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Miller expands light beer rollout to select cities

BY Jenna Duncan

MILWAUKEE Miller Brewing Co. yesterday announced that its rollout of MGD 64, a new 64-calorie version of Miller Genuine Draft Light, will be extended to six additional new markets, due to positive responses so far.

Miller said Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle have been added to its list of markets to expand sales of MGD 64. The “lighter light beer” was initially launched during the summer of 2007 in Madison, Wis., and is now available across the Midwest and in several Western states.

Marketing activities in places like spas and health clubs, have been planned, as well as print ad launches, radio spots and out-of-home advertising featuring MGD 64’s catch phrase “As Light As It Gets.”

Low-calorie MGD 64 boasts fewer calories and carbohydrates than all other competing brand light beers. At 64 calories and 2.4 grams of carbohydrates per 12-ounce serving, it has fewer than Amstel Light [95 calories, 5 carbs], Bud Light [110 calories, 6.6 carbs], Coors Light [102 calories, 5 carbs] and Michelob Ultra [95 calories, 2.6 carbs].

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Skinny, Lukoil Americas partner to bring Skinny Water to Philly

BY Jenna Duncan

BALA CYNWYD, Pa. Skinny Nutritional Corp and Lukoil Oil Company today announced they are partnering up to launch Skinny Water in Philadelphia. At many Philadelphia gas stations, gas signs were slashes to zero and free gasoline and bottles of Skinny Water were given away to drivers.

The “Zero” Gasoline Event that brought Skinny Water to 120 locations in the Philadelphia region, many of them Lukoil Kwik Farm and Getty stores.

“The partnership with Lukoil is our first major convenience store chain in the Philadelphia region to carry Skinny Water in their stores,” Don McDonald, president of Skinny Nutritional Corp. said. “As part of our mass distribution plan for Philadelphia, the Lukoil Kwik Farm stores gives us a single serve ?grab on the go’ cold sale. We will be doing sampling and co-promotions with Lukoil throughout the summer to drive both retail sales and local brand awareness for Skinny Water.”

At some locations, cars were lined up for free tanks of gas and free bottles of Skinny Water as part of the promotion. Additionally, drivers got the chance to meet local Skinny Water spokesperson Pat Croce, the Skinny girls, and Skinny Water’s mascots “the zeros.”

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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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