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Meijer, 4D help consumers ‘Be Well’

BY CSA STAFF

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Meijer has announced a new partnership with 4D Pharmacy Management Systems that will expand the benefits available to 4D’s employer groups through Meijer’s “Be Well” program.

“This is truly a game changer in the prescription benefit world,” said Meijer president Mark Murray. “Our new partnership with 4D will bring Meijer’s drugstore services to new heights by offering numerous health-focused benefits to 4D customers.”

Through Meijer’s Be Well program, which was developed in partnership with 4D, employer groups will have access to 4D’s nationwide network of over 60,000 pharmacies and receive major discounts at Meijer on products that promote a healthy lifestyle, such as Meijer Vitamins, Meijer organic food products and other healthy choices inside Meijer stores. Additionally, Be Well members will receive “discounts of the week” that promote items such as healthy food products and cold medication. The Be Well program also includes special services, including health screenings, immunizations, free Medicare reports, patient counseling and information services. The Be Well program powered by 4D will begin managing pharmacy benefits on Jan. 1, 2009.

“Our transparent business model was one of the first in the PBM industry and it fits perfectly with Meijer’s commitment to innovation and taking care of the customer,” said 4D vp Jeff Polter. “Brokers and employers within the Meijer service areas have been very receptive and excited about the program.”

“Just as our free antibiotic and free pre-natal vitamin programs were designed to help our customers get healthy during these tough economic times, offering this innovative prescription drug benefit plan will allow our customers to receive healthy products and services at a discounted cost,” said Murray.

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Study: Organic market not recession-proof

BY CSA STAFF

CHICAGO According to Mintel, the market for organic foods and beverages should reach $7.2 billion in 2008, an increase of over 140% from the $3.0 billion recorded during 2003. But year-over-year, Mintel has seen sales growth slowing. With many Americans now struggling financially, Mintel projects that sales of organic foods and beverages will not rally anytime soon.

Rising food and gas prices, the credit crunch and economic uncertainty have deeply affected peoples shopping habits, comments Marcia Mogelonsky, senior analyst at Mintel. Across the board, Americans are spending less and organic versus traditional is a decision many people are thinking about carefully.

People are also saving money by reaching for private label organics, which have exploded in recent years. Mintels Global New Product Database (GNPD) tracked over 540 new private label organic foods in 2007, a massive increase from the 35 new products seen in 2003. Furthermore, when Mintel asked survey respondents about the difference between name brand and private label organics, three in five (60%) said it didnt matter, that they reached for whatever is available when shopping. Private label posts an increasingly large threat to branded organic lines.

Economic struggles will undoubtedly change the way organic food and drink is sold. But we dont expect people to completely stop buying organics, states Mogelonsky. We anticipate more subtle changes, such as the formerly all-organic shopper who returns to traditional cookie brands while sticking with organic produce. These small changes will slow market growth.

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A&F names new cfo

BY CSA STAFF

NEW ALBANY, Ohio Abercrombie & Fitch Co. announced that Jonathan Ramsden has been named evp and cfo, effective upon his joining Abercrombie & Fitch in early to mid-December.

For the past 10 years, Ramsden has served as the cfo and a member of the executive team of TBWA Worldwide, a large advertising agency network with more than 11,000 employees worldwide and a division of Omnicom Group.

“Jonathan came to us by way of a nationwide executive search for a new cfo. We were extremely impressed by several of the candidates, but Jonathan clearly stood out above the rest,” said Mike Jeffries, ceo and chairman of the board of Abercrombie & Fitch.

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