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PlumSmart gets lighter

BY Diana Alickaj

YUBA CITY, Calif. The introduction of PlumSmart Light, a lower calorie version of PlumSmart plum juice, showcased an even healthier juice for consumers to enjoy. PlumSmart Light, presented by Sunsweet Growers, the company stated, is an alternative juice for those who are plagued by digestive disorders and need a beverage with low sugar.

PlumSmart Light contains the same amount of fiber as the original PlumSmart, measuring in at 3 grams. According to published reports, it also contains 11 grams of sugar and is about 60 calories. The juice contains other healthy ingredients that are said to improve the digestive tract, magnesium and potassium. These ingredients are ideal for a person who is either diabetic or simply wants to limit sugar-intake.

“PlumSmart Light is designed for those of us who are health conscious and enjoy the satisfaction of drinking something that not only tastes good, but is good for you,” Steve Harris, vice president of marketing at Sunsweet, said. “With 60 to 70 million Americans suffering from digestive diseases, PlumSmart Light is the only low-sugar juice for digestive health maintenance.”

Sunsweet also will launch a campaign with Carolyn O’Neil, a dietitian and award-winning author, to promote the website www.smartgigestivehealth.com which educates men and women on digestive disorders and the importance of nutrients and vitamins for overall health. PlumSmart is available in major retailers nationwide, and is also available at their website www.plumsmart.net where more information about PlumSmart Light is available.

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A favorite U.S. chocolate bar gets more expensive

BY Diana Alickaj

NEW YORK What has always been one of America’s favorite chocolates has now gotten more expensive. The Hershey Co. has recently announced a price increase in wholesale prices for its domestic confectionery line.

According to Hershey, the increase in price was due to the need to control and level the increase in input costs, which include raw materials, fuel utilities and transportation. The increase in its retail products would be a helpful solution in offsetting the company’s price increases. Hershey estimated that there was a 13 percent increase on the company’s standard bar, king-size bar, 6-pack and vending lines. Hershey has also estimated that there will be approximately a 3 percent increase over Hershey’s entire domestic product line.

The price increase is said to take effect immediately, but for existing customers, Hershey has decided that during the four-week period that ends on Feb. 24, 2008, customers may order and take delivery of about eight weeks at the current prices.

As a message to its investors, the company made sure to mention that it already had established its 2008 full-year net sales and earnings per share outlook on Jan. 24, 2008. Any details or explanations regarding GAAP and non-GAAP items can be found at www.Hersheys.com.

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4-H inspires new ice cream from Blue Bell

BY DSN STAFF

BRENHAM, Texas Blue Bell Creameries is introducing Centennial Cupcake Ice Cream in honor of the Texas 4-H organization’s 100th birthday and, to sweeten the deal, is donating a portion of the sales to promote 4-H educational programs.

The cake batter ice Cream features pieces of yellow cake, a chocolate-icing swirl and four-leaf clover sprinkles.

“We just finished celebrating our 100th birthday so we understand just how special this is,” said Paul Kruse, Blue Bell chief executive officer and president. “Centennial Cupcake has all the ingredients for a celebration, cake and ice cream.”

4-H is a national organization that prides itself on teaching young people across America leadership, citizenship and life skills. There are more than 7 million members from eight to 18 years of age involved in 4-H.

Centennial Cupcake Ice Cream will be sold in Texas and across the company’s 17-state distribution area beginning this month.

Blue Bell has created a unique carton for this new flavor that features four children in 4-H T-shirts and the organization’s widely recognized four-leaf emblem. “I think the smiling faces capture the spirit of this organization just perfectly,” Kruse said. 

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