Most Clicked NCA SmartBrief Stories

1. Caramel maker named Food Fancy Show's 2015 outstanding new product

NCA SmartBrief | Jul 01, 2015

The Summer Fancy Food Show recognized 33 winners of its Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation awards on Monday, including Big Picture Farms' Raspberry Rhubarb Goat Milk Caramels, which took home the outstanding new product of 2015 honor. The winners were chosen from a pool of 2,715 entries in 32 categories. Progressive Grocer (06/30)

2. Kellogg to debut 40 new nutrition, convenience products in 2015

NCA SmartBrief | Jun 30, 2015

Kellogg Co. will debut 40 new products in 2015 that follow trends in nutrition and convenience, including Kellogg’s Origins cereals range with no artificial flavors, Special K Chewy Nut Bars, Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Breakfast Biscuits, new Special K items focused on "positive nutrition" and Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes Energy Clusters. The announcement comes within a week of General Mills' commitment to removing artificial flavors from its cereals. Battle Creek Enquirer (Mich.) (tiered subscription model) (06/29)

3. Ghirardelli to unveil new Chicago store

NCA SmartBrief | Jun 29, 2015

Ghirardelli Chocolate Co. will open a new Chicago location this weekend, unveiling a 7,000-square-foot space in the historic Wrigley Building featuring a chocolate-making station, ice cream shop and a chocolate-covered fruit and nut bar. The San Francisco chocolatier hired more than 100 employees for the new store and plans to add a custom Chicago mold and DIY classes. (06/26) Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model) (06/26)

4. Jelly Belly Co. embraces 7th generation in family-owned business

NCA SmartBrief | Jun 30, 2015

The family-owned Jelly Belly Candy Co. saw its seventh-generation employee work in the Fairfield, Calif., company's Visitor's Center this summer and boasts fourth, fifth and sixth generations of family members working in various facets of the business, including CEO Lisa Rowland Brasher, who took over in March. The company has improved its production efficiency and the brand expects to release innovative, on-trend flavors this year, said Brasher. American City Business Journals (06/29)

5. Hershey focuses on e-commerce in Chinese chocolate market

NCA SmartBrief | Jun 26, 2015

China remains a top international priority for Hershey, despite a slowdown in the country's sales of chocolate in hypermarkets. The slowdown has shifted the confectioner's focus to personalized gifting and the online market, which is expected to triple to $1.2 billion by 2020. Hershey is targeting female shoppers in e-commerce, who have a higher education and average income than the general public and are drawn to premium choices and convenience. (France) (06/25)

6. ConAgra to exit private-label with divestment of Ralcorp

NCA SmartBrief | Jul 01, 2015

As part of the new strategy under new CEO Sean Connolly, ConAgra will divest the private-label Ralcorp Holdings business it acquired in 2013. The company may sell other packaged goods businesses and acquire more natural, gourmet and premium brands, Connolly said Tuesday. "We have come to the conclusion that [ConAgra's private-label business] will be more valuable outside of ConAgra," he said. (free registration) (06/30) The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (06/30)

7. Kraft shareholders approve merger with Heinz

NCA SmartBrief | Jul 01, 2015

Kraft Foods Group shareholders voted Wednesday to approve a merger of the company with H.J. Heinz Co. Once the merger is complete, a new executive team will report to CEO Bernardo Hees, the majority of whom come from Heinz. Paulo Basillio, who joined Heinz as CFO in 2013, will retain his role as finance chief at Kraft Heinz Co. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (07/01) (free registration) (06/30)

8. IT'SUGAR debuts bulk bins of large-sized Sour Patch Kids

NCA SmartBrief | Jul 02, 2015

Customers that visit IT’SUGAR stores can now create a personalized tin of large-sized Sour Patch Kids, which the retailer has displayed in bulk bins. The chain, which has an agreement with Mondelez International to sell licensed merchandise and apparel, also offers an exclusive 30.4-ounce box of the standard-size sweets. (07/01)

9. Fancy Food Show dominated by natural, healthy foods

NCA SmartBrief | Jun 29, 2015

Healthy foods with simple, natural ingredients are dominating the Summer Fancy Food Show this week, as manufacturers offer new products to fulfill a growing consumer demand that generated a record $109 billion in sales for specialty foods in 2014. Exhibitors at this year's event include Goodness Grainless gluten-free and vegan granola, unsweetened Sound Sparkling Tea, honey waters from Bee's Water, artisan pickles from Backyard Brine and meatless meals from Sweet Basil. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Food & Beverage (06/29)

10. Nestle to meet shifting consumer trends with healthier products

NCA SmartBrief | Jun 29, 2015

In response to consumer trends toward more natural foods and beverages, and to attract more millenials, Nestle plans to make its food healthier, according to CEO Paul Bulcke. The company announced on June 2 that it would remove artificial ingredients and reduce sodium in its products by the end of the year. "The consumer has changed what he values, [and] health is the common denominator," Bulcke said in a CNBC "Squawk on the Street" interview. CNBC (06/26)

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