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AHD International markets all-natural, healthy coconut products

BY Melissa Valliant

ATLANTA AHD International, a wholesale vitamin food supplement ingredient provider, plans on marketing coconut oil and coconut water, due to its recent partnership with RV Industries.

The coconut oil will target food products, while the coconut water will be mostly used in sports and functional beverages. Both coconut products are 100 percent natural, fat-free, low-calorie, chemical-free and a natural source of vitamin E. Coconut water’s nutritious attributes make it ideal for use in sports drinks; it provides potassium, calcium, Vitamin C and iron, which “naturally restores the body’s electrolytes,” according to the company.

The products do not require refrigeration and can also be used in cosmetic items, such as massage oils and hair products. The coconut line follows AHD International’s recent trend toward healthy products, such as its recent release of heart-healthy chia seeds, cranberry protein powder and high-grade brown seaweed-derived fucoxanthin.

“RV Industries has manufactured and provided our high-quality coconut products ­ shredded, flaked and granulated ­ to the U.S. market for nearly 30 years. Partnering with AHD International to distribute these two new coconut-based ingredients provides our company a great opportunity to reach new markets,” Robert Weschrek, general manager of RV Industries, said.

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Food manufacturers battle over ownership rights of trademarked colors

BY Melissa Valliant

LONDON A recent legal battle against Australian chocolate company Darrell Lea has Cadbury showing its true colors as it fights to protect its trademarked color purple. The confectionary manufacturer is in the middle of a lawsuit accusing Darrell Lea of using purple packaging to purposefully deceive consumers into thinking the products were made by British sweets manufacturer Cadbury.

In April, the Federal Court of Australia ruled in favor of Darrell Lea, stating that the chocolate company had not breached the Trade Practices Act and had not designed its packaging to appear Cadbury-produced. Cadbury plans on continuing the fight, saying it will appeal the judge’s decision.

The heated battle truly exemplifies how important and valuable a brand has become in today’s market. Millward Brown Optimator reported that Coca-Cola’s brand is worth a whopping $58.2 billion. Ever since laws were passed in the 1990s allowing companies to trademark colors, corporations have jumped on the opportunity to personalize their brands with color. UPS registered a particular shade of brown, Tiffany’s trademarked a blue tone and McDonalds owns a certain shade of red and yellow.

Registering a color trademark prevents other companies from using a color shade within a particular marketing context. Cadbury is essentially fighting for its trademark on the color purple and defending its accusation of Darrell Lea’s use of purple to deceive consumers. “At the moment, Cadbury currently has uncertainty as to whether it can enforce its color purple in Australia,” said Gary Assim, head of intellectual property at UK law firm Shoosmiths.

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Cadbury cuts middle layer of management; puts CEO in driver’s seat

BY Jenna Duncan

LONDON Cadbury today reported that it is revamping its management structure removing a layer of management and handing over the reins to chief executive officer Todd Stitzer to steer the company’s operational divisions.

“Our four region operational structure will be eliminated, leaving seven business units (listed in Appendix A) which will report directly to [Stitzer],” Cadbury said in a press statement. “At the same time, we are strengthening our global chocolate, gum and candy category structure, further increasing our focus on category development.”

The change will extract the company’s current regional management structure, removing layers and spreading out organizational tasks over other layers. The company hopes that the change will provide “faster decision making, improve in-market execution and ensure a stronger alignment of category strategies and commercial programs,” it has stated.

The removal of the management layer will affect 250 positions, many of them senior managers. Cadbury said that the changes were following a plan started in 2007 to restructure operations.

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