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Smucker buys Knott’s Berry Farm

BY Jenna Duncan

Knott’s Berry Farm, maker of jams, jellies, preserves and gift sets, has been bought out by J.M. Smucker, ConAgra Foods today announced.

Details of the transaction have not been released, but ConAgra has said that the sale will not affect its 2009 sales and profit growth projections. The acquired business is expected to add approximately $40 million in annual net sales to the J.M. Smucker portfolio.

The buyout does not include the Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park, located in Anaheim, Calif. That property is owned by Cedar Fair L.P., a publicly-traded company based in Sandusky, Ohio.

Sources said that production of Knott’s Berry Farm food products will transition to Smuckers’ facilities during the course of the next four months.

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Hershey adds movie incentive program to packaging

BY Jenna Duncan

HERSHEY, Pa. Hershey Co. has launched a promotion for buyers to earn points towards free movie tickets when they purchase marked packages of Hershey’s candies.

Packages of Hershey’s candies, including chocolate kisses, chocolate nuggets, Reese’s peanut butter candies and other varieties will come with “Mega Movie Bonus” points printed on the packages.

When buyers have collected a certain amount of points, they can then redeem them by mail to receive certificates for free admission at select theaters. Packages are worth three to five points each; 15 points can be redeemed for one free movie certificate.

The campaign began March 1 and will run through March 15, 2009.

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Snack maker names Tim McGraw the new face of Fritos

BY Jenna Duncan

PLANO, Texas Frito-Lay is launching a marketing campaign starring country music star Tim McGraw. The brand has even designed a special limited edition flavor, Tim McGraw Spicy Jalapeno Fritos, to promote the snack chips in the U.S.

Tim McGraw Spicy Jalapeno flavored Fritos corn chips will have a limited distribution launch at select locations during May and a nationwide launch following later this year.

“As a true family man who values the important things in life, Tim McGraw was a natural fit for our new ad campaign,” Frito-Lay North America vice president of marketing, Ken Partyka, said. “Tim shares our passion for life’s simple pleasures, and has his own fond memories of growing up with Fritos corn chips.”

Fritos is the official snack of Tim McGraw’s Live Your Voice 2008 Tour.

Tim McGraw Spicy Jalapeno Fritos retail for 99 cents per 3.875 oz. bag and $2.49 per 9.75 oz. bag.

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