Newswatch

WAL-MART PL EGGS ARE CAGE-FREE BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores here has confirmed that all of its private-label eggs are currently produced in cage-free facilities, according to a release. The disclosure was prompted by a shareholder resolution submitted to Wal-Mart in November 2009 by the Humane Society of the United States, which called on the company to assess its progress moving toward cage-free

WAL-MART PL EGGS ARE CAGE-FREE

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here has confirmed that all of its private-label eggs are currently produced in cage-free facilities, according to a release. The disclosure was prompted by a shareholder resolution submitted to Wal-Mart in November 2009 by the Humane Society of the United States, which called on the company to assess its progress moving toward cage-free eggs. HSUS has subsequently withdrawn the resolution. “By ensuring that all of its private-label eggs are cage-free, Wal-Mart is helping the egg industry move away from battery cage confinement of laying hens,” Paul Shapiro, senior director of HSUS' factory-farming campaign, said in the release. “Wal-Mart's move is a positive one, and we hope its competitors follow suit.”

RECESSION HITS QSR BREAKFAST SALES

WASHINGTON — The economy may be improving, but unemployment has remained stubbornly high. And, fast food chains have taken a big hit in breakfast sales as fewer commuters stop at their drive-throughs, according to a report in last week's Washington Post. Breakfast has been a key growth area for many quick-service restaurant chains, with morning day-part sales up 64% during the five years prior to the recession, according to data from the NPD Group. The economic downturn has pumped the brakes on that growth, however. QSR breakfast sales were down 4%, when the total U.S. unemployment rate hit 10%. The report noted that McDonald's has combated sluggish breakfast sales by launching a dollar menu for breakfast, and that 7-Eleven recently boosted breakfast sales 6% by launching a sausage, egg and cheese breakfast burrito at two for $2, or $1.19 each.

IPC OFFERS RETAIL SUPPORT GUIDES

EAGLE, Idaho — The Idaho Potato Commission here has published an updated copy of its comprehensive retailer support guide for produce departments and retail promotions directors. The guide features POS materials, potato logos and clip art for circulars and ads, category management data and best practices advice, as well as detailed calendars highlighting tie-in programs, advertisements, public relations campaigns and other promotional efforts that the commission will be conducting throughout the year. Retailers “in seconds, have access to clip art, POS materials and the consumer media plan, as well as details on upcoming promotions,” said Seth Pemsler, vice president, retail/international for IPC. Retailers interested in ordering a copy can contact Jamie Quinno of the IPC at [email protected] [3], or (208) 334-2350.

HSUS APPLAUDS HARRIS TEETER

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — At Harris Teeter's recent annual meeting here, a representative from the Humane Society of the United States praised the retailer “for its forward-thinking animal welfare policies, which are more comprehensive than those of almost all its competitors, including most of its national rivals,” HSUS said in a release. The group cites Harris Teeter's commitment to sell almost four times as many cage-free eggs as the food retailing industry's national average, its efforts to ramp up its purchases of pork from suppliers that do not use gestation crates to confine sows, and its efforts to “dramatically increase” the amount of poultry it sells from suppliers that use “controlled-atmosphere killing,” which HSUS regards as the most humane poultry slaughter method. “Harris Teeter believes that part of being a good corporate citizen means helping to improve conditions for farm animals,” Harris Teeter President Fred Morganthall said in a release. “It's important to us, to our customers and to animals.”