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My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream debuts products containing Mochi Bits

BY Gisselle Gaitan

My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream, created with ice cream and traditional sweet rice mocha dough, has launched a new product to their collection. The new ice cream with mochi bits contains mocha dough nestled within ice cream.

Since launching in 2017, the Los Angeles-based company has expanded distribution to more than 6,000 retail locations across the nation. Most of the brand’s products can be found in the freezer aisle, with the exception of the My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream Mochi Bars, which are located in the bakery section.  

"After the overwhelmingly positive response to My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream, we are excited to expand our offerings with the launch of My/Mo Ice Cream with Mochi Bits," shares Russell Barnett, the company's CMO, said "As our brand's vision is to bring the snackability of mochi ice cream to the masses, this was a natural progression and delivers another way for consumers to chew their ice cream."

New My/Mo Ice Cream with Mochi Bits will be gluten-free and come in five flavors: strawberry, mango, green tea, chocolate and salted caramel. The line is expected to hit retail stores in early 2018. 

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Dog chews promoting clean teeth are on the rise

BY Carol Radice

Multipet’s Canine Clean line of dog chews are designed to assist with teething, help remove tartar and massage gums. The toys are infused with a choice of peppermint or spearmint, which helps freshen breath. Canine Clean products from the Moonachie, N.J.-based company also support many drug stores’ direction of promoting health and healthy choices for their customers.   

Known for its originality and innovation, the ability to adapt has been a key to success at Multipet, according to company officials. According to IRI data, Multipet has six of the top 10 selling toys in the country, and creating sets for retailers operating with small pet department footprints has become one of its specialties. Multipet executive vice president Leslie Yellin said that by focusing on core products, smaller departments can thrive. “Sales will always grow with the presence of our Loofa Dog, Lamb Chop or our bright-colored rope tugs,” Yellin said. 

If there was any advice she would offer retailers it’s to stick with the tried-and-true favorites for inline assortments. To keep the department on trend and interesting, Yellin suggested maximizing space by bringing in promotional items via clip strips, PDQs and other display vehicles.

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FDA to advertise latest anti-smoking messaging near c-stores and gas stations

BY Michael Johnsen

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday announced an adult smoking cessation education campaign aimed at encouraging cigarette smokers to quit through messages of support that underscore the health benefits of quitting. These messages will be displayed in and around gas stations and convenience stores — retail locations where smokers face a multitude of triggers and that typically feature cigarette advertisements.

"Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S.,” said U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams. “As Surgeon General, I believe sustained and comprehensive efforts, including the FDA’s ‘Every Try Counts’ campaign, are critical to encouraging more Americans to quit smoking and preventing the harms associated with cigarette use.”

“The ‘Every Try Counts’ campaign encourages smokers to rethink their next pack of cigarettes at the most critical of places — the point of sale. Tobacco companies have long used advertisements at convenience stores and gas stations to promote their products, and we plan to use that same space to embolden smokers to quit instead,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. “The FDA is committed to reducing tobacco-related disease and death by helping people quit combustible cigarettes and implementing comprehensive policies to reduce addiction to nicotine. Our aim is to render cigarettes minimally or non-addictive while encouraging the development of potentially less harmful tobacco products for adults who still want or need access to nicotine. At the same time, we’re also taking new steps to improve access and use of FDA-approved medicinal nicotine products to help smokers quit.”

The “Every Try Counts” campaign targets smokers between the ages of 25 to 54 years old who have attempted to quit smoking in the last year but were unsuccessful. The two-year campaign launches next month in 35 U.S. markets and features print, digital, radio and out-of-home ads, such as on billboards.

Cigarette smoking is responsible for an estimated 480,000 deaths in the United States each year. Despite declining rates of use among adults, 15% (36.5 million) of adults in the United States were cigarette smokers in 2015. Of those adult smokers, about 2 out of 3 (more than 22 million) said they’d like to quit. While more than 55% of adult smokers made a quit attempt in 2015, only about 7%  were successful.

“Every Try Counts,” seeks to celebrate each quit attempt as a positive step toward success because research shows those who have tried quitting before are more likely to try again, and those who have tried to quit multiple times have a higher likelihood of quitting for good.

In addition to the positive messaging, location plays an important and unique role in the campaign. Ads will be placed in various locations at the point-of-sale, including at the gas pump and other places around the retail environment, such as the front door, cash register and shelves. Studies show that in-store displays and other tobacco advertisements can trigger unplanned cigarette purchases, making quitting more difficult. Placing ads in those same locations will help to disrupt the urge to purchase cigarettes and encourage another quit attempt instead.

“Tobacco advertising in retail environments can generate a strong urge to smoke, prompting a relapse among those attempting to quit. This campaign offers smokers motivational messages in those environments with the intention to build confidence and instill the belief within each smoker that they are ready to try quitting again,” said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “We want smokers to feel good about each attempt to quit because it is getting them closer to one day leading a healthier life free from cigarettes, reducing their risk of tobacco-related death and disease.”

The FDA has partnered with the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute to create EveryTryCounts.gov to provide smokers resources and tools to help with quitting. The website includes a free text message program that sends tips and offers words of encouragement, a mobile app to track smoking triggers, trained coaches accessible online or by phone and information about the risks of smoking and the variety of FDA-approved smoking cessation products. Aligned with the campaign’s efforts, the American Heart Association, American Lung Association and Truth Initiative also have pledged resources, such as hosting local smoking cessation events in the “Every Try Counts” target markets.

“Every Try Counts” is a part of the FDA’s ongoing efforts to reduce the enormous public health burden of tobacco use and will complement the agency’s at-risk youth and young adult education campaigns aimed at prevention. The campaigns, which are funded by user fees collected from the tobacco industry and not by taxpayer dollars, are based on the best available science and are evaluated to measure effectiveness in changing tobacco-related knowledge, attitudes, beliefs or behaviors over time. “Every Try Counts” will complement existing and proven cessation messaging focused on hard-hitting health consequences from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign.

The campaign also complements the agency’s comprehensive plan on tobacco and nicotine regulation announced in July 2017. The approach places nicotine, and the issue of addiction, at the center of the agency’s tobacco regulation efforts. In particular, the plan focuses on addressing the role that nicotine plays in keeping smokers addicted to combustible cigarettes and to help move those who cannot quit nicotine altogether onto less harmful products.

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