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GMA: Extra packaging a waste for grocery manufacturers

BY Gail Hoffer

WASHINGTON — Consumers can expect to find less packaging with their food and beverages in the coming years as manufacturers look to eliminate waste.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association found that by 2020, 2.5 billion lbs. of waste is expected to be avoided. This is on top of the 1.5 billion lbs. of packaging avoided since 2005.

"Across the board, the food, beverage and consumer products industry has been vigilant in its efforts to reduce its environmental footprint," said Pamela Bailey, president and CEO of GMA. "When it comes to eliminating packaging from the supply chain, we have already made significant progress, but we know we can do more. We look forward to meeting this goal to eliminate 4 billion lbs. of packaging by 2020."

The 1.5 billion lbs. of packaging avoided since 2005 includes more than 800 million lbs. of plastic and more than 500 million lbs. of paper. Packaging improvements have spanned most product categories, with no single category dominating. Companies reported that they achieved the 2005 to 2010 reductions through the success of more than 180 distinct improvement initiatives that included package redesigns and increased use of recyclable inputs.

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Magnum is star of original film series

BY Allison Cerra

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — An ice cream brand making its U.S. debut is at the forefront of a three-part film series starring actress Rachel Bilson.

Magnum, a 20-year-old Unilever brand, said the films were directed by fashion guru Karl Lagerfeld and are a platform to introduce the premium ice cream products to U.S. consumers. The films, which will debut at the Tribeca Flm Festival, also can be viewed on the brand’s Facebook page next month.

What’s more, Magnum also has tapped Bilson for global print and television advertising, which are slated for release in May.

Magnum ice cream bars, which will roll out in such retailers as Walmart, Target, Safeway and Kroger, will be available in three-count multipacks for the suggested retail price of $3.99, or individually for a suggested retail price of $2.59. Magnum ice cream bars are available in six flavors.

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Jack Link’s Beef Jerky sponsors Urban Assault Ride

BY Allison Cerra

MINONG, Wis. — Jack Link’s Beef Jerky announced its sponsorship of the nation’s largest bike scavenger hunt.

The beef jerky brand said it would be the presenting sponsor of the New Belgium Brewing Urban Assault Ride, which is a bike race/obstacle course. The event is open to anyone ages 7 years or older and includes such team divisions as coed, male, female and family, with prizes awarded to the top three teams in each division.

The 2011 Urban Assault Ride will take place in the following locations:

  • March 20 in Tucson, Ariz.;

  • May 15 in Madison, Wis.;

  • May 22 in Chicago;

  • June 26 in Austin, Texas;

  • July 17 in Fort Collins, Colo.;

  • July 24 in Denver, Colo.;

  • July 31 in Minneapolis;

  • Aug. 14 in St. Louis;

  • Aug. 28 in Des Moines, Iowa; and

  • Sept. 18 in Charlotte, N.C.

“The fun and camaraderie of the Urban Assault Ride is the same spirit of fun and irreverence of the Jack Link’s Beef Jerky brand,” said Jeff LeFever, director of marketing at Jack Link’s Beef Jerky. “We hope racers and fans will tear open a bag of Jack Link’s, join in the fun and feed their wild side along the way.”

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