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Pringles creates customized snack cans in time for holidays

BY Melissa Valliant

CINCINNATI You may find that Pringles replaced the candy in your stocking this season. Procter & Gamble launched a new application on the Pringles Web site Monday that allows visitors to personally design a Pringles can. Beginning Oct. 27, the company will donate $1 for every submitted creation to Children’s Miracle Network, a non-profit organization that raises money through U.S. and Canadian corporate partners and directly distributes its funds to participating hospitals.

The site allows Pringles fans to create their own background, choose one of the application’s many colors, gradients and pre-made templates or upload personal photos. Text can also be added. The designs can be saved to the site for all visitors to view and vote on, with the three categories being Funniest, Most Creative and Best Design. Print, wrap around the can and glue or tape where the ends meet for a customized can that can serve as a holiday cookie container, gift box or stocking stuffer.

“The Can Creator is a great opportunity for people to make a difference, said Children’s Miracle Network. “During the holidays, people are looking for ways to donate time or money to charitable causes, and Pringles has offered visitors the unique opportunity to easily give back.”

The money raised—up to $20,000—will be awarded on or before June 30, 2009.

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Mars successfully completes acquisition of Wrigley

BY Jenna Duncan

MCLEAN, Va. Mars Inc. Monday announced the completion of its acquition of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. Mars has purchased all shares of Wrigley’s common stock as well as Class B common stock shares for $80 each in cash, a total of about $23 billion, the company said.

“We are excited to welcome Wrigley and its associates to our team,” Paul Michaels, president and chief executive officer of Mars, Inc. said in a press release “Mars and Wrigley share a culture of innovation, quality and integrity, as well as a focus on providing consumers with great-tasting products. The combination of our two strong international businesses, with best-in-class global brands, also creates one of the world’s leading confectionery companies.”

Mars, Inc. said that the Wrigley Company will remain a separate business keeping its headquarters in Chicago, but will operate as a subsidiary of Mars. Mars also plans to move its global non-chocolate confectionery brands to the Wrigley business, including such candies as Skittles, Starburst, Tunes and Rondo, as well as moving production from sites in Czech Republic, Mexico and other countries.

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Makers of artificial sweeteners upgrade textures to better mimic sugar

BY Jenna Duncan

LAKELAND, Fla. Producers of sweetening alternatives have been making greater strides as of late to assure that their products can imitate the melt-in-your-mouth texture of natural sugar, Internet reports said.

One example is Taste Advantage, a company that manufactures flavorings for alcoholic and ready-to-drink beverages. Taste Advantage has told reporters that its goal is to recreate the weight and texture that consumers of artificial sweeteners often have said they miss about sugar.

The company has been working on a closer-to-sugar sugar alternative for about two to three, reports said. Users have also reported that some sweeteners, have bitter or burning-like aftertastes, another dilemma for sweetener development.

Representatives from Taste Advantage have said that within the year they are set to release new, naturally-derived sweeteners that will more closely resemble the taste, texture and weight of real sugar.

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