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Gerber grows baby food offerings with organic, premium foods

BY Jenna Duncan

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. Gerber Products Co., has announced it is expanding its premium and organic baby foods varieties and reintroducing its organic baby cereals.

Three new dinner blends containing beneficial docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; an omega-3 fatty acid) and one organic dinner flavor will hit shelves this fall, the company has said. They are: garden vegetables with whole wheat pasta, and macaroni and cheese with vegetables and vegetable risotto with cheese, all containing 18 milligrams of DHA, 2-3 grams of protein and a full serving of vegetables. Gerber’s new chicken with country vegetables and rice is organic and contains whole grains, half a serving of vegetables and 2 grams of protein.

Gerber will also again roll out its organic cereal lines, including organic rice and organic oatmeal varieties.

Gerber organic dinners contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, the company has said.

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Coca-Cola launches resealable glass beverage bottles

BY Jenna Duncan

ATLANTA Coca-Cola and Vitro Packaging, Inc. have announced a partnership to create new 12-ounce resealable glass bottles for Coke. The design comes at the call of consumers for packaging that is more eco-friendly and sustainable, the companies said. The bottles will come with a wrap-around logo wrap featuring the company’s familiar red-and-white logo and will be packed in a portable 6-pack carrying case.

Joseph Cattaneo, president of the Glass Packaging Institute told the press, “Consumer preferences for pure and sustainable packaging is leading many consumers to return to glass because of its inert characteristics and endless recyclability. To meet this demand, more and more consumer packaged goods manufacturers are choosing glass for new product introductions, purity and sustainable positioning.”

Results from a survey by Norman, Okla.-based Newton Marketing & Research released in 2006 showed that more than three-out-of-four consumers preferred glass packaging over plastic for better preservation of the taste, quality, purity and freshness of food and beverages.

Coca-Cola has said that the release of the resealable glass bottle is part of its plan to mold its internal policies and create new benchmarks with to increase recycling efforts to reach a goal of recycling 90 percent of materials from its production facilities (or all of its packaging) by the year 2010.

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Bud Light Lime makes strides as category leader

BY Jenna Duncan

CHICAGO Anheuser-Busch’s spicy new cousin to Bud Light, Bud Light Lime, which launched in May has gobbled up the summer beer market without affecting sales of other Budweiser and Bud Light brands, the company has reported. A-B had put about $35 million behind launching the beer across the United States earlier this year—an investment that seems to have paid off big time this summer.

The reported success of Bud Light Lime comes at a time of change. A-B was acquired by InBev, the companies announced in July, a takeover that was shaky at first, but has since become “friendly.”

A-B’s total, year-to-date sales have risen by about 2 percent, according to reported numbers from Chicago-based Information Resources, Inc. Results for custom flavors at Miller and Coors had negative results, as did Corona’s family of beers.

A-B has said that it estimates about half of those drinking Bud Light Lime are either new to beer or have added the break-out flavor to their regular beer-drinking routines. The company also said that an estimated 20 percent of Bud Light Lime fans have migrated over from other brands such as Corona or Miller Chill. A-B estimates that about 30 percent of Lime fans switched from other A-B or Bud family beers.

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