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Campbell’s Installs Solar Panels at Pepperidge Farm, Reducing Carbon Footprint

Campbell’s Installs Solar Panels at Pepperidge Farm, Reducing Carbon Footprint


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Campbell Soup Company has pledged to cut its environmental footprint in half over the long term

The new solar array in Bloomfield, Indiana, will produce 15 percent of the bakery’s annual energy demand.

In partnership with BNB Renewable Energy Holdings and SunPower Corp., the Campbell Soup Company has announced the installation of a 1-megawatt solar array at its Pepperidge Farm bakery in Bloomfield, Indiana, thus far the second-largest such installation at facilities owned by Campbell, the parent company of Pepperidge Farm. The largest is a 9.8 megawatt solar array at Campbell’s production facility in Napoleon, Ohio, which came online in 2011.

The solar array began operating in late December, and will generate an estimated 15 percent of the bakery’s annual demand.

By 2020 Campbell aims to source a minimum of 40 percent of its energy from renewable or alternative energy sources, as well as reduce overall energy use by 35 percent per ton of product produced.

“Pepperidge Farm has also agreed to purchase the equivalent of 100 percent of the electricity produced by the system for 20 years,” the company announced in a statement. “These efforts are part of Campbell’s long-term strategy to cut the environmental footprint of our product portfolio in half and deliver long-term value to our business and the communities where we live and work.”


DuPont Awards—celebrating innovation and collaboration

From breakthrough vacuum packaging developed by a billion dollar materials supplier to a kraft divider made by a year-old startup, these winners represent innovation itself.

Breakthrough in fresh red meat
Winner of the Diamond award in this year’s DuPont competition was FreshCase® technology from Curwood. This is not the first major award for FreshCase this year. It also won a Gold Award in the annual competition sponsored by the Flexible Packaging Association (see www.bit.ly/pwe00404).


FreshCase is described as the first-ever vacuum package for red meat that maintains the meat’s appetizing color. Other methods of vacuum packaging red meat deprive the meat of oxygen and consequently cause the meat to darken to almost a purple color. And U.S. consumers don’t like that color when it comes to fresh red meat.


The secret to FreshCase is that its meat-contact layer includes sodium nitrite. Enzymes in the meat come in contact with the sodium nitrite to produce nitric oxide gas, which, Curwood points out, is part of ordinary human cell activity. The nitric oxide gas combines with myoglobin in the meat to give the meat the fresh red color with which consumers are familiar.


FreshCase packaging also extends shelf life 10 times longer than store-wrapped meat. The combination of longer shelf life and more appetizing appearance promises to both reduce food waste and increase the availability of proteins in areas further away from food sources.


As an alternative for modified atmosphere (MAP) master packs and packages using EPS/PVC resin technology that dominate the case-ready meat segment, FreshCase enables 75% less markdowns/waste than store-wrapped meats. It produces less landfill waste and reduces packaging materials up to 75%, compared to other case-ready formats, thereby improving sustainability, according to Curwood.


We presented our FPA coverage of FreshCase partially through the perspective of Dallas-based Paty Meats (one of the first meat marketers to commercialize the technology) and a supermarket customer of theirs by the name of H.E.B. For our DuPont Awards coverage, we asked if another meat marketer might be willing to share a few thoughts about this award-winning film breakthrough. That meat marketer is Unger Meat Co. of Vadnais Heights, MN. Unger is shipping its vacuum packaged ground beef to Minnesota-based supermarket customer Coborn’s.


“We saw FreshCase when it was being introduced at a trade show, and right away we liked how red it made the beef look,” says Jeremy Turnquist, vice president of operations at Unger Meat. “We had tried vacuum packaging of fresh ground beef for the retail channel in the past, and it just didn’t work because consumers don’t want to see beef that is any other color than red.”


Unger produces its FreshCase packages on a Multivac thermoform/seal machine. Prior to the arrival of FreshCase film, the Multivac was already in use at the plant for vacuum-packaged beef products that were being sold through the foodservice channel. With foodservice customers, the issue of color is not nearly as important as it is in the retail channel.


According to Turnquist, the Curwood material was a “drop-in” replacement for the materials that had been in use before. “We use the sodium nitrite component in both the forming web and the non-forming top web. “Both machine well on our Multivac, where our depth of draw is between one and two inches.”


Thus far, Unger does only ground beef in the FreshCase format and only retail channels are involved. Refrigerated shelf life is 21 days, which Turnquist describes as “huge.”


“It’s an addition of seven days, which means a lot to the supermarket when it comes to managing inventory and reducing shrink and stock outs,” says Turnquist.

Eco- and consumer-friendly aerosol dispenser uses compressed air
Innovative aerosol dispenser technology called AirOPack ® from IPS Innovative Packaging Solutions AG, Switzerland, developed in a joint venture with Airolux AG, Switzerland, has earned a DuPont Gold Award. Designed to accommodate liquid, cream, gel, and foam products and to offer an alternative to metal aerosol containers, the strong, lightweight, all-PET-plastic, totally recyclable AirOPack incorporates a patented pressure control device that relies on air in place of more conventional hydrocarbon chemical propellants.


This pressurized dispenser packaging system consists of (1) a two-stage stretch blow-molded plastic container that can be conventionally filled, (2) an injection blow-molded compressed-air chamber and (3) a novel pressure control device. The components are assembled using laser welding technology.


You’ll find fuller coverage of this award-winning package—including its commercial use by SuperMax, a Dubai-based global leader in shaving razors and gels for men and women—in a future edition of Packaging World.

Breakthrough in dividers is ‘ingenious’
Winning a Gold Award for excellence in innovation and cost reduction was a new breed of divider from ITB. It’s used primarily in the auto industry to ship car components from the plants where they’re made to the assembly plant where all the car parts are assembled into a finished automobile.


Among the early users of this protective packaging component is the automotive group of Johnson Controls in Holland, MI. Picture, for example, an arm rest made by Johnson Controls and shipped in large reusable bins to Ford or General Motors assembly plant around the country. Placed inside the reusable bin is a divider that protects individual arm rests by keeping them separated and cushioned from one another. Until now, these dividers have usually been made of die-cut corrugated. ITB’s dividers are not. Some are reusable and are made, typically, of polyester. But we’ll focus here on the ones that ITB calls “expendable”—that is, they’re used once and then discarded, just like the die-cut corrugated dividers they’re designed to replace.


ITB’s expendable dividers are made on an auto assembly machine manufactured to ITB’s specifications by Pinnacle Converting. Fed into this machine is a 106-inch-wide roll of 26# kraft paper. Also fed into the Pinnacle machine is an electronic job order produced by ITB through proprietary software. The Pinnacle machine cuts the kraft into pieces as specified in the electronic job order and assembles them with glue into a piece that, when opened up, fits inside a reusable bin (see Photo A). But until the divider is opened up, it’s collapsed and ships perfectly flat (see Photo B). Worth pointing out is that what you see in Photo B are five conventional dividers made of corrugated sitting on top of 90 equivalent dividers made by ITB.


Obviously, compared to dividers made of die-cut corrugated, it costs considerably less to ship a load of collapsed ITB dividers to the Ford suppliers that use them. On top of that, numerous tests have shown that the ITB dividers, which have a lot of give in them, provide better protection than relatively rigid die-cut corrugated because of their inherent flexibility. As if all that were not enough, they cost about 20% less than their conventional die-cut corrugated counterparts.


David Colclough, a buyer at auto parts maker Johnson Controls, confirms the sustainability benefits, cost savings, and protective functionality that the ITB divider affords. He calls the divider “ingenious.” He also notes that the packaging being produced by ITB today was engineered specifically to meet the shipping needs of the automotive industry. He predicts that ITB—just one year old and employing just 15 people—will expand at some point in time with Consumer Packaged Goods companies in mind, where much higher speeds of manufacturing and far greater volumes are involved.

Disruptive transport and retail display system
THE CUBE® transport packaging system from Smart Packaging Systems (SPS) has been recognized by DuPont for Excellence in Innovation and Sustainability for its capacity to provide an environmentally preferable and retail-ready option to shrink-wrapped pallets and wooden crates for retail and industrial applications, respectively.


THE CUBE consists of an open-architecture frame made from a special lamination of recycled and virgin fibers and humidity-resistant glue in a standard pallet dimension of 40 x 48 in. and an adjustable height from 41 to 85 in. (Custom sizes are also available.) The paperboard frame is connected at the corners by plastic components available in a range of plastics, including polypropylene and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), depending upon the application. Straps made from recycled PET run diagonally across each open panel. THE CUBE can be constructed with or without a pallet underneath.


According to Luis Felipe Rego, CEO, founder, and chairman of SPS, THE CUBE was developed in response to Walmart’s 2004 challenge to suppliers to design packaging capable of improving product handling throughout the logistics supply chain while reducing costs, cutting excessive secondary and tertiary packaging, saving time and labor, increasing profits per square foot of sales space, reducing product damage, and exhibiting sustainability in terms of material, energy, sourcing, etc. The solution also needed to pass ISTA® 6-SAMSCLUB protocol simulation testing.


Representing a “Ready to Ship, Ready to Display, and Ready to Sell” solution, THE CUBE meets all these requirements, says Rego. “THE CUBE is the only packaging solution designed to go from product pack-out at the end of a manufacturer’s production line, into distribution, be it national or international, in any mode of transportation, straight to the retailer sales floor, eliminating layers of costs,” he notes.


Among the retail examples illustrated by SPS in its DuPont competition entry form were brands that included Welch’s, Gatorade, Listerine, VOSS, and Arm & Hammer. As products are packed directly onto THE CUBE without corrugated cases, at retail the structure becomes a sturdy, self-selling, open-window merchandising display-shoppable on four sides-that requires no labor to unpack at point of sale. According to SPS, THE CUBE has proven to increase retail sales by at least 30%. In the entry form, Ari Mandelbaum, marketing brand manager for Colgate-Palmolive Mexico, is quoted as saying that his company “doubled its historic toothpaste sales volume on a new product launch by using THE CUBE system.”


Eliminating corrugated cartons, as well as the pallet, in some cases, is also estimated to yield a cost savings to brand manufacturers from 20% to 40%. SPS adds that in transit, THE CUBE can be stacked up to four-high, which allows the possible doubling of the number of pallets on a truck from 24 to 48, “slashing transportation costs.”


Industrial examples cited by SPS in its entry form ranged from applications as diverse as Yamaha motorcycles, metal filing cabinets, and potted plants. In industrial applications, THE CUBE Open Architecture Crating System replaces wooden crates, which are labor- and cost-intensive to construct. The open structure also allows product visibility in-transit, resulting in more careful handling.


Says SPS, “THE CUBE is helping manufacturers reduce considerably the costs in terms of product damage and over-packaging their products, such as solar panels or wind turbines, even air conditioners, by 20 percent, making these new technologies more accessible to more people.”


At end of life, THE CUBE can be reused, composted, or incinerated, extending its sustainability advantages.

Tea packaging closes the loop in Brazil
Honored for Excellence in Sustainability and Waste Reduction, the Ciclo Verde Taeq® reverse logistics system from Brazilian retailer Grupo Pãu de Açúcar’s (GPA) Taeq private-label brand addresses the three pillars—social, economic, and environmental—of sustainability. In 2001, GPA established an on-site materials collection system for consumers at its more than 180 retail stores. Since then, the bin disposal system has collected more than 35,000 tons of recyclable materials, including paper, plastic, metal, glass, and cooking oil.


After collection, materials are donated to local cooperatives, made up of 660 low-income families that separate the recyclables by their characteristics and sell them to material manufacturers. The system provides these families with an alternative source of income, fulfilling both the social and economic pillars of sustainable development.


In 2009, GPA’s Taeq brand, which was “created to offer a complete wellness solution,” according to GPA packaging development manager Aparecideo Borghi, crafted a program to take advantage of the materials collection system for its own retail packaging: Ciclo Verde Taeq, or Green Cycle Taeq. Says Borghi, “The challenge was how to insert the recyclable material back into the production chain.”


To build the reverse logistics system, Taeq partnered with Brazilian paperboard manufacturer Papirus, which purchases the recycled materials from the cooperatives to create packaging for the GPA private-label brand. According to Borghi, a large part of the process involved developing a traceability system to ensure that the paperboard manufactured for Taeq actually originates from the cooperatives and has been separated properly. For this Taeq “created a control using documentation related to governmental taxes,” or an audit system, Borghi says.


As part of the process, Taeq’s packaging team specifies the recycled paperboard material for new package designs. The printing company converting Taeq’s packaging then acquires the recycled packaging material from Papirus.


Since 2010, more than 600 tons of cellulosic material has been collected, diverting the material from landfill and supporting sustainability’s environmental pillar. The material has been used for 32 new Taeq brand products, the most recent a paperboard carton for its Organic White Tea, introduced in November 2011. The tea carton is made from 100% recycled materials: 50% pre-consumer industrial scrap, and 50% post-consumer, from materials collected by the cooperatives. Borghi notes that packaging made from the recycled materials has a color “tending toward Kraft paper,” while packaging not made from the material has a coated white appearance. As far as cost, he says there has been no increase in price for the use of the recycled materials, reinforcing the economic pillar of sustainability.


Borghi notes that another social aspect of the program has been the consumer education campaign, which consists of on-pack messaging, point-of-purchase advertising, and an in-store video. Says Borghi, “The launching campaign was designed for consumers to make clear that their participation in recycling is more important than they think and that everyone can contribute with more sustainable habits.”

Goldfish Bread package makes a splash
Goldfish-shaped bread without crust that offers fiber, vitamins, and minerals deserves kudos. But take that innovative product and put it in revamped packaging that leaves traditional plastic-bagged bread in its wake, and it deserves an award. Judges in the 2012 DuPont Awards competition apparently agreed, giving the reclosable package for Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Sandwich Bread a Gold Award.


The current package is actually a new and improved version of the format used originally: a two-compartment, rigid, plastic tray inside a perfectly conventional bread bag with a plastic clip closure. That package, launched in September 2011, succeeded in setting Pepperidge Farm apart from the competition in a competitive category. But the new package, with bright reverse-printed graphics, reduces cost and has a lower carbon footprint. Produced on a Series 3000 horizontal flow-wrap machine from Ilapak, the side-gussetted package is made from a 70-ga lamination of oriented polypropylene/ink/adhesive/1.25-mil low-density polyethylene sealant. CP Flexible Packaging assembles this lamination for the Goldfish Bread packs, while Printpack is the converter for the Deli Flat packs, which have also gone to this award-winning format. The other key contribution to the package is a reseal feature supplied by Sealstrip Corp.. An acrylic adhesive tape system, it’s applied in line on the Ilapak horizontal flow wrapper.

The new package, holding 16 slices with a combined net weight of 12 oz, allows retailers to merchandise individual units either lying down or standing up. The firmness of the new package allows for improved merchandising, highlights the graphics, and creates a billboard effect that has outstanding shelf impact. Sales distribution associates and retailers save time on shelf maintenance as they rotate stock because they can now see at a glance expired “sell buy” packages through color-coded tear tape.


Based on consumer, key customer, and internal sales/marketing feedback, the new package is a success. Pepperidge Farm says eliminating the two-compartment tray and plastic clip closure resulted in $500M to $750M of material savings and an additional $500M to $700M in labor savings. And less space is required on inbound trucks, providing a cost savings on freight. Less storage space is required at the packaging facility, providing space savings on site.


Additional equipment and labor savings come from increased speeds and reduced labor on the packaging line. The new package has a smaller footprint than the original, resulting in an additional 17% savings on outbound freight. Although an investment had to be made in a new horizontal flow-wrap machine, the return on investment is significant with a favorable payback.

24rd DuPont Awards for packaging Innovation--Silver Winners
The following are the 2012 DuPont Silver Award winners—Innovation.

Kraft YES Pack
Kraft Foods Exopack Foth Production Solutions, LLC PE International The Food Group Smart Bottle, Inc.—USA

Ultra-Freshness Preservation Freezing System Using High “Electric Potential” and Electro Conductive Packaging
Mutsumi Chemical Industry Co, Ltd SUN Electric Co., Ltd. Enshu-Kasei Co. Ltd.—Japan

Short Neck Jar for Confy by Kraft Foods
Cadbury India Limited—India

Project Galvanise for Ponds Talcum Power
Hindustan Unilever, Ltd.—India

Formpack Dessiflex™ Plus
Amcor Flexibles Singen GmbH—Germany

Sulhwasoo Dahamsul cream jar
AmorePacific—Korea

Weight Watchers® Smart Ones® “Eco-Friendly Tray” for Frozen Entrees H.J. Heinz Pactiv Foodservice—Food Packaging—USA

Tide PODS Liquid Unit Dose Laundry Detergent
The Procter and Gamble Co. and MonoSol Plastipak Holdings Inc.—USA

Laminate with Hot Foil Stamping, Matte Surface and High-Definition Flexo Print
Mondi Coatings & Consumer Packaging GmbH—Austria

InCycle® CPET Tray and Cold Party Cup
MicroGREEN Polymers, Inc.—USA


Sandridge Refrigerated Foods

Features - Cover Story

Where innovation bridges culinary arts with industry

Sandridge’s (from left) Senior Director of Food Safety and Quality Joel Riegelmayer and Quality Manager Ken Schafner have been instrumental in the implementation of HPP at the plant.

If a line-up of homemade and processed potato salads were to be sampled by a random group of consumers, in most cases, the tasters would be able to distinguish the homemade from the store bought. This is primarily because the preservatives that need to be added to processed salads also add distinguishing characteristics. It is not to say that homemade always taste better, there is just “something” about store bought that makes it different.

That is, until an innovative use of High Pressure Processing (HPP) by Sandridge Food Corporation, in Medina, Ohio, eliminated the need for preservatives and their distinguishable store-bought aspects.

HPP is not a new process, but its use with foods is still evolving. It has been used in the medical industry and some food ingredients for a number of years, but it was only in 2009 that Sandridge became one of the first companies in the U.S. to use the process on fresh refrigerated prepared foods, enabling a bridging of the culinary arts with industry.

As described on Sandridge’s FAQ web page, “High Pressure Processing, or HPP, is an advanced food processing method that uses cold water under extremely high pressure to kill bacteria in food. Since all harmful bacteria are destroyed, food stays fresher much longer, allowing us to eliminate the use of preservatives and expand our distribution. For the consumer this means great tasting products with a wider variety of ingredients and ultimate food safety.” (See “What is HPP” below sidebar for more information on this process.)

But HPP is just one of the innovative and quality practices employed at Sandridge. The company has five full-time chefs on staff to develop recipes. It has won numerous awards for innovation, including a 2011 Edison Center Award for Excellence from the Center of Innovative Food Technology, for which it was also presented with a Resolution from the Ohio House of Representatives. Managers and chefs take annual trips to Europe and other parts of the U.S. to bring back new ideas. And the company maintains a firm hold on the brand promise that has brought its success: fresh refrigerated foods with handmade quality.


Freshness. “Freshness belongs to the consumer,” said CEO Mark Sandridge. “It doesn’t belong in the warehouse or in the store.” To enable this, the company builds to order rather than building to inventory. That is, Sandridge said, a foodservice or retail customer can place an order in the morning and have the food in the store or restaurant that night.

This flexibility also ensures that both the company and its customers are quickly and continuously reactive to their customers’ changing buying habits. Citing buying trends that changed with the downturn of the economy, Sandridge said, “Consumers’ needs change frequently, therefore retailers need to change frequently.”

To maintain this commitment to freshness and flexibility, the company chooses to remain a regional brand. Sandridge produces product under its own brands, such as Grandma’s Original Recipes, as well for other retail and foodservice brands. While it does ship some product to the West coast through its national contracts, its primary distribution is east of the Mississippi, maintaining an area to which product can be shipped within 24 hours. And Sandridge’s CEO is the first to say that its product is not for everyone. For example, it doesn’t sell to retailers who are seeking low-priced quantity over quality, rather it partners with those whose philosophy, like Sandridge’s is, “Buy the best ingredients you can, and charge a fair price.”

“We’ve never been about getting big. We’ve always strived to be best,” Sandridge said. For the same reason, the company concentrates only on fresh refrigerated prepared foods. Although customers have requested development of frozen products, Sandridge said, it does not venture into that process because it is of a completely different mindset and does not fit into its “fresh, never frozen” principle.

High Pressure Processing (HPP) enables Sandridge to make a product more like that which a consumer makes at home and commercialize it with no chemicals, preservatives, or accelerators.

Mark Sandridge is the second-generation leader of this family company and his primary goal is to continue its success for passage on to his own two sons. A food scientist himself, Sandridge’s original intention in installing HPP equipment in 2009 was for preservation, extending the shelf life of the refrigerated foods without additional chemicals and preservatives.

With that intent, Sandridge was not one to lay low and try to weather the recent recession. Rather, he said, “We made the decision to make the biggest purchase we’d ever made—HPP equipment, and build around it.”


Innovation in Safety.
HPP is, in fact, a very old technology dating back to 1919, but it only started being used in food products about six years ago, Sandridge said. In a visit to a meat processing plant, Sandridge Senior Director of Food Safety and Quality Joel Riegelmayer saw the equipment being used and thought it may work for Sandridge products as well, so he proposed the idea.

The company’s first test was with a tuna salad. One-half the product was put into a pouch and run through the HPP system, then refrigerated. After seven days, it was tested in the plant’s micro lab and found to be as clean and fresh as the day it was made. Testing was continued, and even after 65 days, the product still had no bacterial growth, Sandridge said. In comparison, the half of the product that was not put through HPP spoiled in seven days.

It was quickly realized that the system would enable the company to make a product more like that which a consumer makes at home and commercialize it with no chemicals, preservatives, or accelerators, he said.

At Sandridge, each step of the fresh, refrigerated-salad process—from raw ingredient receiving through cleaning and dicing to packing of the salads—is conducted in separate rooms.

One caution Sandridge extends, however, is that HPP can’t substitute for quality or sanitation. Rather, as the company has always done, it uses only quality ingredients and follows strict sanitation standards and GMPs. “You can’t take a rotten product and make it better than it is,” he said. “And you have to start with the rest of the plant, so the product is clean when it gets there.”


Throughout the Plant.
Starting with the rest of the plant at Sandridge takes on a number of facets to ensure food safety and, as Riegelmayer said, “to keep clean things clean.” These include:

  • A physical separation of areas. Sandridge incorporates a cellular design throughout its plant, separating each area into distinct rooms.
  • Depending on the level of sanitation required for each area, workers (and visitors) must don specific lab coats and hair nets, wash hands, clean boots, and walk through automatic foamers—both when first entering the plant and between separate rooms.
  • Sandridge has five separate receiving areas for incoming ingredients. These include areas for: processed ingredients (such as cheeses and cooked meats) frozen ingredients required for each area, workers (and visitors) must don specific lab coats and hair nets, wash hands, clean boots, and walk through automatic foamers—when entering the plant and between separate rooms.
  • Sandridge has five separate receiving areas for incoming ingredients. These include areas for: processed ingredients (such as cheeses and cooked meats) frozen ingredients bulk potatoes vegetables dry, shelf-stable products and raw meats.
  • In most areas, workers wear green lab coats, but in the areas where produce is not yet washed, red coats are worn, and employees who work in that area, work only in that area to ensure that no contaminants are carried into the sterile processing rooms. As such, Riegelmayer said, “Red can’t go into green, and green can’t go into red.”
  • In the raw meat area, workers wear disposable coats and, he said, “Nothing comes out except the employee.”
  • Maintaining a comfortable environment for workers is also important at Sandridge where the temperatures must be kept low to ensure the freshness of the ingredients through their journey to becoming a refrigerated salad or soup. Although cool air continually flows into the processing rooms, it is vented through inflatable air diffusers lined by tiny holes, so that no workers have the air blowing directly on them. This idea, Riegelmayer said, came from one of his trips to Europe.
  • Until 2000, employees were wearing their own shoes into the plant. But during the Europe visit, Riegelmayer saw a plant that had a physical boot room where employees donned plant-only, company-issued boots. The room is a last-stop just before handwashing and floor foam and includes lockers and benches.
  • Ongoing training and reinforcement of the workers’ initial orientation training is conducted through Line Huddles, in which 13 QA technicians meet on a regular basis with line workers to review quality and food safety practices, and take any process-change recommendations back to management. “It’s intended to be a team-building approach instead of a quality police force,” said Quality Manager Ken Schafner.
  • Sandridge’s QA lab whose primary purpose is ensuring consistency of the final product in-house microbiological laboratory and on-site USDA inspector and metal detector on every line provide final tests and assurance.

What Is HPP?

This article is extracted from The Ohio State University Extension’s High Pressure Processing Fact Sheet for Food Processors.

High Pressure Processing provides an alternative means of killing bacteria that can cause spoilage or foodborne disease without a loss of sensory quality or nutrients.

HPP is a method of food processing where food is subjected to elevated pressures (up to 87,000 pounds per square inch or approximately 6,000 atmospheres), with or without the addition of heat, to achieve microbial inactivation or to alter the food attributes in order to achieve consumer-desired qualities. Pressure inactivates most vegetative bacteria at pressures above 60,000 pounds per square inch. HPP retains food quality, maintains natural freshness, and extends microbiological shelf life.

In a typical HPP process, the product is packaged in a flexible container (usually a pouch or plastic container) and is loaded into a high-pressure chamber filled with a pressure-transmitting (hydraulic) fluid. The hydraulic fluid (normally water) in the chamber is pressurized with a pump, and this pressure is transmitted through the package into the food itself. Pressure is applied for a specific time, usually three to five minutes. The processed product is then removed and stored/distributed in the conventional manner. Because the pressure is transmitted uniformly (in all directions simultaneously), food retains its shape, even at extreme pressures. And because no heat is needed, the sensory characteristics of the food are retained without compromising microbial safety.

HPP cannot yet be used to make shelf-stable versions of low-acid products such as vegetables, milk, or soups because of the inability of this process to destroy spores without added heat. However, it can be used to extend the refrigerated shelf life of these products and to eliminate the risk of various foodborne pathogens such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella, and Listeria. Another limitation is that the food must contain water and not have internal air pockets. Food materials containing entrapped air such as strawberries or marshmallows would be crushed under high pressure treatment, and dry solids do not have sufficient moisture to make HPP effective for microbial destruction. HPP does not present any unique issues for food processors concerning regulatory matters or labeling.

A Potato’s Journey. While ensuring safety, the process also takes quality in hand, as the journey of the potato from ingredient to salad shows best:

  • Once any possible foreign debris is removed from incoming bulk potatoes, they are run through a peeler, then into the next room where an automatic dicer is adjusted for consistently sized pieces, small to large, depending on the recipe.
  • A camera-equipped visual sorter detects any bad pieces, which are then shot from the line by air currents. The good potatoes “fly over the line” and into cooking, Riegelmayer said.
  • Once cooked, the potatoes come out into a separate cooked-potato room and are loaded onto a conveyor to move onto mixing.
  • Meanwhile, in their own rooms, the other raw ingredients are cleaned in ozonated water, diced, weighed, then combined in a tank with the liquids (such as mustard, mayonnaise, or other in-house-made salad dressing) and the potatoes. Consistency is ensured through a computer system, through which the line worker consults the stored recipe, then adds the proper amount of each ingredient—pushing a button between each which automates the mixing.
  • The finished potato salad is piped into the next room where it fills containers or bags depending on whether it is consumer or foodservice bound, then sent on to the cooler. (Following a similar path, the ingredients for Sandridge’s soups are prepared and weighed and put into blue tanks in a prep room, so the workers in the cooking room need only focus on the cooking process.)
  • It is at this point that the packaged salads are put through the HPP equipment. As of yet, Sandridge uses the technology for only some of its products that have been developed specifically for the process, but its goal is to eventually process all its foods with HPP.


Bridging Culinary & Industry.
While Sandridge’s initial intention in its use of HPP was food safety and extended shelf life, once it was comfortable with the food safety and freshness that could be achieved with the technology, Sandridge said, “The next step was to work on flavors. And who does that best? Chefs.”

The company has five full-time chefs on its culinary and research team, led by “resident celebrity chef” Dan Zakri, who holds a degree from the Culinary Institute of America. As manager of new product development, Zakri, with the team of certified chefs, develops products for both Sandridge’s own brands and those of its customers. A customer may come to Sandridge requesting commercial duplication of a specific recipe or may simply say, “I’d like you to create a new fall pasta salad for us,” Zakri said.

The culinary team will then have a development session, listing ingredients and creating ideas. The salads, sometimes 20 at a time, will be created, and the customer will return for a presentation and tasting.

While this has long been a process followed by the company, the addition of the HPP technology has greatly expanded the team’s capabilities. “We can now use ingredients that, in the past, weren’t an option because they wouldn’t stand up to the preservatives,” Zakri said. Additionally, when HPP is used, the taste of each individual ingredient is enhanced and stands alone, rather than melding together into a single taste as occurs when preservatives are brought into the mix. As a result, the HPP-processed product tastes more like homemade and the chef’s original single-batch recipe. Because HPP also intensifies the spices in the product, less salt is needed, giving the product greater nutritional value.

Another advantage of HPP technology, Zakri said, is the product’s “clean label.” Because a variety of chemicals and preservatives aren’t needed, the label has a short list of familiar ingredients. Also, the extended shelf life enables the product to taste the same on day 30 as it did on day one.

Because of all these advantages, Zakri said, “That’s all we think of now when we develop new product—developing it for HPP.”

Such development is not quick or easy, however. Although the company installed the equipment in late 2009, it did not produce an HPP product until 2011. “We didn’t launch any product for 12 to 14 months because it took that long to test and reformulate the product,” Sandridge said. “We have a culinary team that makes the product, but we have a scientific team that makes the decisions on the product,” Sandridge said, adding that the scientific team has final say. “They have that much power—and respect for me.”

And with a year of HPP production now under its belt, word is beginning to spread. “What we are finding is that celebrity chefs are now becoming attracted to us,” Sandridge said. “Every celebrity chef wants to have a retail product, but preservatives have been a barrier to entry.”


Never ‘Good Enough.’ With such a history of innovation, what is next for the company?

“What drives me has always been to try to get better at what we do,” Sandridge said. “I want to build cleaner food—better food for people. I do believe part of the future should be functional food.”

It will also continue its emphasis on teamwork. “It is important to make sure that all 600 of us really know that the customer trusts us to do the right thing every day,” he said. “If we didn’t have that culture, we wouldn’t have done well in ’08 and ’09 when the world was upside down.”

“But,” he added, “I don’t know what is next for us. You can always get better at what you’re doing. You can never be good enough.”


Tag Archives: Jennifer L.Schenker

Now that Bloom Energy has unveiled its innovative fuel cell technology to the world, it appears the much-hyped Silicon Valley startup’s “Energy Server” shows a lot of promise, particularly for Fortune 500 companies that can afford the parking lot-sized power boxes priced up to $800,000 apiece.

But is the Bloom box too good to be true? We may not know for years, of course, although early reports from an impressive lineup of beta testers, including Bank of America, Coca-Cola, eBay, FedEx, Google, and Wal-Mart, are showing sizable reductions in both energy costs and CO2 emissions [PDF]. A power generator that saves money and the environment? This must be Tomorrowland!

Well, Bloom Energy is developing a power box for the home too, a development that could fundamentally change the way home users buy energy, if (again) the Bloom box is the real deal.

This is a huge, paradigm-shifting idea, of course. First off, this addresses the classic problem associated with renewable energy: that it is a transient, unpredictable thing. In order for renewable energy to really have a chance as an alternative to fossil fuels, we need ways to store the electricity produced and ways to feed that power back into the grid if we’re not using all of it.

I liken the thinking behind the Bloom Box to the idea of distributed computing: which enabled thousands of businesses to benefit from information technology, even though they couldn’t afford or support a mainframe computer. If you buy into that idea, why shouldn’t you buy into the idea of distributed energy that is both off the grid and on it, to boot.

If the Bloom Box concept works, and that is a big if obviously, this will be a ground-breaking idea.

While Bloom is not releasing full details of the technology, it’s a type of solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC). Unlike hydrogen fuel cells proposed for use in vehicles, SOFCs operate at high temperatures (typically well over 600 ºC) and can run on a variety of fuels. They can be more efficient than conventional turbines for generating electricity. But their high cost and reliability problems have kept them from widespread commercial use.

Sridhar says Bloom’s technology has made the fuel cells affordable. What’s more, costs are expected to decrease significantly as production ramps up.

“All indications are that they have taken pretty conventional SOFC technology (zirconia electrolyte, nickel anode) and spent a lot of money to do a very good job of engineering and process development,” says Jeff Bentley, CEO of CellTech Power, which is developing its own fuel cells that can run on fuels such as diesel and even coal. According to Bloom, the technology is based on planar solid oxide fuel cells that Sridhar developed as a professor at the University of Arizona.

Bloom sells 100-kilowatt modules. They’re made of small, flat 25-watt fuel cells that can be stacked together. A complete 100-kilowatt module, with multiple stacks and equipment for converting DC power from the stacks into AC power to be used in buildings, is about the size of a parking space. The company says each module can power a small supermarket.

In addition to Google, eBay, and Walmart, Bloom’s customers include Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Cox Enterprises, FedEx, and Staples. A 400-kilowatt system powers a building at Google that contains an experimental data center. Walmart has installed Bloom modules at two locations, where they generate between 60 to 80 percent of the electricity for the stores.

It’s taken upwards of $400 million in venture capital to advance the Bloom Box, an idea Sridhar got from his days at NASA working on a way to make oxygen on Mars. Sridhar simply turned the concept on its head by pumping oxygen into the box, along with fuel. The oxygen and fuel combine within a new type of fuel cell to create the chemical reaction that makes electricity [Popular Science]. The chemical reaction wouldn’t produce any globe-warming emissions, and the energy for the fuel cells could reportedly come from natural gas, biofuel, or even solar panels. Sridhar wants these individual power sources to replace the electrical grid, and he has some high-profile support, too: Wal-Mart and Google are among the companies currently trying out his box, and Colin Powell is an adviser.

But if the idea of cheap, clean energy leaves you suspicious, and reminds you of similar promises from experiments like the 1989 Fleischmann-Pons cold fusion “breakthrough,” you’re not alone. Greentech Media CEO Michael Kanellos appeared on the CBS segment to question Bloom’s promises, noting the long and difficult history of fuel cell technology and the lack of great detail about Bloom Box: “You know, they wanna almost make instant energy. But they’re also kind of sprinkled with stardust. You know, Al Gore talks about them. You see the CEO palling around with Tom Friedman at Davos. So there’s a certain whiff of celebrity” [CBS News]. As of this writing, Greentech Media’s own post about the Bloom Box is illustrated with a fanciful unicorn prancing in front of a rainbow.

Sridhar plans to unveil the machine on Wednesday, and Bloom Box’s own cryptic Web site features little besides a clock counting down to that time. Though the corporate units currently in demo cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, Sridhar says he can eventually bring the cost down to about $2,000, and wants one in every home in the country. We’ll see.


In Bloom

Now that Bloom Energy has unveiled its innovative fuel cell technology to the world, it appears the much-hyped Silicon Valley startup’s “Energy Server” shows a lot of promise, particularly for Fortune 500 companies that can afford the parking lot-sized power boxes priced up to $800,000 apiece.

But is the Bloom box too good to be true? We may not know for years, of course, although early reports from an impressive lineup of beta testers, including Bank of America, Coca-Cola, eBay, FedEx, Google, and Wal-Mart, are showing sizable reductions in both energy costs and CO2 emissions [PDF]. A power generator that saves money and the environment? This must be Tomorrowland!

Well, Bloom Energy is developing a power box for the home too, a development that could fundamentally change the way home users buy energy, if (again) the Bloom box is the real deal.

This is a huge, paradigm-shifting idea, of course. First off, this addresses the classic problem associated with renewable energy: that it is a transient, unpredictable thing. In order for renewable energy to really have a chance as an alternative to fossil fuels, we need ways to store the electricity produced and ways to feed that power back into the grid if we’re not using all of it.

I liken the thinking behind the Bloom Box to the idea of distributed computing: which enabled thousands of businesses to benefit from information technology, even though they couldn’t afford or support a mainframe computer. If you buy into that idea, why shouldn’t you buy into the idea of distributed energy that is both off the grid and on it, to boot.

If the Bloom Box concept works, and that is a big if obviously, this will be a ground-breaking idea.

While Bloom is not releasing full details of the technology, it’s a type of solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC). Unlike hydrogen fuel cells proposed for use in vehicles, SOFCs operate at high temperatures (typically well over 600 ºC) and can run on a variety of fuels. They can be more efficient than conventional turbines for generating electricity. But their high cost and reliability problems have kept them from widespread commercial use.

Sridhar says Bloom’s technology has made the fuel cells affordable. What’s more, costs are expected to decrease significantly as production ramps up.

“All indications are that they have taken pretty conventional SOFC technology (zirconia electrolyte, nickel anode) and spent a lot of money to do a very good job of engineering and process development,” says Jeff Bentley, CEO of CellTech Power, which is developing its own fuel cells that can run on fuels such as diesel and even coal. According to Bloom, the technology is based on planar solid oxide fuel cells that Sridhar developed as a professor at the University of Arizona.

Bloom sells 100-kilowatt modules. They’re made of small, flat 25-watt fuel cells that can be stacked together. A complete 100-kilowatt module, with multiple stacks and equipment for converting DC power from the stacks into AC power to be used in buildings, is about the size of a parking space. The company says each module can power a small supermarket.

In addition to Google, eBay, and Walmart, Bloom’s customers include Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Cox Enterprises, FedEx, and Staples. A 400-kilowatt system powers a building at Google that contains an experimental data center. Walmart has installed Bloom modules at two locations, where they generate between 60 to 80 percent of the electricity for the stores.

It’s taken upwards of $400 million in venture capital to advance the Bloom Box, an idea Sridhar got from his days at NASA working on a way to make oxygen on Mars. Sridhar simply turned the concept on its head by pumping oxygen into the box, along with fuel. The oxygen and fuel combine within a new type of fuel cell to create the chemical reaction that makes electricity [Popular Science]. The chemical reaction wouldn’t produce any globe-warming emissions, and the energy for the fuel cells could reportedly come from natural gas, biofuel, or even solar panels. Sridhar wants these individual power sources to replace the electrical grid, and he has some high-profile support, too: Wal-Mart and Google are among the companies currently trying out his box, and Colin Powell is an adviser.

But if the idea of cheap, clean energy leaves you suspicious, and reminds you of similar promises from experiments like the 1989 Fleischmann-Pons cold fusion “breakthrough,” you’re not alone. Greentech Media CEO Michael Kanellos appeared on the CBS segment to question Bloom’s promises, noting the long and difficult history of fuel cell technology and the lack of great detail about Bloom Box: “You know, they wanna almost make instant energy. But they’re also kind of sprinkled with stardust. You know, Al Gore talks about them. You see the CEO palling around with Tom Friedman at Davos. So there’s a certain whiff of celebrity” [CBS News]. As of this writing, Greentech Media’s own post about the Bloom Box is illustrated with a fanciful unicorn prancing in front of a rainbow.

Sridhar plans to unveil the machine on Wednesday, and Bloom Box’s own cryptic Web site features little besides a clock counting down to that time. Though the corporate units currently in demo cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, Sridhar says he can eventually bring the cost down to about $2,000, and wants one in every home in the country. We’ll see.


NAMA Equipment & Product Showcase

The following products were introduced at the NAMA National Expo in Atlanta, Ga.

The following products were introduced at the NAMA National Expo in Atlanta, Ga.

Coffee Brewers

The Caféjo CJ-200 brewer is a smaller machine with a footprint of only 9 inches that uses the same pods as the larger machine. Call 800-888-2739 www.cafejo.com.

Automatic espresso vending machines include bean to ready-to-drink cup at the touch of a button. The company imports and distributes Jura light commercial machines in the U.S. Jura X-line products are for OCS and lower volume foodservice applications. The company also imports machines under the Aequator name that include a variety of automatic espresso makers. Call 678-364-1922 www.axamerica.com.

Cafection Enterprises Inc.

The Avalon Triple B now weighs less and includes several new features: long espresso 50 percent more chocolate an internal compartment for tools an improved ventilation for soluble products a halogen light offering a modern look and an interactive user selection panel. The unit dispenses dual cup sizes and two brew strengths. Call 800-561-6162 www.cafection.com.

Flavia Beverage Systems

The new beverage station merchandises drinks covering every conceivable hot beverage category for the at-work market. The merchandiser features four beverage categories, covering different day parts. The new menu includes selections from: coffee, tea, well being and indulgence. The current merchandiser holds a maximum capacity of 345 drinks. The new merchandiser holds a maximum capacity 716 drinks, signifying a 107.54 percent increase. Call 800-523-5146 www.myflavia.com

Fountain USA

The CF4, CF6 and FA12 compact manual dispensers offer a variety of coffees, hot and iced teas, hot chocolate, isotonic drinks and soups. Call 718-729-2333 www.fountainusa.com.

The fresh-brew coffee dispenser allows the use of liquid coffee concentrate with an aseptically packaged 1-gallon bag-in-box, fresh-brew hot coffee, a refrigerated compartment, a child safety lock, and is available in steel and white. Call 985-863-7792 [email protected]

Melitta USA Inc.

The one:one single-serve pod brew system features convenience, quality and variety. Each coffee and tea pod is individually foil wrapped and nitrogen flushed.

The brewer comes in a stylish design in five different colors. Melitta offers six different coffee varieties and three tea varieties. Call 727-535-2111 www.esalton.com.

Newco Enterprises Inc.

The “Fresh Cappuccino” mini dispenser offers three selections and will fit under most cabinets. It features an automatic rinser that cleans the whipper chambers an adjustable temperature and individual product strength controls to customize selections. It comes in two sizes 2-pound hopper and 3-pound hopper.

The 20-to-1 brewer holds 20 ounces of water for every ounce of coffee. It features touch key buttons, a digital time display, a coffee-ready light, a brewer signal, a brewing light, an auto-arm, a power bar and a hot water faucet. Call 800-325-7867
www.newcocoffee.com.

The Robopod™ single-pod brewer offers a countertop solution. The machine features two size cups: 8 and 12 ounces. The 48-pound machine comes programmable and/or with a manual stop. Recovery time is two minutes after six consecutive cups. Brew cycle is 23 seconds. The machine accepts the following pod brands: Juan Valdez, Melitta One and Cooper’s teapods.

The Semmy 520 is a countertop espresso pod machine made by Rossi. Call 800-272-5629 www.esalton.com.

Wilbur Curtis Co. Inc.

The ThermoPro™ G3 digital control module provides precise control over all aspects of brewing. Operators can preset recipes at the touch of a button. Stainless steel ThermoPro™ vacuum-sealed servers keep coffee fresh. A single unit is field selectable for up to three-batch brewing.

The Café Primo Cappuccino (PC)

Systems share many components with Curtis’ Generation Three Cappuccino systems. The Café PC is available in multiple drink models for maximum flexibility. The Café models utilize advanced digital control module that allows precision blending for consistent quality. Call 800-421-6150 www.wilburcurtis.com.

Wolfgang Puck® Coffee

The Wolfgang Puck® branded Café Xpress pod brewer offers auto-pod ejection, two soluble mix hoppers and fully programmable brew cycles for lattes, mochas, espresso and more. Marketing support includes direct mail cards and brochures, branded cups, thermal wraps and other tools. For vending operators, the company offers branded graphic kits for full-size and countertop coffeemakers. Other support materials include posters, banners and menu boards. For hotels, there is an in-room pod brewer. Call 877-777-1600 www.wpcoffee.com.

VE Global Solutions LLC

Money Handling Equipment

American Changer Corp.

BC-101 bill counter offers counterfeit detection with its infrared ink sensors, ultraviolet ink sensors and magnetic ink sensors. The counter also has large LED displays that assist in batch counting, tallying 1,000 notes per minute, with a feeder capacity of 200 notes and a stacker capacity of 300 notes. Call 954-917-3009 www.americanchanger.com.

CashCode Co. Inc.

The BackLoad MSM bill validator features multiwidth bill and bar coded coupon validation. Features include: advanced sensor technology stringing protection versatility lockable/removable cassettes flash memory auto-calibrating/auto-tuning and beltless design to reduce maintenance. Call 800-584-2633 www.cashcode.com.

Coin Acceptors Inc.

The BillPro-CRX Card and Bill Acceptor offers a bill acceptor and credit/debit card reader combination unit built upon the BillPro™ platform with patented Flexstack™ technology. The BillPro-CRX increases vending sales by offering payment flexibility in the form of bills, credit or debit cards, and coupons. The intuitive vertical card path is ergonomically designed to optimize use in vending equipment to ensure reliable card swipes. A multiline, high-contrast LCD display and audible feedback provide the consumer with a continuous transaction status.

The Coinco combo unit is specifically designed to operate in conjunction with card processing technology offered by Transaction Network Services and USA Technologies. Call 800-325-2646 www.coinco.com.

eSecure Peripherals Inc.

Milk Money™ is an automated system that combines dispensing, user payment methods and detailed reporting in a single integrated package. It consists of the CK2000 reader installed in a vending machine, an “eStore” program to track purchases, and media to identify individual students. The program offers tracking of free, reduced and full pay transactions. Call 888-377-9282 www.esecureperipherals.com.

Ingenico/Debitek

The retrofit, smart card-based, cashless card reader can fit any MDB-capable machine. The reader is designed to be less expensive than a coin mechanism or a bill validator. Call 423-894-6177 www.debitek.com.

International Currency Technologies

The S6 Series bill validator offers four-way acceptance and is reprogrammable with a flash ROM and features an automatic, self-adjusting sensor system.

The Leonid mini hopper features double sensors, an advanced coin size adjustment system, and an advanced minimum coin detection system.

The ND-500 note dispenser has a 500-note capacity and features single or multiple note dispensing options. Call 510-353-0289 www.ict-america.com.

JCM American Corp.

An interactive bezel with an LCD screen powered by the JCM bill validator through MDB can be added to any vending machine without requiring an additional cutout. The bezel enables product advertising and can help customers determine what denominations of change they will receive, which will encourage multiple purchases. The system will allow the vending operator to offer promotional discounts at the point-of-sale. Call 702-651-0000 www.jcm-american.com.

Microtronic AG

Cashless electronic payment systems. The “U-Keymifare” is a multipurpose data carrier that can be used as a master key for vending machines, time registration, access control, prepaid purchases, preordered meals, photocopiers, and other functions. Call 41-0-62-388-45-45 www.microtronic.ch.

Rowe International Inc.

The Bill Breaker bill-to-bill and coin changers join the existing line of front- and rear-load changers. The changers dispense two different bill and/or coin denominations, print a reconciliation report, and offer a user-feedback display. The changers are equipped with MEI bill validators and Fujitsu bank note dispensers. Call 800-393-0201 www.roweinternational.com.

SandenVendo America Inc.

The Sanden ECC-USM90B1 coin mechanism is a 5-tube mech that can be configured to hold dollar coins or quarters and will limit “exact change” situations. Features include: acceptance of U.S. and Canadian coins rapid coin dispensing from multiple tubes simultaneously transparent construction to easily locate jammed coins two LEDs on the keypad to communicate diagnostic functions snap-on modular construction for quick cleaning and servicing and foreign coin rejection.

The Sanden Dollar Bill Validator accepts 1- and 5-dollar bills and provides 4-way bill acceptance. Features include: double protection against bill pull-out optional validation using six sensors at two wavelengths single-bill escrow two 2-color LEDs for easy servicing die-cast, reinforced bezel error detection compatibility with other manufacturers’ coin mechs and easy to clean. Call 800-344-7216 www.vendoco.com.

The Unilog multi-application cash card system allows multiple ways of reloading cards, either by self-serve or manual serve. Call 888-334-7569 www.sem.ca.

Transaction Network Services

The “Synapse” cashless vending system is a wireless transaction data communications platform developed for Pepsi Cola’s vending operations. It is the only cashless system tested and proven in the field and authorized by Pepsi. The Pepsi-certified training and support program is provided by TNS.

The system is UL listed and Pepsi trademark authorized. It is compatible with all current Dixie Narco, Sanden Vendo and Royal Vendors machines.

TNS provides card processing services operator-friendly settlement reporting and Internet-based reporting. No back office hardware or software is required. Call 703-453-8550 www.tnsi.com.

USA Technologies Inc.

USA Technologies and MasterCard International have partnered to provide a faster and more convenient payment option for use at vending machines. The e-Port® payment terminal from USA Technologies installs easily into existing cash-only vending machines, enabling them to accept traditional credit and debit cards as well as contactless cards and fobs.

MasterCard PayPass™ is a new “contactless” payment program that provides consumers with a faster and more convenient way to pay. Using PayPass™, consumers simply tap their payment card, or alternative PayPass™ form factor (such as a fob), on a specially equipped terminal. The transaction takes place in seconds and typically requires no signature. PayPass™ allows payments to be completed quickly, securely and easily, without the hassle of fumbling with cash and coins. Call 800-633-0340 www.usatech.com.

Vendors Exchange International Inc.

The micromech-to-MDB conversion kit enables most micromech machines to accept new 4- and 5-tube changers, credit card readers and cashless payment systems like Zip. The kit allows machines to upgrade to 4- or 5-tube coin mechs and still use existing bill validators. In addition, the integrated cash/credit card bezel fits in most bill changers. The kit allows the operator to set the denominations of bills accepted, or allow the consumer to decide what denominations of bills they want to receive. The credit card reader interfaces with MEI’s credit card clearing service. Call 800-321-2311 www.veii.com.

ViVOtech is an end-to-end contactless payment solution provider that allows consumers to make contactless payments with radio frequency-enabled credit and debit cards, key fobs, mobile phones, PDAs and identity cards. The transaction platform enables vending machines, fuel dispensers, kiosks, time and attendance terminals, transportation ticket machines, and others, to accept a wide variety of contactless payment applications such as Mastercard® PayPass™, ExpressPay from American Express®, as well as value-added contactless gift and loyalty applications and others. Call 408-248-7001 www.vivotech.com.

Food Handling Products

Form Plastics Co.

Form Plastics Co., Inc. introduced a unique merchandising solution for Crane Shoppertron and Rowe cold food machines. This solution, called “the riser,” is an inclined stand that props food items up on an angle in each compartment for maximum visibility. Functional for both prepackaged or commissary provided food items, the riser allows customers full view of the item being presented.

Also introduced were shelf liners designed for all compartments of the new Crane Shoppertron 432 food machine. Form Plastics Co., Inc. continues to offer the shelf liners and bottle holder stands for the existing Crane and Rowe machines. The risers, shelf liners and bottle holders are available exclusively from Vendors Exchange International Inc. at: 800-321-2311, ext 218.

Preferred Packaging

Microwaveable entrée or salad bowl with dome lid allows an operator to showcase appetizing menu selections. The versatile, black microwaveable bowl can be used for entrees or salads. The anti-fog dome lid won’t fog in a chilled display case. The lid snaps off with a pull on the side tab. Call 800-406-0038 www.prefpkg.com.

Computers and Data Processing

Cantaloupe Systems

The provider of wireless remote monitoring for vending now has a new home page, offering the following reports: real-time inventory instant inventory alerts machine health updates cash accountability sales reports and prepick lists. Call 510-647-3785 www.cantaloupesys.com.

Data Intelligence Systems Corp.

The route management systems include changes from version V5.6.16 to version V5.7.4. Call 800-627-9900 or 800-627-9992.

InOne Technology LLC

The IDEX remote monitoring system gives an operator the data they need from the machines to optimize route schedules and product mix. The system allows an operator to know exactly how much inventory is selling from each machine and can eliminate sellouts and over servicing. It also allows the operator to know how much cash is in the machine at any given time, thus reducing theft. Call 800-426-1487 www.inonetechnology.com.

MEI will incorporate Cantaloupe Systems’ technology into its new EASITRAX™ Vending Management Solution. The new EASITRAX™ version will deliver dynamic scheduling technology that increases driver productivity, along with the ability for machines to automatically contact operators when problems occur.

MEI’s EASITRAX™ frees operators from traditional reliance on inefficient forecasting models, providing superior replenishment scheduling via constantly updated stock and usage information. Building on MEI’s remote data port — used for credit card transactions and first-walk elimination — the Cantaloupe Systems’ SEED™ Platform dynamically schedules machines for replenishment, effectively eliminating sold-out columns.

Drivers can now handle 25 percent more machines while providing a superior replenishment service. Improved route management information, immediate e-mailed machine maintenance notifications, enhanced scheduling, and better stock control results in fewer sold-out events and increased productivity.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cantaloupe will power and operate MEI EASITRAX™ On-Line™, an interactive, Internet-based application module designed for dynamic scheduling, machine alert management and sales data review. MEI EASITRAX™ On-Line™ will be integrated into the new MEI EASITRAX™ v3.4. Call 610-430-2500 www.meiglobal.com.

VendMAX/DeliveryMAX 4.1 includes improvements to both the software and the handheld with significant enhancements to VendMAX Remote and Dynamic Scheduling. There are also significant enhancements for OCS and bottled water operators to help with pre-ordering and telesales.

The VendMAX 4.1 Remote module improves truck-loading or prekitting accuracy by using exact sales data rather than estimates to monitor machines. With VendMAX’s open architecture, operators can use any wireless or hard-wired (phone or Ethernet) network to remotely enable their machines.

The new dynamic scheduling module automates one of the most critical decisions in vending operations: when to schedule a visit. Operators can use VendMAX Dynamic to schedule some or all of their machines on an open schedule (any day) or based on their current set schedule. VendMAX Dynamic schedules machines based on a range of parameters, such as number of sellouts, percent depletion, amount of money in the machine, and the number of days since the last service.

VendMAX 4.1 enhancements enable automatic backups and faster synching times. A new feature allows the handheld to automatically try synching under poor network conditions until it gets a connection. If the handheld is unable to reliably connect, it will keep trying until one is achieved. Call 800-478-7326 www.streamware.com.

Vending Machines

Automatic Products International, Ltd.

The new Premier® 130 Series line of glassfront merchandisers offers reliability and sophistication, while adding valuable improvements to help operators achieve maximum profitability with even less time and labor.

The Premier 130 Series offers a host of new operator and consumer benefits. The all-new Stealth styling provides stunning good looks that make products the center of attention, while the brighter lighting presents brands in their true color and delivers up to three times the bulb life. The Premier 130 Series also features enhanced merchandising with 100 percent visual impact of brands, eye-catching two-line scrolling graphics display, and changeable point-of-sale window.

The advanced electronics are smart yet also simple to use, and feature effective modes to save time and money, such as customized energy conservation periods, shut-down by selection, space-to-sales, automatic daylight-savings time clock-rolling, programmable messages, effective promotional tools, and many more.

The Fast Track programming keypad provides time-saving navigation. The buttons are easily identified in plain text, and are also bilingual — simply toggle between English and Spanish. And the new shelf design provides easier shelf movement, while lower shelves pull out straight for ease of filling and better ergonomics.

All 130 Series merchandisers feature an enhanced Golden Eye® with 12 sensors per side for maximum vend detection. Each is “plug and play” ready, with preinserted price rolls and selection numbers to save time and money.

Features include: Braille numeric consumer selection system wireless shelf connections for easy shelf removal and less maintenance and metal shelves and chrome spirals for greater durability.

The Studio Series features modern “Metro” styling with a deeper delivery bin with a contoured interior to make product retrieval easier, with two-line scrolling message display. The series offers both historical and interval sales data and full DEX accountability at the machine. The lower shelves on the snack merchandisers pull straight out for better ergonomics when filling.Call 800-523-8363 www.automaticproducts.com.

Automated Vending Technology

The RAM1600 Remote Access Management is a glassfront snack machine with built-in remote access management. A device is installed in the vending machine that connects the machine to a PC via the Internet, allowing remote management of machine inventory, repairs, collections and advertising on the Internet. An optional multipay system allows the machine to accept cash, debit cards and credit cards. Dimensions: 72 by 28 by 29.5 inches. Weight: 475 pounds. Call 877-424-3663 www.avtinconline.com.

Dixie Narco Vending Systems

The BevMax 2™ XY features the “XY” product delivery system, providing gentle handling of product that minimizes foaming and at the same time offers an entertaining vend experience. It allows multiple shaped packages to be vended without adjusting the set-up, and is quick and easy to load. It features an electronic lock system that secures the door at two points. Call 803-688-9090 www.dixienarco.com.

Fit Fuel is a dedicated health-oriented vending machine with customized graphics. The machine offers a variety of payment options, including wireless telemetry-based online monitoring.

Fuel Zones™ accept a wide variety of payments, allowing customers the flexibility of paying in whichever way is most convenient.

Payment options include: credit/debit cards RFID tags hotel keys and cash.

Cashless technology not only gives consumers increased payment flexibility, it also allows for greater sales and increased profits. Call 888-563-1170 www.fitfuel.com.

Fresh Chips

The automated cooking machine cooks potato chips in canola oil and delivers a choice of four dipping sauces (barbecue, salsa, ketchup, and sweet and sour) and salt. The chips are vended in 35 seconds and the machine has a 250-vend capacity. Oil is purged and replenished automatically. The machine features a diagnostic and status LCD display. Dimensions: 74 by 40 by 28 inches. Options include remote accounting and diagnostics via a telemetry connection. Options also include bill acceptor/validator, coin changer, file suppression, light box, front graphics panel and side graphics panel. Call 888-762-4477 www.freshchips.net.

iTrade.bz Corp.

This China-based OEM has a facility in Norcross, Ga. and offers a variety of machines. They include both wall-mounted and free-standing machines with coin and/or bill acceptors. The EV3632 is a stand-alone machine with LED display and voice instruction, and a coin and bill acceptor, with optional, wireless, remote monitoring. The EV3301R is a wall-mounted, instant noodle machine that is battery-operated and has LED display and a hot water chamber. There are also medium-size, large-size, king-size and jumbo-size versions of the instant noodle machine. Call 770-242-7955 www.evending.net.

The Vision glassfront machine features an elevator-driven product delivery system that allows for restocking, eliminating empty space and increasing channel capacity by at least 20 percent. Product is delivered bump- and fall-free, to the height of the consumer’s hand, allowing for the sale of more fragile products. The interior space can be divided and each channel can be adjusted to the dimensions of a particular product. The trays allow for height adjustment and each can include up to seven channels. The machine has LCD display with direct status and programming messages, and is equipped for telemetry operations, including audit, sales and incident reports. Call 305-468-0308 www.jofemar.com.

MooBella LLC

MooBella LLC has developed a machine that marries innovative, patented technologies with ice cream. The machine produces fresh, delicious, made-to-order ice cream in 45 seconds to the delight of consumers. It provides 96 choices based on combinations of two ice cream varieties, 12 flavors and three mix-ins.

For foodservice operators, the machine increases sales per square foot, saves time and money, and ensures accurate, consistent
portion control.

The MooBella technology enables instantaneous aeration, flavoring and freezing of ice cream mixes formed into a scoop of fresh premium hard ice cream and dispensed within 45 seconds. The addition of Cantaloupe’s Seed™ platform enables MooBella to monitor its machines in the field at any location that has wireless capability. MooBella will be able to capture sales, inventory and operations data.

Cantaloupe’s Seed™ interface enables MooBella to automatically predict when MooBella machines will need product restocking and where to send that product. It provides a tool for detailed analysis to compare and evaluate sales by region, channel, flavor, etc. as well as an error analysis tool to identify the function status of its machines. Call 774-961-1221 www.moobella.com.

SandenVendo America Inc.

The Model V5-411 and VSR-411 Snack Vendors are glassfront snack machines. Features include: extractable shelves, allowing first-in, first-out loading MDB controllers with DEX/UCS compatibility membrane switch keypad a vacuum flourescent display low-energy fluorescent lighting system point-of-use graphic opportunities trays that are adjustable up and down in 1- to 3/16-inch increments an anti-theft delivery bin cassette-style refrigeration system for quick and easy servicing adjustable leveling legs and an optional lint skirt. Call 800-344-7216 www.vendoco.com.

Seaga Manufacturing Inc./Vendtronics

The Ventronics VC3000 glassfront machine with all-steel design is designed for easy loading and servicing. Trays tilt and can be removed without a harness. Dual spirals are standard on two trays spirals have standard coil. The machine has a vend detection system to ensure delivery through the over-sized push door. The diagnostic screen is easy to read with 20 characters on two lines. The keypad is telephone-style and has Braille. The machine features full DEX/UCS and MDB capabilities, and comes with full chrome trim. Call 815-297-9500 www.vendtronics.com.

U-Select-It Corp.

The Alpine ST refrigerated glassfront machine vends sodas, juices, dairy products, foods and other products that need refrigeration. It features a foamed-in-place, insulated cabinet and door. The design secures temperatures down to 36 degrees Fahrenheit. The machine features the iVend® guaranteed product delivery sensor. It is MDB/DEX capable and has versatile and adjustable trays and helix timing. The machine holds up to 60 items.

The Geneva hot beverage merchandiser dispenses a broad menu of premium and specialty coffees and teas. It features up to 72 different products, dual-cup capability, a small footprint, an advanced power management system, single-user interface, MDB/DEX capability, one-touch servicing, and the iVend® guaranteed product delivery sensor.

The Mercato glassfront snack merchandiser features a new electronic controller, flex shelf technology, a fully adjustable helix timer, MDB/DEX capability and the iVend® guaranteed product delivery sensor. Call 800-246-8709 www.uselectit.com.

Parts and Accessories

The QL3B head is a quick-change filter head with shut-off that accepts all Everpure quick-change aluminum cartridges. In addition, the MicroGuard™ Pro filters feature a combination 0.15-micron membrane and graded density carbon filtration for chlorine, taste and odor, cyst and bacteria reduction.

The capacity ranges from 250 to 550 gallons. The ESO blended, precoat filtration and softening cartridge is designed for specialty coffee applications and reduces mineral content in ingredient water. Call 800-323-7873 www.everpure.com.

The Vend Verifier developed by Greenwick for the Rowe 4900 to 5900 machines features optical beam technology. The device recredits the vend price to the machine if no product drops after two attempts. The unit requires MEI validators. The unit is installed in three steps. Call 800-458-8661 www.lutechinc.com.

Area treatments with mounting brackets feature a custom graphic printed to ABS plastic. Panels are laminated to corrugated plastic. Panels slide over 6-gauge wire mounting brackets. Mounting brackets are mounted to the top of the machine with ½-inch self-tapping screws. Alignment brackets mount to the top of the machine with self-tapping screws. Brackets easily align machines and space them 1 inch apart. Call 866-406-1989 www.tuffronts.cc.

Security Products

Abloy Security Inc.

The Shut-Out™ Series of vending security products has expanded to include hasps, puck locks and the Shut-Out™ shield and the Shut-Out™ safeguard. The series is designed to combine with Abloy maximum security products to provide a complete vending security solution. Call 800-367-4598 www.abloyusa.com.

Lock America Inc.

The S619A/B high-security t-handle lock features a hardened steel housing with a ¼-inch thick rounded face to help prevent against drilling. The S833H hardened steel housing is for “removable core” plug locks. The S619 is a short-body, high security “removable core” plug lock. Call 800-422-2866 www.laigroup.com.

Triteq Lock & Security LLC

The retrofit sign face kit with electronic security is for cold drink machines with curved fronts. The components give older machines the same benefits as the Pepsi HVV machines, including larger decals and selection buttons. Operators need a sign face, which they can get from a sign face company (one company that is providing the sign faces is D.I. Graphics, based in Denver, Colo.), and product selection switches and the vandal panel that goes over the corner of the door, both of which Triteq provides. Call 857-640-7002 www.triteqlock.com.

CyberAudit-Web is a browser-based software program that offers cellular communication to remotely program user keys in the field. Access authorization can be sent to keys via a cellular phone, providing on-demand access and eliminating unauthorized entry. Used in conjunction with CyberLock electronic keys and lock cylinders, the cylinders are easy to install inside traditional mechanical door hardware and do not require batteries or wiring. CyberAudit-Web can be operated over the Internet. Call 541-758-0521 www.videx.com.

Cummins-Allison Corp.

The Money Machine is a self-service coin center for customers. The customer simply pours their coins into the hopper and pushes one button on a colorful touch screen. Within seconds, the coins are counted and a receipt is provided, which can be converted to cash at a manned counter. The bin collects up to 58,000 mixed coins. Debris such as paper clips, screws, bolts and bent coin is diverted to a debris cup for easy disposal. Suspect coins are uncounted and diverted to a coin return cup while maintaining the coin sorting speed. Call 800-786-5528 www.cumminsallison.com

Electrotemp Technologies Inc.

A variety of point-of-use, free-standing water coolers that feature energy saving technology, as well as parts and accessories related to water coolers. Call 877-513-1242 www.electrotemp.com.

Freedom Shopping LLC

The self-serve shopping kiosk utilizes radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to replace traditional vending machines. No longer limited to what items will fit in a vending machine, the self-serve kiosk offers a larger variety of items, including fresh foods, beverages, snacks, personal care products, books and magazines.

The RFID technology and video surveillance create theft deterrence and a speedy checkout. Kiosks that have been in operation since early 2005 produced a 50 percent to 100 percent increase in sales volume over traditional vending banks.

Online monitoring allows the operator to have total control of the pricing, sales, cash, inventory and expiration dates. Call 888-664-8168 www.freedomshopping.com.

Get & Go Express

The franchise offering includes training, equipment and marketing support for free-standing banks of vending machines in public locations. This is a turnkey program in which the investor pays the franchisor a fee for training, ongoing support and assistance in securing a location and negotiating the necessary agreements to place and operate machines. The vending bank includes a remote monitoring device and video surveillance. Call 217-528-0730 www.getandgoexpress.com.

AC and DC motors, AC brake motors, AC variable speed motors, and AC and DC gear motors. Call 661-702-8565 www.ggm.co.kr.

International Business Development Inc.

The Eliminator™ hot/cold or cook/cold point-of-use water cooler for bottled water or in-line filtration features a single float system, shut-off valve, durable valves, a safety hot valve and adjustable temperature. Call 770-242-2995 www.alpinecoolers.com.

The Reflections point-of-use series water coolers feature a classic design with a one-piece, blow-molded cabinet, rounded corners and edges. Optional equipment includes E-Z Fill™ system, no-spill kit, cup dispensers, float kit and top. Call 909-629-7301 www.mtnproducts.com.

Met-Speed Label

Pressure sensitive labels include up to seven colors and can be hot stamped, embossed, varnished and overlaminated. There are more than 1,000 dies in stock. The labels can include various adhesives and can be printed on one side or two.

Printers available can provide thermal transfer printing. There is a four-color printer available. Call 888-886-0638 www.metspeedlabel.com.

Point-of-use water filtration coolers are available in floor-standing and countertop models. Purlogix™ offers systems with reverse osmosis, micro filtration or without filters. An optional in-tank, ultraviolet disinfection is available on all models. Call 866-787-5649 www.purlogix.com.

Samar Enterprises Co., Ltd.

The LCD compact flash media player incorporates a 7-inch display screen. The media format includes jpeg, motion jpeg, and mpeg II. It supports memory cards. Capabilities include motion body senor to automatic playback function. There is also an LCD compact flash media player with a 15-inch screen. Call 886-2-2642-1661 www.samar.jp.

Vertex Water Products

A full line of bottle-less coolers includes dual and triple temperature units, free-standing units, countertop units, reverse osmosis technology and an ultraviolet option. Different colors and designs are also available. There is also a line of water softeners available. Call 800-627-2146 www.vertexwater.com.

Candy, Snacks and Confections

Barrel O’ Fun Snack Foods

Blair’s Death Rain bagged snack chips come in 2-, 1.5- and 1-ounce bags. Flavors in 2-ounce bags: barbecue kettle chips, Cajun kettle chips, habanero kettle chips, cheddar jalapeno, buffalo wing kettle, cracked crab kettle, and parmesan habanero flavors in 1.5-ounce bags: plain kettle, habanero kettle, buffalo wing kettle, and cheddar jalapeno flavors in 1-ounce bags: habanero kettle, cheddar jalapeno kettle, and buffalo wing kettle. Call 800-346-4910.

B & G Foods Inc.

New York Style tender and lighter bagel chips come in four flavors: garlic, plain, cinnamon raisin and original. Call 973-401-6500 bgfoods.com.

Berry Blasters Inc.

The 1-ounce sour flavored candies feature grapes dried and packed with flavor to create a distinctive taste. They come in three flavors: sour cherry, sour strawberry and sour peach. Call 559-673-5908.

Biscomerica Corp.

Basil’s Peanut Butter and Basil’s Lemon Sandwich Cremes are the latest additions. Basil’s Sandwich Cremes are provided by Biscomerica Corp., the bakery that offers the Knott’s Berry Farm line of cookies. Call 909-877-5997 www.biscomerica.com.

Brother Kane’s Peanuts

Salted snacks in 1.5-ounce bags: gourmet peanuts hot and spicy peanuts and butter toffee peanuts. Call 770-480-2233.

Brownie Baker Inc.

6-ounce apple cinnamon 6-ounce cinnamon roll 6-ounce cream cheese roll 4.5-ounce strawberry cheese 4.5-ounce lemon and cheese 4-ounce concha 6-ounce raspberry roll. Call 800-598-6501 www.browniebaker.com.

Cadbury Adams

Trident Splash has two flavors in each piece: sweet gum on the outside and a splash of refreshing liquid on the inside. It is available in two new flavors: strawberry with lime and peppermint with vanilla. Call 972-673-7000 www.tridentgum.com/trident.

Campbell Soup Co.

Pepperidge Farm® cookies in 2.25- and 1.5-ounce packs include: Mint Milano cookies and Brussels cookies. Call 904-390-0940 www.pfgoldfish.com or www.campbellawayfromhome.com.

Farley & Sathers Candy Co.

Farley’s® Fruit Snacks are available in orange, cherry and strawberry flavors, as well as an assortment package of mixed fruit that contain cherry, strawberry, grape and orange flavors. All four varieties are available in 2.5-ounce packages. Call 507-372-2829 www.farleyandsathers.com.

Flowers Snack Group

Mrs. Freshley’s branded SnackAway snacks are designed for nutrition-conscious accounts. The single-serve line includes: wild blueberry muffins, 2 to a 3.4-ounce pack vanilla yogurt crème cakes, 2- to a 3.4-ounce pack and vanilla yogurt crème oatmeal cookies, 1- to a 1.8-ounce pack wild blueberry. Call 800-639-2671 www.mrsfreshleys.com.

General Mills

Betty Crocker® Scooby-Doo!™ branded, extra-large, 2.5-ounce Fruit Snacks feature assorted fruit flavors that are fat-free, naturally and artificially flavored with real fruit juice and 200 percent vitamin C.

Gardetto’s Roasted Garlic Rye Chips are available in a vend pack, double baked and seasoned with Gardetto’s recipe flavor.
Bugles now come in salsa flavor. Call 763-293-1180 www.genmills.com.

Soy-based food products include soy protein bars, shake powders, crisps, roasted soy nuts, chocolate-covered soy nuts and snack bars. Call 888-436-4769 www.genisoy.com.

Haas Baking Co.

Iced honey bun is 4.75 ounces. Call 314-631-6100 www.haasbaking.com.

Handi Foods Ltd.

Uncle George’s Pita Chips come in four flavors in 1.6-ounce bags: super hot habanero, mild salsa, ranch, and original lightly salted.

Uncle George’s 0.7-ounce Pita Chips in cinnamon and barbecue.

Pita Puffs in 1-ounce bags: super hot habanero, salsa, and garlic and chive. Call 800-892-6224 www.mrpita.ca.

Harmony Foods Corp.

Single-serve snacks include: yogurt flavored pretzels with calcium in 3-ounce bags gummy bears with vitamin C in 4.5-ounce bags yogurt flavored raisins in 2.2-ounce bags country stream in 2.3-ounce bags tropical trail mix in 2.3-ounce bags spicy cha cha, 2.3-ounce bags super deluxe mix, 2.3-ounce bags, sugar-free gummy bears, 2-ounce bags sugar-free sour worms, 2-ounce bags gummy worms, 4.5-ounce bags sour bears, 4.5-ounce bags sour worms, 4.5-ounce bags fruit snacks, 1.75-ounce bags gummy bears, 1.75-ounce bags sour bears, 1.75-ounce bags. Call 800-837-2855 www.harmonyfoods.com.

Healthy Delite

Fruit Roots are flavorful, fat-free laces made with all-natural ingredients and vitamin C in 2.7-ounce peg bags. Varieties include mixed berry, citrus medley, kiwi and orchard peach. Call 516-593-5369 www.healthydelite.com.

Candy-coated milk chocolate Kissables™ provide chocolate kisses in five bright colors in a 1.5-ounce bag that fits in a small spiral.

The Kit Kat® Big Kat® has been reformulated as Kit Kat Extra Crispy crisp wafers, which have twice the crisp as regular Kit Kat.

Hershey’s $1.00 cookies are for large spirals. The 2-ounce 4-cookie packs come in three varieties: milk chocolate dipped cookies with chocolate crème and almonds Reese’s milk chocolate dipped cookies with peanut butter and caramel milk chocolate dipped cookies with caramel. Call 717-534-3660 www.hersheysvending.com.

Just Born Inc.

Mike and Ike® candy is now available in two more varieties: Tangy Twister, including raspberry, pineapple, cherry, citrus punch and apple, and Hot Tamales Fire, featuring chewy cinnamon flavored candies. Call 800-445-5787 www.justborn.com.

Kellogg’s Food Away From Home

Cinnamania™ Graham Snacks are crunchy, bite-size cookies that taste like cinnamon buns and French toast slices. The products include zero grams of trans fats and are made with whole grain wheat. The snacks come in two varieties, cinnamon bun and French toast, in 1.76-ounce bags. Call 877-511-5777 www.kelloggsfoodawayfromhome.com.

Kenny’s Candy Co.

Kenny’s bite-size candy items include: 2-ounce bags: juicy sour strawberry, juicy sour green apple, and juicy cherry 4-ounce bags: mixed licorice chews 5-ounce bags: juicy sour strawberry, juicy sour green apple, juicy sour watermelon, juicy sour blue raspberry, and juicy sour red raspberry. Call 800-782-5152.

Kraft Vending & OCS

Tombstone® branded beef and cheese sticks offers a dual snack that combines two tastes. Both beef and cheese sticks come in 1.125-ounce packs and contain no MSG.

Nabisco Ritz® chips in original flavor comes in a 1.75-ounce bag.

Nabisco Golden Oreo® sandwich cookies come six cookies to a 1.8-ounce pack.

Nabisco Honey Made® soft baked snack bars are packed with whole grains and real bananas.

Nabisco Ritz® Chips has two new varieties — Barbecue and Sour Cream & Onion.

These items are oven baked to deliver the satisfying crunch and texture of a chip. Loaded with bold and tangy flavor in every oven-toasted bite, they have 40 percent less fat than regular fried potato chips. Call 800-852-9393 www.kraftvendingocs.com.

Hot Fries made with Texas Pete branded hot sauce comes in a 1-ounce bag. Call 704-643-8349 www.lancesnacks.com.

Nature’s Path Foods

Organic toaster pastries have organic whole grain flour and real organic fruit fillings. They contain no hydrogenated or trans fats. The pastries are packed in twos with six to a box, and they do not require refrigeration. Flavors include: strawberry, blueberry and apple cinnamon.

The EnviroKidz USDA certified organic products include cereals, waffles, cereal bars and animal cookies that are 95 percent or more organic.

The Lifestream line includes natural waffles, organic waffles, and organic pasta. Call 360-332-2266 www.naturespath.com.

O’Brien’s Meat Snacks

Hannah’s Red Hot Sausage in a 0.875-ounce pack is made with beef and chicken and is pickled in a vinegar solution. Call 402-291-3600 www.skylarkmeats.com.

PepsiCo Foodservice

Oh Boy! Oberto® teriyaki natural style beef jerky comes in a 9-ounce pack.

Lay’s® Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® chips feature zero trans fat and comes in 1- and 1.5-ounce bags.

Fritos™ Flamin’ Hot® corn chips feature zero trans fat and comes in a 2-ounce bag. FritoLay® Cheetos cheddar cheese on golden-toast-flavored crackers comes in 1.6-ounce bags. Call 800-HI-TURNS www.fritolay.com.

Perfetti Van Melle

Air Head candy comes in 2-ounce packs, four bars to a pack, in two flavors: sours and regular. Mentos fruit rolls come in two flavors: fruit and mint. Call 859-283-6965 www.perfetti.it.

Physicians Laboratories

Revival® doctor-formulated, soy protein bar comes in three varieties: chocolate peanut butter Paradise™ bar, Autumn Apple Frost™ bar, and chocolate raspberry Zing™ bar. Revival Chips come in three varieties: jalapeno and cheddar chips, barbecue chips and apple pie chips. There is also a weight guide at www.vendingmachinediet.com. Call 800-738-4825 www.vendingmachinediet.com.

Poore Brothers Inc.

Clamato Tortilla Chips are the zesty tomato flavor from the popular seafood blend beverage/mixer. Clamato is a popular beverage in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Cuba or any South American or Caribbean country. Clamato Tortilla Chips in 1- and 1.75-ounce bags capitalize on the popularity of tomato/ketchup with a “kick,” and the increasing U.S. acceptance of Mexican foods, with the general population increase of Mexican Americans in the workplace that have access to vending machines.

Tato Skins Steak and Potato in 1- and 1.75-ounce bags have meat and potatoes seasoning on the popular potato-based snack. Call 770-941-3355 www.poorebrothers.com.

Rich’s Jon Donaire Desserts

Single-serve desserts individually wrapped include: 3.5-ounce candy bar cheesecake 3.5-ounce chocolate chip cookie cheesecake 3.25-ounce Oreo® cheesecake 3.5-ounce baked New York cheesecake 3.5-ounce strawberry swirl cheesecake 3.75-ounce chocolate fudge torte and 3.5-ounce cream style cheesecake. Call 877-388-2473 www.jondonaire.com.

Otis Spunkmeyer

Otis Spunkmeyer 4-ounce and 2.25-ounce muffins now include 35-day shelf life. Call 800-838-1900 www.spunkmeyer.com.

Promotion In Motion Inc.

Flamin’ Hot Heads cherry cinnamon candies in a 4-ounce box. Call 201-784-5800 www.promotioninmotion.com.

Bagged snacks include: Boston baked beans coconut toffee peanuts yogurt pretzels gummy bears gummy worms and sour worms. Call 510-568-8137 www.sconzacandy.com.

Schwan’s Food Service Inc.

Heidi’s Gourmet Desserts include the following pies: Oreo® cookies and crème in 3-ounce pack Reese’s® peanut butter cup in 2.5-ounce pack M&M’s® brownie in 2.5-ounce pack New York style cheesecake in 2.8-ounce pack.

Mrs. Smith’s pies include: lattice apple pie in 4.05-ounce pack Southern pecan pie in 3.35-ounce pack meringue pie in 2.85-ounce pack strawberry cream cheese in 2.75-ounce pack and key lime pie in 3.25-ounce pack.

Edwards® chocolate sundae pie comes in a 2.65-ounce pack. Call 877-302-7426 www.schwansfoodservice.com.

Snyder’s of Hanover

Bite-size peanut butter pretzel sandwiches contain creamy peanut butter sandwiched between small, round-shaped crispy pretzels in 2.125-ounce bags. They have zero grams of trans fat. Call 800-233-7125 ext. 5696 www.snydersofhanover.com.

Stacy’s Pita Chip Co.

Bagel chips in 6-ounce bags feature low fat, no cholesterol, no trans fats, no saturated fat and are baked, not fried. The snacks feature six-month shelf life. Varieties include: simply baked, marble rye, everything, whole wheat and toasted garlic. Call 888-332-4477 www.pitachips.com.

Sturgis Pretzel House

The 1.5-ounce flavored pretzels in 1.5-ounce bags come in the following flavors: buffalo wing honey mustard and onion cheddar ranch jalapeno and New York deli rye. The 1.5-ounce Player’s Pretzels come in the following flavors: plain buffalo wing honey mustard and onion cheddar ranch jalapeno and New York deli rye. Call 609-597-2700 www.sturgispretzel.com.

Sugar Foods Corp.

SuperSnax salted snacks are available in 1.5- and 1-ounce bags and meet nutritional rules of many school districts. These products contain less than 30 percent total calories from fat, less than 35 percent added sugar, no more than 10 percent total calories from saturated fat, no artificial colors or preservatives, and six-month shelf life. Varieties include: Blazin’ Hot Pretzel Poppers Cheezy Nacho Pretzel Poppers Cool Ranch Pretzel Poppers Sour Cream & Onion Pretzel Poppers Zesty Pizza Pretzel Poppers Cinnamon Toast Bites Wild Things Animal Crackers and Caramel Almond Crunchers. Call 866-343-7629 www.supersnax.com.

Top Marketing Group

Garfield’s Chocobites peanut chocolate candies in 1.74-ounce bags offer fresh roasted peanuts in rich chocolate coating and the Garfield cat character.

Garfield’s Chocobites Chocolate Candies come in a 1.74-ounce bag. The candies feature 10-month shelf life. Call 941-761-7507.

Van Wyk Confections

The One Dollar® Bar is 2.25 ounces and designed for a dollar vend. It comes in two flavors: creamy caramel and mint chocolate. Call 888-465-5141 www.onedollarbar.com.

Welch’s Dried Fruit offers real fruit in 1.5-ounce peg bags in the following flavors: apricots, mixed fruit, and tropical sensations. Call 978-371-1000 www.welchs.com.

Amino Vital

Sports supplemental drinks Amino® Vital Puredge in 8-ounce bottles include two new flavors: citrus orange and fruit punch. Call 888-264-6673l www.amino-vital.com.

Coca Cola Co.

Full Throttle energy drink in 16-ounce cans contains ginseng extract, caffeine, taurine, guarana extract, and B-vitamins.

Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke will feature a blend of aspartame and acesulfame potassium (Ace-K). Both Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke and Black Cherry Vanilla Coke will be available in a range of package sizes and will be supported by a variety of marketing programs.

Powerade Option provides electrolytes and B-complex vitamins at levels comparable to regular Powerade, but with fewer carbohydrates and 80 percent fewer calories than Gatorade®. Powerade Option, which is sweetened with a blend of sucralose, Ace-K and HFCS, contains 10 calories and 2 carbohydrates per 8-fluid-ounce serving. Powerade Option will be available in strawberry, black cherry and lemon flavors, and will be found in the sports drink section of supermarkets, mass retail locations, convenience stores and vending machines.

Fresca will be given a fresh, contemporary look, including a new logo and new packaging graphics. Two new flavors — sparkling peach citrus Fresca and sparkling black cherry citrus Fresca — will also be introduced as zero calorie line extensions to the brand. All three Fresca flavors will be available in a variety of packaging sizes, including 12-ounce cans, 20-ounce bottles, 2-liter bottles and multican packs. Call 404-676-2121 www.coca-cola.com.

Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages

7-Up Plus with Splenda in a 12-ounce can comes in two flavors: island fruit flavor, featuring 150 grams of fruit juice calcium, and cherry. Call 972-673-7000 www.cadburyschweppes.com.

Florida’s Natural Products

All-natural, calcium fortified juices and juice drinks with no added sweeteners include: fruit medley juice in 11.5-ounce aluminum can citrus punch in 11.5-ounce aluminum can and fruit medley juice in 16-ounce PET bottle. Call 800-237-7805 ext. 3473 www.floridasnatural.com.

Ready-to-drink organic iced tea low in calories offers antioxidants, and is lightly sweetened with organic cane sugar. The bottle is fully recyclable and presents eye-catching graphics. Varieties include: honey green vanilla mint white tea black forest berry green dragon tea orange black with twist of organic lemon and organic black tea with peach puree. Call 800-865-4736 www.honesttea.com.

Cool Java iced frozen coffee solutions are a blend of pure coffee extracts and ingredients with no preservatives or additives. Products are aseptically packaged, so no refrigeration is needed during shipping and storage. Frozen cappuccinos are available in individual portion packs, pouch packs and bag-in-box formats. Iced cappuccino is available in bulk, bag-in-box format that will fit in major refrigerated dispensers. Iced cappuccino is also available in plastic bottles with full-wrap labels.

Native Planet® milk and soy beverage is available in 11-ounce plastic bottles with no preservatives and in three flavors: vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. Call 800-378-1265 www.kan-pak.com.

Monarch Beverage Co.

Dad’s Root Beer comes in 12-ounce cans and 20-ounce bottles.

All Sport® Plus offers hydration combined with nutritional supplements, including glucosamine and chondroitin for joint flexibility. Orange and lemon lime flavors are available in 20-ounce bottles.

All Sport ®Body Quencher comes in four flavors.

All Sport® Zero is formulated with salts and minerals and has no calories, no carbohydrates and no sugars. Call 404-262-4040 www.drinkallsport.com.

Nestlé Waters North America

Super C Energy is a vitamin supplement that comes in a 3-ounce pack that is mixed with water and is low in calories, sugar and carbohydrates. There are 1,000 mg of supplement per pack. Super C is available in two flavors, orange and berry. Call 800-886-7425 www.supercenergy.com.

New in 20.25-ounce plastic bottles: Grapefruit Jarritos and Pineapple piña. Call 951-695-4425 www.novamex.com.

Shamrock Farms

Shamrock Farms extended shelf life milk is now available in 8-ounce plastic bottles in two varieties: 2 percent white milk and 2 percent chocolate milk. The product has 82 day code life. Call 800-388-3247 www.shamrockesl.com.

Shasta Sales Inc.

Rip It Energy Fuel is fortified with vitamins C, B6, B12 and folic acid, as well as 1,000 mg taurine.

It comes in 16- and 8-ounce cans. Varieties include Power regular, Power zero calorie, Citrus X regular and Citrus X zero calorie. There is a merchandising support program. Call 866-280-0179 www.shastafoodservice.com.

ConAgra Foodservice

Generation 7 Fries made by Lamb Weston maximizes potato solids and natural potato flavor while slashing cooking time by up to


The Shootings On Danziger Bridge

Admitting a cover-up of shocking breadth, a former New Orleans police supervisor pleaded guilty to a federal obstruction charge on Wednesday, confessing that he participated in a conspiracy to justify the shooting of six unarmed people after Hurricane Katrina that was hatched not long after police stopped firing their weapons.

The guilty plea of Lt. Michael Lohman, who retired from the department earlier this month, contains explosive details of the alleged cover-up and ramps up the legal pressure on police officers involved in the shooting and subsequent investigation. It’s unclear when Lohman’s cooperation with federal authorities began, but he presumably is prepared to testify against the officers he says helped him lie about the circumstances of a shooting he immediately deemed a “bad shoot.”

Lohman, who pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to obstruct justice, admits he failed to order the collection of evidence or canvassing of witnesses, helped craft police reports riddled with false information, participated in a plan to plant a gun under the bridge and lied to investigators who questioned police actions.

A spokesman for NOPD Superintendent Warren Riley said the chief did not have a comment about the guilty plea. Bob Young said Riley stands by the quote he made Tuesday, as news of the guilty plea broke. “We hope that justice is served,” he said then.

Remember the Danziger 7? They were the New Orleans cops accused of murdering people on the Danziger Bridge in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the Federal Flood. A state court dismissed charges against them in 2008 but the Feds launched their own investigation into the episode and subsequent cover-up.

The case exploded yesterday when the police Captain who investigated the incident pled guilty to obstruction of justice and admitted that it looked like a “bad shoot” from the git go. This is the *perfect* witness for the Feds: he knows all the details and wasn’t one of the shooters.

In charge of supervising the police investigation, Lohman drafted a bogus 17-page report on the incident, and helped other officers prepare false reports that would agree on a single narrative. When another investigator planted a handgun at the scene, Lohman questioned him to make sure it was “clean.”

Lohman admitted “he knew that the civilians on the bridge had not actually possessed guns, and he knew that the investigator had also falsified statements by the civilians,” according to the government’s press release.

The seven police involved in the shooting itself claimed that they had come under fire after responding to a call that reported two officers had been shot in the area of the bridge, according to an account of the incident from ProPublica. The outlet has been investigating the incident along with the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

After the police shooting, officers arrested Lance Madison — brother of one of the slain men — and booked him on attempted murder charges, alleging he had shot at officers. A grand jury later rejected those charges, according to the Times-Picayune, which has a useful timeline of the case here.

What actually happened, according to the Feds, is this: at least seven officers arrived at the bridge in a Budget rental truck. For unclear reasons, the police opened fire when they encountered on the east side of the bridge a group of six people heading to a supermarket to get supplies. That’s when Brissette was killed Susan Bartholomew lost part of an arm, and her husband Leonard was shot in the head.

Then the officers traveled to the west side of the bridge and encountered the Madison brothers, who were headed to visit a family member’s dentistry office. Ronald Madison, who lived with his mother and, according to his brother, had the mental capacity of a young child, was shot five times in the back, an autopsy showed.

The police involved in the incident were out of uniform and heavily armed, according to the Times-Picayune. They later claimed that one of the victims had reached for a “shiny object,” according to the New York Times.

The seven officers involved in the bridge shooting were indicted on murder charges in December 2006, but the judge threw out the case in August 2008, citing a prosecutor’s violation of grand jury secrecy. The next month, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten launched a probe of the case.

It’s not clear whether the officers involved in the shooting itself could still face federal charges.

The autopsy reports show that Ronald Madison, 40, was shot once in the shoulder and five times in the back, while 19-year-old James Brissette was killed by seven gunshots.

The survivors were seriously injured: Susan Bartholomew lost her right arm as a result of the gunfire Lesha Bartholomew suffered four gunshot wounds Leonard Bartholomew was shot three times and Jose Holmes Jr. had to have a colostomy after he was shot in the stomach.

No police officers were injured.

The Police Account

At approximately 9 a.m., police responded to a report that two officers had been shot in the area of Chef Menteur Highway and Downman Road, near Danziger Bridge, according to the NOPD’s report of the incident. Once they arrived, the officers say, they came under fire and began shooting back.

They initially charged Ronald Madison’s brother, Lance Madison, with eight counts of attempted murder, but a grand jury declined to indict him.

The Civilians’ Account

All of the surviving civilians agree on one thing: They didn’t shoot at the police. They’ve filed a string of lawsuits against the police claiming their rights were violated those suits remain on hold as federal authorities investigate.

According to a suit filed by Holmes, the officers didn’t issue any orders or warnings before firing their weapons, and their vehicle did not have any markings on it to identify them as law enforcement officers. Holmes says he was shot twice in his abdomen by an officer standing over him.

The Aftermath

Investigators assigned to the Danziger Bridge shooting relied heavily on their colleagues’ statements for their 54-page report. Reporters at the New Orleans Times-Picayune haven’t been able to locate two civilian witnesses who were interviewed for the report, or uncover any evidence that these witnesses actually exist. And another key witness, David Ryder, was a fraud. He told police he was a St. Landry Parish sheriff’s deputy, but, in fact, Ryder was a convicted criminal who’d never worked for the St. Landry sheriff.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have achieved a key break in their investigation of the New Orleans Police Department and the shooting of six civilians (two fatally) during Hurricane Katrina’s chaotic aftermath. According to Letten’s bill of information, none of the victims were armed. Former NOPD Lieutenant Jim Lohman has entered a guilty plea to federal charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice and has agreed to cooperate with the prosecution in its investigation of the other police officers involved in the incident. State charges were filed in 2006 but dismissed in 2008.

Letten is a Republican, and a Bush appointee. His office has taken down some 200 corrupt public officials during his eight year tenure in office, making him perhaps the most trusted figure in the New Orleans area. His retention as U.S. Attorney has been supported by both Sen. David Vitter and Sen. Mary Landrieu.


RIA Members Explore Methods of Robotic Palletization

Occam’s Razor suggests that sometimes the simplest answer is the best answer. However, as industry professionals know, in the world of robotics it’s just as often that the easiest solution is not the best solution. In the case of Consumers Co-operative Refineries Ltd., the standard robotic vacuum palletizing system wasn’t going to work with their product. In order to solve CCRL’s palletization predicament, RIA Integrator Flexicell manufactured a different system of palletization.

Robotic Palletizing is a Slick Operation

Jack Mans, Plant Operations Editor — Packaging Digest

After investigating conventional palletizers, the company decided to go to a robotic system. Their palletizing system needed to be capable of handling two different products-cases and 5-gal plastic pails-simultaneously.

The robotic palletizer handles different size cases and 5-gal plastic pails— simultaneously. When changing case sizes, the operator selects the proper case size from the menu on the HMI, which adjusts the individual vacuum zones to match the case size. ereas cases are typically picked up by vacuum because their surfaces are flat, the pails have multiple fixtures on the lid, which disrupt the vacuum. This meant that another method would have to be used, such as mechanical jaws.

Also, the cases come in varying sizes. While only one case size runs at a time, CCRL could not afford any downtime between different products. A changeover had to happen quickly, meaning that the robot’s gripper needed to handle different case sizes on demand, while still being capable of moving the pails. This flexibility required a sophisticated end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) design.

To read the rest of the article at Packaging Digest, featuring RIA Integrator Flexicell, RIA supplier FANUC Robotics America Corp, and MCA Supplier Rockwell Automation, click here. When have you had to look beyond the standard answer to find a solution for a difficult problem?


Grey Economics Are Gonna Clear Up, Put On A Happy Face

The American economy appears to be in a cyclical recovery that is gaining strength. Firms have begun to hire and consumer spending seems to be accelerating.

That is what usually happens after particularly sharp recessions, so it is surprising that many commentators, whether economists or politicians, seem to doubt that such a thing could possibly be happening.

[…]

Why is good news being received with such doubt? Why is “new normal” the currently popular economic phrase, signifying that growth will be subpar for an extended period, and that the old normal is no longer something to be expected?

It is possible, of course, that I am wrong and the prevalent pessimism is correct. Many economic indicators, including Thursday’s retail sales report, are looking up, but that does not prove the recovery will be self-sustaining. There are issues relating to over-indebted consumers and local governments. The housing collapse will have an impact for some time.

But there are, I think, a number of reasons for the glum outlook that are unrelated to the actual economic data.

First, the last two recoveries, after the downturns of 1990-91 and 2001, were in fact very slow to pick up any momentum. It is easy to forget that those recessions were also remarkably shallow. If you are under 45, you probably don’t have much recollection of the last strong recovery, after the recession that ended in late 1982.

Add to that the fact that the vast majority of the seers did not see this recession coming. Remember Ben Bernanke assuring us the subprime problem was “contained”? In mid-2008, after the recession had been under way for six months, the Fed thought there would be no recession, and the most pessimistic member of its Open Market Committee thought the unemployment rate could climb to 6.1 percent by late 2009. It actually went over 10 percent.

In January of this year — after the recession had probably been over for at least a few months — the most optimistic member of the committee expected the unemployment rate to fall to 8.6 percent by late this year. The consensus was for a rate no lower than 9.5 percent.

Having been embarrassed by missing impending disaster, there is an understandable hesitation to appear foolishly optimistic again.

But even without that factor, it is normal for recessions to make people pessimistic. “Go back and read what people were saying in 1982 or 1975,” said Robert Barbera, the chief economist of ITG. “Nobody was saying, ‘Deep recession, big recovery.’ It is quite normal to expect an abnormally weak recovery. It is also normal for that expectation to be wrong.”

After the failure of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, industries and institutions tethered to the easy-money era were nearly sliced in half. And so was America’s economic self-esteem. Between the end of 2007 and the first quarter of 2009, $9 trillion of wealth evaporated. The relentless boom of China, India, and Brazil, with their cheap labor and abundant natural resources, emerged as a frightening new threat. The collapse coincided with other foreboding omens: $4-a-gallon gas, the rise of the tea partiers, an ungovernable Senate, an oddly blasé White House, unrepentant banks, and stubbornly high unemployment. The broad measure that tallies frustrated part-timers and those who have given up remains at 16.9 percent. If the U.S. doesn’t tumble back into recession, the consensus holds, we’ll face a Japan-style lost decade. A 2009 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that only 27 percent were confident their children’s standard of living would be better than their own.

Bleak is the new black.

But the long-term decline of the U.S. economy has been greatly exaggerated. America is coming back stronger, better, and faster than nearly anyone expected—and faster than most of its international rivals. The Dow Jones industrial average, hovering near 11,000, is up 70 percent in the past 13 months, and auto sales in the first quarter were up 16 percent from 2009. The economy added 162,000 jobs in March, including 17,000 in manufacturing. The dollar has gained strength, and the U.S. is back to its familiar position of lapping Europe and Japan in growth. Among large economies, only China, India, and Brazil are growing more rapidly than the U.S.—and they’re doing so off a much smaller base. If the U.S. economy grows at a 3.6 percent rate this year, as Macroeconomic Advisers projects, it’ll create $513 billion in new economic activity—equal to the GDP of Indonesia.

So what accounts for the pervasive gloom? Housing and large deficits remain serious problems. But most experts are overlooking America’s true competitive advantages. The tale of the economy’s remarkable turnaround is largely the story of swift reaction, a willingness to write off bad debts and restructure, and an embrace of efficiency—disciplines largely invented in the U.S. and at which it still excels. America still leads the world at processing failure, at latching on to new innovations and building them to scale quickly and profitably. “We are the most adaptive, inventive nation, and have proven quite resilient,” says Richard Florida, sociologist and author of The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity. If these impulses are embraced more systematically and wholeheartedly, the U.S. can remain an economic superpower well into the current century.

So what will our new economy look like once the smoke finally clears? There will likely be fewer McMansions with four-car garages and more well-insulated homes, fewer Hummers and more Chevy Volts, less proprietary trading and more productivity-enhancing software, less debt and more capital, more exported goods and less imported energy. Most significant, there will be new commercial infrastructures and industrial ecosystems that incubate and propel growth—much as the Internet did in the 1990s.

Bloomberg national poll in March found that Americans, by an almost 2-to-1 margin, believe the economy has gotten worse rather than better during the past year. The Market begs to differ. While President Obama’s overall job approval rating has fallen to a new low of 44%, according to a CBS News Poll, down five points from late March, the judgment of the financial indexes has turned resoundingly positive. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index is up more than 74% from its recessionary low in March 2009. Corporate bonds have been rallying for a year. Commodity prices have surged. International currency markets have been bullish on the dollar for months, raising it by almost 10% since Nov. 25 against a basket of six major currencies. Housing prices have stabilized. Mortgage rates are low. “We’ve had a phenomenal run in asset classes across the board,” says Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist for Miller Tabak + Co., an institutional trading firm in New York. “If Obama was a Republican, we would hear a never-ending drumbeat of news stories about markets voting in favor of the President.”

Little more than a year ago, financial markets were in turmoil, major auto companies were on the verge of collapse and economists such as Paul Krugman were worried about the U.S. slumbering through a Japan-like Lost Decade. While no one would claim that all the pain is past or the danger gone, the economy is growing again, jumping to a 5.6% annualized growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2009 as businesses finally restocked their inventories. The consensus view now calls for 3% growth this year, significantly higher than the 2.1 % estimate for 2010 that economists surveyed by Bloomberg News saw coming when Obama first moved into the Oval Office. The U.S. manufacturing sector has expanded for eight straight months, the Business Roundtable’s measure of CEO optimism reached its highest level since early 2006, and in March the economy added 162,000 jobs—more than it had during any month in the past three years. “There is more business confidence out there,” says Boeing (BA) CEO Jim McNerney. “This Administration deserves significant credit.”

But does he gives us any reason to believe that this will happen? Have we curbed subsidies for homeownership? Have we curbed subsidies for the purchase of new automobiles? Will we see actually see legislation that bans or limits proprietary trading, would it be desirable, and would such legislation prove workable? My sense is that Neil Barofsky, quoted by Hart and Zingales in their National Affairs essay on curbing systemic risk, was right:

These banks that were too big to fail are now bigger. Government has sponsored and supported several mergers that made them larger. And that guarantee — that implicit guarantee of moral hazard, the idea that the government is not going to let these banks fail — which was implicit a year ago, it’s now explicit.

As for the more productivity-enhancing software piece, have we seen a sweeping effort from the White House to scrap software patents or to limit copyright terms, or have we seen an Administration that, like its predecessor, is eager to protect the interests of entrenched incumbents in this space?

Again, I like the Gross vision. But does he give us any reason to believe that it is coming to pass?

Gross writes:

In the 1990s, Japanese policymakers deliberated and delayed before embarking on a program that included interest-rate cuts, a huge stimulus program, expanded bank insurance, and the nationalization of failed institutions. In 2008 and 2009 it took the United States just 18 months to conduct the aggressive fiscal and monetary actions that Japan waited for 12 years to carry out. And the patient responded to the shock therapy, as the credit markets and financial sector bounced back. Since the announcements of the Treasury-imposed stress tests in May 2009, banks have raised more than $140 billion in new equity capital. In August 2009, not even the most cockeyed optimists could have projected that within four months, Bank of America, Citi, and Wells Fargo would return $100 billion in borrowed funds to the taxpayers. But they did.

Is he arguing that the financial system is basically sound? And is it really safe to say that the enormous monetary and fiscal expansion we’ve seen over this period hasn’t actually exacerbated the downside risks of another sudden downturn? Jeffrey Sachs would disagree.

Gross’s essay does include one specific bit of information that I find very encouraging.

In the short term, the ruthless pursuit of efficiency translates into the uncomfortable—and unsustainable—dichotomy of rising profits and falling employment. But the focus on efficiency is creating new business opportunities for smart companies. At BigBelly Solar, a Needham, Mass.-based firm whose solar-powered trash compactors reduce the need for both labor and energy, sales doubled in both 2008 and 2009. “Cities and institutions like universities and park systems are eager to do more with less,” says CEO Jim Poss. Leasing 500 compacting units has allowed Philadelphia to cut weekly pickups from 17 to five and will save it $13 million over 10 years. BigBelly employs fewer than 50 people, but like many businesses in fast-growing markets it indirectly supports a much larger number of jobs.

This is the power of capitalism, I tell you! But is BigBelly Solar more representative of the economy that is emerging or the massive transfers to declining industries, the pressure on GSEs to originate mortgages of dubious value, modification efforts that amount to huge subsidies for the financial sector, and much else besides?

Ryan Avent at Free Exchange at The Economist:

The trigger for the stories is clear. Economic data have been trending upward for a while, but March’s positive employment report was the catalyst for this rush of pieces. And once out there, the “Americans are too pessimistic” meme takes on a life of its own.

By its self, the cheerleading isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Confidence is a key ingredient to recovery, and if Americans are convinced that it’s once again ok to spend and invest, then the confidence boost to the economy may feed on itself. But it’s worth pointing out that after meeting on Friday, the NBER recession dating committee declared that it was not prepared to announce an official recession end date. This doesn’t mean that the economy is still in recession it could simply mean that they have not yet seen enough data to agree upon a date. But it should indicate that America is not that far removed from contraction.

And optimism could be dangerous if it leads the country to underestimate its continued vulnerabilities—to new financial shocks, to new shocks to household budgets (as from rising resource costs), to new deterioration in housing markets, to continued drag from an unemployment problem that remains very serious. At this point in any recovery, complacency is the enemy. All observers want this to be 1983, but it very well might turn out to be 1937.

  1. This is a balance sheet recession, not a Fed-induced recession. Paul Volcker caused the 1981 recession by jacking up interest rates and he ended it by lowering them. That’s not going to happen this time.
  2. In fact, there won’t be any further stimulus from lower interest rates. They’re already at zero, and Ben Bernanke has made it clear that he doesn’t plan to effectively lower them further by setting a higher inflation target.
  3. Consumer debt is still way too high. There’s more deleveraging on the horizon, and that’s going to make consumer-led growth difficult.
  4. The financial sector remains fragile and there could still be another serious shock somewhere in the world.
  5. There are strong political pressures to reduce the budget deficit. That makes further fiscal stimulus unlikely.
  6. Housing prices are still too high. They’re bound to fall further, especially given rising interest rates combined with the end of government support programs.
  7. Our current account balance remains pretty far out of whack. Fixing this in the short term will hinder growth, while leaving it to the long term just kicks the can down the road.
  8. The Fed still has to unwind its balance sheet. That has the potential to stall growth.
  9. Oil prices are rising. This not only causes problems of its own, but also makes #7 worse.
  10. Unemployment and long-term unemployment continue to look terrible. Yes, these are lagging indicators, but still.

If this happens, it would be consistent with the aftermath of past crises. The U.S. tends to bounce back more quickly from global shocks — including those caused by the United States.

What’s intriguing about all of this is whether a U.S. economic resurgence would affect American attitudes about the rest of the world. Afghanistan, Iraq, and the economic downturn have caused a lot of Americans to (understandably) grow weary of sustained engagement in other parts of the globe. If the economy turns around, a lot of attitudes about foreign affairs might become less sour.

Question(s) to readers: do you think the U.S. economy is primed for an supercharged recovery? If so, how will that affect attitudes towards American foreign policy?

It can’t be a coincidence that Newsweek and BusinessWeek both proclaim (with caveats buried deep within) that America is back, that the worst is over, that a bright future for the country is ahead. It’s not the analysis that troubles me, it’s the perspective from which that analysis is derived. It is absolutely true that the worst is over, and is absolutely true that way too many Americans are suffering, and will continue to suffer, much more than when similar headlines were written about the ending of other recessions.


60 years with IGA a saga of American independence.

Sixty years ago, J. Frank Grimes, an accountant who specialized in auditing the books of wholesale grocers, formed a grass-roots organization to band together independents to compete against the chains. Grimes singlehandedly built IGA into one of the strongest retailing forces in the nation.

In 1985, the 3,200 supermarkets affiliated with IGA generated total sales of $8.5 billion, making it the country's fifth largest retailing organization.

Over the past six decades, IGA headquarters, the wholesalers who own the organization and the grocers who proudly display the IGA banner have gone through dramatic changes. Their story is a history of the food retailing industry from an independent perspective.

A Conversation With the President

Bill Olsen, president of IGA since February 1973, is only the fourth man to serve as the organization's president in its illustrious 60-year history. Progressive Grocer recently visited with Olsen at International Headquarters in Chicago to talk about the organization.

PG: What is the main thread that runs throughout IGA's history?

OLSEN: We are still dealing with the same basic tenets in the competitive battle between independents and chains. The IGA grocer has the flexibility to adjust to the changing demands of the consumer. Those demands have varied tremendously over the years, and will change even more in the future, but the independent can always be in a position to satisfy them.

PG: IGA was founded to rescue the independent from annihilation by the chains. Is the independent again in a vulnerable position?

OLSEN: Not at all. The chains have developed a healthy respect for independent grocers, and view them as worthy competition. And today's independents, unlike those in the 1920s and 1930s, have the knowledge and assets to compete on the same level as the major chains.

PG: What is the biggest change that has occurred at IGA over the decades?

OLSEN: Undoubtedly, it's the shift in responsibility from IGA headquarters to member wholesalers. This change accelerated in the 1960s and 1970s. The basic premise for the change was that any service provided by headquarters that could be more cost-efficiently supplied by wholesalers should switch to the wholesaler.

Scanning is a perfect example. When a grocer's competitor has scanning and he does not, he has a competitive problem. He needs the accuracy of scanning, and also needs the information available from the scanners to make his operation more efficient. A wholesaler is much better prepared to help a retailer set up a scanning system and teach him to use it.

Store engineering used to be an important IGA division. In the days of the package store, when a supermarket in Vermont could be exactly the same as one in Oklahoma, it was fine to have centralized engineering services. But today a store must be designed to meet the specialized needs of its marketing area carbon copy stores are no longer appropriate. It is more efficient for a store engineer employed by a local wholesaler to study a marketing area and communicate directly with the retailer than for an engineer working out of Chicago headquarters.

PG: Does IGA plan to diversify into different formats?

OLSEN: The conventional supermarket and the superstore are the two formats that meet the marketing needs where most IGA grocers operate. Our board of directors has studied warehouse markets as an alternative, but we are sensitive about operating that format because it would probably compete against established IGA retailers. Warehouse markets have not been totally ruled out, but we would permit them only in a market with no conventional IGAs.

PG: Some large IGA retailers say that many small IGA stores are an embarrassment. How do you police the grocers to make sure they meet the organization's high standards?

OLSEN: With 3,200 grocery stores, size and store conditions range all over the place. We do have basic criteria that we expect stores to meet, but each store is evaluated on an individual basis.

We are checking the stores more thoroughly than ever because the smaller stores that damage our reputation have become more of an issue. When we find a problem, the wholesaler works with the retailer to improve conditions.

PG: What are the most memorable contributions to IGA that you've been associated with?

OLSEN: We have done an excellent job of enhancing the image of IGA on a national basis. Our association with Special Olympics and our sponsorship of the Paul Harvey radio program have spread our name.

PG: What would you like to accomplish during your remaining time at IGA?

OLSEN: My goal is to increase the share of market of IGA stores. The number of IGAs will not change dramatically because quantity of stores is not nearly as important today as the quality of the stores. Quantity was a good yardstick to measure performance by during IGA's first half-century, but share of market and store quality are the important measurements today.

It was the decade of the flapper, F. Scott Fitzgerald, gangsters and Prohibition, a time when Americans were feeling affluent and alive. It was also a decade when big business was making huge strides, growing in power and prestige. Big was good in the 1920s, so people put more and more money into the stock market, investing in their favorite large corporations.

The United States was being transformed from a land of individual enterprise into a corporately dominated country. And while many people thought this would be to the betterment of the nation, others felt that the metamorphosis would eventually choke off the American way of life.

Big business was taking over retailing in the same manner it had come to dominate manufacturing and transportation. Chain grocery stores were among the fastest growing businesses during the 1920s. A&P, Kroger, Safeway and other chain operators were opening units all over the country at a dizzying rate--in small towns, mid-size cities, major metropolitan areas, everywhere.

According to Chain Stores in America, the six major grocery chains grew as follows between 1920 and 1925: A&P, from 4,544 to 14,034 stores American, from 1,223 to 1,792 units First National, from 803 to 1,642 grocery stores Kroger, from 799 to 2,559 stores and Safeway, from 191 to 1,050 markets. In total, the five largest chains expanded from 7,560 to 21,077 grocery stores during the first half of the decade, a jump of 178%.

Independent grocers and the thousands of wholesalers who supplied them were understandably worried about the growing power of these chains. They watched as corner grocery stores succumbed to the competitive pressures of A&P, Kroger and other heavyweights. Many grocers saw their futures destroyed by the chains, which, due to massive buying power and operating efficiency, could sell groceries at lower prices than independents, thus stealing customers from the neighborhood grocer.

A Champion for the Independents

Although everyone talked about the dilemma that chains were causing for independent grocers, nobody did anything to solve the problems. That is, until J. Frank Grimes appeared on the scene. A partner in W.W. Thompson & Co., a Chicago accounting firm that specialized in auditing the books of wholesale grocers, Grimes saw firsthand the number of independent grocery stores being closed. He became perturbed by the plight of the independent merchant, and vowed to do something to save independents from the onslaught of the chains.

"Without prosperous and expanding small businesses, our country would undergo such a violent adjustment that an entirely new concept of living would come into being,' Grimes said. "We must all work together to protect and maintain the millions of small businesses that dot America.'

Grimes and five associates--William W. Thompson, Louis G. Groebe, H.V. Swenson, W.K. Hunter and Gene Flack-- devised a plan that brought the best of the chain store concepts to independent grocers. Mass buying, mass marketing and the corresponding low prices could be achieved through a nationwide network of wholesalers working hand in hand with affiliated retailers, they believed.

On a cold night in 1926, Grimes and his associates boarded a New York Central train en route from Chicago to Poughkeepsie, N.Y., headquarters of the W.T. Reynolds wholesaling company, which had expressed interest in an Independent Grocers' Alliance. Grimes and his associates planned to meet with a group of retailers, and convince them that an Independent Grocers' Alliance could succeed.

As the train sped toward Poughkeepsie, Gene Flack, a public relations specialist, took out his pencil and started to sketch. He drew a shield with an eagle on it, the first physical representation of IGA. The eagle stood for the independence of the retailers while the shield represented the protection provided by IGA national headquarters and sponsoring wholesalers.

The next night, officials of W.T. Reynolds and about 70 independent grocers they supplied gathered at the YMCA on Market Street to hear what the accountants from the Windy City had to offer.

The retailers listened as Grimes explained his proposition, using the oratorial skills that would later make him an effective leader for IGA. A retailer, George Sutcliff, stood up and said, "Mr. Grimes, I'm interested in your plan. But before considering membership in the IGA, I'd like to see an IGA store and get a better idea of how the idea works. Where can I see one?'

There was deadly silence as the other retailers listened to the question they all wanted to ask. Grimes replied, "My friend, there is no IGA store. IGA comes into existence in this room--tonight. If you would care to sign an application, you will be the first retail member in the country.'

Sutcliff signed. He was soon followed by Tom Gray, J.L. Fitzgerald, Henry Merkle, James Dunn and 64 others. All in all, 69 grocers became a part of IGA on that historic night. On the following evening, Grimes took his road show to Sharon, Conn., where 25 more retailers signed applications to become members of IGA.

Ironically, the IGA movement was born in the backyard of New York City-based A&P, the arch enemy of the independents. This first group of IGA retailers decided to call themselves the Acorn Stores. They were planting a seed that would eventually grow into a 60-year-old, sturdy oak.

Grimes and his associates did not spend much time gloating about their initial triumph. To be effective, IGA needed to become a nationwide network of stores with as much clout as the national chains. The founders set their sights southward, and soon snared a second group of stores to join the movement.

The Dixie stores, sponsored by the J.T. Fargarson Co., of Memphis, became the second group of retailers to join IGA. By the end of 1926, more than 150 grocery stores carried the IGA logo.

Grimes and his associates, especially the colorful Gene Flack, spent the first half of 1927 traveling the country to tell more wholesalers and retailers about the concept of IGA. As more stores signed up as IGA markets, it was easier to sell potential members on the idea. The snowball was rolling with an uncontrollable force.

One year after the organization's birth, IGA stores operated in 15 states. The headquarters and its grass roots network of retailers were strong enought to flex their muscles and show grocers around the country what IGA could do.

Macaroni products were chosen as the first category to receive an IGA-backed merchandising push. H.V. Swenson, who became IGA's merchandising expert, planned an extensive program to push macaroni products out of member stores. Using window posters, direct mail pieces and point-of-sale signage, the grocers promoted a wide variety of macaroni products. The skyrocketing sales results proved that the group could work as a strong organization in pushing grocery products to consumers. Merchandising programs for a host of other products were planned and carried out.

The thousands of retailers that Grimes had signed up as members formed an effective force for the merchandising of brand-name and IGA private-label products. To communicate with the retailers, the IGA staff invented the IGA Grocergram, which published its premier issue in January 1929.

The Grocergram was integral to the spreading of the almost evangelical spirit that characterized IGA during its early years. The publication served as a mouthpiece for the ideas of Grimes and other organization leaders, and communicated IGA-sponsored programs to the retailers. It also informed grocers about the growth of IGA, continually running articles profiling wholesalers and retailers who had signed up, and reporting on well-attended meetings put on by headquarters.

The newspaper also shared ideas among the grocers, showing each individual member how to improve business by borrowing ideas from fellow IGAers. Cash awards were sent to grocers who sent in worth-while merchandising, advertising or promotional tips. The rationale was that if every IGA member could become a better grocer, the organization would be strengthened in its truggle against chain domination.

The June 1929 issue recounts how Glen Davis of Davis IGA in Beaver City, Neb., increased his movement of oranges. Instead of pricing oranges at a per-unit or per-pound price, Davis sold them at 37 cents a shovelful. People kept coming into the store to see how many oranges they could scoop up with a shovel.

J.R. Clark, an IGA retailer in Earl, Ark., wanted to advertise on the radio but could not afford it. (In 1929, radio was listened to even more intently than television is watched today.) His ingenious solution: Call the radio station every hour and request that a song be dedicated to his IGA store.

The Menace of Big Business

The ingenuity of retailers flying the IGA banner was amazing. Although they operated in areas as diverse as the South Side of Chicago and Circleville, Ohio, ranging from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Winona, Minn., the grocers were united, and were eager to help fellow grocers with an almost religious fervor. In the IGA Grocergram, members are referred to as Brother instead of Mister, giving the impression that the grocers were part of an organization pursuing the true and right.

Ralph Brewster, the governor of Maine, told IGA members at a convention in Portland, "Big business is the greatest menace that now faces the economic life of America, and your organization spells the salvation not only of the small business merchant, but of America itself.' Similar accolades were continually bestowed upon the Independent Grocers' Alliance.

The euphoria that had gripped the nation during the 1920s was about to come to an abrupt end as the summer of 1929 turned into autumn. The stock market fever that resulted from the belief that big business was great, and that people could profit by investing all of their savings in the growing corporations, had driven the market artificially high, to a level where the prices could not be sustained.

On Tuesday, Oct. 29, the stock market crashed, starting what was to become the worst Depression that this country has ever faced. Yet, despite the problems that gripped the nation, IGA continued to expand In November, with the signing of a wholesaler in Baltimore, IGA expanded its coverage to 36 states.

Grimes' concluding message for the decade read, "The rapid growth of the chain system of retailing has had a very disastrous effect upon the entire business situation. These chains have been constantly hammering down prices paid to manufacturers and producers, and, in order that they may claim to sell at lower prices to the consuming public, they have steadily been putting into effect plans that have thrown thousands out of employment. Countless thousands of jobs have been and are stadily being vacated in the fight to win the patronage of the American consumer.

"These chains have been striving to drive the independent merchants to the wall, and if their past growth were to continue, we would soon be facing the issues that less prosperous countries have faced. If this continues, we will lose individuality . . . that asset which has made America great.'

As the decade drew to a close, it appeared as if the independents might start gaining ground at the expense of the chains, which still controlled more than three-quarters of food sales in this country. Hard times were on the horizon, but the independent grocers were prepared with creative ideas with which to confront the 1930s.

As the 1930s opened, American prosperity was eroding. Millions had lost their savings in the stock market crash, and corporations were severely cutting their work forces, throwing millions out of work. Corporate America was hemorrhaging, and the non-stop bleeding was hurting the general public.

Yet these were happy times at IGA, as the organization continued its feverish spreading of the independent gospel. In January 1930, headquarters announced plans to go national with the IGA Home Town Hour, a radio show funded and produced by the Independent Grocers' Alliance. Aired by 24 radio stations with a reach of about 50 million homes, the IGA series was broadcast six times a week. The episodes presented were mysteries, featuring people from a typical small town.

While the headquarters people developed programs to strengthen the nationwide organization, local grocers continued to concoct ways to attract business. For example, Paul Bensman, an IGA member in Sheboygan, Wis., brought a live rooster into his store and conducted a contest to see how many kernels of corn the rooster would eat between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. A grocer supplied by F.E. Royston & Co. in Aurora, Ill., had a clever means of attracting people from the surrounding countryside. He sent one work glove to all farmers in the county they had to come in to get the mate.

The IGA Grocergram of March 1930 published music and words to the IGA theme song, so grocers around the country could sing it. To further inspire a family feeling for the organization, an elaborate network of baseball teams was set up, enabling wholesalers and retailers from nearby towns to play together and develop a closer working relationship. The league was divided into five regional divisions, with each region crowning a champion. Some of the teams playing were the Gary Gogetters, Massillon Maimers, Birmingham Bambinos, Hutchinson Hot Tamales, Haverhill Haymakers and the La Crosse Livewires. Playoffs were conducted, with a World Series in the fall.

IGA pulled a coup in June 1930, when it signed "the rajah, the king, the emperor, the sultan of swat'--in other words, Babe Ruth, as an endorser of IGA products. And the following month, an even bigger name came out in favor of IGA. Believe it or not, Japanese Emperor Hirohito, while visiting the Fuji Co. in Shidzuoka, Japan, sipped some IGA tea packed there, and liked it. An article explained the significance of the visit thus, "The Emperor of Japan is regarded by his subjects as a Deity and his affirmation of any project, be it of a social, religious or industrial nature, is without comparison in any other country.'

J.Frank Grimes' vision of the ideal grocer went well beyond a man who ran a good store and made a respectable profit. He viewed the grocer as a pillar of the community, as a front line representative of small business, the cornerstone upon which the country was built.

In 1931, two IGA members showed their dedication to the communities they served as businessmen by becoming mayors. G. Walter Moran was elected mayor of Danbury, Conn. C.M. Bjoprseth was chosen as mayor of Aurora, Ill.

Five years after its inception, IGA was a strong organization with a national reputation and presence. The organization was strong enough to break its first national magazine advertising campaign. Ads publicizing IGA products were placed in the Saturday Evening Post, McCalls, Country Gentleman, American Magazine, Liberty, Pictorial Review and Farmer's Wife, reaching a combined circulation of 120 million consumers.

At headquarters, the various IGA divisions worked feverishly to aid retailers. In early 1931, the advertising department made a major change when it sent out photographs instead of drawings for display ideas. The realistic look of the photos would convince more grocers to build the displays, reasoned the advertising people.

The enormous size and strength of IGA was evidence during the fall convention season. More than 17,000 IRA grocers, family members and store employees attended wholesaler-sponsored conventions in 1931.

In the fall of 1931, metal fixtures were announced as the official IGA equipment, replacing wood, and David Lupton & Sons of Philadelphia became the official manufacturer. Reasons cited for the switch included beauty of design, beauty of color, quick installation, flexibility, cleanliness, fire resistance, long life and low initial costs. IGA also marketed a Jiffiprint machine, permitting members to print sales flyers in foreign languages, if their stores served immigrant communities.

In January 1932, the westward expansion of IGA reached the Golden Gate Bridge when 150 retailers in San Francisco signed up. Three other territories were also added: Providence, R.I. Utica, N.Y., and Wallace, Idaho. Meanwhile, in the middle of the month, President Hoover invited Grimes to the White House to outline his prosperity plan to bring the country out of the Depression.

By March 1932, more than 600 California stores had signed up as IGA members. Thirty-eight radio stations were linked in a nationwide network to carry the Home Town Hour. Grimes' dream of a nationwide network of stores, stretching from the East to the West Coast, and from the Canadian to the Mexican border, had become a reality.

The IGA stores became a part of the American landscape of the 1930s. Much of the public relations work that made IGA such an integral part of the community was staged at the neighborhood movie theaters, the entertainment center during the decade when the motion picture became part of the American psyche.

Grocers in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois donated IGA private-label products to theater owners, who conducted a prize drawing for the products following the movie. Other theaters offered bags of groceries from IGA as a door prize.

People could not escape IGA publicity even by staying at home and putting together a jigsaw puzzle. The Lafayette & Poirer IGA in Auburn, Maine, sent free jigsaw puzzles to customers in its trading area. When the puzzle was put together, it showed the front of the Lafayette & Poirer store.

Borrowing an idea from Woolworths, Kresge and other variety stores, 5-and-10-cent sales became popular with IGA retailers during the first half of the 1930s. Fleming, one of the initial IGA wholesalers to enter the network, sponsored a sale for its retailers that was typical of the fad among IGA wholesalers and grocers. Tomatoes, oats, soup and macaroni were sold for a nickel soap, peanut butter, relish spread and canned peaches were offered for a dime.

As the midpoint of the decade approached, the issue of whether chain stores should be regulated by the government dominated portions of the news. Grimes debated leaders of the chain store movement one of the most widely reported debates involved Grimes and F.H. Massman, a vice president of National Tea.

IGA headquarters encouraged chain store managers to switch and become independents, to recapture their own destiny. G.H. Chase was one chain store manager who switched, purchasing a business in Earlville, N.Y. Chase recorded sales of $800 in cash during his first eight days as an IGA store the previous operator had been averaging $200 a week as a chain market.

The independents were performing well, considering the tough times that were facing businesses and consumers across the country. As Grimes wrote, "One of the most progressive signs that retail business is stepping up is the fact that fathers are encouraging their sons to come into the business, and these sons are showing a real desire to follow in Dad's footsteps.'

In late 1935, IGA signed Popeye as an endorser of IGA products. His first endorsement was for IGA Gold Toast Corn Flakes a talking snapper of Popeye, a new merchandising innovation, promoted the product at store level.

When a new IGA store opened in Moscow, Idaho, in the autumn of 1935, over 3,000 people, more than the entire population of the town, attended the event. Owner Ed Rouse reported that sales were phenomenal during his first few weeks in business.

The second part of the decade brought a shift in IGA's marketing strategy. Whereas price had been the number one focus during the first half of the decade, the second half would see a subtle shift toward service, quality and cleanliness. The country was emerging from the Depression, and people were not budgeting as they had during the first half of the 1930s.

IGA's merchandising program for 1936 was based on the premise that the public was ready and willing to pay for quality. Grimes said, "Consumers are beginning to forget about price only, and are willing to be sold better grades of merchandise.' Store conditions were also judged more important than in the past. The cover of the Grocergram for January 1936 showed a typical American housewife at work in her kitchen. The cover line read, "Is your store spic and span--comparable to her kitchen?'

In March 1936, a bone-chilling cold wave struck the country's mid-section. In Green County, Iowa, more than 50 coal miners and truck drivers were trapped by the cold and snow at a mine 12 miles southeast of Jefferson. They were saved by the owner of the Rushing IGA, who hired a dog team to take 150 pounds of meat, coffee, flour and other provisions to the trapped miners.

About 500 miles to the south, an IGA member opened a store to supply five Indian tribes in Oklahoma. As the Grocergram said, "Today, perhaps on the very spot where a fierce hunter once sent a speeding arrow through the heart of a buffalo, stands Lackey's IGA store.' The market supplied the Apache, Comanche, Kiowas, Caddos and Arapaho tribes, and was projected to do an annual volume of $150,000.

In Wheeling, W. Va., E.G. Wickham's IGA was on the walk home from the steel mills where many of his customers worked. Wickham noticed that few of the laborers carried umbrellas when it rained, so he constructed an umbrella stand on the sidewalk, with a sign that said, "Just another service. These umbrellas are for our customers and friends.'

To increase its name recognition throughout the 1930s, IGA lined up well-known personalities to promote the organization, its private label and brand-name products sold in the markets. Supporters during 1936 included Jackie Cooper, Jack Dempsey and Pete, the dog from the "Our Gang' films.

The late 1930s was a period when window display may have reached its height as an art form, in grocery as well as department stores. IGA headquarters supplied the independents with basic ideas on how to build an effective display, then encouraged the retailers to use their creativity to improve the display. Point-of-sale material and display fixtures were supplied by the national office.

A 10th Anniversary Celebration

As IGA looked forward to 1936, extensive plans were made to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Grimes proclaimed, "It will be a historic occasion, marking one of the most significant chapters in the history of independent business--the end of an era in which the independent grocer proved himself worthy of the position that he occupies today.'

A 500-pound birthday cake, a gift from General Foods, was delivered to national headquarters. Congratulatory messages poured in from political and business leaders around the country.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote, "I send cordial greetings and best wishes to the IGA on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the founding of that organization. It is gratifying to learn that members of your organization are in a sounder position than ever before. You have demonstrated that hard work and resourcefulness produces results and that problems that cannot be solved by individual effort can be met successfully by cooperative action.'

A telegram from Carl Dipman, editor of The Progressive Grocer, read, "Not only has your organization been of great benefit to thousands of independent grocers and millions of consumers throughout the land, but IGA and its aggressive management was up in the front ranks of leaders in showing the trade what to do and how to do it in the darkest and most troublesome period of food distribution.'

But the headquarters staff did not sit idle and congratulate itself on the glories of the past. As 1936 turned into 1937, Chief Grimes launched an aggressive modernization program. As Grimes said, "The horse and buggy days are over. Independents must keep in step with the development of large, complete food stores. The battle lines between independents and chains will be drawn more than ever before along the merchandising front.'

As the 1930s drew toward a close, so, too, did the Depression. Nevertheless, consumers were more price sensitive than ever before, largely due to the price orientation that the chains were pursuing. Price cutting was such an issue that Illinois and California instituted Fair Trade Practice Laws that required minimum markups of 6% at retail and 2% at wholesale.

"All of this is causing the housewife to compare the efficiency of the grocers in her trading community,' said Grimes. "She is beginning to see that she actually pays for unnecessary service, costly inefficiency and poor management. She is getting critical and she is demanding that her grocer now become more efficient and thus serve her economically.'

The era of self-service was dawning as chain operators and independent grocers alike switched from the more labor-intensive service operation to the supermarket-style store that first appeared in the early 1930s. Grocers communicated to consumers in many ways that prices were low. For example, K.C. Wingerd, owner of an IGA in Rossville, Kan., provided shoppers with menu suggestions and an itemized list of the cost of each item on the menu, so they could budget meal planning.

During the pre-television era, magazines were a primary means of entertainment. Grocery stores often built marketing plans around features run in national consumer magazines, particularly those aimed at young homemakers. In March 1937, IGA tied in with an article in Parents Magazine entitled "Canned Foods Are Healthful for Children.' Retailers received reprints of the article as well as point-of-sale material to promote canned goods.

While grocers attempted to attract consumers through price and merchandising, the manufacturers developed packaging techniques to benefit the consumer. Swift developed a wrapping process called "saniseal' that could be used for veal this process was heralded in advertisements as the biggest step forward in meat packaging in 50 years. Another manufacturer invented the Windo-Top carton, with a cellophane lid that allowed people to see the eggs.

In July 1937, the month that Amelia Earhart disappeared over the Pacific Ocean, the IGA Grocergram published its Modernization Issue. Grimes' new objective was to establish a network of 10,000 IGAs, each with a monthly sales volume of $10,000. The model IGA had produce to the right side and directly inside the door, with a service meat counter in the rear. Dairy and ready-to-serve meats (the term used to describe deli meats) were along the left wall.

The IGA color scheme was snowy white, with case trim done in a cool blue. Headquarters described the markets as having "beauty that's more than skin deep, beauty that beckons, beauty with a backbone of practicality.' Neon Products of Lima, Ohio, supplied neon signs tailor-made for IGA stores.

With more Americans working, Thanksgiving 1937 was more joyous than in the past. Many IGA markets prepared ready-to-serve turkeys for the convenience of women who did not want to spend all of Thanksgiving Day in the kitchen these turkeys were stuffed, pre-cooked and wrapped in cellophane to maintain freshness.

At this time, Grimes also campaigned for a minimum wage to correct what he perceived as an inequitable distribution of the nation's wealth. He said, "For goodness sake, can't this great country wake up to the plainly apparent need for a reasonable minimum wage scale?'

On a lighter note, Morton Salt introduced its tag line, "When it rains, it pours,' and the Three Stooges were serving as spokesmen for products from Pillsbury.

A Presence in the South Pacific

Possibly the weirdest window display ever put in a super was constructed in January 1938. While grocery clerk Darwin Fryer was hunting rabbits near Bismark, N.D., he was attacked by a bobcat and almost killed. A friend saved him by shooting the bobcat. So Fryer's boss, the owner of Park Food, had the bobcat stuffed and displayed in his window.

In the spring of 1938, IGA inaugurated a slide training program that was used at regional meetings to show retailers how to properly run a grocery store. The slides starred Jack and Goofy, one character who did everything right and one who did everything wrong.

IGA even became a presence in the South Pacific that year. The Brownell & Field supply depot in Providence, R.I., shipped food to Pitcairn Island, where nine mutineers from the British ship H.M.S. Bounty and 12 Tahitian women had set up housekeeping. They sent canned meats because they were uncertain of whether or not the Englishmen could live on the vegetarian diet preferred by the natives.

IGA's advertising campaign during the summer of 1938 was, "Save housewives from stov-i-tis.' Headquarters personnel described the program as "more than a sale--a crusade to liberate the housewife from a hot stove.' Ready-to-serve foods stressed for the summer included pickles, wafer-sliced beef, salad dressing, canned salmon and sliced meatloaf.

In July 1938, Congress passed a minimum wage bill. While this helped laborers in the major population centers, it did not aid the farmers in the lower Midwest, who continued to be plagued by the drought conditions that caused that area to be known as the Dust Bowl.

As fall rolled around, IGA sponsored a Canned Goods sale, with the grand prizes being trips to the New York and San Francisco World Fairs, planned for 1939. But not all the canned goods were in typical tin cans. IGA introduced canned food in glass jars, so consumers could see what they were purchasing. Shoestring carrots, sliced peaches, whole beets and cut wax beans were sold in glass jars.

During the final year of the decade, the entire food industry banded together to communicate its story to consumers. Under the slogan, "Parade of Progress,' food manufacturers, packagers, distributors and retailers cooperated to mount an impressive public relations campaign.

The ads within the Grocergram painted a picture of how different American life in the 1930s was from today. An ad encouraging grocers to vacation in Florida listed the price of the Motel Royal Worth in West Palm Beach at $5 a night one could stay in the Everglades Inn for $2.50 a night. And trust in other people was totally different than it is today. Harold Smith, operator of two IGA stores in Red Key, Ind., stored his extra stock on the sidewalk in front of his store because he had a tiny backroom nobody stole the merchandise.

In May 1939, one of the biggest days to ever hit a prairie town occurred in Dodge City, Kan. As a promotional event, stars Erroll Flynn and Olivia de Havilland traveled to the small Kansas town for the premier of the movie "Dodge City.' Busley Brothers IGA prepared three floats for the parade, one of which said, "One-day special --marriage licenses half price at Busley Brothers.'

The major promotion for that autumn was "World Fair of Values,' tying in with the San Francisco and New York World Fairs. So retailers and wholesalers could combine work and pleasure, IGA held its merchandising conferences in San Francisco and New York.

As the 1930s drew to a close, the economic health of the U.S. was recovering, but it did not appear as if the nation would remain at peace. In rapid succession in September 1939, Germany invaded Poland, and Britain and France declared war on Germany. The U.S. stated that its policy would be neutrality, but most people thought the U.S. would become involved in yet another world war.

The German war machine dominated the news during the early part of the 1940s, a decade that would see the United States emerge from the Depression to become a world leader.

At the start of the decade, the country anticipated more prosperous times. Grocers were as optimistic as anybody, and invested all available resources to build better stores and grow. Stopped for years by the shortage of capital and the tight budgets that consumers had faced during the Depression, grocers were eager to put plans they had conceived years before into action immediately.

Stores opened by independents and chains were huge compared to earlier stores, which had been no bigger than a main-street storefront, probably 1,000 square feet at the largest. In January 1940, Charles and A.J. Busch opened a 4,500-square-foot IGA in Goose Creek, Texas, and doubled the volume of their previous unit.

One of the largest stores to open during the first few months of the 1940s was an IGA-affiliated store called the Drive In Market, located in Wichita, Kan. The 50-by 115-foot store had many departments, including grocery, meat, produce and dairy, plus a soda fountain, cafeteria, rental library, barber, and beauty shop. The store employed 80.

Headquarters personnel continued to persuade the public to patronize independents. Grimes was perturbed about what he perceived as the growing power of the chains in food manufacturing. Addressing the acquisition of a medium-sized manufacturer by a major chain, he wrote, "First, it would dismiss the entire sales force. It would discontinue all connections with brokers. It would reduce the office staff to mere routine workers. It would proceed to purchase raw materials by adopting the same pressure methods exerted on independent manufacturers it now buys from.'

IGA's advertising department pulled a coup in January 1940 when it worked out a deal to have Pinnocchio as a spokesman for IGA, even before the Walt Disney movie was released on Jan. 15. The first Pinnocchio promotion, an album and poster stamp giveaway, was launched in February, while the movie was still drawing full houses.

During the same period when Americans were enjoying the feature-length Disney cartoon, the Germans were marching across Europe. Between April and June 1940, the German blitzkrieg overran Norway, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. About 340,000 British and French troops escaped to Great Britain as part of the Dunkirk evacuation.

As the year progressed, Grimes became increasingly concerned about the war. Reflecting on a trip that he had made to Germany in 1938, he wrote, "Inquiries convinced the writer beyond all doubt that the people of various nations do not hate each other, are not wishing to hurt each other, and if they were left alone, could live in peace indefinitely.'

On the home front, the battle between independent grocers and chain supermarkets was intensifying, as the chains opened more spacious stores that dominated a trade area. The situation was dramatized by a consumer activist named Marjorie Black, a housewife from Pelham, N.Y., who organized a boycott of A&P because one of its new supers had forced six service-oriented stores out of business. Mrs. Black said, "For a few cents saving, you were asked to exchange the friendly, efficient services of trained men, for the nervous wear and tear of piling up one's own order amid the confusion and competition of other struggling women.'

The food manufacturers continued to sign up famous personalities to promote products. Swimmer Esther Williams and architect Frank Polito told why they started their day with Kellogg's Corn Flakes, and George Burns and Gracie Allen received a dog named Spammie from Hormel.

A Miniature Modern Market

To encourage retailers to enlarge their markets, the IGA field engineering department designed a modern market that could compete effectively against the chains. The store was approximately 2,000 square feet, and could be built and equipped for $4,495. Equipment recommended by IGA included a McCray meat case, Tyler walk-in box, Burrough cash register, United Steel & Wire baskets, an Am-Du-Co coffee mill and Hobart scales.

A miniature model of the market was built in Chicago, and trucked around the country to local and regional conventions. (In these pre-jet days, few national conventions were held rather, grocers attended local conventions, usually sponsored by wholesalers.) The model visually demonstrated to thousands of grocers how nice a new store would look, for a minimum investment.

The national news revolved around the war and what many perceived as the inevitable entry of the U.S. The food industry did its best to help prepare the country for war. Albert T. Hart, head of IGA's fruit and vegetable division, left the organization to become a purchasing agent for the army. The armed forces purchased 37 different fruit and vegetable items to feed the troops.

Throughout 1941, IGA merchandising and promotional plans revolved around its 15th anniversary celebration, which culminated in October. At the regional conventions that highlighted the anniversary, Grimes spoke out against the "master' markets, the large, self-service supers becoming more of a presence, particularly in the cities. He said, "The large supermarkets that entail very heavy fixed investments in building and equipment, which are very expensive to operate, may someday prove to be "white elephants.''

In April 1941, the name of the Fleming-Wilson Mercantile Co., one of the first IGA wholesalers, was officially changed to The Fleming Companies.

Claude Wickard, the secretary of agriculture under President Roosevelt, spoke at the Chicago convention on "What's Ahead for the Food Trade.' "When consumers have more money to spend, they'll spend some of it for more and better food,' Wickard said, citing studies that showed that people with more money purchased more dairy products, better cuts of meat, and more fresh fruits and vegetables.

Steers Raised on IGA Baby Food

Wickard stressed three needs to be addressed by food manufacturers: to meet the increased consumption needs of the American people to provide cheese, evaporated milk, eggs, chicken and pork to the British and to build up enough food reserves to feed the hungry of Europe after the war.

Yet on the local level, wholesalers and grocers were able to add a little spark to their business by doing some unusual things. According to the Grocergram, Glenn Britton of the Holbrook Grocery Co., Keene, N.H., raised 430 shorthorn steers on strained vegetables from the IGA baby food line. Forest Otis, owner of an IGA in Cannon Ball, N.D., kept his meat cool with huge blocks of ice due to a lack of refrigeration. When the ice melted, wild mustangs from nearby canyons came and drank, Otis reported.

Merchandising thoughts aside, all eyes were sharply focused on the international scene on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. As Grimes wrote the following day, "We pray that our President will have strength, courage and vision through the trying days that lie ahead. We pledge the fullest measure of loyalty to our country and what it stands for. We have faith that America is right, and with this conviction, we are determined that right shall prevail.'

The entire power of the nation, from industry to academia to the armed forces to the women at home, pitched in to help defeat the Germans, Italians and Japanese. At home, grocers led the drive to conserve valuable resources needed for the war effort.

A Salvage for Victory campaign was launched in February 1942 by the Bureau of Industrial Conservation, Office of Production Management.

Cardboard cartons and paper bags were to be flattened and tied together for collection eggs were sold in bulk to conserve material and customers were asked to bring shopping bags to save on kraft paper. The campaign also encouraged people to carry groceries home instead of relying on delivery trucks, which used valuable gasoline.

In early 1942, the government stopped the use of tin cans for baking powder, beer, biscuits, candy, petroleum products, cereals, chocolate, coffee, dog food, spices and tobacco. Women in Chicago were asked to save cooking grease, which could be used to produce explosives. And the Wabash Appliance Corp. of Brooklyn introduced blackout bulbs, to provide light during an air raid.

IGA grocers adapted their stores to the changes in lifestyle caused by the war. A market in Long Beach, Calif., installed bicycle racks so shoppers didn't have to drive to the grocery store. Lunch box items, such as cheese, bread and crackers, were stressed to feed the millions working long hours at manufacturing plants.

In the summer of 1942, Grimes pledged to install a war bond booth in every IGA store. Fifty-thousand booths were ordered and sold through headquarters the booths consisted of three upside-down orange crates, two upright pieces and a banner. Volunteer workers known as Molly Pitchers manned the booths and sold war bonds and stamps.

The Department of Agriculture recommended plentiful foods, called Victory Foods, for grocers to push. IGA developed a Home Economics division, consisting of 11 full-time women from the Better Homemaking Institute in Chicago. The home economists concentrated on developing recipes with cheese, eggs and dried beans, new protein sources that people were eating on meatless days.

The government predicted that one-third of the canned fruits and vegetables packed in 1943 would go to the armed forces, with one-half reserved for them in 1944. Shortages developed, but the country's total effort was paying off. As Grimes wrote in December 1942, "48,000 combat planes, 56,000 combat vehicles, 670,000 machine guns, 21,000 anti-tank guns. One year's work of a people who were supposed to be soft and were expected to argue and debate instead of work. This is the work of "decadent, inefficient democracy.''

In the spring of 1943, the meat supply became so strained that the government instituted rationing. IGA grocers functioned as the quartermasters for the consumer, using the slogan, "To win the victory, we must share the meat.' Since shoppers were as concerned with point value as price, butchers were encouraged to prominently display the points required for each cut and size.

18 Million Victory Gardens

Point rationing was also implemented on grocery products in short supply. Homemakers received a certain number of points that they could spend each month, on whatever rationed items they desired. A booklet published by the Treasury Department entitled "Mrs. Brown Goes to War' explained how to shop using the point system.

IGA operators tried to make the rationing system more bearable for consumers. John Schmauder, owner of an IGA in Odessa, Wash., put the rationed foods in a small corner and filled the rest of his market with unrationed food, calling his market "a store full of stuff you can buy.' A Chicago operator featured shark meat and ling cod, describing them as fish that taste like steak.

Grocers encouraged consumers to plant backyard gardens to feed America at home, so the food from the farmers could go to the armed forces and allies. Stores sold seeds in the spring, then merchandised home-canning materials in August and September. More than 18 million Victory Gardens were planted.

In response to the slipping volume that stores encountered due to food rationing, headquarters developed a means for grocers to boost business. After a three-month test at Yando's IGA in Malone, N.Y., IGA suggested that grocers take on 104 health and beauty aids items and sell them from a step table in a section called "Household Needs.' Products included castor oil, witch hazel, liquid leg makeup and sanitary napkins.

When it began to appear that the Allies would win, Grimes worried about what would happen to the grocery industry after the war. Recalling the multitude of independents who had gone out of business following World War I, he predicted three post-war conditions that would confront the industry: plenty of merchandise, sharp declines in prices and a surplus of manpower, resulting in a period of competitive pricing.

The shortage of employees during World War II, resulting from the number of men and women in the armed forces and the factories, caused grocers to work long hours, and be harried while in the store. Many women took over stores, and were quite successful. For example, Naomi Webb, a grocer in Cyril, Okla., did so well that she bought her biggest competitor, tripling business.

During the war days, people were able to exchange cooking fat for points and for cash at meat dealers and at grocery stores. According to Alfred Rooney, chief of the Fat Salvage division of the War Production Board, a pound of waste cooking fat produced enough glycerine to manufacture a pound of gunpowder.

In May 1944, rationing was ended for 85% of meat products only steaks and roasts were still rationed. But the shortage of paper was becoming critical, and people were urged to bring back all paper bags. Many produce items were wrapped in lettuce leaves to conserve paper.

Manufacturers' ads explained why there were shortages. Wrigley's published the following correspondence from a soldier in one of its trade ads: "We in the Army are learning the value of chewing Wrigley's to ease the tension of taut nerves . . . It is particularly comforting now that we are being harassed by flying bombs 24 hours a day.'

On May 7, 1945, the German military leaders signed an unconditional surrender. The United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, causing the Japanese to surrender.

In July 1945, one month before the end of the war in the Pacific, the first IGA Foodliner opened. It was located in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. During the 1950s and 1960s, IGA Foodliners would become part of the commercial landscape.

Peace did not alleviate the suffering in Europe, which was plagued by a severe food shortage. In early 1946, Grimes proposed that the U.S. exercise 40 days of denial, when people would eat less and send the food that was saved to feed the children of the enemies. More than 30 million people signed a pledge to conserve food.

New food products entered the market to take advantage of the new prosperity. McCalls magazine predicted that carrot candy would become a new taste sensation. A consultant to IGA lauded the concept of stratospheric freezing. "Food would be prepared and packaged, then loaded into airliners that would go into the stratosphere. The food would be instantly frozen and brought back to earth to sell in grocery stores,' he said. Another consultant predicted that movie theaters would install vending machines that dispensed frozen entrees, so a housewife could go to a matinee and still have a hot meal for her husband when he came home from work.

In 1946, IGA started a College of Food Retailing, consisting of a seven-week course in all phases of operating a grocery store. Twenty students were graduated from the first class. Andrew Deiber opened the first student-owned IGA store in December 1946, investing $800 to begin his own business.

The store engineering department designed the "Precision Store,' a 30-by 100-foot unit capable of doing an annual volume of $200,000. The design of the store optimized sales by forcing customers to walk pask all the merchandise.

After World War II, stores quickly expanded in size, and began to emphasize the fresh food that had become popular due to grocery shortages during the war days. A&P opened a 15,180-footer, constructed at the cost of $125,000, shortly after the war. The store had an unprecedented eight departments.

In May 1947, a cousin to the Grocergram was born in "the land down under.' The Melray stores, a group of Australian independents modeled after IGA, started to publish a magazine.

Despite predictions that prices would drop after the war, prices rose dramatically at first, causing many to worry about possible governmental price controls. Grimes asked that all people affiliated with IGA work to keep prices at a minimum. This could be accomplished, he said, by keeping the wholesale cost of operation at 4% of sales, and retail costs of operation at 6%.

The Modern Wholesaler Is Born

The food manufacturers continued to develop new products. Swift, for example, came out with Prem, a canned meat "like Spam but with tender beef added.' Coca-Cola was pushing in-store, coin-operated coolers to help grocers make extra profits, and the Doughnut Corp. of America brought out the Downyflake Doughnut Depot, a machine that allowed retailers to fry fresh doughnuts in the store.

Wholesalers were now supplying much more than groceries. Ned Fleming, president of The Fleming Companies, commented, "Wholesalers have awakened to the fact that it is the perishables in the retail food business that largely determine the success or failure of a retail grocer.'

Prices took a nose dive in early 1948. As J. John Grainger, president of an IGA supply depot in Lincoln, Neb., wrote, "The honeymoon is over in the retail food industry. There is great opportunity in the retail food field today--but the aggressive retailer must realize that he must sell now, sell as never before.'

In April 1948, Von's built a store billed as the world's largest supermarket, with parking for 2,500 cars. Loretta Young, riding the wave of her success in the movie "The Bishop's Wife,' adorned billboard ads for RC Cola.

But in Hollywood, Washington, New York and other political and entertainment centers, increasing attention was being paid to the perceived threat of domestic Communism, the counterpart of the Russians who had become America's arch enemies. The rumors and innuendo piqued Grimes, who wrote, "Some people seem to get diabolic satisfaction out of passing to others unchallenged statements that they know in their hearts will hurt someone --and yet they feel a sense of importance in trying to convince others that they are "in the know.''

In October 1948, IGA sponsored the first telecast originating from a supermarket. Broadcast live from Bud Pearson's IGA on Chicago's north side, the telecast was entitled "Alice in a New Wonderland,' and followed a matronly housewife as she took a new bride on her first shopping trip. The telecast was beamed at 40,000 TV sets in Chicagoland.

Between February 1948 and February 1949, food prices declined by 20%, one of the steepest rates of deflation on record. The drop in prices was so swift and so steep that many industries began to cut workers' pay, forcing millions to live on less money. IGA produced a movie entitled "Housewife Courageous,' the story of Emily Perkins, a typical housewife who had to learn to cut the food budget when husband George learned that his paycheck had been cut.

In the fall of 1948, after a successful test market in a small Midwestern city, American Family was started as a consumer magazine to be sold exclusively at IGA stores. Called the national magazine of family life, it was sold at checkstands, next to Woman's Day.

In the spring of 1949, E.R. Godfrey & Sons, an IGA wholesaler based in Milwaukee, opened a new warehouse, announcing the event in a four-color ad in the Milwaukee newspaper. The new warehouse had 145,000 square feet of floor space, sat on seven acres, and supplied 361 IGA stores in Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

Grocers and Druggists Join Forces

Ward's IGA in Salt Lake City moved to a new location and doubled its size, to 6,400 square feet. The backyard of the store was transformed into a landscaped park for the use of church or civic groups.

Yet while the independents constructed larger stores, the chains built even bigger ones, and threatened to capture an even greater share of the business. The highway supermarket was replacing the grocery store on main street.

W.H. Longenbaker, the director of the IGA field engineering department, proposed that independent druggists and grocers band together to fight the chains. He said, "The druggists and grocers may find the solution to this threat by joining forces and bringing their independent businesses together under one roof.' He recommended removing the walls between drug and grocery stores to create one open area, with the two sides still operating as independent businesses. The ideal size for one of these "combination' stores was 10,000 square feet.

As the 1940s came to an end, the independent grocer was once again in a battle with the ever-expanding chains. Size would be the necessary survival element, and suburban sites would have to be found to serve the masses who were migrating to suburbia.

The 1950s may have shaped the current sociological and demographic makeup of America more than any other decade during the century. Although historically quiet, the changes that occurred created the face of modern America.

The massive change in the country was caused by millions of little babies--the baby boomers. Their families built houses in the suburbs as more and more of the country's culture was aimed at the typical suburban family, consisting of a father, mother and two children.

The skyrocketing birth rate boded well for grocers. Families with small children were ideal food-at-home consumers the growth of the suburbs created a demand for convenient stores along the highways. Strip centers became THE place to be.

IGA began the decade with an 18-month promotional event culminating in its 25th anniversary celebration. Under the theme "Get ready for the fun in '51,' plans were set for the Silver Jubilee convention, to be held in July 1951 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Oscar, a character modeled on the Waldorf's legendary chef, was created to serve as figurehead for the sales drive. Grimes predicted that the promotional events preceding the celebrations would result in a 25% sales increase for IGA stores and wholesalers.

IGA retailers aggressively moved into the competitive forays in the suburbs. Frank Italiano, a St. Louis independent, opened his Super Save Market in November 1950. The 11,400-square-foot store contained 200 linear feet of refrigerated cases, a "magic carpet,' nine check-stands and 22 dump display tables in produce. In January 1951, Gus Carlston and Lynn Hansen opened the Northgate IGA in Seattle, a 20,000-footer in a shopping center that also housed the upscale Bon Marche department store.

Meanwhile, Grimes' editorial in the September 1950 Grocergram proposed that the government establish a Department of Peace, and that the department head serve on the president's cabinet. "Peace is a job, not a pastime,' wrote Grimes several weeks after the beginning of the Korean War. Another article warned grocers about polio 70,000 cases of the crippling disease had been recorded in the U.S. during 1948 and 1949.

The entire IGA family was saddened by the sudden death of Barbara Adams Grimes, the wife of the chief. Born in London, Ont., in 1884, Mrs. Grimes had moved to Chicago as a child. She met J. Frank Grimes when she was 10 years old and he was 12. They had been married for 48 years.

More than 3,000 grocers, wives, family members and business associates traveled to New York to celebrate IGA's 25th anniversary. The highlight of the three-day convention was an evening of musical reviews, created by Lew Green and Charles Henderson, noted Broadway producers. The choreography was directed by Mitzi Mayfair, a former Ziegfeld Follies star.

The Jubilee Review began with a history cavalcade, tracing the IGA story through song and dance. Also, Burl Ives enchanted the audience with his renditions of wellknown folk songs.

Johnny Johnston, a singer starring in the Broadway musical "A Tree Grows in Brookly,' served as master of ceremonies. Awards were presented to "Miss IGA Teenager,' "Baby IGA,' "Grandma IGA,' and "Mr. and Mrs. IGA.'

The highlight of the business sessions was a speech by Chief Grimes entitled "The Road Ahead.' Basing his talk on an ancient Oriental quotation, "The water that is past cannot make the mill go,' Grimes said, "The past, while furnishing the yardstick with which to measure present and future gains, contributes very little that can be of practical value except as guideposts, with red lights and green lights.'

Borrowing a quote from Henry David Thoreau, "In the long run men hit only what they aim at--so they had better aim at something high,' Grimes set forth future IGA objectives. The new goals included a volume of $5 per week per square foot for every IGA retailer, and $1 million in annual sales per 4,000 square feet for wholesalers. To attain this objective, IGA set up a division to provide financing to every IGA retailer who wanted to build a modern store and was willing to cooperate with headquarters' plans.

Preen, a product designed to "provide modern plumbing for your kitty,' was invented in November 1951. Lever Brothers brought out Chlorodent, a toothpaste with chlorophyll. And monosodium glutamate was lauded as the "key to food flavors,' that should be used on "practically everything we eat.' The Pure Food and Drug Administration had recently ruled that MSG was a wholesome food.

At the end of the year, J. Frank Grimes retired from the day-to-day running of IGA. Although he continued to appear at functions and serve as a spokesman, his role gradually grew smaller and smaller.

Grimes' son, Don, who had worked at IGA since the 1930s, took over as the organization's second president.

A Rash of Store Construction

After the election of Eisenhower in 1952, a construction boom swept the supermarket industry. In 1953, 125 IGA markets were built, at a total cost of $9 million, and 300 stores were remodeled, representing an investment of $10 million. Most of the stores were designed by IGA's engineers.

By the beginning of 1953, IGA retailers were involved with television, often sponsoring fledgling local programs at stations in small cities. For example, IGA grocers in Lancaster and York, Pa., funded a 15-minute television show called "Today with Kate,' which provided cooking tips.

During IGA's 27th years, President Don Grimes stated that the 10-year goal of the Alliance would be 10,000 stores doing $10,000 apiece weekly, almost a doubling of the 5,300 IGAs then in operation.

A new series, entitled "Lassie,' sponsored exclusively by Campbell Soup, made its TV debut in September 1954. Other television commercials aired that season included Arthur Godfrey and Liberace promoting National Tuna Week, Roy Rogers and Trigger pushing Post cereals and Howdy Doody selling Kellogg's cereals. Another popular TV show, I Love Lucy, was sponsored by the Philip Morris family of cigarettes.

The Emergence of a New Generation

Otis Trohdahl, owner of Trohdahl's IGA Food Market in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., brought a live cherry tree into his store and conducted a contest in which customers guessed the day and time when the cherry tree would bloom. The Darrow IGA Foodliner in Traverse City, Mich., relocated along the harbor so shoppers in the Lake Michigan resort community could come by boat as well as by car.

Speaking on the 28th anniversary of the organization, Don Grimes said, "Today most of these men--the fathers of IGA-- have stepped aside to make room for a new generation. They have seen IGA grow from 25 stores to 5,400. They have seen IGA take its place as the world's second largest food retailing organization.'

By 1954, most stores had switched to self-service meat, abandoning the service meat case that had been an institution for a quarter century. IGA meat specialists urged even the smallest operator to switch to self-service.

Lou Stecher, 33 years old, opened a 9,200-square-foot Foodliner in Affton, Mo., in the spring of 1955. The store had underground parking for employees, and was expected to do $1.3 million during its first year.

In September 1955, a 20-year-old movie actress named Sophia Loren was selected as the queen of National Macaroni Week, an industrywide promotion in which many IGA retailers participated. Shelf-talkers featuring the budding actress reportedly convinced many male shoppers to stop and buy macaroni.

During the same year, Hurricane Diana severely damaged grocery stores along the East Coast, including Bigelow's IGA Super Market in Oxford, Mass.

The IGA store engineering department proposed the concept of the Outer Space Foodliner toward the end of 1955. A battery of vending machines along the outer wall that faced the parking lot would dispense milk, eggs, bread, butter and other staple items, freeing inside selling space for more profitable merchandise. A push-button snack bar located in the parking lot dispensed cold drinks, malted milks, sandwiches and other fast food.

W.H. Longenbaker, director of the engineering division, wrote, "Automatic stores are on 1956's horizon and getting closer every day. Automation in stores is on the increase, and we go on record as predicting that in many stores vending machines will be installed so that after-hour purchases can be made easily.'

On New Year's Day 1956, IGA received some free national advertising in the person of Albert Evans, owner of Evans IGA Super Market in Cedar Lake, Mich. While vacationing in California, Evans attended the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena. When asked by commentator Ken Carpenter what he did for a living, Evans elaborated on the virtues of IGA, until the network cut to another announcer.

Promotions during IGA's 30th year revolved around the anniversary celebration, which culminated in an August convention in Chicago. Helen O'Connell thrilled the 3,000 attendees with her singing evangelist Billy Graham inspired them with his preaching. A new slogan, "Five Billion or Bust,' was inaugurated.

The IGA Market Basket in Skyway Park, Wash., owned by Mike Lotts, Bill O'Neal and Paul Carey, became the fifth IGA store to enter the exclusive $100,000-a-week club. In Fife, Wash., a tiny farming community east of Tacoma, Lew Cameron opened a "massive' 16,000-square-foot supermarket. Neon signs that matched the color of the floor tiles sparked up the store.

In February 1957, The Charles Ilfeld Co., Albuquerque, N.M., and the Seven Day Wholesale Grocery Co., of Woodside, Miss., became affiliated with IGA. Parkview Markets of Cincinnati joined the organization in May. And Ted Wetterau Jr., serving an apprenticeship as the manager of the Frostwood IGA Foodliner in Berkeley City, Mo., boosted volume from $19,000 to $30,000 weekly during his one-year tenure.

In 1956, RCA Whirlpool developed the "Miracle Kitchen of Tomorrow.' "The tedious tasks of housekeeping and cooking will be things of the past,' predicted the appliance manufacturer. An article in the Grocergram explained how an automatic meal maker would move food from storage to heating, then deliver it to the table. Recipes could be projected on a wall screen in the kitchen.

As of mid-1957, 400 IGA Foodliners were in operation, doing an average volume of $13,750 apiece. The minimum requirements for a store to carry the Foodliner name were 4,000 square feet of selling space, and $7,500 in weekly volume.

Headquarters introduced a new retail accounting process in September of 1957. Don Grimes wrote, "One of the greatest problems of many businesses today is to determine whether or not they are making money and how much. Through IGA's new accounting service, we intend to continue to assist our members not only to maintain a sound financial level, but to make as substantial a profit as possible. The man who makes it his business to daily chart his way in the "sea of finance' is infinitely more secure than the man who trusts to luck.'

On Oct. 4, 1957, Sputnik I was launched by the Soviet Union, starting the space race. During the same year, Hussmann developed a produce case for bulk merchandising of fruits and vegetables, but that could easily be adapted to display prepackaged produce, "the way of the future.' Three new soup flavors--minestrone, chicken vegetable and turkey noodle --were introduced by Campbell, and the Toni Company rolled out Adorn hair spray.

In January 1958, IGA headquarters added bakery and dairy departments it now had specialists to help retailers merchandise the entire super. The organization supplied 5,500 stores.

Baby week, one of the year's biggest promotions, occurred in April. Approximately 8.5 million babies had been born during 1956 and 1957, creating a lot of hungry little mouths.

In mid-summer, Nagy's IGA Foodliner, Hartsville, Ohio, conducted a parking lot sale of uncleaned walleye pike from nearby Lake Erie. The store sold 6,000 pounds of pike by noon on the first day 3,150 pounds were gone by 10:30 a.m. on the second day of the promotion.

During the same period, the first radar eye in the U.S. was reportedly installed at the IGA Chuck Wagon in Seattle. And Jack Dempsey served as guest of honor at the grand opening of the Meadowbrook IGA Foodliner in West Boyleston, Mass.

Although the economy remained alive throughout the latter part of the 1950s, the boom slackened somewhat toward the end of the decade. During the first quarter of 1958, the number of small business failures increased by 11%. The industry remained in an expansion mode, but grocers had to be even more careful about site selection.

Independents planning a new store were encouraged to take helicopter flights to observe housing developments and highways before investing thousands of dollars. Site selection had become a science instead of a seat-of-the-pants process.

IGA store engineers predicted that roof design would be the biggest factor affecting the look of modern buildings. Pre-engineered metal structures with arching roofs were recommended because they were inexpensive and quick to construct. The engineers also suggested the positioning of the store sign and pylon by the road, to attract the attention of passing motorists.

A lot of new-fangled equipment came on the market to help the grocers operate more efficiently. NCR developed a cash register that automatically dispensed change Eastwood Industries introduced a talking directory called the Audio Guide Fogarty Manufacturing was pushing a rotating fixture for displaying fruits and vegetables.

As the decade drew toward its conclusion, IGA was as competitive as it was at the beginning of the 1950s. But the headquarters people and sponsoring wholesalers, the movers and shakers of the group, felt that the organization should become more dominant in local trade areas.

Dayton, Ohio, was singled out as the ideal IGA marketplace, a city where the organization had started from scratch to become the number one operator in town. In 1950, the chains accounted for 83% of grocery sales in Dayton. Then, three IGA-affiliated retailers entered the market. Since the Dayton chains, particularly Kroger, had higher expenses than the independents, IGA decided to go after them on price. With strong backing from Super Food Services, the IGA retailers built their market share to 27%. The percentage of business done by the chains was driven down to 53%.

Don Grimes' goal for the 1960s was to have IGA stores account for 25% of grocery sales within their trade areas. Considering the proliferation of chain units, this was quite an ambitious undertaking.

THE START OF THE SPACE AGE

It was the era of Ed Sullivan and The Beatles, of John F. Kennedy and Barry Goldwater, of Doris Day and the Rolling Stones. It was a decade that began with crewcuts, fraternity parties and Richard Nixon, and ended with shoulder-length hair, love-ins and Richard Nixon.

As the 1960s began, the Cold War was once again heating up. Soviet Premier Khrushchev cancelled a Paris summit meeting with President Eisenhower after the Soviet Union shot down a U-2 spy plane over Russian territory. In the Middle East, OPEC held its first meeting ever in a successful effort to thwart an announced oil price decrease by Standard Oil of New Jersey.

At IGA, plans were made to help grocers confront the challenge of the 1960s. As Don Grimes said, "The nifty '50s are turning into the thrifty '60s. We need to return to good, solid food merchandising where low costs take precedence. Stores have been made too attractive, and that is affecting prices. We will see a return to clean, simple store design during the 1960s.'

IGA anticipated that its retailers would spend more than $40 million to build and remodel stores in 1960, an increase of 25% over 1959. Three hundred stores were to be constructed, with 462 units remodeled. IGA supplied 5,500 stores in 45 states at the start of the decade.

An exemplary IGA store in 1960 was the Salem Lane IGA Food Town in Dayton, Ohio, owned by Wilbur Stump. This 32,000-footer carried 6,000 items, had 12 checkouts and was doing $4.5 million in annual sales. A variety of concessions, including a record shop, refreshment stand, bakery, pharmacy, dry cleaner, jewelry store and greeting card shop, were special store features.

The news throughout 1960 was dominated by the Presidential election pitting John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon. Despite the strong Republican orientation of the IGA leaders and the grocery industry in general, the organization did not take sides in the contest, a policy carried on from the days of J. Frank Grimes.

In November, IGA publicized the Lights On--Votes Out campaign. Between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on the night before election day, people turned on their outside lights to show they planned to vote. Don Grimes said, "Americans seem more interested in this election and its outcome than any other in recent history. This is a wonderful opportunity for civic-minded IGA retailers to join an important national crusade, and, by so doing, build goodwill for their stores at the local level.' After Kennedy's narrow victory, Don Grimes warned, "This is not a mandate for extreme liberalism.'

Looking at the grocery industry in 1961, Grimes predicted that non-foods would take up more space in the average supermarket. He also believed there would be a significant jump in remodelings, pointing to the experience of Fleming, which had participated in 77 remodelings in 1959, 93 in 1960 and was predicting 110 for 1961. "Many the small store of yesteryear is the proud big store of today,' declared Grimes.

Manufacturers introduced a dizzying array of products during 1961. Armour was marketing Dash Gravy, a cod liver derivative that made dry dog food moist and provided minerals and vitamins. Mennen offered Brake glide-on deodorant. A company named Wickman Inc. of Tinley Park, Ill., was selling a vending machine that dispensed 160 different greeting cards. And Weight Watchers introduced low-calorie maple syrup.

In the spring, Lester Katz, Mike Sobel and Phil Sobel opened the IGA Food Farm in Hudson, Mass., a 16,200-square-foot supermarket projected to do $2 million in annual volume. Arthur Seppala, an IGA retailer from Hancock, Mich., won a Rambler station wagon by promoting IGA private-label products in a headquarters-sponsored contest. And the Appian Way IGA was selling a pizza topped with tuna fish.

More than 5,000 attended the four regional conventions--held in New York, Chicago, New Orleans and San Francisco --that celebrated IGA's 35th anniversary. Featured speakers included Louis Lefkowitz, attorney general of New York, and Jack Dempsey, who had been affiliated with IGA for a quarter century.

IGA introduced its package store at the 1961 conventions. This store design would dominate the group's store planning effort for the next decade. Developed by Wetterau, the package store was a pre-engineered and pre-designed unit appropriate for many store sites. The two sizes offered were 6,440 square feet and 8,880 square feet--these markets became known as the "64-40' and "88-80.' The 64-40 was expected to do a weekly volume of $21,000, with the 88-80 reaching $30,000 a week.

To satisfy grocers who requested a larger package store, the blueprints were expanded only nine months after their introduction. The 64-40 was increased to 7,755 square feet the 88-80 was upped to 10,500 square feet.

Standardized symbols were used to identify the various departments, with grocers allowed to select from 50 or so cutouts. The exterior of the package store displayed the IGA symbol, consisting of bright red letters on a cream-colored oval panel.

In April 1962, IGA established two $2,000 scholarship awards to be granted annually to students studying food retailing at Michigan State University in Lansing. One scholarship honored J. Frank Grimes the other was in memory of Ned Fleming Jr., who had been tragically killed in an automobile accident at the age of 26.

Bozzuto's signed on as an IGA franchise house for parts of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. The Waterbury, Conn.-based wholesaler began to look for larger facilities in anticipation of a tripling of business due to its IGA franchise. The McLain Grocery Company, Masillon, Ohio, announced the construction of 50 package stores during the next three years.

In October 1962, IGA received Congressional recognition for its contribution to the American way of life. Senator Alex Wiley of Wisconsin stated, "It is our American democracy working at its highest potential. It gives the lie to the charge that democracy is on the downgrade, that the day of the rugged individualist is over. It gives new hope to the little fellow in his struggle with the corporation.'

As the decade progressed, many suburbs became completely developed. As Ned Fleming, president of the Fleming Companies, said, "Every operator should take a hard look at his store every third year to consider if it needs remodeling or enlargement. With the growing shortage of better new locations, remodeling and expansion of present stores offers the independent retailer's brightest hope.' Fleming said that the best service a wholesaler can provide is to "help retailers dream about better stores.'

IGA newspaper advertising began to feature recipes prepared by Eddie Doucette, the organization's consultant chef. "They have to be simple because the modern homemaker does not have time to concern herself with involved and complicated recipes. She is much more active than the homemaker of 15 or even 10 years ago. The automobile and convenience foods have given today's homemaker an unprecedented amount of leisure,' Doucette said.

An article in the October 1963 Grocergram talked about the computerization of Fleming, which had an annual sales volume of $230 million at that time. Through the installation of an IBM 1401 computer, Fleming cut inventory by 15.2% and increased its service level to 99.2%. The program that permitted these improvements was called IMPACT, for inventory management and control techniques. An ad announced a new slogan for Coca-Cola, "Things go better with Coke.'

As the holiday season arrived, grocers began promoting like crazy. A cooking school featuring Doucette drew 1,350 consumers to the Fox Theater in Billings, Mont. And 82 IGA markets in central Illinois sold 500,000 ham sandwiches during a December promotion. Priced at only 10 cents apiece, each sandwich still yielded a profit of 3 cents.

The assassination of President Kennedy in November 1963 saddened the nation. Many in the grocery industry were worried about whether Johnson would follow the domestic policies set by his predecessor. Food stamps, which the Kennedy White House had planned to expand to all 50 states, were of particular concern to grocers. But Johnson proved to be as profood stamps as Kennedy.

In March 1964, General Mills introduced Lucky Charms, a cereal touted as having less sugar than other pre-sweetened cereals. Kraft rolled out a low-fat cheese that combined cottage and American cheeses. And Armour developed a zip-top can for its Vienna sausages.

The Hall of Free Enterprise

IGA helped sponsor the Hall of Free Enterprise at the 1964 World's Fair in New York City. Located on the Avenue of Asia, the Hall of Free Enterprise showed visitors the virtues of capitalism. In September 1964, President Johnson invited Don Grimes and other business leaders to the White House to discuss the economy, which was steamrolling ahead.

As the Grocergram's Washington Report stated, "The nation enters another fall season literally riding the crest of the greatest wave of prosperity in U.S. history, and the outlook is for more of the same for many months to come.'

After a 30-year affiliation with its southerm cousin, IGA Canada broke away from the organization in the autumn of 1964, becoming a separate company owned by the Canadian supply depots. At the time, 760 IGAs operated in Canada, and did an annual volume of $360 million.

W.H. Longenbaker, IGA's visionary director of store engineering, foresaw fast food as part of the modern supermarket. He wrote, "Who's to say if the retail food store might not well become the neighborhood community kitchen of tomorrow? Aren't the fast-developing delicatessen departments in our big food stores a step in that direction? Perhaps the retail store may provide a kitchen setting from which it will dispense through electronic vending devices packaged products for immediate consumption, no further cooking required. Sales will be tabulated by a credit card, with the charges recorded at a local bank to be debited against the customer's account.'

The theme for IGA's 39th year was "Plan for Profit.' Mr. Ed's IGA Foodliner in Orland Park, Ill., did just that. The 22,000-square-footer that opened in January 1965 had a bakery that averaged 60% in gross profit. The Imperial Foodliner in Bushnell's Basin, N.Y., made red-carpet service a reality by installing red carpeting.

The dominant factor in the business outlook for 1966 was the Vietnam War, which was escalating at a dizzying rate. Approximately 300,000 troops were to be stationed in Vietnam by mid-year total war-related expenditures for 1966 were $5 billion.

In February 1966, the U.S. Postal Service pledged overnight delivery of first-class letters mailed from and to major cities in the U.S., at the cost of 6 cents an ounce. Litton Industries developed a microwave oven for snack bars, and General Mills added Bugles, Daisies and Whistles to its snack food line.

Predictions from the store engineers included a "zip' checkout system that permitted cashiers to ring up an order without punching the register, a phone-for-food service from which consumers could call in and order a complete meal, and the installation of vending machines in the parking lot to sell staples. The engineers predicted that the size of grocery stores would level off at 12,000 to 15,000 square feet.

IGA Foodliners had to be a minimum of 6,250 square feet, and do a weekly volume exceeding $25,000. They also had to display the official IGA Foodliner sign, and sport a modern store front and interior. A paved and painted parking lot was another requirement.

In July 1966, IGA celebrated its 40th anniversary, with a convention at the Conrad Hilton in Chicago. At that time, the organization consisted of 72 wholesalers serving 4,300 stores in 46 states. The wholesalers had docking facilities for 445 rail cars and 865 trucks 80 full-timers were employed at IGA headquarters.

More than 4,700 people attended the Chicago convention. J. Frank Grimes delivered a speech in his first appearance at an IGA function in 10 years. Other speakers included Reverend Thomas Haggai and Senator Frank Lausche of Ohio. Robert Young of Wooster, Ohio, was honored as Retailer of the Year Linda George from Merriman's IGA Foodliner in Jonesboro, Ark., was named Checker of the Year.

Although the package store remained central to IGA's overall strategy, many members personalized their supermarkets. For example, Danvers' IGA Food Fair, Pulaski, Va., was modeled after shops along Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, and had departments named Dietetic Road, Bakers Lane and the Powder Box. Spreth's IGA in Momence, Ill., was decorated with hundreds of antiques, creating a sense of nostalgia in a modern 20,000-footer.

Government statistics showed that consumers spent 18.5% of take-home pay on food in 1967. The K.G. Brown Manufacturing Co. introduced a 16-item Grocermat, to be located on the sidewalk to make extra sales when a market was closed. And a company called Check-A-Matic, headquartered in Auburn, Mass., brought out an automatic shopping cart unloading system that used a power drive and belts to unload shopping carts with no aid from shoppers or checkers.

In December 1967, Don Grimes was granted a leave of absence to pursue outside activities. Wilbur Pinney, who had joined as the head of the bakery division and progressed up the IGA corporate ladder, was named executive vice president and chief executive officer.

Headquarters pushed the IGA Chefette, an in-store prepared foods department. The pre-designed department turned out high-quality fast foods, such as hamburgers, french fries and chicken. The Chefette could do 8% of store sales and yield a 40% gross profit, predicted headquarters.

In the Grocergram's Store Modernization issue, dated March 1968, the store engineering department announced the electronic checkout of the future. The combination of a scanner plus a belt that automatically unloaded products from the cart eliminated the need for checkers.

Don Grimes officially resigned as IGA president in January 1968, following a year-long absence. The board of directors elected Richard J. Jones, president of the J.M. Jones Co., of Urbana, Ill., an IGA-affiliated wholesaler, as the new president. At the time, IGA consisted of 73 wholesalers and 4,000 stores, with retail sales of $3 billion.

"At IGA, we are working and fighting for a cause. We must multiply the ability of the independent food retailer and wholesaler by providing him with the tools which enable him to compete success fully with corporate chain operations,' said Jones upon accepting the presidential post.

IGA's first sponsorship of "Values for Living,' the inspirational radio program produced by Dr. Thomas Haggai, occurred in 1968. The 37-year-old Haggai, referred to as the "businessman's preacher,' was described as "wildly funny and searchingly serious.'

One of the most amazing feats accomplished by any IGA retailer in the decade happened during the summer of 1968, shortly after the riotous Democratic national convention in Chicago. Realizing the potential business to be gained from the annual convention of the National Campers and Hikers Association, which brought 4,000 recreational vehicles and 21,000 people to the small town of Du Quoin, Ill., J.W. Green erected an instant store in the main exhibit hall, selling $25,000 of groceries in four days.

Other IGA retailers sponsored soap box derbies, a new adolescent fad. John McIntyre, whose vehicle was sponsored by Fleming and IGA, was one of the best racers. He won three heats during a day of racing in Oklahoma.

Under Jones' leadership, IGA renewed its push to recapture some of the merchandising magic that had characterized the organization during its early decades. IGA purchased the champion hog at the International Livestock Exposition in Chicago, paying a record $27 per pound for the 225-pound animal. An advertising program called Teammates ran throughout 1969 the campaign paired an IGA private-label item with a national brand, such as Hershey's syrup and IGA ice cream, or Ritz crackers and IGA cheese.

Jones stated that the organization's goal was to raise retail volume to $10 billion. He encouraged IGA wholesalers to open at least two corporate stores, so they could experiment with new ideas that could be shared with their retailers.

In June 1969, Noxzema came out with its "take it off' campaign. Bobby Hull of the Chicago Black Hawks became the spokesman for Milk Duds. And Art Link-letter showed up at the J.M. Jones supply depot to kick off a promotion based on his house party game. The following month, William Olsen joined the IGA staff office as director of perishables.

As the 1960s ended, IGA was making a comeback. To inspire members to expand, several retailers were held up as examples. Les Bleier, a grocer in Wichita, was doing $130,000 a week from 24,000 square feet. The IGA Food Mart in Scranton, Pa., owned by Stanley Zuba and David Prosser, was doing $115,000 from a 15,000-square-foot store by beating local chains on price. And Bruce Hegedorn, a grocer from Webster, N.Y., planned to open a 43,000-square-foot supermarket that would do at least $200,000 weekly.

As the decade ended, Richard Nixon was in the White House, hundreds of thousands of soldiers were in Vietnam, the Smothers Brothers were on prime time television and IGA served 3,700 stores from 69 affiliated wholesalers.

Richard Jones, IGA's president, rang in the 1970s by saying, "If the decade just ended was the soaring 1960s, the decade just beginning will be the sobering 1970s.' The sobering effect was already being felt as consumers reacted to higher food prices by tightening spending, which caused many grocers to seek alternative ways to maintain tonnage.

Meat prices had risen by 16% in 1969 the jump received a lot of publicity, creating consumer resistance to the higher prices. To keep prices down, many independent grocers narrowed profit margins, reported Jones. These lower store margins, combined with the consumer's move to substitute less costly items, caused quite a profit squeeze at independent supers.

Discussing store design in the 1970s, Luther Cole, IGA's director of store engineering, predicted growth for bakeoffs, pharmacies, snack bars, take-out and gourmet food as a way for grocers to increase margins. Cole expected all excessive storage space to be converted to selling area to maximize sales.

An IGA in Brewer, Maine, was pointed out as an example in the operation of a snack bar and take-out area the market served 2,100 hot meals a week in the small New England town. To make sure that consumers in its trade area agreed with expansion plans, the Sunnycrest IGA in Urbana, Ill., sought advice from a panel of 15 homemakers before designing the market.

The furor about meat prices continued to heat up. In July 1980, a beef boycott began in Levittown, N.Y., and quickly spread across the nation. People were cutting back drastically on beef consumption, which hurt IGA's Table-Rite beef program, one of its strongest lines.

In August 1970, Orville Roth and Darrell Rybloom opened a 21,000-square-foot super in McMinnville, Ore. Roth and Rybloom credited a generous profit-sharing plan with inspiring the company's growth. In Bene, Ind., Gifford's IGA provided space in its parking lot for the horses and buggies driven to the market by the Amish who lived nearby.

IGA Won't Live by Food Alone

Jones predicted that IGAs in the future would NOT be merely retail food stores. "Stores serviced by IGA will become complete retail stores, selling much more than food,' he said, adding that most IGA retailers would operate complete family centers by the end of the decade. Jones estimated that the average family center would run 25,000 square feet, and provide one-stop shopping.

As the price of beef continued to skyrocket, meat analogs were developed. A professor from the University of Illinois predicted that analogs would account for half of meat sales by the end of the decade. Soybeans, which were being cultivated like crazy by farmers in the Midwest, had the brightest future.

Dr. Thomas Haggai, who had authored a monthly column for the Grocergram for several years, addressed some weighty subjects during these trying times. One commentary in the early 1970s dealt with the problem of drug usage among teenagers. Dr. Haggai wrote, "Warn children about accepting candy from strangers, or strange candy from friends.'

Many newsworthy events happened during the spring of 1971. In March, Lt. William Calley Jr. was convicted of the murder of 22 Vietnamese women and children at the My Lai massacre. On April 20, the Supreme Court upheld the concept of busing as a means to achieve racially balanced schools. The 26th Amendment to the Constitution, enacted in July, lowered the legal voting age from 21 to 18. But the political action that affected grocers the most occurred in August, when President Nixon implemented wage and price controls to combat inflation.

Five thousand IGA retailers and wholesalers attended the 45th anniversary convention held in Chicago in July 1971. The exhibits and the business sessions were conducted at McCormick Place the home convention hotel was the Conrad Hilton. Hubert H. Humphrey, a former vice president and the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, was the keynote speaker.

A highlight of the business sessions was the showing of the IGA consumer dialogue film, which had been shot in May at the University of Illinois. Representative housewives from across the country had gathered for an in-depth discussion about what they wanted to see at the local grocery store. Along with the live session, IGA had conducted behind-the-scenes interviews with 200 current IGA shoppers and 200 potential customers.

A Lobster Cuts the Ribbon

The Maine Mall in South Portland, one of the largest commercial ventures ever undertaken in northern New England, opened in the fall of 1971. The Gold Star IGA was a flagship store. A live Maine lobster cut the ribbon for the grand opening ceremony.

In Marianna, Fla., IGA retailer John Westmoreland decided to combat high prices by becoming a discounter. He reduced prices so drastically that a rumor spread that he was going out of business.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. Sales climbed from $11,300 to $50,000 weekly due to the switch.

In early 1972, Wesley Reeves, IGA's advertising manager, introduced a program to ingratiate IGA grocers with consumers. He created a "Consumer Corner' available for all IGA retailers to run in their weekly advertising. Said Reeves, "Our purpose is to provide IGA customers with educational shopping information on commodities, particularly IGA products.'

Don Grimes died in March, following a long illness. He had worked at IGA for 38 years, from 1930 until 1968. Grimes listed his major accomplishments as the implementation of the package-store concept, the development of the Table-Rite meat program and the creation of a complete insurance program. At the time of his son's death, J. Frank Grimes was still alive, residing in La Jolla, Calif.

The IGA Summer Safari was one of the biggest promotions of 1972. "The jungle drums will be beating, the sun will be rising in the East and firce competition-- represented in all safari promotions by a ferocious gorilla--will blanch in fear of the sight of so many eager customers trekking into IGA stores,' headquarters explained.

The store engineering department implemented some significant changes in store identification. The background on the IGA symbol was switched from cream to white so the logo would stand out. And on exterior signs, the oval logo was placed within a rectangle, to run more smoothly into the Foodliner identification.

Two IGA wholesalers opened combination stores in 1972 headquarters praised the combination markets as a new opportunity for IGA retailers. Copps Distributing built a 56,000-square-foot store in Antigo, Wis., that housed a department store and an IGA under one roof. In Washington, Mo., the Mohr Value Center was opened the grocery side was run by an independent grocer while the general merchandise area was operated by Wetterau.

On Feb. 1, 1973, William Olsen was named president of IGA. Olsen had worked for the organization for five years, and had served as executive vice president since 1971. Before joining IGA, Olsen had been employed by John Morrell & Co. and the National Livestock and Meat Board.

Outgoing President Jones, reflecting on his five-year term, said, "When I became president, we had to do several things as quickly as possible. We had to strengthen our financial position at headquarters, reestablish the confidence of our wholesalers, improve our service and rebuild the staff office.' He named the 45th anniversary convention and the IGA-sponsored TV spectacular that starred Loretta Lynn and Bobby Goldsboro as being among the highlights of his term of office.

Many felt that Jones' most important contribution was his success in getting the organization to once again think retail. A sign on his office door said, "When the chips are down, it will be our retail skills-- not wholesale--that will determine our success or failure as modern food distributors.' Jones was part-owner of several IGA stores in Urbana, Ill. he continued to operate these markets after leaving IGA.

Independents Gain on Chains

Headquarters happily informed IGA retailers of the findings of the Progressive Grocer annual report published in April 1973. For the first time in years, independents had beaten the chains in volume gain, reporting a 7.8% jump in sales compared to the 7.5% increase recorded by the chains. IGA's new president urged retailers to work hard to maintain the momentum.

In October 1973, Spiro Agnew resigned as vice president. The same month, IGA left Chicago's Loop, moving the international staff office to OHare Plaza, within minutes of the airport. IGA occupied the entire seventh floor of the complex located at 5725 East River Road.

"Maurie,' a movie about the friendship between Jack Twyman, the chairman of Super Food Services, and his former Cincinnati Royals teammate Maurice Stokes, was released. When Stokes became paralyzed by encephalitis, Twyman took over as legal guardian, accepting a tremendous responsibility.

In December 1973, headquarters introduced Mr. IGA, an official corporate image for advertising and point-of-sale material. Mr. IGA was described as "a man of the 1970s who is in fashion but not ahead of it.' The man had long hair and sideburns flair-legged slacks and a wide tie were his trademarks.

The supermarket industry became fully aware of "The UPC Revolution' in 1974. As the Grocergram said, "We record volume in millions and profits in pennies. UPC and scanners will be the solution to the industry's troubled economy.'

As 1974 progressed, the Nixon presidency began to unravel as information came to light about the White House's involvement in Watergate. On Aug. 9, President Nixon resigned Gerald Ford became the 38th President.

A report prepared by McKinsey & Co. predicted that scanning could save an average supermarket between 1.0% and 1.5% of sales, or approximately $27,000 annually. The cost of eight scanning registers was estimated to be $100,000.

IGA supplied 3,412 stores in 45 states at the end of 1974. There were 278 multi-unit operators who owned 758 stores, with an average volume per store of $31,000, well above the IGA average.

Headquarters encouraged retailers to become multistore operators whenever an opportunity presented itself. The 11-store GranCentral Market in Connecticut was the largest multi-unit IGA grocer.

Don Harp, owner of six stores that did a combined weekly volume of $300,000, was praised as an ideal multi-unit independent. Harp's largest super, a 26,000-footer in Springdale, Ark., had a conveyor system that carried groceries to the customer's car.

One of the youngest people to profess the IGA gospel was 9-year-old Joe Buhrmann, vice president of public relations for Buhrmann's IGA, East Dundee, Ill. The boy did a daily radio broadcast over the local station, and served as corporate spokesman in all newspaper ads. His celebrity status helped the 14,000-square-foot conventional market do a weekly volume of $50,000.

The spring of 1975 saw many IGA stores cash in on the gardening boom that swept the country with a fervor not seen since the Victory Garden days of World War II. The combination of high produce prices and the recession caused many people to plant gardens.

In the fall, IGA set up a Retailer Council to function as an idea exchange, a sounding board and an advisory committee. The 10-member board included Jim Adams from Paris, Tenn., Daniel George of Bethlehem, Pa., Cas Milkiewicz of Esconaba, Mich., and Bob Schulte, Jefferson City, Mo. The men on the council had operated IGA stores for a total of 191 years.

Revamping the Staff Office

The bicentennial year began with a major reorganization of the staff office. In an effort to streamline IGA, procurement, merchandising and marketing were broken into separate functions. Two new divisions --procurement and member services --were established.

IGA received a substantial influx of business when 28 Super Dollar stores in metropolitan Pittsburgh switched to IGA. This brought the organization an additional $45 million in volume.

The first half of the year was hectic as the 50th anniversary convention was planned. And manufacturers kept busy bringing out new products. Arm & Hammer introduced a deodorant composed of baking soda, Neutragena marketed an acne-drying gel and Schlitz announced that it would go national with its light beer.

The convention began on Sunday, July 25, with retailers and wholesalers traveling to McCormick Place to register and stroll through the mammoth exhibit area. Featured speakers at the business sessions included Dr. Heartsill Wilson, a leader in the field of human motivation and management psychology Arthur Holst, a referee in the National Football League, and James Lovell, a former astronaut and a senior vice president with the Bay-Houston Towing Co. Olsen and Chairman of the Board Haggai delivered inspirational speeches.

The banquet was held on Tuesday evening. During dinner, a military marching band and a bardershop quartet entertained. The attendees then moved into the Arie Crown Theater for a show starring the Mills Brothers and Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass.

In October 1976, John Berezny became the first IGA grocer to install scanning. The Coopersburg IGA in tiny Coopersburg, Pa., soon learned how to do more with its machines than many of the largest chains. According to Olsen, 143 new units had been opened in 1976 589 IGA markets had been remodeled.

A new IGA corporate identity program was developed. The logo was redesigned to look more modern, and be easier to read and remember. More than 3,000 renditions of the IGA logo were developed, with six making the final phase of the selection process. Those six drawings were analyzed by 800 shoppers before the final selection.

At the end of the bicentennial year, 3,322 IGA food stores did $4.7 billion in sales, an increase of 10.7% over 1975. Headquarters expected the new logo and the 1977 advertising campaign, called "Pleasing you, pleases us,' to help IGA surpass $5 billion in sales for the first time.

Bob Schulte's newest store in Jefferson City, Mo., was lauded as a "top of the line' package store. The 27,000-square-foot IGA Foodliner had helped the multistore independent pick up at least $50,000 in weekly business. A special display area within the store, when not used for merchandising extravaganzas, was turned over to local community groups for special events.

In fall 1977, Ben and Jim Prince opened a 62,000-square-foot IGA in Oroville, Wash., population 1,500. The store was split between food and general merchandise, and sat within a few miles of the Canadian border. Three thousand miles away, a four-point buck crashed through the front window of the IGA Foodliner in Mifflintown, Pa.

Following the mid-winter executive conference in 1978, the directors reduced the size of the board from 17 to 11, a change that reflected the smaller number of wholesalers affiliated with the organization. Also, a rewording of the by-laws officially changed the organization's name to IGA. Olsen announced, "We can technically no longer be called the Independent Grocers' Alliance.'

Year-end figures showed that IGA retail sales topped $5 billion in 1977. The average store did a weekly volume of $30,000, or $3.36 per square foot. These average figures were boosted by markets such as the IGA Shady Maple Farm Market, a 45,000-footer in East Earl, Pa. Owner Marvin Weaver was doing $230,000 in weekly business across the street from a cornfield.

The staff was saddened by the sudden death of Richard Jones, who passed away at the age of 53. Even though he had not sat in the president's office for four years, Jones had remained involved with IGA through his wholesale and retail interests in downstate Illinois.

As the Carter presidency progressed, the economy continued to struggle. In January 1979, the U.S. and China established diplomatic relations for the first time since the communists seized power in 1949. The U.S. population reached 220 million in February in March, the first major nuclear accident in the U.S. occurred at Three Mile Island, near Harrisburg.

High tech was overtaking the supermarket industry as many stores initiated scanning, and some experimented with automatic teller machines and electronic funds transfer. Harry's IGA, Topeka, Kan., had offered banking services since 1975.

Bob Lemons, a Kansas City independent supplied by Wetterau, opened his third store in the winter of 1979. The 30,000-square-foot store sold fried chicken, fish and chips, beef barbecue and other fast foods. The light fixtures over the front end had come from the historic Union Station in Kansas City.

More IGA retailers installed scanners as the decade drew toward its close. At the end of 1979, 21 stores in 13 states were scanning, with two-thirds of the scanning stores supplied by Fleming and Wetterau.

IGA surpassed $6 billion in sales in 1979. Approximately 2.3 million square feet of space were added through 168 new stores. The organization served 3,300 stores in 45 states 57 distribution centers owned by 31 wholesalers were affiliated.

The United States was struggling to find itself as the 1980s began. The previous decade had been rough on the nation's psyche, with Watergate, defeat in Vietnam and the taking of hostages at the American Embassy in Iran. The hostage situation remained at the top of the news throughout 1980.

The Presidential election, pitting President Jimmy Carter against challenger Ronald Reagan, was the other major national story of 1980. As the election fever heated up, Mr. St. Helens in Washington state blew its top. The volcanic eruption affected several IGA wholesalers and many retailers.

Transportation was the major problem caused by the eruption. The dust in the air and on the roads was terrible for car and truck engines. The Roundup Co. in Spokane changed the air filters on its trucks about every 150 miles. On some roads, the speed limit was reduced to 15 miles an hour so trucks would not kick dust into the air.

Turk's IGA in Soldier's Grove, Wis., became the nation's first solar supermarket. Cecil Turk was very active in the planning of the new commercial center that would be heated with solar energy. As Turk remarked, "If I can beat the Arabs, I'll do it.'

The 7,040-square-foot super was the cornerstone of a five-unit center other solar businesses included a bank, glass shop, medical clinic and some offices. The store cost $200,000, or approximately $26 per square foot, to construct. The solar-heating system was supposed to save $1,600 annually.

In December 1980, Olsen announced that the "Magic of IGA' would be the theme of the 55th anniversary convention to be held in Chicago. Lou Holtz, Art Linkletter and James Hayes, president of the American Management Association, had been signed as featured speakers.

IGA reached several milestones in 1980. Sales passed $7 billion, pushing IGA into third place among food retailing organizations, as a crippled A&P fell behind its long-time rival. IGA's strong performance was influenced by the opening of 100 new units, and the conversion of 160 existing supers to the IGA banner. More than 3.5 million square feet of retail space was added.

Sixty-five IGAs were scanning in 19 states. Headquarters predicted that more than 100 IGAs would scan by February 1982.

Ron Burkhardt and Jerry Pinney, two key members of IGA's headquarters staff, became vice presidents early in 1981. On the national scene, Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president the hostage crisis in Iran quickly ended.

After a hiatus of 40 years, IGA returned to California in early 1981, when the Fleming division in Fremont, Calif., became affiliated. Two other distribution centers--Gateway Foods in Minneapolis and Western Grocer, Denver--signed up as IGA wholesalers.

Wissinger's IGA in Altoona, Pa., was one of the most attractive IGAs opened during this period. The 32,000-square-foot market had a restaurant, bakery, deli, natural foods section and scanners. It was projected to do $10 million in volume annually, matching the Wissinger's IGA on the other side of town. The new IGA was one of the few bright spots in Altoona that year, which had been suffering from the double-digit unemployment that struck many small manufacturing towns.

Bill Cosby and Donna Theodore headlined the entertainment at the 1981 convention. Phil Quillin of La Crosse, Wis., was awarded the prestigious Retailer of the Year honor, and Dave Skogen of Skogen's IGA in Onalooka, Wis., was named the National Brands Merchandiser.

Charles Simpson, the owner of Charlie's IGA in Fairfield, Iowa, was honored for excellence in meat merchandising.

Olsen announced that the IGA Grocergram would no longer be published by headquarters. Fisher-Harris Corp., Greensboro, N.C., would put out the magazine, with monthly input from two editors in Chicago. Olsen explained that the switch would permit an entire staff to be dedicated to the magazine. "We are excited about this new epoch in the history of our starstudded magazine,' he said.

A 5% to 8% increase in food prices was predicted for 1982. Chef Boy-Ar-Dee launched Zooroni Pepperidge Farm brought out six varieties of Delis and Ragu introduced Homestyle Spaghetti Sauce. IGA began the year with its annual national brands promotion 25 manufacturers participated.

In the summer of 1982, Charles Templeton, an IGA grocer in Arkansas, catered the homecoming reception of Terry Utley, who had been selected as Miss USA. Tommy Thompson, a grocer in Kentucky, catered a party for a Hollywood movie crew that was filming on location near his store. Jose Ferrer, Tab Hunter and Kentucky Governor John Brown were among the celebrities attending.

In December 1982, Alfred Lewis Co., Riverside, Calif., became affiliated with IGA. Originally started as a small chain of grocery stores, Alfred Lewis had not operated retail outlets for decades, but still understood how to run a grocery store. Olsen commented, "They think retail because they are retail.' The Giant Wholesale Corp., based in Johnson City, Tenn., also joined IGA.

Jim Adams, an IGA owner headquartered in Paris, Tenn., opened his 10th supermarket. The 40,000-square-foot unit featured a cafeteria with seating for 172, a pharmacy, florals, fresh seafood, talking scanners, dry cleaning and photofinishing. The market even provided a baby-sitting service for customers.

As the 1980s progressed, the nation continued to evolve away from the suburban family model of the 1950s and 1960s. Working women were altering the makeup of society, and IGA stores were scrambling to adapt to the change.

In January 1983, Alecia Bernetzke became the first woman to win an IGA scholarship. Named after former president Jones, the scholarship was intended for study at the University of Illinois. In other news, Fleming acquired the Waples Platter Co.

The Special Olympics became a pet project of IGA retailers as more independant grocers supported the cause through in-store promotions and private donations. Stan Kozuch, owner of Stan's Redbird IGA in Mormal, Ill., used his farm to conduct Special Olympics events, raising $4,400 for the cause.

In the spring of 1983, IGA sent ET home. ET cakes were offered by many stores, with a sheet cake selling for 16.95 and a small cake for $8.95. Movement of cakes remained strong throughout 1983 as the ET phenomenon swept the country.

In September 1984, Congressman Carroll Campbell, a South Carolina Republican, introduced a bill in the House of Representatives calling for a National Independent Grocers Week. He said, "These small business people raise the American free enterprise system to its highest levels, providing needed services to the communities in whih they live and work. The independent grocer exemplifies the small business entrepreneur, the backbone of the American free enterprise system.' The bill was passed in the spring of 1985 the first independent grocers' week was scheduled to begin on Sept. 8, 1985.

In March 1985, Orville Roth and Darrell Rybloom opened their 11th IGA super. Located in the small farming town of Independence, Ore., the 25,500-square-foot store was expected to do a weekly volume of $125,000. Photographs of Independence at the turn of the century hang around the market, creating a sense of community history within a thoroughly modern market.

A Night of Minor League Baseball

FMI returned to Chicago for its 1985 convention 23,000 were expected to attend. IGA hosted two lounges, so retailers and wholesalers could relax together. IGA Chairman Tom Haggai spoke at the Sunday brunch that opened the convention.

Shortly after the FMI convention ended, 100 people from IGA wholesale houses traveled to St. Louis for an Ad/Marketing seminar sponsored by headquarters. The three-day conference allowed the advertising and marketing managers to share ideas.

The Day & Palin IGA sponsored a special night of minor league baseball in Peoria. The four-unit firm purchased a block of 6,000 tickets for a game between the Peoria Chiefs, a farm team of the Chicago Cubs, and the Clinton Giants. One of the biggest crowds of the year turned out.

IGA's 60th anniversary convention was held in conjunction with the FMI convention in May 1986. The IGA feat opened on Friday evening and closed on Sunday morning, immediately before the FMI extravaganza. The business sessions featured IGA spokesman Paul Harvey and the gala entertainment starred Sammy Davis Jr.

At the mid-point of the 1980s, IGA supplied 3,200 stores in 48 states. And the organization is beginning to pick up some momentum as IGA wholesalers expand marketing areas and influence. The organization's future appears bright--at the retail, wholesale and headquarters levels.

Photo: IGA stores quickly took their place next to A&Ps on main streets in cities and towns across America. This photo shows the rivals in Dresden, Ohio.

Photo: IGA sponsored a radio program to communicate its message to the public.

Photo: The initial group of IGA grocers called itself the Acorn Stores. The New York and Connecticut grocers were planting a seed that would grow into a 60-year-old oak.

Photo: Most early IGAs were entirely service. Many, such as Richardson's IGA in Terre Haute, Ind., sold shoes, tires and other general merchandise alongside the groceries.

Photo: Sally Mae starred in the IGA Home Town Hour, aired on 24 radio stations.

Photo: The Word W. Merrill IGA store in Burlington, Vt., was opened in 1932.

Photo: Chicago's Midwest Food Mart was one of the largest stores in the country in 1936.

Photo: Window posters at Renfro's IGA in Wichita, Kan., pushed IGA private label.

Photo: Quality private-label products helped build IGA's reputation. Extensive quality-control testing was conducted at the Chicago headquarters by a skillful staff of tasters.

Photo: The proliferation of self-service reduced grocery prices during the Depression. Shopping baskets at Johnson's IGA in Oklahoma City said, "Let Me Help You Serve Yourself.'

Photo: IGA joined the rest of the country in wishing a Merry Christmas to

Photo: In September 1940, Childers and Rogers IGA in Garnett, Kan., threw a party for the citizens of the small farming community. A live band entertained hundreds.

Photo: J.G. Groebe, IGA's treasurer, led a merchandising conference in 1945.

Photo: The Heights Grocery in Houston was constructed of stucco.

Photo: IGA grocers always had time to talk to customers, either inside or outside the store.

Photo: IGA Foodliners became part of the commercial landscape during the 1950s.

Photo: Vending machines allowed stores to sell staples away from the selling floor.

Photo: Store interiors in the 1950s had colorful tiling and bright fluorescent lighting.

Photo: Donald Grimes headed IGA from January 1952 until January 1968.

Photo: The package store concept standardized the look of IGA Foodliners.

Photo: During the era of psychedelic music and op art, supers had wild color schemes.

Photo: Long hair for males and miniskirts for women became faddish during the late 1960s.

Photo: The rising price of meat led many consumers to cut back on beef purchases during the early 1970s. IGA grocers responded with exciting promotions.

Photo: Service delis were added to many stores as grocers adapted conventional supermarkets to better serve the needs of the modern consumer.

Photo: In October 1973, IGA left Chicago's Loop, moving to offices near O'Hare Airport.

Photo: Working women and singles became important demographic groups during the 1970s. IGA stores installed take-out food sections to cater to these consumers.

Photo: Schneider's IGA in Pacific, Mo., is a 1977 version of Wetterau's package store.

Photo: The rising cost of energy caused most new IGA stores to move away from the glass window storefront that had been standard since the early part of the century.

Photo: Scanners replaced mechanical registers at many IGA stores.

Photo: IGA retailers today maintain the enthusiasm for promotion and merchandising that has characterized the organization since its beginning.