker has been named president, Farm Fresh, after serving for the past seven months in the role of interim president. His appointment is effective immediately.
- Brian Audette will continue as president of CUB Foods.
- Matt Leiseth will continue as president of Hornbacher’s.
- Bob Bly will continue as president of Shoppers.
Commenting on today’s announcement Duncan said, “We have much work to do, both today, and after the transaction closes, but I am pleased with the new leadership team we are assembling and know together we will work tirelessly to improve our business and increase shareholder value. I am energized by what I have seen every day and believe this company will be successful going forward.”
Departures from SUPERVALU
Duncan will name additional members of his leadership team in the near future. Today’s announcement also includes news of several current executives who will depart the company upon completion of the transaction. They include:
- Kevin Holt – president, SUPERVALU Retail
- Tim Lowe – executive vice president, merchandising
- Michael Moore – executive vice president and chief marketing officer
“I thank Kevin for his leadership over our retail teams, as well as Tim and Michael for the work they have done leading our retail merchandising and marketing efforts, respectively,” said Duncan. “They have helped ready the business for the future and I appreciate all they have done to ensure a smooth transition. I wish each of them well with their future endeavors.”
Beleaguered Minneapolis-based grocer and distributor SUPERVALU announced today a definitive agreement under which it will sell its Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s and Star Market stores and related Osco and Sav-on in-store pharmacies (collectively, the “Banners”) to AB Acquisition LLC (“AB Acquisition”), an affiliate of a Cerberus Capital Management L.P. (“Cerberus”)-led investor consortium which also includes Kimco Realty Corporation (NYSE: KIM), Klaff Realty LP, Lubert-Adler Partners and Schottenstein Real Estate Group, in a transaction valued at $3.3 billion.
It remains to be seen how this will impact the Supervalu owned Private Brands and the recent portfolio optimization and consolidation that led to the introduction of Essential Everyday.
“We are pleased to be making this investment and look forward to helping build long-term value for all stakeholders”
The sale will consist of the acquisition by AB Acquisition of the stock of New Albertsons, Inc. (“NAI”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SUPERVALU, which owns the Banners, for $100 million in cash (the “Sale”). NAI will be sold to AB Acquisition subject to approximately $3.2 billion in debt, which will be retained by NAI. As part of the transaction, which includes 877 stores across the Banners, AB Acquisition-owned Albertson’s LLC will reunite its Albertson’s stores with the acquired NAI Albertsons stores.
In addition to the Sale, within ten business days of today, a newly-formed acquisition entity owned by a Cerberus-led investor consortium (“Symphony Investors”) will conduct a tender offer for up to 30 percent of SUPERVALU’s outstanding common stock at a purchase price of $4.00 per share in cash (the “Tender Offer”). The Tender Offer represents a 50 percent premium to SUPERVALU’s thirty-day average closing share price as of January 9, 2013, and provides SUPERVALU’s shareholders with the opportunity to maintain an equity stake in SUPERVALU moving forward.
In the event that Symphony Investors does not obtain at least 19.9 percent of the outstanding shares of SUPERVALU common stock pursuant to the Tender Offer, SUPERVALU will be obligated to issue new shares of common stock to Symphony Investors (the “Issuance”) at the Tender Offer price such that after giving effect to the Tender Offer and the Issuance, Symphony Investors would own a number of shares representing at least 19.9 percent of SUPERVALU’s outstanding common stock prior to the Issuance. SUPERVALU also will have the option to issue to Symphony Investors additional new shares of SUPERVALU common stock at the Tender Offer price (the “Optional Issuance”), subject to (i) an overall cap of $250 million on Symphony Investors purchase of common stock pursuant to the Tender Offer, the Issuance and the Optional Issuance (collectively, the “Tender Offer Process”) and (ii) a total issuance of primary common shares of not more than 19.9 percent.
The transactions described above are subject to customary closing conditions, including the fully underwritten refinancing of certain SUPERVALU debt as described below. The closing of the Sale is also conditioned on among other things, the satisfaction of the conditions to the Tender Offer Process, and the closing of Symphony Investors acquisition of SUPERVALU common stock pursuant to the Tender Offer Process is conditioned on, among other things, closing of the Sale. Closing of the Sale and the Tender Offer Process (together the “Transactions”) is expected to occur in the first calendar quarter of 2013. The Transactions are not subject to shareholder approval.
Management and Governance
Following the closing of the Transactions, SUPERVALU will be headed by grocery retail veteran Sam Duncan, as President and Chief Executive Officer, replacing current President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Wayne Sales. In addition, effective upon the closing of the transactions, five current SUPERVALU directors will resign. Immediately following the closing of the transactions, the size of the Board will be reduced to seven members from the current ten members. This seven member Board will consist of five current SUPERVALU directors and two Board members designated by Symphony Investors, one of whom is Robert Miller, current President and CEO of Albertson’s LLC, who will serve as non-executive Chairman of the Board. Following the completion of a search process, the Board will be increased to a size of eleven directors, with the four new directors to consist of (i) Sam Duncan, (ii) an additional director appointed by Symphony Investors, and (iii) two additional independent Board members to be selected by the initial seven directors.
The New SUPERVALU
Following the Sale, SUPERVALU will consist of the Independent Business, a leading food wholesaler which serves 1,950 stores across the country; Save-A-Lot, the largest hard discount grocery chain in the United States, with approximately 1,300 stores; and SUPERVALU’s leading regional retail food banners Cub, Farm Fresh, Shoppers, Shop ‘n Save and Hornbacher’s. As such, SUPERVALU is expected to generate annual revenues in excess of $17 billion. Key elements of SUPERVALU’s go-forward business plan include continued focus on right-sizing operations and maximizing efficiencies across the Company.
SUPERVALU and AB Acquisition also will enter into a Transition Services Agreement pursuant to which the parties will provide each other with various services.
In connection with the Transactions, SUPERVALU has negotiated a new and fully underwritten $900 million asset based revolving credit facility led by Wells Fargo and a $1.5 billion term loan secured by a portion of the Company’s real estate and an equity pledge of Moran Foods, LLC (the parent entity of the Save-A-Lot business) led by Goldman Sachs Bank USA, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays. The proceeds of these financings will be used to replace the existing $1.65 billion asset-based revolving credit facility, the existing $846 million term loan, and to call and refinance $490 million of 7.5 percent bonds scheduled to mature in November 2014.
Successful Culmination of Strategic Review Process; Ongoing SUPERVALU Operations Better Positioned for Future
In commenting on the definitive agreement, Mr. Sales said: “The transactions announced today represent the successful culmination of the in-depth strategic review process we commenced this past summer. Following the Sale, SUPERVALU will have three strong, market-leading business units with more consistent cash flows and improved EBITDA growth potential. Symphony Investors\’ tender offer provides our shareholders with an attractive premium to recent trading values of our shares and they will acquire an equity stake in a newly refocused SUPERVALU with solid long-term prospects. At the same time, the stores being sold to AB Acquisition are complementary to Albertson’s LLC’s current operations, which are focused primarily on traditional retail grocery.”
Mr. Duncan said: “I am excited by the opportunity to lead SUPERVALU. The Company has very solid market positions and I see great potential in our ability to successfully build on each of these three core businesses.” Duncan continued, “The Independent Business is one of the largest food wholesalers in the United States, serving many of the country’s most successful independent operators. Save-A-Lot is the nation’s largest hard discount grocer, providing the Company an important presence in this fast growing segment of food retail. Additionally, the Company’s streamlined retail operation consists of five strong regional banners. I’m looking forward to working with SUPERVALU’s team members to quickly and effectively improve the Company’s business.”
Mr. Miller said: “As Chairman of SUPERVALU’s reconstituted Board, working closely with Sam Duncan and the SUPERVALU management team, we will focus on strengthening the Company’s market leading positions and delivering compelling value to our shareholders. Sam, whom I had the pleasure of working with at Fred Meyer, is an extremely talented retail executive, with more than 40 years of experience in retail, including turnarounds. He is well positioned to build upon the foundation Wayne Sales laid for improved performance. In addition, the acquisition by Symphony Investors of up to 30 percent of the Company is a strong vote of confidence in the future of SUPERVALU. I share their strong belief in the Company’s future potential.”
“We are pleased to be making this investment and look forward to helping build long-term value for all stakeholders,” said Lenard Tessler, Co-Head of Global Private Equity and Senior Managing Director at Cerberus. “We believe these transactions will create stronger, more competitive businesses.”