NEWS ROUNDUP

Haggen Expands Gourmet Coffeeen Inc. here is resetting its coffee aisle to capitalize on the growing popularity of gourmet coffees in the Pacific Northwest.The 13-store chain is adding another premium brand, Seattle Best, a gourmet whole-bean coffee that is priced about $1 a pound more than the chain's existing Millstone gourmet coffee, to its coffee assortment. It is also adding a whole bean private-label

Haggen Expands Gourmet Coffee

en Inc. here is resetting its coffee aisle to capitalize on the growing popularity of gourmet coffees in the Pacific Northwest.

The 13-store chain is adding another premium brand, Seattle Best, a gourmet whole-bean coffee that is priced about $1 a pound more than the chain's existing Millstone gourmet coffee, to its coffee assortment. It is also adding a whole bean private-label line, according to Duane Smith, a buyer for Haggen. To make room for the enhancements in the whole bean segment, Smith said he has been deleting and reducing facings of some ground coffees from his 32-foot-long coffee departments.

"We think people will pay more in this market for a good cup of coffee because coffee is such a big business here," Smith told SN. "Up here in the Northwest we are really the coffee capital, so the upscale coffees are doing well. Everyone up here seems to start the day off with a latte or something. That's just the way it is."

Smith said next year Haggen would add a private-label whole-bean gourmet coffee to its lineup that would be priced below Millstone, to make gourmet coffees available to a wider range of shoppers.

Fruit Drink Sales Still Rising

NEW YORK -- Sales of fruit-based beverages have been growing by 3% annually, and are expected to increase at that rate until at least 1997, partially at the expense of tap water, according to a study on fruit-based beverages compiled by the Find/SVP research and consulting firm here.

The study found that fruit-based beverages had retail sales of about $8.2 billion in 1993, about 22% of all beverage sales. The market is projected to grow to about $9.2 billion in 1997.

The study also found exotic juice blends continued to capture market share, especially tropical juices targeted at the growing Hispanic population. Consumption of pure, full-strength fruit and vegetable juices is expected to stabilize at around seven gallons per person in 1994.

The study projects that 50 gallons, or 27.2%, of the 182.5 gallons of liquid each American drinks in 1994 will be represented by soft drinks, compared with about 21.3% in 1984. Tap water is expected to account for 31.3 gallons per capita, or 17.2%, compared with about 25% in 1984. Tap water is followed by bottled water, with 11.2 gallons and a 6.1% share, compared with a 2.2% share in 1984.

Food 4 Less to Get Water Machines

LA HABRA, Calif. -- Food 4 Less Supermarkets here has signed a three-year agreement with Glacier Water Systems for the placement of water vending machines in front of 200 of its California supermarkets.

Officials at Food 4 Less could not be reached for comment. Jerry Gordon, president of Carlsbad, Calif.-based Glacier, said installation of the machines would begin after the first of the year in several of the company's store banners, including Food 4 Less, Alpha Beta, Boys and Viva. Terms and conditions of the contract were not disclosed, but Gordon said the contract did not include stores operated by Ralphs Grocery Co., which is merging with Food 4 Less.

Glacier operates more than 6,500 water machines in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Mississippi and Florida.

Hershey Instant Cocoa Mix Bows

HERSHEY, Pa. -- Hershey Chocolate U.S.A., a division of Hershey Foods Corp. here, has introduced a line of premium flavored, single-serving instant hot cocoa mixes.

Hershey's Hot Cocoa Collection is available in Dutch chocolate, chocolate almond, chocolate Irish cream, chocolate mint and chocolate raspberry. The line is packaged in gold-tone boxes containing five single-serve envelopes. The boxes have a suggested retail of $1.49, and will be heavily promoted this season through trade promotions and freestanding insert coupon drops.

Hills Bros. Flavors Coffee Line

SAN FRANCISCO -- Hills Bros., a division of Nestle Beverage Co. here, has introduced a line of Flavored Ground Coffees in French vanilla, hazelnut and Irish cream flavors.

Packaged in 8-ounce cans, the coffees have a suggested retail price of $2.89. They are being introduced to most major U.S. markets this year, and expansion is planned for 1995. Hills Bros. Flavored Ground Coffees will be backed with in-store sampling, television commercials and couponing in 1995.