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Allegations against Hershey could impact candy sales

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — Hershey is facing accusations that it has not helped efforts to end child labor, which potentially could impact the sales of its products during one of the biggest sale seasons of the year.

The allegations come as Hershey gears up for Valentine’s Day, a holiday that is one of the biggest sales drivers for confectioners: 24.6% of consumers plan on buying candy this Valentine’s Day, according to the National Retail Federation. With the economic turnaround, more consumers also will increase their holiday spending to an average of $116.21 per person, ages 18 years and older.

Meanwhile, Wall Street analysts expected shares for Hershey to reach 61 cents on $1.48 billion revenue for Hershey’s quarterly earnings, which will be released Wednesday.

The accusations came from Green America, an organization dedicated to making a green economy, which has kicked off its "Raise the Bar, Hershey!" campaign, which the organization said will encourage Hershey to switch to certified child-labor-free chocolate. Green America will host local screenings of the film "The Dark Side of Chocolate," collect petitions to send to Hershey and raise awareness in classrooms of the benefits that Fair Trade products can provide to both producers and consumers.

Trafficked child labor is widely used for chocolate production in western Africa, Green America said.

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Cottonelle wants consumers to ‘make the ultra switch’

BY Allison Cerra

DALLAS — Toilet tissue brand Cottonelle is encouraging consumers to try something new in their bathrooms.

To promote its brand, Cottonelle announced the launch of its "Make the Ultra Switch" sweepstakes. By giving away 90 prizes in 90 days, the company hopes shoppers will seek to purchase Cottonelle’s thick toilet paper, the company stated.

"Cottonelle brand is challenging North America to make the Ultra Switch to the thickest bath tissue in the aisle," said John Stanwood, Cottonelle senior brand manager. "We’re confident that once people try it, they will realize what’s missing from their current toilet paper."

For the complete list of prizes and official sweepstakes rules, visit CottonelleUltraSwitch.com.

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Swiffer paints cleaning products aisle red

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS — Procter & Gamble’s Swiffer products are turning red for Valentine’s Day with new limited-edition packaging.

From Feb. 6 to March 16, shoppers at Target will find that Swiffer products — including Swiffer WetJet, Swiffer sweeper starter kit and Swiffer Dusters extender — will be adorned with red packaging. Red also will appear on displays in stores to help Target shoppers find the perfect Swiffer products to suit their floors.

In addition to the limited-edition red Swiffer products and in-store displays, consumers also will find a holiday newspaper insert on Feb. 6 featuring a special Valentine’s Day message from their floors, Swiffer said.

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