“Domino’s Pizza’s domestic sales were falling last year. Then an organization called Dairy Management offered to help. They developed pizzas for Domino’s that contained 40 percent more cheese, and then devised and paid for a $12-million marketing campaign.
But Dairy Management is not a private business — it is a creation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA helps helm a government anti-obesity program that discourages some of the very foods that Dairy Management is vigorously promoting.
The New York Times reports:
“… [I]n a series of confidential agreements approved by agriculture secretaries in both the Bush and Obama administrations, Dairy Management has worked with restaurants to expand their menus with cheese-laden products.”
And on a more hopeful note, here’s a story from Reuters about a drug store chain, Walgreens, bringing fresh produce to areas that were previously food deserts in Chicago:
Walgreen to bring fresh food to “food deserts”
“(Reuters) – Walgreen Co plans to add more fresh food to about 400 stores in areas where access to produce and other goods is scarce, as it tries to position itself as a one-stop shop for health and daily needs.
The drugstore chain has already added fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and a variety of other fare to 10 stores in parts of Chicago where grocery stores are hard to find.
Executives at the company’s annual meeting on Wednesday said they see a greater opportunity to expand those types of shops in Chicago and other places across the country over the next several years, aiming for about 300 to 500 of the company’s more than 7,600 stores.
Adding a wider variety of food, beer and wine at the chain in general is also part of the company’s strategy to become a more convenient option for shoppers, who have a variety of stores to choose from.
It has started to sell some of Duane Reade’s “delish” line of foods at Walgreen locations, after buying the New York-based chain last year.
Walgreen, which has sold some food and drinks, such as milk, for years, is learning a lot about selling fresh food from Duane Reade, Chief Executive Greg Wasson said.
Walgreen is not alone in adding food to its stores. Discounter Target Corp, Family Dollar and a variety of other chains have dedicated more space to food in their stores, especially in recent months.
The chains hope that by providing a wider variety of items people will come into their stores more often, and spend more when they visit….”