Gourmet chips are expected to ring in nearly $4 million in sales in 2007 for PotatoFinger Snack Foods, a Georgia company that focuses on upscale chips. The snacks are sold in select Brookshire Grocery Co. stores, Dierbergs, Spartan stores, D&W Fresh Market, Whole Foods Market and Kroger.
Kroger, Publix, Whole Foods Market, Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores are all ramping up their private-label brands, focusing on more upscale, gourmet packaged foods than the traditional commodity generics.
Health officials have traced the recent salmonella outbreak to tomatoes served in restaurants, but have not yet found a source of the contamination, which sickened 183 people in the U.S. and two in Canada.
Iams Co., a division of Procter & Gamble, will relaunch its Eukanuba premium dog food brand with two new products, Eukanuba Breed Specific and Custom Care formulas. The brand will be sold in pet specialty stores.
The consumer trend of "trading up" for high-end items is waning in the face of high gas prices and a slowdown in the housing market. Retailers including Williams-Sonoma, Starbucks Corp. and Whole Foods Market, as well as restaurants catering to middle-income consumers, are seeing sales slumps as consumers curb their upscale buying.