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AstraZeneca to buy Omthera for $323 million

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. — Anglo-Swedish drug maker AstraZeneca will buy Omthera Pharmaceuticals for $323 million, the two companies said Tuesday.

Omthera, based in Princeton, N.J., develops drugs for dyslipidemia, conditions that result in abnormal levels of lipids in the blood. Its lead products include Epanova, an experimental drug for patients with high triglycerides that’s based on omega-3 fatty acids; Omthera has finished late-stage clinical trials of the drug and plans to file for Food and Drug Administration approval in mid-2013.

"The number of people with elevated triglyceride levels is rising rapidly across the world, due in part to the increasing prevalence of obesity and diabetes," AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said. "There is a clear need for effective and convenient alternatives to some of the existing treatments."

 

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Cracker Jack introduces two new flavors, modernized prizes and more nuts

BY Jason Owen

PLANO, Texas — In celebration of its 120-year anniversary, the Cracker Jack brand from PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division has evolved for today’s consumers with modern prizes, more peanuts and new flavors joining the fold.

"After 120 years, we knew it was the right time for the Cracker Jack brand to modernize to really suit the changing snacking preferences among our biggest fans, while still remaining true to our nostalgic roots," said David Skena, vice president of marketing, Frito-Lay. "By offering improved prizes, more peanuts and delicious new flavors, we’re giving our fans a new and improved product experience that still celebrates what they’ve loved about Cracker Jack snacks all these years."

The new and exciting modifications being made to Cracker Jack snacks include:

  • Two delicious new flavors rolling out nationwide this spring — Cracker Jack Kettle Corn popcorn, offering a sweet and savory flavor profile, and Cracker Jack Butter Toffee popcorn, which includes a buttery toffee taste that makes it the perfect snack to unwind with after a long day of work or play;
  • More crunchy, delicious peanuts in two of the most popular Cracker Jack Original snack packages (4 and 8 oz.);
  • Modernized Cracker Jack snack prizes with new digital components, including classic stickers with fun facts and special codes that offer surprises online;
  • A new Cracker Jack-branded mobile app, featuring two nostalgic games (Baseball and Pinball) available free for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch mobile devices and all Android devices at www.crackerjackapp.com;
  • Working with one of the most recognizable brands in baseball, the recently reinvented Louisville Slugger, the Cracker Jack brand is participating in an online sweepstakes through the Louisville Slugger Facebook page (facebook.com/louisvilleslugger), where fans can enter to win exciting prizes, such as exclusive Cracker Jack-branded gear, customized Louisville Slugger items and even a chance to win enough products to meet every need for an entire baseball team;
  • Cracker Jack snacks is also proud to partner with Macy’s in a variety of activities, including a featured appearance in Macy’s "American Icons" 2013 summer catalog, as well as several sampling events around the country.

Earlier this month, Frito-Lay launched a new brand called Cracker Jack’D snacks, which was developed specifically to fit the on-the-go lifestyle of today’s young men. Cracker Jack’D is an independent, stand-alone brand developed specifically for millennial male consumers with a collection of intense flavors developed to meet their unique tastes.

The delicious blend of caramel-coated popcorn and peanuts known today as Cracker Jack snacks was first introduced in 1893 by F.W. Ruechkheim at the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago’s first world’s fair. Since its introduction, enough Cracker Jack product has been sold to stack end-to-end more than 63 times around the world.

The new Cracker Jack products, Cracker Jack Butter Toffee Popcorn Snack (4 oz. SRP $1.49, 8.5 oz. SRP $2.29), Cracker Jack Kettle Corn Popcorn Snack (3 oz. MSRP $1.49) and Cracker Jack Original Caramel Coated Popcorn and Peanut snacks with "More Nuts" (4 oz. SRP $1.49, 8.5 oz. SRP $2.29), will be available nationwide wherever Cracker Jack brands are sold.

 

 

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Walmart launches Veterans Commitment, plans to hire 100,000 over next five years

BY Antoinette Alexander

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart has announced the launch of the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment to offer a job to any honorably discharged veteran within his or her first 12 months off active duty, and projects to hire more than 100,000 veterans over the next five years.

"Hiring a veteran can be one of the best business decisions you make," stated Bill Simon, Walmart U.S. president and CEO and U.S. Navy Veteran. "We believe Walmart is already the largest private employer of veterans in the country, and we want to hire more."

"Veterans have a record of performance under pressure. They’re quick learners and team players and are leaders with discipline, training and a passion for service," Simon continued. "I can think of no better group to lead in revitalizing our economy than those who have served in uniform. Through their service, veterans give us a land of freedom. When they return, it must be to a land of possibility."

In April, Walmart participated in the Joining Forces Employment Announcement at the White House, and challenged companies to hire 100,000 veterans and their spouses by the end of 2013. To move this effort forward, Simon wrote to 50 CEOs in the United States to urge them to make hiring commitments of their own.

"Every company in America has benefited from the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform," added Simon. "The biggest issue facing our veterans today is jobs. Sadly, too many of those who fought for us abroad now find themselves fighting for jobs at home."

The company’s focus on supporting veterans extends beyond its hiring initiative. The Walmart Foundation has committed $20 million through 2015 to helping veterans and their families transition from the military into the civilian workforce through programs that provide job training, transition support and education.
 

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