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GoGo Squeez introduces adult snack line Fast Fruit

BY Jason Owen

NEW YORK — GoGo Squeez has introduced a new line of squeezable, resealable, spoon-free fruit-in-a-pouch snacks, Fast Fruit, specifically developed for adults. The company decided to expand their kids line of fruit snacks as they learned adults 18 years and older made up 30% of their consumer base.

“Through research we found that 30% of GoGo Sqeez is consumed by adults 18 years of age and older, so we set out to create something just for them with Fast Fruit,” said Meena Mansharamani, managing director of Materne North America. “Fast Fruit is a new way that our grownup fans can enjoy the wholesomeness of our pouches through a unique product inspired by the big kid in them.”

These all-natural, 100% fruit snacks will come in three varieties: Apple Peach Passion Fruit, Apple Mango Pineapple Banana and Apple Raspberry Cranberry. Like all GoGo Squeez products, Fast Fruit is a spoon-free, no-mess snack allowing fruit snack lovers to find a way to embrace their inner kid with a product reminiscent of their childhood. Containing only the best fruit available, these pouches offer pieces of fresh raspberries, peaches and bananas to provide quality taste and nutrients. At only 80 calories per pouch, Fast Fruit adds variety to GoGo Squeez’s growing family of products.

GoGo Squeez Fast Fruit follows on the launch of another new product line, GoGo Squeez Organic. GoGo Squeez Organic offers six delicious and squeezable fruit flavors that are certified USDA-organic and currently available at Whole Foods stores nationwide.

GoGo Squeez Fast Fruit is available at Target stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $3.49 per four-pack.

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Walgreens gives Los Angeles a taste of what’s to come with store No. 8,000

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens late Tuesday announced a mobile tasting tour across Los Angeles in advance of its latest flagship store opening Dec. 1. The Walgreens "Up Market: Fresh" experience will be brought to consumers via a custom-made, 40-foot bus that will visit various Los Angeles locations through Dec. 5. The "Up Market: Fresh" bus’ daily location and featured sample menu items are shared via Twitter @upmarketfresh.

"Several innovations are making Walgreens the first choice for health and daily living throughout neighborhoods nationwide. Our fresh food offerings provide customers with easier access to a greater selection of fresh foods and beverages," stated Joe Magnacca, president of daily living products and solutions for Walgreens. 

Free tastings include samples of nutritious, fresh-made juices made from a combination of fresh fruits and vegetables; a featured smoothie Raspberry Dream, which is blended fresh from raspberries, strawberries, bananas and apple cider; two premium, low-fat frozen yogurts alongside a selection of eight toppings; and free samples of a selection of coffees brewed using the same fresh roasts and barista quality techniques showcased at Walgreens.

Walgreens "Up Market: Fresh" experience will provide free tastes to Los Angeles residents and visitors to commemorate the grand opening of its latest flagship store and 8,000th location at Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood.

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Hostess Brands to close down, sell assets

BY Alaric DeArment

IRVING, Texas — Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkies and Ho Ho’s, is closing down amid a union strike that the company said forced it to halt operations.

The snack food manufacturer announced Friday that it had filed for permission from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to close its business and sell its assets after a nationwide strike by the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union "crippled" its ability to produce and deliver products. In September, the BCTGM rejected a final offer from the company that was designed so it could attract new financing and emerge from chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The offer to the union included wage, benefit and work rule concessions, but also gave the company’s 12 unions a 25% ownership stake in the company, board representation and $100 million in reorganized company debt.

The company closed three plants on Nov. 12, and on Nov. 14, it announced it would be forced to liquidate if it couldn’t get enough employees back to restore normal operations by the end of the day Thursday. Bakery operations have been suspended at all the company’s plants, and it plans to lay off most of its 18,500 workers, though the company said it would continue delivering products and selling already produced goods through its retail stores for several days. The company will close 33 bakeries, 565 distribution centers, 5,500 delivery routes and 570 outlet stores.

The company plans to sell its baking and distribution facilities, as well as brands such as Hostess, Drakes and Dolly Madison, which make products like Twinkies, CupCakes, Ding Dongs, Ho Ho’s, Sno Balls and Donettes, as well as brad products like Wonder, Nature’s Pride, Beefsteak and others.

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