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Campbell Soup, letter carriers team with grocers to fight hunger

BY Jenna Duncan

LAKELAND, Fla. To respond to declining stocks in food banks and a burgeoning number of Americans going hungry, Campbell Soup Co., is joining the National Association of Letter Carriers in an effort called Stamp Out Hunger! The effort asks the nation’s grocers to help to keep donations rolling into soup kitchens and pantries.

Some supermarket companies who have agreed to participate include Meijer, Publix, and Wakefern Food Corp. Each grocer has made a commitment to ensure donations keep coming.

May 10, approximately 230,000 U.S. letter carriers are scheduled to collect food donations at the time of mail delivery.

“Stamp Out Hunger! is a wonderful example of a nationwide effort to raise awareness and raise food for the hungry in this country,” Steven McFarland, spokesman for America’s Second Harvest-the-Nation’s Food Bank said. “It’s remarkable that we can coordinate a national effort like this that really pays off for hungry folks in local communities across the nation.”

Campbell has participated in the effort to prevent hunger for 15 years. This year it will donate 1 million pounds of food, the company said. More information on the Stamp Out Hunger! project can be at www.helpstampouthunger.com.

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Carbonated soft drinks take lead in U.S. beverage category

BY Jenna Duncan

NEW YORK Soft drinks are still the No. 1 selling bottled beverages in the U.S. and water surpassed beer to take second place in average beverages consumed per person in 2007, according to a recently published study.

The report stated that Americans consumed an average of 49.3 gallons of carbonated soft drinks in 2007, down 3.3 percent from the previous year.

Bottled water consumption was up 7.1 percent in 2007 to a reported average of 22.5 gallons per person. Beer saw a gain as well, up 1.4 percent, or 22.2 gallons average. Milk and coffee were both down; milk at 20.1 gallons, down 1 percent, and coffee at 16 gallons per person, a drop of about 1.2 percent.

Even though Americans were consuming more bottled water than ever before—almost twice as much per capita than 10 years ago—soft drinks still held the lead.

“Water is still about 46 percent the size of carbonated soft drinks,” industry newsletter Beverage Digest, which published the report, said, “but the category growth is far outstripping population growth, so per capita consumption has risen steadily since the early 1990s.”

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Kellogg’s profit drops 2 percent in first quarter

BY Jenna Duncan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Kellogg Co. reported today a 2 percent drop in first-quarter profits, even though the company recently raised prices on many items.

However, the food, beverage and snack maker reported an overall increase in revenue of about 10 percent to $3.3 billion, up from $3 billion last year at the same time.

David Mackay, Kellogg’s president and chief executive, said, “We posted strong results, despite the impact of higher commodity inflation as well as increased advertising and upfront investments.”

Kellogg also reported that net earnings dropped to $315 million, or 81 cents per share, compared with $321 million, or 80 cents per share, during the first quarter of 2007.

Kellogg is the producer of food items such as Eggo waffles, Nutri-Grain cereal bars, Pop-Tarts toaster pastries and Rice Krispies cereal.

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