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Scotties debuts Laura Ashley Collection at Target

BY Allison Cerra

BURLINGTON, Mass. — Facial tissue brand Scotties has launched the Laura Ashley Collection, an exclusive line that will be sold at Target this month.

Offering a new twist on home décor, Scotties has paired its facial tissue with Laura Ashley’s signature prints. Scotties said it plans to expand its design portfolio in 2012, with plans for retail expansion across the United States.

“Research shows that consumers care about the design of a facial tissue box just as much as they care about the quality of the product inside,” Scotties director of marketing Joe Richards said. “When we asked consumers what design brand they would like to see created as a tissue box, Laura Ashley was at the top of the list.”

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Kraft outlines benefits of splitting business

BY Allison Cerra

NORTHFIELD, Ill. — Kraft Foods chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld said that taking the company’s performance to the next level required "a bold approach," referring to last month’s announcement to split the business into two independent, publicly traded entities.

Speaking at the Barclays Capital Back-to-School Consumer Conference on Wednesday, Rosenfeld said that each of the soon-to-be-created companies — including a high-growth global snacks business and high-margin North American grocery business, which will be put in effect in late 2012 — was "the best way to stage our businesses for long-term success, the best way for shareholders to value each business and the best way to ensure a bright future for our people."

As previously reported, Kraft Foods announced that the global snacks business will consist of the current Kraft Foods Europe and Developing Markets units, as well as the North American snacks and confectionery businesses. The North American grocery business would consist of the current U.S. beverages, cheese, convenient meals and grocery segments and the nonsnack categories in Canada and food service.

Rosenfeld noted that the global snacks business would include such billion-dollar brands as Cadbury, Jacobs, LU, Milka, Nabisco, Oreo, Tang and Trident, while the North American grocery business would include such billion-dollar brands as Kraft, Maxwell House, Oscar Mayer and Philadelphia in its portfolio.

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Poco Loko touts lower alcohol by volume than counterpart

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO — Phusion Projects, the maker of Four Loko flavored malt beverages, has introduced a new product that comes in a smaller can size with lower alcohol by volume.

Unlike Four Loko, which comes in 23.5-oz. cans and contains up to 12.5% alcohol by volume, Poco Loko is available in 16-oz. cans at 8% ABV, Phusion Projects said. Poco Loko, which comes in green apple, black cherry, mango and lemonade varieties, does not contain caffeine, guarana or taurine.

Phusion Projects said the Poco Loko line was introduced in order to meet consumer demand for additional products and flavors, and to continue diversifying the company’s portfolio.

Last November, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to Phusion Projects and other manufacturers of caffeinated alcoholic beverages. Since then, the company said it would remove caffeine from its flavored malt beverages.

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