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Snack sales healthy at drug, healthy snacks even stronger

BY DSN STAFF

Research shows that whether it’s parents purchasing the snacks or kids consuming them, consumers said they are seeking out healthier snacking options. A recent survey by Mintel International found that kids and teens are receptive to healthy eating messages and are choosing foods with healthful ingredients.

When asked why they eat what they eat, 2-in-5 kids responding to the Mintel survey said they reach for foods that give them more energy. Over a third said they purposely eat foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients, 25% said they sought out foods low in fat and 22% look for foods low in sugar.

Parents are interested in healthier foods for their children as well, and healthfulness may trump price, even in the current economic environment. “Yes, consumers are economizing, but there’s a new definition of value, and it’s not just about price,” said Shelley Balanko, VP ethnographic research at The Hartman Group. “Consumers put a premium on kids’ health and wellness and are willing to pay more for whole, real foods with less processing.” Balanko said Hartman research showed more consumers looking for snacks with high fiber, whole fruits and less sugar.

The market also seems to be supporting growth of fortified, enriched foods, as well as simplified products that offer fresh ingredients. The challenge for drug store retailers is to find the right mix of products that addresses both trends.

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NatureSweet celebrates snacking with online natural talent show

BY Allison Cerra

SAN ANTONIO To spread the word about NatureSweet Cherubs bite-sized tomatoes as the sweetest snacking tomato, NatureSweet will launch an online natural talent show for kids entitled “Be the Next Sweet Sensation”.

The contest will be launched with a fully integrated marketing program including online, retail, print, PR and radio support. One child will win a Grand Prize chance to be the Cherubs Spokeskid.

Beginning March 15th, parents and kids will visit a promotional website (www.cherubstomatoes.com) and upload a video showing the world their natural talent inspired by the snack. Visitors to the site will be able to vote and comment on their favorite kid performers.

The Top 10 finalists will be posted and announced between May 11th and 12th. The Grand Prize winner will be announced on May 18th.

After being named the “Next Sweet Sensation”, the Grand Prize winner will enjoy a family trip for four to Hollywood, CA. Additionally, as the Cherubs(R) Spokeskid, the Grand Prize winner will appear in a future NatureSweet Cherubs advertisement as well as in a story on the brand’s website.

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Mars celebrates Easter with pastel-colored M&M’S, virtual egg hunt

BY Allison Cerra

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. With Easter just around the corner, Mars Snackfood is hosting a virtual Easter hunt promotion, and sharing new recipes and decorating tips for its limited-edition seasonal pastel M&M’S from culinary, lifestyle and party planning expert Ingrid Hoffmann.

Mars developed a virtual Easter egg hunt on its new site, www.HuntforYellow.com, where spokescandy “Yellow” falls asleep in the Easter Bunny’s basket while setting up an egg hunt and is placed among the hidden eggs in the park. Consumers can visit the site for a chance to find him, and win cash and prizes.

In celebration of the limited-edition pastel M&M’S, Hoffmann has cooked up fun Easter crafts and recipes. Hoffmann’s suggestions and ideas are sure to jazz up Easter baskets, dinner table decorations and Easter treats, making Easter gatherings even more festive for the whole family. More information for crafts and recipes for the Easter holiday can be found at www.mms.com.

“Pastel M&M’S are perfect for infusing great taste and color into Easter entertaining,” Hoffmann said. “It’s a treat for me to be able to get creative and think about all the ways M&M’S can be used in recipes that are perfect for making with friends and family around the holiday.”

Now through April, retail stores nationwide will display the limited-edition, seasonal varieties of M&M’S for a suggested retail price of $2.99.

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