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Kraft to announce new products for 2008-09

BY Jenna Duncan

NORTHFIELD, Ill. Last week Kraft Foods announced the release of several new food items in its effort to keep afloat in an increasingly competitive snack and grocery market.

Kraft said that it has in the works 80 new products to be launched in the next year. Some of the new products include Cool-Whip in an aerosol can, digestive-health promoting granola bars, macaroni-and-cheese-flavored crackers and single serving deli meats.

Bob Becker, senior vice-president of new products for Kraft Foods North America, said, “We are spending much more time and focus on reinventing our iconic brands.”

A leader in the lower-calorie snack race and convenient beverage creations, Kraft said it will focus its energies on developing more convenient meals, healthy foods, premium items and snacks.

Kraft last year boosted its sales an impressive 8.4 percent to $37.24 billion. However net earnings fell 15.4 percent to $2.59 billion. The company says the loss was the result of higher commodity costs and increased spending on things like developing products, marketing and restructuring. Kraft will report its earnings for the first quarter on Wednesday, April 30.

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Purple expands to Northern Conn. and R.I. with Northeast Beverage

BY Adam Kraemer

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Purple Beverage Co. today announced that Northeast Beverage Co. of Rhode Island has agreed to distribute the company’s signature beverage, Purple, throughout Northern Connecticut and Rhode Island.

“We are excited to partner with Northeast Beverage Company to expand our distribution further through the New England area,” said Ted Farnsworth, founder and chief executive officer of Purple. “As a leading beverage distributor, Northeast Beverage Company has existing relationships with key retail and on-premise accounts across the region. Coupled with our successful launch in other areas of the Northeast and our growing national presence, this additional distribution will bring us closer to our goals of becoming a national brand.”

“Purple has been selling well in other parts of the Northeast and we are excited to add the product to our extensive line of current offerings,” said Kevin O’Brien, general manager of Northeast Beverage Company. “By adding Purple to our roster of well-respected brands, we will help not only the company to expand distribution of its functional beverage, Purple, but will also fill the growing demand for healthful beverages in the areas that we serve.”

Northeast Beverage is Rhode Island’s and Connecticut’s exclusive distributor of Red Bull, as well as being Rhode Island’s exclusive Coors distributor. The company also distributes Snapple and Muscle Milk.

Purple can be found in select GNC stores across the country, as well as in drug stores, health food stores, supermarkets and convenience stores.

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Minute Maid introduces two flavors of enhanced juice drinks

BY Adam Kraemer

HOUSTON Minute Maid announced today the expansion of its line of enhanced juices to include two new juice drinks—Minute Maid Pomegranate Flavored Tea and Minute Maid Pomegranate Lemonade.

The Minute Maid Enhanced Juice and Juice Drink line offers 100 percent juices and juice drinks that are nutritionally enhanced to help meet consumers’ health needs. Along with the other flavors, including Minute Maid Pomegranate Blueberry flavored 100 percent fruit juice blend, in Minute Maid’s offering of pomegranate-flavored enhanced juices and juice drinks the new offerings also contain antioxidant vitamins C and E.

“Consumers love the health benefits that antioxidants provide and the taste of pomegranate, as we’ve seen from the phenomenal success of our Pomegranate Blueberry flavored juice blend,” said Charles Torrey, Minute Maid marketing group director. “With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to enjoy the delicious pomegranate flavor in refreshing, nutritionally enhanced tea and lemonade.”

All Minute Maid Enhanced Juices and Juice Drinks are offered in distinctive 59-fl.oz. PET bottles, with an “easy pour” side grip and clear packaging to showcase the quality of the juice

Both new products are available now in stores nationwide.

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