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Hershey launches low-fat chocolate

BY Allison Cerra

HERSHEY, Pa. — Hershey is making its foray into lower-fat chocolate, the company announced during its first-quarter earnings call on Tuesday.

Th company confirmed that as it continues to roll out Jolly Rancher Crunch ‘N Chew, as well as launch of Rolo Minis and Ice Breakers Duos, the company is launching Hershey’s Simple Pleasures in a "smooth and creamy" format that touts 30% less fat than the average leading chocolate, Hershey president and CEO John Bilbrey said. Hershey’s Simple Pleasures smooth and creamy will be available in milk chocolate, dark chocolate and vanilla crème varieties and will hit store shelves in June.

Hershey’s first-quarter sales totaled $1.7 billion, compared with $1.5 billion in first quarter 2011. Net income was 87 cents per diluted share during the quarter, compared with 70 cents per diluted share in the year-ago period. Full-year net sales are expected to increase 7% to 9%, Hershey said.

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Hy-Vee promotes sustainability with new website, partnership with seafood group

BY Alaric DeArment

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Supermarket-pharmacy chain Hy-Vee is launching two initiatives designed to promote sustainability, in recognition of Earth Day.

The company announced the creation of a sustainability and healthy living-themed website, Hy-Vee 360, to promote its various initiatives, including its recent partnership with FishWise, a sustainable seafood advocacy group. The chain also is tying sustainability together with healthy living by using the Hy-Vee 360 site to highlight its in-store dietitians, HealthMarket departments and the NuVal nutritional scoring system, as well as information about green building practices, energy conservation, waste reduction and recycling, local sourcing and sustainable packaging.

"As a company, we are dedicated to promoting the well-being of our customers, our employees, our communities and the global environment," Hy-Vee assistant VP real estate and sustainability Mike Smith said. "This means not only operating as a good steward of the environment, but also providing our customers with the resources to live more healthy and sustainable lives."

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IHOP brings syrups home

BY Allison Cerra

GLENDALE, Calif. — IHOP has taken its signature syrups to retail.

The new IHOP at Home syrups line feature original, lite, sugar free, Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity strawberry and Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity blueberry flavors.

"The launch of our new IHOP at Home syrups marks another phase in our strategy to further bring IHOP awareness to consumers," IHOP SVP marketing Natalia Franco said. "The best way to experience IHOP is at one of our restaurants; with our new IHOP at Home syrups, we’re bringing our unique flavors to guests who wish to enjoy the IHOP experience in between their visits to our restaurants."

The new lineup of IHOP at Home syrups can be found in the syrup aisle at retail, mass merchandisers and grocery outlets nationwide.

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