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Hershey inks warehouse, distribution alliance with Ferrero

BY Allison Cerra

HERSHEY, Pa. — Hershey and Ferrero have formed a joint warehousing, transportation and distribution initiative in North America.

The two companies will work together to maximize corporate social responsibility efforts and expect to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and energy consumption in warehousing and freight, with fewer vehicle trips needed to move products to customers.

Productivity improvements from this initiative are expected to be seen in 2012. This alliance does not encompass manufacturing, selling or marketing activities, Hershey and Ferrero noted.

“Ferrero is a respected international company with a portfolio of successful brands including Tic Tac mints, Ferrero Rocher chocolates and Nutella hazelnut spread. Collaborative supply chain operations are a growing trend across industries as companies seek to fully leverage their logistics infrastructure,” Hershey president and CEO John Bilbrey. “Although we are initially focusing on one region of our business, we are excited about the full potential of this project.”

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CodeBlue functional beverage introduced to specialty health retailers

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — CodeBlue was unveiled last week at Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore as the company behind CodeBlue transitioned the brand from the club circuit to the specialty health channel.

According to the company, the all-natural beverage has the electrolyte replenishment of a sports drink, as well as the antioxidants and vitamins found in enhanced water. CodeBlue is derived from fruit extracts, naturally sweetened and available in four flavored varieties — blueberry pomegranate, strawberry melon, peach mandarin and meyer lemon.

"Between working, everyday stress and fitness regimens, we found there was nothing on the shelves that encouraged proper hydration and recovery," CodeBlue cofounder Steven Frumin said. "In 2008, we created CodeBlue, working with a team of scientists and testing hundreds of different formulas. Listening to the needs and feedback of consumers and retailers in New York and New England, CodeBlue evolved into a cross-functional beverage complete with optimal nutrient levels while promoting great taste. It surpasses single function performance or hydration drinks and our own expectations."

The first generation of CodeBlue was developed in 2008 by friends who attended college in Boston. Priming for national distribution, the company recently hired Eric Schnell as managing partner.

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Mars gets ready for 2012 with new products

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO — Mars Chocolate North America is expanding its portfolio with new varieties and snack sizes for some of its brands.

The products, which were unveiled at the National Association of Convenience Stores Show in Chicago this week, will include:

  • 3 Musketeers coconut bar: Debuting in December for a suggested retail price of $1.09;

  • Dove chocolate singles bars (available in milk and dark chocolate): Relaunching in a wider size (10% increase in weight) in Jan. 2012 for a suggested retail price of $1.09;

  • M&M’s mint dark chocolate candies: Debuting in December for a suggested retail price of $1.09;

  • M&M’s snack mix, available in three varieties: Debuting in May 2012 in 8-oz. resealable pouches for a suggested retail price of $3.29;

  • Snickers 3X Chocolate 2 to Go bars: Debuting in December for a suggested retail price of $1.69;

  • Dove Bar mint swirl ice cream with dark chocolate: Debuting in March 2012 for a suggested retail price of $3.99;

  • Milky Way chocolate ice cream bars: Debuting in March 2012 for a suggested retail price of $1.79 (single bar), $4.29 (six-packs), $4.29 (80-calories miniature bars in a 12-pack).

New shareable sizes will be available for the following products:

  • M&M’s almond chocolate candies;

  • M&M’s pretzel chocolate candies; and

  • Snickers Peanut Butter Squared bars.

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