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Dr Pepper Snapple Group sees solid gain in Q2

BY Allison Cerra

PLANO, Texas Dr Pepper Snapple Group reported second-quarter earnings of 62 cents per share Thursday, a whopping 46% increase from the year-ago period.

The Plano, Texas-based company said earnings for the period ended June 30 rose to $158 million, or 62 cents per share, compared with $108 million, or 42 cents per share, a year earlier.

For the second quarter, reported net sales were down 4%. Excluding the loss of Hansen product distribution and on a currency neutral basis, net sales increased 3% reflecting solid pricing actions and 3% sales volume growth offset by negative mix from higher carbonated soft drink concentrate and value juice sales. Segment operating profit, as adjusted, increased 16% reflecting lower commodity and fuel costs, operating benefits from higher volumes and a strong cost control focus. Reported income from operations was $297 million.

“Our results continue to show the strength of our brands and the flexibility of our balanced routes to market. Despite a challenging macroeconomic backdrop, each of our segments posted solid net sales gains, grew liquid refreshment beverages value share and added new points of distribution. Our continuous improvement mindset and strong cost control focus, coupled with better than expected input costs, resulted in double-digit growth in segment operating profit on a comparable, currency neutral basis,” said DPS president and CEO Larry Young. “As we look ahead, we remain confident that our advantaged portfolio will continue to deliver industry leading results. With a less onerous input cost environment, we will take full advantage of marketplace investment opportunities to support the long term health of our brands and will leverage our productivity office to drive further efficiencies in our business.”

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Oscar Mayer Lunchables lunch combinations introduces six new varieties

BY Allison Cerra

MADISON, Wis. Back-to-school time gives kids a fresh start, and Oscar Mayer is looking to making lunch meals more convenient and healthy.

Oscar Mayer is introducing a new line of Oscar Mayer Lunchables Lunch Combinations, which includes spring water and a number of firsts for the brand, including sub sandwiches and applesauce. The product line also offers the following enhancements:

  • Turkey made with 100% turkey breast: a good source of protein;
  • Bread made with whole grain;
  • Kraft 2% cheddar: an excellent source of calcium;
  • Dessert including Chewy Chips Ahoy! Cookies and Mini Nilla Wafers.

“Moms told us what they wanted and we listened,” said Darin Dugan, senior director marketing for Lunchables. “So we’ve added items like spring water, applesauce and bread made with whole grain.”

The new Lunchables Lunch Combinations line is made up of six varieties including: Turkey + Cheddar Sub Sandwich; Ham + American Sub Sandwich; Turkey + Cheddar Cracker Combos; Ham + American Cracker Combos; Deep Dish Cheese Pizza and Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza. The Turkey + Cheddar Sub Sandwich and Deep Dish Cheese Pizza meet the Kraft Foods Sensible Solution criteria for nutritional value.

Additionally, the new line will be launched in an all new, clear, snap-close package that uses recyclable sleeves, bottom trays and water bottles. This is the first appreciable change to the packaging in the brand’s 21 years.

“Our product packaging really tops off the introduction of this new line,” said Dugan. “We’ve made it easier than ever for Mom to see exactly what’s inside.”

KelloggsDRSNhttp://www.centerstoregrowth.com

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Kraft Foods to use Smart Choices program criteria for advertising to children

BY Allison Cerra

NORTHFIELD, Ill. Kraft Foods announced plans to become the first company to use the Smart Choices Program nutrition criteria to identify which products it advertises to children ages 6 to 11 in the United States.

“We were the first company to stop advertising products to children that didn’t meet specific nutrition criteria,” said Triona Schmelter, senior director health and wellness, Kraft Foods North America. “So it is a logical next step to use the Smart Choices Program criteria, which are uniform and consistent across many companies, to help consumers understand our advertising guidelines and make better-for-you product choices. This is part of our continuing efforts to ensure our advertising practices meet consumer expectations.”

While the Smart Choices Program requires the transition to be completed within three years, Kraft Foods expects to complete the rollout in advance of the deadline. Some products featuring the new symbol, including Teddy Grahams and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Crackers, will appear on store shelves in the coming weeks.

As the Smart Choices Program rolls out, Kraft Foods will update its Pledge under the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. Kraft Foods was a founding member of this industry-wide initiative, which is aimed at shifting the mix of advertising messaging directed to children under 12 to encourage healthier dietary choices and healthy lifestyles.

KelloggsDRSNhttp://www.centerstoregrowth.com

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