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Mars releases premium versions of familiar candies

BY Jenna Duncan

McLEAN, Va. Mars has announced the release of variations on several of its best-known candies. The candy items will be rolled out to stores by the end of the year.

First in line, Dove tablet bars are getting new packaging. The new “large bars” will include three individually wrapped pieces in a resealable pack. Six new flavors join the premium Dove premium tablets collection in a new, larger package. Dove tablet flavors include blueberry almond, cranberry almond, dark chocolate with roasted almond, extra creamy milk chocolate, peanut toffee crunch and roasted hazelnut. Each of the large tablet packages (3.53 oz.) retails at $1.99.

Taking the chocolate experience beyond the candy bar format, Dove is also adding chocolate dessert medallions to its list of premium chocolate creations. Dove Desserts Bananas Foster and Dove Desserts Tiramisu will debut in mid-June 2008. The Bananas Foster flavor is banana/caramel flavor-filled milk chocolate while the Tiramisu variety are lady-fingers-and-cream-flavored and dipped in dark chocolate. Retail price is $2.99 for a 5.8 oz. recloseable stand-up carton.

M & Ms is releasing a line of premium chocolate candies wrapped in iridescent colors and sold in recloseable cartons. M&M’S Premiums flavors include chocolate almond, mint chocolate, mocha, raspberry almond (with white chocolate) and triple chocolate, with layers of white, milk and dark chocolates. M & Ms Premiums retail at $3.99 for a 6 oz. package.

Expanding the Snickers chocolate bar family, Mars is adding a new flavor, Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road, to its lineup. Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road is dark chocolate lined with caramel, and filled with almonds and marshmallow nougat. Rockin’ Nut Road bars will debut in stores in September.

And to expand on its non-chocolate candies, Mars is launching Starburst Gummibursts, arriving in stores spring 2008. Each Starburst Gummiburst has a chewy, gummy exterior and is filled with a juicy liquid fruit center. The flavors of Starburst Gummibursts include cherry, lemon, orange and strawberry. Single packs are prices at $0.79 and 6 oz. bags at $1.49.

All of the new Mars candies will be available at mass, grocery, convenience and drug stores nationwide.

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Research shows green tea may ease sleep apnea symptoms

BY Jenna Duncan

LOUISVILLE, Ky Green tea has chemical components that may help ease symptoms in patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, some U.S.researchers have reported.

A study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine said that polyphenols found in green tea, when added to drinking water and administered on oxygen-deprived rats over a 12-hour sleeping period (a method created to mimic symptoms of intermittent hypoxia, or IH)  helped the rats perform better in memory exercises.

The research study was lead by Dr. David Gozal of the Kosair Children’s Hospital Research Institute at the University of Louisville. After receiving green tea water or the placebo, rats were tested for inflammation and oxidative stress, and also were tested in spatial learning and memorization in navigating a water maze with a hidden platform. Rats given green tea tested slightly better in the water-maze test.

Gozal said that the green tea polyphenols “may represent a potential interventional strategy for patients” with sleep-disordered breathing.

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General Mills joins aid efforts to ease earthquake woes in China

BY Jenna Duncan

MINNEAPOLIS General Mills Foundation, in cooperation with General Mills China, has agreed to provide $500,000 to the American Red Cross for earthquake response efforts led in the Sichuan Province, an area where General Mills has business operations. The relief funds will go to support the work of the Red Cross Society of China.

Chris Shea, president of the General Mills Foundation, said, “We were relieved to learn that our employees are safe, and our hearts go out those who have been impacted by this disaster. We want to provide immediate help because we know that rebuilding lives takes time.”

Leading consumer foods manufacturer and marketer General Mills has operations in more than 100 countries. In China, General Mills produces and distributes a variety of items including snack chips, Haagen Dazs ice cream and Wanchai Ferry brand frozen dumplings.

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