Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

As 2011 comes to a close, it's time to reflect on the year. Today's post marks my 52nd blog entry for the year, and my 132nd post since I started writing 10 Items or Less in March 2010.

When I started this blog, my goals were simple: to maintain a personal journal of what I was learning in the food and beverage consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry and to become a part of this dynamic business. Today, I am proud to say that I have achieved both these goals.

By blogging twice a week in 2010 and once a week in 2011, I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge regarding the food and beverage CPG industry. I worked hard to understand the challenges, issues, and advancements within the business, and was able to use this experience to better prepare me for entering the field. In October, I accepted an amazing position at a top-notch beverage company, utilizing my public relations background.

So far, the job has been incredible. I am grateful for the fulfilling work I get to do every day, the amazing coworkers that have taught me so much already, and the unbelievable opportunities that await me as I start – what I believe will be – a lifelong career.

That said, the work is indeed challenging; the issues are indeed demanding; and the advancements are indeed extraordinary. The workload leaves little time for me to devote my personal time to updating a blog on a weekly basis.

What does this mean? Well, I'm not quite sure. I love writing my blog, I love reading your comments, and I love continuing my journal to keep track of what I am learning. I promise to share with you what I can, when I can. That might mean that sometimes, my posts are consistently once a week. It may be that posts are once a month. During busy times, I imagine I might have to go several weeks - or months - before I can dedicate my time to a well-researched, well-thought out post. So, please be patient.

I thank you for reading, I thank you for commenting, and I thank you for accompanying me on this journey. May all of your dreams come true in 2012!

Until we meet again...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Favorite Things

Some holiday flavors are available just once a year. So why deny yourself the chance to indulge on delicious seasonal tastes? Once the New Year arrives, you'll have plenty of time to make resolutions to watch your weight! For now, enjoy these Christmas candy facts from the National Candy Association:
  • More than 150 million chocolate Santas will be made for the winter holiday season.
  • The winter holidays represent the biggest boxed chocolate selling season.
  • The winter holidays are the third largest “candy holiday” sales season, behind Halloween and Easter. Valentine’s Day is fourth.
  • Retail sales overall for the winter holiday season account for 20 to 40 percent of annual retail sales.
For now, I'm curious to hear from my readers! Vote for your favorite holiday treat.

*Note: Survey works best in Chrome.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Season of Sweetness

If you've read my blog, you know I have a major sweet tooth! I love to read about new candies and write about the new treats hitting store shelves. Every Christmas, I'm excited to see which new sweets will be available for the holidays, and this year was no exception. Now that Christmas is just weeks away, I've been paying close attention to the new flavors I've seen in stores. Here are just a few:

This year, JELL-O introduced pudding in Gingerbread and Peppermint flavors. End any holiday meal on a high note with these tasty seasonal pudding varieties.

Have you seen this year's Jones Soda Holiday Pack? The 2011 four-pack mix includes Gingerbread, Sugar Plum, Candy Cane, and Pear Tree flavors. The company is known for creating and offering offbeat drinks on a limited basis annually for the holidays.

Candy canes are a Christmas staple, and every year, there are more kinds. New this year are candy canes from WarHeads and Sour Patch, as well as an assortment of branded candy canes from Spangler, in Jelly Belly, Sour Punch, Smarties, and Dum Dum flavors.

Finally, Nabisco has introduced Sweet Cinnamon Wheat Thins this holiday season. A perfect snack this time of year, the cracker has just the right amount of sweet cinnamon goodness to bring Christmas cheer.

Tell me, what holiday flavors do you like? Also, drop me a line and share the new products you've seen this season!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Best of: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Christmas is just weeks away, and while I love holiday programming from How the Grinch Stole Christmas to Christmas Vacation, I enjoy the holiday commercials even more! This week, I'm reviving my post from last year, highlighting the best Christmas commercials the retail and food and beverage industries have to offer.

If you have additional ads you'd like to add to the list, drop me a line with the link so I can check it out! Thanks...and enjoy the holiday season!

While I love all the holiday specials on TV this time of year, I have to admit, there are some Christmas commercials that I wait all year to see. I get very excited to watch these spots and am sometimes happier to see these ads than hear Charlie-in-the Box sing about the Island of Misfit Toys or watch innocent Cindy Loo Who buy into lies from the Grinch. Here are some of my all time favorite holiday commercials:

Eat'n Park is a Pittsburgh area restaurant that's been around since 1949. In 1982, the company wanted to create a holiday card on video to thank the city for their support. The result was an ad that has become a Christmas classic and a holiday staple. This commercial is not just my favorite Christmas commercial, it's my favorite 30-second spot of all time! I hope you like it as much as I do.

Other Christmas commercials from food and beverage consumer packaged goods companies and retailers also do a phenomenal job of adding to the holiday season. Take a look:

Leave a comment and tell me: What are some of your favorite holiday commercials? I hope you get to see them this season! Happy holidays!