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Ahold USA recognized by EPA for food waste reduction efforts

BY Alaric Dearment

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Environmental Protection Agency has recognized Ahold USA for its efforts to reduce food waste, the agency said.

The EPA said it recognized Ahold for its contributions to the Food Recovery Challenge, which encourages organizations to donate and divert as much of their excess food as possible, which the agency said helps protect the environment and feed needy people. Ahold USA owns the Giant Food Stores of Carlisle, Pa., Giant Food of Landover, Md., and Stop & Shop supermarket banners, as well as the online grocer Peapod.

"The Food Recovery Challenge benefits families in need, helps grocers reduce costs, supplies badly needed donations to organizations like the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and helps to create green jobs," EPA regional administrator Shawn Garvin said. "Today is America Recycles Day, and with Thanksgiving just a week away, this is an excellent time to raise awareness of this important issue."

According to the EPA, food constitutes the largest category of waste in the country, with 36 million of food waste going to landfills in 2011. Decomposing food waste is a significant source of methane, a greenhouse gas. Last year, the agency said, Ahold USA donated the equivalent of more than 12 million meals and diverted 19,000 tons into composting, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by about 3,820 tons.

"Ahold USA and our retail divisions like Giant are committed to reducing waste and minimizing our impact on the environment, while at the same time maximizing food donations to regional food banks," Ahold USA VP external communications and community relations Tracy Pawelski said. "The EPA Food Recovery Challenge not only makes good business sense by lowering costs, but also can be a game changer for local hunger relief efforts, especially during these times of need."

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NPD: holiday gift predictions for home

BY CSA STAFF

NPD Group has released its 2013 holiday gift predictions for the home.

“Some items on this year’s home holiday shopping lists deliver warmth, and others make it cold; some items are functional, and some are about the fun factor,” said Debra Mednick, executive director and home industry analyst. “Either way, the hottest home categories for the 2013 holiday season are designed to conveniently deliver comfort, improve health, or bestow simple affordable pleasures.”

The research company pointed to the following leading items:

  • Coffeemakers: All forms, from traditional drip coffee and espresso makers, to single-serve pod machines, are helping to perk up consumers this holiday season.
  • Food processing and blenders: This year, there is a focus on multifunctional blender/mixer/chopper systems and powerful countertop blenders.
  • Juice extractors: The current juicing trend and related health benefits will continue to fuel these sales.

  • Soda makers: This is the latest addition to today’s home, bringing customization, family fun and even environmentally friendly benefits — now with more product options for consumers to choose from than ever before.

  • Slow cookers: The convenience, versatility and comfort food delivered by these products continues to be popular with consumers.

  • Popcorn makers: It’s a healthy snack, fun for the family and a perfect fit with increased leisure time at home.

  • Frozen treat makers: These products delight the whole family with ice cream and frozen yogurt made their way.

  • Cast iron cookware: With and without enamel coating, this is a classic staple for indoor and outdoor kitchens, appealing to men and women through the benefit of healthy cooking and the convenience of easy cleanup.

  • Wine glass sets: From the basics to finer options, the selections for connoisseurs and casual wine drinkers are more specialized than ever.

  • Throws: The holiday season is the perfect time to snuggle up and add a little warmth, while keeping heating costs down.
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Sports Authority urges people to unplug this holiday

BY CSA STAFF

Sports Authority has kicked off its 2013 holiday ad campaign, “There’s Nothing Like the Gift of Sport.” The campaign’s message may resonate with those who are already athletically inclined, but will face challenges with XBox One or PlayStation4 aficionados.

The campaign seeks to persuade people to “unplug” this holiday season and embrace sports, a move which has the potential of generating traffic in stores and online as people shop for everything from sneakers and workout clothes to fitness equipment and sports gear.

TV commercials have begun airing and feature real amateur athletes declaring, “There’s Nothing Like the Gift of Sport.” The campaign then highlights its broad assortment of footwear, apparel and team sports.

“One of the goals for this year’s holiday campaign was to bring to life ‘All Things Sporting Good,’” stated Paul M. Okimoto, CMO of Sports Authority. “We are confident our new campaign will illustrate the enduring moments that the gift of sport offers and get our customers excited to shop at Sports Authority locations and online for their holiday gifts this year.”

To further incentivize people to unplug, the retailer is offering a $500,000 holiday sweepstakes. Now through Dec. 25, customers are eligible to enter every day for the chance to win. Five grand prize winners will win a trip to a live sporting event of their choice, valued at $25,000 each; 100 runners up will win $1,000 shopping sprees; and 100 weekly winners will receive $250 Sports Authority gift cards each.

Headquartered in Englewood, Colo., Sports Authority operates more than 475 locations across 43 states.

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