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Sunday, August 31, 2008
Michael Jackson hides out at home on 50th birthday

sundaymirror.co.uk 31/08/2008

Troubled pop star Michael Jackson celebrated his 50th birthday holed up in his Las Vegas mansion watching cartoons and eating cake.
Scores of fans camped outside on Friday hoping for a glimpse of him. Some were seen delivering balloons and cake.
He stayed inside with children, Prince Michael, 11, Paris, 10, and Prince Michael II, six, but he did order pizza for his fans.
Earlier he'd said he was feeling younger than ever. In a crackling phone interview with a US TV station, he said he was still recording and dancing, but behind closed doors.
He added: "People see some of the things I do and say, 'Why don't you show this to the world. People don't know you do these things'. Maybe I will."

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2008/08/31/michael-jackson-hides-out-at-home-on-50th-birthday-115875-20719224/


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Thursday, August 14, 2008
Booze, chocolate, smokes thrive in tough times

Even as consumers face soaring energy costs, rising food prices and higher mortgages or rent, they're not prepared to forgo many of life's little treats. Alcohol, cigarette and candy makers report healthy sales amid the gloom.

By JANE WARDELL
The Associated Press

LONDON — As a global recession looms, what better way to cope than to eat, drink and be merry?

Even as consumers face soaring energy costs, rising food prices and higher mortgages or rent, they're not prepared to forgo many of life's little treats. Alcohol, cigarette and candy makers report healthy sales amid the gloom.

"I would never give it up, not unless I was dying of alcohol poisoning or something," said Kelly Piggeln, a 62-year-old retired nanny, as she indulged in her favorite two vices of a cigarette and a glass of wine on the patio of a London bar.

Piggeln's stance is echoed by cash-strapped consumers around the world, a trend reflected in strong financial reports this season from some of the biggest so-called "sin stocks" even as banks and many retailers slump.
Sin stocks, ranging from gambling to liquor, are usually a safe bet in hard times. While shares in some of those companies have fallen along with stock exchanges this year, many still have strong sales."It's inelastic demand as far as many of these stocks are concerned," said Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Keith Bowman, using the economists' term for consumption not deterred by higher prices.

"So far there's signs that they are holding up, although there's still concern that these industries will see some impact."
Brewer going strong
Among the winners: Anheuser-Busch, the biggest brewer in the U.S., turned a profit in the most recent quarter despite fears that rising costs for raw materials like glass, barley and wheat and fuel would cut into the bottom line.

The company is so confident consumers won't abandon the beer that it plans to increase prices for popular brands like Budweiser and Bud Light to stay ahead of the higher costs.

Denmark's Carlsberg reported a 36 percent rise in second-quarter profit, saying stronger sales, particularly in Eastern Europe and Asia, helped offset rising costs.

In Milwaukee, Katie Brozovich, a teacher who also works three part-time jobs, said she makes choices in her spending, such as not having her hair and nails professionally done, so she can keep drinking the pricier craft brews she prefers.

"I'd rather spend $4 or $5 on quality beer than $3 on hopped up water," said the 46-year-old, sipping on a craft beer from nearby Michigan. "It's worth the extra buck or two to get quality."

Diageo, the world's largest producer and distributor of spirits, dubs many of its brands — including Johnnie Walker whiskey, Smirnoff vodka, Captain Morgan rum and Guinness stout — "affordable luxuries" that people are loath to give up, even in an economic downturn.

London-based Diageo expects its Scotch whisky business to continue to grow at least 8 to 9 percent annually, amid rising demand from emerging markets in Asia and Latin America.

Cigarette sales
Philip Morris International said its earnings rose 23 percent in the second quarter and it raised its earnings forecast for this year, saying it had not been affected by inflationary pressures like other consumer-products companies.
"Cigarettes in general can withstand such an environment better than many consumer products," Chief Financial Officer Hermann Waldemer said at the time.
But a drink and a smoke do not appear to be the only ways consumers are comforting themselves in tougher economic conditions.
London-based Cadbury, the world's biggest confectionary company, reported a 7.3 percent rise in first-half sales in its first results since spinning off its U.S. drinks business.
Among the big sellers in its candy store was Dairy Milk chocolate, rising 9 percent.

In the U.S., Hershey reported dramatically higher second-quarter sales and profit and reaffirmed its 2008 guidance of sales growth of 3 to 4 percent.
"The odd bar of chocolate is not going to break the bank," said Louise Hill, 33, a London office worker. "I always have a piece a day and I can't see that changing."

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2008112578_recessionparty14.html


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Sunday, August 3, 2008
For a Sweet Treat: New Candy Creations Think Outside the Bar

How sweet it is; this year alone, more than 2,000 new snack and confectionery creations will stock store shelves and give consumers something new to chew, chomp, lick and enjoy.

Sunday August 3rd, 2008

(NewsUSA) - With seemingly endless flavor possibilities, new twists on childhood favorites and innovative limited edition treats, the latest candy innovations are surprising taste buds, according to the National Confectioners Association.

"There's been an explosion of creative flavors, new sensations and personalization in candy," commented Susan Fussell, vice president of communications, NCA. "As the American palate becomes more diverse, candy manufacturers continue to reinvent the classics and introduce innovative candy creations to satisfy the most sophisticated taste buds and please the ordinary appetite."

Taste buds are in for a sensory experience with innovations like Nestlé's mouth-popping chocolate Tinglerz or Hershey's Bliss with Meltaway Center.

Companies are also rolling out new twists on old favorites. Classic PEEPS are now available in Chocolate Mousse Flavored Bunnies and Bears. Now consumers can chomp and chew away at Lemonhead Chewy and Chewy Atomic FireBalls from Ferrara Pan Candy Co.
Personalization is key. Mars Snackfood U.S. introduces M&M's that can be made to order with your photo on the chocolate candy, or you can pen your own message inside My DOVE Chocolate wrappers.

Creative and out-of-this-world, kids' candies continue to drive new product innovation with treats like the Nintendo Wii KLIK-on Candy Dispenser, a mock Wii controller that dispenses candy with a touch of a button. Who said you couldn't play with your food, too?

When it comes to chocolate, candy makers are thinking outside the bar. Chuao Chocolatier's new ChocoPods Firecracker combines dark chocolate with a chipotle center. Milk & Peanut Butter from Ghirardelli is a delectable bar of gourmet milk chocolate squares filled with smooth, creamy and crunchy peanut butter.

Consumers can freshen their breath, plus strengthen and rebuild tooth enamel, while chewing on Cadbury's Trident Xtra Care with Recaldent.

Or, try new fruity gum flavors like Stride Always Mandarin, a mouth-watering orange-flavored gum, or Wrigley's Orbit Fabulous Fruitini and Orbit Sangria Fresca. With the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, Orbit gum is also good for your teeth and refreshing for your mouth.

To learn more about the newest candy innovations and latest trends, or to download candy recipes, visit www.candyusa.com.
http://www.fosterfollynews.com/news/2008July31Candies.php


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