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Pepperidge Farm launches new Goldfish snack mix

BY Jenna Duncan

NORWALK, Conn. Pepperidge Farm has named its new Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Mix-Up Adventures to its list of goldfish snack crackers. Mix-Up Adventures mix “xtra cheddar flavor blasted” goldfish and pretzel goldfish crackers to appeal to children and parents, the company said.

“We know that when it comes to snacking, kids love variety and parents have told us they often mix up different flavors of Goldfish crackers for their kids at home,” Pepperidge Farm vice president and general manager-snacks division, Michael Simon, said. “In an effort to continue to provide kids and moms with convenient, fun, wholesome snacks, we decided to combine two of our great Goldfish flavors, xtra cheddar flavor blasted and pretzel, into one fun, easy and tasty snack the entire family will enjoy.”

Pepperidge Farm’s goldfish cracker packages will features the characters Gilbert and Xtreme and direct childrent to the Web site, www.pfgoldfish.com to play games and learn more about goldfish.

The Goldfish Mix-Up Adventures crackers are now available at grocery stores, mass merchandisers and supermarkets across the U.S. The suggested retail price is $2.19 per package.

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Hershey tuning its ears to customer comments, sets plan for long-term net sales boost

BY Jenna Duncan

HERSHEY, Pa. The Hershey Co. said it will announce its plan for meeting long-term for net sales goals and increasing earnings per share growth today. The company said that a new plan was developed after Hershey completed a market structure/category segmentation review. The company will also realign its plans to focus on the interests of key consumer segments to help drive growth.

Hershey said it is readjusting its resources and plans to beef up its advertising by about 20 percent in 2008 and 2009. A focus will be directed on core brands currently generating around 60 percent of the company’s U.S. net sales.

“Our extensive consumer research validates our strategy of increasing advertising and consumer investment behind the core U.S. brands that offer the greatest potential for growth,” David J. West, president and chief executive officer said. “We will combine this focused approach with consumer-centric innovation and continued international expansion to achieve our long-term net sales growth rate of 3 to 5 percent. Longer term, as marketplace trends improve and targeted consumer initiatives are executed, the Company expects to generate earnings per share growth of 6 to 8 percent.”

Hershey has said that it estimates its total net growth for 2008 to be at around 3 to 4 percent. Earnings per share were expected to be around $1.85 to $1.90. Hershey’s management planned to discuss the new strategy and long-term goals at a meeting with investors earlier this morning.

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Coca-Cola announces debut of new bottle design in select cities

BY Jenna Duncan

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., and CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. Two U.S. cities will be the launch sites of Coca-Cola’s newly redesigned, “iconic contour” two-liter bottle, Coca-Cola Company has said.

Coca-Cola said that it selected Birmingham and Chattanooga to launch the contoured bottles because of their “long-standing loyalty to the soft drink,” and because bottler Coca-Cola United is located in Birmingham.

Coca-Cola also said the new “iconic” shape of the two-liter bottle was selected over a straight version in consumer tests. The company said that consumers reported the contoured bottle is easier to hold and pour from, and they said the new design would boost sales.

The new bottle debuts in stores today. All of Coca-Cola’s brands will soon be available in the new bottle.

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