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Consumer reports say Halloween 2008 spending will be a blow-out

BY Jenna Duncan

WASHINGTON Information released from BIGresearch’s National Retail Federation consumer actions for Halloween survey showed that more shoppers plan to celebrate the holiday this year—about a 6 percent rise in survey participants than last year.

The survey reported that the average Halloween shopper plans to spend $66.54 preparing for the holiday. That figure is up from $64.82 in 2007. Furthermore, celebrants plan to spend about $24.17 per participant on costumes, $20.39 each for candy, $18.25 on average for decorations and around $3.73 each on greeting cards. The survey also found that young adults ages 18 to 24 years-old said that will spend about $86.59 on Halloween—more than any other age group.

The National Retail Federation’s Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey estimated the total to be spent on the holiday in 2008 at $5.77 billion. 

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Nestle USA and Jamba ready-to-drink beverages exceed early sales expectations

BY Jim Wright

EMERYVILLE, Calif. Nestle USA and Jamba announced the early success of the Jamba ready-to-drink beverages in eight western states. Since its launch in May, Jamba ready-to-drink beverages have captured a significant share of the premium juice segment, exceeding initial expectations.

Jamba Smoothies and Jamba Juicies are available in Raley’s and Walgreens, among other major retailers, including major grocery chains and convenience stores in California, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Washington and Colorado.

“We are thrilled at the success of the Jamba ready-to-drink beverages, which have surpassed our initial sales expectations,” said Steve Presley, vice president, general manager premium ready-to-drink, Nestle Beverage Division.

Nestle is supporting the launch of Jamba RTD with heavy product sampling, online activity, consumer outreach public relations and in-store promotions. In addition, television ads for Jamba RTD began airing in June in both San Francisco and Portland, Ore.

The 2008 Jamba ready-to-drink product line includes six SKUs: three Jamba Smoothies, named Strawberries Wild w/Energy Boost, Orange Dream Machine w/Immunity, Banana Berry w/Heart Healthy Boost; and, three Jamba Juicies named Orange Strawberry Banana w/Protein Boost, Mango Orange Peach w/Fiber Boost, Very Berry w/Calcium Boost.

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Wheaties honors U.S. Olympians with pictorial cereal boxes

BY Jenna Duncan

MINNEAPOLIS Following the closing ceremony at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Wheaties has announced that American gymnast Nastia Liukin and decathlete Bryan Clay will each be honored with their own Wheaties boxes.

Nastia Liukin is the third U.S. women’s gymnast to win all-around and also the third to appear on Wheaties box. Clay is also the third decathlon champion in a row to be honored on the Wheaties box.

Prior to Liukin’s gold medals, U.S. gymnasts Mary Lou Retton and Carly Patterson were also honored on the box.

The last American to win the gold in decathlon was “World’s Greatest Athlete,” Dan o’Brien in 1996. Clay received the silver medal at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. He later was medaled World Champion in 2005.

“Having your picture on the Wheaties box is something all athletes strive for,” Clay said. “It’s a mark of distinction that says you’ve reached the pinnacle of your career. This is a very special honor for me.”

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