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NCA’s Confectionary Foundation establishes Rockaway Disaster Relief Fund to help the hurricane-damaged community

BY Rebecca Haughey

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Confectioners Association’s Confectionary Foundation has established the Rockaway Disaster Relief Fund to help aid in the recovery of the community after Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast.

Rockaway Peninsula in Long Island, in the New York City borough of Queens, saw water rise as high as 7 feet last monday, and many homes washed completely away or reduced to rubble. Rockaway Beach is home to one of NCA’s long-standing and valued members, Madelaine Chocolate. Jorge Farber, president and CEO of Madelaine, has agreed to serve as executor of the new Fund.

"Jorge is on the ground in the community and will have a deep understanding of how our donations can best be used by various local organizations," said NCA president Larry Graham. "There are many people trying to help the community, but the needs are tremendous at this time and our donations will make a difference to the local police and fire departments, food banks and community shelters."

Companies or individuals can assist with these hurricane recovery efforts can make a financial contribution to NCA’s Confectionary Foundation, to assist a community that is home to members of the confectionary industry. All donations are tax-deductible, and 100% of the funds will directly benefit the Rockaway Disaster Relief Fund. Donations will be accepted through Nov. 14.

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Coach K named keynote speaker for 2013 Sweets & Snacks Expo

BY Rebecca Haughey

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Coach K, the highest winning coach in NCAA Division One basketball, was named the keynote speaker for the 2013 Sweets & Snacks Expo, which is hosted by the National Confectioners Association on May 21-23 in Chicago.

As head coach of Duke University’s Blue Devils for more than 30 years, Coach K has made a career of motivating people, on and off the court. He was named "America’s Best Coach" of all coaches, in any sport, at any level of play in 2001 by TIME magazine and CNN.

Coach K led the U.S. men’s basketball team to their second consecutive gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He has led Duke to four NCAA Championships, 11 Final Fours, 13 Atlantic Coast Conference championship and an NCAA-record 12 30-win seasons.

At the 2013 Sweet & Snacks Expo, Coach K will share his secrets to achieving victory through successful leadership.

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On solid 3Q, Kraft promises more innovation for key brands

BY Rebecca Haughey

NORTHFIELD, Ill. – Kraft Foods Group on Wednesday announced that new product sales, increased advertising investment and improved productivity have contributed to profit gains for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

During the company’s third-quarter investors call, Kraft CEO Tony Vernon emphasized strong performances from Kraft’s cheese business, with nine consecutive quarters of growth; its cold cut business; and brands that have benefited from innovation and stepped-up marketing, like Lunchables, Velveeta and Kool-Aid. Several other brands — including Maxwell House, Planters and Jell-O — aren’t performing so well, and are about to undergo significant overhauls, the company announced.

"Jell-O must be revitalized, and we must do it in the face of yogurt’s explosive growth. And Planters needs significantly more work to re-establish category leadership and profitable growth," Vernon said.

Much of Kraft’s future success will depend on the company’s ability to re-energize antiquated brand names like Stove Top, Cool Whip and Shake ‘N Bake — or sell them off.

Sales for the quarter were up 3% to $4.6 billion, exceeding analysts’ expectations of $4.55 billion. This is the company’s first quarter reporting earnings as a standalone company; Kraft Foods Group is now the fourth-largest food and beverage company in North America, behind PepsiCo, Nestle and Coca-Cola.

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