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Capri Sun initiates eventful, multi-city summer tour

BY Jenna Duncan

NORTHFIELD, Ill. Capri Sun has set out to tour about a dozen cities in 10 states to provide free samples at events, and promote its updated Web site.

The Capri Sun “Respect the Pouch” tour includes activities for children like a climbing wall, games tent and a green screen with sports backdrops. There are also BMX bike, in-line skating, and skateboarding professional demonstrations on site. The tour also features a “Pouch Wars Arena” game area where children can participate in pouch stomping contests, like those featured in Capri Sun’s TV spots.

On the Web site, www.RespectThePouch.com, children are invited to create their own, personalized pouch avatars and send Burp-O-Grams to friends. There is also a link to a contest with a grand prize jam session with the Naked Brothers Band from Nickelodeon.

The final stop on the “Respect the Pouch” Capri Sun summer tour is at Boardfest, August 30 through Sept. 1, in Huntington Beach, Calif.

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Candy category sees growth despite rocky economy

BY Jenna Duncan

CHICAGO, MacLEAN and VIENNA, Va. Though many Americans are tightening their belts on luxury items and fuel costs, candy sales are staying strong, sources have reported.

According to statements from the National Confectioners Association, in the United States, candy sales brought in more than $29 billion in retail sales in 2007—a 3 percent increase from 2006.

The Nielsen Co. has reported that candy is virtually recession-proof, compared to other items such as carbonated beverages, tobacco and beer, because it is a less-expensive indulgence. Nielsen made the correlation that while consumers may avoid driving long distances for shopping trips due to increased gas costs, they are more likely to spend more money at their local drug and convenience stores on impulse-buy items.

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Philip Morris extinguishes Marlboro Ultra Smooth cigarettes

BY Jenna Duncan

RICHMOND, Va. Philip Morris USA, an Altria Group Inc. company and the No. 1 tobacco company in the United States, has closed the doors on its Marlboro Ultra Smooth cigarettes operation. Phillip Morris said that the decision came because it’s facing hurdles in growing its tobacco business, according to published reports.

The Ultra Smooth cigarettes were being tested in Atlanta, Tampa, Fla., and Salt Lake City, but Philip Morris stopped making them April 1, the company said. It also pulled the plug on its Marlboro Ultra Lights, sold in the Phoenix area and North Dakota, and its Basic Ultra Lights cigarettes, sold in Washington state.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the sales volume for Philip Morris dropped 4.6 percent last year, a steeper decline than the overall U.S. cigarette market, which dropped about 4 percent. Furthermore, Philip Morris’ underlying sales volume dropped 3.6 percent.

The company said that it expects overall cigarette sales to drop by an annual rate of about 2.5 percent to 3 percent in the next several years.

Philip Morris said that it is looking into developing tobacco products that are less threatening to consumers’ health. Ironically, the company had previously released statements that Marlboro Ultra Smooth cigarettes had built-in activated carbon filters, designed to release nicotine, but prohibit exposure to some carcinogens found in regular cigarettes.

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