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Mentholatum gearing up for holiday gift-giving with two new holiday flavors chosen by FB fans

BY Michael Johnsen

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Mentholatum on Tuesday launched its new Softlips Jack Frosting lip balm, Softlips peppermint stick lip balm and Softlips holiday gift tag packs that will be available in November in time for the holiday shopping season.

"Our holiday gift tag packs make it easy to share the holiday spirit," Mentholatum director innovation Katherine Tocheff said. "And we hope to provide more opportunities for fans to vote for new flavors like Softlips Jack Frosting and Softlips peppermint stick. Our goal is to provide new products for new occasions, all year long."

The two new lip balms flavors should get good traction among consumers as they were both selected by fans on Facebook. Softlips Jack Frosting, featuring a buttercream frosting flavor, was the winner of the "Flavor Faceoff," a contest conducted on Facebook in June 2012. Softlips peppermint stick, another "Flavor Faceoff" favorite, offers a candy cane taste and comes in a unique, red and white striped stick.

Softlips Jack Frosting will be available to consumers in a two-pack, while Softlips peppermint stick will be paired with the company’s best-selling Softlips pearl tint.

The Softlips holiday gift tag packs are limited-edition packs that combine a Softlips classic flavor with a bonus Softlips seasonal stick and feature "to and from" spaces on the packaging for gift giving.

All Softlips holiday products will be priced at a suggested retail price of less than $5 and feature festive graphics.

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Marley Coffee names SVP national accounts

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES — Marley Coffee has appointed a new SVP national accounts.

Chris Hopkins will be responsible for continuing to expand distribution of Marley Coffee through supermarkets, specialty retailers and convenience stores throughout the United States. Prior to his new role, Hopkins served as SVP national accounts at Marley Beverages, where he helped drive Marley’s Mellow Mood first year sales of 1 million cases, which has grown to almost 3 million cases after two years in the market.

In addition to his work with Marley Beverages, Hopkins spent 13 years at Dr Pepper Snapple Group (previously Cadbury Beverages), where he helped start and develop their category management team within their distribution network, and eventually into top national accounts. Hopkins also has worked with Fleming Foods and Kellogg Sales Co., a subsidiary of Keebler.

"I’m thrilled to be a part of the Marley Coffee movement, and expect to be able to take this brand to the next level nationally," Hopkins said. "I really believe in Marley Coffee’s products and values, and I believe retailers will understand and appreciate the opportunity to carry Marley Coffee in their stores."

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Sanofi, Massachusetts General Hospital enter collaboration

BY Allison Cerra

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A drug maker and a hospital have entered an agreement aimed at developing new treatments for various types of hematological malignancies and solid tumors.

Sanofi and Massachusetts General Hospital said their project-based collaboration unites scientists from the respective parties, with the goal of "maximizing the strengths of both academic and industry cross-organizational expertise, and will include both preclinical and clinical translational research to elucidate questions from proof-of-concept to tolerability, efficacy and effectiveness."

The initial agreement is for two years with the option to extend for a longer term at the discretion of both partners. Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed.

"This is a unique model of collaboration and exemplifies our open innovation [research and devlopment] strategy as well as Sanofi’s approach to make the best use of world-class institutions and scientists within greater Boston," said Debasish Roychowdhury, SVP and head of Sanofi Oncology. "Our partners at Massachusetts General Hospital are renowned for their basic and translational oncology research accomplishments and we look forward to leveraging our collective strengths to best develop these molecules."


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