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Healthy food, lifestyle ads outweigh junk, Grocery Manufacturers Association says

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON More than two-thirds of advertisements that children and teenagers see today promote healthy lifestyles and nutritious foods, the Grocery Manufacturers Association said Wednesday in response to a report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest on food and beverage advertising to kids.

The CSPI released a “report card” Wednesday blaming food marketing for increases in poor diets and obesity among children, noting that the marketing was “primarily” for sugary cereals, fast food, snack foods and candy.

“Obesity is one of the nation’s most serious public health challenges, and our industry has significantly changed the way we develop and market our products to provide more healthy choices and to help consumers build a healthy diet,” GMA VP federal affairs Scott Faber said in response to the CSPI report.

The GMA also pointed out a recent Georgetown Economic Services study showing that advertisements for food, beverages and restaurants during children’s television programming fell by 31% between 2004 and 2008.

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Drank rolls into Tennessee

BY Allison Cerra

HOUSTON Drank has made its way to The Volunteer State.

Innovative Beverage Group announced it has inked a deal with two Tennessee-based beverage distributors, Clark Distributing and Central Distributors, to sell Drank, the ultimate relaxation beverage.

“Joining forces with two prestigious beverage distributors such as Central and Clark provides Drank with even more credibility in Tennessee,” said Peter Bianchi, CEO of Innovative Beverage Group. “By partnering with them, we have the opportunity to line our product on store shelves alongside other household name products, further solidifying Drank’s place in pop culture conversations and consumers’ refrigerators.

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Ghirardelli launches sweepstakes

BY Allison Cerra

SAN FRANCISCO Ghirardelli chocolate has kicked off its Million Moments of Timeless Pleasure sweepstakes, which invites consumers to share their favorite “Ghirardelli moment” for a chance to win a trip or one of thousands of chocolate prizes.

Select moments will be broadcasted at New York’s Times Square streamed live via an interactive Web site, Ghirardelli said. Now through Oct. 31, customers can enter their moment at www.ghirardellimoments.com and automatically be entered to win a trip to one of four world famous squares –– New York’s Times Square, Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, St. Marks Square in Venice or Trafalgar Square in London. In addition to the free trip, customers also will be entered to win thousands of instant chocolate prizes, including bags of Ghirardelli Square chocolates and Ghirardelli gift baskets. One lucky person will win free chocolate for a year. Customers can enter a moment each day for even more chances to win.

The Everyday Squares stand-up bags, which contain 4.69 oz. to 5.32 oz. of chocolate, retail for approximately $3.69 and are sold at Walgreens, CVS/pharmacy, Rite Aid and other major retailers across the country.

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