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Coinstar, Seattle’s Best Coffee bring coffee kiosks to supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchants nationwide

BY Allison Cerra

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Coinstar is bringing its coffee kiosk to various retail channels through an exclusive agreement with Starbucks-owned Seattle’s Best Coffee.

The companies said they initially will roll out 500 Rubi coffee kiosks — which will serve Seattle’s Best Coffee — to grocery, drug and mass merchant retail channels. The Rubi coffee kiosks serving Seattle’s Best Coffee will initially be installed in the Northeast and West Coast regions. As Coinstar expands geographically with its coffee kiosk, it will also pursue additional channels as part of an ongoing rollout.

"We are delighted to introduce the Rubi kiosk, our third automated retail business," Coinstar CEO Paul Davis said. "Just as our Redbox movie rental and Coinstar coin-counting kiosks reimagined retail, we believe our coffee kiosk reimagines the coffee experience for consumers. In addition, we are very pleased to work with Seattle’s Best Coffee, one of the country’s premier coffee brands. Together, we will deliver the kind of quality, convenience and value that we know coffee drinkers on-the-go will appreciate."

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Dr. Reddy’s, Merck KGaA partner on biosimilars

BY Alaric DeArment

HYDERABAD, India — A generic drug maker in India and a German pharmaceutical company will collaborate to develop biosimilars.

Dr. Reddy’s Labs and Merck KGaA subsidiary Merck Serono announced a partnership to develop biosimilar cancer treatments, most of them monoclonal antibodies, for global markets. Based in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck KGaA operates in the United States under the name EMD to distinguish itself from U.S. drug maker Merck.

The companies said the partnership would expand on Dr. Reddy’s presence in the biosimilar space in emerging markets and allow it to participate globally. Currently, a small handful of companies — particularly Teva, Hospira and Novartis generics division Sandoz — dominates the biosimilars market in developed countries, mostly Europe. Part of the healthcare-reform law included a regulatory approval pathway for biosimilars in the United States, but regulations have yet to be finalized.

"We strongly believe that biosimilars is an important area of future growth, and these products give us the opportunity to provide affordable and innovative medicines to patients across the globe," Dr. Reddy’s vice chairman and CEO G.V. Prasad said. "With the recent [European Medicines Agency] and [Food and Drug Administration] guidance on biosimilars, it is clear that any significant player in the field will need strong biologics development, manufacturing and commercialization capabilities. Merck Serono’s and Dr. Reddy’s joint expertise in these fields makes for a powerful global partnership."


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NRF: Consumers to spend (almost) as much on dad

BY DSN STAFF

WASHINGTON — While dads usually don’t get the same caliber of gift for Father’s Day as moms do for Mother’s Day, if the results of NRF’s latest survey are to be believed, dads should be pretty pleased with what they receive this year.

According to NRF’s 2012 Father’s Day spending survey conducted by BIGinsight, the average person will shell out $117.14 on dad’s gifts this year, up 10% from $106.49 last year and closing the gap between its biggest competitor: Mother’s Day (consumers planned to spend an average of $152 on the holiday). Total spending for Father’s Day is expected to reach $12.7 billion.

"He may not ever expect the ‘royal treatment’ on Father’s Day, but this year dad doesn’t have much of a say as it’s evident his loved ones want to make sure he has a great day," NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. "For those looking for the perfect gift idea, retailers will have specials on everything from patio sets and grills to ties and gardening tools in the weeks leading up to the holiday."

With a plethora of options to choose from, consumers plan to splurge on a variety of gifts. According to the survey, more people this year will treat dad to a special outing, such as golfing, eating out or heading to a sporting event ($2.3 billion versus $2 billion in 2011). They also will invest in electronic gift items ($1.7 billion versus $1.3 billion last year) and apparel ($1.7 billion versus $1.4 billion in 2011). Others will splurge on gift cards ($1.7 billion), sporting goods ($641 million) and books or music ($645 million).

When it comes to the number of men people plan to buy for this Father’s Day, the survey found consumers are likely to consider a variety of "types" of dads this year. Most people will buy for their father or stepfather (53.9% versus 50.3% in 2011) and their husband (29.2% versus 26.1% last year). Others will treat their son (9.7%), grandfather (5.3%), brother (6.8%) and friend (5.7%) to something nice.

Mobile shoppers will be out and about these next few weeks as they seek the perfect gift for dad. More than one-quarter of those who own a tablet (25.2%) said they will use their tablet to make a Father’s Day purchase. Overall, more than half (54.6%) of tablet owners will use their device to research products and compare prices, redeem coupons and look up retailers’ information such as store hours and location.

Not surprising, the majority of smartphone owners will use their smartphone to research gift ideas and compare prices (26.7%), but others will look up store hours and location information (18.9%) and use mobile applications to research or purchase products (11.3%). One-in-10 (13.7%) will purchase a Father’s Day gift via their smartphone.

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