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  • The Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) re-elected three officers and elected three new members to its Board of Directors today during its annual meeting at the GMA Executive Conference at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

    James M. Kilts, Chairman and CEO, The Gillette Company, completed the first year of a two-year term as chairman of the GMA Board.

    The following members of GMA’s Board were named as officers:

    • Joe M. Weller, Chairman and CEO, Nestlé USA, re-elected Vice Chairman
    • Bruce C. Rohde, Chairman and CEO, ConAgra Foods, Inc., re-elected Treasurer
    • Robert J. Lawless, Chairman, President and CEO, McCormick & Co., Inc., elected Secretary

    The Board also welcomed the following new members:

    • E. Neville Isdell, Chairman & CEO, The Coca-Cola Company.
    • John W. Rice, President & CEO, Unilever United States
    • Kurt T. Schmidt, President & CEO, Gerber Products Company

  • The CPG industry’s financial performance in 2003 continued to rebound as median net sales rose nearly two percentage points to 6.5 percent from 4.6 percent in 2002, and returns on sales and assets continued to climb for most companies, according to a study released by Swander Pace & Company, the CPG strategy arm of Kurt Salmon Associates, and the Grocery Manufacturers of America during GMA’s Executive Conference.

    Large companies ($3 billion or more in net sales) led the way, with median returns of 17.9 percent on sales and 15.6 percent on assets. Medium companies (sales of $300 million to $3 billion) saw a drop in median return on sales (11.4 percent in 2003 compared to 13.3 percent in 2002) and an increase in median return on assets (14.1 percent in 2003, up from 13.6 percent in 2002). Small companies (less than $300 million in sales) realized 4.9 percent in median return on sales, an increase compared to 4.5 percent in 2002, while median return on assets dropped from 6.9 percent in 2002 to 5 percent in 2003.

    However, according to a statement released by GMA, “the report concludes the industry must better measure and monitor more than these customary benchmarks if it is to succeed in an increasingly competitive macroeconomic environment. Drawing on a survey of GMA members, report authors point out two-thirds of respondents recognize non-financial metrics, such as brand strength, innovation, and organizational capital, as the primary drivers of companies’ performance.”

  • The GMA Associate Member Council (AMC) presented the first AMC CPG Award, which honors innovation through creativity, product innovation and industry collaboration, to Kraft Foods.

    According to GMA, “Kraft and Safeway formed a cross functional team to improve Safeway’s retail stock position. The project sought to improve the level of collaboration and alignment between Kraft and Safeway to build a more effective and efficient supply chain, drive increased sales and reduce expenses.

    “As a result, Kraft experienced a 162 percent sales increase in one featured category by improving supply chain processes.”

  • Twenty-six companies were approved for GMA membership in the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA). New general members include: ACH Food Companies, Allen Canning Company, Allied Domecq, Brach’s Confections, Fairmont Food Group, Marine Harvest USA, Inc., Pharmavite LLC, Rosina Food Products, Inc., and Specialty Brands.

    In addition, 14 companies joined as associate members. They are: Active International, Deere & Co., Demantra, Inc., DSC Logistics, Graham Packaging Company, Hill Phoenix Inc., Illinois Tool Works, Inc., Lawson Software, MEI, Microsoft Corporation, Prodika, Promo Edge, Strategic Solutions International, Inc. and Tyco Fire & Security.

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