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    ACNielsen, Perishables Group Align for Fresh Category Management Partner Program

    SCHAUMBURG, Ill. - The Perishables Group and ACNielsen U.S., an operating unit of ACNielsen, a VNU business, announced a first of its kind partnership to provide perishables retailers and suppliers with unprecedented category management information for the all-important supermarket fresh foods categories.

    SCHAUMBURG, Ill. - The Perishables Group and ACNielsen U.S., an operating unit of ACNielsen, a VNU business, announced a first of its kind partnership to provide perishables retailers and suppliers with unprecedented category management information for the all-important supermarket fresh foods categories.

    Powered by ACNielsen point-of-sale scanner data, the information will provide perishable suppliers and retailers with comprehensive reports on the fresh categories from 30,000 census stores from all major market retailers. Previously, information was available from no more than 3,000 stores and covered only specific geographic regions.

    The only exception is Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which does not divulge its sales to any scanning services.

    The alliance will focus first on the produce department, and then roll out to all perishables departments including dairy, deli, bakery and meat by 2005.

    "The Perishables Group's applications and expertise, fueled by our comprehensive coverage of the retail environment, will enable clients to take the sophisticated category management processes used in center store categories and apply them to the perishables departments," said Tim Callahan, president, ACNielsen North America.

    For example, the Perishables Group will use its proprietary FreshFacts software to standardize ACNielsen's POS data for standard UPC and random weight products by retail account, enabling clients to analyze product distribution, movement, market share, price, promotion effectiveness, and other market-sensitive information about fresh product sales.

    "This alliance provides a quantum leap in capabilities for perishable department suppliers and their retailer partners," said Bruce Axtman, president and c.e.o. of the Perishables Group. "We will be able to provide the sales information, such as census-level chain data and rest-of-market comparisons, that are the standard in grocery but have had limited availability for perishable categories."

    The alliance between ACNielsen and the Perishables Group will eventually provide the first-ever total store performance measurements for clients, Callahan said.

    The Perishables Group and ACNielsen Canada launched a similar service in 2002 to analyze fresh produce sales in Canada.

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