Ahold USA Issues Statement On New Meat Labeling

In connection with the development of the Butcher Shop brand, Ahold USA contacted the U.S. Department of Agriculture and received approval on July 29 to use the “USDA-Graded” label on Butcher Shop beef products to take into account that they include Select or Choice graded beef.

Subsequently, on Sept. 5, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service informed Ahold USA that this label would not be permitted because it did not specify the USDA Grade on the packaging.

According to Tracy Pawelski, vice president of external communications for Ahold USA, “Starting several weeks prior to recent media reports concerning the Butcher Shop label, we worked very closely with USDA to expedite new labels that are clear to customers and in full compliance with USDA standards.”

Larry Meadows, associate deputy administrator with the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, said the agency initially approved the new “USDA graded” labels. Shortly thereafter, “we determined the ‘USDA graded’ was too generic. Even though it’s truthful—it is USDA graded—it’s not an approved seal recognized within the regulation,” said Mr. Meadows.

Ms. Pawelski said, “Although we had USDA approval, we should have done a better job communicating new labeling information to customers. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused. Our intention was to help customers during times of rising meat prices. Stores will continue to offer customers quality meats at affordable prices, all of which will be clearly labeled.”

She added that customers can find the newly labeled Butcher Shop meats in stores beginning this week and next. The new Butcher Shop branded beef program will be all USDA Grade Choice beef and will be labeled accordingly. In the coming weeks, store meat departments will begin to carry the more affordable Select cuts which will be clearly labeled.

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Price Rite Comes To Camden, N.J.

In what some have called a food desert, Price Rite opened the first new grocery store in the city in nearly 40 years. While Price Rite traditionally has been a corporately owned brand, this new location will be owned by Ravitz Family Markets, which also plans to open a ShopRite store in Camden in 2016. The Ravitz family currently owns five ShopRite stores in Burlington and Camden counties.

Located at 2881 Mt. Ephraim Avenue, the 43,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Price Rite of Camden will bring more than 80 full- and part-time jobs to the community.

“It is an exciting moment for our city and our residents,” said Camden Mayor Dana Redd. “This is the beginning of what I believe will be a lasting relationship with a strong community partner, Ravitz Family Markets. Our residents will certainly be impressed by the newly renovated store, not to mention the high quality and affordable products offered by Price Rite. Many thanks to Sen. Donald Norcross for his support of this project. I also commend the Ravitz family on their commitment to hiring Camden residents.”

Price Rite said its mission is to provide customers with a “clean, fresh and friendly” shopping experience every day. Also known for its value, Price Rite offers customers the same quality foods as traditional supermarkets at about half the price and with the convenience of warehouse club-style shopping without the membership fees or bulk-buying requirements.

Price Rite employs a self-service format that includes fresh produce delivered daily, packaged meats, baked goods, a variety of private label and national grocery brands as well as dairy and frozen food products. Price Rite does not advertise or publish a weekly circular. Customers are encouraged to use their own bags or to buy them as needed for 10¢ each.

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B&G Foods Promotes CFO Robert Cantwell As New President

B&G Foods Inc., Parsippany, N.J., has appointed Robert Cantwell as its next president and chief executive officer, effective Jan. 1, 2015. Mr. Cantwell, who currently serves as B&G Foods’ executive vice president of finance and chief financial officer, will succeed David Wenner, who, as announced earlier this year, plans to retire at year’s end. Mr. Wenner is expected to remain on the board of directors. The company has immediately commenced a search for a new executive vice president of finance and chief financial officer. B&G manufactures, sells and distributes a diversified portfolio of branded shelf stable foods across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

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Latest Word in Supermarket News...

The Frozen and Refrigerated Assn. of the North East (FRANE) will hold annual business conference and convention Oct. 24-26 at The Viking in Newport, R.I.

• Connecticut Foodshare has received a $30,000 grant from the Lincoln Financial Foundation for Thanksgiving meals and food needs in the greater Hartford area.

• New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation making yogurt New York’s official snack.

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