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Planters adds peanut butter to NUT-rition line

BY Allison Cerra

NORTHFIELD, Ill. — Planters has re-entered the peanut butter business.

The brand has launched new peanut butter varieties under its Planters NUT-rition line, which include such ingredients as bananas, granola, berries, raisins, cinnamon and nuts. As part of the launch, Planters has introduced a mascot for the products, named Peanut Butter Doug.

"Planters NUT-rition peanut butter will change the way PB lovers think about their favorite staple," Kraft Foods brand manager Jon Hall said. "Once fans get a taste of NUT-rition, we know they’ll be hooked. It’s time for all of us to expect more from peanut butter."

Available nationwide in 12-oz. jars, Planters NUT-rition is available in Cinnamon Raisin Granola Nut, Banana Granola Nut and Berry Nut varieties for a suggested retail price range of $3.49 to $3.99.

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L’Oreal’s first-half 2012 results reflect ‘ability to build strong profitable growth’

BY Antoinette Alexander

PARIS — L’Oréal Paris posted an increase in first-half 2012 sales and expects to achieve another year of growth in sales, results and profitability.

“Our performance during the first half of the year, as you’ve seen, has grown strongly. Operating income is up 11.4%, and net income is up 10.8%. And this performance confirms the robustness and relevance of L’Oréal’s economic model. It is important to stress that half year, our figures are not particularly representative. This performance, however, reflects the group’s ability to build strong profitable growth,” said Jean-Paul Agon, chairman and CEO of L’Oreal, during a conference call to discuss the financial results.

When speaking about its consumer products division, Agon said that L’Oréal Paris continues to strengthen its position in hair care. Maybelline has strengthened its global leadership with its new SuperStay 14HR Lipstick and the new Illegal Length mascara.

He also touched upon Garnier and Essie, saying that, “Garnier is accelerating fast with the launch of new products that are highly original and highly consistent with the brand. The new BB cream product, that is a global sensation — not forgetting the Dark Spot Corrector facial care product, which is No. 1 on the U.S. market and which is currently being launched in Europe. And also, the latest projects in the hair color market, Nutrisse Color mousse and Color Sensation. And lastly, the runt of the litter, Essie. Essie is riding on the back of a major global trend in terms of the nail polish market, and sales have increased by a factor of four since the acquisition in 2010.”

He added, “Thanks to all of those efforts, the division has grown on every continent. It has also been able to strengthen its positions in its most competitive historical markets, such as the U.S.”

Based on reported figures, the group’s total sales, at June 30, 2012, amounted to 11.21 billion euros, an increase of 10.5%. Like-for-like (i.e. based on a comparable structure and identical exchange rates) the sales growth of the L’Oréal group was 6%.

In North America, sales rose 17.8% based on reported figures and 7.3% on a like-for-like basis.

The beauty company’s consumer products division experienced an 8.1% boost in sales on a reported basis and a 4.7% increase on a like-for-like basis.

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Peapod launches pickup service at Mass.-based Stop & Shop store

BY Allison Cerra

QUINCY, Mass. — Peapod has launched a new service through which customers can order their groceries online and pick them up at a store.

The Peapod Pick-Up service initially has been rolled out to a Stop & Shop store located in Abington, Mass. For a limited time, Peapod Pick-up will be offered free of charge ($2.95 value) and shoppers can choose a convenient one-hour pickup time between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Sunday through Friday, and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.

"Peapod is delighted to launch this exciting new initiative," Peapod president Andrew Parkinson said. "Customers can shop anywhere, anytime from a computer, tablet or smartphone and Peapod Pick-Up now provides a convenient alternative to our delivery service. We are thrilled to open our first Peapod Pick-Up at the Abington Stop & Shop and look forward to opening additional locations in the future."

Added Stop & Shop New England division president Joe Kelley, "Stop & Shop was one of the first supermarket chains in the nation to offer home delivery when it partnered with Peapod in 1996," he said. "Peapod Pick-Up is a terrific addition to Peapod delivery and continues to support our goal of helping customers shop the way they want to shop. From using self-scan registers and Scan It! in our stores, to ordering online for home delivery and now pick-up, customers have convenient choices in how they shop for groceries."

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