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ReportersNotebook — Consumables, 8/27/12

BY Barbara White-Sax

SUPPLIER NEWS — The maker of Splenda has introduced a new zero-calorie sweetener. McNeil Nutritionals said Nectresse, made from monk fruit extract, is 100% natural. As part of the product launch, the brand has tapped journalist Lisa Ling to serve as its spokeswoman. Nectresse sweetener is available in both single-serve packets (40 servings) and canisters (140 servings) for suggested retail prices of $3.99 and $6.99, respectively.


McLane has entered into an agreement to acquire Meadowbrook Meat Co. McLane said MBM — which is one of the nation’s largest customized foodservice distributors for national restaurant chains — will continue to be led by the current executive management team and operate out of its existing facilities in the same markets.


Unilever has put its North America frozen meals business on the sales block. The company said it has signed a definitive agreement for the sale of its portfolio — which includes multiserve frozen entrees and appetizers under the Bertolli and P.F. Chang’s brands — to ConAgra Foods for a total cash consideration of $265 million. The transaction, subject to regulatory review and expected to close in third quarter 2012, includes a license for the use of the Bertolli brand name and the transfer of Unilever’s existing license with P.F. Chang’s for use of the P.F. Chang’s Home Menu brand name.

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Sports, energy drinks power up

BY Barbara White-Sax

Sport and energy drinks are the hot spots of the beverage category. The sport segment, powered by such low-calorie products as PepsiCo’s Gatorade G2 and Coca-Cola’s Powerade Zero, has continued to register double-digit sales increases.


Energy drinks also continue to deliver double-digit sales jumps fueled by consumers eternally in search of a jump-start. Category leader Red Bull is closely followed by Monster Energy, which is pumping innovative new products into the category.


 

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Beverages Sell-Through Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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Smooth relaxation

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Ethnic hair care brand SoftSheen-Carson has developed a new smoothing revolution with its Dark and Lovely 6 Week Anti-Reversion cream serum. The serum is positioned as the first styling product formulated to address the needs of relaxer consumers who want to maintain the straight and silky look of just-relaxed hair in between relaxing. It features humidity block technology to help keep hair smooth up to six weeks in between relaxing. The product began hitting stores in July and has a suggested retail price of $8.99.

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