METRO BEAT

Kevin is VP at Food Trade News with primary responsibility for covering the Metro NY/NJ and New England markets. He has more than 30 years of experience on the CPG side of the retail food business and in media. He can be reached at kevin@foodtradenews.com.

Happy New Year everyone and I hope you all had an enjoyable and satisfying Holiday Season. My hope and wish is for an outstanding 2020 for everybody. While trying to forecast what will happen in any new year is difficult, Food Trade News once again has been fortunate enough to have a few top retail executives gaze into their crystal balls and forecast their thoughts and ideas for the coming twelve months. Thanks to all of the panelists for their assistance with this and we can’t wait to see how 2020 turns out.

So the New Year ball has dropped, the celebrating is all finished, the decorations are put away, so that must mean – time for “Can-Can!,” ShopRite’s oldest and largest promotion. The iconic winter massive “Can-Can” sale is in its 49th year and still remains a customer favorite. Launched in January 1971 as a way to help stores fill the post-holiday doldrums, the “Can-Can” sale has grown in popularity and expanded over the years from offering ShopRite branded canned fruits, vegetables, tuna and beverages, to now include national brands and many other items beyond canned goods at heavily discounted pricing. The event proved so popular (and successful) that Wakefern Food Corporation introduced a Summer “Can-Can” event in 2002 (which underwent a name change in 2018 to ShopRite’s “Hot, Hot, Hot Summer Sale”). The “Can-Can” sale is known by generations of shoppers in the Northeast for iconic TV commercials featuring a cartoon kick line in the style of dancers from Paris’ famed Moulin Rouge. For the relaunched summer sale, the “Infernal Gallop” has been replaced by “Hot Hot Hot,” the 1980s-era hit most famously covered by David Johansen’s Buster Poindexter.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery to John Scalfani of TOMRA who had a couple of surgical procedures during the past year. Fortunately, John has one of the better senses of humor in the industry, and there is no doubt he will be back to full strength in short order, and I can’t wait to see him back in trade.

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Congratulations and job well done to the good folks at Krasdale Foods and the New York Yankees as they teamed up once again for their 25th annual Yankees holiday food drive. The event is held at Yankee Stadium every holiday season and this great tradition rewards any fan donating at least 30 pounds of non-perishable food with two complimentary tickets to a Yankee game in 2020. New York Yankee VP of marketing Deborah Tymon told us, “This started in 1994 and we totaled 2,000 pounds of donations that year. Thanks to partners like Krasdale Foods we have grown tremendously and this year will receive 90,000 pounds of food (that’s two truckloads) from Krasdale alone!” Great job by all involved!!!

We learned that Paul Pearsall of Manasquan, NJ passed away in early January at home at the age of 74. Paul started his food industry career when he went to work for the Charms Candy Company in the plant and was soon promoted to the sales department. In 1974 Paul took a job with M.W. Houck, a big food and confectionery broker in the market and became president and principal owner in 1987. He was a member of the Candy Hall of Fame. Paul retired in 2002 to his residence in Manasquan and spent most of his remaining years at the beach, on the golf course or with family. He is survived by his partner Irene Shaffer; sons Paul, Richard, Michael and Christopher; brother Doug and sister Cathy; and 13 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers the family request that any donations be made to St, Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or www.stjude.org/donate. May his soul rest in peace.

We heard from Ken Downey as the new year began, and he told us that he is out on his own after the Fairway Market wholesale position he had didn’t pan out. (Just look at the Fairway financial situation to understand.) For those who don’t know Ken, he was the longtime director of bakery at Kings Food Markets and holds a wealth of national awards and recognitions from his accomplishments in the industry. He also ran bakery operations at H Mart and The Fresh Market. If anyone is looking for a top-notch executive to analyze your business you can reach Ken at 732.284.6414 or email him at kgdsrllc@gmail.com or kgdsr@aol.com.

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I know it’s a little way off, but mark your calendars for a wonderful charity event. The Foundation for Fighting Blindness (FFB) dinner will be held March 5 at Current, Chelsea Piers in Manhattan. Director and trustee of FFB Jason Ferreira of Ferreira Foodtown told us that this year’s honoree will be Nick D’Agostino III, president of New York Food Group. For more information on this terrific evening contact Katie Van Benschoten at 212.244.1470 or KVanBenschoten@FightingBlindness.org.

Well, that will do it for now. I am looking forward to 2020, and hopefully you are as well. You can probably expect quite a bit of disruption in our market, and we promise to be here to help you sort it out. As always you can reach me at 201.250.2217 or kevin@foodtradenews.com