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Popsicle rolls out Yosicle line

BY Allison Cerra

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — Popsicle has grown its brand to include a line of treats that contain nonfat yogurt.

Yosicle pops are available in four varieties and three shapes, including:

  • Yosicle Torpedo! pops feature three flavors in one low-fat, creamy pop: purple berry, watermelon and vanilla;

  • Yosicle Duos! pops feature creamy yogurt on the inside with flavored ice on the outside. These low-fat pops have two flavors on each stick and are available in two variety boxes: watermelon-vanilla and cotton candy-vanilla or purple berry-vanilla and cherry-vanilla; and

  • Yosicle Layerz! pops feature two flavors per low-fat pop and are made with flavored ice on the top and creamy yogurt on the bottom. They are available in two flavors: cotton candy and vanilla and orange and vanilla.

As part of the launch, Popsicle has partnered with Tom Kenny, the voice of Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants, to launch the "Your Yosicle Adventure" contest on Facebook. The online competition invites fans to create their own ending to an animated adventure — one where a character named Popsicle Pete collides with yogurt to create a Yosicle pop. Through June 12, consumers can submit their scripts via the Popsicle Facebook page. All eligible entries will be reviewed and scored by a panel of judges, including Kenny, and will be judged on humor, creativity, how well the entry completed the original story and alignment with the Popsicle brand.

"Popsicle has been surprising and delighting families with new and exciting flavors and products — like Yosicle pops — for years," Popsicle senior brand manager Brian Critz said. "Now, we’re encouraging consumers to surprise and delight us with creative and unexpected adventures for Popsicle Pete."

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ConAgra acquires Kangaroo Brands’ pita chip business

BY Allison Cerra

OMAHA, Neb. — In an effort to grow its presence in private-label foods, ConAgra Foods has acquired the pita chip business of Kangaroo Brands.

The acquisition includes a manufacturing facility located in Milwaukee, Wis., and approximately 50 employees who joined ConAgra Foods from Kangaroo Brands. Kangaroo Brands will continue to own and market its pita bread and frozen sandwiches. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"Pita chips are a high-growth category and a natural fit with ConAgra Foods’ private-label snacks business," ConAgra CEO Gary Rodkin said. "We are pleased to add another business that further positions us for accelerated growth."

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Molson Coors launches new brews, packaging

BY Allison Cerra

DENVER, Colo. — Molson Coors has rolled out new products and packaging innovations.

In the United States, the company has introduced the caramel apple spiced ale under its Blue Moon brand and will roll out such brews as lemon berry shandy and snowdrift vanilla porter from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. during the fall and winter. What’s more, the company’s MillerCoors division is rolling out Batch 19, a pre-Prohibition style lager, nationwide.

In addition to the new products, the company said that MillerCoors recently introduced aluminum pint bottles for Coors Light, Coors Banquet, Miller Genuine Draft and Molson Canadian brands. The aluminum pint packaging can be resealed after opening and also display the cold-activated mountains designed to tell drinkers when their beer is ice-cold. Other MillerCoors innovations designed to enhance the beer-drinking experience include Miller Lite and MGD punch top cans and grip cans. Punch top cans increase airflow, resulting in a smoother pour, while the grip cans use tactile ink technology to create a "grip" around the can designed for easier holding.

"Through innovation, we are able to create excitement and interest among consumers and build brand relevance and loyalty, effectively connecting consumers to our brands and growing our business. Innovation is the keystone of our competitive advantage," Molson Coors president and CEO Peter Swinburn said.

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