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A ‘Passage to Thailand’ without leaving home

BY Allison Cerra

COLLINSVILLE, Conn. A line of simmer sauces designed to spice up a meal has made its market debut in the United States.

Passage to Thailand simmer sauces are a part of a simple, three-step meal solution that satisfies the needs of the time-starved consumer. Add the sauce to meat, seafood or vegetables, simmer and serve over rice for a gourmet meal in less than 20 minutes. The line consists of four different, all-natural sauces, each a recipe of traditional ethnic cuisines created to deliver authentic, restaurant-quality flavor and made only from fresh, natural ingredients. The line includes pad thai, thai basil and sweet chili, as well as tom yum and red thai curry sauces. With spices sourced directly from various regions of Thailand and southeast Asia, each product is gluten-, MSG-, preservative- and GMO-free.

“The growing ethnic diversity in our U.S. population, and a resurgence in cooking driven by chef-hosted programs, has grown the market for ethnic foods to a record high,” said Passage Foods’ Mark MacKenzie. “The ethnic food market is a $2.2 billion retail industry in the United States, and [is] expected to expand an additional 20% over the next four years, with Indian and Thai foods showing the largest increase in consumer demand.”

In addition, the Asian/Indian restaurant segment has seen double-digit growth for the last four years, and although retreating some recently, the number of ethnic grocery offerings has expanded as more people try cooking Thai, Indian and other ethnic foods at home.

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Walmart, P&G continue family movie rollout with ‘The Jensen Project’

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble and Walmart will premiere their second made-for-TV family movie, “The Jensen Project,” July 16 at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.

The movie follows the P&G/Walmart collaboration “Secrets of the Mountain,” which aired in April and has been touted as the highest-rated family movie on broadcast TV over the last six months, with more than 7.5 million viewers.

“The Jensen Project” also will feature a soundtrack produced by American Idol judge Randy Jackson that includes songs from Jordin Sparks, Brooke White and Alisan, Ilsey & Jordan.

“We were touched by the hundreds of thank you letters and the outpouring of support we received for ‘Secrets of the Mountain,'” stated Marc Pritchard, global marketing and brand building officer at P&G. “Our ongoing partnership with Walmart furthers our commitment to serve consumers and provide entertainment that brings families together.”

“The overwhelming success of ‘Secrets of The Mountain’ validates our claim that families are looking for entertainment that they can enjoy together,” added Stephen Quinn, chief marketing officer at Walmart. “We continue to work directly with parents to query them on the content they are seeking to share with their families,” he said. “We look forward to working in concert with P&G to offer even more high-quality family programming.”

“The Jensen Project” DVD and soundtrack will be sold together in a bonus pack exclusively at Walmart beginning July 17.

Athird movie, “A Walk in My Shoes,” already is in post-production and will air later this year. P&G and Walmart also will begin production on their fourth movie this fall. The two companies decided to work together to create programming after hearing from families and advertisers who wanted more quality entertainment options.

Post-research from “Secrets of the Mountain” revealed that among moms aged 18 to 34 years, 93% liked the movie and 88% stated it was good/excellent quality. Another 79% suggested the movie should be developed into a series.

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Cott to acquire Cliffstar

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK One of the world’s largest nonalcoholic beverage companies has signed a definitive agreement to acquire one of the leading suppliers of private-label beverages and producer of apple, grape and cranberry juices and juice-blends in North America.

Cott said it would purchase the privately held Cliffstar for cash consideration of $500 million, payable at closing and subject to adjustments for working capital and other items.

“As the clear leader in private-label shelf-stable juice, Cliffstar is an ideal partner for Cott as we strengthen our position in private-label beverages,” said Jerry Fowden, Cott CEO. “A combination with Cliffstar expands Cott’s product portfolio and manufacturing capabilities, enhances our customer offering and growth prospects, and improves our strategic platform for the future. Combined with Cliffstar, Cott will be a more diversified company with long-term advantages for our shareowners and retailer partners.”

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