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ECN CoverE and C Commissary News





Highlights of February 2012 Issue


IN THE NEWS:

 

Howard Named AAFES Acting CEO as Casella Announces March Retirement

 

• DALLAS —  Michael Howard, the chief operating officer of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), has been named acting chief executive officer (CEO) of the exchange service, effective upon Commander/CEO Maj. Gen. Bruce Casella, USA's retirement from the Army after 36 years' military service. He plans to retire March 30. ...

 

Bianchi Appointed NEXCOM's First Civilian CEO

 

• VIRGINIA BEACH —  On Jan. 11, the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) announced the selection of former NEXCOM Commander Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, SC, USN (Ret.), as its first civilian chief executive officer (CEO). ...

 

Blake Tapped as AAFES Deputy Commanding General

 

• DALLAS —  On Jan. 13, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz announced the appointment of Brig. Gen. Casey D. Blake, USAF, as vice commander of the Army & Air ...

 

DeCA's Chandler Adds Acting Perishables Chief Duties

 

• FORT LEE — On Dec. 19, Joyce Chandler, chief of the Semi-Perishables Division of the Defense Commissary Agency's (DeCA) Marketing Business Unit (MBU), was chosen to serve as acting Perishables Division chief. She will be dual hatted until a permanent Perishables Division chief is chosen.

The Perishables chief role had previously been fulfilled by Delbert Myrick, who was named director of the Operations and Policy Directorate in early December. ...

 

NEXCOM CSI Score at All-Time High

 

• VIRGINIA BEACH —  For the second year in a row, the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) survey remained at an exchange service all-time high score of 83, besting the overall average retail industry score of 76 by seven points. ...

 

Obituary: Ed Jared Sr., Military Resale Icon

 

Edmond Feris “Ed” Jared Sr., 91, a giant of the military resale industry, passed away on Jan. 20. ...

... “He was such an integral part of the military resale community that I wonder if it would ever have got to this stage without people like him.”Murry Greenwald. ...

 

KMCC 'Bannered' for Breaking AAFES Sales Records

 

• KAISERSLAUTERN — The Kaiserslautern Military Community Center (KMCC), Germany, reached a number of Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) sales milestones during the busy month of December.

Crediting his store staff, AAFES headquarters, logistics and vendor partners, KMCC Main Store Manager Jason S. Rosenberg confirmed that KMCC became the first store in AAFES's worldwide portfolio to break the $20 million sales barrier in a single month. KMCC's December sales soared to $20.56 million, an increase of more than 9.6 percent — $1.8 million — over the prior year. ...

 

Read the complete In The News ...


DeCA ORGANICS:
Patron Interest Broadens as Organic Sales Growth Continues

 

The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) offers its customers a wide variety of organic products to choose from in its various edibles and perishables departments. Bridget Bennett, the agency's acting produce category manager, Regina Johnson, the DeCA dairy buyer, and Barbara Merriweather, Edibles category manager, recently spoke to E and C News about organics trends in their areas.

ORGANIC DAIRY: ... The commissary benefit makes the organic segment more advantageous for patrons to shop, as the 30 percent or more savings can offset the higher price of organic items. Johnson added, “Customer demand for organic dairy products remains robust even with the premium price that comes from the higher production costs,” Regina Johnson said. Once a small market niche, interest in organic items has grown across the full spectrum of DeCA patrons regardless of age group and generation gaps. “Demand for organic dairy products come from both our young family members and retirees,” Johnson noted. ...

PACKAGED EDIBLES: ... even with the higher prices of organics in these trying economic times, consumers are continuing to look for 'Good For You' items and value,” Barbara Merriweather noted. With the opportunity in place for the agency to contribute to the overall health and well-being of military servicemembers, their families and retirees, Merriweather was enthusiastic about the category segment. ...

ORGANIC PRODUCE: ... Those patrons who prefer to purchase in this subcategory tend to focus on everyday fruit and vegetables. Bridget Bennett said DeCA's most popular organic produce by volume includes carrots; mini-carrots; romaine hearts; grape tomatoes; celery hearts; broccoli; multiple salad mixes; multiple herbs; russet potatoes; yellow onions; red potatoes; Gala apples; Red Delicious apples; and grapes. ...

Read the complete DeCA ORGANICS.


DeCA BREAKFAST: Starting the Day Off 'Heart Healthy'

 

When it comes to packaged breakfast foods, commissary patrons have a considerable menu of preferences that influence their purchases of prepared foods for this key meal occasion. With ingredients such as oats and whole grains ranking among those consumers prize as possessing “heart-healthy” attributes, cereal products rank high on patron shopping lists for the first meal of the day.

According to Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) Category Buyer Lisa Talcott, the matrix of considerations that are part of patron shopping decisions is even more complex. “Patron preferences for breakfast not only include freshness and taste, but also convenience, value, kids' health, protein and increased snacking,” Talcott said. Read more...


MCX SNACKS: Variety Spicing Up Life For Marine Corps Customers

 

According to Rebecca Fries, food and candy buyer in the Marine Corps Exchanges (MCX) Exchange Operations Division, the snacks category continued its solid performance in fiscal 2011, helped along by new additions to enhance the variety available in stores.

New snack subcategories often become trendy sales producers, and one such subcategory that is drawing significant interest is simply known as “spicy”. ...

Another new concept that Fries said Frito-Lay is rolling out during the next few months is “bigger and thicker” chips. “We anticipate our customers will react very favorably to this as jumbo-size snacks and king-size candy bars are big sellers for us.” Read more...


AAFES NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES/GRAB & GO PROFILE:
Tinker AFB, Okla., Express Fast-Paced and Customer-Friendly

 

The Tinker AFB, Okla., Express store delivers a full gamut of convenience and Grab & Go items in a fast-paced, customer-friendly environment. Its beverage department, featuring many of the most well-known non-alcoholic beverage items on the market, is one of the top departments in the store.

Non-alcoholic beverage items continue to build sales at the 10,080-square-foot store, a seven-day facility that is open more than 120 hours each week. Store Manager Jerry Shugart Jr. reported that year-todate October sales of sodas, energy drinks, water and other such beverages were $364,751, up 44 percent over the previous year.

“Non-alcoholic beverage purchases are mainly dependent on personal preference,” Shugart said. “Advertising and sales impact customers' buying behavior because they are getting a better value for their dollar, and the Exchange does a monthly survey for non-alcoholic beverages to be competitive with competitor prices.” Read more...


DeCA POULTRY:
At Commissaries,'The Bird's The Word'

 

For patrons looking for an alternative to red meat protein, a visit to the fresh poultry section — including chicken and turkey — is a popular flight path when it comes to nutrition choices. According to Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) Marketing Business Unit (MBU) Category Buyer Randi Robinson, the fresh poultry category is growing, primarily in dollar volume, in the agency's stores.

During fiscal 2011, commissaries registered $111.23 million in fresh poultry sales, which represented a nearly 7.5-percent increase over prior year, while package sales rose just 0.85 percent. Robinson said that “all segments are basically flat,” with the exception of fresh turkey, which showed a 69.43-percent increase in package sales during fiscal 2011. ...

Growing these sales while keeping prices down is a challenge the agency will face in calendar year 2012. Prices on poultry items are tied in, at least in part, to the cost of feed that chickens and turkeys are given before they are slaughtered. “Hopefully, corn prices will remain stable,” Robinson said. Read more...


Snapshot
• RESALE SNAPSHOT — NOVEMBER 2011
• Fiscal Year 2011 YTD Totals
• DeCA Nov. 2011 vs. Nov. 2010 — Sales by Region
• DeCA Fiscal 2012 vs. Fiscal 2011 — YTD Sales by Region
• DeCA Transactions — Nov. 2011 vs. Nov. 2010 and YTD Fiscal 2012 vs. Fiscal 2011
• 2011 Coast Guard Exchange System (CGES) Sales by Month (And % Change from 2010)


Click Here for “RESALE SNAPSHOT” Totals