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USA Today reports this morning that a number of fast food chains are celebrating the new year by offering special discounts designed to generate consumer traffic.

According to the story, “The fast-food business typically takes a dive in January as folks who overspent on holiday gifts opt to eat at home on the cheap. So it takes special lures from the fast-food giants — from Taco Bell to Pizza Hut to Wendy's — to get financially drained folks spending again.”

Advertising Age reports that Aldi has pulled out of a government-sponsored healthy eating campaign, suggesting that the program was leveling the playing field in an area where the company sees itself as having an advantage.

Aldi said in a statement that it is "one of the few supermarkets to offer consistently low prices and great value; therefore, no exclusive offers have been created for this partnership. Aldi works hard to offer everyday low prices that shoppers can trust. We maintain exceptional supplier relations, and we are committed to sourcing products locally where possible."

The Change4Life healthy-eating campaign is designed to work with major chains by offering special discounts on items such as fruits, vegetables and low-fat yogurts.

• Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market said yesterday that it is expanding its “popular and affordable” eatwell and Goodness ranges with more than 60 new products. Fresh & Easy introduced eatwell in 2010 “for customers seeking a nutritionally balanced approach to eating without compromising on taste or quality,” while fresh&easy Goodness products are designed to “give parents more wholesome options for fun meals and snacks for children.”
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