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On solid 3Q, Kraft promises more innovation for key brands

BY Rebecca Haughey

NORTHFIELD, Ill. – Kraft Foods Group on Wednesday announced that new product sales, increased advertising investment and improved productivity have contributed to profit gains for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

During the company’s third-quarter investors call, Kraft CEO Tony Vernon emphasized strong performances from Kraft’s cheese business, with nine consecutive quarters of growth; its cold cut business; and brands that have benefited from innovation and stepped-up marketing, like Lunchables, Velveeta and Kool-Aid. Several other brands — including Maxwell House, Planters and Jell-O — aren’t performing so well, and are about to undergo significant overhauls, the company announced.

"Jell-O must be revitalized, and we must do it in the face of yogurt’s explosive growth. And Planters needs significantly more work to re-establish category leadership and profitable growth," Vernon said.

Much of Kraft’s future success will depend on the company’s ability to re-energize antiquated brand names like Stove Top, Cool Whip and Shake ‘N Bake — or sell them off.

Sales for the quarter were up 3% to $4.6 billion, exceeding analysts’ expectations of $4.55 billion. This is the company’s first quarter reporting earnings as a standalone company; Kraft Foods Group is now the fourth-largest food and beverage company in North America, behind PepsiCo, Nestle and Coca-Cola.

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Good Life Beverages’ Bcalm a finalist for SupplySide West’s 2012 Editor’s Choice Awards

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Good Life Beverages on Wednesday announced that its Bcalm Wellness Drink was selected as one of the finalists in SupplySide West’s 2012 Editor’s Choice Awards. 

Five 2012 consumer packaged goods products were selected by the SupplySide editorial team for achievements in innovation and market significance in 10 categories: animal nutrition, anti-aging, beverages, functional food, multivitamins/minerals, nutricosmetics, organic, packaging design, skin care and specialty dietary supplements. One winner in each category will be announced at SupplySide West 2012 during the Editor’s Choice Awards Reception.

“For a young brand to get recognized and nominated for SupplySide’s Editor’s Choice Awards, Bcalm is truly honored,” stated Dan Rummenik, Good Life Beverages CEO. “Our years spent on research and development of the proprietary blend of B-vitamins, botanicals and amino acids that uniquely make up bcalm has truly paid off.”

 

 

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Study: Liquor costs more at state-owned stores than in private stores

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Liquor can cost $2 more at liquor stores in states where the government has a monopoly on sales than at privately owned stores, according to a new study.

Researchers at Boston University School of Public Health, the Boston Medical Center and Johns Hopkins University analyzed the prices of 74 different alcohol brands in 13 "control states" — states where the government has a monopoly on liquor sales — and at 50 private retailers in "license states." The study appeared online in the journal Addiction.

The researchers, led by Boston University professor Michael Siegel, found that the average price for liquor was $27.79 in the license states, versus $29.82 in the control states.

In November 2011, voters in Washington passed a ballot initiative to legalize private sales of liquor in the state. Initiative 1183, which received most of its financial support from Issaquah, Wash.-based club retailer Costco Wholesale, converted Washington from a control state to a license state. Washington’s liquor-control laws dated back to the aftermath of Prohibition and were put in place as a way to continue limiting the sales and consumption of liquor.

The remaining control states, such as Pennsylvania and Utah, exercise varying degrees of control over sales of alcohol, with Utah requiring most alcoholic beverages to be sold in state-owned stores, for example. Other states still place limits on the kinds of retailers that can sell alcohol, such as New York, which only allows liquor and most wine to be sold in boutique liquor stores.

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