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Huggies helps parents of squirmy babies with latest diaper

BY Allison Cerra

DALLAS — Huggies has developed a new diaper that is designed to slide on like underwear.

New Huggies Little Movers slip-on diapers offer an easy-to-use solution for parents that struggle with diaper changes due to squirmy babies. The diapers also feature easy-open sides and finger tabs, allowing for simple removal and disposal, according to the brand.

Huggies Little Movers slip-on diapers will be available next month at retailers nationwide from size 3 (16 lbs. to 28 lbs.) through size 5 (more than 27 lbs.).

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Spartan Stores expands campaign to promote Michigan-made products

BY DSN STAFF

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — In an effort to spread awareness about the abundance of food products made in Michigan, and to help stimulate the state’s economy, Michigan-based Spartan Stores announced that it has kicked off its expanded "Michigan’s Best" campaign in its 97 D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare, Glen’s Markets and VG’s, as well as 250 independent grocery stores.

According to the company, more than 3,000 Michigan-made products will carry the eye-catching Michigan’s Best label to help consumers quickly identify Michigan-made products.

The Michigan’s Best program was created in 2009 as a means to pay tribute to Michigan farmers and businesses and help residents identify Michigan-made products. The initial campaign promoted 2,400 products grown and was produced by 42 businesses and farms in Michigan.

According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture, if consumers spent just $10 a week on Michigan products, it would keep more than $40 million working for Michigan every week.

"We have been delighted at consumer response of our Michigan’s Best campaign, which affords consumers the ability to support our state economy," Spartan Stores EVP merchandising and marketing Alan Hartline said. "The Michigan’s Best program supports our state, our farmers, our manufacturers, our neighbors and our families simply by choosing Michigan-made products. Buying local helps keep Michigan residents employed. It also benefits communities by boosting the local and state economy by creating more jobs. Plus, buying local fresh fruits and vegetables picked within hours of being on the shelf is a healthier option. Local products also have lower food miles, meaning they are shipped shorter distances, which requires less gas and is better for the environment."

Items available in the program include fruit, vegetables, cereal, coffee, dairy, meat, juice, beer, wine and baked goods.

To further promote the program, Spartan Stores has launched the Shopmichigansbest.com website. A complete list of products, as well as Michigan-based farms and companies, are listed on the website. Spartan Stores said it also plans to host a number of in-store promotions, including signage, weekly specials featuring Michigan-made products and a children’s coloring contest.

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BTS shopping budgets drop, Internet remains go-to source for deals

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES — Back-to-school budgets will moderately decrease this year, but more consumers will turn to the Internet to score the best deals.

According to a survey conducted by PriceGrabber, 48% of shoppers said they plan to spend $250 or more on back-to-school purchases, while 25% will spend $500 or more. This compared with 2010, when 56% of consumers indicated that they would spend $250 or more, while 31% planned to spend $500 or more.

As shoppers have reported they would scale back, many of them will look to the Internet for the best deals; 69% of survey respondents plan to shop online and use comparison shopping sites, while 41% will visit retailer websites to print out coupons.

"The modest but meaningful decrease in BTS shopping budgets this year demonstrates the lasting impact the recession is having on consumers’ mindsets," stated Graham Jones, general manager of PriceGrabber. "As consumers adjust to the new economic reality, they become smarter about their purchases over time. Given the Internet’s unrivaled ability to save shoppers time and money, it comes as no surprise to us that more consumers are flocking to online shopping and comparison shopping sites in 2011 to keep their budgets low and find the best discounts."

Among the top items on the back-to-school shopping lists are classic school supplies, such as binders and pencils (79%); clothing (75%); new backpacks or tote bags (47%); and books (44%).

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