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    7-Eleven To Honor Miller Brewing

    Beer supplier will receive the chain's 2006 Retailer Initiative Award in recognition of its product innovation, expertise, consumer insights and business planning.

    DALLAS -- 7-Eleven Inc. will present Miller Brewing Co. with its 2006 Retailer Initiative Award on Aug. 30 in Dallas. The annual honor recognizes top suppliers/partners that excel at assisting the company in meeting its customers' changing needs through team merchandising, demand-chain solutions, cost of goods and category management, and creativity in advertising and promotional programs.

    According to 7-Eleven, Miller Brewing was chosen for delivering exceptional value and satisfaction for the chain's customers through the creation of First, Best and Only products and promotional offers aligned with the company's business strategy.

    Based in Milwaukee, Miller is the second largest beer brewer in the United States and the No. 2 beer supplier for 7-Eleven. The company's signature beer, Miller Lite, is among the Top 10 selling items at 7-Eleven stores nationwide.

    "Miller Brewing Co., along with their senior leadership team, is a committed strategic partner for 7-Eleven," said the retailer's president and CEO, Joe DePinto. "Miller is bringing renewed energy, enthusiasm and fun to the beer category with its product innovation, expertise, consumer insights and business planning. With their tremendous focus and sales momentum, Miller has really distinguished itself this year and deserves this award."

    Miller has established dedicated account teams with resources to serve the company's division merchandising, marketing, POP and business analysis groups.

    Through team merchandising with 7-Eleven, Miller created a beer chill bag, featuring the Indy Racing League, a sports referee-look bottle and other high-value consumer offers to drive merchandise sales, according to 7-Eleven's announcement.

    Miller Brewing also is working with the company to implement a customer-focused demand chain, supporting the retailer's managed-distribution transformation, and providing information on service levels and delivery performance. In addition, Miller has developed a new-item verification process that identifies distribution gaps, as well as regional product opportunities for 7-Eleven.

    "We are humbled by this recognition from 7-Eleven, a dynamic organization that shares our passion for customer satisfaction," said Tom Long, president and CEO of Miller Brewing Co. "This award is a reflection of the hard work our entire network of wholesalers and employees perform each day to deliver the highest quality beer to our customers. We’re proud to accept the honor on their behalf."

    Companies receiving honorable-mention recognition for their outstanding team-merchandising efforts include: PepsiCo, Kraft Foods Inc. and MasterFoods USA. Candidates were nominated by 7-Eleven's merchandising and operations personnel and judged on business activities in 2006. The award recipients were chosen by the 7-Eleven Awards Committee, comprised of senior executives.

    This is the sixth year that 7-Eleven has presented its Retailer Initiative award. Last year's winners were UST Inc. and BakeFresh. Past winners include Pinnacle Food Products Inc., The Hershey Co., Nestle Waters North America and Anheuser-Busch.

    7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 7,200 7-Eleven stores in North America.

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