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Pepsi refreshes soft drink portfolio

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. As part of the company’s “Refresh Everything” campaign, Pepsi announced Thursday it is reinvigorating its beverage lineup with the introduction of three new products.

Pepsi Natural, Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback, all sweetened with natural sugar, will be hitting the beverage aisle this March and April.

An all-new premium cola, Pepsi Natural is made with all-natural ingredients, including lightly sparkling water, natural sugar, natural caramel and kola nut extract. It is packaged in a sleek 12-ounce glass bottle and is available in single-serve and 4-packs initially in the premium and/or natural food aisles of retail outlets in ten regional markets, including New York and Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Pepsi and Mountain Dew are offering consumers a taste of the past with their own versions of Throwback, two new limited time only products inspired by the ‘60s and ‘70s, sweetened with natural sugar in a retro-look package. The Throwback duo will be available nationally for eight weeks only, beginning April 20.

 “We’re complementing and reinforcing our core soft drink offerings with a hat trick of innovative products,” said Frank Cooper, VP portfolio brands, Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages. “Pepsi Natural and the Throwback duo give consumers the opportunity to refresh how they experience soft drinks ? from a premium, all-natural beverage to a fun, retro twist on two of our most popular brands. We’re continuing to offer a variety of products across different beverage categories, with a splash of nostalgia and entirely new experiences.”

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BestSweet’s Baskin-Robbins hard candies gets new design, packaging

BY Allison Cerra

MOORESVILLE, N.C. BestSweet Inc. is taking its name to heart by developing a better design and packaging for one of its sweet treats.

The mass-market confectionery manufacturer announced this week that it is introducing of a new, smoother shape for its licensed Baskin-Robbins Smooth & Creamy Hard Candy.  In addition to the new candy shape, updated packaging for the product is also being introduced and will prominently feature a picture of the new shape on the front of each candy bag.

The new Smooth & Creamy Hard Candy treats feature a natural swirl appearance and offer the delicious flavor, smooth texture and experience of your favorite Baskin Robbins ice cream in each mouth-watering piece. The candies are available in regular and sugar free varieties and are individually wrapped.

“This change is a testament to BestSweet’s unique ability to innovate while improving the quality of our product,” said Harry Overly, VP marketing and innovation for BestSweet. “Whether you’re an aficionado of ice cream or just love the occasional sweet treat, the texture and taste of our new hard candies will not disappoint.”

New Baskin-Robbins Smooth & Creamy Hard Candy will be available in the candy aisle of grocery, drug and mass retailers nationwide. The retail price of the 2.75 oz bag is $1.99.

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Actress Marcia Gay Harden and Purex brand team up for the environment

BY Allison Cerra

PHOENIX Purex Natural Elements laundry products is launching its second annual educational campaign to make going green easier and more fun than ever.

Academy Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden is spreading the word that consumers can visit PurexSavesGreen.com to design their own eco-friendly tote bags with original, environmentally-friendly slogans for a chance to win a “smart fortwo” vehicle and other great prizes.

“Our consumers have told us they want to do their part to help preserve our planet, but often they don’t know where to start,” explains Jeffrey Huffman, senior brand manager of Purex products. “That was our inspiration for PurexSavesGreen.com: providing an engaging, informative resource that shows consumers how they can easily effect positive change in the environment. Consumer response was overwhelmingly positive, so we’re back for the second year of this important educational campaign.”

Purex Natural Elements brand is a biodegradable laundry detergent made from naturally-sourced cleaning ingredients. It is also the first major laundry detergent recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Design for the Environment” program.

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