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Mountain Dew launches Kickstart breakfast drink with real fruit juice

BY Jason Owen

PURCHASE, N.Y. — Mountain Dew, a product of PepsiCo, announced today the release of Kickstart, a breakfast drink combining Mountain Dew with real fruit juice.

"Our consumers told us they are looking for an alternative to traditional morning beverages — one that tastes great, includes real fruit juice and has just the right amount of kick to help them start their days," said Greg Lyons, VP marketing for Mountain Dew. "We heard them loud and clear and created a completely new offering with Kickstart to give them exactly what they asked for."

Available in two flavors, Orange Citrus and Fruit Punch, and with only 80 calories per 16-oz. can, Kickstart presents a fresh alternative to the age-old morning question of "coffee or juice." It combines the taste of Mountain Dew with 5% real fruit juice and a lower amount of caffeine than a cup of coffee.

Kickstart by Mountain Dew will be available in retail stores nationwide beginning Feb. 25. But to be one of the first to taste Kickstart before it hits shelves, consumers can visit KickStartfirstTaste.com to request a can. With the can in hand, fans are encouraged to submit a photo of themselves getting into their morning groove with Kickstart for a chance to be included in a "Chasing Sunrise" anthem video.

 


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Majority of Valentine’s Day shoppers wait until last minute to purchase gifts

BY Jason Owen

CHICAGO — Most Valentine’s Day celebrants plan to shop a week or less before the holiday, and many wait until Feb. 13 or 14 to make their final purchases, according to research by the NPD Group, a leading global information company.

The "SnackTrack Holidays Valentine’s Day Profile" found 78% of those who celebrate Valentine’s Day plan to shop a week or less before the holiday. Women do not begin their Valentine’s Day shopping much earlier than men; 1-in-3 female buyers (32%) wraps up her shopping Feb. 13 or 14, while 47% of men made their final Valentine’s Day purchase on those days.

An estimated 185 million individuals — including 70 million women and 59 million men — celebrate Valentine’s Day. While a nearly universal 92% of celebrating adults indicated plans to get someone a Valentine’s Day gift, 80% actually followed through and gave one, NPD’s snacking research reported. Outpacing greeting cards, the most common gift was candy, given by 38% of adults and 47% of teen gifters. By a wide margin, the leading candy was boxed chocolates, given by 55% of adult candy buyers and 45% of teens. Supermarkets and discount stores are the primary channels for Valentine’s Day purchases. Consumers say that they choose these channels for convenience purposes.

“With the shopping cycle more compressed for Valentine’s Day than for Christmas, there is a heightened need for a simplified shopping experience,” said Darren Seifer, food and beverage industry analyst. “Having Valentine’s Day items all in one spot and offering all-in-one bundles of cards and gifts will help these last-minute shoppers.”


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New study shows children who eat cereal for breakfast have lower body weight, BMI

BY Jason Owen

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Parents searching for a healthy breakfast for their children should take another look at the cereal aisle.

According to new research published in peer-reviewed healthcare journal Infant, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition (ICAN), children who start their day with a cereal breakfast – even if that cereal is presweetened – tend to have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) and less chance of being overweight or obese than children who eat other breakfasts or skip the meal entirely.

"The benefits of cereal breakfast extend beyond low BMI, too. Breakfast cereals make a positive contribution to children’s nutrition," said Kevin B. Miller, PhD, a senior nutrition scientist at Kellogg Company’s W.K. Kellogg Institute for Food and Nutrition and one of the researchers who conducted the study. "A serving of cereal and milk provides kids with protein and four important nutrients they often don’t get enough of: fiber, calcium, Vitamin D and potassium."

Previous studies have shown that ready-to-eat cereal consumption is associated with reduced obesity in children and adults when compared to other breakfast options (including eating no breakfast at all). The 2012 research, "The Association Between Body Metrics and Breakfast Food Choice in Children," further confirms that children who eat cereal breakfasts, including presweetened cereal, are much more likely to have healthier body weights than those who eat other breakfasts. In fact, children who skip breakfast or choose non-cereal options are nearly twice as likely to be overweight or obese as their cereal-eating counterparts.

"A cereal breakfast, whether presweetened or not, provides children a convenient, nutrient-dense and great-tasting way to start their day," said Miller. To help families provide their children with a healthy breakfast, Kellogg offers more ready-to-eat cereals that are a good source of fiber (3 grams) and include at least one-half serving of whole grains (8 grams) than any other U.S. food company. Cereals include Kellogg’s Raisin Bran, Frosted Mini-Wheats, Froot Loops, Apple Jacks and many others.

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