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Starbucks, MSNBC brew partnership

BY Allison Cerra

SEATTLE In an effort to promote its consumer-packaged coffee and volunteerism, Starbucks’ Gold Coast Blend has been renamed for grocery and mass market retail channels.

The introduction of this updated coffee, Gold Coast Blend: Morning Joe Edition, reflects the partnership between Starbucks and MSNBC’s program “Morning Joe.” To celebrate the introduction of the packaged coffee and the companies’ joint commitment to community involvement, Starbucks and MSNBC are co-sponsoring Brewing Together Day of Service on Saturday, Nov. 21, in conjunction with volunteering organization HandsOn Network, to encourage consumers to volunteer in their community on an ongoing basis.

Viewers and consumers interested in volunteering in their local communities are encouraged to visit the HandsOn Network Web site www.handsonnetwork.org/brewingtogether to explore volunteer opportunities available in their communities.

“We are pleased to take the next step in our partnership with MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ by introducing , available where consumers buy groceries,” said John Culver, president, Starbucks global consumer packaged goods.

“It’s an honor to be a co-sponsor of Brewing Together Day of Service and to help bring communities together to inspire change while making a difference in other people’s lives. It’s what Starbucks has always believed in – being a good neighbor and doing things that are good for each other and the planet,” added Cliff Burrows, president, Starbucks U.S.

As part of raising awareness for volunteerism, “Morning Joe” will highlight volunteer efforts and information on-air during the weeks leading up to Nov. 20 and 21. Additionally, on Friday, Nov. 20 from 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. EST, “Morning Joe” will be live from the John McDonogh School in New Orleans as they take part in community art project and other activities during the Brewing Together Day of Service.

Starbucks Gold Coast Blend: Morning Joe Edition is available in 12-ooz., pre-ground packages at a suggested retail price of $9.49.

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Minute Maid thinks small with expanded line

BY Allison Cerra

HOUSTON The Minute Maid Enhanced juice and juice drink line will expand in 2010 by going smaller.

Minute Maid Enhanced is introducing three of its most popular varieties — Minute Maid pomegranate blueberry, Minute Maid pomegranate lemonade and Minute Maid strawberry kiwi flavored juice drinks in new 12-fl. oz., shrink-wrapped, single-serve bottles. The new single-serve bottles will hit store shelves in January, the company said.

“By launching our most popular varieties of the Minute Maid Enhanced juice and juice drink line in a chilled single-serve, we will continue to meet the needs of health-conscious consumers with a new, convenient package,” said Mike Saint John, president Minute Maid business unit. “The new single-serve also allows consumers who are on the go to enjoy the delicious taste of Minute Maid anytime and anywhere.”

The flavors, Minute Maid said, enhance the brain and body, and even can provide an energy boost, containing such vitamins as vitamin C and E and Yerba Mate extract.

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Celsius inks deal with Mario Lopez

BY Allison Cerra

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. Celsius Holdings announced that Mario Lopez, host of “America’s Best Dance Crew,” and “Extra,” will be the national spokesman for Celsius, the company’s popular calorie-burning functional drink.

Lopez will be included in 2010 marketing initiatives and will help promote Celsius to the company’s growing list of national retailers. Additional details of the agreement were not released.

“I’m excited to have the chance to let America know more about Celsius. I’ve been drinking Celsius for a while because it gives me the energy I need to get through my busy day, along with the ingredients that you want to have in your body,” Lopez said. “No other drink gives me the sustained energy to handle everything without the crash.”

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