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Chew on this

BY DSN STAFF

PARSIPPANY, N.J. —Sugar-free gum is one of the hottest areas of the confection aisle, with sales estimated to be up 11% this year, according to the National Confectioners Association.

One of the latest must-have new products is Cadbury’s Trident Layers, a sugarless gum that marries bold flavors and textures for a unique flavor blend. The dual-flavor gum combines two real-fruit tastes with a visible soft middle layer infused with real-fruit flavor.

The distinctive texture and taste of the visible middle layer in each sugar-free piece introduce a new taste experience as the flavors blend together. Trident Layers is available in two flavor combinations: wild strawberry + tangy citrus and green apple + golden pineapple.

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Celsius expands distribution to Rite Aid

BY Allison Cerra

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. A calorie-burning beverage is finding a home at one of the nation’s leading drug store chains.

Celsius announced Tuesday its beverage line now is available at Rite Aid stores nationwide. Three popular Celsius flavors are available at Rite Aid drug stores: Orange, green tea raspberry acai and green tea peach mango. Celsius will be sold in four-packs and will be found in the diet section of the store.

Celsius also will be featured as part of the Rite Weight Plan, an online 10-week weight management program where consumers can enroll for free. The Rite Weight Plan provides easily accessible online tools to help consumers succeed at achieving their weight management goals.

“We are thrilled to become part of the Rite Aid drug store chain. We commend Rite Aid’s commitment to offering quality healthy beverage products to their customers and we feel that Celsius is a great addition to their merchandise mix,” Kelly Michols, VP strategic sales at Celsius.

Rite Aid currently has more than 4,800 locations in 31 states and the District of Columbia.

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Nestle sinks teeth into Kraft’s frozen pizza business

BY Allison Cerra

VEVEY, Switzerland Nestle has agreed to acquire Kraft Foods’ frozen pizza business in the United States and Canada for $3.7 billion in cash, the company announced Tuesday.

The business includes such brands as DiGiorno, Tombstone, California Pizza Kitchen, Jack’s and Delissio. This frozen pizza business provides a new strategic pillar to Nestle’s frozen food portfolio in the United States and Canada, where the company already has established a leadership in prepared dishes and hand-held product categories under the Stouffer’s, Lean Cuisine, Buitoni, Hot Pockets and Lean Pockets brands, Nestle said.

Paul Bulcke, CEO of Nestle, said: “This frozen pizza business greatly enhances Nestle’s frozen food activities in North America, bringing together a selection of great U.S. and Canadian brands, industry-leading R&D and excellent route-to-market capabilities, which complement our existing ice cream direct-store-delivery. With total sales of around CHF 3 billion, Nestle will become the world leader in the attractive, fast-growing frozen pizza category.”

The acquisition brings leadership in the frozen pizza category, where Nestle only had a minor presence until now, and builds on Nestle’s existing pizza know-how and operations in Europe. It is a natural fit with Nestle’s focus on delivering convenient, premium, wholesome and nutritious frozen food for consumers around the world. The transaction is subject to U.S. and Canadian regulatory approval and is expected to be completed in 2010.

The United States is the largest pizza market in the world with consumer sales of about $37 billion, Nestle said.

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