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Stonyfield, Happy Family partner for line of organic yogurt

BY Ryan Chavis

LONDONDERRY, N.H. and NEW YORK — Organic yogurt producer Stonyfield and organic brand Happy Family announced the introduction of Stonyfield YoBaby, YoTot and YoKids Squeeze yogurt pouches. The line is ideal for kids of all ages and comes just in time for the start of the a new school year, the companies said.

The Stonyfield and Happy Family Yogurt Pouch collection includes:

  • YoBaby Yogurt Pouches, which feature whole milk yogurt, are enhanced with fish oil-sourced DHA and EPA, omega-3 fatty acids associated with brain development. Available in 3.4-oz. pouches in four varieties: Blueberry, Mango, Sweet Potato and Vanilla. Each pouch contains 100 calories and 3 g of fat.
  • YoTot Yogurt Pouches, which contain a similar formulation to YoBaby and come in slightly larger 3.7-oz. pouches. YoTot is available in Pear Spinach Mango and Strawberry Beet Berry. Each pouch contains 110 to 120 calories (depending on variety) and 3.5 g of fat.
  • YoKids Yogurt Pouches feature low-fat yogurt, and will appeal to older kids, the companies said. YoKids are available in Blueberry, Strawberry and Strawberry Banana. A 3.7-oz. pouch contains 110 calories and 2 g of fat.

"Happy Family and Stonyfield pouches offer so many benefits for parents and children alike which I, personally, am very excited about," said Shazi Visram, founder, CEO and chief mom of Happy Family. "They provide our little ones with a delicious snack made with only nutritious organic ingredients. Pouches are a convenient, on-the-go option that makes our lives as parents just a little easier. With back-to-school on the horizon, these pouch snacks are the perfect lunchbox or after school treat that kids will love and parents can trust."

The yogurt pouches are sold individually and in four packs, with a suggested retail price of $1.49 and $4.99, respectively.

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McNeil continues commitment to Tylenol Smiling It Forward campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. — According to a survey conducted by Mom Central in partnership with McNeil Consumer Healthcare, many moms feel ill-equipped to manage the discomfort that comes along with many childhood "firsts." Moms agree that their newborn baby's first fever and teething issues were the top two most challenging moments when taking care of their newborn. And when seeking advice about early milestones, 64% of moms turn to their family and 82% of moms say they are most likely to turn to their pediatrician.
 
"Aches and pains are an inevitable part of childhood," stated Tanya Altmann, Tylenol Smiling It Forward spokeswoman. "As a mom and a pediatrician, I know it's important to know how to ease the potential discomfort that might come their way," she said. "There are a host of smiles throughout childhood that are worth celebrating ­ but there's something special about the smile that comes after a fever breaks or pain has been relieved. I'm excited to continue to partner with the Tylenol Smiling It Forward team, to help moms across the country achieve and celebrate their child's 'feel better' smile through various milestones."
 
Dedicated to the health of families across the country, McNeil Consumer started the Smiling It Forward program in 2013 to help bring children in need the healthcare they deserve, through support of Children's Health Fund.  Once again, parents can upload photos of their growing children at SmilingItForward.com, and a $1 donation will be made to the organization, up to $100,000. 
 
"We're thankful for the continued support of Tylenol and for all the moms who share their child's smile and help ensure that a doctor's visit is within reach for children in need," commented Karen Redlener, executive director of Children's Health Fund.
 
"Tylenol is committed to achieving and celebrating the smiles of healthy children around the world, and we're proud to continue our partnership with Dr. Tanya and Children's Health Fund to help make that vision a reality," shared Manoj Raghunandanan, senior director for the Tylenol Brand at McNeil Consumer Healthcare. "Over 10,000 infant smiles were shared last year, and we look forward to continuing to see all of the 'feel better' smiles of children as they grow."
 

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July spending results in robust growth

BY Dan Berthiaume

ATLANTA — Retail spending growth was at an 11-month high in July as summer vacation travel led strong spending during the month, according to data reported by payment technology and services provider First Data Corp. The First Data SpendTrend analysis looked at the period July 1 through 31, 2014, compared to July 2 through Aug. 1, 2013.

SpendTrend tracks same-store point-of-sale data by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks from nearly four million merchant locations serviced by First Data in the U.S. Overall retail spending growth was at its strongest levels in a year as nearly all retail categories turned in improved numbers. Led by categories such as building material & garden equipment and furniture & home furnishings, the growth suggests the impact of fewer foreclosures and increased construction. Still, consumers remained hesitant to make big ticket and non-essential purchases.

July’s dollar volume growth of 3.9% was robust, marking an improvement from June’s growth of 3%. A year-over-year spending uptick was driven by hotel and travel categories, where dollar volume growth was 7.9% and 4.6%, respectively, as travelers went on holiday around the globe. Positive growth at food and beverage stores, at 5.3% and in the food services & drinking places category, at 4.4%, also contributed to July’s growth.

All regions across the U.S. saw positive dollar volume growth and, with the exception of New England, all regions experienced stronger sequential spending growth. Spending growth of 5.5% and 4.3% in the Midwest and West regions remained strong, up from June’s growth of 3.9% and 3.2%. The Midwest region saw the strongest spending growth, possibly due to nonfarm employment increasing faster in the Midwest than in other regions.

July’s average ticket growth of 1.5% (vs. 0.9% in June) was the strongest monthly growth all year, supported by average ticket growth in categories such as food and beverage stores, which saw growth of 2.0%. Retail average ticket growth of 0.4% in July was a slight increase from June’s negative growth of -.2% as fewer retailers engaged in clearance promotions.

On a same-store basis, dollar volume of credit card transactions rose 6.2%, while volume of PIN debit transactions grew 3.9% and prepaid card transaction volume increased 3.3%. Signature debit card transaction volume increased 0.4% and the dollar volume of check transactions dropped 5.7%.

“It is also notable that both credit spending growth, which was 6.2% in July, and credit transaction growth, at 7.5% this month, were up significantly over June growth results,” said Krish Mantripragada, senior VP, Information and Analytics Solutions, First Data. “That growth was driven by the categories we’ve detailed in this report, where credit is the preferred method of payment. Consumers are once again motivated to travel, while those who opted for ‘staycations’ increased spending in home-related categories. Looking ahead, we anticipate August’s back-to-school sales and state tax-free holidays should spur spending growth in related categories.”

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