ALA Executive Briefing
Jan. 15, 2010

Makeover to turn Guam into key U.S. fortress
Japan Times
The United States plans to fortify Guam, upgrading its military infrastructure on the island into a strategic staging post that would allow rapid access to potential flash points in the Pacific region.More

Repeated deployments weigh heavily on U.S. troops
USA Today
Army Staff Sgt. Bobby Martin Jr. has been fighting insurgents in Iraq or Afghanistan longer than the entire three years the Korean War lasted.More

Delivering food to Mideast is lucrative, risky
The Washington Post
One of the least publicized elements of the cost of the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq is the need to truck into Iraq and landlocked Afghanistan almost all the perishable and non-perishable food items consumed by U.S. forces and civilian personnel.More

Pentagon funding seen boosted now, squeezed later
U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to boost funding for the Pentagon in his fiscal 2011 budget but defense spending may be squeezed over the next couple of years, officials said.More

What can Robert Gates achieve in extra year at Pentagon?
Christian Science Monitor
Defense Secretary Robert Gates's decision to stay on another year allows him to cement many of the policy and budgetary moves that have been the hallmarks of his tenure More

Consumers still screaming for ice cream, other frozen desserts

The U.S. market for ice cream and related frozen desserts, including frozen yogurt and frozen novelties, grew 2 percent to $25 billion in 2009, in spite of a recession that adversely affected frozen dessert sales, according to "Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts in the U.S.: Markets and Opportunities in Retail and Foodservice, 6th Edition," a report from New York-based market research publisher Packaged Facts. The United States makes up nearly one-third of the total global market.More

Supervalu reducing inventory; store brands to get a boost
Mirroring moves by other grocers, Supervalu is reducing the number of items it offers per store by as much as 25 percent. It will feature store-brands more prominently and also, of course, expects to extract lower prices from vendors.More

GreenBiz: Pilot program helps grocers become "green"
Wisconsin Business
Kent Burnstad is the third generation of his family to be in the grocery store business and knows you have to make adjustments to survive and thrive. More

Niemann Foods upgrades price management operations with new solution
Progressive Grocer
Regional independent Niemann Foods, Inc. plans to replace its legacy pricing system with a new solution it will use to analyze item/profit movement and track earned promotional dollars from suppliers.More

Iowa grocers encourage bag recycling
Plastics News
The Iowa Grocery Industry Association, aware of battles over single-use bag taxes and bans around the country, is taking a proactive approach with a new program to make customers aware of plastic bag recycling opportunities.More

Albertsons launches health-focused online community
Progressive Grocer
Supervalu's Albertsons subsidiary has unveiled a new online community,, that aims to offer tools to help visitors make easy, value-driven choices for healthier living.More

Study examines calorie information from restaurants, packaged foods
Science Daily
As a growing number of fast food and chain restaurants display the calorie content of their dishes on websites and menus, a study suggests some of this information may be unreliable.More

P&G jumping into retail online, testing new site
Business Week
The maker of Tide detergent, Pampers diapers and Gillette shavers is taking hundreds of its popular consumer products directly to shoppers through a new Web site.More

Dominos makeover: Will other fast-food chains go upscale, too?
Domino's is the sort of nationwide chain most Americans patronize for three simple reasons: low cost, availability and consistency. In a new ad campaign Domino's touts a fully-reinvented recipe. So the truly interesting thing about Domino's new philosophy isn't what it means for their business - it's what it means for the industry.More

Microsoft announces Dynamics AX for retail
Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail is a solution that collects and integrates data from across a midsize retailer's operations chain. Since introducing Microsoft Dynamics AX in June 2008, Microsoft has integrated new features, including an Environmental Sustainability Dashboard, and acquired new technologies to make the platform more robust.More

Law would put calories on the menu
The State Journal
Two legislators announced they will introduce legislation that would require chains with more than 20 restaurants nationwide to display calorie information on menus or menu boards.More

Consumers are expanding their definition of fast food
Convenince Store News
Consumers' perception of fast food is no longer confined to quick-service, drive-thru restaurants and convenience stores. Instead, a dual concept has emerged, consisting of traditional fast food and of "food fast," served quickly with a greater emphasis on flavor, quality and ambiance, according to Technomic Inc., based in New York.More

Wal-Mart exec discusses the first step toward sustainability
National Retail Federation
What's the first step for retailers who want to get started with environmental sustainability? What kinds of approaches are necessary? Whose buy-in do you need? Wal-Mart's senior vice president of sustainability, Matt Kistler, addressed all of these questions and more at a recent super session entitled "Sustainability in Retail — Increasing Profitability and Impacting the World."More

Retail sales show unexpected drop in December after jump in November
RTT News
Retail sales unexpectedly showed a modest decrease in the month of December, according to a report released by the Commerce Department, although the drop in sales followed a notable increase in sales in the previous month.More

Gulf Oil acquires brand rights for entire U.S.
Convenience Store News
Gulf Oil L.P., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cumberland Farms Inc., will be making a significant geographic brand expansion now that the company has acquired all rights, title and interest to the Gulf brand in the U.S.More

USO plans family centers at Bethesda, Belvoir
U.S. Department of Defense
USO officials plan to build family centers at the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Md., and Fort Belvoir, Va., to continue the USO's tradition of bringing troops a piece of home.More