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American Greetings intros Tree-mendous Wishes collection

BY DSN STAFF

American Greetings wants to help shoppers express their holiday wishes with its new Tree-mendous Wishes collection.

The Cleveland-based company’s new card collection features a googly-eyes Christmas tree that sings and dances at the push of a button. It also contains spruces made of plastic branches, sings funny versions of Christmas carols, and has colorful-themed ornaments.

“The holidays can be hectic, but taking the time to connect with friends and family is often the bright spot of the season,” Carol Miller, vice president of corporate innovation at American Greetings, said. “Adding some humor to your Christmas greetings with Tree-mendous Wishes will make your merry tidings even more memorable.”

Consumers can find the Tree-mendous Wishes collection at participating drug chains, grocery stores and mass retailers nationwide, as well as American Greetings and Carlton Cards retail stores.

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Juul
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Juul to phase out flavored pods at retail, back off social media

BY David Salazar

Juul Labs, maker of the eponymous, popular Juul e-cigarette, announced this week that it would be halting retail sales of its flavored nicotine pods as the Food and Drug Administration has taken aim at curbing the number of young people using e-cigarettes.

CEO Kevin Burns said Tuesday that Juul Labs would no longer be filling orders from the roughly 90,000 retail stores that stock its products for its cucumber-, mango-, crème- and fruit-flavored pods. Moving forward, the company said only its products that mirror cigarettes — Virginia tobacco, classic tobacco, mint and menthol — will be sold by retailers, including convenience stores and vape shops, and it would increase its secret shopper program to ensure its standards are being met. The company also will cut off stores with multiple violations — either selling to minors or allowing bulk sale of products.

“We launched flavors like Mango, Fruit, Creme, and Cucumber as effective tools to help adult smokers switch from combustible cigarettes, and we do not sell flavors like Gummy Bear or Cotton Candy, which are clearly targeted to kids,” Burns said. “However, we are sensitive to the concern articulated by [FDA] commissioner [Scott] Gottlieb that “[f]lavors play an important role in driving the youth appeal,” and understand that products that appeal to adults also may appeal to youth.”

The flavored pods now will only be sold on Juul.com, which restricts sales to shoppers ages 21 years old and older, and uses third-party verification. It requires shoppers to provide name, date of birth, permanent address and the last four digits of their social security number — or review of a government-issued ID if they don’t want to provide the social security number. The company also is working to cut down on unauthorized online sales of Juul products.

“Our data show that flavors play a critical role in adult smokers’ ability to switch from combustible cigarettes, but we must prevent youth access,” Burns said. “This is why we are using the strongest tools available to prevent underage purchases on our website, while still maintaining the availability of flavored Juul pods for adult smokers who deserve the best chance of switching from cigarettes.”

In the future, the company said it would only start accepting orders for flavored pods from retailers whose point-of-sale system can identify and flag restricted products, scan and verify a government-issued ID as proof of age and set a limit on the Juul devices and pods bought per transaction.

Also as part of its new approach, Juul Labs said it would be eliminating its own social media accounts while monitoring and removing material from third-party accounts. It will no longer operate on Facebook or Instagram and will restrict Twitter content to non-promotional communications. Its YouTube channel, which already is age-restricted to those 21 years old and older, will only host testimonials from former adult smokers, the company said.

“By deterring social media promotion of the JUUL system by exiting our accounts, we can better prevent teens and non-smokers from ever becoming interested in the device,” Burns said.

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Pura Still intros spiked still water

BY DSN STAFF

Pura Still is changing the face of water.

The Rochester, N.Y.-based company is launching a line of spiked still water that contains a splash of coconut and fruit flavor, and has no carbonation.

Containing a 4.5% ABV and 90 calories, the beverage comes in an 11.2-oz. bottle that features 1 g of cane sugar and 2 g of carbohydrates, the brand’s parent company Fifo USA said.

“People are prioritizing their health and wellness more than ever,” Jessica Stainsby, brand manager at Pura Still, said. “Pura Still creates an option for consumers who want to enjoy themselves without worrying about carbonation and bloating, calories or excess sugar. You shouldn’t have to compromise your lifestyle to enjoy a drink, and with Pura Still, you don’t have to.”

The beverage will be available for purchase in December in packaged six-packs that contain 1-of-3 flavors — blackberry, mango and mandarin orange.

Further information can be found on the company’s website.

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