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LiDestri creates strategic partnerships and leads the industry with innovations in products, processing and packaging.

By Stephanie Crets

For more than 40 years, LiDestri has combined innovation and collaboration to become the premier private-label and contract manufacturer of food, beverages and spirits. From pasta sauce and salsa to packing and processing innovations, LiDestri has been and continues to be a pioneer in the industry. And with the recent transition of presidency from Giovanni LiDestri to his children, co-presidents Stefani LiDestri and John LiDestri, the company is poised to break more ground in food and beverage processing and packaging.

In just the past eight months, the company launched a High-Pressure Processing (HPP) tolling station and increased its capacity to process cold fill aseptic beverages; both in response to ever-growing demand from a more health-conscious consumer base. LiDestri also brought to market ‘Living Jar,’ a more sustainable and shatterproof sauce package that instantly began winning prestigious awards. And new products are rolling out of its Innovation Center like clockwork.

“Creating a shift as we have in the last six years has been a lot for the organization to digest, and it’s pivoting mostly due to our diversification efforts,” Stefani LiDestri says. “My father really started to recognize the commoditization of the sauce market meant we would have to get outside of our comfort zone and tap into other products, processing and packaging. It’s really about our strategic initiatives of diversification to remain relevant and to become true innovators.”

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MEGA Group USA helps retailers buy better, increase traffic and strengthen profits through its membership services.

By Stephanie Crets

Sometimes retailers need an extra bit of help to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace. That’s where MEGA Group USA comes in, helping retailers buy better, increase traffic and strengthen their profitability through services like merchandising, advertising, retail financing, training and product protection. The group has 1,800 members with more than 3,000 storefronts and about 250 vendors among which its members can purchase. It serves the appliance, electronics, furniture, mattress and outdoor product industries.

Most of its members are mom-and-pop stores in secondary and tertiary markets, operating in smaller towns. “Our members need to be able to buy, advertise and look just like a big-box retailer without having the footprint of a big-box store,” says Missy Hodges, vice president of appliances at MEGA Group. “We’re making sure that members are taking advantage of everything out there as the competition continues to grow. Most of our storeowners have been in the business for many years, starting at the bottom and working their way up. We encourage our dealers to continue to educate themselves and stay savvy in their business.”

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Seeing Beyond the Click

By Chris Petersen

In the digital world of ecommerce, it can be easy for retailers and manufacturers to simply see their online marketing efforts as click drivers. Generally, the more clicks a website receives, the more likely their business will succeed. Just because these transactions take place in the digital realm, it doesn’t mean there aren’t people behind those clicks. That’s the philosophy that’s helped NetElixir, a leading provider of digital marketing, provide solutions for clients worldwide.

As Udayan Bose, CEO of NetElixir explains, NetElixir helps its clients succeed in their online marketing efforts by humanizing every click and providing them with a more complete picture of their customers than a purely numbers-driven approach.

With three offices serving customers worldwide, NetElixir provides a complete suite of digital marketing services that help companies reach consumers. Among these services are paid search advertising, website analytics, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media marketing. Across all of these services, Bose says, NetElixir’s international team of highly motivated and enthusiastic technology experts help clients grow their opportunities through their global perspective and technology savvy.

Advance Packaging

Advance Packaging's Build A Bag™ Program gives formalwear boutiques and national retailers

the opportunity to make their garment bags truly stand out.

By Jim Harris

The garment bag is the unsung hero of the formalwear world; simple in concept, yet brilliant in performance. Without it, dresses, suits and tuxedoes would be more difficult to organize, transport and keep wrinkle free and undamaged. 

While many mistakenly attribute the sole purpose of a garment bag to its functionality, for Advance Packaging’s many customers, garment bags are an exciting, creative and vital part of a much broader merchandising and marketing strategy.



HARIBO of America is continuing to raise consumer awareness of its brand through high-quality products and numerous strategic initiatives.

By Eric Slack

Remember to give thanks to HARIBO the next time you enjoy a gummi candy. The German-based company was founded in 1920 and made the first gummi candy in 1922. Having expanded from its German roots, HARIBO now has a presence in many countries around the world and is among the biggest fruit gum and licorice sweet manufacturers on Earth.

“The company has a long history, and there have been almost 100 years of HARIBO Gold-Bears,” says Rick LaBerge, who has been COO of HARIBO of America since May 2015. “The company strives for quality above all else, providing quality products at reasonable prices to consumers.”


Allegiance Retail Services provides family owned supermarkets with what they need to remain competitive and successful.

By Chris Petersen

For more than 50 years, family owned supermarkets throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have counted on the support of the Foodtown Co-Op, and the more recently (2012) formed Allegiance Retail Services. One of the largest retailer-owned co-ops in the region, Allegiance serves 24 members with nearly 100 locations combined. President and COO John Derderian says the co-op has been a stalwart supporter of independent supermarkets throughout its history, and it continues to find new ways to help its members compete in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

With pressures coming from big-box department stores, online retailers and specialty grocers in addition to the traditional chain supermarkets, family owned supermarkets need a support system now more than ever. Allegiance aims to continue being that support system for its current members and new members for a long time to come.

Headquartered in Iselin, N.J., Allegiance offers its members all of the benefits that come with co-op membership, such as increased buying power, marketing resources and technological support. The co-op works with some of the leading suppliers in the area to provide members with access to a wide variety of products at competitive pricing. Allegiance also offers its members more than 1,000 unique SKUs under the respected Foodtown brand.

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