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MILWAUKEE -- Roundy's Supermarkets here and specialty produce pioneer Frieda's, Inc. completed a successful in-store educational partner event over the weekend throughout Pick 'n Save, Copps, and Rainbow grocery stores to elevate consumer knowledge of nontraditional fresh produce.
Part of Frieda's long-running "Produce University" initiative, the in-store educational event offered shoppers descriptions, usage suggestions, and samples of some of the new and unique specialty fruits and vegetables within the produce department, including Kiwanos, Feijoas, Tamarillos, and Passion Fruit.
"These events are a fantastic way for us to really interact with our customers," said Vivian King, Roundy's director of public affairs. "We are glad to be able to partner with Frieda's once again in educating customers and welcoming them into the world of specialty produce." The event provided a great opportunity for consumers to sample specialty produce items and take home recipes and ideas, said King, adding that it also provided customers a chance to get to know members of the produce department that are less familiar than traditional fresh fruits and vegetables.
"For more than 17 years, Produce University has contributed to our customers' success through increased in-store traffic and sales while providing a hands-on educational experience" said Karen Caplan, president and c.e.o. of the Los Alamitos, Calif.-based Frieda's. "The value of being able to answer the consumer's questions at the point of purchase is immeasurable."
In other Roundy's news, the company said it will implement a new pricing system to eliminate alleged weights and measures violations following a $9,960 civil penalty imposed on it after state officials found that three Wisconsin Pick 'n Save stores overcharged customers for dungeness crab, the state department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection reported.
Inspectors found 20 packages of the Pick 'n Save brand crab priced at an amount that included the weight of ice glazing, while Wisconsin law dictates that only the weight of the food can be charged. The largest error resulted in a $1.73 overcharge.
Shelly Miller, weights and measures field supervisor, said the overcharges were discovered and Roundy's was warned to correct the problem, but follow-up inspections discovered that the overcharges had not been corrected.
Roundy's issued a statement that said overcharging customers in any way is "unacceptable."
"In January, when we first learned of the Consumer Protection Division's findings regarding frozen Dungeness and king crab sold in three stores, we immediately looked into the situation and found that human error was to blame," the statement said. "Ice glazing was not being properly removed from crab available in our full-service counters. Additionally, the codes being punched in for our prepackaged crab were incorrect in that they denoted crab that was unglazed or without ice, when in fact it was glazed. Thus, the label price included the weight of ice in addition to the crab. To eliminate this problem in our stores, we have since retrained our staff regarding proper deglazing and contracted with a seafood packaging company with extensive experience in weights and measures to supply our prepackaged crab."
Earlier this year Roundy's paid $44,576 to settle charges of checkout scanner overcharges at a dozen of its stores in the state. In addition to overcharges, some stores hadn't conspicuously posted required signs explaining that consumers are entitled to refunds if overcharged.
With nearly $4 billion in sales and 21,000 employees, Roundy's operates 145 retail grocery stores under the Pick 'n Save, Copps, and Rainbow Foods banners in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois.