• J.C. Penney hires brand strategist from Kraft
J.C. Penney recently tapped Kraft Foods marketing executive Debra Berman as its senior vice president of brand strategy.
Berman has extensive experience in brand strategy during the three and half years she spent with Kraft Foods, where she rose the ranks of chief marketing officer.
Berman also spent time Saatchi & Saatchi and DDB Worldwide where she oversaw planning for Clorox brands.
She has an master’s degree in business administration from University of California and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
The role she is assuming at J.C. Penney has been vacant for 13 months, after Michael Frances left the retailer.
The timing of this move is critical as retailers are finalizing their holiday campaigns in the next few weeks.
• Dr. Pepper Snapple abandons vitamin additive
Beverage maker Dr.Pepper Snapple Group will pay $5,000 to the Center for Science in the Public Interest and $237,500 in attorney’s fees to settle a lawsuit over vitamin E additives in some of its 7-Up products.
The company said it will begin removing the antioxidant additive to make the formula and label consistent with the rest of its 7-Up products.
The company also agreed to halt claims that the product has antioxidants. They had been infusing small amounts of vitamin E into some varieties of 7-Up under these labels: Regular, Diet Cherry Antioxidant, Mixed Berry Antioxidant and Pomegranate Antioxidant.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest took issue with the images of berries and pomegranates on the soda's labels, saying it gave the impression that the antioxidants came from fruit instead of the added vitamin E.
• Technology helps Kroger reduce wait at checkout
Kroger recently began using new computer sensor technology in its grocery stores to reduce the time customers must wait in checkout lines.
The grocery retailer expects to have the technology sensors in more than 2,400 stores by the year’s end.
Que Vision, a new technology developed by a British firm, counts the number of customers entering a store, standing in checkout lines and then leaving.
The system predicts how many checkout registers will need to be open at any given time of the day based on the real time store traffic.
Kroger said it has reduced the waiting time from 4 minutes to 27 seconds. Waiting time is defined as the period between when a shopper gets in line and begins putting groceries on the conveyor belt.
The retailer said the technology does not invade shopper privacy, nor does it track the shopping habits once in the store. It merely tracks incoming and outgoing traffic and constantly recalculates the number of checkout lines needed presently and the expected need in 30 minutes.