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Dove Chocolate adds almonds, cashews to lineup

BY Gisselle Gaitan

Fans of Dove Chocolate may have some new flavors to obsess over. The Hackettstown, N.J.-based company unveiled three flavors joining the company’s portfolio.

Joining the Dove Chocolate family are the cinnamon dusted dark chocolate almonds, sea salt dusted milk chocolate cashews and cocoa dusted dark chocolate cashews. Each of the treats contains the smooth texture of Dove Chocolate that consumers have come to recognize along with a kick of spice, the company said.

“We challenged ourselves to create a product that would be truly innovative and special for our growing fan base,” Kerry Cavanaugh, Brand Director, Dove Chocolate, said. “They love Dove for our signature silky smooth chocolate and flavor variety. This bold taste experience is differentiated by the dustings of cinnamon, sea salt and cocoa that should leave fans feeling invigorated as if they’ve discovered something new and unexpected with Dove.”

The new launches will be available for purchase at drug, mass, grocery and value stores nationwide beginning in March. Dove’s chocolate covered dusted almonds and cashews will come in 1.6-oz. slim packs retailing for $1.99, 5-oz. and 5.5-oz. stand up pouches for $3.99. The cinnamon dusted dark chocolate almonds and sea salt milk chocolate cashews will be available in both slim packs and stand up pouches that retail for the same prices, while the cocoa dusted dark chocolate cashews will only come in stand-up pouches.

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General Mills to acquire Blue Buffalo pet products

BY DSN STAFF

General Mills, the parent company of brands such as Cheerios, Nature Valley, Haagen-Dazs, Pillsbury, Old El Paso and more, is expanding its portfolio to include pet products. The company announced its acquisition of Blue Buffalo for $40.00 per share in cash, representing a value of approximately $8 billion.

The transaction will allow General Mills to become a leader in the U.S. Wholesome Natural pet food category, which is the fastest-growing portion of the overall pet food market, the Minneapolis-based company said.

“The addition of Blue to our family of well-loved brands provides General Mills with the leading position in the large and growing wholesome natural pet food category and represents a significant milestone as we reshape our portfolio to drive additional growth and value creation for our shareholders,” General Mills chairman and chief executive officer, Jeff Harmening, said.

Founded in 2002, Wilton, Conn.-based Blue Buffalo specializes in the making of natural foods and treats for dogs and cats under the Blue Brand, which includes Blue Life Protection Formula, Blue Wilderness, Blue Basics, Blue Freedom and Blue Veterinary Diet. The company has generated $1.275 billion in net sales and $319 million in adjusted EBITDA for the fiscal year 2017.

“I have been impressed by General Mills’ strong track record of accelerating growth for its natural and organic brands while giving them the freedom to maintain their own unique culture and identity. General Mills will be a tremendous home for our Blue brand, as our talented team of over 1,700 ‘Buffs’ joins this new extended family,” Billy Bishop, Blue Buffalo chief executive officer, said. “From the first meeting Jeff and I had, I felt a strong cultural fit between our two companies and believe they will be a great partner in our mission to reach more pet parents and feed more pets. This transaction creates significant, immediate value for our shareholders, as it recognizes the strength of our competitively advantaged business model. Along with our leadership team, we look forward to working with General Mills to continue growing the Blue brand for many years to come.”

The transaction has been approved by both companies’ board of directors and is expected to close by the end of General Mills’ fiscal 2018.

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Angry Orchard joins the rosé trend

BY Gisselle Gaitan

Angry Orchard, best known for its apple-flavored ciders is joining the widely popular Rosé craze by launching a new drink — Angry Orchard Rosé hard cider. This new beverage from the Walden, N.Y.-based company is made with red flesh apples from France and combines the qualities of cider with a rosy color and floral aroma.

The inspiration for this new drink came from the light and fruit-forward elements of Rosé, which is derived from harvested and fermented fruit, the company said. The brand began experimenting with small batches until finding a unique red fresh apple in Brittany, France that contributes to the products apple flavor and rose-colored hue.

“I love Rosé wine, but I’m excited for drinkers to move on over to cider and try something new this spring with our Angry Orchard Rosé,” Ryan Burk, head cider maker of Angry Orchard, said. “The rare red flesh apples used in our Rosé not only impart complex flavors but contribute to the cider’s beautiful rosy hue. It’s crisp, refreshing and unlike any other style we have crafted.”

Angry Orchard Rosé hard cider contains 5.5% ABV and is available nationwide in packs of six for the suggested retail price of $7.99 to $9.99, and in a variety pack of 12 that includes other beverages from the brand, for $14.99 to $16.99. The line also will be official hard cider of this year’s Kentucky Derby.

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