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Campbell’s improving value, quality, healthfulness of soups fro school lunches

BY Jenna Duncan

CAMDEN, N.J. Today Campbell Soup Company announced that its North America Foodservice division is working to broaden school lunch options to be healthier and more value-driven.

Campbell has announced that several of its Healthy Request soups have been reformulated to meet the nutrition guidelines outlined by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (a group effort between the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association). Ten Pepperidge Farm products, including Cheddar and White Cheddar Goldfish crackers, have also been added to the list of Campbell’s products which meet or exceed Alliance for a Healthier Generation guidelines. Featured selections are all free of trans fats and contain at least one grain serving per pack.

“We all want our children to eat well, even when we can’t be with them,” Sean Connolly, president of Campbell’s North America Foodservice division said in a statement. “When we send them off to school, we hope they’ll be able to find nourishing, affordable lunch options. Campbell’s North America Foodservice is focused on wellness and value. We are proud to promote the benefits of our products that meet the Alliance criteria for calories, fat and sodium, and provide schools with more products that are affordable and exciting to children.”

Campbell’s soups for schools come in various 50-ounce varieties, including of lower-sodium versions of Campbell’s chicken and stars soup, Campbell’s mega noodle soup and Campbell’s vegetarian vegetable alphabet soup. These soups are low in fat and cholesterol, have 480 mg of sodium or less per serving and are under 100 calories per serving.

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Several food producers to adopt front-of-pack nutrition labeling

BY Jenna Duncan

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., and MINNEAPOLIS Unilever and General Mills today announced positive actions towards adding front-of-pack nutrition labels to their products.

General Mills and Unilever both signed on as “likely implementers” of the program which advocates adding food nutrition information, such as calorie content and other details of additives and ingredients, to front-facing labels. The labels are part of the Smart Choices Program, a system of nutrition labeling developed by academics, food and beverage manufacturers, health organizations, retailers and scientists.

Unilever has been a participant in the Keystone Food and Nutrition Roundtable which launched its “Eat Smart/Drink Smart” initiative in the United States and globally with the Choices Programme.

The Smart Choices Program symbol will be added to packaging by participating food companies in 2009.

More information is available at www.smartchoicesprogram.com.

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Mars sets $1 million Halloween online sweepstakes in motion

BY Jenna Duncan

MCLEAN, Va. Mars has launched an online sweepstakes at HalloweenMillion.com that features a grand-prize of $1 million and an instant-win game with 20,000 other prizes.

Visitors to the site can enter UPC codes from select Mars candies such as M&Ms, Skittles, Snickers and Starburst for a chance to win.

After entering the UPC code, the site automatically directs the visitor to a special room in the Million Dollar Mansion. For example, M&Ms consumers get routed to the M&M’s Ballroom and Milky Way fans go to the Milky Way Observatory where a button is revealed that can deliver instant prize winnings. Instant prizes include coupons and $1,000 Visa debit cards featuring the M&M’s logo. All participants are automatically entered into the drawing for $1 million.

A TV ad campaign featuring the Headless Horseman and the Red and Yellow M&M’s ill be on the air through Friday to support the promotion.

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