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Thursday, June 26, 2008
Local Chimp Celebrates 50th Birthday

CHICAGO (WBBM) -- A 600-pound ice sculpture, birthday cake, a couple of piñatas and some kids singing 'Happy Birthday' will all be part of the celebration today for a resident of Lincoln Park Zoo who has been 'hanging around' there for most of his life.
WBBM’s Bernie Tafoya reports.Keo the chimp turns 50 this week. That’s roughly 90 years old for a human.Primate Curator Sue Margulis says Keo is in amazing shapeand has been a fan favorite for years.
He was captured in West Africa as a baby and has been at the zoo ever since, except for two years when his current habitat was being built.Keo lives in a habitat with three female chimps including his 43-year old daughter June. Margulis speculates on his secret to long life as, "eating right, getting exercise and living with a lot of women."Keo has fathered 11 chimps, only two of which are still alive.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Retired teacher turns her cornflakes into candy

Bettty Slowe Staff Writer

Published: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 at 3:30 a.m.

Last Modified: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 at 12:02 a.m.

Cornflake Candy
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
3 tablespoons honey
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups slightly crushed cornflakes
1 cup M&M candies

Wanda Henry shares the recipe for her Cornflake Candy with this warning: “It’s addictive!”
Henry and her husband are both retired elementary school teachers. When their two grown children come to their house, they always request their mother’s Cornflake Candy.
Henry also makes this candy for special occasions at her church, Northport Baptist, and when she was teaching, she made it for her first graders at Buhl Elementary.
The recipe can be made as written or changed to suit your taste.
Henry’s son likes the candy made with Frosted Flakes instead of cornflakes. Roasted peanuts can be added. Cut-up Snickers bars can be substituted for the M&M candies.
If any of the candy makes it to the second day, Henry’s husband heats it in the microwave for 10 seconds, making it nice and warm and gooey.
Butter the bottom and sides of a deep soup pot. Add sugar, corn syrup and honey. Mix with a long wooden spoon, trying to keep the mixture from getting on the sides of the pot. Stir constantly and when the mixture starts to bubble, time the mixture for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
Add peanut butter and vanilla. Quickly add the crushed cornflakes, mixing well, then add the M&M candies. Pour the candy on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Let cool until mixture can be formed into balls using an ice cream scoop that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
If you would like your favorite recipe featured here, call Betty Slowe at 205-722-0198.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008
Tom Tom Is Eagles’ Official Candy…Offers MVP $3000

Cadbury Nigeria Limited is gradually returning to sports sponsorship in Nigeria after years of itsheroics in the area, during which it sponsored theNigerian national soccer league.

Chief Executive, Pamodzi Nigeria Limited, the official marketers of the Nigeria FootballAssociation (NFA), Chief Mike Itemuagbor, announced on Thursday that Cadbury through one of its popularbrands, Tom Tom Sweet, has accepted to be the official candy of the Nigerian national team; the Super Eagles.

“Apart from identifying with the new order and dedication that players of the national team have shown; the company also wants to show that it has a permanent interest in its social responsibility role to the Nigerian public .It may have been doing it through children’s programmes but now it has announced its return to soccer sponsorship, which it pioneered several years back,” Itemuagbor told sports journalists in Lagos.

He also revealed that the new sponsors have agreed to partner the NFA in ensuring that the Most Valuable Player in the game between the Super Eagles and Nzalang Nacional today from both sideswill receive a princely sum of $3000.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008
The candy counter
By Richard Chin
Article Last Updated: 06/18/2008 11:56:22 PM CDT

Fish oil in chocolate, antioxidants in mints, caffeine in jelly beans and mocha-flavored MM's. Those were just a few of the new, different or just plain weird species of candy at the All Candy Expo, the annual national confection convention in Chicago last month. Here are some examples of what the sugar peddlers hope we'll be stuffing into our mouths:


Candy makers aren't just trying to satisfy our sweet tooth. They also want to tempt us with hip packaging and exotic flavors, appealing to our emotions and promising health benefits.

Oral Fixation mints come in flavors like "healthy" Green Tea Antioximints and the "baroque flavor" Jasmints. (
Sen Cha green tea mints in flavors like Delicate Pear and Lively Lemongrass "nourish the body ... and enlighten the mouth." (, specialty stores like Teavana at Mall of America)

The Greek letter omega and the Roman numeral three are clues this isn't your ordinary dark chocolate. Maramor Chocolates says three squares of its fish-oil-laced dark chocolate have more healthful omega-3 than a typical fish-oil capsule. (, select GNC stores)
Sometimes, it's about the packaging. The Think Chocolate brand by New Zealand-based Bloomsberry & Co. comes in wrappers that look medicinal and are labeled GirthControl, Bochox and Emergency Chocolate. (, most Whole Foods, Bibelot shops, Borders)


Does a spoonful of sugar help
the Christianity go down? That's the good news being spread by Scripture (, a line of cross-shaped lollipops, candy with Bible verses printed on the wrappers and mints in the shape of the Christian fish symbol.

Who needs coffee when you've got caffeinated candy? Wake up with:
Crackheads, chocolate-covered espresso beans (
Engobi, sweet cinnamon- and lemon-flavored caffeinated chips (

VE2 energy, created by an emergency-room doctor, a gum with — you guessed it — caffeine (

Extreme Sport Beans by Jelly Belly, with electrolytes and caffeine, geared toward sleepy athletes (, Target, running stores like Running Room and Run N Fun)


Mars candy takes humble MM's upscale with personalized MM's and Premiums with "jewel-toned shimmering shells" and such flavors as Chocolate Almond, Mint Chocolate, Mocha and Raspberry Almond. (In Target now and other retailers this summer.)

Richard Chin can be reached at 651-228-5560.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Hershey cuts profit goal, to focus on major brands

Tuesday June 17 2008

(Adds analyst comments)
By Brad Dorfman

CHICAGO, June 17 (Reuters) - Hershey Co cut its long-term earnings growth target on Tuesday and laid out a strategic plan to boost its biggest U.S. brands with more advertising and greater focus on popular candies.
The largest U.S. chocolate company, which has been losing U.S. market share to Mars Inc, also stood by its 2008 earnings forecast, which is above the average Wall Street estimate. It said it expects profit to increase in 2009, but be limited by rising commodity costs.

Some analysts questioned whether the company's plan to increase advertising spending by 20 percent in each of the next two years would boost sales enough to overcome soaring costs for items like cocoa and energy. Hershey has also had trouble reaping the benefits when it increases list prices because deals it had with retailers required it to offer price-cutting promotions.

"Given the increase in commodity costs and the company's inability to realize price, we believe such an increase in advertising may be insufficient to drive earnings growth this year and next," J.P. Morgan Securities analyst Terry Bivens said.

Hershey, whose shares were down 1.7 percent in afternoon trading, spent $127.9 million on advertising in 2007. Its advertising agency is Arnold Worldwide, a unit of France's Havas SA.

Unveiling the strategic plan to analysts, David West, who was promoted to chief executive from chief financial officer last year, acknowledged that attempts to move into areas like cookies and snack bars had hurt the company's mainstay products like Hershey chocolate bars and Reese's peanut butter cups.

The moves in recent years "diverted key resources, both financial and human, away from our core at a time when others were ramping up," West said.

Rival Mars upped the stakes even more in April when it agreed to buy chewing gum maker Wm Wrigley Jr Co in a deal that would make it the world's largest confectionary company.

But West said Hershey would still be the largest U.S. chocolate maker.
Aside from fixing the U.S. business, the company will also look to expand further in emerging markets like India, China, Brazil and Russia through joint ventures, acquisitions and other arrangements.

The Hershey plan was about what analysts had expected.
"In general, we like the fact that they are starting to ramp up true marketing spending and support the brands," said Edward Jones analyst Matt Arnold. "They had a habit of underspending on true marketing and spending on promotion instead."

Hershey set a long-term annual earnings-per-share growth goal of 6 percent to 8 percent, down from its previous target of 9 percent to 11 percent.

It set an annual sales growth goal of 3 percent to 5 percent, compared with 3 percent to 4 percent previously.

Hershey stood by its 2008 earnings forecast of $1.85 to $1.90 a share before one-time items. Analysts, on average, expect $1.82, according to Reuters Estimates.

When Mars agreed to buy Wrigley, it prompted speculation about consolidation in the global candy industry. Hershey was seen as a possible target.

But the Hershey Trust, which controls almost 80 percent of Hershey's voting stock, has repeatedly said it is required by Pennsylvania law to maintain voting control over Hershey.

On Tuesday, West said the Hershey Co board evaluates strategic alternatives and that it works on behalf of all shareholders, not just the Hershey Trust.

"Nothing from a value creation standpoint is not on the table," West said.
While Cadbury Plc has been rumored as a potential merger partner, West said the only conversations Hershey is having with the British company involve how Hershey uses the Cadbury name that it licenses in the United States.

Analysts have said Hershey could enter a joint venture with another candy maker, such as Switzerland's Nestle SA, to help increase its international distribution.

In the United States, Hershey plans to increase spending on advertising and develop products to appeal to different customers, West said.
One example is Reese's Whipps, a lower-fat product for consumers who like candy but are concerned about their health. In the past, the company offered new products like a white chocolate Reese's peanut butter cup that merely attracted consumers who were already buying Reese's products.

Aside from past ill-advised innovations, Hershey is playing catch-up in the premium chocolate segment, a fast-growing part of the U.S. chocolate market.

West said the company's new Starbucks Corp chocolates not only let the company take advantage of the strong Starbucks brand, but boost distribution for other premium Hershey chocolate brands.

He said the company's new individual, higher-end Bliss chocolates are on track to exceed sales expectations in their first year.

Hershey shares were down 62 cents to $35.25 on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares have fallen more than 10 percent this year, compared with a 1.4 percent decline in the Standard & Poor's U.S. packaged food index .15GSPFOOD. (Additional reporting by Helen Chernikoff in New York; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and John Wallace)

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Saturday, June 14, 2008
Nancy Reagan Joins 'Candy Diplomacy'

Friday, June 13, 2008 10:51 AMBy: Jim Meyers

Former first lady Nancy Reagan is lending her support to Move America Forward’s “Candy Diplomacy” campaign aimed at bringing 100,000 bags of “American goodwill” to the children of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nancy said in a statement that her husband Ronald Reagan “would often break the ice in meetings by passing around his jar of Jelly Bellys. It had a way of putting a smile on everyone’s face and putting them in the mood to work cooperatively.

“I know the Iraqi and Afghani people will feel the warmth and goodness of the American people when they get to try these treats.”
The Jelly Belly candy packages are being sent to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and included with the care packages Move America Forward’s supporters are sponsoring. The troops will distribute them to children.

[Editor's Note: Click here to send care packages.]
“These ‘Candy Diplomacy’ packs are being sent as part of our drive to send the largest shipment of care packages to U.S. troops in history,” said conservative activist Melanie Morgan, a former talk radio host and chairman of MAF.

“We are honored to have Nancy Reagan’s support for this effort.”

© 2008 Newsmax. All rights reserved

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Monday, June 9, 2008
Beer, candy most immune to recession, study says

Betty Beard
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 9, 2008 12:00 AM

Recession or not, we won't give up beer and candy, but we might give up cigarettes, the Nielsen Co. reported in Phoenix last week. The New York company calculated that based on sales in previous recessions, certain consumer goods are most immune and most vulnerable in a recession.

The most recession-proof items are seafood, dry pasta, candy, beer and pasta sauces. The most recession-vulnerable items are carbonated beverages, eggs, cups and plates, food preparation and storage products, and tobacco.

Nielsen released its findings at a Consumer 360 Conference that attracted about 1,000 people in the consumer-packaged-goods industries to the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

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Sunday, June 8, 2008
BEN TRE — Coconut candy firms in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Ben Tre and 100 other small manufacturing units have had to suspend their operation or halve their number of working days because of high materials prices, according to Ngo Van Cai, chairman of the Ben Tre Coconut Candy Association.

Coconut candy firms make up 30 per cent of the 12 private enterprises in the province. Firms including the Dong A Trade and Services Ltd Co, Yen Huong and Thanh Long Coconut Candy sell their products in provinces and cities all over the country and to export markets, mainly in China, Laos, Cambodia, Mongolia, and to regions in Europe and the US.
Ben Tre produces around 15,000 tonnes of coconut candy a year, of which 5,500 tonnes are consumed domestically, and 9,500 tonnes are for export, bringing in a total of US$11.4 million annually.

The coconut candy industry accounts for more than 4,000 full-time positions, contributing more than VND1.5 billion ($93,750) to the province’s annual State budget. — VNS

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Friday, June 6, 2008
CHICAGO (AFP) — Want to buy a day's worth of carbon offsets with your chocolate bar? How about donating to breast cancer research with your breath mints? Or saving the animals with a candy dispenser?
Candy with a conscience is one of the latest trends to come out of the annual confectioner's convention as manufacturers jostle to grab the attention of consumers on increasingly crowded store shelves.
New Zealand's Bloomsberry chocolates had been selling trendy, tongue-in-cheek chocolate bars in the United States for less than two years when they were approached by Whole Foods to develop Climate Change Chocolate.
Wind turbines and a huge footprint cover the chocolate bar's boxes and the wrapper is speckled with tips on how to be more green like "let the sun shine in. Opening curtains and blinds to capture the warmth of the sun saves on heating and your cat will love you for it!"
Marketed as the "first taste of a lower-carbon lifestyle," Bloomsberry donates 55 cents from each bar to TerraPass to pay for 133 pounds of carbon offsets, which is the average American's daily carbon impact.
"We've sold enough in the first quarter that it's comparable to taking 900 cars off the road for a year," said Kerry Laramie, vice president sales and marketing for Bloomsberry's US division.
"That's 9.3 million pounds of carbon offsets."
The bars, which were launched in the United States in January and may eventually be sold overseas, come at an opportune time: about 36 percent of US shoppers said in a recent survey that they regularly buy "green" products, up from just 12 percent in 2006.
For California-based Hint Mint, the decision to sell breast cancer awareness containers was more personal: the marketing director's mother is a breast cancer survivor.
"It's not about if we sell 5,000 tins: it's about the ability to give back," Wendy Sims told AFP.
"When you're in a group of people and you pull out a mint you're going to offer it around," she said. "If someone pulls out that tin and offers it around it may make me think I'm 35 and haven't had a mammogram yet."
Hint Mint, which touts itself as the Gucci of breath mints and only sells in high-end outlets, was surprised by the popularity of the pink tins which are now sold at breast cancer awareness events.
The trend is also sweeping up more traditional candy companies, like Hong Kong-based au'some.
Au'some grabs the attention of kids with "interactive" candy, like a Nintendo Wii controller that shoots out candy, handy candy tools and a candy yo-yo.
But it wins over the parents with healthier treats like fat and gluten-free fruit snacks.
And it has recently partnered with the Wildlife Conservation Society to sell animal-shaped gum drops and candy dispensers topped with pandas, monkeys and penguins which help protect endangered species.
"What we're really trying to do is send the message that candy companies aren't just about sugary sweets. We care as well, and also send the message of eat healthy, be active, be au'some," said assistant business manager Evelyn Chan.
Candy and chocolate are largely recession proof and sales have been climbing steadily for years, hitting 29.1 billion dollars last year in the United States alone.
"Candy and chocolate are small indulgences -- they're what people use to make themselves feel good, which is that wonderful little taste," said Susan Smith, senior vice president for public affairs, National Confectioner's Association.
"So even though people might not be buying a new house or a new car they're always going to be helping themselves feel a little bit better with a new candy or chocolate product."

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