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Hershey’s Arline to retire after 26 years

BY Allison Cerra

HERSHEY, Pa. Hershey Co. senior vice president and chief people officer, Marcella Arline, announced she will be retiring after 26 years of service, the company said Friday.

Arline will continue in her role during the transition to assist David J. West, President; the management team; and the board of directors.

“Throughout her career, Marcella has shown an unmatched dedication to the community, the company and, most importantly, the people of Hershey,” said Richard Lenny, chairman and chief executive officer. “Her leadership has had a tremendous impact across the company, in manufacturing, quality and regulatory compliance and human resources. Marcella has led the development of our employees and leaders and has been instrumental in building our superior organization. Her energy, judgment and commitment will be greatly missed.”

Arline considered retiring under the company’s 2005 early retirement plan. She agreed to remain with the company to help lead several initiatives, including Hershey’s global expansion, recruitment and leadership development, and planning and implementation of the Global Supply Chain Transformation.

Arline was appointed to be the company’s senior vice president and chief people officer in 2004 and was responsible for human resources, corporate communications, compensation, benefits, security, flight operations and facilities management for the Corporation.

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Kraft’s arabica coffee enters market

BY Allison Cerra

NORTHFIELD, Ill. Kraft Foods’ new coffee made with 100 percent arabica beans has entered the market in full force.

Between its full-bodied flavor and heavy promotion, the Maxwell House coffee has become the company’s prime product, as hardier-variety robusta beans, grown mainly in Asia, have been removed from Maxwell House’s flagship brand.

Part of their quality overhaul, new television and print ads for Maxwell House, begun this fall are part of the company’s campaign, Kraft spokeswoman Bridget MacConnell said Tuesday.

MacConnell added that the slogan “It’s a New Morning. Brew Some Good,” reflects the full-flavor of the new product.

Several New York coffee traders questioned the move, however, saying robusta beans are generally less expensive than arabicas and can add flavor to arabica blends.

On Wednesday, Nov. 21, P&G will hand out its new Maxwell House coffee at tollbooths on several U.S. highways, said MacConnell. At these said booths, the company plans to distribute sample packages of Maxwell House brand – enough to make a pot.

“In New York City, we’ll be paying subway fares at select stations” on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, MacConnell said. She also said from Black Friday through Sunday morning, Maxwell House coffee would be given away at shopping malls in 15 U.S. marketing regions.

In late July, Kraft said it intended to eliminate robusta usage in its Maxwell House regular blend by the end of the year under a quality initiative. Procter & Gamble, meanwhile, is sticking with robustas in its Folgers arabica blend coffee, while continuing to innovate blends.

Kraft controlled about 30 percent of the U.S. retail coffee market as of September, while P&G Folgers had 36 percent, according to market researchers A.C. Nielsen.

Kraft Foods in late October hiked its list prices for Maxwell House and Yuban ground, roasted coffee, after increases by Procter & Gamble’s Folgers unit and by Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA, owner of Chock Full o’ Nuts.

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Cheerios’ reading program puts 5 million books on grocery shelves

BY Tara Smith

MINNEAPOLIS For the sixth year running, Cheerios is putting 5 million children’s books inside boxes of Cheerios cereal as part of its Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program, which kicked off Monday for National Children’s Book Week, Nov. 12-18.

The company is once again working with First Book, an award-winning children’s literacy non-profit, to give a year’s worth of children’s books to 50 reading programs serving disadvantaged children throughout the United States. Over the past six years, Cheerios, a General Mills company, has donated more than $2.5 million to support First Book.

This year’s book offering from Cheerios feature five titles from Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing: “The New Girl … And Me” by Jacqui Robbins; “Everybody Needs a Rock” by Byrd Baylor; “Things that are most in the world by Judi Barrett”; “Do YOU Have a Hat?” by Eileen Spinelli; and “Jakers! Piggley’s Treasure Hunt” adapted by Catherine Lucas. “The New Girl . . . and Me” will be specially printed in both English and Spanish. The books are written for children ages 3 to 8.

One of the paperback books will be available inside each Cheerios cereal box marked “Spoonfuls of Stories,” which will be available on shelves until early spring 2008. The books are specially sized to fit inside the cereal boxes and feature original content and illustrations. Families can seek which book is inside the box through a special cut-out window so they can pick the book they want or collect all five titles. The boxes also will feature information on how to make an online donation to First Book.

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