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Mars, NASCAR re-sign contract for marketing partnership

BY Jenna Duncan

MOUNT OLIVE, N.J. Mars North America announced that it will continue its partnership with NASCAR to marketing select products and candies. The companies made the announcement Monday to extend their alliance into a multiyear deal.

Mars has said that it will continue to cultivate relationships that support its outreach to racing fans through 2009.

Some of the Mars/ NASCAR joint sponsorship marketing events and activities for 2009 include: an M&Ms “Most Colorful Fan of NASCAR Contest” to run for 24 weeks with a launch at the Daytona 500; A Pedigree contest called The Luckiest Dog of NASCAR to kick off in April at the Pedigree-sponsored Taladega races; Snickers NASCAR sponsorship in stores nationwide; and Combos will launch a NASCAR-themed “Man Zone” promotion incorporated into packaging which will feature appearances at 10 race tracks into the beginning of the 2009 Sprint Cup Series season.

To find more information on Mars/NASCAR promotions and events, go to www.mms.com/us/racing.

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Nestle, Jamba Juice suspend ready-to-drink beverage line

BY Melissa Valliant

EMERYVILLE, Calif. Nestle and Jamba Juice’s ready-to-drink beverages squeezed their way into the beverage segment only six months ago, but it was announced last week that the line will now cease to be produced—at least temporarily. Though the product has been well received by consumers, production issues are forcing Nestle, the world’s largest food and beverage company, and leading smoothie restaurant Jamba Juice to suspend production and shipments.

“We have faced challenges recently with manufacturing on a consistent basis, resulting in inventory and out-of-stock issues. This is particularly disappointing given the strong reception we have received from consumers and customers alike,” said Nestle USA Beverage Division president Rob Case. “We at Nestle are fully committed to re-assessing our Jamba ready-to-drink beverage proposition so that we can come back stronger and positioned for success in the future.”

According to Jamba, Inc.’s president and CEO, James White, said that customer sell-in and feedback proved better than expected, and the six SKUs ranked among the top in the category. “While this is an unfortunate event, this suspension will provide the opportunity to evaluate new manufacturing solutions which could enable the Jamba brand to secure an even stronger position in ready-to-drink beverages.”

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Chairman of Schwan Food Co. set to retire

BY Jenna Duncan

MARSHALL, Minn. Chairman of The Schwan Food Co., Afred Schwan, will retire at the end of the year after 45 years of service, reports said Monday.

Schwan has served as company chairman for 15 years, reports said. Schwan also served for five years as company president and CEO. He is 83 years old.

Schwan has stated that Dec. 31 will be his final day as chairman and Schwan Food Co. has said that his replacement will be named early next year.

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