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Frito-Lay’s SunChips brand changing the future of snack food packaging

BY Allison Cerra

PLANO, Texas SunChips, Frito-Lay’s popular line of multigrain snacks, announced today that in 2010 it will introduce the first fully compostable snack chip bag made from plant-based materials. The change is designed to significantly improve the environmental impact of its packaging.

This month, the SunChips brand is taking the first step towards this transformational packaging. The outer layer of packaging on 10.5-oz. size SunChips snack bags will be made with a compostable, plant-based renewable material, polylactic acid. By 2010, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America division plans to rollout a package for its SunChips snacks where all layers are made from PLA material so the package is 100% compostable.

“We know environmentally-friendly packaging is a priority for our SunChips consumer,” said Gannon Jones, VP marketing, Frito-Lay North America. “[Today’s] launch of packaging made with 1/3 renewable materials is an important first step towards having a fully compostable chip bag in market by Earth Day 2010.”

Current snack food packaging has three layers: a printed outer layer with packaging visuals/graphics, an inner layer, which serves as a barrier to maintain the quality and integrity of the product, and a middle layer that joins the other two layers. When the packaging is 100% compostable, it will fully decompose in about 14 weeks when placed in a hot, active compost pile or bin. NatureWorks LLC is providing the PLA, which is trademarked under the Ingeo name.

Once the 100% compostable bag is introduced, the company anticipates the switch will lead to reduced greenhouse gas emissions in the production of the packaging and the elimination of petroleum-based packaging material.

To inform consumers about the new packaging initiatives, the brand will be communicating through traditional marketing efforts, including print, TV and digital advertising. As part of the current packaging change, the front panel of the current 10.5 oz. size SunChips package features a callout, “Renewable materials make up 33% of this bag.” To communicate the next improvement, the digital strategy includes a video showing how the bag decomposes over 14 weeks. Also, samples of the 100% compostable material will be distributed at major retailers across the country and as part of a special People magazine ad.

SunChips multigrain snacks, originally introduced in 1991, contain a full serving of whole grains, 0 grams of trans fats, and are made with sunflower oil. SunChips snacks, available in Original, Harvest Cheddar, French Onion, Garden Salsa and Peppercorn Ranch flavors, provide 18 grams of whole grains per one ounce serving from a blend of corn, oats and wheat.

The packaging innovation is in line with the commitment by PepsiCo, Frito-Lay’s parent, to reduce the company’s impact on the environment through water, energy and packaging initiatives.

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PepsiCo sues Coca-Cola over new Powerade ion4 ads

BY Allison Cerra

MILWAUKEE PepsiCo Inc. has sued Coca-Cola over its new ad campaign for Powerade.

The Purchase, N.Y.-based company asked the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York on Monday to stop Coca-Cola’s campaign of Powerade. PepsiCo said the ads for Powerade ion4 are false in saying it’s the “complete” sports drink, better than Gatorade because that drink is missing two electrolytes — magnesium and calcium. The company said there was no evidence the new Powerade is better than Gatorade, and that the Coca-Cola-made drink has the extra electrolytes only in trace amounts.

Scott Williamson, a spokesman for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, said the company has to review the case before it can comment.

Gatorade, which PepsiCo acquired as part of its purchase of Quaker Oats Co. in 2001, is an important one for the company, said John Sicher, editor of the trade publication Beverage Digest.

PepsiCo, with brands like Mountain Dew and Pepsi-Cola, is the second-biggest soft drink maker behind Coca-Cola. But in the sports drink category, Sicher said, Gatorade dominates with a 77.2 % share of the category’s volume and was a big reason PepsiCo bought Quaker.

“Gatorade has driven a lot of PepsiCo’s North American beverage growth for many years,” he said.

Powerade is a distant No. 2 player, with a market share of 21.7 % last year. The sports drink category was worth about $7.6 billion in retail sales in 2008. By comparison, the entire U.S. carbonated soft drinks market was worth than $72.7 billion in retail sales last year.

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Huggies rolls out new diaper line, rewards program

BY Allison Cerra

DALLAS Kimberly-Clark Corp. announced Monday the launch of Huggies Pure & Natural diapers, a super premium diaper that includes natural, organic materials and ingredients to provide gentle protection for new babies.

The new Huggies Pure & Natural diaper is hypoallergenic, latex and fragrance free and features a breathable outer cover that includes organic cotton. The liner includes natural Aloe & Vitamin E and materials from renewable sources, and the product’s outer packaging is sourced from 20% post-consumer recycled materials. The new diaper will be offered in 6 sizes, from newborn through size 5.

“The new Huggies Pure & Natural diaper is designed for moms who desire to provide their babies the best and most gentle care without sacrificing comfort and protection, while using a product that includes organic and natural materials,” said Robert Thibault, president of Kimberly-Clark’s North American Infant, Baby & Child Care business. “This innovative Huggies brand diaper offers delicate protection for baby, along with the increased use of renewable materials, ushering into the category a new disposable diaper that delivers the utmost in performance and care along with steps toward environmental improvements.”

The launch of Huggies Pure & Natural diapers will be supported by an integrated marketing campaign to include print and online advertising, Web sites, FSIs and in-store promotions.

The new diaper will be featured as part of the Huggies brand’s recruitment program for moms, which includes childbirth education, sampling, in-hospital TV programming and direct mail.

Huggies Pure & Natural diapers will be widely available in North American retail outlets in late April. For more information on the new Huggies brand diapers, visit www.huggiespureandnatural.com.

Kimberly-Clark also announced the launch of a new Huggies brand rewards program — Enjoy the Ride Rewards — which offers chances to earn valuable rewards, win instant prizes, and more. Beginning April 13, parents can sign up for the rewards program by going to www.enjoytheriderewards.com.

To earn rewards points, moms enter special codes that will be located on direct mail pieces, magazine ads, and online. Points can also be earned by referring friends, watching videos, providing opinions, or sharing ideas within the program’s Web site.

To help create excitement around the launch of Enjoy the Ride Rewards, the Huggies Brand will be giving away a one year’s supply of diapers every day for the next year. Moms who sign up to join the program are eligible to win this daily prize.

“During these uncertain economic times, providing moms access to a rewards program that enables them to have fun, talk to each other, and share their opinions, while accumulating points and redeeming them for a chance to win fabulous prizes, is a win-win for both moms and the Huggies brand,” said Jeff Dawson, VP of the Huggies brand. “The Enjoy the Ride Rewards program is designed to establish a strong relationship with moms as they begin their journey through motherhood — ultimately creating Huggies advocates, and thus loyal users of Huggies branded products.”

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