Mars gets ready for 2012 with new products
CHICAGO — Mars Chocolate North America is expanding its portfolio with new varieties and snack sizes for some of its brands.
The products, which were unveiled at the National Association of Convenience Stores Show in Chicago this week, will include:
3 Musketeers coconut bar: Debuting in December for a suggested retail price of $1.09;
Dove chocolate singles bars (available in milk and dark chocolate): Relaunching in a wider size (10% increase in weight) in Jan. 2012 for a suggested retail price of $1.09;
M&M’s mint dark chocolate candies: Debuting in December for a suggested retail price of $1.09;
M&M’s snack mix, available in three varieties: Debuting in May 2012 in 8-oz. resealable pouches for a suggested retail price of $3.29;
Snickers 3X Chocolate 2 to Go bars: Debuting in December for a suggested retail price of $1.69;
Dove Bar mint swirl ice cream with dark chocolate: Debuting in March 2012 for a suggested retail price of $3.99;
Milky Way chocolate ice cream bars: Debuting in March 2012 for a suggested retail price of $1.79 (single bar), $4.29 (six-packs), $4.29 (80-calories miniature bars in a 12-pack).
New shareable sizes will be available for the following products:
M&M’s almond chocolate candies;
M&M’s pretzel chocolate candies; and
Snickers Peanut Butter Squared bars.
Blue Diamond moves ahead with expansion plans
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Blue Diamond, known for its almond-based food products, announced that it is moving ahead with its expansion strategy by purchasing 88 acres of land in Turlock, Calif.
Blue Diamond said the Turlock location will help the company meet its increasing global market opportunities and crop supply. The capacity expansion plan includes ongoing operations at the Sacramento and Salida, Calif.-based plants with upgrades planned at both facilities.
"The unprecedented growth in our Blue Diamond consumer brand and ingredient business requires us to expand our capacity beyond our Sacramento and Salida operations," Blue Diamond president and CEO Mark Jansen said. "The California almond crop has doubled over the last decade. Global demand continues to climb: 2010 crop shipments exceeded previous shipments by 14% for a five-year annual growth rate of 13%. This plan will provide the capacity we need to grow as global markets expand and U.S. consumers demand more nutritional almond products."
FTC requires packaging changes for Four Loko beverage
WASHINGTON — After the Federal Trade Commission charged the maker of an alcoholic, carbonated malt beverage with deceptive advertising, the company has agreed to make changes to its product’s packaging.
Phusion Projects has agreed to only use resealable containers for its Four Loko flavored malt beverages that have more alcohol than the equivalent of two-and-a-half regular 12-oz. beers. The FTC alleged that "Phusion Projects and its principals falsely claimed that a 23.5-oz., 11% or 12% alcohol by volume can of Four Loko contains alcohol equivalent to one or two regular 12-oz. beers, and that a consumer could drink one can safely in its entirety on a single occasion." According to the FTC, one can of Four Loko contains as much alcohol as four to five 12-oz. cans of regular beer and is not safe to drink on a single occasion.
Additionally, the settlement also bars Phusion Projects from misrepresenting the alcohol content of any beverage, and from depicting people drinking directly from the container of any product containing more alcohol than that found in two-and-a-half regular beers.
"Deception about alcohol content is dangerous to consumers, and it’s a serious concern for the FTC," said David Vladeck, director of the agency’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. "Four Loko contains as much alcohol as four or five beers, but it is marketed as a single-serving beverage."
Currently, the 23.5-oz. Four Loko cans are nonresealable and the size of about two regular beer cans.
"Our labeling has always clearly conveyed exactly what’s in the can in bold, capital letters — 23.5 oz. and 12% ABV. Even though we reached an agreement, we don’t share the FTC’s perspective and we disagree with their allegations. We don’t believe there were any violations. Four Loko’s labeling and marketing has never stated that the cans were the equivalent of one to two beers. However, we take legal compliance very seriously and we share the FTC’s interest in making sure consumers get all the information and tools they need to make smart, informed decisions," Phusion Projects cofounder Jaisen Freeman said in a statement.
Phusion Projects recently removed caffeine from its flavored malt beverages after receiving warnings from the government that noted "alcohol containing added caffeine presents unusual risks to health and safety."