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Kraft Foods cooks up more than 70 new products for 2012

BY Allison Cerra

NORTHFIELD, Ill. — 2012 may shape up to be a big year for Kraft Foods as the company prepares to launch more than 70 new products.

The lineup of products includes items across the following categories:

  • Easy meal solutions, such as Kraft Sizzling Salads, Kraft Fresh Take and Velveeta Cheesy Skillets dinner kits;

  • Beverages with energy benefits, including new MiO water enhancer flavors and Crystal Light energy powdered drink mix;

  • Better-for-you offerings, including the launch of BelVita breakfast biscuits in the United States, as well as the debut of Kraft MilkBite milk and granola bars, and the expansion of the Philadelphia cooking creme line; and

  • Indulgent inspirations, including Gevalia Kaffe coffee and Philadelphia Indulgence Spreads, which combine chocolate (dark, mlk and white) with Philadelphia cream cheese.

"Americans are having more interactive experiences with food and want the opportunity to do some of the cooking themselves," Kraft Foods VP breakthrough innovation Barry Calpino said. "With global influence and the merging of different cultures, consumers are open to new flavor combinations. Being able to customize the flavor and texture to enhance the end dish is important and Kraft Foods is delivering."

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Growth expected for tea, ready-to-drink tea market

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — The tea market is expected to see a surge in sales this year and beyond, according to a Packaged Facts report.

"Tea and Ready-to-Drink Tea in the U.S.," which was published in October, projected that the tea market will grow 5.2% to $6.5 billion this year, with retail tea market growth climbing from 6.6% in 2012 to 8.7% in 2014, reaching $8.3 billion in that year.

The report also noted that although supermarkets tend to be the biggest retail channel for leaf tea and ready-to-drink tea, sales also have been strong in convenience and natural food stores, with natural food stores recording canned and bottled teas as having double-digit growth.

Additional trends in the market include Fair Trade USA certified products, which rose 38% in the past year, in addition to the expansion of partnerships with Green Mountain Coffee Roaster’s Keurig single-cup brewing system.

Click here for the full report.

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Jones Soda expands board of directors

BY Allison Cerra

SEATTLE — A former Altria Group executive has joined the Jones Soda board of directors.

Richard Cautero was appointed to the role by the existing board, the company said. In addition to working at Altria Group for nearly 30 years (most recently serving as VP finance for corporate planning and strategy), he also served as chief financial and operating officer for Maxwell House, a division of Kraft Foods.

"Richard has an incredible pedigree in the consumer brand space, having served key leadership roles with major brands including Maxwell House Coffee, Kraft Foods and General Foods among many others," Jones Soda CEO William Meissner CEO. "His deep understanding and experience in our industry sector brings a very strong addition to the Board. All of us at Jones Soda are very excited to have him as we look to continue building the strength of our team."

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