ALA Executive Briefing
March 26, 2010

Indian military to weaponize world's hottest chili
The Associated Press via Google
he Indian military has a new weapon against terrorism: the world's hottest chili. After conducting tests, the military has decided to use the thumb-sized "bhut jolokia," or "ghost chili," to make tear gas-like hand grenades to immobilize suspects, defense officials said.More

Lawmakers: Navy and Marines facing larger than expected fighter jet shortfall
The Hill
The Navy and Marine Corps face a much larger shortfall of fighter jets than expected, four senior members of the House Armed Services Committee warned Defense Secretary Robert Gates. In a letter to Gates, the lawmakers said Pentagon assumptions of a shortfall of 100 fighter jets are "too optimistic."More

A Soldier's Story
The Wall Street Journal
For an officer, war is all about taking care of your own by balancing risk and reward. You don't precipitately hurl your soldiers into a fight, but you don't flinch from one either. American soldiers and Marines are killing machines; the more efficiently they accomplish war's central task, the better for them and for our country. In a counterinsurgency, though, they have to kill the enemy and, simultaneously, protect civilians, among whom the enemy lurks. When soldiers write about counterinsurgency warfare, they automatically address the tension between these two fundamental parts of their mission—a tension that is often missing from accounts by high-profile journalists who have never served. It is important to be reminded that, in certain wars, we demand that our grunts be sympathetic toward the people and implacable toward the enemy sheltered by the people.More

Foodservice packaging industry getting more optimistic
Packaging Digest
According to the results of the Foodservice Packaging Institute "Foodservice Packaging Industry Surveys," optimism in the foodservice packaging industry is up this year compared to last year. The surveys gauge the state of the industry among top manufacturers and their suppliers in North America and Europe as well as operators and distributors.More

Winn-Dixie announces Food Recovery Program
Market Watch
Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., announced the complete roll out of its Food Recovery Program, which provides perishable items to local Feeding America affiliate food banks in the company's five-state operating area. Approximately 3.5 million pounds of usable food was donated to feed the hungry in the program's pilot phase during the past 15 months. More

23 Kentucky Kroger stores testing health program
Progressive Grocer
Kroger this week will start testing a new health-and-wellness program "Health Matters at Kroger," which will prominently feature the NuVal nutrition rating system, at 23 of its stores in central Kentucky stores, according to a published report, which added that the stores would serve as a testing ground for the grocer’s entire store base. The trial is slated to begin tomorrow.More

Kroger expands customer communications
Supermarket News
The supermarket industry is on "the edge of a totally different world" in terms of communicating with consumers, David Dillon, chairman and chief executive officer of Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., told investors at the Retail Days Conference sponsored by Citicorp here. More

Taylor Farms pledges $250K to PBH
Progressive Grocer
Taylor Farms is increasing its contribution commitment to the Produce for Better Health foundation with a $250,000 pledge over the next five years. Taylor joins other longtime $50,000-plus annual PBH donors, including Paramount Farms, Stemilt Growers and Syngenta, who have been at or above the $50,000 level for several years.More

Safeway launches Safeway Health
Chain Store Age
Safeway is looking to expand its health plan initiative with the introduction of additional incentive-based programs.More

SeaChoice, FCL forge sustainable seafood partnership
Progressive Grocer
Western Canadian grocery wholesaler Federated Co-operatives, Ltd. (FCL) and SeaChoice, a Canada-wide sustainable seafood program, have joined forces to make it easier for the co-op's shoppers to buy seafood sourced from environmentally friendly fisheries and aquaculture operations.More

Bigger, better Buy Big selection at FreshDirect helps customers save up to 30 percent
Entreprenuer
FreshDirect, New York City's premiere online grocer, has BIG news. The newly revamped Buy Big section at www.freshdirect.com now offers over 300 new bulk-sized items, saving customers up to 30 percent every time they shop.More

Retailers tackle 2010 with technology
Self Service World
As the days of 2009 dwindle, I find myself crisscrossing the country, talking to retailers of every stripe. These conversations have revealed a few consistent themes, which are likely to drive customer-facing retail technologies in the coming year.More

Giant Eagle looks to leverage power of fuelperks!, foodperks!
Convenience Store News
Giant Eagle is looking to better leverage its popular fuelperks! gasoline discount program with its foodperks! food discount program, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.More

Health care bill requires calories on menus at chain restaurants
USA Today
A requirement tucked into the massive U.S health care bill will make calorie counts impossible for thousands of restaurants to hide and difficult for consumers to ignore. More than 200,000 fast food and other chain restaurants will have to include calorie counts on menus, menu boards and even drive-throughs.More

Live Webcast - March 31: Re-connect Service With Delivery and Get More Revenue per Store
Convenience Store News
Please join Convenience Store News for a live Webcast March 31, at 2 p.m. EST, hosted by CSNews Executive Editor Tammy Mastroberte, with a panel of experts featuring Dean Sanders from Zebra Technologies and Jim Hilton from Motorola. They will discuss how they've helped snack food and CPG customers, and even their franchise customers, deliver better service and improve their delivery operations, which resulted in more revenue per store.More

Pay-at-the-table becomes more like pay-on-demand
Self Service World
A group of diners. A Chili's in Dallas. Some beer, some chips and a missing server holding the check hostage. For Shawn Gentry, who sat at that table and waited (and waited) to pay, they were the ingredients for a new business.More

Speedway ranked nation's top gasoline brand for second consecutive year
News Blaze
Speedway has been ranked as the nation's top retail gasoline brand for a second consecutive year. According to the 2010 EquiTrend® Brand Study conducted by Harris Interactive®, Speedway is the highest ranked gasoline in overall brand equity.More

U.S. Retail Industry Roundup: 279 store closings, 837 store openings, 619 global expansions, retail 4Q numbers, and 2009 fiscal year comps
Retail Industry
Recent numbers from the U.S. retail industry may reveal less about retail recovery and more about retailers' willingness to believe in recovery. While the 2010 domestic and global expansion lists are growing longer, the 2010 Store Closings list is not as insignificant this year as the store openings list was this time last year. What that means is that the future looks less worse, but U.S. chains will still need their best efforts to give customers a good excuse to spend, and retain their foothold on the retail landscape.More

7-Eleven develops private label products for Hispanics
Supermarket News
7-Eleven here in conjunction with Seven-Eleven Mexico is developing private-label foods that will appeal to Hispanic shoppers, SN has learned. More

Foodservice supply chain addresses facility energy efficiency
Environmental Leader
Whether it's a facility expansion or new construction, foodservice companies including U.S. Foodservice and MeadWestvaco are joining the ranks of many organizations that have made the decision to incorporate energy-saving features into their building retrofits and new construction to reduce energy costs and energy use as well as greenhouse gas emissions.More

Dollar Stores, Fast Feeders to add space in 2010
Convenience Store News
Discounters and fast-food chains are set to expand this year as U.S. consumers embrace a "new frugality," Boston-based commercial property broker Colliers International said its 2010 "Retail Trends & Opportunities" report.More

Rutter's adds to foodservice menu
Convenience Store News
The Rutter's Farm Stores chain of convenience stores recently introduces several new foodservice items to its menu at 30 locations that offer touchscreen ordering.More

NRF and eBay join forces, despite differences
Security Director
A relationship that has been contentious at times has turned to collaboration after the nation's largest online retailer announced it has partnered with one of the most prominent retail associations to fight organized retail crime. On March 22, eBay announced it will join forces with the National Retail Federation to tackle the growing issue of Online Retail Crime (ORC).More

Combat troops now get extra time off
Army Times
Service members deployed for 270 days or more in Iraq or Afghanistan now qualify for 15 days of "administrative absence" on top of their regular annual leave, under a new nonchargeable rest and recuperation policy announced by the Pentagon.More

White House assures Veterans health reform will not reduce benefits
The Gov Monitor
As Assistant Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, a constant concern for me is having our Veterans dragged into partisan politics. Unfortunately the debate over health reform has seen that happen far too many times, and at the VA we often have to correct misinformation and assure Veterans that the care they rely on will not be taken away from them.More

House votes to exempt TRICARE from health reform bill
Government Executive
House lawmakers over the weekend voted to protect TRICARE and Defense non-appropriated fund health care beneficiaries from unintended consequences of national health reform.More