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Kool-Aid announces healthier flavored drinks, plans to build playgrounds

BY Jenna Duncan

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. Kool-Aid today announced it will launch reformulated versions of its products that supply health benefits for child and adult consumers. The new products will roll out this spring with additions continuously being added to the lineup.

Several of Kool-Aid’s powdered and ready-to-drink beverages, such as Kool-Aid Burstin’ Waters and Sugar-Free Kool-Aid, have been reformulated to include antioxidants and vitamins C and E.

Kool-Aid, a division of Kraft Foods, has also announced a deal with KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization with a goal to build play areas within walking distance of every child in America. Kool-Aid will assist in KaBOOM!’s mission by helping to build 24 playgrounds in cities around the country this year, as well as providing grants to build 20 more in the future. Kool-Aid has named Reverend Run (real name: Joseph Simmons), hip-hop legend formerly of the iconic hip-hop group Run DMC, to be ambassador of the partnership.

“We understand that our consumers are looking for more choices that better meet the needs of their families,” said senior brand manager for Kool-Aid, Kirstie Krall, said. “We’re firmly committed to providing moms and kids with products that combine the great fun and flavor of Kool-Aid while providing better-for-you beverage options to help support a healthier lifestyle. And, in addition to offering new and improved products, we’re partnering with KaBOOM! to create great places to play for kids in cities around the country so that communities have somewhere to come together and get active.”

Kool-Aid and KaBOOM! will work together with Reverend Run to put promotions, such as speaking events, to talk about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle choices and getting exercise by playing.

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Wrigley adds natural germ-killing agents to Eclipse gum, mints

BY Jenna Duncan

Wrigley Jr. Co. has announced that its Eclipse line of gum and mints will be the first breath-freshening products in the United States to contain magnolia bark extract. The extract, known also as MBE, is a natural ingredient that comes from traditional Chinese medicine that kills bad breath-causing germs, a study released by Wrigley last year said.

Eclipse with MBE was promoted at the All Candy Expo in Chicago May 20. The gum is scheduled to hit retailers’ shelves this summer. Eclipse MBE gum is available in fresh and cool, peppermint, polar ice, spearmint and winterfrost flavors. Eclipse MBE mints will be released in September. Eclipse mint flavors include cinnamon inferno, peppermint, spearmint, and winterfrost.

“For Wrigley to offer this natural germ-killing ingredient is a breakthrough in the breath-freshening gum and mint categories,” Wrigley’s vice president of North American gum marketing, Paul Chibe, said. “Now people will get the best of both worlds in their favorite Eclipse gum and mints—great taste and the ability to help kill germs that cause bad breath.”

In November 2007, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry released a Wrigley-sponsored study that showed MBE could destroy significant amounts of bacteria known to cause bad breath. Evidence from that study also showed that MBE may help protect teeth from bacteria that cause dental caries.

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Just Born to debut brand new Peeps

BY Alaric DeArment

BETHLEHEM, Pa. Candy maker Just Born has some new products that it will showcase at the All Candy Expo at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center.

New products include sugar-free Peeps Pumpkins and Peeps Marshmallow JOY Letters, as well as new flavors for Mike and Ike Lemonade Blends.

Other new products for the Peeps like will include Chocolate Mousse Flavored Marshmallow Bunnies, Chocolate Mousse Flavored Marshmallow Bears, Orange Chicks and Green Bunnies.

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