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Ferrero Breaks Ground on New Bloomington, IL Facility

Ferrero North America has broken ground on a new chocolate processing facility in Bloomington, IL. It will be the Ferrero Group's third facility that processes chocolate, and its first outside of Europe. The new facility is an expansion of the company's existing Bloomington manufacturing center and will produce chocolate for Crunch, 100Grand, Raisinets and other Ferrero products for the North American market. The $75M project will add as many as 50 new jobs. For more details, read the official release.


Conagra Brands Recognized by The FAIRR Initiative

Conagra Brands announced that it has been named a "pioneer" and the top-ranked U.S. company on sustainable protein research and innovation by The FAIRR Initiative, an investor network that defines material ESG issues in the animal agriculture sector to help inform investment decisions. For more details, read the official release.


Contact Your Elected Officials to Oppose FET Increases

As high-level negotiations on the overall cost and scope of the “Build Back Better Act” continue, CDA understands that part of that negotiation is over whether an increase in the federal excise tax (FET) on tobacco/cigarettes and vapor products will be included.

Now is the time to weigh in with your federal elected officials, both House and Senate, to share what the impact of these egregious tax increases would be. For more information and for directions on how to send a letter opposing an FET increase to your legislators, click here.


$1.75T - $1.9T New Target for Economic Package

Congressional Democrats made significant headway in breaking their intra-party stalemate on President Biden’s economic agenda this week. Among the expected targets for cuts is a program that would provide two years of tuition-free community college. President Biden and Congressional Democrats have two weeks before their next self-imposed deadline to reach an agreement on the Build Back Better plan. Democratic leaders continue to press for a deal by the end of the month, and although there is no agreement as of this writing, the number appears to be in the range of $1.75T, down from the initial $3T. https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/10/20/biden-democrats-economic-agenda/

A “revenue raiser” to require banks to report transactions of a certain size is still under discussion. CDA joined with 100 other trade associations to communicate our position to Congressional leadership in opposition to this new requirement. There are plenty of reasons to be opposed, chief among them personal privacy concerns and the onerous new reporting burden on banks.

The FET increase is also currently included as a revenue raiser in the bill. We will keep you apprised as discussions on the scope and provisions in the Build Back Better plan continue.


FDA Issues Marketing Orders for Four Oral Tobacco Products

On Oct. 19, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued marketing granted orders to U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company LLC (USSTC) for four oral tobacco products under the brand name of VERVE. The four products are: Verve Discs Blue Mint, Verve Discs Green Mint, Verve Chews Blue Mint and Verve Chews Green Mint. After the FDA’s comprehensive review of scientific evidence relevant to the premarket tobacco products applications (PMTAs) submitted by the company, the agency determined marketing these products is appropriate for the protection of the public health. For more details, read the FDA press release.


Opinion: Questions We Hope OSHA Will Answer in Its Vaccine Mandate Rule

A partner at the law firm Alston & Bird, Charlie Morgan, looks at questions that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is likely grappling with as it finalizes its Covid-19 vaccine emergency temporary standard. One big question, he says, is how the agency will show the proposed “test-out” option for unvaccinated workers would reduce risk to other workers from a grave danger. Before OSHA can issue the planned emergency temporary standard (ETS) mandating vaccinations for all workers at employers with 100 or more employees, it must first navigate through numerous requirements under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Read more here.


Upcoming CDA Webinar: "You Can Always Sell More! Increasing Sales in Today's World"

Presenter: Jim Pancero
Wednesday, October 27 | 1:00 PM ET
Save Your Spot

Join Jim Pancero in his third and final webinar as he explores how to avoid today’s selling traps that most sales pros are experiencing in this down market, communicate more value to increase your competitive advantage and shift to a more predictive/proactive service philosophy. In addition, he will help you strengthen your answers to a buyer asking, “Why buy from you?”. A detailed program workbook for this webinar will be provided.

Click here for a quick video from Jim to learn about the webinars he planned just for CDA.

An attendee of Jim's webinar, Leading Your Team's Selling Processes, said that he "gave a well prepared and informative presentation across 3 mediums. His fluid delivery combined with the slides and workbook made it easy to follow and take a quick look back at an item."

Register Now!


Don't Miss Marketplace 2022 Registration

Register now for the 2022 Convenience Distribution Marketplace, which will be held at the brand new JW Marriott Tampa Water Street in Tampa, FL, Feb. 7-9, 2022. Marketplace features both the Gasparilla Fest: A Tampa Tradition and the CDA Awards Reception, Dinner & Afterglow, where CDA’s latest Hall of Fame and Dean of the Industry honorees will be inducted. In addition to Marketplace’s one-day trade show featuring distributors’ most important trading partners, attendees will enjoy three fantastic keynotes and a full line-up of education sessions and speakers that appeal to all segments of the channel, including diversity, equity and inclusion, sales, tobacco, foodservice, the state of the industry and more.

For more information and to register, visit www.cdamarketplace.net, or click here for Distributor Registration or here for Exhibitor Registration.


Upcoming CDA Webinar: "You Can Always Sell More! Increasing Sales in Today's World"

Presenter: Jim Pancero
Wednesday, October 27 | 1:00 PM ET
Save Your Spot

Join Jim Pancero in his third and final webinar as he explores how to avoid today’s selling traps that most sales pros are experiencing in this down market, communicate more value to increase your competitive advantage and shift to a more predictive/proactive service philosophy. In addition, he will help you strengthen your answers to a buyer asking, “Why buy from you?”. A detailed program workbook for this webinar will be provided.

Click here for a quick video from Jim to learn about the webinars he planned just for CDA.

An attendee of Jim's webinar, Leading Your Team's Selling Processes, said that he "gave a well prepared and informative presentation across 3 mediums. His fluid delivery combined with the slides and workbook made it easy to follow and take a quick look back at an item."

Register Now!


Speaker Pelosi Prepares Democrats for Cuts to Build Back Better Act

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) began preparing Members for cuts to the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act, also known as the budget reconciliation bill. “I’m very disappointed we’re not going with the original $3.5 trillion,” Pelosi told reporters, “but whatever we do we will make decisions that will continue to be transformative.” Pelosi did not discuss details of the cuts. At present, the bill contains $66 billion in funding for agricultural research, rural development, biofuels and forestry management programs, and $28 billion for conservation. It also includes a $35 billion increase in child nutrition programs, primarily to ease access to school meals. Read more here.


House Budget Chairman Announces Retirement

House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-KY), who is at the center of efforts to finish the Build Back Better Act, has announced he will retire at the end of the current Congress. Yarmuth, 73, represents Louisville and has served in Congress since first being elected in 2006. More on Congressional retirements can be found here.


Don't Miss Marketplace 2022 Registration

Register now for the 2022 Convenience Distribution Marketplace, which will be held at the brand new JW Marriott Tampa Water Street in Tampa, FL, Feb. 7-9, 2022. Marketplace features both the Gasparilla Fest: A Tampa Tradition and the CDA Awards Reception, Dinner & Afterglow, where CDA’s latest Hall of Fame and Dean of the Industry honorees will be inducted. In addition to Marketplace’s one-day trade show featuring distributors’ most important trading partners, attendees will enjoy three fantastic keynotes and a full line-up of education sessions and speakers that appeal to all segments of the channel, including diversity, equity and inclusion, sales, tobacco, foodservice, the state of the industry and more.

For more information and to register, visit www.cdamarketplace.net, or click here for Distributor Registration or here for Exhibitor Registration.


FDA Permits Marketing of First E-Cigarette Products Through PMTA Pathway

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it has authorized the marketing of three new tobacco products, marking the first set of electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products ever to be authorized by the FDA through the Premarket Tobacco Product Application (PMTA) pathway. The FDA issued marketing granted orders to R.J. Reynolds (RJR) Vapor Company for its Vuse Solo closed ENDS device and accompanying tobacco-flavored e-liquid pods, specifically, Vuse Solo Power Unit, Vuse Replacement Cartridge Original 4.8% G1, and Vuse Replacement Cartridge Original 4.8% G2. As the RJR Vapor Company submitted data to the FDA that demonstrated that marketing of these products is appropriate for the protection of public health, the authorization allows these products to be legally sold in the U.S.

For more information:
BAT News Release
Decision on FDA’s PMTA Review of VUSE SOLO


Harbor Foods Group Names New President of Harbor Foodservice

Harbor Foods Group has named Kevin Pribilsky as president of Harbor Foodservice, effective Jan. 1, 2022. Pribilsky brings nearly 30 years of foodservice distribution experience and most recently served as the President of Performance Foodservice Chicago. Randy Irvine, current president of Harbor Foodservice, will serve as senior vice president of development for the parent company Harbor Foods Group, in a strategic advisory position beginning in January 2022. For more information, read the official release.


CS News Holds Top Women in Convenience Gala

Last week, members of the convenience store industry joined in the celebration of Convenience Store News’ 2021 Top Women in Convenience (TWIC) Awards Gala, which honored 74 of the convenience channel’s top female leaders, mentors and up-and-comers. This year’s eighth-annual TWIC class included a record number of honorees, including five Women of the Year, 31 Senior-Level Leaders, 27 Rising Stars and 12 Mentors. CDA congratulates all the Top Women in Convenience honorees, with special congratulations to our CDA members. For more details and to view photos from the event, visit the Convenience Store News website.


Core-Mark Introduces Dispensed Beverage Program

Core-Mark International has introduced My Daily Crave, a comprehensive in-store beverage program offering dozens of customized, pour-your-own drink options that address consumers' tastes and cravings. The program provides c-store retailers with the ability to activate a branded, one-stop-shop for a wide variety of self-pour beverages, including coffee, cappuccino, cold brew, iced coffee, bean-to-cup, iced teas, lemonade, bubblers, and frozen drinks. For more details, read the Convenience Store News article.


FDA Rescinds Marketing Denial Order Issued to Turning Point Brands on Nicotine Vapor PMTA

It was previously reported that the FDA issued a Marketing Denial Order (MDO) on Sept. 14, 2021, to Turning Point Brands, Inc. denying the company’s pre-market tobacco application for hundreds of flavored nicotine vapor products. Then, on Sept, 23, 2021, Turning Point Brands filed a “Petition for Review” with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit requesting the court to review the MDO issued by the FDA on the “grounds that it is arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, contrary to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act…and otherwise not in accordance with law.”

On Oct. 7, 2021, the FDA issued a letter to Turning Point Brands rescinding the MDO issued on Sept. 14. In the letter, the agency states that, upon further review, Turning Point Brands did include with its pre-market tobacco application randomized trials and surveys evaluating use of the nicotine vapor products. The letter goes onto state that due to this rescission, the Turning Point Brands pre-market tobacco application has been placed back in the agency’s review process. In addition, the FDA states that it “has no intention of initiating an enforcement action against any” of the nicotine vapor products covered by the pre-market tobacco application. This means that those nicotine vapor products which are the subject of the Turning Point Brands pre-market tobacco application can continue to be marketed.


New Tobacco Compliance Webinar from the FDA

The FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products has released a new tobacco compliance webinar, “Tobacco Registration and Product Listing Updates.” This webinar provides a brief overview of section 905 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), which describes the establishment registration and product listing requirements for tobacco product manufacturers. Additionally, the webinar will demonstrate the new Tobacco Registration & Product Listing Module Next Generation (TRLM NG), which manufacturers can use to submit the required information to the FDA.

Visit the FDA website to see more tobacco compliance webinars.


House Passes Debt Limit, Adjourns

On Tuesday night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an increase in the public debt limit through Dec. 3 by a vote of 219 to 206. The House interrupted its two-week period of committee work to go into session to vote on the bill that the Senate had passed last week. President Biden is expected to sign the measure. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had said that the government would run out of money to pay all its obligations on Oct. 18 if the debt limit was not increased. The House went back into recess, and both the House and Senate are out of session for the remainder of this holiday week.


House Judiciary Committee Passes Cannabis Legislation

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee passed the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act (H.R. 3617), a bill that would reverse federal policies criminalizing marijuana. The MORE Act would make three important changes to federal law: remove cannabis from the list of federally controlled substances; authorize resources, funded by a federal tax on marijuana sales, to address impacted communities; and provide for the expungement of Federal marijuana convictions and arrests. Click here for a statement from co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). The Senate is not expected to take up the bill.


Conagra Brands Debuts Snacking Innovations

Conagra Brands, Inc. has debuted an assortment of snacking solutions at the 2021 NACS Show, including innovations to brands such as Slim Jim, BiGS Sunflower Seeds, Andy Capp's and ACT II popcorn. For more details on these new products, read the official release.


Upcoming CDA Webinar: "You Can Always Sell More! Increasing Sales in Today's World"

Presenter: Jim Pancero
Wednesday, October 27 | 1:00 PM ET
Save Your Spot | Hear About Jim's Webinars Planned Just for CDA

Business has been disrupted and buyers are redefining what they want and value from their suppliers. How much are you changing right now? Tougher times require tougher selling skills. Most markets were hyper-competitive before today’s medical crisis even started. Buyers were becoming harder to reach, less loyal and more price sensitive. How are you adjusting your selling efforts to successfully rebuild your customers and our economy? This program has been researched and developed for experienced sales pros to address the unique challenges you are currently facing in today’s new virus-impacted markets.

Jim Pancero, 2021 Marketplace Virtual Presenter, is presenting three webinars this year:
On-Demand | Strengthening Your Coaching and People Skills as a Coach and Leader of Your Sales Team
On-Demand | Leading Your Team’s Selling Processes as a Coach and Leader of Your Sales Team
October 27 | You Can Always Sell More! Increasing Sales in Today’s World


Registration Open for Convenience Distribution Marketplace 2022

Register now for the 2022 Convenience Distribution Marketplace, which will be held at the brand new JW Marriott Tampa Water Street in Tampa, FL, Feb. 7-9, 2022. Marketplace features both the Gasparilla Fest: A Tampa Tradition and the CDA Awards Reception, Dinner & Afterglow, where CDA’s latest Hall of Fame and Dean of the Industry honorees will be inducted. In addition to Marketplace’s one-day trade show featuring distributors’ most important trading partners, attendees will enjoy three fantastic keynotes and a full line-up of education sessions and speakers that appeal to all segments of the channel, including diversity, equity and inclusion, sales, tobacco, foodservice, the state of the industry and more.

For more information and to register, visit www.cdamarketplace.net, or click here for Distributor Registration or here for Exhibitor Registration.


PFSbrands Names Hutchison VP of Business Development

PFSbrands has promoted Mason Hutchison to vice president of business development. Since joining the company in 2019, Hutchison has been instrumental in building relationships with key wholesalers and retailers, driving innovative technology solutions and promoting regional growth through new accounts. In his new role, Hutchison will expand on those successes as he oversees all aspects of business development, including leading a team of twenty-three business developers. For more details, read the official release.


UniPro Foodservice Adds New Member

UniPro Foodservice, Inc., a national foodservice distributor cooperative headquartered in Atlanta, GA, has added a new member to its roster: VLa Sultana Distribution Inc., located in Needville, TX. For more details, read the official release.


Northeast Wholesalers Association Hosts Inaugural Meeting

The Northeast Wholesalers Association (NEWA) held its inaugural meeting last week virtually. Established to represent wholesale distributors in the northeast facing common challenges, the association encompasses Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

“The industry is changing in so many ways,” commented NEWA President and National Convenience Distributors (NCD) CEO Jeff Allen. “It is now more important than ever for all of us to come together in this industry effort and stand united on issues that mutually threaten our industry’s viability, profitability, and health.”

“Congratulations on the establishment of the NEWA," said Kimberly Bolin, CDA president and CEO. "CDA looks forward to working together to protect and promote the interests of our industry along with the strong contingent of very effective state and regional associations.“

For more information, e-mail info@northeastwholesalers.org or read the full release.


Senate Reaches Deal on Debt Ceiling, Path Forward on Budget Reconciliation and Infrastructure Still Unclear

Congress has until Oct. 18 to raise the debt ceiling, according to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. If it is not raised, the U.S. will default on its debt for the first time in the country’s history. Democrats appear poised to accept an offer from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on a measure to increase the debt limit enough to delay the deadline to sometime in December. The deal would put off the potential for debt default until later in the year. After that, Republicans would again insist that Democrats act alone to raise the debt ceiling through the budget reconciliation process—unless they agree to drop their $3.5 trillion social tax and spending bill, in which case the parties could work together, McConnell said.

Meanwhile, the White House is still trying to broker a deal to cut back on President Biden’s ambitious economic agenda, weighing liberal policy priorities against centrist concerns about inflation and tax increases. Biden continues to rally support to enact two packages - a roads-and-bridges focused infrastructure plan and a trimmed-back social-spending bill. He told Congressional Democrats that the $3.5 trillion social spending package will likely need to be trimmed to $2.3 trillion or less, creating division within the Democratic Party. Read more here.


Registration Now Open for Convenience Distribution Marketplace 2022

Register now for the 2022 Convenience Distribution Marketplace, which will be held at the brand new JW Marriott Tampa Water Street in Tampa, FL, Feb. 7-9, 2022. Marketplace features both the Gasparilla Fest: A Tampa Tradition and the CDA Awards Reception, Dinner & Afterglow, where CDA’s latest Hall of Fame and Dean of the Industry honorees will be inducted. In addition to Marketplace’s one-day trade show featuring distributors’ most important trading partners, attendees will enjoy three fantastic keynotes and a full line-up of education sessions and speakers that appeal to all segments of the channel, including diversity, equity and inclusion, sales, tobacco, foodservice, the state of the industry and more.

For more information and to register, visit www.cdamarketplace.net, or click here for Distributor Registration or here for Exhibitor Registration.


Conagra Brands Named Among Top Employers for Latinas

Conagra Brands has been named as one of the 50 Best Companies for Latinas to Work for in the U.S. by LATINA Style Inc., a premier company addressing the needs of Latina professionals and business owners in the U.S. The LATINA Style Top 50 Report benchmark evaluates employment opportunities and policies as they pertain to Latinas, and recognizes companies that continue to find diversity and inclusion essential to their success. Conagra's recognition in the report underscores its commitment to advancing workplace policies impacting underrepresented communities. For more details, read the official release.


September is We Card Awareness Month

September is We Card Awareness Month, and it’s a great time to train or re-train employees and raise awareness of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations and state law compliance.

CDA encourages all retailers to continue in their efforts to successfully identify and prevent age-restricted product sales to minors. We Card resources include:

We Card’s 2021 materials (available to order) at www.wecard.org.
• Award-winning training courses (Employee, Refresher & Manager) with gaming, role-playing and customer-cashier scenarios. FDA content & state law specific.
Download resources for federal 21-year minimum age law for tobacco and vapor products.
e-Cig and Vapor Central: from e-cig oriented signage to unique compliance needs, stay current on requirements of retailers for this growing age-restricted product category.


Thank You for a Successful CDBX!

CDA expresses its thanks to all the distributors, suppliers and brokers that participated in last week's Convenience Distribution Business Exchange (CDBX), held Sept. 20-23 in Chicago, where over 1,300 individual meetings between trading partners took place. Attendees also had the option to attend virtually, which bolstered individual participation by 50%. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Chicago, Sept. 12-15, for CDBX 2022.

Enjoy a short video recap of our time at the event last week. For details on how your company can be a part of CDBX, contact Shane Boyle at shaneb@cdaweb.net or (703) 208-1649.


Congress Likely to Vote Thursday on CR

Congress is moving to clear government funding today (Thursday) in order to avert a shutdown. The Senate was supposed to vote Wednesday, but votes are being pushed another day on a Continuing Resolution (CR) through Dec. 3, 2021. The CR currently does not include a provision to increase the federal debt limit or additional money for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, which were part of an earlier proposal that failed to pass earlier in the week, however that may change. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has stated that Democrats should pass debt relief under reconciliation, something not allowed under the current Budget Resolution. If Senate Republicans continue to block extensions of the current debt limit suspension, Democrats will either need to amend the Budget Resolution and pass debt limit relief under reconciliation or use the nuclear option to pass it with just a simple majority. Passing a debt limit increase under reconciliation would likely require the debt limit to be increased to a new number as compared to a suspension which has been passed several times now. This will likely play out for several more weeks. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says she expects a bipartisan House vote Thursday to extend government funding. Current funding expires on Friday. Read more here.


House to Vote on Infrastructure, Continues Work on Reconciliation Package

This week in the House, there is a scheduled vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill today (Thursday) and potential further House action on the reconciliation bill. House moderates had agreed to this delay, which intends to allow the House more time to prepare the partisan reconciliation bill for a floor vote. However, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Wednesday said the stonewalling by Senate centrists has disrupted the Democrats' timeline for moving President Biden's domestic agenda, leaving open the possibility that the House will punt once again on an infrastructure vote. A question remains as to whether enough progressives will support the package for it to pass even with the delay. It seems unlikely that House Republicans will supply enough votes for it to offset progressive opposition. Read more here.

House Ways and Means Committee staff continue to work on the tax titles to the reconciliation bill that have been reported out of the Committee and are now out of the House Budget Committee. It is likely that some changes, modifications and corrections will be made during the Rules Committee process, but this will be limited by the speed at which the House moves forward with the bill. Staff have indicated that a Committee Report is being prepared and will be released soon.


Turning Point Brands Files Court Petition to Review FDA MDOs

On Sept. 23, 2021, Turning Point Brands, Inc. (TPB) filed a “Petition for Review” with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit requesting the court to review the Marketing Denial Order issued by the FDA for pre-market tobacco applications submitted by TPB for certain electronic nicotine delivery system products. Specifically, TPB has asked the Court of Appeals for this legal review of the Marketing Denial Order on the “grounds that it is arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, contrary to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act…and otherwise not in accordance with law.”

In its court filings, TPB is requesting the Court of Appeals to vacate or modify, in whole or in part, the Marketing Denial Order and for such other relief as necessary to allow TPB to continue to market the electronic nicotine delivery system products.


BIC EZ Reach Camo Series

BIC EZ Reach launched a camouflage design line featuring a mix of both sporty and whimsical designs for the most versatile look in your pocket. Every EZ Reach lighter is 100% safety tested and helps keep fingers away from the flame with a 1.45-inch extended wand. It is perfect for lighting candles, grilling and more. The EZ Reach camo design lighters are sold individually as 1 counts and have an MSRP of $3.49. For more information, visit the BIC website.


New CandyRific Display Panel for Marvel's Avengers Character Fans

CandyRific is introducing a new display panel for retailers for its Marvel’s Avengers character fans. Thor-, Loki- and Black Panther-themed character fans are highlighted in this display panel that stands 41.75” tall, is 14.5” wide and 5.5” deep. The display panel holds up to 24 character fans. Each fan comes with 0.53 ounces of assorted fruit flavored dextrose candies (natural flavors and colors) and provides a burst of fanned air when the button is pushed. The suggested retail price for each character fan is $5.99. For more details, read the fact sheet.