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Tropicana launches lemonade, helps Habitat for Humanity

BY Jenna Duncan

PALMETTO, Fla. Tropicana officials announced the launch of a 100 percent natural lemonade, Coastal Groves, Monday. The launch was tied in with the dedication ceremony of a recently constructed Habitat for Humanity home, build by Tropicana employees, and painted yellow for the occasion.

Dozens of Tropicana employees who helped build the home were present at the ceremony. In all, about 300 Tropicana employees put in time and labor into its construction.

Tropicana announced in January it will donate $1 million to Habitat for Humanity International during a three-year project to build houses along the Gulf Coast. Officials said construction of another seven homes is planned in that time.

Coastal Groves lemonade will be produced from lemons grown in California and transported to Bradenton, Fla., for processing. The juice will be available in three flavors; original lemonade, peach lemonade and raspberry lemonade.

Coastal Groves lemonade is already available in Manatee County and will debut nationwide during May, Tropicana’s manager of public relations, Karen May, said. Coastal Grove lemonade 12-oz. bottles retail for $1.79 and 64-oz. cartons for $2.99.

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Kraft Foods announces expansion of production plant

BY Adam Kraemer

DOVER, Del. Kraft Foods, the second largest food manufacturer in the world, announced Thursday it is adding 40 jobs and expanding production at its Dover manufacturing plant.

Kraft, the maker of Jell-o gelatins, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and Maxwell House coffees, is directing about $40 million towards upgrading its Dover plant to up production of single-serving packets of its popular drink mixes, like Capri Sun, Crystal Light, Country Time, Kool-Aid and Tang.

The State of Delaware has awarded Kraft a $708,000 grant to help grow the 1-million square-foot plant and boost production.

The announcement for expansion comes at a turnaround from a couple of years ago when Kraft was closing manufacturing plants and cutting jobs. Nationwide, the U.S. has seen the loss of hundreds of manufacturing jobs in recent years.

The jobs that Kraft is adding will include operator and mechanic positions on the single-serve drink-mix production line. Kevin Ripley, the plant’s manager, said that the annual salaries of these jobs will be between $35,000 and $45,000. The Dover Kraft plant currently employs 520 people.

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Candy maker announces Baskin-Robbins soft candies to be sold in theatres

BY Jenna Duncan

MOORESVILLE, N.C. BestSweet confection maker has announced that a new line of Baskin-Robbins soft candy will soon be available in boxed form for the movies.

Brand manager, Mark A. Fields, said, “Given the buzz and success we received from the recently launched soft candy products, it was only fitting to also release it in the fun theater box format. We’ve witnessed fantastic growth of the theatre box packaging format across food, drug and mass channels, and with the recent product launch and changes we’ve been making to the line, the timing was perfect for those retailers looking to add unique theatre box items to their candy sets.”

The announcement to release the boxed soft candies was first made at the 2008 Winter Confectionery ECRM event, in Denver, C.O. during the week of Feb. 18 through 22.

The soft candies will be available in two flavors; mint chocolate chip and very berry strawberry ice cream flavors. The box comes in a 3.1 oz size and retails for $1.29. BestSweet says the boxed soft candies will be available in theatres May 2008.

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