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Consumers ‘React’ to Wrigley

BY DSN STAFF

CHICAGO —Capitalizing on the popularity of its 5 brand of sugarless gum, Wrigley recently introduced 5 React in two flavors: mint and fruit. The gum has an “undefined” flavor, which each chewer experiences differently.

The individualized experience was touted to the product’s target audience prior to national retail availability when the company offered 100,000 Facebook fans the chance to try the new product in March. Fans who opted in for the sample received a free pack of gum along with a unique code and 3-D glasses that allowed them to explore an exclusive online experience at 5React.com. The launch will be supported with traditional advertising as well as digital campaigns.

Sugarless gum continues to be a hot category, with sales up 4.3% in the drug channel for the 52-week period ended May 16, according to SymphonyIRI Group.

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Bloated soda tax caves in

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON Lobbying by the American Beverage Association has squashed state government plans to put the much-debated soda tax into action, according to published reports.

Earlier this year, soda tax legislation was advocated in several areas across the country, as obesity rates skyrocketed over the past decade and state governments saw it as a solution to offset the statistic, as well as its own financial burdens brought on by the recession. Thanks to industry lobbying, however, the idea has faced backlash, causing government officials that supported the tax to back down and look for alternative solutions. States including Mississippi, New Mexico and New York, since have scrapped their soda tax legislations.

One commercial that hit New York airwaves said that Gov. David Paterson’s statewide soda tax would affect families. The commercial proved that the beverage industry is a force to be reckoned with.

According to a study published in Health Affairs, excise taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages would have no noticeable impact on obesity. This idea has been advocated by lobbyists, saying that there are other ways to curb obesity in the United States.

“The effectiveness of a soft drink tax, if anything, would be trivial,” said ABA president and CEO Susan Neely. “A tax doesn’t even qualify as a good start to addressing the rising rates of obesity. We need to move beyond these simplistic ideas and pursue comprehensive, meaningful solutions from all aspects of society if we’re really going to reverse childhood obesity. Our industry is certainly stepping up to do its part.”

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Pamela’s Products now available in single-serve packs

BY Allison Cerra

UKIAH, Calif. A maker of gluten-free foods has launched single-serve packs of its best-selling products.

Pamela’s Products launched its chocolate brownie and baking and pancake mixes, designed for on-the-go customers. The single-serve packs makes a stack of four pancakes, or one microwave brownie in about a minute. Complete with simple, easy-to-follow instructions and made of all natural ingredients the single-serve packs are ideal for busy families, college students, and anyone looking for portion-control.

The single-serve packs will be available in the fall for $1.99 each.

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