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Celestial Seasonings launches new teas

BY Allison Cerra

BOULDER, Colo. Celestial Seasonings, a maker of all-natural teas, has developed a five fermented tea beverages features a distinctive blend of fruits, herbs and botanicals with a live and active culture called Kombucha.

Beginning in April, the new line will be available at Whole Foods Market and other natural foods stores in five flavorful, functional varieties with a suggested retail price of $2.99 to $3.49 for one 16-oz. bottle. Available varieties include:

  • Digestion: Meyer Lemon Ginger – contains prebiotics and ginger to support digestive health and meyer lemon for a sweet-tart taste
  • Antioxidant: Superfruit – contains Vitamin C to support immunity and well-being and acai, goji and pomegranate for a rich flavor
  • Metabolism: Berry Guava – contains green tea extract and B-vitamins to support healthy metabolism and huckleberry, blueberry and guava for tangy sweetness
  • Energy: Pomelo Citrus – contains B-vitamins and ginseng to maintain healthy energy levels and pomelo for a unique citrus taste
  • Super Green: Tropical Blend – contains spirulina for concentrated green food nutrients and mango and other flavors for a temptingly tropical taste

“Kombucha has gained a small but loyal following thanks to its health- and wellness-supporting qualities, but we’ve enhanced its palatability and appeal so that more people can enjoy its nutritional benefits,” said Peter Burns, General Manager of Celestial Seasonings.

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Kimberly-Clark introduces Kleenex hand towels

BY Allison Cerra

DALLAS To address the growing need for hand hygiene products, Kimberly-Clark is introducing a single-use, disposable bathroom hand towel.

New Kleenex hand towels offer customers a single-use towel through a pop-up delivery system,  keepin one clean, fresh, dry towel conveniently at hand.

“Consumers know that even after they are washed, hands are only as clean as the towel used to dry them,” said Gordon Knapp, president, Kimberly-Clark North Atlantic Family Care. “Kleenex hand towels are a first-of-its-kind solution that leverages K-C’s and the Kleenex brand’s strengths in translating consumer insights into product design and technology to offer a real alternative to less hygienic, shared bathroom cloth hand towels.”

Kimberly-Clark tested the product during a QVC shopping channel spot. In the first two airings, more than 7,000 cases of Kleenex hand towels were sold. The company plans to raise national consumer awareness and trial of the new Kleenex hand towels this spring with an integrated marketing program that includes print and TV advertising, direct-to-consumer online communications and blogging outreach, sampling, FSIs, experiential marketing and public relations activities.

“Based on early consumer feedback, we believe Kleenex hand towels will receive a positive reception from moms who are germ conscious, appreciate the convenience of disposable paper products, and make a clean and orderly bathroom a top cleaning priority,” said Ann Vanevenhoven, Kleenex senior brand manager.

Kleenex hand towels will be available at major U.S. retail locations in March at a suggested manufacturer’s retail price of approximately $3.00 for a box of 60 towels.

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Reed’s, Jones Soda look to merge businesses

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES Two beverage makers have signed a letter of intent to merge their businesses.

Reed’s and Jones Soda announced said the proposed merger would combine the two, with Reed’s as the surviving company. In a joint statement, the companies said the merger would “provide the two companies with the opportunity to realize the potential benefits of increased size and scale, as well as cost efficiencies in several aspects of the combined business, including administration, operations, and customer interface.”

The non-binding provisions of the LOI contemplate a merger transaction in which Reed’s would acquire Jones Soda for a combination of cash and Reed’s common stock. The transaction also would be subject to approval of the shareholders of both Jones Soda and Reed’s.

Chris Reed, founder, chairman and CEO of Reed’s stated, “We have watched Jones for years and have been impressed with its innovative marketing programs, strong brand recognition, and loyal customer following. I am confident that our portfolio of brands will benefit from Jones Soda’s marketing savvy as well as its organization’s deep mainstream distribution relationships. At the same time, we believe our strong infrastructure and operational capabilities will help drive important efficiencies through Jones Soda’s supply chain. With minimal customer and demographic overlap between our combined brands, we believe this transaction also provides us with compelling merchandising and growth opportunities in the years ahead.”

In related news, Jones Soda CEO Joth Ricci will be stepping down effective April 2, in order to pursue other business opportunities.

“I have truly enjoyed my time at Jones Soda and I’m pleased with the work our team has done to improve many aspects of our business. Unfortunately, due to the current market conditions, it has taken longer than anticipated to produce the necessary top line results to effectively return to profitability and stem our cash burn. However, I remain confident in the strength of the Jones Soda brand and believe the proposed merger with Reed’s provides Jones Soda an improved platform from which to capitalize on its future prospects and is in the best interests of its shareholders.”

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