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M&M’s consumer favorite will return to retail shelves

BY Ryan Chavis

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — Mars Chocolate North America on Thursday announced the return of a consumer favorite. M&M's Crispy Milk Chocolate Candies will begin appearing on store shelves again in January 2015, following a 10-year absence. 
 
The crispy confection features a crispy center, covered in milk chocolate and enclosed in a candy shell. The candy is slightly larger than the original milk chocolate variety, the company noted, and will appear in a new bright green bag. M&M's Crispy made its debut in 1998 as a limited-edition item. According to the company's records, the candy is the No. 1 Mars variant that was requested to be "brought back."
 
“When M&M’S fans talk, we listen. And consumers have made it clear that M&M’S Crispy are so irresistible, we had to bring them back,” said Seth Klugherz, senior director, M&M’S chocolate candies. “We’re sure existing fans will be thrilled to see M&M’S Crispy back in stores coast to coast, but we’re just as excited to introduce this delicious product to a new generation of chocolate lovers.”
 
M&M's Crispy will be available in singles, sharing size and medium laydown bags. 
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Magical mice make debut at Walmart

BY Ryan Chavis

ST. LOUIS — Cepia, a toy and game manufacturer, announced the debut of The Amazing Zhus, a collection of toy mice that perform magic tricks. The toys are meant to foster creativity and confidence in children by letting them learn to act out magic tricks or to just sharing the magic with their friends, the company said.

"The Amazing Zhus are truly unlike anything in the marketplace," said James Russell Hornsby, CEO of Cepia. "Kids love magic, and with The Amazing Zhus it's easy because the magic is in the mouse."

The motorized mice are available in two different characters: The Great Zhu and Madame Zhu. Each magician pet also includes one magic wand and three magician cards. The company anticipates that the toy will be a hot commodity for the holidays. Consumers can find them exclusively on presale at Walmart.com/AmazingZhus; the product will appear in stores early in October and range in price from $7.99 to $24.99.

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Lay’s announces final call for ‘Do Us A Flavor’ contest

BY Vivian Gomez

PURCHASE, N.Y. — Lay's has issued a last call for votes in its "Do Us a Flavor" contest. Since July 28, consumers have been putting the four finalist flavors — Lay's Cappuccino, Lay's Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, Lay's Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger and Lay's Wavy Mango Salsa — to a nationwide taste test.
 
Chosen from more than 14.4 million fan submissions gathered between Jan. 13 and April 5, fan votes will decide which of the four finalist flavors should be named the winner and remain on store shelves after the contest ends.
 
The finalist behind the winning idea will take home a $1 million grand prize or 1% of their winning flavor's net sales through July 1, 2015 (whichever is higher); the three runners-up will each win $50,000.
 
From now until 11:59:59 p.m. (CDT) on Oct. 18, fans may vote once each day for their favorite finalist flavor at DoUsAFlavor.com; via Twitter, Instagram and/or Vine using the hashtags #SaveCappuccino, #SaveBaconMac, #SaveWasabi or #SaveMango; and/or via text message by texting "Cappuccino," "Bacon Mac," "Wasabi" or "Mango" to 24477 (CHIPS).
 
To submit a flavor for the Lay's "Do Us A Flavor" contest, participants were asked to provide their name, flavor name, up to three possible ingredients, the chip style and a 140-character description or inspiration for their flavor.
 
This year's final four are:
 
  • Lay's Cappuccino, submitted by Chad Scott, who spends his days as a visiting lecturer at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and nights working toward his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. Constantly inspired and fueled by his local baristas' concoctions, and as a longtime lover of potato chips, Chad submitted the idea of a cappuccino-flavored Lay's potato chip. Important to note, Lay's Cappuccino flavored potato chips do not contain coffee or caffeine.
  • Lay's Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, submitted by Matt Allen, who landed his dream job as a full-time firefighter in Troy, Ohio. When it was his turn to cook the "family meal" at the firehouse during training, Matt knew exactly the way to his team's hearts and stomachs. His specialty bacon mac & cheese was a huge hit, and now all of America can get a taste of this Ohio firehouse favorite on a potato chip.
  • Lay's Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger, submitted by Meneko Spigner McBeth, who is a registered nurse in Deptford, N.J., with a passion for sushi that started when she was just a little girl, eating handmade rolls by her grandmother. Through the years, her affinity for spicy foods and tastes, like wasabi, only grew, inspiring this potato chip flavor.
  • Lay's Wavy Mango Salsa, submitted by Julia Stanley-Metz, from Sacramento, Calif., who credits most of her culinary creations to her husband, Rick, who loves to experiment with exotic flavors and ingredients. She and her family have Taco Tuesday every week, taking fresh ingredients from the garden to create her perfected mango salsa recipe — now on a chip.
     
The winner of this year's Lay's "Do Us A Flavor" contest will be announced in late October.
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