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Highlights of the May 2016 Issue


AAFES ‘You Made the Grade’ Winner Pays It Forward


DALLAS — The grand-prize winner in the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s (AAFES) “You Made the Grade” sweepstakes has more than just good grades. She has a big heart, too.

Eighth-grader Holly Thill took home the top prize in the Exchange’s semiannual sweepstakes, part of a program to reward military students for academic success. The 14 year old, who is home-schooled in Beavercreek, Ohio, and earns mostly A’s, was awarded a $2,000 Exchange gift card during a presentation at the Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, Exchange on Feb. 5.

With part of her winnings, Thill plans to buy blankets and coats to distribute to the homeless in Ohio through her church, Emmanuel Catholic Church, in Dayton. “I want to help those who are homeless,” Thill said. “So many of the homeless are veterans — I want to give back to those who have served in the military.” ...

Exchange, Promotion In Motion Partner for Sweet Contest


DALLAS — Authorized patrons who shop Army & Air Force Exchange Service stores can enter to win a sweet surprise this summer during the Candy Carnival sweepstakes. One lucky winner will receive a $5,000 Exchange gift card courtesy of Promotion In Motion, the manufacturer and marketer of Welch’sbranded fruit snacks and Sour Jacks-branded candy products.

Exchange shoppers can enter until July 7 at www.shopmyexchange.com/sweepstakes. The winner will be drawn on or about July 14.

“A prize like this will satisfy the sweet tooth of any shopper,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, Exchange senior enlisted advisor. “We couldn’t be happier to offer military shoppers a chance to spoil themselves this summer with some serious extra spending money.” ...

Stores Recognized in SMI, Perfetti Van Melle Contest


DALLAS — Specialized Marketing International (SMI) recently wrapped up a worldwide contest in Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) stores on behalf of confectionery manufacturer Perfetti Van Melle, recognizing stores that sold the most units of the company’s Airheads candy as part of the Exchange’s January 2016 “Impulse Item of the Month” promotion.

Among the winning stores in the Airheads Bites Sales Contest were the Paradise Express at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and the main store at Camp Humphreys, Korea. ...

Oberto Gives Back to MWR Funding as Sales Surge


DALLAS — During an April 5 presentation here at Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) headquarters, the Exchange received a $172,000 rebate check from Oberto Brands, signifying the growth in sales of the manufacturer’s meat snacks at the exchange service’s stores during the past year.

According to AAFES, in 2015, sales of Oberto Brands products in Exchange stores rose 30.4 percent to $2.25 million, and the rebate award money will be directed back to AAFES’s bottom line, resulting in additional earnings for military quality-of-life programs. ...

DeCA, Procter & Gamble Kickoff ‘Salute to Military Children’ Campaign


TRAVIS AFB, CALIF. — On March 28, Procter & Gamble, through a joint promotion with the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), kicked off their 2016 Salute to Military Children campaign with a ProCamp event featuring New England Patriots Wide Receiver Julian Edelman.

The NFL player signed over 250 autographs at the base commissary and later hosted 200 military youth in grades one through eight in a one-day clinic at the base’s American Ball Field. ...

Edelman has a personal connection with the military community — his grandfather was in the military — and expresses his appreciation for the sacrifices servicemembers and their families make every day so that he can play football. Understanding that military youth serve in their own way, too, Edelman was able to give back to these deserving kids by giving them a chance to catch passes, learn routes and defend against an NFL star like him. ...

Godiva Celebrates 90th Birthday with New Collections


NEW YORK — The Godiva Chocolatier story began in 1926, when Belgian chocolatier Pierre Draps created his very first pralines. In 2016, Godiva celebrates 90 years of innovation with a unique collection of products and a collaboration with Belgian artist Oli-B.

Godiva’s limited edition 90th Anniversary Collection is currently available in military exchanges in 9-piece and 18-piece sizes. A line of plush holiday bears adds a soft touch to Godiva’s gift-giving offerings. ...

Mars Celebrates M&M’s Candy’s 75th Anniversary


HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — On March 3, Mars Chocolate North America’s iconic M&M’s Milk Chocolate Candies brand turned 75 years old, and the candy maker is heralding this achievement by holding a year-long anniversary. ...


Among the many celebrations planned for the year is “Operation Gratitude.” To honor M&M’s military history, this program will see Mars donate $750,000 worth of product throughout 2016 to the Operation Gratitude organization, which puts together donated products into care packages sent to servicemembers deployed overseas.

Military servicemembers and their families can participate in the celebration in a number of exciting ways. Through June 17, fans will have a chance to vote for the next limited edition M&M’s flavor to hit store shelves. Original Peanut is going head-to-head with three new M&M’s Peanut varieties — Chili Nut, Honey Nut and Coffee Nut — in a socialized consumer campaign to determine “America’s Favorite Peanut.”

As part of this promotion, Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) patrons will have the chance to win a tasty trip for two to visit one of three M&M’s World retail locations in the U.S. this summer.

Through May 27, authorized shoppers can enter to win the $2,300 prize package at www.shopmyexchange.com/sweepstakes. One lucky winner will get to pick from the Las Vegas, Nev., Orlando, Fla., or New York City M&M’s Worlds.

“This summer just keeps getting sweeter and sweeter for Exchange shoppers,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Sean Applegate, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “We offer contests like these for one simple reason: to show Soldiers, Airmen and their families that we care.” ...


On May 26, “Red Nose Day” will be celebrated, and M&M’s will partner with NBC and Comic Relief to raise awareness and money for the Red Nose Day Fund, an organization which helps lift children out of poverty. Each day leading up to May 26, the brand will donate $1 to the fund up to $500,000 for everyone who engages with the #MakeMLaugh hashtag. M&M’s kick-started the effort with a $500,000 donation to the fund. In 2015, M&M’s donated more than $1.3 million to Red Nose charities.


Read more NEWSMAKERS ...

Trendy, Tasty And Top of Mind


Snacking has become a dominant food trend in the last few years, even crossing into the meal replacement area for on-the-go servicemembers and their families. The Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) has noticed the uptick in activity in the category, and has adjusted its assortment to meet customer need.

“There is a lot of innovation in the snack category,” explained Ashley Davis, the buyer responsible for food, candy and gourmet items in the Marine Corps Nonappropriated Fund Business and Support Services Division (NAFBSSD). “MCX will strive to be first to market on these new items, and we will continue to place special orders for new or unique items through our distributors McLane Co. and Coastal Pacific Food Distributors.” ...



Indispensable Members of The Military Community


Pets are not only indispensable members of the military community, they provide companionship and a sense of normalcy to families who often move from station to station or endure deployments of family members.

Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) Pet Buyer Marissa Tinoco reported that total fiscal 2015 sales in the Exchange pet departments around the system reached $40.35 million, a 5.2-percent increase from the $38.35 million in sales during the prior year. Although this still-hot category outperformed many others during the year, Tinoco added that fiscal 2015 sales were flat to plan, and that being said, all major pet subcategories thrived. ...

“Due to pet ‘parents’ being more educated about what they are feeding their pets, along with advances in food and health and wellness products, today’s pets are living longer,” Tinoco noted. “In turn, products that are focused on senior pets continue to grow. Manufacturers have focused in on senior diets with the aging pet population. More treats and health and wellness products are targeting senior dogs.” ...




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