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Wilton introduces giant-gingerbread-house kit

BY Allison Cerra

WOODRIDGE, Ill. — Wilton’s line of popular gingerbread-house kits is expanding with a version designed for the "upwardly mobile."

Wilton’s new giant-gingerbread-house kit measures approximately 8 in. high by 9 in. wide and retails for $39.99. The more modest, starter homes begin at $12.99 for a house that measures approximately 5 in. by 5 in. Wilton also offers a gingerbread tree kit, gingerbread boy cookie kit and gingerpops cookie kit that feature ready-to-decorate, prebaked cookies — icing mix and candies included.

“Decorating a gingerbread house gets the whole family into the holiday spirit,” said Nancy Siler, VP at Wilton Enterprises. “Our Wilton kits make it easy because everything is included. They are a festive at-home holiday centerpiece or a wonderful gift.”

Wilton gingerbread kits can be found on Wilton.com and various stores nationwide.

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Danone to acquire YoCream

BY Allison Cerra

PORTLAND, Ore. — Danone will boost its yogurt business with its acquisition of YoCream International.

Danone offered to acquire YoCream for about $39.82 in cash for each share, or $103 million, YoCream said. The company said it expected the transaction to close before Dec. 28.

"This transaction benefits our shareholders by providing them with the opportunity to receive a significant premium for their YoCream shares, and joining the Danone Group represents a natural progression in our corporate achievement to provide healthful live and active cultured frozen yogurt to consumers in the United States and abroad," said John Hanna, co-founder and CEO of YoCream. "We have continued our strong track record of innovation in this category and appreciate that Danone has recognized our leadership role for frozen yogurt in the food-service industry."

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Arbitration proceeding brewing between Kraft, Starbucks

BY Allison Cerra

NORTHFIELD, Ill. — Kraft filed an arbitration proceeding against Starbucks on Monday after the java giant attempted to end an agreement with the company.

Kraft claimed that it boosted Starbucks’ retail grocery coffee business since 1998, which has garnered approximately $500 million in annual revenues. Kraft also is demanding that Starbucks compensate the company for the fair market value of the business, plus a premium of up to 35% of that value.

Kraft’s EVP corporate and legal affairs and general counsel Marc Firestone said, "Starbucks is trying to walk away from a 12-year strategic partnership, from which it has greatly benefited, without abiding by contractual conditions."

Kraft said it is continuing to conduct business under the terms of its contractual arrangements with Starbucks.

Starbucks also released a statement regarding the deal, stating "Kraft did not meet its responsibilities" under the agreement, which required Kraft actively protect and promote the Starbucks Coffee and Seattle’s Best Coffee brands and to work closely with Starbucks, to maintain Starbucks involvement in significant marketing decisions and customer contacts.

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