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Wonka to debut new ‘exceptional’ line of candy

BY Allison Cerra

GLENDALE, Calif. Wonka is unveiling its all new premium line of candies called Wonka Exceptionals.

The collection includes three varieties, each available in full-sized tablet bars and bags of individually wrapped miniature candies.

New products include Wonka Scrumdiddlyumptious chocolate bar and Chocolate Waterfall bar, names that come from the 1971 film, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

“With images of a chocolate factory, chocolate bars and even a chocolate river in mind, the world has long identified Wonka with chocolate,” said Tricia Bowles, spokesperson, Nestle confections and snacks. “Now Wonka is delivering on the fantasy, whimsy and familiarity of the Wonka legend, which still resonates with the young and young-at-heart. America is about to experience the wondrous, one-of-a-kind world of Wonka chocolate.”

Also joining Wonka’s new premium line of Wonka Exceptionals is new Wonka Fruit Jellies and Wonka Fruit Marvels. Made like nothing ever seen, the famous candy maker has created cheery, fruity morsels made with natural ingredients, no artificial colors and 25% real fruit juice.

Wonka chocolates will debut in stores nationwide beginning March 1 with a suggested retail price of $2.39 for each 3.5 oz. tablet bar and $4.29 for each 8.5 oz.-9.5 oz. bag of minis. Wonka Fruit Jellies and Fruit Marvels will be available exclusively nationwide at Walmart stores beginning in April and Target stores beginning in June for a suggested retail price of $2.99 for each 5 oz. box, and $1.99 for each 1.9 oz. tin (Fruit Marvels only).

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Hershey ‘pieces’ together candy puzzle

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Hershey recently revamped one of its candy formats by adding new flavors to the line.

Building off the success of the popular Reese’s Pieces candy, the new Pieces candies offer snackable, bite-sized versions of classic favorites including York, Almond Joy and Hershey’s Special Dark. The new candies debuted in late January at New York’s Times Square.

The candies debuted in a new television spot, features the tagline, “Your favorites– now in pieces.” While the new wave of candy may spell success for Hershey, which recently has made headlines for exercising options to bid on Cadbury jointly with Italian chocolate maker Ferrero (the company said it will be acquired by Kraft), some say their may be a backlash, because some of the candies do not have the same texture as its larger predecessor.

For example, “Candy Blog” writer Cybele May said the York Pieces are missing a key ingredient: the creamy peppermint center. Instead, the pieces are filled with peppermint-flavored dark chocolate. This drawback, however, may not necessarily hinder the line’s success. For those looking for a sweet and portioned snack, it may be just the ticket.

“The point is that it gives people the option to eat less and more sensibly,” Marcia Mogelonsky, a senior analyst at Mintel, told the New York Times. “Sure, half of us are going to pour the whole bag into our mouths, but some are going to exercise restraint.”

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PBG, PepsiAmericas shareholders approve mergers

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. The stockholders of the Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiAmericas, approved and adopted their respective merger agreements with PepsiCo and Pepsi-Cola Metropolitan Bottling Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of PepsiCo.

The deal will merge PBG and PAS with and into Metro, with Metro continuing as the surviving corporation.

PepsiCo hopes to close the acquisitions, which remain subject to regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions, by the end of February 2010.

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