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M&Ms undergo fashion-forward makeover

BY Jenna Duncan

HERSHEY, Pa. M&M’s are getting glammed up to join other name brand chocolates like Dove bars and Hershey’s kisses that fashionably going premium.

A new line of Premium M&Ms is set to hit retail shelves in June. The premium chocolate candies were designed based on traditional M&Ms with an upgrade from milk chocolate to premium chocolate, a new marbleized candy shell and colorful foil wrappers to spruce up the candy line. Premium M&Ms will come in flavors chocolate almond, mint chocolate, mocha, raspberry almond and triple chocolate, and will retail for around $4 per box.

“It’s all about fashion, vibrancy and indulgence,” a spokesman from Mars Snackfood U.S., Ryan Bowling, said. “It’s a fun side of the premium chocolate category.”

Sales of premium chocolate—called premium, because it generally has a higher cacao content—shot up 129 percent to $2 billion, between 2001 and 2006, according to Mintel, a market research group based in Ithaca, N.Y. Mintel said that premium chocolates will likely increase by another 73 percent by 2011.

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Kraft warehouse gets green approval

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO A leased Kraft Foods warehouse near Chicago has received LEED certification.

Kraft obtained the sustainability certification for the new warehouse by reducing energy usage for lighting by 60 percent, improving air quality and reducing construction waste. The building is in ProLogis Park 80 in Morris, Ill., a town about 60 miles from Chicago.

The U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit organization, regulates LEED ratings for buildings.

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Kraft intorudces Mac & Cheese crackers

BY Alaric DeArment

NORTHFIELD, Ill. Kraft announced Thursday a new snack based on its popular Kraft Macaroni & Cheese product.

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Crackers, sold in the familiar elbow-macaroni shape, will be made with real chedder cheese and available in cheddar, white cheddar and mild cheddar flavors. The crackers will become available nationwide this month.

Kraft was founded 100 years ago and operates in more than 150 countries. Its brands include Oscar Mayer meats, Philadelphia cream cheese, Maxwell House coffee and Nabisco cookies.

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