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This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

HERSHEY ROLLING OUT LUDEN'S SUGAR-FREE THROAT LOZENGES IN AUGUST as the "first national branded sugar-free great tasting throat drop," materials to the trade state. The product will be the first throat lozenge to carry the logo of the American Diabetes Association, indicating that the product is acceptable for diabetics, the firm said. Hershey's Luden's brand also will be a sponsor of the American Diabetes Association's annual "walkathon," which will be held Oct. 3 at 179 sites across the U.S. Luden's Sugar Free uses Isomalt (palatin) and Xylitol as sugar substitutes. The company maintained that Isomalt offers distinct advantages over other sugar substitutes, sorbitol and lycasin: no aftertaste, little or no moisture absorption, comparable shelf life to sugar-containing products and very little laxative effect. Luden's Sugar Free will be sold in boxes of 14 drops at a suggested retail price of 89 " and in 25-count bags at a $ 1.89 suggested retail price. The drops also are available in three-box packs. The product will be offered in wild cherry flavor only. Arriving in stores at the same time as Luden's Sugar Free will be Luden's citrus assortment throat drops. Packaged in 14-drop boxes, 30-count bags and three-box packs, the citrus assortment includes orange, pink lemonade, grapefruit, lemon and lime flavored throat drops. Luden's current flavor roster includes wild cherry, honey licorice, honey lemon, original menthol, and a berry assortment introduced in August 1992. Luden's Helps mentholated cough suppressant drops, introduced in 1988, come in eucalyptus, cherry, orange and honey lemon flavors. The firm will support both the Luden's and Luden's Helps lines with national free-standing inserts slated for Nov. 7 and January 1994. Television commercials are scheduled for Dec. 13 through Feb. 18, materials to the trade state. Print ads also are being considered. New York City-based DBB Needham handles all promotions for the Luden's line. In-store promotions for Luden's products include tear pads, available from August to February, offering "buy two get one free" mail-in certificates. In addition, $ 2 off coupons for Luden's drops and Schering-Plough's Afrin and Drixoral products, as well as a "$ 150,000 Cold Cash Sweepstakes Instant Win Game Piece," will be enclosed in bags of all Luden's and Luden's Helps throat drops. The company offers retailers seven different in-store displays for the brand. Hershey Chocolate, a division of Hershey Foods Corporation, said that sales of Luden's and Luden's Helps products during the 1992-1993 cold season increased 23% from the corresponding period one year before.

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