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Ocean Spray introduces sparkling beverages line

BY Allison Cerra

LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass. — Ocean Spray is getting bubbly.

The juice brand said its new sparkling juice drinks will be available in two original and diet flavors, cranberry and pomegranate blueberry, and are made with 70% real fruit juice and no added sugar, artificial colors or preservatives. A serving of Ocean Spray sparkling juice is 90 calories, while Ocean Spray diet sparkling is 10 calories per serving.

To celebrate the launch of the new line, Ocean Spray’s Facebook fans can sign up for the first taste test.

"With the launch of our sparkling juice drinks, we hope to provide the right mix of the bubbly refreshment consumers crave with the tasty goodness of Ocean Spray juices," said Larry Martin, Ocean Spray VP marketing.

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Safeway launches ‘at-the-shelf’ SimpleNutrition program

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Wednesday introduced its new SimpleNutrition program, an in-store shelf tag system that makes it easier for shoppers to find better nutrition choices among foods and beverages. The SimpleNutrition green shelf tags on qualifying items are located throughout the store next to Safeway’s everyday low prices and club card specials.

Safeway created SimpleNutrition as a first step in helping its customers modify the selection of products that support a healthier lifestyle, the grocer stated. SimpleNutrition makes it easy to find nutritionally better items in store with green shelf tags that highlight up to two of 22 different nutrition and ingredient benefits, such as “gluten-free,” “organic,” “sodium-smart” or “made with whole grains.”

“Consumers are inundated with conflicting nutrition information and are often skeptical of the nutrition claims on packaging,” stated Barbara Walker, group VP consumer communications and brand marketing for Safeway. “SimpleNutrition is an ‘at-the-shelf’ program that simplifies and personalizes the grocery shopping experience so that shoppers can feel confident about making more informed food choices. … It provides shoppers with a quick snapshot of the nutrition and ingredient benefits that best match their nutritional needs.”

More than 1-in-3 moms are cautious about the claims made on packaging, according to a recent nationwide survey of 1,500 mothers commissioned by Safeway. In fact, as many as 41% of moms said that not having time to read all nutrition labels in store is a challenge they face when trying to make informed nutrition choices.

Safeway also will be implementing an at-home nutrition solution at Safeway.com/SimpleNutrition as a resource for food, nutrition and health information while moms make their shopping lists.

Safeway will continue to update the qualifying items based on changes in product nutrition and ingredient information and new products in the store. The company also is committed to expanding the SimpleNutrition program throughout 2011 by launching a personalized online nutrition tool to help shoppers find healthier alternatives to the foods they currently purchase.

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Hostess tickled pink with strawberry cupcakes

BY Allison Cerra

IRVING, Texas — Hostess has added a new member to its line of squiggle-topped cupcakes.

New pink strawberry cupcakes will feature delicious strawberry-flavored icing, Hostess’ signature creme filling and the icing squiggle on top.

Each 15-oz. package includes eight individually wrapped cupcakes and will be available at retailers nationwide.

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