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Starbucks goes ‘blond’

BY Allison Cerra

SEATTLE — A new lighter roast coffee from Starbucks has debuted at retail.

Starbucks said its new Starbucks Blonde Roast is designed to cater to coffee drinkers that prefer a lighter roast to the brewer’s current portfolio of medium and dark roast coffees.

"Starbucks Blonde Roast is our answer to providing a premium lighter roast coffee to appeal to those that describe Starbucks signature roast as too intense," Starbucks president of channel development Jeff Hansberry said. "This new roast profile will allow us to increase our share of the brewed coffee market down the grocery aisle where a majority of coffee sales are in the light and medium roast categories. This segment of the market represents a $1 billion opportunity for the company in the U.S. alone."

Starbucks Blonde Roast is available as whole bean, ground coffee and Starbucks Veranda Blend K-cup packs at retail and grocery stores nationwide. Additional varieties are available at Starbucks stores.

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Drank introduces Island Time flavor

BY Allison Cerra

HOUSTON — Relaxation beverage brand Drank is set to roll out a new tropical blend.

The new Island Time relaxation beverage was created to help consumers stay calm and relax as the world may come to an end in 2012, Innovative Beverage Group Holdings CEO Peter Bianchi said.

"Consumers who want adventure and relaxation can still enjoy an active lifestyle while unwinding from their busy schedules. Island Time is a perfect new extension of the Drank family of products," Bianchi said.

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Vitasoy-USA appoints VP sales and marketing

BY Allison Cerra

AYER, Mass. — Vitasoy-USA announced that it has promoted one of its marketing executives.

Susan Rolnick now will serve as VP sales and marketing, the tofu and Asian pasta maker said. Prior to joining the company in 2009, Rolnick served as director of marketing for ConAgra’s Lightlife division.

"Susan Rolnick is a dynamic sales and marketing leader who has demonstrated success across many facets of our business, including sales, marketing, customer engagement and channel management in both the U.S. and Canada," Vitasoy-USA president and CEO Walter Riglian said. "Rolnick launched products that have become game changers for our industry. She clearly is at the forefront of the creative leadership in our field. In the year ahead, Vitasoy will launch major new products in both the U.S. and Canadian markets. We are fortunate to have her as an integral part of our strategic management team."

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