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Ripken Power Shred named official beef jerky of Babe Ruth League

BY Allison Cerra

LONG VALLEY, N.J. — A beef jerky brand that made its debut at the 2010 National Association of Convenience Stores trade show last October has been named the official beef jerky of the Babe Ruth League.

The announcement was made by Florio Sports, the company behind the beef jerky brand Ripken Power Shred. Florio Sports said the partnership with the Babe Ruth League — which serves more than 1 million players ages 4 to 18 years in the Babe Ruth Baseball, Cal Ripken Baseball and Babe Ruth Softball divisions — will allow people affiliated with the Babe Ruth League to purchase Ripken Power Shred at a special discounted rate.

"This is a very exciting partnership for Ripken Power Shred," said Frank Florio, Florio Sports president and founder. "Our jerky is high-quality and a great snack for both baseball and softball players, as well as their parents watching the game. This is a perfect match for us, and we hope that Power Shred will become a great fundraiser for numerous youth leagues [across the United States]."

Ripken Power Shred will be available at select stores this spring, the company noted.

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Hershey products receive price boost

BY Allison Cerra

HERSHEY, Pa. — Expect to see Hershey products carrying a higher price tag.

In an effort to offset input costs, the chocolate giant said it would implement a weighted average price increase of about 9.7% across its instant consumable, multipack, packaged candy and grocery lines.

"We remain committed to the higher levels of global brand support, consumer spending and investment in go-to-market capabilities communicated in February,” said David West, Hershey president and CEO. “We will work with our retail customers to ensure that the implementation of the price increase is supported with customer trade promotions and merchandising that continues to grow the category."

West added that the company still expects its full-year 2011 net sales and diluted earnings per share to reach 3% to 5% and 6% to 8%, respectively.

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Peter Henry nominated to join Kraft’s board

BY Allison Cerra

NORTHFIELD, Ill. — Kraft Foods said its board of directors has nominated Peter Henry as its newest member.

Henry, an international economist, is dean of New York University’s Stern School of Business.

"Peter is an outstanding candidate for our board," said Kraft chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld. "He’s an impressive academic leader with credentials from several of the world’s top universities. His expertise in emerging markets and understanding of their role in driving growth in the global economy will be a terrific asset as we expand our presence in these regions."

In related news, Kraft announced that two current board directors, Deborah Wright and Frank Zarb, will not stand for re-election.

Shareholders will elect 11 directors for one-year terms at the company’s annual meeting of shareholders on May 24.

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