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Higher prices for Halloween items could sting shoppers, reports say

BY Jenna Duncan

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. The Nielsen Company has reported that the prices of Halloween products from candy and costumes to dress-up hair color have all gone up, which could prompt some shoppers to pinch pennies this season.

Compared to a year ago, prices of chocolate candy are up on average 4.2 percent per package to $4.22, candy overall is up 2.9 percent to $3.59, false eyelashes and accessories are up by 9.5 percent to $3.91 and fake nails and nail decorations are up 3.2 percent to $4.58 per package. Halloween products for coloring hair coloring were up the most to an average of $4.42—a 126 percent increase over the average price last year which was $2.46.

Sources have said the high prices could cause consumers to scale back their costumes and decorations. Candy sales projections, however, have predicted that Americans will spend more than $1.9 billion on candy for Halloween, which breaks down to about $1.2 billion on chocolate and about $672 million in non-chocolate candy sales reports said.

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Hormel Foods adjusts predictions for fiscal 2008

BY Jenna Duncan

AUSTIN, Minn. Hormel Foods has revised its projections for fiscal 2008, lowering expected totals for earnings, the company said today. 

The Minnesota-based maker of branded foods and meat-products attributed its revised numbers to a decline in financial markets around the globe.

 

 

“Although we correctly anticipated a significant shortfall in earnings at Jennie-O Turkey Store during the fourth quarter, we are also experiencing greater than expected cost pressures and unfavorable product mix changes in our grocery products and refrigerated foods segments,” Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and chief operating officer of Hormel said. “Given the current investment results for the rabbi trust and our expected operating results for fiscal 2008, we are lowering our full year guidance to $2.03 to $2.09 per share from our earlier guidance range of $2.22 to $2.28 per share. However, we expect to beat fiscal year 2007 results for the full year on a segment operating profit basis.”

 

 

Ettinger said that more details about revisions to the fiscal 2008 earnings summary would be disclosed in a conference call Nov. 25.

 

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MillerCoors cans Zima malt beverage

BY Jenna Duncan

MILWAUKEE MillerCoors has closed its Zima malt beverage manufacturing line in Memphis due to soft sales, the company has said.

Zima has been on the market since 1994. But declining interest in the sugary, soft-drink-like beverage has declined, despite launches of brand extensions such as Zima Pineapple Citrus and Zima Tangerine.

“This decision is necessary to reduce complexity when it comes to our brand portfolio, allowing for more focused activity at retail on consumer-preferred brands, especially Sparks,” a statement released by MillerCoors on Monday said.

Citrus-flavored, caffeinated Sparks, a malt beverage competitor also owned by Miller, has enjoyed sweeping sales since its 2002 launch.

The final batches of remaining bottles of Zima will be shipped to wholesale distributors centers in December.

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