ALA Executive Briefing
Jul. 17, 2015

Report: Nearly 1 in 3 young adults too fat for military
The Associated Press via Military Times
The nation's obesity epidemic is causing significant recruiting problems for the military, with 1 in 3 young adults nationwide too fat to enlist, according to report issued by a group of retired military leaders.More

Wake me up when September ends: America's defense budget blues
Matt Vallone in War on the Rocks
Despite the House of Representatives steadily passing a series of appropriations bills, real congressional action on fiscal year (FY) 2016 defense spending is unlikely to start before September.More

Military Times presents Service Member of the Year Award
Military Times
Each year, Military Times honors five "Everyday Heroes" — service members who demonstrate pride, dedication and courage beyond what is expected. These Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen show concern for their fellow service members, their community and the country they serve. Nominations may be submitted by any of our readers — including parents, fellow service members, supervisors and commanding officers — making this grassroots award unique from any other awards given to members of our Armed Forces. View this year's honorees by clicking "Read More." More

Many critics of Army cuts ignored Pentagon warnings, supported sequestration
Some of the loudest critics of the proposed staffing cuts the Army announced at bases around the United States were the very members of Congress who four years ago voted to impose governmentwide budget measures that the Pentagon warned then would compel it to slash the military. More

AFSA working to protect military stores
Air Force Sergeants Association
As a member of the Coalition to Save Our Military Shopping Benefits, the Air Force Sergeants Association and its coalition partners sent a letter to congressional leaders. The letter, as reported by the American Logistics Association, read in part, "We strongly urge the Senate and House conferees to roll back provisions in the Senate version of the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act, which transfers operating costs to patrons including provisions to: (1) allow the Secretary of Defense to increase prices of goods at commissaries; (2) allow domestic transportation costs to be factored into the cost of goods and prices charged to patrons; and, (3) have patrons pay with surcharge costs that have traditionally been paid with appropriations."More

NAUS statement on National Defense Authorization
National Association for Uniformed Services
The Coalition greatly appreciates both Armed Services Committees for acting so expeditiously on the defense bill and for working on a return to regular order ... However, still at stake are provisions that continue to erode the appropriate pay and benefits needed to sustain the all-volunteer force: A third straight year of capping military pay raises below private sector wage growth (with four more planned); A second year of reducing the commissary subsidy (with one more year planned); A second year of slowing the active duty basic allowance for housing (BAH); An additional increase in pharmacy co-pays (already tied to COLA) for the third time in four years (with an additional 9 years of increases planned). More

NMFA sends letter to conferees
National Military Family Association
Military families consistently tell us how much they value the savings they achieve by shopping at the commissary, which we consider a vital element in military compensation. For this reason, we oppose the provisions in S. 1376 that would transfer the cost of second destination shipping to commissary patrons, thereby increasing prices. We support Section 641 of H.R. 1735 that would protect commissary supplies and prices for military families assigned to Asia and the Pacific. We reiterate our opposition to Section 652 of S. 1376, which would require the Department of Defense to carry out a pilot program privatizing five commissaries. We fear that taking such a step would lead to the erosion of the commissary benefit, which military families tell us they rely on.More

NDAA conference winding down
Air Force Sergeants Association
Talks are still ongoing but negotiations on the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2016 by a joint House-Senate conference committee appear to be winding down. On July 15, news agencies were reporting that congressional leaders believe they can agree to a final version of the bill (HR 1735) in time for a House floor vote on the July 24. Roughly two dozen issues needing resolution remain, but conference leaders are confident these can be addressed quickly. AFSA's NDAA campaign ended July 10. Thank you to all those who participated. More than 50,000 letters were sent through our Legislative Action Center over the past week. We believe it will help produce a better bill for the military and our members.More

Selva discusses threats, capabilities during confirmation hearing
U.S. Department of Defense News, Defense Media Activity
In his confirmation hearing, Air Force Gen. Paul Selva told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Russia is the preeminent threat, because that nation possesses conventional and nuclear capabilities, should Russian leaders choose to use them. Selva also noted another direct threat to the U.S. military: sequestration. "We see the effects of sequestration and the potential declines in the defense budget affecting readiness," he said. And they affect our ability to retain the best of those soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines."More

Associations support national GMO labeling standards
Supermarket News
Industry trade associations expressed support for the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, which would establish uniform labeling standards at the federal level for GMO and GMO-free foods. More

Consumers increasingly embrace tech on path to purchase
Progressive Grocer
Customers are on the move and developing more beneficial shopping patterns by harnessing connected technologies to simplify and optimize the path to purchase, according to new shopper research from Blackhawk Engagement Solutions. More

Kraft-Heinz merger forms world's 5th-largest food-beverage company
Vending Times
Kraft Foods and the H.J. Heinz Co. closed their mega merger on July 2, forming the world's fifth-largest food and beverage company, and North America's third-largest. They announced the deal in March. More

Why transparency should matter to food and beverage companies
Consumers are increasingly concerned about the health and safety of America's food supply chain — and it's not just a problem unique to the United States; it's a global thing. More

From Kroger to Sprouts: Identifying different growth styles
Supermarket News
So how do we define growth? That's a tricky one. It's kind of like trying to define success. It's subjective to be sure. And yet, we all notice growth when we see it. It has a universal recognition. More

Why are the food and beverage industries being reinvented?
Packaging Digest
Megashifts in the food and beverage industries, driven by consumer and business forces, have the potential to disrupt a company's DNA and its very purpose. Being aware of these overarching trends can help packaging departments better serve their company's fluctuating business needs.More

Supermarket pricing: Regulator to crack down on misleading offers
The Independent
Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl and other large supermarket chains are set to get a major dressing down from officials as the consumer watchdog responds to a supercomplaint over misleading promotions. More

General Mills puts Annie's in the soup aisle
Star Tribune
Annie's brand will be available in the soup aisle for the first time, part of General Mills lineup of new products expected to debut this summer.More

New sensing platform tracks shopper behavior
Progressive Grocer
A new sensing platform called OmniSensr for retail environments is optimized specifically for anonymous shopper tracking and generation of deep behavior analytics. The integrated hardware package combines video, Wi-Fi and Beacon technologies. More

Hostess Brands won't sell: It is 'premature' to consider offers
Hostess Brands has turned down buy-out and initial public offering proposals as it believes it can continue to strengthen its brands.More

NEXCOM announces its 2014 Bingham Award winners
The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) has announced its Bingham Award winners for 2014. The Bingham Award is presented to the best of the best NEXs in nine sales categories for overall financial results and customer service.

"Winners of the Bingham Award exemplify the true spirit, dedication and professionalism of all our associates and management teams," said Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi (Ret), Chief Executive Officer, NEXCOM. "The Bingham Award recognizes our stores for work they do throughout the year in support of our customers. By design, this award is presented to both the NEX and the local Navy command to recognize their partnership and dedication in supporting the quality of life of our military members and their families."

To see the winners and runners-up of the 2014 Bingham Award click "Read More."More

Brick-and-mortar retail is alive and well
Contrary to popular belief, brick-and-mortar stores have not succumbed to the Internet, and they are far from dead. Over the last several years, leading retailers have been adapting their business models to keep pace with a changing landscape — rethinking their physical presence in new and creative ways, using big data to better understand their customers and harnessing the power of brands in order to raise their profile.More

4 trending retailers to watch
Chain Store Age
Blue Apron. Dollar Shave Club. Real Real. Honest Company. All startups, all relative newcomers to the retail scene and all generating big buzz and sale increases — enough to place them among the top 20 fastest-growing e-retailers in a recent survey. More

Back-to-school shopping starts early as parents seek deals
Bloomberg Business
Parents are getting ready to send their kids back to school early. This year, 40 percent of parents with children in kindergarten through 12th grade are starting their shopping at least two months before classes resume, according to a survey by Rubicon Project, a company that helps automate ad buying and selling. More

Best Buy continues to outperform the struggling electronics market
Retail Info Systems News
The consumer electronics market has gone soft. The sale of TVs, computers, tablets, digital imagining and more has dropped 5.3 percent across the board.More

Survey: Retailers should think same-day delivery for these items
Chain Store Age
Retailers of oversized items, like barbecue grills and large-screen TVs, may want to consider offering same-day delivery services.More

Inside Target's tech funhouse and search for its next billion dollar business
San Francisco is home to technology. Now it's home to perhaps the most technologically-advanced house, too.More

How millennials make purchase decisions today
Millennials' purchasing power will soon exceed that of every other generation, yet the key factors that influence their purchasing decisions are sometimes a mystery to merchants. More

CVS health quits US Chamber over stance on smoking
The New York Times (tiered subscription model)
The CVS Health Corporation said that it would resign from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce after revelations that the chamber and its foreign affiliates were undertaking a global lobbying campaign against anti-smoking laws.More

J. Crew to launch new store concept
Chain Store Age
J. Crew Group, a company struggling to regain its mojo, is jumping into the value category.More

Levi's debuts women's denim line for range of body types
Advertising Age
Levi's unveiled a new women's denim collection that features a range of styles for different body types, including skinny cuts, shaping styles and curvy fits. The retailer is pushing the line with ads featuring Alicia Keys and other female musicians.More

US retailers L Brands, Stein Mart post-sales increases for June
Several U.S. apparel retailers are reporting sales increases for June.More

Does this article bore you? Have a snack
Snacking may very well be the new American pastime. According to a Mintel report, Snacking Motivations & Attitudes US 2015, nearly all Americans (94 percent) snack at least once a day.More

Energy drinks gain on CSDs
How close are energy drinks to toppling carbonated soft drinks as the top dog of packaged-beverage dollar sales in convenience stores? About $1.8 billion, according to Nielsen scan data provided by Red Bull North America.More

Albertsons files for IPO
U.S. supermarket giant Albertsons filed for an initial public offering, and reported more than $57 billion in pro forma 2014 revenue.More

Nestlé Waters expands packaging options
A new partnership will help launch Nestlé Waters North America Inc. into what it hopes is a profitable underused packaging direction: cans.More

Slideshow: New vice president, new ventures for Love's
Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores has promoted a longtime employee to a key leadership position. Roger Ahuja has been named vice president of operations for the travel center company.More

Army community service celebrates 50 years of support
Missile Ranger
In 1967, Hester Ruth Francis was living with her parents in a dilapidated, three-room cabin in rural Kentucky while her husband, Pvt. Sterling R. Francis, was stationed in South Korea. The cabin did not even have indoor plumbing or central heat. Money was clearly an issue for the Francis couple — especially with a newborn on the way. More

Navy recognizes Best Ship's Stores
America's Navy
Over the course of the last couple of months, 13 Navy ships have been recognized with the Best Ship's Store award. Commander, Naval Air Forces and Commander, Naval Surface Force selected the following ship's store operations from both the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets to receive the award for 2014.More