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Toy Trends & Top Picks For The Children In Your Life


A video accompanying this announcement is available at: Active play helps with a child’s physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development. Additionally, toys often provide an opportunity for youngsters to learn by engaging their senses, sparking their imaginations, and encouraging them to interact with others. A recent Toy Association-commissioned survey revealed that most parents (82%) believe that toys are important for supporting imaginative play and discovery.Toy Trends Specialist with The Toy Association, Jennifer Lynch, says whether it is a stuffed animal, action figure, puzzle, or doll, toys help encourage play, which is important for healthy brain development. With that in mind, she highlights a few of this year’s top toys. TOP TOYS: LITTLE LIVE PETS CHAMELEON, MOOSE TOYS Lynch says one of the newest youth electronic offerings from Little Live Pets, Sunny the Bright Light Chameleon is a one-of-a-kind interactive light up pet that is packed with personality and full of features and surprises. She points out that it’s “Soft, squishy and fun to hold, Sunny responds to love and attention with more than 30 sounds and reactions along with a full body of coloring changing rainbow lights that reflect Sunny’s mood — from happy to super happy, full to sleepy and warm to cold and more. Kids will be delighted when they hear Sunny repeat back what they say.” Like a true chameleon, Lynch adds, “Sunny blends in everywhere. Switch to party mode and Sunny flashes to the beat of the music, and when the party really gets going Sunny sings. Get Sunny dancing on the ceiling, walls, windows – wherever – with the suction feet feature of this one-in-a-chameleon pet.” Direct link: VTECH® KICK & SCORE PLAYGYM™, VTECH Babies are able to achieve motor-skill milestones with this multi-stage, developmental play mat that includes a detachable plush soccer ball, learning panels and gym pieces. Lynch says babies start with floor play by kicking the ball or swatting the giraffe, flip to tummy time to strengthen core muscles, and parents can engage kids during seated play with the interactive, detachable learning panel that reinforces language skills and provides on-the-go play and exploration. Direct link: GABBY’S DOLLHOUSE FAIRY KITTY GARDEN, SPIN MASTER Inspired by the enchanted Cotton Candy Tree from the show, Lynch says, “This treehouse playset features lights, a transforming canopy, secret room, vine zipline, swing, figures, accessories and furniture pieces to play out exciting adventures!” Fans are able to explore the treehouse’s two floors with Kitty Fairy and an exclusive 3.5-inch-tall Gabby Girl figure. They can also discover a tree canopy that opens up to reveal a play area. After exploring all the features, youngsters can unbox their special Dollhouse Delivery, just like Gabby does in the show, and find a surprise watering-can accessory to use in their storytelling. Lynch highlights that there’s also a thumbwheel built into the floor. Kids can spin it to find a secret room in the trunk of the tree and watch as the trunk and table light up (batteries included)! For one last surprise, she says fans can scan the QR code inside the Dollhouse Delivery to unlock a special reward in the free Gabby’s Dollhouse App (available on iOS and Android). Direct link: SONIC SPEED RC, JAKKS PACIFIC Lynch concludes with the world’s favorite blue hedgehog that’s back for a next-level adventure. The latest offering allows fans to recreate the action from the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 movie with this RC. She points out it includes an iconic ring-shaped controller allowing for forward motion, turns and spinning action. The toy trends specialist adds that the RC lights up when fans select Turbo mode for that extra boost. For convenience and additional fun, the six-inch scale articulated Sonic figure is removeable. Direct link: For more information, go to Facebook: Facebook Instagram: Instagram Twitter: Twitter Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727

April 12, 2022 02:15 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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BLOK SPORTS Partners with Premier Rugby Sevens to Enable Peer-to-Peer Sports Betting for Groundbreaking Sports League

Premier Rugby Sevens

BLOK SPORTS, the peer-to-peer sports betting platform that leverages blockchain technology, announced a partnership with Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s). Through a decentralized betting exchange, BLOK SPORTS’ technology allows fans to securely place wagers on PR7s events directly with friends. The partnership is the first of its kind for a U.S.-based sports league. BLOK SPORTS is backed by several sports tech investors, including NFL legends Marshawn Lynch and Andre Reed. is licensed under a Curacao license and is approved to operate in several international markets, including Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, and select European Union countries. BLOK SPORTS is working towards licenses in the U.S. on a state-by-state basis. Since the platform is running on blockchain, all wagers will be transacted securely through a common stable coin, such as USDC, accessible through the BLOK SPORTS app. BLOK SPORTS has removed the frictions associated with other decentralized apps so that even non-crypto savvy users and casual fans can join in. The app will integrate with PR7s’ content to provide a seamless experience for fans to follow the action live while participating in an immersive social wagering experience. “We couldn’t have aligned ourselves with a better partner than Premier Rugby Sevens,” said Mitchell Chun, Founder and CEO of BLOK SPORTS. “PR7s is reinventing the way fans experience the world’s most electric sport. PR7s showcases high-action games that are ideal for sports betting via live broadcasts, digital engagement, and new technologies. At BLOK SPORTS, we’re reinventing how the next generation of fans bet on sports. We’re thrilled to be working with PR7s to deliver a new social betting experience.” “With over two games completed every hour and competitive parity between teams, rugby sevens is an ideal new experience for sports betting enthusiasts. Our partnership with BLOK SPORTS is a historic first step toward integrating wagering into rugby sevens,” said Owen Scannell, CEO of Premier Rugby Sevens. As we scale in 2022, we look to be at the forefront of implementing innovative ways to engage new fans. Being aligned with BLOK SPORTS shows our commitment to leveraging technology to heighten the fan experience and integrating fun gamified platforms.” PR7s recently announced its nationwide expansion into new cities in 2022. The league’s tournaments will bring the famous rugby sevens festival experience to Major League Soccer (MLS) stadiums in San Jose at PayPal Park (Saturday, July 9), Washington, D.C. at Audi Field (Saturday, July 16), and Austin at Q2 Stadium (Saturday, July 30). As the first league of its kind with men’s and women’s teams competing under one umbrella with equal pay, each PR7s event will boast a party-like atmosphere with bands, DJs, games, contests, partner integration, and special appearances. PR7s also unveiled a revolutionary new prize that unites the men’s and women’s competitions, with combined points throughout the season determining the winner of the United Championship. Eight teams compete within four franchises: Experts, Headliners, Loggerheads, and Loonies. A men’s team and a women’s team represent each franchise. About BLOK SPORTS BLOK SPORTS is a decentralized sports betting exchange enabling anyone anywhere to bet others instantly, reliably, and securely without the involvement of a middleman. Its platform safeguards against fraud, removes the need for the house, and provides an unparalleled level of fairness and transparency for players around the world. BLOK SPORTS’ products also include predictive analytics, a suite of social and fan engagement solutions, and a network designed around the upcoming BLOK SPORTS token. Learn more at About Premier Rugby Sevens Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s) is a groundbreaking professional sports league in North America that debuted in 2021. With a focus on accessibility and entertaining content for fans, the league showcases the electrifying sport of rugby sevens through a touring format in cities across the United States and Canada. PR7s is the first sports organization of its kind, with four women’s teams and four men’s teams under one umbrella with equal pay. To learn more about Premier Rugby Sevens, go to and follow the league on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. # # # Contact Details Eric Nemeth Company Website

April 12, 2022 09:47 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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DICK’S Sporting Goods Named Official Sporting Goods Store of Ripken Baseball

Ripken Baseball

Ripken Baseball, the leader in youth sports events, announced they have entered a multi-year partnership with DICK’S Sporting Goods to be the official sporting goods store of The Ripken Experience™ in Aberdeen, Md., Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Pigeon Forge, Tenn. As the official sporting goods store of Ripken Baseball, DICK’S Sporting Goods will receive an integrated media plan and the opportunity to bring experiential elements from their stores to life at The Ripken Experience™ facilities. This program is designed to increase the awareness of their game-changing equipment, provide expert advice, and offer players, coaches, and families special offers on an assortment of merchandise and gear. “This partnership aligns two incredible brands in the youth sports industry,” said Amanda Shank, Vice President of Business Development for Ripken Baseball. “With an equal passion to grow America’s favorite pastime, this is more than a sponsorship relationship. Through DICK'S, our teams and families across the country will access the best selection and value on equipment so they're ready to take the field." In addition, Ripken Baseball event participants will continue to benefit from the partnership as DICK’S Sporting Goods will be the first brand incorporated in the inaugural multi-city Ripken Select tour. Ripken Select Tournaments will occur in Illinois, Florida, and Texas. Four Ripken Select Tournaments replicate the Ripken Experience™ that over 5,000 teams and 250,000 guests enjoy at Ripken Baseball’s permanent facilities in Maryland, South Carolina, and Tennessee. “We’re excited to partner with Ripken Baseball and bring together two great brands to support youth athletes,” said Aimee Watters, Senior Director Sports Matter and Community Marketing for DICK’S Sporting Goods. “At DICK’S we understand that the right equipment can make all the difference to an athlete and are proud to offer the best selection to keep kids in the game.” About DICK’S Sporting Goods DICK’S Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS) creates confidence and excitement by personally equipping all athletes to achieve their dreams. Founded in 1948 and headquartered in Pittsburgh, the leading omnichannel retailer serves athletes and outdoor enthusiasts in more than 850 DICK’S Sporting Goods, Golf Galaxy, Field & Stream, Public Lands, Going Going Gone! and Warehouse Sale stores, online, and through the DICK’S mobile app. DICK’S also owns and operates DICK’S House of Sport and Golf Galaxy Performance Center, as well as GameChanger, a youth sports mobile app for scheduling, communications, live scorekeeping and video streaming. Driven by its belief that sports make people better, DICK’S has been a longtime champion for youth sports and, together with its Foundation, has donated millions of dollars to support under-resourced teams and athletes through the Sports Matter program and other community-based initiatives. Additional information about DICK’S business, corporate giving, sustainability efforts and employment opportunities can be found on,,, and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. About Ripken Baseball Ripken Baseball brings teammates, coaches, and families together through its Big-League Experiences, while teaching the values of the game, and how to play it the right way – the Ripken Way. Recently expanding the best experience in youth sports to satellite locations through Ripken Select Tournaments, Ripken Baseball continues to innovate the game through tournaments, camps, clinics, and spring training at their state-of-the-art baseball and softball facilities – The Ripken Experience™ Aberdeen (Maryland), The Ripken Experience™ Myrtle Beach (South Carolina), and The Ripken Experience™ Pigeon Forge (Tennessee). Contact Details Eric PR & Marketing, LLC Eric Nemeth +1 602-502-2793 Company Website

April 12, 2022 09:13 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Metabolic fitness platform Ultrahuman acquires consumer-focused wearable company LazyCo


Ultrahuman, the world’s most advanced metabolic fitness platform, has today announced the acquisition of consumer-focused wearable company LazyCo famed for creating the Aina ring wearable. LazyCo will integrate with Ultrahuman’s global in-house hardware development team as they seek opportunities to enhance the user experience and help improve global metabolic health standards. Ultrahuman will leverage the LazyCo team’s expertise to generate deeper metabolic insights and better overall health insights for consumers. The metabolic health crisis is unarguably one of the largest healthcare crises that exist today. Over a billion people in the world suffer from a metabolic health disorder which contributes to almost 85% of all chronic diseases in the world. By helping people understand how food and exercise affect their metabolic health, people would be able to make informed choices about what they eat and their activity levels. The approach is a geography/diet agnostic way to help people eat and exercise better. Measuring a powerful biomarker like glucose can reveal so much about how a particular food item affects the user’s metabolic health by measuring the glucose response. This response is unique to an individual and it depends on various factors like their gut microbiome diversity, stress levels, time of the day, food ingredient quality, etc. With this acquisition, the idea would be to expand the set of real-time biomarkers that could provide unique health insights upon correlation. LazyCo was founded by engineers turned product designers, Apoorv Shankar and Yogansh Namdeo in 2017. The company focused on building hardware products that made daily life easier. One of the notable products included the Aina Ring - an AI-powered smart ring designed to predict and automate daily tasks without the need to take the phone out of the pocket. Digital tasks such as booking cabs, controlling smart home devices, activating SOS alerts, and taking phone calls, were 7x faster and easier through the ring. LazyCo completed a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2019 and won several design and startup awards from the likes of Alibaba and Qualcomm. “Ultrahuman’s vision of making health more personalized and impactful for people syncs with LazyCo’s vision of building products that solve problems for people in the most effortless ways. Together, we can create a deeper impact on the overall health of the world,” said Apoorv Shankar, Co-Founder and CEO, LazyCo. Ultrahuman launched with a wearable (the “Ultrahuman M1”) - a metabolic health tracking platform that provides intelligent nudges based on glucose biomarkers. This helps people optimize their exercise, sleep and nutrition based on deep insights from the platform. The M1 tracks the wearer’s metabolism as they go about their day. It triggers timely nudges to the user such as alerts to a high blood glucose event and suggestions to take a walk for optimizing their glucose levels. “We want to make it easy to get healthy. At Ultrahuman, we’re deep believers in passive personalized health, specifically in a health platform that requires very minimal effort from a user’s perspective. This perfectly aligns with the philosophy of LazyCo.” said Mohit Kumar, Founder and CEO, Ultrahuman. Ultrahuman was started by Mohit Kumar and Vatsal Singhal who were also co-founders at Runnr which later merged with India’s largest food delivery service Zomato. Mohit is an avid cyclist, biohacker and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu enthusiast. Vatsal is a cross-fit enthusiast and a biohacker. Mohit was training at one of the largest MMA Camps in the world (Tiger Muay Thai in Thailand). There, he observed athletes train smartly via the usage of data, recovery tools and protocols. He got together with Vatsal and they came up with a vision for Ultrahuman where they can make the journey of fitness for people more personalized and impactful. Ultrahuman is a venture-backed startup that has raised $25m to date. Their investors include Alpha Wave Incubation (AWI), which is backed by DisruptAD and managed by Falcon Edge, Steadview Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Blume Ventures and Utsav Somani’s iSeed fund, and a range of marquee founders and angel investors including Tiger Global’s Scott Schleifer. About Ultrahuman Ultrahuman is the world's most advanced metabolic fitness platform. By using glucose and other biomarkers, Ultrahuman is helping people improve their energy levels, lose fat and avoid metabolic disorders. For more information and updates on Ultrahuman, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Contact Details Ultrahuman Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 Company Website

April 12, 2022 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Minuteman Press Franchise in Welshpool, Perth, Western Australia Celebrates 17 Years, Shares Growth Strategies

Minuteman Press International Inc

Rod Hambley has owned his Minuteman Press printing franchise in Welshpool since March of 2005. In May of 2021, Rod purchased 15-year independent print shop Images on Paper. Following the acquisition, Rod merged staff from both businesses and has been producing more in-house orders with the equipment that was added. The result has been doubling and even tripling monthly sales in the months following the acquisition. This includes a record sales month for his 17-year business, Rod says, “We’ve clearly had sustained business growth since the acquisition. Sales for both new and existing clients are in line with past turnover for both.” Welcome to Minuteman Press in Welshpool Prior to buying Minuteman Press in Welshpool, Rod worked in the banking industry. He shares, “I was in banking for 25 years and worked as Branch Manager for several banks. I found Minuteman Press at a franchise show and in gaining a rapport with the Regional Vice President, I saw this as a viable option I could venture to when finished at the bank.” Under Rod’s leadership and following the acquisition of Images on Paper, Minuteman Press in Welshpool has continued to grow its core business. Rod says, “Our core business is always in high demand. We offer our clients high quality printing from our wide format machine which produces posters, signage, and stickers of all shapes and sizes. Our digital machine prints booklets, flyers, business cards, and much more. We also still run an offset machine for NCR Books, envelopes, and spot colour work that are all still in demand.” “It is important for local businesses to market and promote themselves. We are able to design and produce the items they need for those purposes and they also need printing of workbooks, forms, and plenty of other items for their operations as well.” -Rod Hambley, owner, Minuteman Press, Welshpool Acquiring Images on Paper As for how the acquisition of Images on Paper came about, it was a combination of Rod being proactive in looking at local acquisition targets in his area as well as the local Minuteman Press outreach campaign initiated by Regional Vice President Glenn Coyle. Rod says, “We have had our eye on this business in the area for a number of years among others. I have done smaller acquisitions over the years that were successful as I still have some clients from those. I saw Images on Paper as a good prospect where the owner might be looking to retire, and Glenn Coyle also identified them through an acquisition campaign.” Glenn Coyle says, “I reached out to Images on Paper and set up a confidential meeting with the owner Harry and his wife Robyn. We chatted for a while and after we got to know each other and I learned about their business, we all moved forward with a plan for Rod to acquire the business if all went well so Harry and Robyn could sell the business and retire.” Glenn adds, “Once I looked over the paperwork they provided, I met with Harry and Robyn again and told them my plan to introduce their business to Rod. They were happy for me to do this. After Rod met with Harry and Robyn, things went well, and they ultimately came to an agreement on price, terms, equipment, staff, and changeover date.” Rod shares, “The benefit to the seller was to save on brokerage costs, and the benefit to me was the increased sales as well as merging staff and added equipment for in-house jobs.” Advice for Others When asked what advice he would give to others looking to own a business, Rod answers, “Be prepared to work hard and find good staff. Also, you should ensure that you have steady cash flow and enough for a rainy day or two.” Minuteman Press in Welshpool is located at U2 119 Welshpool Rd., Welshpool, WA 6106. For more information, visit their website: Learn more about Minuteman Press franchise opportunities in Australia at Contact Details Minuteman Press International Chris Biscuiti +1 631-249-1370 Company Website

April 11, 2022 10:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Easter gifts Kids Actually Want: From Learning to Fun


A video accompanying this announcement is available at: Play has a profound impact on childhood development. In fact, toys often provide an opportunity for youngsters to learn by engaging their senses, sparking their imaginations, and encouraging interaction with others. With Easter fast approaching, Toy Trends Specialist with The Toy Association, Jennifer Lynch, says now is a great time to find the perfect gifts for the kids on your shopping list. First, Lynch says it’s a good idea to know that one of this year’s biggest toy trends is content creation. Although, digital channels like YouTube may come to mind, she adds, hands-on creation helps with childhood development. Next, she adds that it’s important to understand the benefits of childhood play. Experts agree that active play is essential during the formative years. In fact, it helps grow fine and gross motor skills, including grasping, object manipulation, drawing, independent sitting, crawling, and walking. With that in mind, Lynch highlights a few of this year’s top toys. TOP TOYS: SCRIBBLE SCRUBBIE ARCTIC PETS, CRAYOLA Lynch says kids will be amazed to watch pets change colors with the brand-new Scribble Scrubbie Arctic Igloo (blue in cold water and white in warm water). This toy helps little one’s adventure into the arctic with two new color-change pets, a seal and a wolf. She says imaginations will run wild in pretend scenarios as pets warm up in the cozy, life-like igloo or head outside to go sledding in the cold. Kids can decorate the pets with the included markers, wash them clean and start over again. Other options in the latest line include the Scribble Scrubbie Safari Pets Treehouse featuring tattoo stickers for pets. Direct link: LEGO JOHN DEERE TRACTOR, LEGO: Designed in collaboration with John Deere, Lynch says the tractor and trailer toy is packed with realistic features. It comes equipped with huge wheels, articulated steering and a driver’s cab with a seat that turns. The toy specialist adds tractor-loving youngsters will enjoy a building challenge plus role-play fun as they construct their very own John Deere tractor. Then, they can have fun exploring all the details packed into the model. Lynch points out that the trailer tips, making it perfect for transporting heavy loads. The wheels let it traverse all terrains, and it has a drawbar with an extra hinge that allows it to navigate hills and valleys with ease. This set serves as a great introduction to LEGO Technic buildable model sets with realistic movement and mechanisms that allow young LEGO builders to explore engineering in an approachable and realistic way. Direct link: SQUISHMALLOWS 2022 WILDLIFE SQUAD, JAZWARES: Lynch says while no easter basket is complete without a stuffed toy, table the Easter bunny and opt for an exotic animal from the Squishmallows Wildlife Squad. The line features animals like a fuzzy orangutan, metallic-backed armadillo, and more. Since 2017, the versatile Squishmallows have grown into an international phenomenon and offer comfort, support and warmth as friends, couch companions, bedtime buddies and travel teammates. With more than 1,000 characters to collect, young fans can aspire to be like their favorite characters. Each Squishmallows has its own unique name and storyline to add to the fun. Direct link: MINI CLAY WORLD CANDY CART, KLUTZ: A perfect miniature scene for crafters with a sweet tooth, Lynch says the candy-colored clay and puffs of pastel cotton let you recreate all sorts of confectionery, from sour gummies to rainbow candy, tie-dye jawbreakers, swizzle sticks, clouds of cotton candy, and more. Another fun aspect of this toy are the creative prompts that encourage crafters to invent their own candy brands and display them in clear glass-looking jars with stoppers, in miniature boxes, on wooden lollipop sticks, or in iridescent cellophane baggies with twist ties. Lynch points out fans can slot together the cotton candy stand with a clear dome to serve customers, and a tented kiosk to display an assortment of sweet treats. Direct link: For more information, go to Facebook: Facebook Instagram: Instagram Twitter: Twitter Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727

April 11, 2022 03:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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CORRECTING and REPLACING Fine Hygienic Holding Continues to Lead on Progressive Female-Friendly Workplace Reforms with Pregnancy Loss Policy

Fine Hygienic Holding

In the last sentence boilerplate of release dated April 11, 2022, "multiple accolated and awards" corrected to read "multiple awards". The updated release reads: Fine Hygienic Holding Continues to Lead on Progressive Female-Friendly Workplace Reforms with Pregnancy Loss Policy Fine Hygienic Holding (FHH), the world-leading wellness group and manufacturer of hygienic paper products and long-term germ protection solutions, has yet again taken the initiative to introduce new female-friendly policies as part of its continuous workplace reforms which aim to provide the most inclusive and welcoming environment possible for all its employees. Demonstrating that the company is serious about bringing about positive change, it has updated its Parental Leave Policy to include provisions for miscarriage or stillbirth, across all its locations. FHH already has generous maternity leave provisions for working mothers who benefit from 16 weeks of paid leave, above what the International Labour Organization recommends, and it even offers 3 weeks of paid paternity leave, which puts it at the forefront not only in the MENA region but also globally. Employees are eligible for compassionate leave upon the unfortunate event of a female employee or a male employee’s spouse suffering a miscarriage or stillbirth. In both instances the employee is entitled to five days of paid leave, and females may take an additional five days of unpaid leave. This comes in line with FHH’s core values to lead with empathy and extend leave to women needing time to recover physically and emotionally, and to consider the needs of male partners as well. No other company in the region offers such a generous leave policy, with provisions for maternity, paternity, miscarriage or stillbirth, in addition to a monthly day off for females. James Michael Lafferty, FHH CEO, said, “Our company believes that – if we take care of the people, the business will take care of itself – which is why we are constantly on the lookout for practices that support our employees’ wellbeing, especially during pivotal moments in their lives. With our updated policy our aim is to live our values and support our employees through difficult times.” FHH adheres to the highest standards of HR practices with a strong emphasis on supporting and empowering parents within its workforce. It is worth mentioning that the company was recently recognized as a Top Employer Middle East 2022 by the prestigious Top Employers Institute in every country it operates. About Fine Hygienic Holding: Fine Hygienic Holding (FHH), one of the world’s leading wellness groups and MENA’s leading manufacturer of hygienic products, serves consumers in more than 80 countries around the world. Originally established as a paper manufacturer, FHH has transformed into a wellness company dedicated to enhancing global health and wellbeing. Committed to becoming “the shining star of the Arab FMCG business world,” the Group focuses on wellness, sustainability, pioneering CSR programs, and state-of-the-art production processes. Fine Hygienic Holding offers a diverse array of award-winning products including sterilized facial tissues, napkins, kitchen towels, toilet paper, baby diapers, adult briefs, jumbo rolls, as well as away-from-home products to accommodate all types of private and public institutions, in addition to its advanced range of personal protective equipment (PPE) and long-lasting germ protection solutions, it also brings Nai natural iced teas and innovative nutritional supplements, Motiva, to the market. Along with multiple awards over the years, particularly for its products and CSR initiatives, the company was recognized as a Top Employer Middle East 2022 by the prestigious Top Employers Institute in every country it operates. Contact Details Rana Kawalit | │ Corporate Communication & PR Director Company Website

April 11, 2022 12:24 PM Eastern Daylight Time

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Cannabis Education Event to Inform and Empower Consumers

MCR Labs

Local cannabis testing laboratory MCR Labs is hosting a consumer education event aimed at empowering consumers with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their cannabis purchases and consumption choices. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature a presentation by MCR’s Vice President of Scientific Development Scott Churchill and InhaleMD’s President & CEO Dr. Jordan Tishler. Dr. Tishler is a Cannabinoid Specialist. “There is a lot of speculation out there on terms like ‘Total Active Cannabinoids’ and how factors like shelf life stability affect product quality,” said Churchill. “Our goal here is to help consumers develop a deeper understanding of cannabis so they can choose the right product for themselves.” MCR Labs provides analytical cannabis testing services to cultivators and product manufacturers. The data produced by these services, such as cannabinoid content, is often advertised on product labels. “It’s really important that patients understand how compounds like cannabinoids interact with their bodies,” said Dr. Tishler. “This can help them understand their medicine and work with their healthcare professionals to achieve optimal treatment.” Through his training in Internal Medicine and years of practice as an Emergency Physician, Dr. Tishler brings his knowledge, reason, and caring to patients at inhale MD, and through his advocacy work at the local and national levels. “What’s In Your Weed: The Educated Consumer” will be held this Thursday, April 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. at District Hall in Boston. Anyone interested in learning more or attending the event can find details on the event website. About MCR Labs: MCR Labs is one of the longest operational cannabis testing laboratories on the East coast with facilities operating in several legal cannabis markets. We are ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accredited providers of analytical cannabis product testing and R&D services committed to assisting licensed marijuana establishments, patients, researchers, entrepreneurs, and advocates. Our team of chemists and pharmaceutical scientists are dedicated to advancing public health and safety through leading-edge chemical analysis of cannabis products and offering unparalleled guidance and support for partners, regulators, and the communities we serve. For more information visit Contact Details MCR Labs Alexandra Gomes +1 508-782-9772 Company Website

April 11, 2022 11:08 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Alvarez & Marsal Consumer Sentiment Survey Identifies Lasting Impact of Pandemic on Shopping Behaviors

Alvarez & Marsal Consumer and Retail Group

Alvarez and Marsal’s Consumer and Retail Group (CRG) releases today the findings from its latest bi-annual Consumer Sentiment Report, based on a survey of 1,500+ U.S. consumers conducted in February and March 2022, to understand how their sense of optimism, their desire to shop, what they were looking to buy, how they planned to use different shopping channels, has changed since the Fall, particularly as they start their journey toward some new form of post-pandemic normalcy. The survey was in the field as the Omicron variant faded across the USA, and just before the Ukrainian crisis began. “Our survey shows that consumers are not much more confident than they were in the Fall of last year,” said Jonathan Sharp, Managing Director in Alvarez & Marsal’s Consumer and Retail Group, and lead author of the report. He added, “They continue to be focused on basic needs with less frequent shopping trips, and their biggest concern is inflation.” The survey findings underscore the lasting impact of the pandemic on shopping behaviors. It finds that a vast majority of respondents, 80%, are still sticking with the behavioral changes made during the pandemic. Only 5% of respondents indicated reverting back to pre-pandemic habits when compared to the Fall 2021 survey. The survey found that 49% of respondents expected things to either get worse or stay the same for their family in the next 6 months. More than half expect to have less or the same amount of money for themselves in the next 6 months. Notes Jonathan Sharp, “Though these represent an improvement from results of the Fall 2021 survey, overall consumer sentiment clearly remains weak.” Spending reticence has been driven by concerns over inflationary pressures and price increases, which was cited as the #1 barrier to spending, by 49% of respondents. As a result, consumers have increasingly been focusing their spending on basic needs and experiences. As this focus grows, consumers’ spending on indulgence and gifts continue to lose priority. Majority of consumers also continue to regard shopping as a largely functional rather than leisure pursuit, with 59% of respondents mostly or only shopping when there is something they really need. As a result, they are increasingly bundling shopping missions – shopping less often and buying more items per trip. In the restaurant and vacation space however, the report points to some evidence that consumers have emerged from pandemic hibernation – most markedly in their out-of-home dining. More than half of respondents have reverted to their pre-pandemic dining frequency. Notably, 18% are dining out even more than they were prior to the pandemic. Almost half of those surveyed also plan to travel this Spring. “While they may not feel optimistic, consumers are beginning to open their wallets, go on vacation, and eat in restaurants, presenting opportunities for retailers and businesses alike,” says Sharp. To access the results and read the full Alvarez and Marsal’s Consumer and Retail Group Consumer Sentiment Report, please visit: Survey Methodology Alvarez and Marsal’s Consumer and Retail Group interviewed 1,578 US adults between Feb 23, 2022 and March 9, 2022. The survey sample was balanced to be representative of the US adult population according to gender, age, ethnicity, income and region. The Alvarez and Marsal Consumer and Retail Group (CRG) is a management consulting firm that tackles the most complex challenges and advances its clients, people, and communities towards their maximum potential. CRG combines the best of A&M’s broader firm's bias toward action and practicality with deep consumer and retail industry experience. CRG partners with businesses across a wide range of categories including Food & Beverage, Beauty & Personal Care, Grocery, Mass Merchandise, and Apparel & Footwear to drive significant performance improvement. Contact Details Alvarez & Marsal Consumer and Retail Group David Schneidman Company Website

April 11, 2022 11:03 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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