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Popcorn, Indiana debuts new FIT snack line

BY Jason Owen

ENGLEWOOD, N.J. — Popcorn, Indiana — maker of all-natural popcorn snacks — announced the debut of FIT, a new line of better-for-you popcorn that will be available in stores nationwide this month.

Boasting amazing taste, crispy crunch, 40 calories or less and just 2 g of fat per cup, FIT is ideal for those who are looking to snack smarter, not just skinnier, and don’t want to sacrifice on flavor.

"As people who eat, sleep and breathe popcorn, we pride ourselves in continuing to push the boundaries when it comes to the kernel. Our popcorn chefs worked hard to perfect the pop when developing each of our delicious FIT flavors that are perfect for any occasion," said Hitesh Hajarnavis, president and CEO of Popcorn, Indiana. "With this new line, snackers can have it all. With every delectable bite, FIT features a fresh and savory taste that puts the fun back into guilt-free snacking. There is no need to make any compromises."

Popcorn, Indiana’s chefs, masters in the art of creating delicious high-quality snacks, crafted FIT in four flavors: Sea Salt, Parmesan & Herb, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Onion Dijon. Two of the flavors, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Sea Salt, will carry the Non-GMO Project Verified seal. As with all Popcorn, Indiana products, FIT contains whole grains, is certified Gluten-Free by the GFCO and is free of artificial flavoring and preservatives.


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Hormel acquires iconic Skippy peanut butter line

BY Jason Owen

AUSTIN, Minn. — Hormel Foods announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Skippy peanut butter business from Unilever United States, of Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals in the United States and other jurisdictions.

"The acquisition of the Skippy peanut butter business represents a significant opportunity for Hormel Foods. It allows us to grow our branded presence in the center of the store with a non-meat protein product, and it reinforces our balanced portfolio," said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer at Hormel Foods. "The fast growing international line also will strengthen our global presence, and should be a useful complement to our sales strategy in China for the SPAM family of products."

The Skippy peanut butter domestic line consists of 11 varieties of shelf-stable peanut butter products. The brand, first introduced in 1932, holds the No. 2 share in this growing center of the store category and is the leading brand in the faster-growing subcategory of natural peanut butter. Peanut butter is a $2 billion category with a 74% household penetration and is the second most popular sandwich behind ham in the United States. Internationally, Skippy peanut butter is the leading brand in China and is sold in more than 30 other countries on five continents.

Total annual sales are expected to be approximately $370 million, with nearly $100 million of those sales outside the United States. The purchase price is approximately $700 million. Hormel Foods expects this acquisition to be modestly accretive in fiscal 2013. Full-year accretion in fiscal 2014 is expected to be between 13 and 17 cents per share.


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Pepperidge Farm launches Jingos! snack crackers

BY Jason Owen

NORWALK, Conn. — Pepperidge Farm, makers of popular Milano cookies and Goldfish snack crackers, has unveiled new Jingos! snack crackers.

As one of more than 30 product introductions celebrating Pepperidge Farm’s 75th anniversary, the debut of Jingos! reveals how innovation continues to be a driving force for Pepperidge Farm, a leading provider of premium quality fresh breads, cookies, crackers and frozen bakery products. Whether it’s zesty Lime & Sweet Chili kicking up the flavor of a brown bag lunch, tangy Parmesan Garlic during a savored mid-afternoon break, or Fiesta Cheddar as a festive half-time snack, twice-seasoned and always-baked Jingos! continue to put a little pep in one’s post-snack step.

Not only are the Jingos! flavor profiles new territory for Pepperidge Farm, so is the fresh marketing strategy behind the product launch, which includes a unique, social media-fueled ambassador program and a primetime television network advertising campaign.

This past summer, the brand teamed up with I Wear Your Shirt, an innovative promotions company that armed consumer-ambassadors with branded T-shirts and product samples in a digital word-of-mouth marketing effort. More than 500 people jumped at the chance to snack with Jingos! and I Wear Your Shirt, and a bolder snacking style soon spread throughout the web as tweets about — plus photographs and videos of — ambassadors’ exhilarating Jingos! snack moments were shared. Currently, Jingos! offer unexpected online experiences through a fun website featuring e-cards that demonstrate the transformative power of the crackers, while the brand has established a presence in the social space as well via Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and YouTube.

All three varieties of Pepperidge Farm Jingos! snack crackers are available now nationwide for a suggested retail price of $2.99. For more information, visit www.jingos.com.


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