Safeway and Celebrity Chef Marcela Valladolid Celebrate the Real Taste of Mexico

\"MarcelaPleasanton, California, based grocer Safeway has collaborated with Food Network host, top-selling cookbook author and hard-working mom Marcela Valladolid has to create the Marcela Valladolid brand. The new Safeway-exclusive Marcela Valladolid brand offers a wide assortment of quality and flavorful food products that make it easy for shoppers to bring home a real taste of Mexico. Marcela Valladolid products, made exclusively for Safeway, will be on shelves in over 1,400 Safeway stores nationwide beginning in September 2013.

\"mexican-made-easy-cookbook\"“Growing up in Mexico, I know what real Mexican food is — and isn\’t,\” said Marcela Valladolid. \”I\’m passionate about holding on to my heritage and sharing it with family and friends, and cooking is a great way to do this. Now, together with Safeway, I am bringing millions of people my favorite Mexican foods and flavors, rooted in tradition, but made easier for our busy lives.”

The Marcela Valladolid brand will offer dozens of products across the store, ranging from ready-to-cook meats and delicious tortillas to bold and flavorful snacks. Paired together, Marcela Valladolid products provide a wide variety of easy and affordable Mexican meal solutions. The brand features delicious ready-to-cook meats such as Al Pastor Pork, Ancho Chipotle Chicken, Carne Asada and more. Additional products range from thin and savory Flour Tortillas and authentic Corn Tortillas to snacks like Chile Lime Flaquitos and Salsa Verde Tortilla Chips, to name just a few. Valladolid has worked closely with the talented chefs at the Safeway Culinary Kitchens from start to finish to create this product line.

“Hispanic Shoppers are important to Safeway and we are excited to team up with Marcela to bring this innovative brand to all our shoppers seeking a real Mexican eating experience,” said Joe Ennen, senior vice president of Consumer Brands for Safeway. “Marcela has been a fantastic partner for us to work with on our mission to make authentic Mexican foods accessible and approachable for Safeway shoppers everywhere.”




Sears & Kenmore Deliver Appliance Innovations

\"\"Sears iconic appliance Private Brand Kenmore is launching its news appliance complete with innovations led by enhanced cooking versatility, refrigerator accessibility, and increased laundry cycle speeds.

These innovations will be touted at a private reception co-hosted by Food Network personality Jeff Mauro, winner of last season\’s The Food Network Star and host of Sandwich King, at the recently opened Kenmore Craftsman Brand Live Experience in Chicago.  \”For professional chefs like me, time saved is worth its weight in gold,\” said Mauro. \”With high-performance cooking and easy access and more space in the refrigerator, the Kenmore brand\’s kitchen appliances deliver capacity, flexibility and convenience for home chefs.\”

\”We are thrilled to introduce our advanced appliance offerings today,\” said Michael Castleman, president, Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard.  \”Innovation is a cornerstone for all Kenmore appliances and the products we\’re highlighting here deliver uncompromised capacity and access in the kitchen and shorter cycle times in the laundry room to ensure our customers have optimal home experiences.\”

More Cooking Versatility

The Kenmore Elite Electric Free Standing Double Oven and new Slide-In Ranges offer greater cooking versatility as both models offer dual ovens with equal 3.5 cubic foot capacity. Main dishes, such as full-sized turkeys or hams, can cook concurrently in separate ovens and at different temperatures for greater flexibility.

With 7.0 cubic foot capacity and true convection, consumers can count on less cook time and more opportunities to enjoy their kitchen experience.  Each model delivers the benefit of true convection in both ovens to evenly bake and beautifully brown foods even when the oven is filled to capacity. Additionally, the new Turbo Boil FLEX™ element gives customers the ability to melt, warm, simmer and boil without moving the pot from element to element.

The Kenmore brand\’s new cooking products (97512/3/9) are available in stainless steel, white and black finishes at the regular prices of $1,999 and $1,899, respectively. The electric slide in range (41112/3/9) option will be available later this year in stainless steel, white and black at regular prices ranging from $2,499 to $2,599.

Greater Access in Refrigeration
Timesavings are within reach with the expanded Kenmore Signature refrigeration line which boasts significant refrigeration capacity.  The line today expanded its offering with the introduction of the Kenmore Elite Grab-N-Go Refrigerator. This model matches the Signature line\’s capacity of 31 cubic feet while keeping users\’ most-often-used items such as snacks, drinks and leftovers, within reach.  This unique, separate compartment is accessed with a simple push of a button, removing the need to open both French doors and providing convenience at consumers\’ fingertips.

Offering a sleek look, this model also boasts a slim, in-door icemaker and two exclusive slide-away shelves.  Together, these features provide more organization options and flexibility for kitchen needs. The Kenmore Elite Grab-N-Go Refrigerator (72062/3/9) is available today for the regular price of $3,299.

More Efficient Washing in the Laundry Room

With more than 35% more speed, the Kenmore brand is now providing a solution to get clothes cleaner, faster, ultimately giving consumers more time to do the activities they prefer and not their chores.  The Kenmore Elite 4.0 cubic foot Front Load HE Steam Washer with Accela-Wash Technology uniquely combines speed, clothing care, capacity and efficiency without compromising cleaning performance. Time, water and energy savings are now readily available with this laundry option.

Accela-Wash technology combines two actions: Active Rinse and Active Spray, to clean full-size loads faster without sacrificing cleaning performance.  Active Rinse results in fast and efficient rinsing while Active Spray provides faster soaking times and deep cleaning.

In addition to the Accela-Wash technology, product highlights for increased savings include:

  • Express Wash rapidly washes a small load in 20 minutes
  • The Express Dry cycle quickly dries a small load in 25 minutes
  • In only 20 minutes, the Steam Refresh™ technology (dryer only) gently refreshes clothes by relaxing wrinkles and reducing odors, helping to eliminate a need for ironing or re-washing
  • Steam Treat technology virtually eliminates the need to pre-treat stains using the power of steam and removing an additional step in the cleaning process
  • Smart Motion Technology provides cycle selection with up to six unique wash motions for the right amount of cleaning and care
  • Large capacity (4.0 cubic foot washer, 7.4 cubic foot dryer) accommodates large loads of up to 45 extra-large adult t-shirts
  • The washer uses 70% less water and 65% less energy, saving about $135 per year
  • Kenmore Connect, a functionality that sends customers\’ real-time diagnostic information from the washer or dryer over the phone to highly-trained service experts who answer questions, suggest solutions, or provide instructions to help maintain proper upkeep

The washer and electric dryer (4147X washer, 8/9147X dryer) are available in white for regular prices of $1,099 per unit and $1,199 in metallic silver finishes. Gas dryers are slightly more expensive.

Each of these innovations joins the vast Kenmore brand selections for all home needs. Kenmore delivers timesavings, convenience, versatility and style to ensure families get the most out of their appliances.  To learn more about Kenmore small and large


Safeway Announces \”Search for Our Next Chef\” Private Brand Competition

Pleasanton, California based grocer today announced a first-of-its-kind competition in which chefs from across the nation will compete for a job with the Safeway Culinary Kitchens and have their recipe included in the Private Brand Open Nature Skillet Meal line sold in stores nationwide. This is a great promotion the combines the energy and excitement of a reality show with the growth and development of a Private Brand.The competition will culminate in a final cook-off at the Safeway Culinary Kitchens in Pleasanton, Calif., where chefs will cook their original, delicious and nutritious skillet meals. Executive Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli, who appears on Food Network\’s \”Chopped\” and \”Iron Chef,\” will join an experienced judging panel of Safeway chefs and executives to select the winning chef who will join the culinary team.

\”We know our busy shoppers want delicious, healthier and convenient meals,\” said Mike Minasi, president of marketing at Safeway. \”Our state-of-the-art Culinary Kitchens feature 4,000 square feet of food development work space, including a kitchen set-up reminiscent of what our shoppers have in their homes.  It is here that we are able to develop innovative Safeway food products tailored to what our shoppers want – great tasting food at affordable prices.\”

100% Natural for Everyone
Safeway set a high bar with the launch of its newest Private Brand the 100% natural Open Nature, which contains nothing artificial, is minimally processed and provides shoppers with extensive natural food choices in a variety of categories throughout the store. The judging team will be looking for a chef who demonstrates a passion for innovation and uses fresh and healthy ingredients when creating his or her recipe. The recipes must not only be made with 100% natural ingredients and full of flavor, but must also be designed with the at-home cook in mind.

\”We are the first to host a major competition where a talented chef has the opportunity to win a new job and develop a product that will be on the shelf in a major national grocery store,\” said Joe Ennen, senior vice president of consumer brands at Safeway. \”We are excited to find a well-rounded food expert who has a passion for innovation and is able to execute the highest level of recipe and product development to join our team.\”

Safeway will be hosting the regional cook-offs at the following three campuses: California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Seattle and Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago on April 23rd, 25th, and 27th respectively. Safeway is encouraging top-notch chefs everywhere, from culinary schools to restaurants, to participate in this competition.

\"\"Let the Competition Begin
Unlike other job submission processes, this opportunity begins on Facebook where candidates and fans alike can follow the entire process, including the call for submissions; a national \”People\’s Choice\” vote, running April 9-20; regional cook-offs during the end of April; and the final cook-off at the Safeway Culinary Kitchens on May 15. The winner will be awarded a full-time position at the Safeway Culinary Kitchens think tank, which is committed to developing best-in-class store brand foods that help shoppers find inspiration for affordable meals. And, their winning recipe will be sold as an Open Nature Skillet Meal in stores across the country. Finalists will receive prizes for their hard work and participation, with third place winning $1,000 and second place winning $2,000.

Be sure to check the Safeway Facebook page regularly for competition updates and information on the local events. You can also converse with other fans on Twitter using the hashtag #SafewayChef.


Food Channel Releases 2012 Food Trends Forecast

\"\"This year Food Channelpresents its 2012 Trends Forecast—the top ten food trends predicted for the coming year. This report is put together in conjunction with CultureWaves, the International Food Futurists, and Mintel International.

For more than 20 years The Food Channel has uncovered food trends ahead of the curve. \”These insights are serious business to us. We realize we are both reflecting what is happening, and influencing some future food decisions. While all the predictions this time of year are fun for foodies, we also know that they give those who make their living from food a competitive edge when it comes to what drives their consumers\’ choices,\” said The Food Channel Vice President and Editor in Chief Kay Logsdon.  As retailers continue the drive to build BRANDS, the need to embrace trends and develop products that lead the market becomes crucial. How will you bring these trends to life?

The Food Channel Top Ten Food Trends for 2012

  1. Black Market Foods—Limited supplies of items to help drive up popularity.
  2. Inconspicuous Consumption—Spending quite a bit, but making it look like we\’re not spending much.
  3. Social Media: Finding Common Ground and Common Courtesy—Social media is mixing with restaurants with some tension on both sides.
  4. Shopping Schizophrenia—Welcome to the new balancing act when it comes to eating.
  5. Beyond Ramen Noodles—Colleges are being forced to provide a wide-ranging food experience.
  6. So THAT\’s What it Tastes Like!—Less sodium, fresher locally-sourced produce, and fewer smokers on premise means people are tasting ingredients as they were meant to be.
  7. The New Agri-Chef—Chefs who simply like to cook with what they\’ve grown.
  8. Groovin\’ On Peruvian—Peruvian cuisine may be the next Big Thing on the ethnic culinary scene.
  9. Social Cooking—More cooking is being done outside as a social event.
  10. The Rise of the YouTube Chef—Everyone is their own food TV star these days

Read the complete 2012 Trends Forecast at


Safeway Sets World Record for World\’s Longest Picnic Table all for Private Brand



To celebrate National Picnic Day, Safeway highlighted the launch of its newest Private brand Open Nature with a Guinness World Records Title for World\’s Longest Picnic Table and Food Network Chef Tyler Florence. June 18 they assembled the 11,304-lb. behemoth. It took a 4-person team 10 days to turn 7,116 feet of Douglas Fir wood planking and 1,032 bolts into seating for 405 diners at the 305-foot table. The event featured Florence cooking the Private Brand Open Nature, a delicious, 100 percent natural line of high-quality foods at the Marina Green in San Francisco. This is an impressive Private brand promotion from Safeway and an impressive commitment to building their brand – a great combination of national press worthy gimmick and celebrity promotion.

\”As a leader in the retail food industry, Safeway has set a very high standard when it comes to defining natural – ingredients from natural sources with nothing artificial,\” said Mike Minasi, President of Marketing for Safeway. \”Having lunch at the World\’s Longest Picnic Table on National Picnic Day is the perfect vehicle for celebrating our Open Nature promise that ingredients should come from nature and food should have as little processing as possible. Open Nature is a natural product line that consumers can have total confidence in because the ingredients are easy to understand and listed on the front of each package. We believe that nature has nothing to hide, and neither should your food.\”

In keeping with Open Nature\’s all-natural ingredients approach, the record-setting table will be built with only Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified Douglas fir that is sustainable, and for every FSC Certified tree that is used, 10 more will be planted. Other environmentally conscious elements that will be incorporated into the picnic include environmentally friendly paper products, composting and on-site recycling.

\”Food has always been important in my life and I think it is really important that people know where their food comes from,\” said Tyler Florence, Food Network Chef and successful restaurateur. \”I really appreciate that Safeway\’s Open Nature is 100 percent natural with no gimmicks, so people can feel good about what they buy and what they cook.\”


\”Natural\” You Can 100 Percent Trust

Given that the word \’natural\’ is not regulated by the FDA, the term\’s inclusion on food packaging has left consumers skeptical of the claim. Safeway heard that their shoppers wanted great-tasting products developed as close to their natural state as possible, and as a result developed Open Nature: 100 percent natural, 100 percent real. In doing so, Safeway is leading the charge in creating natural foods that meet shopper\’s needs. Unlike other products that claim to be natural, Open Nature products do not contain enriched flour, synthetic vitamin fortifications, alkalized cocoa, or hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, among others.

Open Nature products are affordable, because Safeway believes everyone should have access to 100 percent natural foods that won\’t break a shopper\’s budget. Open Nature features an expansive line of products spanning multiple categories, making it easy for consumers to add natural foods to everyday life.

\”Now consumers don\’t need to make trips to multiple stores to get the natural food choices they want. Safeway\’s Open Nature provides a range of natural foods across multiple categories – everything from fresh chicken, yogurt and ice cream to salad dressings, peanut butter, dinner sausages, hot dogs and pastas,\” said Minasi. Coming soon will be cereals and granolas, juices and more. \”It\’s now easier than ever to include natural foods in every meal because Open Nature is priced lower than the national brands, when not on sale, as a part of our great everyday low prices throughout the store.\”

Consumers can now find a wide variety of Open Nature items exclusively at Safeway stores, and additional Open Nature products will be launched throughout 2011.