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Michelob Ultra debuts light cider

BY Allison Cerra

ST. LOUIS — Anheuser-Busch has expanded its Michelob Ultra brand to include a naturally sweetened and gluten-free cider made from crisp apples.

Michelob Ultra light cider is the first cider from Anheuser-Busch to be produced and distributed in the United States. The cider touts 120 calories and is ideal for year-round enjoyment and provides adult drinkers a light, refreshing alternative to white wine, champagne and heavier ciders.

"As more people continue to discover cider, we’ve found that many view traditional ciders as either too heavy, too sweet or both," Anheuser-Busch VP premium lights Ryan Moore said. "This perception has often times limited ciders to a seasonal beverage during fall and winter, but we saw an untapped potential to expand the category as a year-round option for adult drinkers. Michelob Ultra light cider fills this void with a lower calorie cider with a milder, but distinct, sweetness that can be enjoyed straight or over ice."

Michelob Ultra light cider now is available nationwide in 6-packs of 12-oz. clear glass bottles.

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Birds Eye joins Partnership for a Healthier America

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — Birds Eye announced it has joined the Partnership for a Healthier America and has launched a three-year effort to encourage kids to look at vegetables in a whole new way.

"Birds Eye is taking a different approach to helping kids discover the wonder of vegetables by going straight to the source," said Sally Genster Robling, president of the Birds Eye frozen division. "We’re asking kids what they think about fresh vegetables in frozen form and inviting them to help us create new veggie products just for kids. By engaging and empowering moms and kids with options available year round, Birds Eye hopes to get more vegetables on America’s dinner plates."

Birds Eye said it will invest a minimum of $6 million over three years and will launch a campaign that celebrates and engages "GenVeg" — a generation of kids who want to eat and enjoy their vegetables — and encourage them to do so with help from Nickelodeon’s hit live-action series "iCarly." As part of the GenVeg outreach, Birds Eye also will distribute 50 million coupons and bring to market two kid-inspired vegetable products.

"Most people know what they need to do to eat healthier – the challenge comes in lowering the cost, making healthier options more accessible and, maybe most important, getting our kids to actually want to eat their veggies," PHA president and CEO Larry Soler said. "Birds Eye understands that talking to kids differently about eating their vegetables is an important part of helping to change their eating habits. Their commitment embodies the PHA’s goal to help make the healthy choice the easy choice – not just by reducing barriers like cost and time, but also by focusing on something we sometimes overlook: taste."

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Pepsi debuts first commercial for ‘Live for Now’ campaign

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. — Pepsi is airing its first television advertisement as part of its first-ever global campaign.

The spot, called "Now in the Moment," is the first televised expression of the "Live for Now" campaign, which inspires Pepsi fans to live each moment to the fullest through a breadth of global, pop culture platforms, the company said. The commercial features a cameo appearance by music artist Nicki Minaj and features an all-new remix of Minaj’s hit single, "Moment 4 Life," and will debut during primetime broadcasts on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CWN.

"Pepsi has a rich history of inspiring fans to connect with pop culture and entertainment and providing them with unparalleled experiences in relevant, authentic, and new ways," Pepsi Beverages chief marketing officer Simon Lowden said. "We wanted to create an ad spot that is true to Pepsi’s DNA and speaks to the essence of living for now."

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