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Jean Coutu Group to spend $184.3 million on relocation

BY Alaric DeArment

LONGUEUIL, Quebec — Canadian retail pharmacy operator the Jean Coutu Group will spend nearly $200 million to relocate its headquarters and distribution center, the company said.

Jean Coutu Group said it would consolidate operations presently located in the city of Longueuil, Quebec, to a new, 800,000-sq.-ft. location in Varennes, on the south shore of Montreal.

Construction will begin in 2014, and the transfer is expected to start in early 2016. The company said its present space, which it has used since 1976, can no longer support its growing network. The project is expected to cost $190 million Canadian dollars, or $184.3 million U.S. dollars, based on an exchange rate of 97 Canadian cents to US$1.

"In a context of continued growth, it became essential for us to expand our facilities, which was impossible on the site we presently occupy because of the lack of space," Jean Coutu Group president and CEO Francois Coutu said. "The facilities in Varennes will be at the cutting edge of technology, guaranteeing high standards of productivity and enhanced performance. This project also confirms our determination to pursue our efforts to grow while offering a pleasant and secure working environment to all our employees."

 

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Study: Kids, adults consume less sugar-sweetened beverages

BY Jason Owen

HYATTSVILLE, Md. — Researchers have found that both kids and adults are drinking fewer sugar-sweetened beverages, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The researchers’ objective according to the abstract, was to examine trends among kids and adults in the U.S. and their consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. The study sampled 22,367 youths aged 2-19 years old and 29,133 adults aged 20 years old or older between 1999 and 2010. Researchers examined patterns of consumption, including location and the meal associated with consumption.

What they found was that between 2009-2010, the youth population consumed a mean average of 155 kilocalories of sugar-sweetened beverages per day, and adults consumed a mean average of 151 kcal/d. This was a decrease of 68 kcal/d and 45 kcal/d, respectively, between the 1999-2000 period.

The researchers also concluded a decrease in the sugar-sweetened beverage percentage of daily energy intake among both groups, as well as a decrease in consumption both in the home and away, and with both meals and snacks.

Sugar-sweetened beverages include soda, fruit drinks, sports and energy drinks, sweetened coffee and tea and others.


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M&M’S brand launches new chocolate bar

BY Jason Owen

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — On Thursday, Mars Chocolate North America announced that a new M&M’S brand Chocolate Bar is in stores. The M&M’S brand Chocolate Bar combines a creamy, smooth milk chocolate bar with the colorful fun and taste of M&M’S Chocolate Candies, according to the company.

"Our goal is to show how nearly every treat or occasion is ‘Better With M,’" said Roy Benin, chief consumer officer, Mars Chocolate North America. "It’s only natural that we infuse the brand’s colorful personality and irresistible milk chocolate center into a classic confection like the chocolate bar."

The M&M’S Chocolate Bar is made with the milk chocolate and boosted by the colorful fun of M&M’S. Each bar comes stamped with a M&M’S character and features M&M’S Minis. The product is available at club, convenience, drug, grocery, mass, specialty and value stores, as well as in vending machines nationwide.

In January 2013, M&M’S Brand launched one of the largest marketing efforts in the brand’s history, "Better With M," to reinforce that "M" has always been the symbol of irresistible chocolate, and makes any occasion better, including birthdays, sporting events, movies, back-to-school and baking, just to name a few, the company stated.


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