ALA Executive Briefing
Oct. 17, 2014

New report outlines national security threats of climate change
Military Times
The military is bracing for a global warming crisis that will cause sea levels to rise by at least 12-18 inches over the next 20 to 50 years.More

America's big military mistake: Cutting land forces too quickly
This is understandable. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been very costly in lives, treasure and enduring injury — physical and mental — to American troopers and their families. The outcomes have been mediocre. As a result, the White House's 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance, backed up by the Pentagon's 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review, argued that American ground forces would no longer be sized for the possibility of large-scale stabilization or counterinsurgency missions.More

Congress clears more money to support Ebola mission
Military Times
A key Republican senator dropped his opposition to funding U.S. military operations in West Africa to stop the spread of Ebola, allowing about $750 million in new funds to shift to the mission.More

Hagel praises Army's strength, resilience
U.S. Department of Defense
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel commended the Army for its contributions to national defense over the last 13 years of conflict and noted that demand for the things the Army does for the nation will not diminish during the period of uncertainty and change that lies ahead. Speaking during the Association of the United States Army's annual conference, Hagel said this is a time of great transition for the Army as the U.S. military responsibly ends its combat role in Afghanistan and transitions to a train-advise-and-assist mission ... . "As the Army emerges from over 13 years of large-scale combat operations — the longest in its history — it faces new challenges," Hagel said. "The world's becoming more volatile, less predictable, and, in many ways, more threatening at the same time our defense budgets are declining."More

Military families hear from Army leaders
AUSA via Army Times
Secretary of the Army John McHugh, Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno and Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler participated in a town hall discussion during the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) military family forums. Secretary McHugh shared with military families — attending in person and virtually — that "caring for Army families is mission essential" and that the Army's "top two priorities are making sure soldiers are properly trained and equipped, and taking care of their families." General Odierno said we have to "continue to develop programs that allow soldiers and families to thrive, not just survive, while they're in the Army." SMA Chandler commented that the Army will "have to expand our horizons beyond an Army solution for every single challenge that we're presented." He added, "In a diminishing resources climate, we are not going to be able to solve all the problems."More

Save Our Benefit participates in Army conference
The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Family Readiness Directorate and the National Military Family Association shared Save Our Benefit information during the AUSA Annual Meeting and Exhibition. The Coalition also participated in the AUSA Family Forums and Veterans Pavilion. More

Major supermarket chains changed how they label meat, surprising customers and USDA
The Washington Post
Retired doctor Louis Offen and his wife have been shopping at the same Giant supermarket in Bethesda, Maryland, for nearly 40 years. Offen is in charge of buying the steak, which normally means combing the meat section for New York strip sirloins with the label "USDA grade choice," the midlevel grade for meat. The cut is ubiquitous. But one day in September, Offen was stumped. He couldn't find any packages with a "choice" label. More

Listeria scare leads to massive packaged food recall
More than 100 varieties of packaged foods — including breakfast dishes, sandwiches, salads and pasta — have been recalled after an inspection found evidence of listeria at the company that makes them, the Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers.More

Food facility registrations: Do you know the consequences?
Food Production Daily
Food packers and processors must renew their FDA registrations between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 under new FSMA rules. Because this requirement is still fairly new, many companies are unfamiliar with the consequences of failing to renew. More

How millennials are changing the supermarket game
Grocery shopping used to be fairly simple: check the pantry, make a list and head to the store. But times are clearly changing and millennials are pushing the supermarket industry in new directions. A recent report from the Food Marketing Institute, a nonprofit representing the interests of food retailers and wholesalers, examined the ways in which consumers change their shopping habits from one generation to the next. More

Study: Shoppers like interacting with store associates
Supermarket News
Consumers enjoy interacting with store personnel when they shop, according to the seventh annual U.S. Supermarket Experience Study by the Retail Feedback Group, Lake Success, New York. "The findings of our study show that a people-first culture is an essential element in winning the grocery war, especially when combining in-store engagement with technology to bring the personal touch back to retail," RFG principal Doug Madenberg said. More

Food inequality: Could diverging diets signal new wave of healthy eating?
Oxfam America
The idea that richer Americans eat healthier than poorer Americans isn't surprising, but the finding that the rich and the poor are diverging is distressing. And the divergence fits a broader pattern that has alarmed the public in recent years: that the rich are getting ever richer, while poorer and middle class households aren't. More

Kraft's deliberate drive toward innovation
The Fast Track
Kraft Foods Group Inc. is a company perhaps best known for products, such as Velveeta, Jell-O and Kool-Aid. But it also is trying to make a name for itself as an innovation leader with engaged and forward-thinking employees. One of Kraft's leaders shares how its culture is changing. More

Nielsen survey: Snacks grow into big business around the world
Snacks have become big business around the world. More consumers nosh between meals and often eat a snack instead of having breakfast or lunch and sometimes dinner. More

175 chemicals with known hazardous properties legal in food packaging
Food Production Daily
A study by the Food Packaging Forum reveals that 175 chemicals with known hazardous properties are legally used in the production of food packaging. More

Can E. Coli in supermarket meat cause UTIs?
Any urinary tract infection is bad, but some are getting worse. Along with the burning, piercing pain that typically accompanies a UTI, these infections pose another challenge: They're getting much harder to treat.More

Congress clears more money to support Ebola mission
Military Times
A key Republican senator dropped his opposition to funding U.S. military operations in West Africa to stop the spread of Ebola, allowing about $750 million in new funds to shift to the mission.More

North Korea shock: Something big is happening
American Think
It is impossible to know exactly what is going on in North Korea, but something big has happened. The third-generation Kim dynasty heir, Kim Jong-un, has been missing from public sight for a month, and may be ill, dead or overthrown.More

LtGen Jack Klimp to address ALA members on The Assault on Military Benefits
As mentioned in last week's ALA Executive Briefing, the National Association for Uniformed Services (NAUS), a Coalition valued associate, is continuing to warn its members that EARNED benefits are under attack. NAUS has been warning about the coming "Assault on Military Benefits" since 2011 and recently released a report addressing this issue.More

New Exchange senior enlisted advisor reports for duty
Public Affairs
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service recently welcomed a new member to the team as U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate assumed duties as Senior Enlisted Advisor on Oct. 4. As Senior Enlisted Advisor, Applegate will serve as the focal point for communications between Exchange leadership and Army and Air Force active duty, Guard, Reserve, family members and retired patrons, traveling to installations worldwide to present updates on Exchange activities and provide feedback on issues affecting customers. More

J.C. Penney CEO declares, 'we're back'
Advertising Age
"There is a fine line between love and hate," J.C. Penney CMO Debra Berman told an audience of analysts and media. Berman, referencing the state of the retailer when she joined 15 months ago, said consumers were "invested in that thing [they were] busy hating … now, we've been able to tap this passion and turn it in J.C. Penney's favor. As a result, we're moving on." More

Reinventing the department store
The Business of Fashion
In the fight for consumer dollars, department stores have lost significant ground to monobrand stores, specialty retailers and e-commerce players. Can they regain their relevance?More

Retailers will win holidays with omnichannel
USA Today
This holiday season will bear witness to a digital shift in the retail world as more retailers and shoppers than ever embrace what's known as the omnichannel experience.More

Coming this holiday to Best Buy and Target: The Internet of Things
Best Buy is creating new in-store Connected Home departments that should roll out to more than 400 stores by Thanksgiving — yes, there's also a website. The departments will contain more than 100 smart home products. There will be a mix of one-off devices and managed services from local ISPs or ADT as well as more DIY-but-still-managed services, such as Peq that come with a fee.More

How Trader Joe's sells twice as much as whole foods
Business Insider
Trader Joe's sells twice as much per square foot as Whole Foods. Trader Joe's sells a whopping $1,734 per square foot, according to a recent report by the real estate investment firm JLL. In comparison, Whole Foods sells $930 per square foot. Trader Joe's also has an aggressive expansion plan and will open 38 stores in the next year, according to the report.More

US holiday sales seen rising 4.1 percent on employment gains
U.S. retail sales this holiday season may rise the most in three years as the improving employment picture gives more shoppers the means to splurge on gifts, the National Retail Federation said. More

Wal-Mart adds in-store program to help customers compare insurance offerings
The Washington Post
Wal-Mart announced that it will dive deeper into the health care market, unveiling an initiative to allow customers to compare and enroll in health insurance plans in thousands of its stores. More

Giving mobile phone customers a reason to (happily) pay more
Talk with telecom executives and investors and you're likely to hear a resigned acceptance that the wireless industry is marching toward commoditization. The wireless market is nearly saturated, most "new" subscribers are just switching from one carrier to another, and price is the main reason they switch. For carriers trying to win market share, it's become a game of inches.More

Here's how teens really spend money, what they like, and where they shop
Business Insider
Piper Jaffray recently released its semiannual report on teen spending. Business Insider dug through the report and pulled out some of the most interesting facts and charts. Teens are spending most of their money on clothes and food. Here's a breakdown of teen spending by category. More

RadioShack to refinance $535 million credit line
RadioShack Corp., the electronics chain trying to stave off bankruptcy, agreed with a group led by Standard General LP to refinance a $535 million credit facility to help it restock inventory before the holidays. More

How to craft a shopping experience that beats the Web
With online retailers, like Amazon, competing for shoppers, creating a physical brand experience is more important than ever, an Advertising Week audience heard recently.More

3 retailers that know digital, stores need each other
National Retail Federation
Not too long ago, "showrooming" was a subject that left retailers on edge, maybe even scared. That's not the case today, even though 72 percent of consumers are showrooming. That's because 62 percent of those shoppers start their research on that retailer's website or app, according to eBay Head of Retail Innovation Healey Cypher.More

What do consumers find most important when buying food at a C-store?
Food quality and taste are crucial to the C-store food service decision-making process. Nine out of 10 C-store food service users say the quality and taste of the food are the most important factors when deciding which C-store to visit.More

C-store-focused Hostess expands breakfast treat offerings
With a continued focus on expanding its convenience store offerings, Hostess Brands LLC has rolled out eight new single-serve breakfast treats.More

Slideshow: Red Bull transforms Nevada C-store
Convenience retailers headed to Las Vegas for the NACS Show may want to schedule in a detour to nearby Henderson, Nevada, where Red Bull has transformed a Rebel Oil convenience store to build excitement for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.More

Pinnacle, Sionic partner on beacon technology
The Pinnacle Corp., a leading supplier of automation technology to the convenience store and petroleum industries, and Sionic Mobile, with its ION mobile commerce platform, will integrate their solutions to launch a mobile loyalty and payments platform for fuel retailers.More

Future of fuels: Diesel expected to rise
"Diesel fuel is currently available at more than 50 percent of all service stations in the U.S. and this number is increasing every week," said Allen Schaeffer, the executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, at the 2014 NACS Show in Las Vegas, representing the diesel industry at the Future of Fuels Showcase. More

The strengths, opportunities of specialty foods
Like a college football team that develops prime talent each year only to reload after graduation, the specialty-foods industry is regularly cultivating trends before they move on to mainstream. More

NAF auction raises more than $100,000 for MWR
Fort Hood Sentinel
Ever driven around Fort Hood, Texas, and wondered what happens to all the abandoned vehicles with the orange stickers in their windows? Or, what happens to the old government vehicles when they get new ones? More

No wage-hike exemption for on-base restaurants
Navy Times
Labor Department officials have rejected requests to exempt fast food concessions on military bases from regulations that will raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for all workers on federal construction and service contracts.More