Celebrities Inspire Thousands to Go Meat-Free for VegWeek

With 52 weeks in a year, why not make at least one meat-free? That’s the idea behind Compassion Over Killing’s annual VegWeek campaign, an international celebration of meatless eating spanning April 17-23.

Thousands take the 7-Day VegPledge each year, committing to explore the joys and flavors of plant-based eating. Celebrity inspiration includes VegWeek campaign endorsers like actress and author Alicia Silverstone, musician Moby, actress Emily Deschanel (Bones), singer Mya, singer-songwriter Belinda Carlisle (The Go-Gos), actor and model Richie Kul, and TV personality Daisy Fuentes.

Vegan pro-sports stars like Olympian Seba Johnson, bodybuilder Torre Washington, surfer Tia Blanco, and MMA fighter Aaron Simpson are also touting the many health benefits of a vegan diet.

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Panera Bread and JAB Announce Definitive Merger Agreement

Panera Shareholders to Receive $315 Per Share in Cash in $7.5 Billion Transaction

Panera Bread Company (“Panera” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: PNRA) and JAB today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which JAB will acquire Panera for $315 per share in cash, in a transaction valued at approximately $7.5 billion, including the assumption of approximately $340 million of net debt. The agreement, which has been unanimously approved by Panera’s Board of Directors, represents a premium of approximately 30% to the 30-day volume-weighted average stock price as of March 31, 2017, the last trading day prior to news reports speculating about a potential transaction, and a premium of approximately 20% to Panera’s all-time high closing stock price as of that same date.

Company Pre-Announces Comparable Net Bakery-Cafe Sales Growth for Company-owned Bakery Cafes

In fiscal Q1 2017, Company-owned comparable net bakery-cafe sales increased 5.3% compared to the same period in fiscal 2016. Two-year Company-owned comparable net bakery-cafe sales increased 11.5%.  Additionally, Company-owned comparable net bakery-cafe sales in fiscal Q1 2017 outperformed the Black Box all-industry composite by 690 basis points.

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The Results Are In! National Survey Reveals How Americans Pronounce “Caramel”

Werthers OrginalApril 5 was National Caramel Day, and Werther’s Original celebrated by asking caramel lovers nationwide how they pronounce their favorite treat: ker-uh-muhl or kar-muhl. The national survey results are in and ker-uh-muhl takes the sweet honors with 57 percent of Americans using the three-syllable pronunciation.

The results of the survey uncovered regional trends in pronunciation, with ker-uh-muhl being the most popular pronunciation in the Northeast, South and West, and kar-muhl coming out on top in the Midwest:

  • Northeast
    • 57 percent ker-uh-muhl
    • 43 percent kar-muhl
  • Midwest
    • 43 percent ker-uh-muhl
    • 57 percent kar-muhl
  • South
    • 64 percent ker-uh-muhl
    • 36 percent kar-muhl
  • West
    • 58 percent ker-uh-muhl
    • 42 percent kar-muhl

The survey was conducted by Ipsos eNation from March 10-13, 2017 to a nationally representative sample of more than 1,000 adults in the United States.

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ShopRite Expands Free Fruit Program Encourages Healthy Snacks for Kids

Originally posted by Progessive Grocer

ShopRite Free Fruit - Flemington RDShopRite has expanded its free fruit program, launched earlier this year in select stores, to include five additional locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey that are owned and operated by Flemington, N.J.-based ShopRite of Hunterdon County.

Under the program, kids 12 and younger receive a free banana, clementine or other seasonal fruit while shopping with a parent or guardian. The fruits are located in the produce aisle, and the program is overseen by the supermarket’s team of in-store dietitians.

“We are committed to offering parents ways to provide healthier food choices for their children while shopping in our stores,” said Jeannie Colallilo, director of community relations for ShopRite of Hunterdon County. “We believe that teaching children to develop good eating habits at an early age is extremely important. We’re happy to provide our customers with an easy way to demonstrate to their children that fruit is fun and delicious.”

The free fruit program is part of ShopRite’s ongoing commitment to providing health-and-wellness offerings to its customers. ShopRite stores offer an extensive line of natural and organic products, and in most locations, provide dedicated in-store registered dietitians who can assist customers at no cost.

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Auntie Anne’s Unveils New Logo to Connect with Younger Audiences

Halo is out, flower crown is in

Aunt Annes New LogoIn an effort to expand their audience and show Gen-Z that they are not your mom or auntie’s pretzels, Auntie Anne’s®, the world’s largest hand-rolled soft pretzel franchise, today announced that they are officially rebranding with a new logo. After much consumer research, including brand executives spending time locked in an Escape Room with millennials and Gen-Zers to gain an understanding of their likes, wants and whims, Auntie Annie’s will be replacing the saintly halo on top of its existing logo with a flower crown. The rebrand will go live on the brand’s website and social channels on April 1.

“We’re proud to reveal a new look that’s as fresh as our pretzels,” said Carol Pasquariello, Vice President of Marketing for Auntie Anne’s. “We spent nearly two years developing, testing and tweaking our logo. While it was an arduous process, the end result is a look that’s, as the kids say, ‘lit.'”

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Museum of Ice Cream Announces Its Opening in Los Angeles

Museum of Ice Cream in LAMuseum of Ice Cream opens its doors to the West Coast this April claiming sunny Los Angeles as its highly anticipated second location.  Stationed in DTLA’s burgeoning art district, Museum of Ice Cream welcomes visitors to enjoy an experiential ice cream journey.

Museum of Ice Cream captivated a global audience with its unprecedented 2016 launch in New York City, selling out in five days and attracting a waitlist of over 200,000. The Los Angeles location is four times larger than the New York City incarnation and showcases 10 completely reimagined installations.

Interactive highlights include a “banana split” comprised of ten thousand “bananas”, a mint “grow house”, a room dedicated to California,  a melted popsicle jungle and more. The iconic swimmable sprinkle pool returns filled with one hundred million sprinkles that were custom designed and produced by Museum of Ice Cream!

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African Development Center Announces Jambo! Kitchen Opening

African Development Center announces the April 5th opening of Jambo! Kitchen, an exciting social venture that will weave together business with community and culture.

More than just a casual lunch spot, Jambo! Kitchen is designed to promote economic empowerment for the Twin Cities’ African community. Its layout creates a thoughtful community space that encourages diners to settle in and work or chat over a hot cup of tea. In addition to dine-in and take-away options, Jambo! Kitchen will also provide catering for groups of all sizes and will host community events.

In partnership with African Development Center, Executive Chef Jamal Hashi and General Manager Mahad Ibrahim built the Jambo! Deli concept around the ideals of sustainability, social consciousness, and a commitment to using fresh, locally grown ingredients. Its food will combine the flavor profiles of East Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, into a set of approachable and affordable dishes.

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Rodney Strong Vineyards Announces Master Blender Sweepstakes

Enter for an educational winemaking trip to Sonoma County

Rodney Strong Vineyards

Beginning on Monday, April 3, 2017, wine fans from across the United States will have the opportunity to enter online to be one of three Rodney Strong Vineyards Master Blenders. The winners will be randomly chosen to enjoy an exclusive, educational long weekend in Sonoma County with a guest.

The prize is a unique wine country experience with the Rodney Strong vineyard and winemaking teams. The weekend will kick off with exclusive behind-the-scenes vineyard tours with Winegrower Ryan Decker who will bring the winning pairs to vineyards and locations that visitors to Sonoma County rarely get to experience. Rodney Strong Winemaker Greg Morthole will lead winners through an in-depth understanding of the winemaking process at Rodney Strong, including the creation of our legendary Symmetry Meritage Red Blend. The trip will wrap up with the winners having the opportunity to take what they’ve learned and create their very own Meritage blend.

Accommodations will be at a four-diamond luxury hotel located in the heart of Healdsburg, just a few miles from the winery. The culinary experience is also something to look forward to. Winners will enjoy meals at some of the top restaurants in Sonoma County as well as ones prepared exclusively for them by Rodney Strong Chef Tara Watchel using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients.

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