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Mars Chocolate promotes Marathon Bar with Facebook pledge

BY Allison Cerra

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — As part of its official sponsorship of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, Mars Chocolate is encouraging Facebook users to make a personal pledge to their health once a week and share with other like-minded athletes what inspires them to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

Mars Chocolate said that everyone who "likes" the Marathon Bar Facebook page will be eligible to win such prizes as training gear, Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series race entries, Marathon Bar products and more. In addition to being eligible for weekly prizes, athletes will gain access to nutrition and training tips from experts in each field, support and encouragement from Team Marathon Bar members, as well as tools to help them train, regardless of what sport they specialize in.

"With more and more people making a push to lead an active, healthy lifestyle, the Marathon Bar pledge is the perfect platform to keep yourself accountable, encourage others, and build a community of like-minded individuals and showcase the taste and nutrition credentials of our Marathon bars," Mars Chocolate North America marketing director Ellen Thompson said. "We are excited to celebrate and reward athletes of all skill levels who make the pledge to ‘rock on’ with Marathon in 2012."

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White rice consumption could accelerate diabetes risk

BY Allison Cerra

BOSTON — A new study has indicated that the consumption of white rice can increase one’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Published in BMJ, Qi Sun, an instructor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and fellow researchers analyzed results from four previous studies — conducted in Australia, China, Japan and the United States — with follow-up periods ranging from 4 to 22 years. Among a total of 352,384 participants, nearly 3.8% (or 13 ,284) cases of Type 2 diabetes were recorded. What’s more, the study authors said, Asian (Chinese and Japanese) populations had much higher white rice consumption levels than did Western populations (average intake levels were three to four servings/day versus one to two servings/week). Overall, they found, was that each serving per day of white rice consumption was associated with an 11% increase in risk of diabetes in the overall population, and that a higher consumption of white rice was associated with a significantly increased risk of Type 2 diabetes among Asian (Chinese and Japanese) populations.

"Although rice has been a staple food in Asian populations for thousands of years, this transition may render Asian populations more susceptible to the adverse effects of high intakes of white rice, as well as other sources of refined carbohydrates, such as pastries, white bread, and sugar sweetened beverages," the authors concluded. "In addition, the dose-response relations indicate that even for Western populations with typically low intake levels, relatively high white rice consumption may still modestly increase risk of diabetes."

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Nestlé gears up for Easter with themed candies

BY Allison Cerra

GLENDALE, Calif. — Nestlé is rolling out new seasonal candy offerings for spring.

The company’s lineup this year includes the Nestlé Crunch Paul Frank "Julius the Bunny" solid milk chocolate bunny, which will be exclusively sold at Target for a suggested retail price of $3.49. Other items include:

  • Nestlé Butterfinger bunny, which will carry an SRP of $3.49 per 5.5-oz. package;

  • SweeTarts gummies, which will carry an SRP of $2.49 per 14-oz. package;

  • SweeTarts chicks, ducks, and bunnies: Classic SweeTarts candies shaped like chicks, ducks, and bunnies and will come in lemon, apple, strawberry, blueberry and grape flavors. The item will carry an SRP of $2.49 per 12-oz. package;

  • Wonka’s Golden Egg Hunt, which are bags that come with 12 pre-assembled Easter eggs stuffed with SweeTARTS, Laffy Taffy and Nerds and one golden egg. The item will carry an SRP of $5.29 per 3.36-oz. package;

  • Wonka Zero Gravity Egg Hunt, which package comes with hanging string, suction cups, adhesive stickers and glow-in-the-dark eggs ready to be hidden in the most unusual places, for an SRP of $5.29 per 3.36-oz. package;

  • Wonka SweeTarts jelly beans, available in blue punch, lemon, green apple, orange cherry and grape flavors, for an SRP of $2.49 per 14-oz. package;

  • SweeTarts jelly bean carrot bags, which feature tart orange jelly beans in a carrot-shaped bag, for an SRP of $1.99 per 6-oz. package; and

  • Wonka Egg fillers, which offer classic favorites — Spree, SweeTarts, Bottle Caps and Gobstoppers — in one bag. The item carries an SRP of $3.99 per 18-oz. package.

“We’re thrilled to offer new SweeTarts candy fillers, innovative Wonka eggs and egg-fillers, and the new Nestlé Crunch Paul Frank ‘Julius’ Bunny, which has been the must-have product this season,” Nestlé USA Confections & Snacks spokeswoman Tricia Bowles said.

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