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SodaStream introduces new flavors sweetened with stevia

BY Allison Cerra

AIRPORT CITY, Israel — SodaStream has launched a new line of flavors sweetened with an all-natural plant-based sweetener.

SodaStream said its stevia-laden flavors initially will launch in Europe, with U.S. sales expected to begin this summer. The initial flavors, with less than five calories per serving, include pink grapefruit, peach-pear, orange, lemon-lime, cranberry-apple and others.

"Diet flavors sweetened naturally with Stevia are another key milestone in our commitment to provide healthier alternatives to pre-packaged carbonated drinks," SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum said. "Consumers can now make a smarter beverage choice, not only for the environment and their wallet, but also for the wellness of their family. We remain committed to continue empowering consumers with better, more innovative products."

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Marley Coffee appoints VP sales for Canada market

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES — As part of its international expansion efforts, Marley Coffee has added Canterbury Coffee’s former director of business development to its team.

In his new role, Raymond Pahlad will serve as VP sales for Canada and will be responsible for Canadian sales and marketing, including spearhead sales and marketing programs across all channels, including retail distribution, foodservice and office coffee service. In Canada, Marley Coffee currently offers six varieties of its whole bean coffee, packed in 12-oz. bags, as well as single-serve pods for home, office and foodservice. The company expects to expand distribution of its Marley Coffee organic ground line into Canada in 2012.

"With Ray’s extensive background in consumer product management and his existing knowledge of our brand, we’re thrilled to have him join the Marley Coffee team," said Brent Toevs, CEO, Marley Coffee. "We see tremendous growth opportunity in Canada and Ray knows the market as well as anyone in the industry. We’re grateful to our friends at Canterbury Coffee for supporting Ray’s decision to join us and we look forward to working with them on continued success."

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Hello Kitty gets sweet treatment

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Taste of Nature is rolling out Hello Kitty-branded candies this spring.

The lineup includes Hello Kitty sprinkle cupcake treats, Hello Kitty chocolate brownie treats and Hello Kitty chocolate chip cookie dough treats — which are all available in 3.1-oz. theater boxes — as well as Hello Kitty cotton candy, which contains two flavors in each bag: blue raspberry and pink vanilla.

The Hello Kitty theater boxes and cotton candy carry a suggested retail price range from $1.29 to $1.49.

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