ALA Executive Briefing
Dec. 5, 2014

Obama expected to name Ashton Carter as defense chief
Government Executive
The White House is expected to name Ashton Carter to become the Pentagon's next chief, replacing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who resigned under pressure recenlty, according to media reports.More

Ex-DoD official Carter leads list of SECDEF candidates
Military Times
Within an hour of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's resignation announcement, defense watchers began looking to potential nominees to replace him. Within two days, two of the top contenders removed themselves from that list.More

Veteran, quality of life and health advocates net top awards
ALA News Release
Citing their work on behalf of Veterans, military family quality of life, and promoting healthy lifestyles, the American Logistics Association (ALA) presented its most prestigious award to Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Mr. Charles E. Milam, Principal Director for Military Community and Family Policy for the Department of Defense at its annual convention in Washington, D.C. "ALA applauds Chairwoman Mikulski and Mr. Milam for all of their years of National Service, particularly for their leadership in improving health and wellness on military bases and for their unwavering support of the vital on-base network of support programs including MWR, commissary and exchange activities that are at the foundation of the military’s effort to care for its people," said ALA President Patrick Nixon.More

Joining Forces yields 65,000 military spouse hires since 2011
U.S. Deparment of Defense News, Defense Media Activity
The second lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, made a surprise appearance at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial to honor the Military Spouse Employment Partnership's expansion and commend companies who have hired more than 65,000 military spouses since Joining Forces launched in 2011. ALA member companies were cited by the White House and Congress during a Capitol Hill ceremony in July of this year for reaching and exceeding a goal of hiring 25,000 Veterans and family members set in October 2011. ALA was one of the first private-sector associations to answer the President's call to hire more than 100,000 veterans.More

Why the military has a budget message problem
National Defense
President Barack Obama's fourth secretary of defense soon will be taking the reins at the Pentagon where discontent has been brewing over spending cuts, expanding missions and the growing realization that the generals' stop-the-sequester campaign has been politically ineffective. Defense officials have built the bulk of their case against the sequester on the premise that abrupt and steep cuts threaten military "readiness." The problem is that few people outside the military understand what that means and, therefore, do not take it seriously. More

Veterans and troops lament losing advocate in Hagel
Defense One
Chuck Hagel arrived in the Pentagon as a soldier's defense secretary, a former Army sergeant and Vietnam vet with the shrapnel still in his chest to prove it. And even if Hagel had problems articulating the White House's elusive strategic goals on a world stage, he was most comfortable talking to the troops for whom he worked quietly to advocate. And now after his recent resignation, veterans groups and military service organizations said they worry his departure could leave some of their issues in limbo. More

Dry Ice Services
Solicitation No: HDEC05-15-T-0001. Office Code: HDEC05. Brief Description: Dry Ice Delivery to Charleston AFB. Classification Code: 8135 - Containers Packaging and Packing Supplies. NAICS Code: 325120. Closing Date: Dec. 22, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. EDT. Set Aside: Unrestricted. More

DeCA Facility and Equipment Maintenance
Solicitation Number: ID08140013. Agency: General Services Administration. Office: Federal Acquisition Service (FAS). Location: Federal Acquisition Service, Region 8 (8Q).More

Lawmakers agree to $100 million reduction in commissary funding
Army Times
Lawmakers have agreed to cut commissary funding by $100 million next year compared with this year, according to a new agreement on a compromise defense authorization bill.More

Commissaries could soon carry generic items
In a rule reversal, commissaries will soon be permitted to sell generic products thanks to a measure included in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, expected to be approved by Congress before Christmas. More

Which retailers have the most social influence?
Social Times
Klout has long fancied itself the definitive measure of social media influence. While in more recent years, the validity and value of the Klout score has been called into question, the company continues trying to prove naysayers wrong.More

Unilever buys Talenti Gelato to bolster ice cream business
Unilever, the world's biggest maker of ice cream, acquired Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto to expand its frozen offerings and counter sluggish growth among its mainstream food brands. More

Emerging flavors for 2015: McCormick & Company's annual forecast
The Baltimore Sun
Move over chile peppers. Make way for Shichimi Togarashi and Shawarma spice blends, highlighted in McCormick & Company's annual list of the coming year's top food trends and flavors.More

Coca-Cola's latest gambit: A new kind of milk
CBS News
Americans have been cutting back on soda for years, and that's dealt a blow to sales and profit at Coca-Cola. Now, the company is making a bold move into a completely different beverage: milk.More

Pepsi has a plan to boost its beverage business with innovation
PepsiCo is reaching beyond craft sodas with new products, such as protein drinks and low-calorie sparkling beverages, to counter the slow growth of the U.S. carbonated beverage industry.More

From Bulgarian yogurt and 'other bean hummus' to coffee leaf tea USA
They're selling everything from coffee leaf tea to maple water, banana-based snacks and hummus. Here's FoodNavigator-USA's latest pick of entrepreneurs to watch in the U.S. food and beverage market.More

Popcorn sales bursting with new organic, gourmet, prepopped snacks
Los Angeles Times
Popcorn is smokin' hot. According to the Popcorn Board, Americans consume 16 billion quarts of popped popcorn annually. That's 51 quarts each in a year. And while most of the popcorn we buy is for home use — sales of unpopped popcorn have risen 300 percent since 1970 — about 30 percent is eaten in theaters, stadiums, schools and the like.More

Exchange Holiday Weekend Sales
Exchange Holiday Weekend Sales are still not audited and final but the flash estimates look good for AAFES and NEXCOM so far. More to come this week in a midweek update!More

Exchange extends holiday return policy
To make gift giving easier, the Army & Air Force Exchange service is extending its return policy for items purchased from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24. More

Black Friday weekend shopping down, but season sales may still soar
NBC News
Black Friday weekend shopping isn't what it used to be, but the decline in money spent Thursday through Sunday doesn't necessarily indicate weak holiday spending — actually it's the opposite, analysts say.More

CEOs of Target, Macy's and others, weigh in on Black Friday sales
Fortune speaks with leading figures in the world of retail to get their take. More

Creating a 'door-buster': The $5 toaster
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
Before the lights had dimmed on Black Friday last year, executives at Kohl's Corp. were already at work on the deal they would use to pull shoppers into their stores this time around: A $5 toaster.More

4 reasons Nike's business will explode
Business Insider
Nike is about to get even bigger thanks to the habits of millennial shoppers. Athletic apparel and footwear is set to outperform the industry for the next five years, according to a recent report by Morgan Stanley. More

Nordstrom taps eBay's tech to build fitting room of the future
Nordstrom is testing out full-length dressing room mirrors that double as websites as tech invades yet another sphere of shopping. More

Wal-Mart's chief merchant leaves
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s chief merchandising officer is leaving the retailer just days before the annual Thanksgiving shopping frenzy known as Black Friday, causing a broader shake-up in the company's namesake U.S. division.More

The end of the impulse shopper
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)
Elisabeth Hoffman and fiance Josh Loeser paused by a display of artfully decorated cakes and pastries while shopping recently at a Pick 'n Save grocery store. But after a split second of interest, their expressions faded. "They're not on the list," said Hoffman.More

Millennials shape the new holiday shopping experience
Detroit Free Press
Angela Hernandez, who is 26, works as a social media specialist and has a lifetime of shopping ahead of her, is just the sort of person retailers want in their stores this holiday season. And to pique her interest and that of her peers, retailers are updating the way they do business. They're embracing social media, stocking merchandise made by small and local companies, featuring work from independent artists, selling hip items that give back to charitable causes and trying to turn a trip to the store into a real experience, in a good way. More

Fashion chains chase faster supplies to counter volatile weather
Increasingly erratic weather is driving European clothing retailers to buy goods more often and closer to home, rather than relying on seasonal collections sourced months in advance.More

Amazon's pricing strategy makes life miserable for the competition
During the Christmas shopping season we will see Amazon change prices on as many as 80 million products during a single day. That is amazing since companies, like Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Toys "R" Us have already announced that they will not be undersold and will match any competitors' prices in a printed flyer or website. That is going to create a competitive environment that will make shopping more challenging for savvy customers.More

Growing fuel volumes, margins keep Couche-Tard in the black
With U.S. fuel margins continuing to run well over 20 cents per gallon and gasoline volumes on the rise, retailer Alimentation Couche-Tard, doing business as Circle K Convenience Stores, reported its net earnings of $286.4 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2015.More

The 2014 C-Store Products Hot 100: Nos. 30-21
Soon, Convenience Store Products will be revealing the 2014 Hot 100, the top retailer-requested products of the year. The list is derived from individual products listed in editorial and advertising in Convenience Store Products magazine, from the August/September 2013 issue through the July/August 2014 issue. More

Sheetz among best places to work in Virginia
Sheetz Inc. was recently named as one of the 2015 Best Places to Work in Virginia. The annual list of the Best Places to Work in Virginia was created by Virginia Business and Best Companies Group.More

New FDA rules will put calorie counts on menus
The Associated Press via ABC News
Counting your calories will become easier under new government rules requiring chain restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores — and even movie theaters, amusement parks and vending machines — to post the calorie content of food "clearly and conspicuously" on their menus.More

Anheuser-Busch: Beer's No. 1 underdog
David Almeida isn't shy about touting Anheuser-Busch's strengths and position as the largest brewer of beer in the United States and around the world. At the same time, he positions A-B as an underdog in the industry, as a company that needs to fight and scramble to maintain its market position.More

Making the case for breakfast
FoodService Director
Morning mealtime for consumers these days means more breakfasts on the run. Busier than ever, people are eating breakfast away from their homes, and they're looking for variety, value, convenience and taste — all in one place.More

Pabst Brewing completes sale to Blue Ribbon
Pabst Brewing Co., North America's largest privately held brewing company, said it has completed its sale to Blue Ribbon Intermediate Holdings LLC, Los Angeles. Blue Ribbon is a partnership between American beer entrepreneur Eugene Kashper and San Francisco-based TSG Consumer Partners LLC, a leading investor in growth consumer brands.More

Top 10 'growth' foods and beverages in US diet
Americans are sourcing more meals from home than they have in years, according to the NPD Group, which just released its 29th annual Eating Patterns in America Report. The report finds that a decline in restaurant usage and an increase in meals from home is one of the single biggest changes in eating patterns in Americans in the last five years.More

Is Hostess for sale again?
Food Processing
The investment firms owning Hostess Brands LLC may be planning to put the iconic baker on the market in early 2015, potentially valuing it at more than $1.7 billion, a nice multiple of the $410 million they bought it for in 2013.More

Wal-Mart proceeding with 'express' rebrand
Earlier in November, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. opened its 5,000 unit in the United States, a Neighborhood Market in Greenbriar, Arkansas, Carol Schumacher, vice president of global investor relations, said on the company's fiscal third-quarter 2015 earnings call.More

Family and MWR locations
U.S. Army MWR
Family and MWR Programs are delivered primarily through a local garrison or installation. Click "Read More" and then you can select your location link.More

Navy Lodge locations by state
Navy Lodge
Family and MWR Programs are delivered primarily through a local garrison or installation. Click "Read More" and then you can select your location link.More

MWR quick links by military service
Military OneSource
Morale, Welfare, and Recreation isn't just about fitness centers and sports. Whether you are going camping, looking for family night fun or developing a new hobby, MWR is the place to start. Lessons, facilities, tools and entertainment; your MWR program might just surprise you. Use these resources, tools and articles to learn about your recreation opportunities.More