Sweet Patriotism

Fabiano's Homemade Candies has joined with Publicom, a Lansing, Mich., ad agency, to create a candy cane with a patriotic twist.

The Americane, Lansing-based Fabiano's notes, is made the old-fashioned way. The traditional, step-by-step, two-hour process includes hand-pulled and twisted peppermint candy, with the cane-end dipped in blue-tinted white chocolate, and sprinkled with white star candies to complete the flag. The idea for the sweet salute originated during company discussions with Publicom about holiday greeting cards.

According to Jim Wardlaw, president of Publicom, “We wanted to incorporate a patriotic theme into this year's card, and someone said, 'What about a candy cane flag?' Within an hour, we had a prototype Americane created.”

Some 25% of sales from the Americane candies (available for $25 a dozen) will be donated to children's grief services.

Touting the Tomato

The Harvard School of Public Health concluded that lycopene reduces the risk of such killers as prostate cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer and skin cancer.

The study examined the cancer-fighting benefits of lycopene. Researchers found that men who ate 10 or more servings per week of lycopene-rich foods, such as tomato sauce and canned tomatoes, had a one-third lower risk of prostate cancer than men who ate fewer than two servings a week.

Further exploring lycopene's effects, a recent study by Berlin's Institute for Social Medicine and Epidemiology revealed that heart attack sufferers have lower levels of lycopene in their systems than non-victims. People with the lowest lycopene levels were found to have more than twice the risk of a heart attack.

Home Cooking

With the holiday season in full swing, Heinz North America, Pittsburgh, Pa., is positioning its Boston Market line as a means of making home-style cooking faster and easier. Consumer opinions pointed to the desire for products with a home-made flavor, specifically something that tasted as if it had been simmering slowly in grandma's kitchen.

To address the request, Heinz incorporated premium ingredients specially formulated to taste like home-made food. Boston Market Broth is available in three flavors: roasted chicken, savory beef and reduced sodium chicken.

Brian Hansberry, vice president of marketing at Heinz North America, says the new line of broth “makes home-style cooking much faster and easier, while maintaining the quality people have come to expect from Boston Market.”

Traditionally a strong seller during colder winter months, broths may make the move to become a fair-weather favorite as well, particularly if the forecasts for a return to sit-down eating occasions prove true.

Packing a Punch

Proving that a brand can never be in too many locations within a supermarket, Jaret International has launched Hawaiian Punch Soft & Chewy Candy. The new candy seeks to replicate the taste of the Hawaiian Punch fruit juice beverage.

“By introducing the new Hawaiian Punch Soft & Chewy Candy and incorporating it with our other established soft and chewy brands, we feel this will differentiate Jaret within this particular non-chocolate category,” says Doug Kling, director of marketing with Jaret, a subsidiary of London-based Cadbury Schweppes plc.

Aimed at teens and kids of all ages, the new candy leverages a fun brand name and icon—the Punchy character, which has a 98% brand awareness across all ACNeilsen measured distribution channels.

“By leveraging the popular icon—Punchy—and a brand name that has stood for fun and quality for more than 60 years,” says Greg Barratt, Jaret's president, “we believe we have a product that will truly deliver a punch to the soft and chewy confectionery segment.”