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Mars supports Susan G. Komen for the Cure

BY Allison Cerra

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. Mars Snackfood announced that Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, plans to go pink this weekend during the NASCAR Banking 500 only from Bank of America race in Charlotte, N.C. to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Busch plans to don a special pink firesuit, as well as climb behind the wheel of an all pink M&M’S car during the Saturday night race to help raise awareness for breast cancer.

In addition to the special NASCAR firesuit and car, Mars is offering consumers several delicious ways to support the cause via multiple product offerings including pink M&M’S, MY M&M’S “Promise Blend,” Dove Promises of Hope and My Dove Personal Promises of Hope. Through the limited-edition chocolate candies, Mars will donate a minimum of $850,000 to aid Susan G. Komen for the Cure in their quest to save lives and end breast cancer.

“We are proud to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and honored to have the opportunity to serve on their Million Dollar Council,” said Michele Kessler, VP Mars. “Breast cancer continues to touch all of our lives, which is why we feel it’s critical for us to do our part by going pink across our M&M’S and Dove chocolate brand portfolios this month.”

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Nielsen finds consumers favor brand candy during Halloween

BY Allison Cerra

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. U.S. consumers say boo to store-brand candy for Halloween, filling trick-or-treaters’ bags with branded candy, according to an analysis by Nielsen.

Halloween is the biggest season for chocolate candy, with nearly 90 million pounds of chocolate candy sold during Halloween week. By comparison, nearly 65 million pounds of chocolate candy is sold during the week leading up to Easter and only 48 million pounds of chocolate candy is sold during Valentine’s week, Nielsen found.

“Without a doubt, consumers continue to turn to store brands in a down economy,” said Todd Hale, SVP consumer and shopper tnsights at The Nielsen Co. “What we see with Halloween candy sales, however, is a sign that consumers may be ‘splurging’ with brand name products for the holiday or simply taking advantage of brand name promotions and price reductions. Candy manufacturers invest a great deal of marketing dollars to build brand equity in candy and private label candy has not been able to overcome that investment and grab significant share.”

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Coca-Cola to roll out 90-calorie cans

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Coca-Cola unveiled Wednesday a smaller and sleeker version of its classic Coke can.

The new 7.5-ounce can is shorter and slimmer than its predecessor and contains 90 calories total of the carbonated beverage. The Coca-Cola 90-calorie mini cans were created to provide consumers with a better way to manage their calories and will be sold in eight-packs.

The new product announcement follows Coca-Cola’s recent global commitment to put the calories on the front-of-package on nearly all its products. It also follows the announcement of a new partnership with the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, which advocates a common-sense approach to helping reduce obesity by 2015.

The new packaging is set to roll out in Washington and New York beginning December 2009. The rollout will expand to the rest of the country and be well underway by March 2010. For more visit http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com.

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