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Hostess celebrates strawberry cupcakes with new promotion

BY Allison Cerra

IRVING, Texas — Celebrating the recent launch of its strawberry-flavored cupcakes, Hostess is kicking off a new promotion.

The snacks brand this month commenced its Cupcake Jackpot promotion, which offers consumers the chance to win a grand prize of $10,000, as well as more than 300 daily prizes, including cash, a one-year supply of Hostess cupcakes, Hostess prize packs and Flip Video cameras with skins that feature Hostess’ iconic squiggle.

Consumers can enter by registering game codes printed on the back of specially marked multipacks of Hostess cupcakes at HostessCakes.com.

With the February launch of strawberry Hostess cupcakes, the brand now touts four flavors.

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Samuel Adams helps snowiest cities thaw out with Summer Ale

BY Allison Cerra

BOSTON — Samuel Adams is bringing its Summer Ale to the most snow-ridden cities in America, according to AccuWeather.

Summer Ale Special Delivery will provide free Summer Ale to the following cities’ town halls: Columbia, Mo.; Paducah, Ky.; Tulsa, Okla.; Newark, N.J.; Bridgeport, Conn.; New York; Philadelphia; Youngstown, Ohio; Williston, N.D.; and Boston. The beer company teamed up with AccuWeather and discovered that each of the 10 cities experienced more snow accumulation than usual and caught the brunt of this season’s inclement weather, based on snowfall totals in comparison with each location’s average annual amount.

"This has been one of the worst winters in a while, and I’m definitely ready for summer and sun," said Samuel Adams founder and brewer Jim Koch. "So we thought, ‘why not take Samuel Adams Summer Ale on the road and treat our drinkers who suffered through countless hours of shoveling with an early sip of summer?’ It might not entirely make up for a frigid winter, but we hope it gives them something to look forward to. Summer is on the way."

Samuel Adams Summer Ale is available nationwide from April through August for a suggested retail price of $7.99 per six-pack.

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Pepsi to roll out Social Vending System

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo is building on the social networking experience by providing consumers with a new kind of vending system.

The company announced plans to roll out an interactive vending machine, dubbed the Social Vending System, which features a full touchscreen that enables users to give a gift to a friend by selecting a beverage, entering the recipient’s name, mobile number and a personalized text message. There’s also the option to further personalize the gift with a short video recorded right at the machine.

A prototype of Pepsi’s Social Vending System, which was conceived by the company’s newly formed equipment innovation group, made its debut at the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s One Show in Chicago this week.

Further development of the Social Vending System platform is under way. Pepsi also said that it anticipates testing the concept with key strategic partners later this year.

"Our vision is to use innovative technology to empower consumers and create new ways for them to engage with our brands, their social networks and each other at the point of purchase," said Mikel Durham, chief innovation officer at PepsiCo Foodservice. "Social Vending extends our consumers’ social networks beyond the confines of their own devices and transforms a static, transaction-oriented experience into something fun and exciting they’ll want to return to, again and again."

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