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Kraft’s preliminary injunction against Starbucks denied by appeals court

BY Allison Cerra

NORTHFIELD, Ill. — A U.S. appellate court denied Kraft Foods’ request for a preliminary injunction against Starbucks, upholding a lower court’s ruling.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s denial of the injunction will allow Starbucks to end its strategic partnership with Kraft before an arbitration proceeding. The arbitration process currently is under way, Kraft said.

After the ruling, Marc Firestone, Kraft Foods EVP corporate and legal affairs and general counsel, stated, "while disappointed in the outcome, we respect the U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision," adding that the company expects "to prevail in the marketplace, given the strength of [our] $5 billion global coffee business. Kraft is committed to competing in all coffee segments, including premium and on-demand. Our future plans are as robust as our coffee products, and we look forward to sharing them at the appropriate time."

The preliminary injunction against Starbucks initially was filed in December in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and was denied in late January.

As previously reported, Kraft filed an arbitration proceeding against Starbucks last November after the coffee giant sought to end its 12-year strategic partnership with the company. At the time, Kraft claimed that it boosted Starbucks’ retail grocery coffee business since 1998, which has garnered approximately $500 million in annual revenues. Starbucks said "Kraft did not meet its responsibilities" under the agreement.

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Sweet Tweets candy keeps consumers connected

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Bazooka Candy Brands’ latest confection is offering consumers a personal and fun way to stay connected with each other.

Sweet Tweets is a colorful candy that’s available in four flavors and touts a cute emoticon attached to a decorative paper board featuring fun, illustrative designs. The candy, the company said, adds a personal touch to social interactions by providing a short, handwritten note with the perfect punctuation.

Each pack of Sweet Tweets includes 10 notes with the candy inserts and comes in five different design themes, allowing consumers to further personalize their Sweet Tweets.

Bazooka also said the Sweet Tweets launch would be supported with a campaign on Twitter, Facebook and relevant blogs. As part of the Facebook strategy, Bazooka will launch a “Mail a Tweet to Your Sweet” program through which fans of the page can mail handwritten messages to a favorite person.

“In this digital age, staying connected has never been easier, but it has also never been less personal," said Anthony Trani, Bazooka Candy Brands senior marketing manager. "There is still nothing quite like getting a handwritten note, and the customizable Sweet Tweets allow consumers to get back to connecting on a more personal level in a fun and convenient way.”

Sweet Tweets will be available in March in blue raspberry, lemonade, strawberry and watermelon flavors, for a suggested retail price of 99 cents per pack.

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SunChips’ compostable bags get quieter

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. — After complaints about Frito-Lay’s noisy biodegradable bags for its SunChips brand were made loud and clear by consumers, the bags now deliver the same eco-friendly message on a quieter scale.

SunChips unveiled its hushed compostable bags and has asked consumers for feedback on its Facebook page. So far, the feedback has been positive.

SunChips launched the original compostable bag in 2009. The bags are part of the brand’s committment to developing sustainable packaging solutions, SunChips and Frito-Lay said.

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