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SodaStream unveils new line of syrup concentrates

BY Ryan Chavis

AIRPORT CITY, Israel — SodaStream, a manufacturer and distributor of home beverage carbonation systems, last week announced SodaStream Free, a range of fruit-flavored syrup concentrates that allows consumers to make beverages at home. These syrups contain a fraction of the calories and sugar content of regular soft drinks, the company said.

 

"Today, people want to live a better life, and there is a clear trend toward drinking lightly sweetened sparkling drinks. SodaStream is all about enabling people to create better-for-you drinks the way they like them. SodaStream Free is the perfect way to enjoy homemade, lightly sweetened sparkling drinks made with natural ingredients," said Daniel Birnbaum, CEO of SodaStream.

Consumers can choose from Kiwi-Pear, Passion-Mango, Cranberry-Raspberry, Apple-Peach, Lychee-Green Tea and Fresh Bitter Lemon. The products have been launched as part of a co-branding partnership with Cooking Light, an epicurean brand with a focus on food and health.

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Athletes join Team Fruity and Team Cocoa

BY Ryan Chavis

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — As part of a competition between Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles to see which cereal is more popular with fans, Post Foods announced two professional American soccer players to grace its cereal boxes. Omar Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Galaxy will join WWE star John Cena on Team Fruity, while Olympic gold medalist and forward of the Portland Thorns, Alex Morgan, will join basketball star Kyrie Irving on Team Cocoa.

“We are thrilled to add such great soccer talent to the Team Fruity and Team Cocoa rosters, especially as the sport continues to become more popular among kids and parents alike,” said Sue Fruzzetti-Reich, senior brand manager at Post Foods. “Our team captains, John Cena and Kyrie Irving, have done a tremendous job leading their respective teams this year and drumming up team spirit among all Pebbles fans. We are looking forward to having Alex and Omar join the Team Pebbles campaign and rally support among their fans.”  

Since January, Post Foods has been encouraging Fruity Pebbles fans to show their allegiance to Team Fruity or Team Cocoa. Fans can head over to TeamPebbles.com and download an interactive app that encourages them to vote, take photos and play minigames. By taking part in the online challenges and sharing them through Instagram using their preferred team hashtag (#TeamFruity or #TeamCocoa), fans have the chance to win such prizes as gift cards, iPads or signed merchandize.

Fans will be able to collect the boxes featuring Gonzalez and Morgan beginning May 2014.

 

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Target names new information officer

BY Vivian Gomez

MINNEAPOLIS — Effective May 5, Bob DeRodes will lead Target’s information technology transformation as EVP and chief information officer, as the retailer continues to recover from the data breach late last year.

Target also provided details on additional security enhancements it has made following that breach — which reportedly resulted in the theft of 40 million credit and debit card records and 70 million other records of customer details — and shared plans to incorporate MasterCard chip-and-PIN technology across its REDcard portfolio.

DeRodes will assume oversight of the Target technology team and operations, with responsibility for the ongoing data security enhancement efforts as well as the development of Target’s long-term information technology and digital roadmap. The company is continuing its active search for a chief information security officer and a chief compliance officer.

“Establishing a clear path forward for Target following the data breach has been my top priority. I believe Target has a tremendous opportunity to take the lessons learned from this incident and enhance our overall approach to data security and information technology. Bob’s history of leading transformational change positions him well to lead our continued breach responses and guide our long-term digital strategy,” said chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel.

DeRodes comes to Target with more than 40 years of experience. He has been a senior information technology adviser for the Center for CIO Leadership, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secretary of Defense and the U.S. Department of Justice. In addition, DeRodes has provided independent advisory services to corporations, private equity firms and boards. DeRodes has also held top technology positions at a number of industry-leading, multinational companies including CitiBank, USAA Federal Savings Bank, First Data, Home Depot and Delta Air Lines. He also serves on the board of directors for NCR Corporation.

“I look forward to helping shape information technology and data security at Target in the days and months ahead. It is clear to me that Target is an organization that is committed to doing whatever it takes to do right by their guests,” said DeRodes.

Since the initial confirmation of the data breach, Target has been conducting an investigation. During that time, the company has taken what it calls “significant actions” to further strengthen security across the network, including — but not limited to — the development of point-of-sale management tools, review and streamlining of network firewall rules and development of a comprehensive firewall governance process; reviewing and limiting vendor access; and a coordinated reset of 445,000 Target team member and contractor passwords, broadening the use of two-factor authentication, expansion of password vaults, disabled multiple vendor accounts, reduced privileges for certain accounts, and developing additional training related to password rotation.

Target has also deployed a new initiative as part of its accelerated transition to chip-and-PIN-enabled REDcards. Beginning in early 2015, the entire REDcard portfolio, including all Target-branded credit and debit cards, will be enabled with MasterCard’s chip-and-PIN solution. Existing co-branded cards will be reissued as MasterCard co-branded chip-and-PIN cards. Ultimately, through this initiative, all of Target’s REDcard products will be chip-and-PIN secured.

Earlier this year, Target announced an accelerated $100 million plan to move its REDcard portfolio to chip-and-PIN-enabled technology and to install supporting software and next-generation payment devices in stores. The new payment terminals will be in all 1,797 U.S. stores by this September, six months ahead of schedule. In addition, by early next year, Target will enable all REDcards with chip-and-PIN technology and begin accepting payments from all chip-enabled cards in its stores.

“Target has long been an advocate for the widespread adoption of chip-and-PIN card technology,” said John Mulligan, EVP and CFO for Target. “As we aggressively move forward to bring enhanced technology to Target, we believe it is critical that we provide our REDcard guests with the most secure payment product available. This new initiative satisfies that goal.”

 

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