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Pop Weaver microwave popcorn now features Canola oil

BY Allison Cerra

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. Pop Weaver is introducing the first microwave popcorn to be made with Canola oil.

The new and improved formulation of the popcorn enhances the rich, buttery taste that Pop Weaver is known for, and is lower in calories, total fat, saturated fat and sodium, while also providing Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids.

“Since popcorn is all we make, we’re continually striving to make our product the best-tasting, healthiest popcorn, at the best possible price,” said Mike Weaver, president and CEO of the Weaver Popcorn Co., which makes Pop Weaver. “We’ve worked for years to replace our previous oil blend with a Canola oil blend, and we are proud to lead the industry with this innovation.”

All three flavors in the Pop Weaver microwave popcorn line – light butter, butter and extra vutter – have been reformulated to incorporate Canola oil. Both Light Butter and Butter carry the American Heart Association’s Heart Check mark, designating them as heart-healthy products. All three flavors also contain zero grams of trans fat.

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Morinaga America introduces Hi-Chew to U.S. consumers

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES Morinaga America is introducing the nation to a popular fruit chew in Japan.

Hi-Chew, available is six flavors, are featured on Hi-Chew.com, where visitors can learn more about the candy, dubbed “a little piece of heaven” by its makers. To help generate excitement and stimulate curiosity in the Hi-Chew brand, Morinaga America is sponsoring a video/photo contest. The Hi-Chew “Anywhere, Anytime” contest encourages people to submit video or photos of friends and/or family enjoying Hi-Chew fruit chews. Once a month, an image is chosen from that month’s submissions and the winner receives a 30-day supply of their favorite Hi-Chew flavor.  The winning video/photo is featured on the Web site.

“Hi-Chew fruit chews are like nothing you’ve ever tasted before,”said Toshiya Yasuda, Morinaga America president, marketing and distribution channel for Hi-Chew in the U.S. “Our tag line, ‘a little piece of heaven,’ really captures the essence of the Hi-Chew taste sensation of the smooth, juicy, chewy texture and long-lasting flavors of Strawberry, Green Apple, Mango, Melon and Orange. Equally exciting is the introduction of the newest flavor Banana to coincide with the launch of the Web site.”

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Catalina Marketing acquires E-centives, Collabrys

BY Allison Cerra

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. Catalina Marketing has expanded its business with the acquisition of two digital couponing businesses.

The company said it acquired E-centives and Collabrys from Invenda Corp., calling the investment “strategic…to advancing long-term, viable digital innovations for our industry partners, as well as our commitment to shoppers who seek customized value delivered through their preferred channel of communication.”

“Catalina Marketing has spent the past 25 years transferring our understanding of how purchase decisions can be used to motivate, enforce or drive new buying decisions,” said Dick Buell, Catalina Marketing’s chairman and CEO.  “Delivering relevant communications to the right audience, and measuring the performance of marketing spends, is at the core of all our business initiatives. We are excited about extending this level of shopper understanding and shopper value to the digital space for our consumer packaged goods, food, drug and mass partners.”

Catalina Marketing’s acquisition announcement follows the company’s release of CPG mobile couponing performance data, as well as the recent appointment of former Google Affiliate Network executive, Chris Henger, to lead its digital business.

With 14 years of experience working with CPG companies on digital couponing, customer relationship marketing database management services, e-mail marketing, and Web site development, E-centives brings three critical elements to the table: established technology platforms, proven, innovative industry professionals, and a valuable portfolio of intellectual property and patents.

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