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Bilbrey officially steps in as Hershey head

BY Allison Cerra

HERSHEY, Pa. — Just one month after filling in as the interim leader of chocolate giant Hershey, John Bilbrey officially took the reigns as president and CEO of the company.

Bilbrey also was elected to Hershey’s board of directors, Hershey said Wednesday. Bilbrey, who served as the company’s EVP and COO until May, replaced David West, who left his post after 10 years to become the chief executive at Del Monte Foods.

Commenting on his appointment, Bilbrey said that the company is on track to deliver 2011 net sales — including the impact of foreign currency exchange rates — and adjusted diluted earnings per share growth to be around the top of the company’s long-term 3% to 5% and 6% to 8% goals, respectively.

"It is a unique privilege to lead The Hershey Co. Hershey has iconic brands, exceptional people, unmatched capabilities and enormous potential," Bilbrey said. "I’m very grateful for the board’s confidence, and we are fully aligned on how to move the company forward. Our company is structured for global growth, and I look forward to building on our recent performance, consistent with Hershey’s great heritage and values."

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M&M’s is off to the races with new promotion

BY Allison Cerra

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — M&M’s has revved up its partnership with NASCAR through a new promotion.

The candy brand, which has its own NASCAR racing team, said that its "5 Characters, 5 Cars . ..Pick the Car You Want!" promotion boosts M&M’s commitment to NASCAR. Consumers that purchase participating M&M’s items from specially marked displays in stores can enter a universal product code online for their chance to win 1-of-5 Toyota models from the sweepstakes drawing. Each car is aligned with a different M&M’s character: red with the Toyota Tundra, yellow with the FJ Cruiser, green with the Camry, orange with the Prius and blue with the 4Runner. As consumers enter the sweepstakes, they will choose which of the five cars they would like to be eligible to win.

What’s more, consumers that enter the sweepstakes also are eligible to win NASCAR merchandise, gas cards and cash, M&M’s said.

For more information, visit Mms.com/us/racing.

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Davidson’s introduces tulsi teas

BY Allison Cerra

SPARKS, Nev. — A new kind of organic tea is coming to grocery stores.

Davidson’s is introducing tulsi teas, which are derived from tulsi basil grown in India. Every ingredient in Davidson’s tulsi teas is 100% botanical and certified organic, the company said. The teas are available in six flavors, including signature blend, pure leaves, rooibos chai, spicy green, hibiscus flower and chamomile.

Davidson’s tulsi teas are available for purchase at several natural and specialty grocery stores, as well as Whole Foods Markets in California, Giant Eagle stores in the Midwest and on the East Coast, and in bulk at Central Markets in Texas.

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