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Mars announces collaboration with Fairtrade International

BY Allison Cerra

MT. OLIVE, N.J., and BONN, Del. — Mars Chocolate and Fairtrade International will introduce the first Fairtrade-labeled Mars product.

As part of the collaboration, the first Mars product to carry the Fairtrade mark will be Maltesers, which will arrive in U.K. and Ireland stores in 2012. This initial phase of the agreement will contribute more than $1 million annually in Fairtrade premium funds for cocoa farmers to invest in their farms, business organizations and communities.

"This agreement is a big step towards fulfilling our shared mission to empower farmers to build vibrant, sustainable livelihoods, and we’re very excited to work with Fairtrade on ways to enable commodity certification to scale across the entire industry," Mars Global Chocolate VP Barry Parkin said. "This commitment is our recognition of Fairtrade’s history of dedication to smallholder farmers and their efforts to enable farmer productivity and income improvements."

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Pepsi’s latest ad chock full of music artists

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. — Pepsi unveiled its latest television ad, which celebrates the brand’s rich music history, during the premiere of Fox’s "The X Factor."

The "Music Icons" spot, which features global icons Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Kanye West, Ray Charles and Mariah Carey, was in line with the concept of "The X Factor," which is to search for the next pop music star. The spot also featured the following slogan: "where there’s Pepsi, there’s music."

"Pepsi has always been at the center of music and pop culture and is known for featuring top talent in its campaigns," PepsiCo Beverages chief marketing officer of global consumer engagement Frank Cooper said. "We’re confident that the next pop music star will emerge from our partnership with The X Factor."

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Yoplait expands fruit and yogurt smoothie line

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS — Yoplait has introduced its latest fruit and yogurt smoothie flavor.

Yoplait said its chocolate banana smoothie has joined the roster of four other flavors, including triple berry, strawberry banana, blueberry pomegranate and strawberry mango pineapple. The smoothie comes in a freezer package, which provides two 8-oz. servings and contains frozen fruit and real Yoplait yogurt.

With 130 calories per serving, the new flavor is an ideal late afternoon snack or after-dinner treat, the company said.

Yoplait chocolate banana smoothies carry a suggested retail price of $3.49.

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