DeCA: MDV SpartanNash LLC to bring private label products to store shelves

FORT LEE, Va., 2016-Dec-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Defense Commissary Agency has selected MDV SpartanNash LLC to bring private label products to store shelves.

“Our customers have been asking for private label for a long time,” said Joseph H. Jeu, DeCA’s director and CEO, citing a DeCA patron survey in which 60 percent of respondents said they would like to see a commissary private label offering.

“They are smart, savvy shoppers who know that private label products are cost-effective alternatives to national brands. We’re excited to help them save more at our commissaries.”

Private label products are offered by a retailer under its own, in-house brand or under a brand developed by its suppliers. Retailers are able to do this by working directly with suppliers. Commissaries will add private label options to their assortments, while continuing to offer the name brands that patrons have always shopped.

DeCA conducted a rigorous selection process to identify the right supplier. “Throughout the process, our goal was to find a partner that could provide quality products to our patrons at a savings level that is equivalent to or better than what they find from private label products at commercial grocers,” Jeu said.

Over the next several months, DeCA will work closely with SpartanNash to decide on an initial assortment of products to introduce. The initial assortment should be available at all commissaries worldwide in May 2017 and will include about 400 items.

Private label items will continue to grow to about 1,000 items by the end of 2017. Over the next two years, DeCA will continue to add more private label products to the commissary stock assortment.

For more information on DeCA’s private label program, read the Transformation FAQ.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit and make no profit on the sale of merchandise. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. By shopping regularly in the commissary, patrons save thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil

Source:  Defense Commissary Agency

DeCA announces grand prize winner of the “Kellogg’s Win Groceries for a Year! Richmond Racing Sweepstakes”

 

FORT LEE, Va., 2016-Sep-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Jodi Boulier has always wanted to see a NASCAR race in person. The spouse of a retired soldier is also a loyal patron of the Fort Lewis Commissary at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

On Sept. 10, Boulier’s race wish and her commissary loyalty collided when she won free groceries for a year and a trip to Virginia for the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond’s International Raceway (RIR).

As the grand prize winner of the “Kellogg’s Win Groceries for a Year! Richmond Racing Sweepstakes,” Boulier and her family were flown to Richmond for the weekend, given access passes to watch the race at RIR with driver Greg Biffle’s pit crew and awarded $6,000 in Commissary Gift Cards – the equivalent value of free commissary groceries for a year.

“I get to shop free for a year. This helps big time,” said Boulier, whose husband, Ronald, is a retired Army sergeant first class. “We’ve got diapers to buy for grandkids, so that’s going to help a lot.

Boulier won the grand prize after purchasing participating Kellogg’s products and having her Commissary Rewards Card scanned, which automatically entered her in the sweepstakes.

Contests like this are part of the ancillary benefit of giveaways and special promotions provided to commissary patrons through DeCA’s industry partners, said Marye Dobson, the agency’s program manager for the Commissary Rewards Card.

“This promotion was only available for patrons like Jodi who used their Commissary Rewards Card,” Dobson said. “Besides the savings and convenience of digital coupons, the card gives our shoppers access to promotions and contests that also help them maximize their benefit.”

During the military appreciation event held at RIR before the race, hundreds of active duty military members, retirees, veterans and their families enjoyed free food, drinks, music, a race car simulator, giveaways of Commissary Gift Cards, and NASCAR and Kellogg’s merchandise freebies. They also heard from Biffle, driver of the No. 16 “Cheez-It Ford Fusion,” who spoke about the race, his career and his appreciation of the military.

When specifically asked about military commissaries, Biffle was quick to give the benefit a shout out: “I know how important the support of a pit crew is to the success of a driver. Likewise, the commissary provides our military and their families’ invaluable service and support as they successfully serve our great country.”

On the day before the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the NASCAR event at RIR had a pronounced air of military participation in prerace activities:

  • Air Force Lt. Gen. Wendy M. Masiello delivered the oath of enlistment to about 24 delayed enlistment program members.
  • The United States Marine Corps Band, “The President’s Own,” performed the National Anthem, while more than 50 soldiers from the Fort Eustis, Virginia, NCO Academy unfurled a gigantic U.S. flag, and an honor guard from Fort Lee, Virginia, posted the colors.
  • T-38 planes from Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, performed a flyover.
  • Army parachutists landed on the infield carrying massive U.S. flags.

As the fans filled the stands, and pit crews rolled out race cars bearing colorful sponsors, the look of excitement on Jodi Boulier’s face was as bright as the flames shooting from the stage with the introduction of each driver. She had been waiting for this moment all day.

“I’m looking forward to the race; I’ve never been to one,” she said hours before the race during the military appreciation event. I’ve only seen [NASCAR] on TV, and I want to see how fast they go around.”

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit and make no profit on the sale of merchandise. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. By shopping regularly in the commissary, patrons save thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil

Source: Commissary

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DeCA: 700 military children each received $2,000 scholarship thanks to the 2016 Scholarships for Military Children program

FORT LEE, Va., 2016-Jul-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Seven hundred students from military families each received a $2,000 scholarship this year thanks to the 2016 Scholarships for Military Children program.

The program, created in 2001, recognizes the contributions of military families to the readiness of the fighting force and celebrates the commissary’s role in enhancing military quality of life. It’s administered by Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to service members and their families.

“With a 13 percent increase in applications this year, the program was even more selective than in the past,” said Fisher House Foundation Vice President Jim Weiskopf. “In addition to recognizing the scholastic achievements of the 700 recipients, we owe special appreciation to the Defense Commissary Agency business partners whose donations each year make the scholarship program possible,” he added.

No government funds are used to support the program. DeCA’s industry partners — vendors, manufacturers, brokers, suppliers — and the general public donate money to fund the program, and every dollar donated goes directly to funding the scholarships. The contributions go to Fisher House Foundation Inc., which treats each as a “restricted donation.” The foundation in turn contracts with Scholarship Managers, a professional scholarship management firm, to evaluate the applications and select the best qualified as awardees. In all there were 4,513 qualified applicants this time around.

“I’m always impressed with the creativity and dedication to the pursuit of scholastic excellence shown by these students,” said Michael J. Dowling, DeCA deputy director and COO. “These scholarships are a wonderful way to give back to the military communities we serve by investing in the futures of these brilliant children.

“Our stores are honored to host awards ceremonies for the students who’ve earned a scholarship,” Dowling added, “and it’s important that we also recognize the support of the many folks — our industry partners and Fisher House Foundation — for making the scholarship program possible.”

“The competition among applicants was keen,” said Weiskopf. “We are recognizing the best of the best.”

One student selected for a scholarship is definitely going places. Megan Stith of Chester, Virginia, said she will be attending school at Queens University Belfast, in Northern Ireland. Her father, Richard, retired from the Army as a chief warrant officer 3 after 24 years of service in 2014.

“I chose to apply there because it is sort of like home base for me,” said Stith. “I have friends and family there, because that is where my mother is from, and for me it is a place that I feel grounded. With the help of this generous scholarship, I will be able to continue my international education whilst minimizing my student debt. It is encouraging to know that I have the support of the military community.”

The number of scholarship awards each year is based on funds available, but the program awards at least $2,000 at each military commissary. If there are no eligible applicants from a given commissary, the funds designated for that commissary are awarded as an additional scholarship at a different store.

The list of this year’s winners is posted at MilitaryScholar.org.

Planning for next year’s program begins soon, and the announcement of open dates to apply is usually made in the fall.

Note: For photos, go to DeCA’s Flickr page.

About DeCA:
The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil

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Source: Commissary

The Defense Commissary Agency to host the military resale partnership event, Your Healthy Lifestyle Festival on July 1-31

FORT LEE, Va., 2016-Jun-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Defense Commissary Agency will host the military resale partnership event, Your Healthy Lifestyle Festival, July 1-31 at commissaries worldwide.

This annual event will feature discounted prices on produce at commissary farmers markets, savings on workout equipment and apparel at exchanges, health screenings at local clinics, and fitness events hosted by the post morale, welfare and recreation activities.

With the theme “Live Healthy and Save Big!,” the festival combines savings while supporting the military community’s health and wellness goals, said DeCA Sales Director Tracie Russ.

“We heartily support DOD’s many initiatives to improve the health and wellness of service members and their families. Supporting this fest is a great way to continue that tradition,” Russ said. “Together, the military resale community helps reinforce the installation as the No. 1 destination for partnership events.

The festival combines commissary farmers markets, exchange sidewalk sales, MWR fitness events, demos, music, free nutritious food samples, prize giveaways, discount coupon offers, health and wellness information and children’s programs. “Our patrons benefit most through the collaborative efforts of commissaries, exchanges, MWR services and our industry partners,” Russ said.

For DeCA, the Lifestyle Festival also gives more visibility to the commissaries’ worldwide farmers market program, an event that has offered plenty of tasty fruits and vegetables for the past three years, Russ said.

“Our patrons are in for a treat when it comes to the quality produce offered at our farmers markets,” Russ said. “Thanks to the creativity of our store personnel and industry partners who inject plenty of imagination and excitement into our farmers markets, combined with the exchange sales and the MWR fitness events, this festival will be a must-attend for our military customers.”

Although the bulk of the sales are in July and early August, a few locations will be held in June to avoid calendar conflicts: Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California (June 18-19); Chievres Air Base, Belgium (June 12-14); Dugway Proving Ground, Utah (June 26); Izmir Air Station, Turkey (June 27-29); Los Angeles Air Force Base (June 13-15); Naval Station Mayport, Florida (June 13-15); Naval Base Pearl Harbor Commissary, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii (June 26-29); Naval Shipyard Portsmouth, Maine (June 26-28); and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California (June 12).

An overall schedule listing installations and dates can be found on Your Healthy Lifestyle Festival page.

Commissary patrons should also check the individual store Web pages for more information on farmers market dates and other scheduled events. Customers who live near multiple commissaries are encouraged to use the DeCA website to frequent all sales in their area.

Customers are also advised to contact their local installation media for specific festival event schedules.

Note: For an infographic and a photo related to the Your Healthy Lifestyle Festival, go to DeCA’s Flickr page.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil

DeCA’s Public Health and Safety director: Disregarding the tenets of Be Food Safe can turn the family gathering into a trip to the emergency room

FORT LEE, Va., 2016-May-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — As warmer temperatures push more commissary patrons from the kitchen stove to the backyard grill, the Defense Commissary Agency wants to remind them to “Be Food Safe.”

Disregarding the tenets of Be Food Safe can turn the family gathering into a trip to the emergency room, said the director of DeCA’s Public Health and Safety Directorate, Col. Michael A. Buley.

“Our mission is to be vigilant against foodborne illnesses from the farm to the commissary warehouse to the store shelf to our patrons’ shopping carts,” Buley said. “However, we also ask our patrons to do their part by practicing ‘Be Food Safe’ whenever they handle food.”

Be Food Safe was created through the collaboration of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention to help prevent foodborne illnesses caused by consumers mishandling food at home.

Salmonella, E. coli and listeria can all be unwanted guests at the barbecue if people don’t pay heed to proper food handling, said Chris Wicker, DeCA’s public health advisor.

“The juices from raw meats can contain bacteria that could transfer to other foods,” he said. “Cooked foods should be placed onto plates and containers that are clean, so there is no risk of cross contamination.

“Time and temperature are also key factors for grilling and protecting your loved ones from foodborne illness,” Wicker added. “Always ensure proper temperatures are reached for all cooked meats and that no food is left out longer than two hours. Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.”

Before any cookout, Wicker said grill masters should consider the following basic food safety tips:

  • Be clean. Before cooking or eating – and definitely after using the bathroom – wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Don’t forget the grill; it should also be cleaned before preparation begins.
  • Separate the food. Keep raw food apart from cooked food. The juices from raw meats can contain bacteria that could transfer to other foods. That means use separate plates or containers for raw meat, poultry or seafood when moving food to the grill and different containers entirely for the cooked products unless the carriers have been washed thoroughly in soap and water. Also, keep cooking utensils and cooking surfaces clean from potential cross contamination.
  • Marinate in refrigerator. Any food that is marinating should be covered and kept in a refrigerator until ready to cook. Also, don’t reuse marinade containing raw meat.
  • Cook it completely. This means you cannot take shortcuts on the amount of time it takes to thoroughly cook meat. Use a food thermometer to ensure meat is ready to eat. For example, ground beef and pork should be cooked at 160 F, chicken at 165 F and steaks and roast at 145 F. For shrimp, lobster and crab, cook until pearly and opaque. You can use your microwave, oven or stove to precook the food immediately before placing it on the grill.
  • Chill and freeze – immediately. Food should never be off the grill or out of the cooler for more than two hours. And, when the outside temperature is hotter than 90 F, food can only be left out for an hour.
  • Hot, hot, hot. Keep hot food wrapped, insulated in a container and at or above 140 F. Eat hot take-out food within two hours of purchase. When reheating food on the grill, make sure it reaches 165 F.
  • Keep it cold. If it’s meant to be cold, it needs to stay that way at or below 40 F. Chicken salad, potato salads, bagged and green salads, and certain desserts must be protected from warm temperatures by placing them on ice in coolers. Remember to drain the water from melted ice in those coolers and replace ice as necessary.

For the latest food safety alerts and product recalls affecting military commissaries, visit our Food Recalls page. For general food safety information, visit our Food Safety page.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil

 

DeCA received $1.4 billion in appropriated funding in FY 2015

FORT LEE, Va., 2016-Apr-13 — /EPR Retail News/ —  A lot happened in 2002. The Euro became legal tender in 12 European countries; the U.N. froze the assets of Osama bin Laden; Kmart became the largest retailer in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy. The New England Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI for their first NFL championship; Tiger Woods won the Masters Golf Tournament for the second straight year; and “American Idol” premiered on Fox. On Sept. 11, the Pentagon was rededicated after repairs were completed – one year after the terrorist attack; and, Hollywood released “The Gangs of New York,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz.

Also in 2002, the Defense Commissary Agency began its string of clean audits, an unbroken streak that continued with the agency’s financial statements for fiscal 2015 being given an “unmodified” audit opinion by independent auditors.

“This opinion means our financial house is in order, and we’re good stewards of the appropriations entrusted to us,” said DeCA Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu, “and that’s crucial to our mission of delivering an effective and efficient commissary benefit.”

DeCA received $1.4 billion in appropriated funding for fiscal 2015. During that timeframe the agency generated nearly $6 billion in annual sales and processed almost 90 million transactions in its stores, while delivering $2.4 billion in patron savings. Commissaries also redeemed nearly 90 million coupons in fiscal 2015 for additional customer savings of nearly $84 million.

“We have a dedicated team of employees in resource management who help ensure DeCA’s financial statements are presented properly,” said Larry Bands, the agency’s chief financial officer. “However, this level of fiscal excellence is an agency achievement, when you consider the daily activities affecting all employees such as time and attendance, and accounting for resale items, equipment and property.”

There are plenty of moving financial parts to a defense agency such as DeCA that’s organized to operate like a business, Bands added. “So when we receive this rating from an independent audit, it certifies that we’re responsible caretakers of our patrons’ benefit.”

For DeCA, the road to a successful audit is continuous. Auditors from the CliftonLarsonAllen auditing firm, one of the 10 largest CPA firms in the country, started the process with onsite visits in February and March. They evaluated any internal controls and transactions that link to DeCA’s financial statements.

Although DeCA’s accountants collect and process the financial data that’s audited, the process still hinges on support and cooperation across the agency, said Edna Willis, chief of the compliance and reporting branch in the resource management directorate.

“This unmodified opinion tells our patrons that the finances of their commissary benefit are accurately reported, open and accessible for review,” Willis said.

Note: For an info graphic on the agency’s clean audit, go to DeCA’s Flickr page.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil

DeCA director: commissary is the place to go to save on holiday groceries

FORT LEE, Va., 2015-11-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — The holidays are right around the corner and special in-store promotions make the commissary the place to go to save on holiday groceries, according to the Defense Commissary Agency’s director of sales.

“We have some great promotions lined up for the holiday season,” said Tracie Russ, DeCA sales director. “Thanks to our industry partners, our patrons will be able to save quite a bit of money for their holiday entertainment and meal needs.”

Patrons can find out more details on holiday promotions and other discounted items in their commissary by going to the Sales & Events page.

Throughout December, DeCA’s industry partners – vendors, suppliers and brokers – are collaborating with stateside stores to offer discounts on holiday specials beyond everyday savings. Overseas stores may have substitute events for certain promotional programs. Customers are asked to check their local commissary for details on dates and times for the following promotions:

  • Customers can use coupons from the 16-page turkey coupon booklet through Dec. 21 for their holiday turkey dinners. The coupons provide commissary shoppers with greater than normal savings or free turkeys when purchasing their holiday meal essentials using the coupons. Terms and conditions are on the coupons. The vendors include Kraft Heinz Company, Kellogg’s, General Mills, P&G, Nabisco, Ritz, Hefty/Reynolds Wrap, Fresh Express and Johnsonville & Frito Lay. This turkey coupon booklet also includes preparation tips and holiday recipes.
  • Throughout December, commissary deli departments stateside and in the Far East will be offering an additional 15 percent off on combination 16-inch party trays of various luncheon meats and cheeses, and holiday cookies.
  • From Dec. 1 through Jan. 15, Commissary Rewards Cards will be preloaded with coupon savings on several products. Terms and conditions apply. Participating items include $3 off on certain Unilever items, Country Crock Spread, Lipton Soup Secrets, Lipton Recipe Secrets, Knorr Bouillon, Knorr Soup, Knorr Pasta Sides or Rice Sides, Knorr Gourmet Gravy and Lipton Superfruits Teas. Patrons can also save $1 off Kaytee Wild Bird Food, until Dec. 4, and $.50 cents on any Melt Organic item through Dec. 15.

“We want our patrons to remember their commissary benefit for their holiday needs,” Russ said. “More importantly, the Defense Commissary Agency wishes you and your family, here and abroad, a very happy, healthy, and safe holiday season.”

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil

SOURCE: The Defense Commissary Agency

DeCA sales director Tracie Russ: Store promotions, giveaways and more opportunities for discounts and savings during October

FORT LEE, Va., 2015-9-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — October represents the unofficial start of the holiday season for commissary customers who want to see store promotions, giveaways and more opportunities for discounts beyond their usual 30 percent or more savings, said the Defense Commissary Agency’s director of sales.

“Whether it is celebrating Oktoberfest with friends or saluting friends and families from afar with a big, plump, roasted turkey, your commissary wants you to know we are here for you with extra savings and great opportunities to enhance your commissary benefit,” said Tracie Russ, DeCA sales director.

Russ is also reminding commissary patrons to check out their stores’ fresh produce section for coupon bundles offering even more savings, especially for events such as National Apple Month. Throughout October, DeCA’s industry partners – vendors, suppliers and brokers – are collaborating with commissaries to offer discounts beyond everyday savings. Overseas stores may have substitute events for certain promotional programs. Customers are asked to check their local commissary for details on dates and times for the following promotions:

  • “Drink To Pink.” In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Apple and Eve’s Northland brand is donating 25 cents per bottle up to $25,000 for product sold Oct. 1-31. All proceeds will go to the Breast Cancer Research Fund. There will also be a $1-off coupon for the purchase of two bottles. Look for mass pink displays in your local stateside commissary.
  • Halloween treats. There is still a lot of Halloween candy to be purchased before All Hallow’s Eve. Look for the “frightening” displays at your local commissary.
  • Oktoberfest! Through mid-October, commissary customers can find in-store displays and coupons for imported items from Germany and other European countries. A full line of German products are available, including chocolates, cookies, sauerkraut, mustard, red cabbage, pickles, noodles, coffee and more. Guten Appetit!
  • Kraft Foods Group Tailgate Savings. Kraft is offering “Hot Deals” on key tailgating products from Oct. 19 to Nov. 1 worldwide. They will be providing a “Buy 6, save $5” tear pad on all tailgating essentials (100,000 in circulation). In addition, Kraft is providing over 100,000 coupons and recipe offers, $25 Commissary Gift Cards and over 800,000 high-value coupons.
  • “Italian & American Festival of Savings” Oct. 7-21 worldwide. There will be in-store coupon flyers and mass displays on Unilever brands such as Hellmann’s/Best Foods, Lipton, Knorr and Breyers as well as personal care brands including Dove, St. Ives, Vaseline, Q-Tips and Tresemme.
  • “We Honor and Thank You for All That You Do.” Oct. 7-21, General Mills will provide in-store, special-themed mass displays offering shoppers high-value in-store coupons in addition to online Commissary Rewards Card coupons.
  • “Believe in Heroes.” Beginning Oct. 22, this cause promotion will be supported by 300,000 high-value coupon flyers distributed worldwide. During the event, participating brands will provide a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project. “Believe in Heroes” was created in 2010 to help support a new generation of injured service members. Look for “Believe in Heroes” mass displays in commissaries worldwide.
  • Thanksgiving holiday meal. Start asking for the free Turkey Coupon Booklet around the last week of October. Commissary customers worldwide will be able to use high-value coupons in order to receive a free Thanksgiving turkey. The booklet will also include preparation tips and holiday recipes. Supplies of these booklets worldwide will be limited. Check out their customized turkey website at www.mymilitarysavings.com.

“The fall season is a busy time for the commissaries,” Russ said. “We’re offering daily specials throughout the stores and seasonal club packs at great savings for the upcoming holidays. And, if you don’t have your Commissary Rewards Card yet, get one now from your local commissary. You could be missing out on some really great deals and giveaways.”

Note: For photos related to this news release, please visit our Flickr page. To see a video, visit our DVIDS orYouTube page.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil

DeCA’s director of sales Tracie Russ: The 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina underscores the importance of being prepared for any crisis

FORT LEE, Va., 2015-8-27— /EPR Retail News/ — Ten years ago on Aug. 25, Hurricane Katrina began its historic path of destruction through the Gulf Coast, making landfall near Miami. When its rampage through southeast Louisiana, coastal Mississippi, Florida, Alabama and Georgia was done, Katrina would become one of the five deadliest hurricanes and the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, causing nearly 2,000 deaths, displacing a million people and wreaking $108 billion in damages.

National Preparedness Month in September is reinforcing one of the most significant lessons learned from Katrina: Make an emergency plan for any crisis – natural or manmade.

As bad weather tends to be the source of the most recurrent and probable emergencies, the Defense Commissary Agency is keen on informing its patrons to prepare their survival kits by taking advantage of their benefit.

“The 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina underscores the importance of being prepared for any crisis, especially the sudden disruption of electric power and water or the possibility of an evacuation,” said Tracie Russ, DeCA’s director of sales. “An emergency can happen anytime, anywhere, and together with our industry partners, we are offering savings on many of the items our patrons need to be prepared.”

Since April 1, DeCA’s severe weather preparedness promotional package is offering various items at reduced prices until Oct. 31. This package includes the following items: beef jerky and other assorted meat snacks, soup and chili mixes, canned goods, powdered milk, cereals, batteries, airtight bags, weather-ready flashlights, tape (all-weather, heavy-duty shipping and duct), first-aid kits, lighters, matches, lanterns, candles, hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes. Specific promotional items may vary from store to store.

This preparedness emphasis parallels the peak activity for hurricanes in the United States. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, covering the North Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

Emergency preparedness officials suggest having a disaster supply kit that includes the following items:

  • Water – at least one gallon daily, per person (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home)
  • Nonperishable foods – canned meats, fruits, vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, raisins, cereal, crackers, cookies, energy bars, granola, peanut butter, and foods for infants and the elderly (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home)
  • Paper goods – writing paper, paper plates, paper towels and toilet paper
  • Cooking items – pots, pans, baking sheets, cooking utensils, charcoal, a grill and a manual can opener
  • First-aid kit – including bandages, medicines and prescription medications
  • Cleaning materials – bleach, sanitizing spray, and hand and laundry soap
  • Specialty foods – diet and low-calorie foods and drinks
  • Toiletries – personal hygiene items and moisture wipes
  • Pet care items – food, water, muzzle, leash, carrier, medications, medical records, and identification and immunization tags
  • Lighting accessories – flashlight, batteries, candles and matches
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Duct tape, scissors
  • Multipurpose tool
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates and insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Maps of the area
  • Blankets or sleeping bags

For more information about National Preparedness Month, go to http://www.ready.gov/September and http://www.ready.gov/considerations/military-family-preparedness.

For more information on preparing for emergencies, go to the following websites: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Centers for Disease Control, the Red Cross, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Note: For a graphic related to this news release, please visit our Flickr page.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil

Hector Granado named new DeCA East Area director effective May 31

FORT LEE, Va., 2015-5-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Hector Granado is the new DeCA East Area director, taking the reins of DeCA’s top area in terms of sales effective May 31.

“With his wealth of experience and personal accomplishments both in the field and at headquarters, Hector brings a level of expertise and leadership qualities that will ensure the continued success of the East Area,” said Keith Hagenbuch, executive director of DeCA’s Store Operations Group.

Granado fills the vacancy created when Herb Winchester took over as DeCA’s Zone 1 manager earlier this month. As East Area director, Granado has oversight of 49 commissaries divided into six zones in 14 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The area’s annual sales exceed $1.4 billion.

Granado recently returned to DeCA Headquarters to be a category manager in the Sales and Policy Group’s sales division. He had spent two and a half years as DeCA’s Zone 6 manager, overseeing the operations and business processes of 10 commissaries in central Texas with combined annual sales exceeding $215 million.

Previous headquarters assignments include chief of DeCA store operations, chief of management and administration for DeCA store operations and chief of standardization and chief of workforce of the future. His career is highlighted by more than 18 years of store director experience at commissaries at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida; Vogelweh, Germany, and Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.

An Air Force veteran, Granado had held assignments in the Air Force Commissary Service during his military service, and began his civilian career in 1987 as a management intern with the AFCOMS.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil

DeCA’s vendors, suppliers and brokers collaborate with commissaries in May to offer discounts beyond everyday savings

FORT LEE, Va., 2015-4-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — There’s no shortage of savings or “M’s” for commissary promotions in May featuring a lineup of themes such as Military Appreciation Month, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day.

The majority of stateside commissaries hold their popular Commissary Appreciation Month Case Lot Sale sometime in May, but some will be held in June, so now’s a good time to check the list of sale dates at www.commissaries.com.

DeCA’s industry partners – vendors, suppliers and brokers – are collaborating with commissaries in May to offer discounts beyond everyday savings. Look for mass displays and “end of the aisle” promotions in stores celebrating Cinco de Mayo, Mothers’ Day, Military Appreciation Month and Memorial Day. Overseas stores may have substitute events for certain promotional programs. Customers are asked to check their local commissary for details on dates and times for the following promotions:

  • Cinco de Mayo with Old El Paso offers savings worldwide from April 23 to May 6.
  • Taco Time for José Olé. This stateside promotion from April 23 to May 6 also offers savings on products for your Cinco de Mayo party. José Olé features frozen Mexican foods such as burritos, taquitos, nacho bites and mini tacos.
  • Kellogg’s is uniting with Marvel’s Avengers Age of Ultron from April 23 to May 6 to pass along savings to commissary customers. The Age of Ultron movie premieres stateside May 1, and Kellogg’s is featuring a collectible toy series. Look for collectible packaging inserts and movie ticket offers on select Kellogg’s/Keebler ready-to-eat cereal, toaster pastry, cookies, crackers, wholesome snacks and frozen breakfast products.
  • The Dr Pepper/Snapple Group is also offering Marvel’s Avengers Age of Ultron movie franchise collectibles worldwide from May 7 to 20 featuring collectible-character beverage cans and social media content. Giveaways worldwide include big-screen TVs and audio pro headphones. Look for in-store displays.
  • From May 1 to June 12, Smithfield, Gwaltney Race with Royalty Sweepstakes is offering one grand prize winner a three-day/two-night trip to Richmond, Virginia, for two, occurring Sept. 11-13 complete with a $1,200 gift card for travel, accommodations, and expenses; passes for two to the Richard Petty Driving Experience “Ride-Alongs”; a $200 gift card, which may be used for purchase of race tickets; a pair of pre-race pit and garage passes; and a meal with members of the Richard Petty Motorsports race team. Sixteen first-prize winners will each receive one $50 Commissary Gift Card. Commissary customers who purchase three or more Smithfield/Gwaltney products per shopping trip will be automatically entered in the sweepstakes by using their Commissary Rewards Card. This contest is only available for participating stateside stores in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and South. Visit your local commissary for details.
  • The ConAgra Foods “Celebrate Summer with Family, Friends & Food,” runs May 7-June 3. In-store displays give instructions on how a customer receipt can be used to get a $5 coupon simply by purchasing $15 in participating products. The www.conagracommissarydeals.com site also provides details. Customers at participating stores may also enter to win a variety of prizes such as mountain bikes, Xbox game systems, PlayStation game systems or 40″ television sets.
  • Acosta Military supports the Fisher House Foundation with the Celebrating Our Heroes sale. A Fisher House is a home away from home for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. The Fisher House program serves more than 22,000 families annually. Commissary patrons will save big on numerous products through this promotion, while participating brands will make donations for every item sold from May 7 to June 3. Look for flyers in commissaries worldwide for details and coupons.
  • Outnumber Hunger is a partnership event between Feeding America®, Big Machine Label Group and General Mills dedicated to fighting against hunger. Some 13 million Americans struggle with hunger issues, according to cause organizers, who seek to raise awareness and help Feeding America’s nationwide network of food banks. From May 7-May 20, patrons can go online to enter codes listed on specially marked packages of General Mills items. For each code entered General Mills will direct five meals to a food bank. Look for General Mills displays in your local commissary.
  • Gatorade and Naked Juice sponsor the fifth annual Honoring Our Heroes promotional event from May 21 to June 3. Patrons worldwide can nominate their military heroes in 200 words or less at www.gatorademilitary.com to win cash and free groceries for their heroes. Those honored can include active and veteran military patrons, spouses, their families, friends, neighbors or organizations that benefit the military community. Essay entrants will get a Gatorade product commissary coupon as a special thank you. The first 25 essay entrants will also get a unique Gatorade and Naked Juice prize. In addition, all winners will be recognized at their commissary and on www.gatorademilitary.com. Check your local commissary for details on this event.
  • Memorial Day Celebration. Kraft Foods Group is offering the following savings promotions:
    • From May 7 to May 17, commissary patrons have the opportunity to win two grand prizes chosen from participating stores in the continental United States: 1) a Back Yard Kit with 70-quart Coleman Cooler ($100 value) includes Slip ‘N Slide, Super Soakers, Horse Shoe, Wham Golf Game and more; and 2) two $50 Commissary Gift Cards. Check your local commissary for details on this contest.
      The drawing for these giveaways will be the week of May 18 at each participating commissary. Check your local commissary for details on this event.
    • May 21-June 3, there will be a Commissary Rewards Card offer to save $1 off meat or produce with the purchase of three participating Kraft products. There will also be an in-store, return-trip coupon with the purchase of five participating Kraft products, redeemable for $5 off your next commissary visit in June.
  • Kellogg’s presents the Special K Spring event to inspire new approaches to weight management and personal wellness. Special K will feature new food products worldwide and a chance to win free athletic gear – a $100 value. Special K will also offer from May 21 to June 3 a bundling coupon – purchase three participating Special K products and receive a $3-off produce coupon.

“We can’t thank our service members enough for all they do to preserve our freedom and maintain the security of our nation,” said Tracie Russ, DeCA’s director of sales. “To them and their family members, we endeavor to deliver the best commissary benefit possible.”

Note: For photos related to this news release, please visit our Flickr page. For a motion graphic, please go toYouTube.

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil

Frozen food month during March at DeCA

FORT LEE, Va., 2015-2-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — Great savings on frozen food items highlighted by specially decorated frozen food departments can mean only one thing for commissary shoppers. It’s March – frozen food month!

“Our customers love Frozen Food Month,” said Tracie Russ, DeCA’s sales director. “They have good reasons to stock up on frozen foods and other items because of the great prices and exciting promotions going on throughout their commissary.”

The annual NCAA basketball tournament is also bouncing around commissaries during March in the form of super savings and giveaways. It’s all made possible by DeCA’s industry partners – vendors, suppliers and brokers – offering discounts beyond everyday savings.

Overseas stores may have substitute events for certain promotional programs. Customers are asked to check their local commissary for details on dates and times for the following promotions:

  • Unilever presents Road to the Final Four specials March 19-April 8. Check out the International Section for exceptional discounts on Jose Ole, Tai Pei and Ling Ling entrees and appetizers. The entire line of VIP frozen fruit and vegetable items will be designated Commissary Value Brands.
  • ConAgra Foods presents “Real Food – Real Frozen Rewards!” From March 5 to April 8, a $5 coupon will be offered by purchasing $15 in frozen products from ConAgra Foods’ participating brands simply by scanning a copy of your receipt. For more information about this event, go to ConAgra Commissary Deals.
  • Sunkist soda and Mott’s participating brands are sponsoring the “March Madness Giveaway” from March 19 to April 8. Shoppers can enter to win a Sunkist basketball backboard valued at $200.
  • Kraft Foods Group is offering “Slam Dunk Savings” from March 5 to April 8. At stateside commissaries, Kraft will give away a full size basketball hoop and gift baskets full of Kraft products and coupons. There will also be a single service member contest where a PlayStation®4 will be given away. Overseas stores will have similar giveaways and coupons. Look for “Hoops n’ Hops” displays in your commissary.
  • General Mills “Salute to Savings” runs March 5-April 8 featuring in-store coupons in addition to online Commissary Rewards Card coupons and premium giveaways. Look for the red, white and blue General Mills displays in your local commissary.
  • “Breakfast. It’s Good for You” with Quaker & Tropicana. In support of National Nutrition Month, Quaker and Tropicana are offering in store coupons, nutritional recipes, and more specials online at www.quakermilitary.com. This event is worldwide from March 5 to April 8.
  • Procter & Gamble presents its annual NFL ProCamps. From March 19 through April 8, commissaries stateside will compete for a 2-day football camp that provides instruction, games and challenges along with motivational talks from NFL players. These camps are geared for grades kindergarten through 8th grade. Stop by your commissary beginning March 19 and look for displays promoting this contest. The more participating P&G products purchased, the better the odds of your military community winning a ProCamp this summer. For more information, go to Exclusive Savings page and click on the Family Unit link after March 19.
  • Operation Inspiration. The Eckrich Mobile Sampling Tour features afternoon events (noon to 4 p.m.) providing high value coupons, samples of Eckrich Smoked Sausage and Nathan’s Hot Dogs, giveaways, and a gift-for-purchase offer. The following stores are included in the first part of this year-long program: MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. – March 1; Randolph Air Force Base, Texas – March 4; Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. – March 4; Fort Sam Houston, Texas – March 5; Lackland Air Force Base, Texas – March 6; Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. – March 6. Check with your local commissary for more event dates in March.

“There’s a lot going on at your commissary between Frozen Food Month and the NCAA basketball tournament,” Russ said. “Don’t miss these savings in March … It’s definitely worth the trip!”

About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.

Media Contact:
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773
kevin.robinson@deca.mil