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Nielsen finds consumers favor brand candy during Halloween

BY Allison Cerra

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. U.S. consumers say boo to store-brand candy for Halloween, filling trick-or-treaters’ bags with branded candy, according to an analysis by Nielsen.

Halloween is the biggest season for chocolate candy, with nearly 90 million pounds of chocolate candy sold during Halloween week. By comparison, nearly 65 million pounds of chocolate candy is sold during the week leading up to Easter and only 48 million pounds of chocolate candy is sold during Valentine’s week, Nielsen found.

“Without a doubt, consumers continue to turn to store brands in a down economy,” said Todd Hale, SVP consumer and shopper tnsights at The Nielsen Co. “What we see with Halloween candy sales, however, is a sign that consumers may be ‘splurging’ with brand name products for the holiday or simply taking advantage of brand name promotions and price reductions. Candy manufacturers invest a great deal of marketing dollars to build brand equity in candy and private label candy has not been able to overcome that investment and grab significant share.”

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Coca-Cola to roll out 90-calorie cans

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Coca-Cola unveiled Wednesday a smaller and sleeker version of its classic Coke can.

The new 7.5-ounce can is shorter and slimmer than its predecessor and contains 90 calories total of the carbonated beverage. The Coca-Cola 90-calorie mini cans were created to provide consumers with a better way to manage their calories and will be sold in eight-packs.

The new product announcement follows Coca-Cola’s recent global commitment to put the calories on the front-of-package on nearly all its products. It also follows the announcement of a new partnership with the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, which advocates a common-sense approach to helping reduce obesity by 2015.

The new packaging is set to roll out in Washington and New York beginning December 2009. The rollout will expand to the rest of the country and be well underway by March 2010. For more visit http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com.

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St. Jude, P&G invite Target shoppers to help fight childhood cancer

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble has joined forces to support the lifesaving work of one of the world’s premier pediatric cancer research centers.

From Oct. 18 to 24, Target guests can help St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in its fight to find cures and save children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases by purchasing participating P&G brands including Tide, Pampers, Charmin and Pantene as well as other manufacturers’ brands at Target stores nationwide.

For every purchase of a participating brand during the week-long program, 5% of the purchase price will be donated to St. Jude. The donation from the purchase of P&G brands at Target will be up to $750,000 during the week-long event.

As the P&G partnership celebrates a ten-year commitment, contributions totaling $6.75 million have been made to St. Jude in the last decade. In addition to monetary donations made to St. Jude, P&G donates its household products to Target House, a long-term housing facility that provides a home-away-from-home free of charge to families of children whose treatments at St. Jude require that they be in Memphis for more than 90 days.

“As we celebrate this milestone ten-year partnership, P&G is extremely proud to partner with Target and St. Jude. Through our company’s cause (Live, Learn and Thrive), we aim to reach more than 50 million children in need every year with programs that help them get off to a healthy start, receive access to education, and build skills for life,” said Joanne Harris, P&G’s Target team leader. “Supporting Target House and St. Jude makes a meaningful difference in the lives of children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.”

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