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Nestle, Jamba Juice team up to release ready-to-drink beverages

BY Jenna Duncan

EMERYVILLE, Calif. Nestle USA and Jamba Juice have announced that a new line of Jamba ready-to-drink beverages are now available in major retail stores in eight western United States.

“This is the first step in our strong partnership with Nestle,” senior vice president of marketing and brand development at Jamba, Paul Coletta, said. “Our teams continue to work together on future product extensions that will build and drive the synergy of Jamba retail and ready-to-drink.”

Jamba Smoothies and Jamba Juicies, made with real fruit and fortified with added nutrients, are now available in some Jamba Juice store locations, as well as major drug, grocery and retail chains like Albertsons, Ralph’s, Raley’s, Target and Walgreens, and some convenience stores.

“The response from accounts has been outstanding,” Steve Presley, Nestle Beverage Division vice president, general manager premium ready-to-drink, said. “They recognize the value and growth potential that Jamba RTD brings to the super premium juice category.”

Jamba’s ready-to-drink product line includes Jamba Smoothies flavors banana berry with heart healthy nutrient boost, orange dream machine with an immunity nutrient boost and strawberries wild with an energy boost. In addition, three Jamba Juicies are also on shelves, including mango orange peach with a fiber boost, orange strawberry banana with a protein boost and very berry with a calcium boost.

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Planned Mass. Wegman’s gets license to sell alcohol

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCHESTER, N.Y. Wegman’s is on course to open its first store in Westwood, Mass. following a vote that approved a beer and wine license for the proposed supermarket, The Democrat and Chronicle, a Rochester-area daily, reported last week.

“That [liquor approval] was a major step in the right direction,” Wegmans spokeswoman Jo Natale, told the paper, cautioning that no actual deal had been struck as of last week.

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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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