News Briefs


Uncrustables debuts meat, cheese bites

uncrustables teaser

J.M. Smucker is expanding its Uncrustables line with a brand-new option that is ideal for school lunches.

“Smucker’s Uncrustables have become a fan favorite,” said Chris Achenbach, director of brand strategy at J.M. Smucker. “Kids and parents love the fun flavors that began with PB&J. To offer an even wider variety, we have now added tasty, wholesome meat and cheese bites that are perfect for the lunchbox.”

The new meat and cheese bites are a no-mess, no-prep handheld sandwich that is filled with quality meat and cheese in soft bread, the iconic food brand said.

Available in two varieties — uncured ham and cheddar as well as turkey and Colby jack — each will come in a product package at retailers in early October.


NCPA, Prescryptive Health partner on AI-optimized pricing

a woman standing in front of a computer

The National Community Pharmacists Association is recommending to its members Prescryptive’s state-of-the-art myRx AI Pricing system, which NCPA said can make independent pharmacies immediately more competitive by giving them access to cash pricing optimization driven by artificial intelligence.

“As the voice of the community pharmacist, we know that helping our pharmacists compete in the digital age is imperative,” said Douglas Hoey, CEO of NCPA. “By utilizing this technology, our NCPA member pharmacies can utilize cutting-edge technology to stay competitive while also continuing to do what they do best: take care of their patients.”

[Read more: NCPA survey: Three-quarters of community pharmacies report staff shortages]

“Prescryptive is proud to bring pharmacists this technology,” said Chris Blackley, CEO of Prescryptive Health. “We are empowering these entrepreneurial business owners and critical healthcare providers with accurate, timely pricing services to help them position themselves for the future while offering competitive pricing that’s fair to their customers.”

Prescryptive’s AI-optimized pricing engine, myRx AI Pricing, offers a robust solution for pharmacies and cash-paying healthcare consumers. A team of Prescryptive data scientists uses its artificial intelligence platform to analyze pharmacy pricing data, looking for opportunities based on pharmacy location, the drug itself and more. Pharmacists receive enhanced analytics and current actionable insights, creating a competitive system for cash pricing based on Prescryptive’s predictive model that consistently adjusts prices based on evolving analytics.

NCPA noted that with increasing usage of high-deductible health plans, more customers are paying cash at the pharmacy counter, and community pharmacists need a solution beyond most traditional cash discount cards operated by third parties that often drive higher prices for consumers and financial losses to the pharmacy.

[Read more: 2022 Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition finalists announced]

The myRx AI Pricing forward-looking solution assures that pharmacies can leverage the power of AI optimization, offering transparency into opaque drug pricing and a capability that balances sustainability for the pharmacy with savings for cash-paying healthcare consumers, according to Prescryptive Health.


Charlotte’s Web intros sports product line

CBD bottles

Charlotte’s Web Holdings announced plans to unveil a product line catering to the sports vertical. The products are currently undergoing the sport certification process with third-party organization, NSF.

The company said its tinctures and gummies have been used by elite and everyday athletes since its founding, and it was named the official CBD partner of Angel City Football Club, marking the company’s first partnership with a sports team.

“Focus, recovery and sleep are critical areas of optimization for athletes that our sports products can support,” said Jacques Tortoroli, CEO of Charlotte’s Web. “An NSF Certified for Sport line can assure sports leagues and their players that ingredients are safe and certifies that there are no banned substances. We believe our products, upon meeting NSF certification, will make a positive impact on the lives of professional, amateur athletes and fans alike.”

Charlotte’s Web NSF Certified for Sport THC-Free products will include tinctures, topicals, gummies and more. The first products planned for launch are an NSF-certified tincture and gummy followed by a sport portfolio planned for release in the first half of 2023.

Each product in the Charlotte’s Web Sports portfolio pipeline will undergo NSF’s certification for sport to meet the content quality, transparency and safety requirements of many leagues, teams and players, the company said. NSF Certified for Sport products must have less than 9 mcg of THC per serving. With the majority of Charlotte’s Web’s current product portfolio containing full-spectrum products, the broad-spectrum sports portfolio will target a different consumer segment than most of its current product lines.

Charlotte’s Web said the final NSF Certified for Sport product certification process is currently underway.


Dan Mack to publish 2nd book

dan mack look closer

Dan Mack, founder and managing director of Mack Elevation, announced the publication of his second book, Look Closer: Ideas on reexamining and eliminating personal, relational, and organizational blind spots.” 

Mack also is the author of Dark Horse: How Challenger Companies Rise to Prominence. 

We all know we have roadblocks and blind spots hindering our leadership success, but we may not know exactly what they are,  Mack said. I have compiled life-altering ideas from over 10 years of primary research. The insights chronicled in this book grew from leadership discussions attended by top executives from some of the best companies in the world.

Mack also noted that this project is a compilation of everything he has learned moderating industry leadership forums, and reflections from 1-on-1 coaching curated over the last decade.

The book is divided into three sections:

  • Part 1: Personal blind spots. A summary of the individual biases, misbeliefs or misconceptions hindering personal effectiveness and insights into how to expand your self-awareness, mindset and results.
  • Part 2: Relational blind spots. An outline of the 1-on-1 communication dynamics that often disrupt healthy relationships and ideas on how to improve your personal impact with others.
  • Part 3: Organizational blind spots. An assessment and interpretation of the blind spots hindering group cohesion, and strategies on how to improve team health and holistic momentum.

Take a moment to ponder the following questions and reflect on the personal implications, Mack said.

Each question will be answered in various chapters throughout the book:

  • How do I affect others and what must I learn, relearn or unlearn to be effective?
  • What blind spots negatively affect my relationships, self-awareness and personal impact?
  • Am I as relevant to my customers and associates as I think?
  • Am I present, transparent and vulnerable, embracing the moment with others?
  • Am I effective at sharing my personal story and embracing other’s stories?
  • What are the mindsets, behaviors and strategies of high-performing teams and organizations?
  • What is the psychology and mindset of top performers in all facets of life?
  • What are the lies, biases or roadblocks that can hinder my own personal plan?

There also is a thoughtful intro by Bryan Gildenberg, senior vice president of commerce at the Omnicom Commerce Group.

To order Mack's book, visit the Amazon book site.


Kellogg’s, The Elf on the Shelf partner on winter-inspired cereal

Kellogg’s The Elf on the Shelf North Pole Snow Crème Cereal

Kellogg’s cereal unit is continuing its ongoing seasonal partnership with The Elf on the Shelf by debuting a product for the upcoming holiday season.

Kellogg’s The Elf on the Shelf North Pole Snow Creme Cereal is a limited-edition breakfast item that contains a mix of flurry or frosted star pieces and mini marshmallows.

The company said that each spoonful is formulated to give off notes of creamy, sweet vanilla ice cream via a special slow-release flavor ingredient.

“The Elf on the Shelf and Scout Elves have joined our families and hearts as a beloved holiday tradition, igniting creativity and sparking holiday joy for the entire season,” said Sadie Garcia, director of brand marketing at Kellogg. “With this new cooling cereal, we’ve dreamt up one more way families can bring the wonder of the season home, this time with a cereal that's just as delicious as it is magical.”

Consumers can find Kellogg’s The Elf on the Shelf North Pole Snow Creme Cereal exclusively at Walmart beginning in October in a 12.2-oz. box that retails for $5.29.


RangeMe: Pet food, CBD among top searches in Q2 2022

cbd bottle teaser

Online retail product discovery and purchasing platform RangeMe said health trends dominated online searches in the second quarter of 2022. Among the top search terms was “CBD.”

RangeMe analyzes user data from more than 15,000 retail buyers and 200,000 suppliers to help report the latest trends, and searches in Q2 imply that consumer health trends are being heard by retailers. 

“Mushroom was one of the top searches in Q2 as it’s not only a tasty product used in increasing amounts of plant-based products, but mushrooms offer many health benefits as consumers continue to prioritize health,” the company said. In addition, an increase in pet ownership over the course of the pandemic has led to growing demand for quality pet food and products, so “cat food” made it on the top searches list. 

Continuing the health trend, searches for “organic skin care” have seen an increase along with a rise in “CBD” related products in the United States in particular, the company said.

Overall, the most popular buyer collection this quarter was sustainability. “Retailers left and right are implementing sustainability initiatives and declaring war on plastic and harmful ingredients by banning them from their stores completely,” the company said. “And on the brand side, sustainable products are beating their less eco-friendly competitors onto retail shelves time and time again.”