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Report: Walgreens to be a feature sponsor for ‘Celebrity Apprentice’

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Walgreens will be a feature sponsor of the 2012 season of "The Celebrity Apprentice" — the season premiere airs Feb. 6 on NBC — according to a report published online Monday by TalkTVworld.com.

As indicated in the report, many of the show’s feature sponsors have been showcased as part of an episode. For example, finalists John Rich and Marlee Matlin developed a 7UP ’70s and ’80s retro campaign for Dr Pepper/Seven Up in "Celebrity’s" season last year. According to the report, 7UP’s Facebook fan base was up more than 330% last year as a result. That suggests the likes of American Idol’s Clay Aiken, movie star Tia Carrere or the original "Hulk" Lou Ferrigno could soon be bopping around Manhattan for Walgreens/Duane Reade.

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Shock Top Wheat IPA enters market

BY Allison Cerra

ST. LOUIS — Shock Top is adding a new flavor to its family of beer: Shock Top Wheat IPA.

Shock Top Wheat IPA blends together wheat beer and he crisp, hoppy bitterness of an India Pale Ale. Containing 5.8% alcohol by volume, Shock Top Wheat IPA will be sold nationwide in six- and 24-packs of 12-oz. bottles.

Shock Top Wheat IPA hits store shelves in February.

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Single-cup coffee category continues to have audience, Mintel finds

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO — Seventeen percent of coffee drinkers enjoy consuming one "cup of joe" at a time, according to new Mintel research.

Among those surveyed, single-cup coffee drinkers cited convenience (79%), flavor (55% said they like the variety available in pods, 20% believed single-cup coffee tastes better than the ground variety and 38% said a pod-style machine produces consistent taste) and value (39% said it’s cheaper than visiting a coffeehouse) as reasons for their preference. What’s more, those ages 18 to 44 years are more likely than their older counterparts to cite convenience as a reason for using pod-style machines.

"A key driver of sales growth in the coffee category is innovation. The single-cup segment of the coffee business is driving growth and is likely to continue to contribute to gains for the foreseeable future," Mintel senior analyst Garima Goel Lal said. "Consumers in the U.S., the European Union and elsewhere have been using espresso machines to make single cups of coffee for many years, and single-cup machines provide similar results, but are less complicated to operate than an espresso machine."

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