IMPORTANT VENDOR NEWS!

Information for WIC-Allowed Grocery Stores & Pharmacies

Updated: March 31, 2014


WIC MATTERS Newsletter for Vendors March 2014 Edition

The March 2014 edition of the WIC Matters Newsletter for Vendors was recently mailed out to every retail food vendor in the State. This edition of the newsletter includes information on a number of topics including:

  • A follow up to the February 26, 2014 letter that we sent to all stores regarding the Similac formula container size and label changes
  • The next Shelf Price Survey is due on April 25, 2014
  • The results of our recent store monitoring and compliance activities
  • Cashier training resources
  • A reminder that 59 ounce refrigerated orange juice and some common peanut butter products are not WIC allowed
  • Information about ordering new shelf labels

The WIC Matters newsletter can be viewed online at:

March 2014 WIC Matters - Newsletter for Vendors - Volume 14, Issue 1 (PDF: 780KB/8 pages)

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Shelf Price Survey

Earlier this month, each retail food store was sent a Shelf Price Survey (either directly or through your store's corporate office) that must be completed and returned to the address listed on the price survey. The deadline for the return of the price survey is April 25, 2014. The WIC Maximum Price List is updated based on the information gathered from these surveys. We expect the results of this latest price survey will be posted here in the "Important Vendor News" section of the web site around the end of May.

The current Maximum Price List can be found on the Requirements and Responsibilities page of our website at:

http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fh/wic/vendor/rqrmnts/newprcng.pdf

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UPC/Product Update posted

An Update to the WIC-Allowed Foods was posted on March 27, 2014. The Update can be accessed on our website at:

http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fh/wic/vendor/fpchng/upc/index.html

Once on this page, click on the following section found near the top of the page:

Update Section for UPC/Product Listing

The most recent Updates are at the top of the list and titled:

UPC Update 03/27/2014 (PDF: 71KB/3 pages)

If you have any questions regarding the WIC-Allowed Foods, please contact Karilyn Schrankler at: karilyn.schrankler@state.mn.us.

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Similac Formula Container Size Changes

Summary of Changes:
The container sizes of three Similac powder infant formulas will soon be changing. Below are the changes and the anticipated dates that they will start to appear in stores:

Formula Current Size New Size Effective Date UPC Code
Similac Sensitive powder 12.6 ounce 12 ounce April 2014 70074-57541
Similac Total Comfort powder 12.6 ounce 12 ounce June 2014 70074-62600
Similac Spit Up powder 12.3 ounce 12 ounce July 2014 70074-50960

Note: The UPC codes for these 3 products will not be changing. And the 12.4 ounce container of Similac Advance powder will not be changing.

Voucher Wording Changes:
To insure a smooth transition as the sizes of these three formulas change, we have revised the wording on the vouchers. Below is a chart of how the vouchers will be worded and a description of what formula WIC customers can purchase with their WIC vouchers:

If voucher lists: The WIC customer can receive:
12.6 OR 12.0 oz powder Similac Sensitive Any combination of 12.6 ounce Similac Sensitive and/or 12 ounce Similac Sensitive powder formula
12.6 OR 12.0 oz powder Similac Total Comfort Any combination of 12.6 ounce Similac Total Comfort and/or 12 ounce Similac Total Comfort powder formula
12.3 OR 12.0 oz powder Similac Spit Up Any combination of 12.3 ounce Similac Spit Up and/or 12 ounce Similac Spit Up powder formula
12.4 oz powder Similac Advance 12.4 ounce Similac Advance powder formula

Important Note:
During the transition to the new sizes of these formulas, it is important that you continue to order and have available a sufficient quantity of each of these formulas to meet the demands of your WIC customers.

Questions:
If you have any questions about these changes or if you experience any difficulties obtaining these products from your supplier, please contact Rick Chiat at (651) 201-4401 or by email at rick.chiat@state.mn.us.

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Updated Special Formula Price List January 2014

The Special Formula Price List has been updated to reflect price changes for Nutricia EO28 Splash, Neocate Infant with DHA/ARA, Neocate Junior and Neocate Junior w/ Prebiotics. This updated list can be found on our website at:

WIC Special Formula Price List (PDF: 270KB/4 pages) - updated January, 2014

If you have questions, please contact Rick Chiat at (651) 201-4401 or by email at: rick.chiat@state.mn.us

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WIC Shopping Guide Updated for 2014

The Minnesota WIC Shopping Guide has been updated for 2014. The 2014 Shopping Guide can be found online at:

http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fh/wic/vendor/fpchng/shopguide.pdf

There are several packaging size and product changes that are reflected in this version of the Shopping Guide. Please see the UPC/Product update posted on 12/18/2013 (see next news item for a link to the new product UPCs)

A summary of the primary changes made to the 2014 WIC Shopping Guide are listed below.

Packaging Size Changes

In accordance with recent guidance from USDA, the allowed packaging sizes have been slightly modified in the following food categories:

  • Allowed canned beans size changed to 15-16 ounce (from 14-16 ounce)
  • Allowed dry beans size changed to 16 ounce (from 14-16 ounce)
  • Allowed peanut butter size changed to 16-18 ounce (from 15-18 ounce)
  • Allowed oatmeal size changed to 16 ounce (from 14-16 ounce)

Product Changes:

  • Tortillas
  • Added Frescado's whole wheat Added Ortega whole wheat
  • Added Best Choice whole wheat and corn
  • Bread
  • Removed Wonder Soft Whole Wheat (discontinued)
  • Added Fareway Whole Wheat
  • Oatmeal
  • Removed Mother's brand (discontinued)
  • Added Food Club brand
  • Added Best Choice brand
  • Eggs: Brown eggs are no longer WIC Allowed. Brown eggs are typically organic, specialty and/or exceed our maximum price limits to be considered WIC Allowed.
  • Soy Beverage: Silk Soy Original has been WIC Allowed since August, 2013 and is now pictured in the Shopping Guide.
  • Canned Beans: The most common bean types are now specifically listed in the WIC Allowed section.
  • Peanut Butter: Several common peanut butter products that are not WIC Allowed are now listed in the "Not Allowed" section for peanut butter. This includes Skippy Natural and Jif Natural which are peanut butter spreads and Simply Jif which is packaged in a 15.5 ounce container.
  • Light Tuna: "No Wild Planet brand or other specialty brands" is now listed under the Not Allowed section. Specialty brands like Wild Planet exceed our maximum price limits.
  • Pink Salmon: Clarified that 5, 6, 7.5 and 14.75 ounce packages are considered WIC Allowed
  • Infant Foods
  • Removed the Up and Up brand. This brand, previously available at Target, has been discontinued.
  • Removed Tuv Taam brand. This brand is unavailable.
  • Removed HyVee brand. This brand has been discontinued. These products remain WIC Allowed until they are no longer available.
  • Added Tippy Toes brand. This brand is available at Coborn's and HyVee stores.

If you have any questions regarding the Shopping Guide changes, please contact Karilyn Schrankler at : Karilyn.Schrankler@state.mn.us or at 651/201-5798.

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Original Silk Soy Milk Now WIC Allowed (Red Package)

The 1/2 gallon size of Original Silk Soy Beverage UPC: 0 25293 60039 3 has been reformulated to meet the USDA soy beverage nutrition standards and is now WIC Allowed. This product is not currently pictured or listed in the WIC Shopping Guide, but it may be purchased if soy beverage is listed on a voucher. The WIC Shopping Guide will be reprinted in the fall of 2013 and will include the addition of this product at that time.

Carton of Silk Soy Milk

1/2 gallon Original Silk Soy Beverage UPC: 0 25293 60039 3

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59 Ounce Refrigerated Orange Juice Removed from UPC Listing

As previously communicated here on our Important Vendor News webpage and in our March 2013 WIC Matters newsletter, 59 ounce refrigerated juice is no longer WIC Allowed. All of the 59 ounce refrigerated orange juice products have been removed from our online UPC listing. Minnesota WIC vouchers listing juice now only list the 64 ounce juice size (or 11.5-12 ounce frozen juice). A list of the WIC Allowed 64 ounce refrigerated orange juices can be accessed at:

http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fh/wic/vendor/fpchng/upc/download/juicepdf.cfm

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Sign up for UPC/Product Updates

The online UPC listing of the WIC-allowed foods is frequently revised. Revisions identify new brands, discontinued products and product changes sent to us by the manufacturers. Changes made to the list are compiled on an Update page and posted to our website. We encourage you to update your scanning system as soon as possible to reflect the changes. These Update pages can be found on the website at: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fh/wic/vendor/fpchng/upc/updates/index.html.

If you would like to receive notification when these UPC changes are posted to our website, please send an email to: karilyn.schrankler@state.mn.us.

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Archived Important Information for Vendors