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American Greetings introduces entertaining Talking Heads to the card aisle

BY Anna Mcgrath

CLEVELAND American Greetings introduced its new Talking Heads greeting card collection.

The line of 27 cards features quirky, cute and famous faces that let out multiple funny sound bites, sure to surprise and delight. Featured faces range from Abraham Lincoln to the familiar voices from the cartoon cast of “South Park.” No matter what the occasion, these talking, singing, rhyming, pledging, toasting, barking card characters are sure to set the perfect tone.

“Consumers love to find new ways to share a laugh, and with Talking Heads they have a quirky way to celebrate any sense of humor,” said Carol Miller, executive director of new product concepts at American Greetings. “The cards are a lot of fun, and we think shoppers will enjoy picking them out just as much as sending them.”

Consumers can find the Talking Heads at participating drug chains, grocery stores and supercenters nationwide, as well as in American Greetings and Carlton Cards retail stores. To listen to all the available wisecracks, visit http://corporate.americangreetings.com/talkingheads/talkingheads.html.

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Zicam maker responds to FDA warning letter

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK With the agency’s latest warning letter, one thing is becoming clear: There’s a new sheriff in town. And this sheriff isn’t packing a pea-shooter.

 

Within eight weeks, the Food and Drug Administration has issued two warning letters to two companies initiating two voluntary product recalls in the over-the-counter self-care arena.Critics have been clamoring for a more aggressive and decisive FDA for some time, pointing to public-safety snafus like the contaminated heparin that leaked into the U.S. market, or the recent pervasive peanut recall prompted by salmonella contamination.

 

But swinging to such an extreme, heavy-handed approach may have its own adverse events.

For starters, there is potential collateral damage to industries on the whole. The publicized warning letters that resulted in the recall of a number of Hydroxycut products and a pair of Zicam SKUs has called into question the regulation and safety of the dietary supplement and the homeopathy industries, respectively. An Associated Press report published Thursday was critical of both industries. And debating whether or not that writer was entirely accurate in his depiction of the industry is of no consequence. The fact is the AP reaches more than 7,500 consumer media outlets between paper, radio and television. And who doesn’t believe what they read?

Then there is the actual question as to how heavy is heavy-handed? The Hydroxycut recall was based on 23 adverse event reports; Zicam a little more than 130. Even considering that those events are typically under-reported, they are nowhere near the 13,000-plus adverse events associated with Metabolife’s ephedra supplements that prompted the agency several years back to issue an out and out sales ban on that ingredient. Factor in the number of doses consumed by millions over the years for each of the ingredients, and the corresponding adverse events may seem less dramatic, and certainly less than what’s accepted across other product categories.

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Wegmans set to open store in Va.

BY Michael Johnsen

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. Wegmans announced earlier this week that it will open the doors to its new 138,655-sq.-ft. Fredericksburg, Va., location this Sunday.

The Fredericksburg store, which employs 500, will be open seven days a week from 6 a.m. until midnight. The store’s pharmacy also will be available to customers every day of the week, operating from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays.

The store’s Market Cafe offers restaurant-quality foods prepared by executive chef Douglas Jarman and his staff. Everything from specialty coffee drinks to hot panini sandwiches, burritos, an Asian-inspired Wokery Bar, freshly made sushi, pizza and subs is available in the cafe. Customers can choose to take out or dine in at the mezzanine-level cafe, with indoor and outdoor seating for 500. There’s also a Food Bar that seats 19, where chefs prepare fresh seafood and meat dishes made to order.

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