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NRF: Drop in number to celebrate Halloween this year

BY Dan Berthiaume

WASHINGTON — Nearly 158 million consumers will participate in Halloween activities, slightly less than the historic high of 170 million people last year. New figures from the National Retail Federation indicate the average consumer will spend $75.03 on Halloween this year, down 6% from $79.82 last year.

However, average overall spending on Halloween has increased 54.7% since 2005, with total spending estimated to reach $6.9 billion in 2013. Other NRF figures include:

• About 44% of people plan to dress up and will spend a total of $2.6 billion on costumes, including $1.04 billion for children’s costumes and $1.22 billion for adult costumes;

• One-fourth of U.S. consumers (25.2%) say the state of the economy will impact their Halloween spending plans and nearly nine-in-10 (86.1%) will spend less overall, up slightly from 83.5% last year. In addition, 32.7% will buy less candy and 18.1% will make a costume instead of buying one;

• About 14% of consumers plan to buy a pet costume and will spend a total of $330 million;

• The average person buying or making a costume will spend $27.85, similar to the $28.65 spent last year;

• Consumers will spend $2.08 billion on candy, $1.96 billion on decorations and $360 million on greeting cards;

• Nearly one-third (32.8%) of consumers will begin shopping before September 30. An additional 67.2% of consumers will shop in October. Specifically, 43.6% will begin the first two weeks in October and 23.6% will wait until the final two weeks of the month;

• One-third (32.9%) of consumers will search for costume ideas online, another third (32.8%) will look for new ideas in a store, and one-fifth (20.8%) will seek advice from friends or family. In addition, 14.1% will check Facebook for inspiration, 9.3% will look at Pinterest and 3.8% will review blogs.

“Still one of the most beloved and anticipated consumer holidays, Halloween will be far from a bust this year,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “After a long summer, the arrival of fall will put millions of Americans in the spirit to partake in traditional and festive activities. Retailers recognize that when it comes to Halloween, consumers’ creativity abounds. We expect retailers to stock their shelves with unique costume ideas for adults, children and pets, a variety of candy options and never-seen-before home and yard decor.”


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Sandoz launches authorized generic drug for myelodysplastic syndrome

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. — Sandoz has launched an authorized generic drug for treating a disease commonly known as pre-leukemia, the company said on Monday.

Sandoz, the generics division of Novartis, announced the launch of azacitidine injection, an authorized generic version of Celgene’s Vidaza, in 100-mg, single-use vials. The drug is used to treat myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone marrow disease. Authorized generics are branded drugs marketed at a discounted price under their generic names, usually through a third-party company under contract with the branded drug’s manufacturer.

Vidaza had sales of $373 million during the 12-month period that ended in May, according to IMS Health.


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Jack Link’s introduces new limited-edition, globally-inspired snacks

BY Jason Owen

MINONG, Wis. — Jack Link’s announced this month two new limited-edition snacks that draw inspiration from global cuisines in Southeast Asia and Latin America.

Jack Link’s new Sriracha beef and Burrito beef jerky are the latest additions to the Jack Link’s line of meat snacks.

“As the fastest growing meat snack brand, Jack Link’s is continually creating exciting new meat snack flavors to meet the demands of consumers’ ever-evolving palates,” said Kevin Papacek, director of marketing, Jack Link’s. “Both of Jack Link’s new globally-inspired flavors — Sriracha beef jerky and Burrito beef jerky — invite today’s snackers to unleash their adventurous spirits with the bold and spicy tastes of their favorite foods."

Jack Link’s Sriracha beef jerky is made with hot chili peppers and garlic, providing the spice and heat of Sriracha hot sauce.

The new Burrito beef jerky is inspired by a Latin American concoction of spicy chili peppers, onions and garlic.

Requiring no refrigeration, both new offerings are packaged for snacking on the road, at home or anywhere in between. Each 3.25-oz. bag of Jack Link’s Sriracha beef jerky and Burrito beef jerky includes 15 g of protein, is 97% fat free and is low in calories and carbs, making the products a smart alternative to carb-laden, high-fat snacks.

Jack Link’s Sriracha and Burrito beef jerky are now available at retail locations across the country for a suggested retail price of $6.99.


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