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Miller withdraws test marketing of craft beers

BY Jenna Duncan

MILWAUKEE After a month of less-than positive responses to its Miller Lite Brewing Collection craft beer variations in several Midwestern markets, newly-formed MillerCoors has ended testing in order to “rethink the brand,” the company has said. The recent test run began in April and was slated to last through September, but since has been halted.

Craft beer variations of Miller Lite, which blend the original with various styles such as amber, blonde and wheat ales, did not fare as well as expected among taste-testers in cities like Baltimore, Charlotte, N.C. and Minneapolis, a MillerCoors spokesman has said.

MillerCoors said that the idea behind the Miller Lite Brewing Collection was to market a low-calorie Miller Lite to craft drinkers and attract new beer drinkers, as well. But the company met some hang-ups spreading the message, as well as separately identifying classic Miller v from the craft collection.

Thursday, Miller’s parent company, SABMiller, reported that for the previous quarter 2008 major beer brand sales have fallen by 2 percent in North America, and lager consumption was down 1.6 percent around the globe. Additionally, North American retailer purchases of Miller Lite were down by 1.6 percent. Miller High Life sales were up less than 1 percent.

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House passes tobacco control act, giving regulation powers to FDA

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON The House passed sweeping legislation to regulate tobacco Wednesday.

In a 326-102 vote, 230 Democrats and 96 Republicans voted in favor of the Family Smoking and Tobacco Control Act. The act would not ban tobacco or nicotine, but it would require reduction or elimination of carcinogenic chemicals in cigarette smoke, strengthen advertising restrictions and ban candy-flavored cigarettes and cigars while also giving the Food and Drug Administration the power to ban menthol.

The bill’s passage follows the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ approval of a law that would ban tobacco sales in pharmacies.

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Low-acid coffee posed to be a hit among ‘green’ consumers

BY Jenna Duncan

WOODLAND, Calif. While many food companies are upgrading their processing and packaging plants to run on renewable fuel sources, as well as making strides to cut back waste from packaging and adopt more sustainable manufacturing practices, one coffee company has turned to adapting its roasting process to make it more sustainable.

Puroast Low Acid Coffee, mountain grown in the Andes, is making waves for its innovative roasting technology. In a time-tested tradition, Puroast is roasted by wood-pellet fueled fires using only renewable resources. Puroast’s roasting methods and business model have even caught the attention of and received acclaim from The Sustainable Business Institute in San Jose, Calif., earning them SBI’s Seal of Sustainability in 2004.

“Puroast Low Acid Coffee is one of those cases where sustainability has actually led to a better consumer product—the economics and qualities of renewable, wood pellet fuel, enables us to make low acid coffee commercially viable and affordable to the American consumer,” said Puroast chief executive officer, Kerry Sachs.

Low acid coffee contains less than half the amount of acid of most popular brands, the company said, and is a good choice for people who frequently deal with acid reflux disease and heartburn.

Puroast Low Acid gourmet coffee is now available at retailers nationwide.

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