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Majority of Valentine’s Day shoppers wait until last minute to purchase gifts

BY Jason Owen

CHICAGO — Most Valentine’s Day celebrants plan to shop a week or less before the holiday, and many wait until Feb. 13 or 14 to make their final purchases, according to research by the NPD Group, a leading global information company.

The "SnackTrack Holidays Valentine’s Day Profile" found 78% of those who celebrate Valentine’s Day plan to shop a week or less before the holiday. Women do not begin their Valentine’s Day shopping much earlier than men; 1-in-3 female buyers (32%) wraps up her shopping Feb. 13 or 14, while 47% of men made their final Valentine’s Day purchase on those days.

An estimated 185 million individuals — including 70 million women and 59 million men — celebrate Valentine’s Day. While a nearly universal 92% of celebrating adults indicated plans to get someone a Valentine’s Day gift, 80% actually followed through and gave one, NPD’s snacking research reported. Outpacing greeting cards, the most common gift was candy, given by 38% of adults and 47% of teen gifters. By a wide margin, the leading candy was boxed chocolates, given by 55% of adult candy buyers and 45% of teens. Supermarkets and discount stores are the primary channels for Valentine’s Day purchases. Consumers say that they choose these channels for convenience purposes.

“With the shopping cycle more compressed for Valentine’s Day than for Christmas, there is a heightened need for a simplified shopping experience,” said Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst. “Having Valentine’s Day items all in one spot and offering all-in-one bundles of cards and gifts will help these last-minute shoppers.”


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New study shows children who eat cereal for breakfast have lower body weight, BMI

BY Jason Owen

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Parents searching for a healthy breakfast for their children should take another look at the cereal aisle.

According to new research published in peer-reviewed healthcare journal Infant, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition (ICAN), children who start their day with a cereal breakfast – even if that cereal is presweetened – tend to have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) and less chance of being overweight or obese than children who eat other breakfasts or skip the meal entirely.

"The benefits of cereal breakfast extend beyond low BMI, too. Breakfast cereals make a positive contribution to children’s nutrition," said Kevin B. Miller, PhD, a senior nutrition scientist at Kellogg Company’s W.K. Kellogg Institute for Food and Nutrition and one of the researchers who conducted the study. "A serving of cereal and milk provides kids with protein and four important nutrients they often don’t get enough of: fiber, calcium, Vitamin D and potassium."

Previous studies have shown that ready-to-eat cereal consumption is associated with reduced obesity in children and adults when compared to other breakfast options (including eating no breakfast at all). The 2012 research, "The Association Between Body Metrics and Breakfast Food Choice in Children," further confirms that children who eat cereal breakfasts, including presweetened cereal, are much more likely to have healthier body weights than those who eat other breakfasts. In fact, children who skip breakfast or choose non-cereal options are nearly twice as likely to be overweight or obese as their cereal-eating counterparts.

"A cereal breakfast, whether presweetened or not, provides children a convenient, nutrient-dense and great-tasting way to start their day," said Miller. To help families provide their children with a healthy breakfast, Kellogg offers more ready-to-eat cereals that are a good source of fiber (3 grams) and include at least one-half serving of whole grains (8 grams) than any other U.S. food company. Cereals include Kellogg’s Raisin Bran, Frosted Mini-Wheats, Froot Loops, Apple Jacks and many others.

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Jimmy Dean cooks up new breakfast items

BY Jason Owen

CHICAGO — February is National Hot Breakfast Month, and Jimmy Dean is celebrating with several new items across its breakfast lineup, the company announced today.

The company is adding several new items to both their frozen and refrigerated line of products.

"Whether it’s a traditional breakfast or a new option on-the-go like our new Delights Flatbread Sandwiches, this winter season we’re serving up a variety of delicious and savory breakfast items to help ensure everyone gets a great start to their morning," said Amy Grabow, VP marketing for the Jimmy Dean brand.

With consumers increasingly seeking out breakfast offerings that deliver on nutrition, convenience and taste, the Jimmy Dean brand is expanding its Delights by Jimmy Dean line of frozen breakfast options with the introduction of new Delights Flatbread Sandwiches. For less than 300 calories, Delights by Jimmy Dean offers consumers a great-tasting breakfast without the guilt. Available in the frozen section of grocery stores nationwide, the newest additions to the popular line of Delights by Jimmy Dean breakfasts include:

  • Delights by Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage, Egg & Cheese Flatbread ­ — combines hearty Jimmy Dean turkey sausage with egg and cheese on a honey wheat flatbread. Each serving contains 250 calories, 12 g of fat and 15 g of protein;

  • Delights by Jimmy Dean Bacon, Egg & Cheese Flatbread — ­ combines savory Jimmy Dean bacon with egg and cheese on a honey wheat flatbread. Each serving contains 230 calories, 12 g of fat and 11 g of protein; and

  • Delights by Jimmy Dean Egg White with Spinach & Mozzarella-Style Cheese Flatbread ­ — the first meatless options in the Delights by Jimmy Dean line, the sandwich combines egg whites with spinach & mozzarella-style cheese on a honey wheat flatbread. Each serving contains 160 calories, 4.5 g of fat and 11 g of protein.

For those looking for a better-for-you breakfast option when making traditional breakfast favorites for the family, Jimmy Dean brand also is adding the first flavor variety to its fully cooked line of turkey sausage products. Available in the refrigerated section of grocery stores nationwide, the newest addition to the Jimmy Dean line of convenient, fully cooked options is the:

  • Jimmy Dean Fully Cooked Maple Turkey Sausage Patty — ­ combines sweet and savory tastes and fully cooked maple turkey sausage, and provides a quick and better-for-you way to add delicious flavor to any breakfast.

Available in the frozen section of grocery stores nationwide, the newest additions to the Jimmy Dean line of convenient breakfast items include:

  • Jimmy Dean Biscuit & Sausage Gravy Bowl — ­ a classic breakfast combination of Jimmy Dean sausage gravy and buttermilk biscuits now in a convenient microwaveable bowl that offers home-cooked flavor in three minutes;

  • Jimmy Dean Snack Size Chicken Biscuit Sandwich — ­ two handheld mini chicken sandwiches on a biscuit, bringing Southern-style chicken to the breakfast table. Ready in about a minute from the microwave, these mini sandwiches offer chicken-lovers a quick and tasty breakfast or a satisfying anytime snack; and

  • Jimmy Dean Meat Lovers Sandwich — ­ two tasty Jimmy Dean sausage patties, egg and cheese on an English muffin. The sandwich contains two times more meat than the leading breakfast sandwich, offering consumers a hearty, satisfying breakfast to start the day.

"As we head into the heart of winter and mornings become increasingly colder, nothing beats a warm, savory breakfast with protein to start the day," Grabow said. "Knowing that our consumers are rushed during the mornings and shouldn’t have to forego a hearty breakfast at home, we’ve expanded our line of frozen and refrigerated convenience breakfast offerings to make it easier for them to enjoy their favorite Jimmy Dean breakfast in minutes."

The new Jimmy Dean breakfast products will be available in grocery stores nationwide beginning this month.

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