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Heinz gains in earnings for 2008

BY Jenna Duncan

PITTSBURGH H.J. Heinz Co. today reported sales growth in fiscal 2008 and an increase in earning. Sales surpassed $10 billion for the first time ever, the company said. Earnings have risen by 11 percent per share, up to $2.63 from $2.38 in the last year, and annual sales rose 12 percent to $10.1 billion.

Heinz branded products saw an increase of 14 percent and Weight Watchers and Weight Watchers Smart Ones brands, rose by 26 percent growth and 25 percent in emerging markets, respectively.

“Heinz once again delivered exceptional financial results in FY08 as we significantly increased sales, profits and operating free cash flow while also increasing marketing by 15 percent and introducing more than 200 new products,” chairman, president and chief executive officer, William Johnson said.

Heinz also reported an 8.5 percent increase in operating income to $1.57 billion. Heinz attributes the rise to increases in product volume, better pricing and productivity, and good exchange rates in foreign currencies. The company said that year-long net income increased 7 percent to $845 million for continuing operations.

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Nestle, Jamba Juice team up to release ready-to-drink beverages

BY Jenna Duncan

EMERYVILLE, Calif. Nestle USA and Jamba Juice have announced that a new line of Jamba ready-to-drink beverages are now available in major retail stores in eight western United States.

“This is the first step in our strong partnership with Nestle,” senior vice president of marketing and brand development at Jamba, Paul Coletta, said. “Our teams continue to work together on future product extensions that will build and drive the synergy of Jamba retail and ready-to-drink.”

Jamba Smoothies and Jamba Juicies, made with real fruit and fortified with added nutrients, are now available in some Jamba Juice store locations, as well as major drug, grocery and retail chains like Albertsons, Ralph’s, Raley’s, Target and Walgreens, and some convenience stores.

“The response from accounts has been outstanding,” Steve Presley, Nestle Beverage Division vice president, general manager premium ready-to-drink, said. “They recognize the value and growth potential that Jamba RTD brings to the super premium juice category.”

Jamba’s ready-to-drink product line includes Jamba Smoothies flavors banana berry with heart healthy nutrient boost, orange dream machine with an immunity nutrient boost and strawberries wild with an energy boost. In addition, three Jamba Juicies are also on shelves, including mango orange peach with a fiber boost, orange strawberry banana with a protein boost and very berry with a calcium boost.

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Kellogg to temporarily revive Hydrox

BY Jenna Duncan

NORTHFIELD, Ill. Kellogg’s long-beloved, now discontinued, chocolate cookie, Hydrox, will again be gracing retail shelves late this summer.

Hydrox was discontinued in 2003, giving in to sales of long-time rival cookie Oreo. But Kellogg said it will bring Hydrox back and it will be sold across the country for a limited time starting in August.

A spokesman from Kellogg told the press that the company has decided to initiate a temporary relaunch of Hydrox following an overwhelming customer response to the cookie’s discontinuation, including a petition launched by one Web site that collected more than 1,000 signatures requesting the return of the cookie.

The company has not promised the relaunched cookie will come from the original recipe. Kellogg has already made one change—the new cookie will be trans fat-free, the company has said.

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