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Cadbury-Schweppes to end use of artificial colors

BY Jenna Duncan

LONDON Cadbury Schweppes said it will remove all artificial colors from its candies by the end of 2008 because of health concerns over the possible effects on child behavior related to artificially colored sweets.

“Cadbury can confirm that we have listened to consumers and are committed to replacing all artificial colors in our sweets by the end of this year,” Tony Bilsborough, Cadbury spokesperson, said.

Additives like artificial colors have garnered much public criticism lately, particularly following the publication of a Southampton Study last year that linked certain artificial colors to hyperactivity in children.

The UK Food Standards Agency last week urged voluntary removal of the additives and asked the European Food Safety Authority to eventually ban the colorings. Some European candy makers, such as Nestle Rowntree, have already omitted artificial colors.

Six colors have been named by the Southampton study linked to hyperactivity; they are were allura red (E129), carmoisine (E122), ponceau 4R (E124), quinoline yellow (E104), sunset yellow (E110) and tartrazine (E102).

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Kraft Foods announces expansion of production plant

BY Adam Kraemer

DOVER, Del. Kraft Foods, the second largest food manufacturer in the world, announced Thursday it is adding 40 jobs and expanding production at its Dover manufacturing plant.

Kraft, the maker of Jell-o gelatins, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Maxwell House coffees, is directing about $40 million towards upgrading its Dover plant to up production of single-serving packets of its popular drink mixes, like Capri Sun, Crystal Light, Country Time, Kool-Aid and Tang.

The State of Delaware has awarded Kraft a $708,000 grant to help grow the 1-million square-foot plant and boost production.

The announcement for expansion comes at a turnaround from a couple of years ago when Kraft was closing manufacturing plants and cutting jobs. Nationwide, the U.S. has seen the loss of hundreds of manufacturing jobs in recent years.

The jobs that Kraft is adding will include operator and mechanic positions on the single-serve drink-mix production line. Kevin Ripley, the plant’s manager, said that the annual salaries of these jobs will be between $35,000 and $45,000. The Dover Kraft plant currently employs 520 people.

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Candy maker announces Baskin-Robbins soft candies to be sold in theatres

BY Jenna Duncan

MOORESVILLE, N.C. BestSweet confection maker has announced that a new line of Baskin-Robbins soft candy will soon be available in boxed form for the movies.

Brand manager, Mark A. Fields, said, “Given the buzz and success we received from the recently launched soft candy products, it was only fitting to also release it in the fun theater box format. We’ve witnessed fantastic growth of the theatre box packaging format across food, drug and mass channels, and with the recent product launch and changes we’ve been making to the line, the timing was perfect for those retailers looking to add unique theatre box items to their candy sets.”

The announcement to release the boxed soft candies was first made at the 2008 Winter Confectionery ECRM event, in Denver, C.O. during the week of Feb. 18 through 22.

The soft candies will be available in two flavors; mint chocolate chip and very berry strawberry ice cream flavors. The box comes in a 3.1 oz size and retails for $1.29. BestSweet says the boxed soft candies will be available in theatres May 2008.

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