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• The Washington Times reports that both Safeway and Giant Food “are touting their organic product lines in advertising campaigns for the first time,” with both companies hoping to take advantage of national trends in which such products are seeing double-digit growth.

• Kraft Foods announced that it will eliminate 8,000 jobs and shutter 20 production plants as part of its ongoing restructuring effort – a move that will save $700 million.

• McDonald’s reportedly is introducing a new spicy chicken sandwich, which it says is the spiciest product ever served by the company. Chicken products represent 35 percent of the company’s total US entrée sales.

• The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on a trend that is having a major impact on the US soft drink business: “Many Americans, concerned about calories, are giving up lifelong habits of drinking sugary soda. Some switch to diet soft drinks. However, some don't, either because they don't like the taste, or increasingly, because they worry about the safety of sweeteners.”

What this means is that soft drink companies are seeking the “Holy Grail” of sweeteners – one that will be healthy and natural without having too many calories.
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