Mars Unveils Healthier Snacks
Can today’s teens have healthier choices and still eat their favorite candy/snack brands, too? A new line of Generation Max snacks from Mars, Incorporated is designed to meet that objective.
The line-up of 10 products, all with 150 calories or less per serving, meets new, more stringent nutritional guidelines established for products sold in school vending machines. But the best news for kids is that the line is sub-branded with the company’s popular brands such as Snickers, M&M’s, Twix, 3 Musketeers and Combos because research showed that students were more likely to try snacks that featured these popular brands in their names.
The Generation Max snack items include cereal clusters, cookies, brownie bars, crackers and pretzel products. In addition to the moderate calorie content, all have less than 35 percent of calories from fat, 10 percent of calories from saturated fat, and 35 percent by weight of sugar per serving. They also contain added nutrients that meet the Recommended Daily Values for a balanced diet.
The U.S. business of Mars is one of the initial five food companies to commit to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s school initiative and the first to design a line of products specifically to meet the new nutrition content and portion guidelines adopted by school districts across the country. Naturally, it was rolled out through school vending machines.
“Our commitment with the Generation Max line of snack foods is to provide students with healthier choices when they take advantage of vending machines, which often are the only readily available options for students outside of normal school meal programs,” says James Mattikow, president of Mars Nutrition for Health & Well-Being.
Specifically, the new line consists of: Snickers Cookies, Snickers Cereal Clusters, M&M’s Cookies, Twix Cereal Clusters, 3 Musketeers Chocolate Brownie Bars, 3 Musketeers S’Mores Brownie Bars, 3 Musketeers Chocolate Strawberry Brownie Bars, Combos Pizza Crackers, Combos Hot ‘n Spicy Crackers, and Combos Ranch Pretzels.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation, has established the Healthy Schools Program and developed guidelines for foods for sale to students outside the school meal program.
Brach’s Fall Promo Tied to “Bee Movie”
Brach’s Confections is sure to build some buzz for its candy corn this Halloween season thanks to a promotional partnership with DreamWorks Animation’s “Bee Movie,” written, produced and starring Jerry Seinfeld. The animated comedy is slated for release Nov. 2.
Brach’s will flag the film on its candy corn packaging and has developed a tie-in promotion with a grand prize of “one sweet trip” to New York City, the setting of the “Bee Movie.” In addition, 61 consumers — one each day between September 1 and October 31 — will have the opportunity to win $50 worth of Brach’s Candy.
The movie/candy pairing is not only powerful, it’s logical because the Brach’s Candy Corn packaging emphasizes that the traditional autumnal treat is “made with real honey.” Brach’s will promote its “Bee Movie” candy corn with a 35 million circulation free-standing insert drop on October 7. The company’s www.brachs.com Web site will highlight the promotion and link to the DreamWorks “Bee Movie” site.
“Bee Movie” is a comedy that will change everything you think you know about bees. Having just graduated from college, a bee by the name of Barry B. Benson (Jerry Seinfeld) finds himself disillusioned with the prospect of having only one career choice — honey. As he ventures outside of the hive for the first time, he breaks one of the cardinal rules of the bee world and talks to a human, a New York City florist named Vanessa (Renée Zellweger). He is shocked to discover that the humans have been stealing and eating the bees’ honey for centuries, and ultimately realizes that his true calling in life is to set the world right by suing the human race for stealing their precious honey. In addition to Seinfeld, the film stars the voices of Renée Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, John Goodman, Kathy Bates, Alan Arkin and Patrick Warburton. (Bee Movie TM & © 2007 DreamWorks Animation L.L.C.)
Warner, Blueberry Hill Merge
Warner Candy Co., a leading candy and snack repackaging company, and Blueberry Hill, a large manufacturer of general line private label candy, have announced a merger. The joined company will be called Simply Goodies. Warner Candy is a portfolio company of Chicago-based Mars Equities. Blueberry Hill is based in El Paso, Texas.
“By bringing together the key dimensions of branded and private label manufacturing, repackaging and distribution under one business organization, we are able to enhance our economic leverage and staying power in an increasingly competitive marketplace,” said Richard Anglin, CEO of Simply Goodies.
The merger will provide Warner with a regular source of product and new product lines and packaging types for customer variety. For Blueberry Hill, Anglin said the merger will create an enhanced management structure for the facilitation of internal systems and new product innovation.
“As Simply Goodies, we are now positioned to continue the track record of growth and success that both businesses brought to the party separately,” Anglin said. “We are all excited about the significant opportunities ahead.”
Mintel International tracked 47 premium milk chocolate product rollouts and 44 premium dark chocolate intros in 2006.
NPD’S Snack Fact: What Are Kids Doing When They Eat Candy? What Other Snack Foods Do They Consume On That Day?
Sun, Fun and Recognition
Confectionery leaders who have dedicated their careers to the industry were honored, along with two industry pioneers, with induction into the Candy Hall of Fame in Tampa, Fla., on April 28.
The National Confectionery Sales Association of America, which gives these awards, has been in existence for more than 100 years and for the past 28 has been the sponsor of the Candy Hall of Fame. The mission of the NCSA membership is to further positive growth and acceptance of confectionery and allied products by education, open and frank dialogue and recognition of peers’ notable accomplishments.
A fun weekend with golf, good food and good company culminated in a black-tie gala dinner where attending honorees reflected on events and individuals that influenced both their lives and careers. More than 250 industry dignitaries, guests and family members attended the gala event.
The 2007 inductees for the Hall of Fame were: Raymond Brace, The Hershey Co.; Allan Dudovitz, Prinsen Distributing; Charles Flavelle, R. C. Purdy Chocolates Ltd.; Anthony Gazzola, Goetze’s Candy Co., Inc.; Robert Lukas, Lukas Confections Inc.; Richard Medwar, Ferrara Pan Candy Co.; Reginald Ohlson, Reg Ohlson Consulting; Paul Richard, Knechtel, Inc. (posthumous); Dominick J. Romano, RoNetco Supermarkets, Inc.; J. William Ryan, ADM Cocoa; and Charles Trinder, Yosha! Enterprises, Inc. (retired).
In addition, candy category trailblazers Leo Hirsfield and Joseph Fry were recognized for their accomplishments with induction into the Hall of Fame. Leo Hirshfield brought to the United States his recipe for a chocolatey, chewy candy, which he began producing in a small store in New York City beginning in 1896. Hirshfield named the candy after his five-year-old daughter, whose nickname was ‘Tootsie.’ Joseph Fry laid the foundation for what would later evolve into the international firm of Cadbury Trebor Basset.
For more information on the National Confectionery Sales Association, visit www.candyhalloffame.org