Archive for July, 2010

Products recalled due to possible listeria contamination

QUINCY, Mass.  (Food-News.net)  The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company has announced a voluntary recall of Nature’s Promise Alfalfa and Zesty Sprouts because they have the potential to be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes.  Upon being notified of the recall by the supplier, Stop & Shop immediately removed all codes from sale of the following products:

  • Nature’s Promise Alfalfa Sprouts, 4 oz, UPC  68826704741
  • Nature’s Promise Alfalfa Sprouts, 8 oz, UPC  68826704102
  • Nature’s Promise Zesty Sprouts, 4 oz,  UPC 68826703903

The affected products were sold in Stop & Shop stores in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.

To date, Stop & Shop has received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of this product. Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria that can cause flu-like symptoms, like high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea.  Although healthy people rarely contract listeriosis, it can be very serious for those who are pregnant or those with weakened immune systems, such as infants, the elderly and persons with HIV infection or undergoing chemotherapy.  Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness, but infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth.

Customers who have purchased the affected products should discard any unused portions or bring their purchase receipt to Stop & Shop for a full refund.  Consumers may call Stop & Shop Customer Service at (800) 767-7772 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for more information. Customers can also visit the Stop & Shop website at www.stopandshop.com.

About Stop & Shop

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company employs more than 59,000 associates and operates stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, and New Jersey. The company is a member of the US Green Building Council and has been awarded LEED (EB) certifications for 50 of its existing stores.  Stop & Shop has been recognized by the EPA for the superior energy management of its stores and is also a member of the EPA’s Smart Way program.



MILWAUKEE  (Food-News.net)  Kangaroo Brands is once again leading in grocery-deli innovation with its specialty breads. New packaging has a family look along with tamper-evident, re-sealable packages to preserve freshness. Kangaroo also reformulated all of its breads to have a 14-day shelf life. This is big news!

With the new tagline, “We bake really good stuff,” VP and Owner George Kashou explains, “We are a wholesome family bakery that tries harder, always does its best, strives for consistent quality, offers the best value for the money and will only sell healthy food it is truly proud to put its name on.”

The Kangaroo bread line includes whole and pre-cut Pita Pocket Bread, Flatbread and pre-opened Sandwich Pockets and Salad Pockets ®. They are the original thin bread that are the perfect and contemporary tie-in partner for deli-style chicken, tuna and ham salads – less bread, less mess. The bright white package mirrors the breads’ clean ingredient list and the tamper-evident, re-sealable bags keep the product fresher, longer without adding bad stuff.

“The new packaging and extended shelf life equates to less waste for deli managers and consumers alike,” says Kashou. Look out for new varieties of bread to hit the shelves this fall.

About Kangaroo Brands

Kangaroo Brands, Inc. has been baking “really good stuff” since 1979. Based in Milwaukee, WI and family-owned, they are a leading manufacturer of pocket bread, pita chips and breakfast sandwiches for nationwide retail and foodservice distribution.

Kangaroo was the first pita manufacturer to offer a pre-sliced pocket bread and holds a U.S. patent on the pre-opened pita pockets. Kangaroo pita chips are baked light and crunchy and made for dipping, topping, crunching in soups or salads, or munching right out of the bag. Relative to other national brands, Kangaroo Pita Chips have 40 percent less fat and 25 percent less sodium. The heat-and-serve Omelet Pitas are the perfect handheld, healthy breakfast-on-the go and only require one minute in the microwave to prepare.

For more information, recipes and a full product list visit kangaroobrands.com. Stay up to date on the latest news by becoming a fan of Kangaroo on Facebook (facebook.com/KangarooPita) or following on Twitter (twitter.com/KangarooPita).

SACRAMENTO, Calif.  (Food-News.net)  A recent survey of California pear farmers has found that when it comes to sustainable farming practices such as employing Integrated Pest Management methods to reduce the use of pesticides, the California pear industry has a very high level of adoption. The survey, conducted by SureHarvest Inc. a leading agricultural sustainability program design firm, shows that over 90 percent of California pear farmers regularly incorporate practices such as daily scouting for pests to reduce spray applications and utilizing non-toxic pheromone treatments in place of pesticides to reduce pest populations.

The survey of California Pear Advisory Board members was conducted from June to November 2009 to assess the adoption of Best Management Practices related to several key areas of “sustainability.” For the purposes of this study “sustainability” is described as follows: “the concept and practice of balancing economic prosperity, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility so they together lead to an improved quality of life for ourselves and future generations.”

“We were quite impressed with the percentage of pear farmers who are using Integrated Pest Management practices to reduce pesticide use,” said Dr. Daniel Sonke, senior scientist with SureHarvest. “We work with several other industry groups and this study shows that California pears have one of the highest rates of adoption for IPM practices we have seen.”

According to Sonke, the term IPM refers to a system which incorporates biological and non-chemical means of assessing and controlling pest populations to prevent or reduce the use of chemical pesticides. Farmers who practice IPM methods will spend a great deal of time monitoring pest populations to determine when and if treatments are necessary and will incorporate control measures such as “mating disruption” which relies on pheromone applications rather than spraying of harsh pesticides.

Sonke noted that among other findings, key survey results show that 95 percent of California pear growers surveyed report scouting for pests throughout the year to inform their pest management decisions. When it comes to controlling codling moth, one of the major pests of pears, 95 percent of California pear farmers use mating disruption pheromones as their primary treatment. When deciding what amount of fertilizers to use, 82 percent of the pear farmers surveyed reported applying fertilizer at or below the rates recommended by university scientists and 87 percent of pear farmers reported their orchard row middles are vegetated, which reduces the likelihood of soil erosion from wind or water. In addition, 76 percent of respondents reported providing housing for at least some of their employees.

“Pear trees live a long time, perhaps 50 or 75 years. So, it’s not too surprising that California pear farmers are focused on achieving sustainability,” noted Chris Zanobini, President of the California Pear Advisory Board, a state marketing program which represents all pear farmers in the California. “It’s also important to note that California pear farmers belong to a close-knit community which has been embattled in recent years. At one time there were 300 pear farmers in the state and today there are just 60. Those who are left have no choice but to utilize resources wisely.”

Zanobini explained that California pear farmers have long been advocates, supporters and practitioners of Integrated Pest Management. In the early 1990s pear growers formed an entity called the Pear Pest Management Research Fund whose primary function is to fund research to improve pear growing and processing practices that are economical and safe for consumers and the environment.

Zanobini noted that the recent sustainability survey was conducted by the California Pear Advisory Board in conjunction with the Pear Pest Management Research Fund. The Best Management Practices assessed in the survey were identified by a committee of pear farmers, packers and processors along with crop consultants and representatives of the California Pear Advisory Board and the Pear Pest Management Research Fund. The survey had a very high rate of response with 71 percent of the state’s pear operations participating. This is especially impressive since the survey required that each pear operation complete a very lengthy self-assessment of farming practices which fell into the following general areas:

  • General Farm Management
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Soil & Nutrient Management
  • Energy Management
  • Water Management
  • Ecosystem Management
  • Employer Practices

“We are very pleased to see that pear farmers rate so highly in areas concerning pest management, soil and nutrient management and employer practices,” said Zanobini. “This survey will also be used as a tool to learn where farmers can make improvements in sustainability.”

Zanobini explained that at the completion of the survey, each farmer was given a copy with their own individual results compared with the average results for the industry. “This way each operation can judge itself in comparison to the rest of the industry and can make improvements accordingly,” he said, adding that the California Pear Advisory Board and Pear Pest Management Fund plan to use the information gained from this survey to conduct educational workshops for growers and to fund follow-up assessments.

“The road to sustainability is a journey,” said SureHarvest’s Sonke, “There will always be room for improvement, but the California pear community is well down the path in their efforts to protect and improve the future of farming.”

An Executive Summary of this research project is available to the public on the website of the California Pear Advisory Board at www.calpear.com.

PINE PLAINS, N.Y.  (Food-News.net)  Coach Farm is expanding its line of goat milk dairy products with the launch of a farmstead Goat’s Milk Probiotic Yogurt available in four all natural flavors: Honey, Vanilla, Strawberry and Plain.

“Traditional Greek Yogurt is made from goat’s milk, and we thought with the increased popularity of premium yogurt over the last few years, there was no better time than the present to introduce a spoonable Goat’s Milk Probiotic Yogurt,” stated Steven Margarites, President of Coach Farm. “Our drinkable product, Yo-Goat, has been a popular product for many years among consumers who are lactose intolerant.  We hope to see that popularity translated to our spoonable product as well.”

The line is produced in small batches using only the Grade A milk from Coach Farm’s own dairy goats and live active cultures: Streptococcus, Thermophilous, Lactobacillus Bulgaricus.  These “good” probiotic cultures help regulate digestion, support the immune system and promote overall well being of the body.  And as goat’s milk is easier to digest, Coach Farm’s Probiotic Yogurt is an excellent alternative to cow’s milk yogurt for those who suffer from a lactase deficiency.

The four flavors will be available nationally to retailers in 6-ounce containers and the plain flavor will be distributed nationally to restaurant and food service establishments in three pound bulk containers.

About Coach Farm

Located in the Hudson Valley of New York, Coach Farm is a farmstead operation that has been hand making award winning goat cheeses, drinkable yogurt and fresh goat milk for over 25 years.  To learn more about Coach Farm visit coachfarm.com

Advance Pierre Foods To Be A Leading Protein and Sandwich Supplier to Foodservice, School and Retail Channels

CINCINNATI  (Food-News.net)  Senior management from Pierre Foods, Inc., Advance Food Company, Inc. and Advance Brands, LLC, announced today that the Boards of Directors of all three companies have unanimously approved and entered into a definitive merger agreement.  The combined company will be called Advance Pierre Foods and creates a leading supplier of value-added protein and handheld convenience food products to the foodservice, school, retail, club, vending and convenience store channels.

The transaction is expected to close within the next two months and is subject to customary closing conditions. Funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., a Los Angeles-based investment firm, are currently the majority shareholder of Pierre Foods and upon closing, will maintain a majority share of the combined company. The current shareholders of Advance Food Company, the Allen and McLaughlin Families, will own a minority share of the combined company.

Bill Toler, current CEO of Pierre Foods, will become the CEO of the newly combined company and Greg Allen, current CEO of Advance Food Company will join the Board of Directors of the combined company.

“Pierre is extremely pleased to merge with these two outstanding companies we have known and admired over the years.  The new and expanded product offerings and distribution network will give our combined customers tremendous variety, quality and value,” said Toler.  “Our businesses are wonderfully complementary, and we share common corporate philosophies around the importance of taking care of both customers and employees.”  

Advance Pierre Foods will offer a full line of packaged sandwiches, fully cooked chicken and beef products, Philly-style steak, breaded beef, pork, and poultry and bakery products.   Headquartered in Cincinnati, with some divisional leadership based in Oklahoma, Advance Pierre Foods will operate protein processing facilities in Oklahoma, Ohio and Iowa as well as sandwich assembly facilities in North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina.  The company will also operate bakeries in North Carolina and Oklahoma.  

The management team for Advance Pierre Foods includes executives from all three companies.  Integration planning for all company functions is underway.  

“Pierre has had a long tradition of providing innovative and high quality products which are a natural fit for our company,” said Mark Allen, current President of Advance Food Company.  “The combination of resources from all three companies will provide more options and opportunities across all sales channels, resulting in a stronger company going forward into the future.” In the newly combined company, Allen will run the division focused on foodservice and school channels.  

“Putting our companies together truly combines the best of both worlds for all of our customers and creates a world class organization to serve their needs,” said Billy McPherson, Vice President of Sales for Advance Brands.  

“Both Pierre and the Advance companies are coming off of successful years,” said Matthew Wilson, Managing Director at Oaktree Capital Management.  “We are very excited about the growth opportunity created by putting these three financially strong companies together.”  

Credit Suisse, Barclays Capital, Morgan Stanley and BMO Capital Markets have entered into financing arrangements, subject to customary closing conditions, to provide debt financing for the transaction and Morgan Stanley, Barclays Capital and Credit Suisse acted as Oaktree and Pierre’s financial advisors.  Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP acted as Oaktree and Pierre’s legal advisor.  Bass, Berry & Sims served as legal advisor to the Advance Companies.

About Pierre Foods, Inc.

Pierre Foods is a nationally recognized industry leader in providing fully cooked protein and sandwich products to a wide variety of customers including schools, restaurants, retail supermarkets, vending machines, the military, and convenience stores.  Pierre Foods offers more than 1,000 different products, including more than 400 types of full-size and mini sandwiches, in addition to beef, pork, poultry, bakery items, and peanut butter products.  Leading the trend towards healthier food options for our nation’s youth, Pierre recently rolled out Smart Picks, 60 new items that are reduced fat, reduced sodium or enhanced protein or higher fiber menu options available now for school cafeterias all over the country. Pierre is currently owned by funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management L.P., a Los Angeles-based investment firm.

About Advance Food Company

Advance Food Company is a leading national manufacturer of value-added, center-of-the-plate protein products for the foodservice industry.  Founded in 1973 by Paul Allen and David McLaughlin in Enid, Oklahoma, Advance manufactures pre-portioned, ready-to-cook and fully cooked beef, pork, veal, chicken and turkey products, including Steak-EZE® brand of Philly-style steaks.  Advance products reach customers in restaurants, business and industry foodservice venues, schools and universities, military bases, healthcare facilities, hotels, and stadiums and arenas across the United States and abroad.  

About Advance Brands, LLC

Advance Brands is a joint venture formed in 2001 between Advance Food Company and Cargill Meat Solutions.  Advance Brands supplies quality convenience foods under the brand names Fast Fixin’, Fast Classics and Steak- EZE® — delicious, convenient chicken, beef and pork products sold in retail supermarkets and club stores nationwide.

About Oaktree Capital Management, L.P.

Oaktree is a premier global alternative and non-traditional investment manager with over $76 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2010. The firm emphasizes an opportunistic, value-oriented and risk-controlled approach to investments in distressed debt, high yield and convertible bonds, senior loans, private equity (including power infrastructure), real estate, emerging market equities and mezzanine finance. Oaktree was founded in 1995 by a group of principals who have worked together since the mid-1980s. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the firm today has approximately 600 employees and offices in 14 cities worldwide.

Progressive Processing LLC (Dubuque, Iowa) is One of the First Manufacturing Facilities in the Nation to Receive This Honor

AUSTIN, Minn.  (Food-News.net)  Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE: HRL) today announced its Progressive Processing LLC production facility (Dubuque, Iowa) was awarded LEED® Gold. Progressive Processing is one of the first manufacturing plants to be a LEED-certified project at any level.

“We are very proud of the fact that Progressive Processing is LEED Gold certified, which sets a new standard for the food industry,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer at Hormel Foods. “When we decided to open Progressive Processing, we saw an opportunity to build a state-of-the-art sustainable facility that aligns with our strong commitment to corporate responsibility.”

Progressive Processing will use at least 25 percent less energy and water than a plant built to meet current building codes and industry standards. The facility was also constructed using materials with more than 36 percent recycled content. Noteworthy elements of the sustainable design and construction include:

  • A sustainable site, including nonirrigated landscaping, that was developed with native, low-maintenance vegetation;
  • Lighting controls that monitor the amount of light needed based on daylight, occupancy and time schedule. Similar monitoring is used for temperature control, using sensors to identify room occupancy and determine the heating or cooling need;
  • Nonrefrigerated areas of the plant use skylights and multilevel lighting to provide natural light and reduce energy consumption; and
  • Sophisticated heat and water recovery processes. For example, as part of the boiler system, heat from blowdown water is recovered and the water is captured and reused for flushing toilets.

“Progressive Processing’s LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, chief executive officer and founding chair at U.S. Green Building Council. “Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems. The Progressive Processing project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come.”

Progressive Processing, located at 1205 Chavenelle Court, officially opened on Jan. 25, 2010. The facility currently produces Hormel® Compleats® microwave meals plus Hormel® and Valley Fresh® chunk chicken. It spans 348,000 square feet and will cost $89 million when complete.

For more information about Hormel Foods and its commitment to corporate responsibility and sustainability, please visit www.hormelfoods.com/csr.

®LEED is a registered trademark of the U.S. Green Building Council.

About Hormel Foods

Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Austin, Minn., is a multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer-branded food and meat products, many of which are among the best known and trusted in the food industry. The company leverages its extensive expertise, innovation and high competencies in pork and turkey processing and marketing to bring quality, value-added brands to the global marketplace. The company is a member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Hormel Foods was named one of “The 400 Best Big Companies in America” by Forbes magazine for 10 consecutive years. The company enjoys a strong reputation among consumers, retail grocers, foodservice and industrial customers for products highly regarded for quality, taste, nutrition, convenience and value. For more information, visit http://www.hormelfoods.com.

U.S. Green Building Council

The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.

With a community comprising 80 local affiliates, more than 18,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 155,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students.

Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39 percent of CO2 emissions, 40 percent of energy consumption, 13 percent water consumption and 15 percent of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85 percent of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.

LEED

The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Over 32,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising over 9.6 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 114 countries.

By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.

USGBC was co-founded by current President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi, who spent 25 years as a Fortune 500 executive. Under his 15-year leadership, the organization has become the preeminent green building, membership, policy, standards, influential, education and research organization in the nation.

For more information, visit www.usgbc.org.

BATTLE CREEK, Mich.  (Food-News.net)  Kellogg Company’s Board announced today the election of John A. Bryant, executive vice president and chief operating officer, as a director. Bryant has been executive vice president since 2002 and chief operating officer since 2008. He is also a member of the Company’s global leadership team.

“John is a strong addition to our board,” said Jim Jenness, chairman of the board, Kellogg Company.  “He has an in-depth knowledge of the financial and operational elements of our business and an intense focus on helping the Company achieve sustainable, dependable results.”

“We’re pleased to have John join us as a management member of the Board,” added David Mackay, chief executive officer, Kellogg Company. “He’s worked closely with our Board for almost ten years. This appointment recognizes his great work and his ability to add even more value as a director of the Company.”

Bryant joined Kellogg Company in 1998.  In addition to serving in numerous leadership roles, he has led both the Kellogg North America and Kellogg International business units. He served as chief financial officer from 2002 to 2004 and from 2006 to 2009.

Bryant received a bachelor of commerce degree from Australian National University and an MBA (Palmer Graduate Scholar) from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is an associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and an associate of the Securities Institute of Australia.

With 2009 sales of nearly $13 billion, Kellogg Company is the world’s leading producer of cereal and a leading producer of convenience foods, including cookies, crackers, toaster pastries, cereal bars, fruit-flavored snacks, frozen waffles, and veggie foods.  The Company’s brands include Kellogg’s®, Keebler®, Pop-Tarts®, Eggo®, Cheez-It®, Nutri-Grain®, Rice Krispies®, BearNaked®, Morningstar Farms®, Famous Amos®, Special K®, All-Bran®, Frosted Mini-Wheats®, Club® and Kashi®.  Kellogg products are manufactured in 18 countries and marketed in more than 180 countries around the world.   For more information, visit the Kellogg Company website at http://www.kelloggcompany.com.

Second of two events in partnership with Stroller Strides and SAMMinistries

SAN ANTONIO  (Food-News.net)  On Saturday, San Antonio-based NatureSweet® Tomatoes in partnership with local organizations Stroller Strides and SAMMinistries, hosts the second exercise class of the SunBursts Stroller Project, a two-part program to provide more than 25 families in need with new baby strollers and fun, stroller-based exercise classes. Open to the public, the event will take place at the San Antonio Zoo at 10 a.m.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100723/DA40250)

(Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100723/DA40250)

In celebration of NatureSweet’s new, bite-sized, yellow NatureSweet SunBursts tomato, the company donated 30 yellow strollers to families with SAMMinistries on June 26. As part of the project, Stroller Strides is providing two free stroller-based exercise classes to SAMMinistries families. SAMMinistries families will use their NatureSweet SunBursts strollers at Saturday’s exercise class, and other San Antonio residents are invited to bring their strollers and kids to participate as well. Participants will learn how to incorporate their strollers into a robust workout and show their children the importance of exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle.

“Our newest, sweetest tomato yet, NatureSweet SunBursts are a delicious snack—packed with great flavor and a healthy dose of optimism,” said Jane Raynandi, brand manager for Desert Glory, producer of NatureSweet tomatoes. “Through this project with SAMMinistries and Stroller Strides, we hope to bring a little sunshine to our community and encourage healthy snacking.”

“SAMMinistries recognizes the value of healthy choices and the essential part they play in our overall well-being. So, we are excited to be a partner with NatureSweet SunBursts and Stroller Strides as they enhance the lives of the families we serve,” said Navarra Williams, president and CEO of SAMMinistries. “We are thankful for the wonderful gift of the strollers for our families. I know they will be appreciated by our moms and their kids as they work toward a healthier future.”

“We’re excited to partner with NatureSweet SunBursts to teach new moms the advantages of leading healthy lifestyles by incorporating exercise and healthy eating into their weekly routines,” said Lisa DeArmond, owner of North San Antonio Stroller Strides. “These small changes to their exercise and eating habits, including healthy snacking, have a huge impact on their well-being and that of their children.”

NatureSweet SunBursts are not only bursting with flavor but are also nutrient-rich and naturally sodium free. In addition to being a good source of vitamin A and dietary fiber, these tomatoes are high in vitamin C. Each serving of NatureSweet SunBursts has only 45 calories, which means a whole package can be enjoyed for about 90 calories. Like all NatureSweet tomatoes, NatureSweet SunBursts are allowed to fully ripen on the vine, producing exceptional flavor and consistent quality year-round so you can always Snack for Joy!™

NatureSweet SunBursts are now available at major grocers throughout Texas. For more information on the SunBursts Stroller Project and NatureSweet SunBursts tomatoes, such as nutrition facts, availability, snacking tips, and more, visit www.facebook.com/SunBurstsTomatoes. Those interested in attending today’s event, should arrive at outside the Zoo entrance at 10 a.m.

About NatureSweet

NatureSweet tomatoes are distributed throughout the United States at major grocers, club stores, and foodservice operators. Always vine-ripened, hand-picked, and carefully packaged, NatureSweet tomatoes consistently deliver the best taste with year-round availability. As the number one brand of vine-ripened cherry tomatoes in the United States, NatureSweet’s growing operations proudly employ 5,000 associates year-round. For more information about NatureSweet tomatoes, visit www.naturesweettomatoes.com.

PENNSAUKEN, N.J.  (Food-News.net)  J & J Snack Foods Corp. (NASDAQ:JJSF) today announced record sales and earnings for its third quarter and nine months ended June 26, 2010.

Sales for the third quarter increased 6% to $189.7 million from $179.8 million in last year’s third quarter. Net earnings increased 6% to $15.9 million from $14.9 million last year. Earnings per diluted share were $.85 for the June quarter compared to $.80 last year. Operating income increased 7% to $26.1 million this year from $24.4 million in the year ago period.

For the nine months ended June 26, 2010, sales increased 6% to $496.2 million from $470.3 million in last year’s nine months. Net earnings increased 21% to $32.0 million in the nine months from $26.5 million last year. Earnings per diluted share were $1.71 for the nine months compared to $1.42 last year. Operating income increased 22% to $52.4 million from $43.1 million in the year ago period.

Gerald B. Shreiber, J & J’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “All of our business groups, led by our ICEE beverage and supermarket businesses, contributed to our record setting sales performance. In a difficult economy, we were able to continue to grow our business.”

J & J Snack Foods Corp.’s principal products include SUPERPRETZEL, PRETZEL FILLERS and other soft pretzels, ICEE, SLUSH PUPPIE and ARCTIC BLAST frozen beverages, LUIGI’S, MAMA TISH’S, SHAPE UPS, MINUTE MAID* and BARQ’S** frozen juice bars and ices, WHOLE FRUIT sorbet, FRUIT-A-FREEZE frozen fruit bars, MARY B’S biscuits and dumplings, DADDY RAY’S fig and fruit bars, TIO PEPE’S and CALIFORNIA CHURROS churros, THE FUNNEL CAKE FACTORY funnel cakes, and MRS. GOODCOOKIE, CAMDEN CREEK, COUNTRY HOME and READI-BAKE cookies. J & J has manufacturing facilities in Pennsauken, Bridgeport and Bellmawr, New Jersey; Scranton, Hatfield and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Carrollton, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Moscow Mills, Missouri; Pensacola, Florida and Vernon and Norwalk, California.

*MINUTE MAID is a registered trademark of The Coca-Cola Company.

**BARQ’S is a registered trademark of Barq’s Inc.

       
    Unaudited Consolidated Statement of Operations  
    Three Months Ended     Nine Months Ended  
    June 26,   June 27,     June 26,   June 27,  
    2010   2009     2010   2009  
    (in thousands)  
Net sales   $ 189,729   $ 179,761     $ 496,192   $ 470,255  
Cost of goods sold     124,698     118,727       335,345     323,162  
Gross profit     65,031     61,034       160,847     147,093  
Operating expenses     38,969     36,654       108,474     104,002  
Operating income     26,062     24,380       52,373     43,091  
Other income     236     263       717     965  
Earnings before income taxes     26,298     24,643       53,090     44,056  
Income taxes     10,437     9,714       21,138     17,564  
Net earnings   $ 15,861   $ 14,929     $ 31,952   $ 26,492  
   
Earnings per diluted share   $ .85   $ .80     $ 1.71   $ 1.42  
Earnings per basic share   $ .86   $ .81     $ 1.73   $ 1.43  
Weighted average number of diluted shares     18,731     18,698       18,705     18,697  
Weighted average number of basic shares     18,529     18,480       18,516     18,507  
                     
        Consolidated Balance Sheets  
        June 26, 2010         September 26, 2009
        (Unaudited)            
        (in thousands)  
   
Cash & cash equivalents       $ 54,293         $ 60,343  
Current marketable securities held to maturity         26,865           38,653  
Other current assets         125,504           112,115  
Property, plant & equipment, net         103,718           97,173  
Goodwill         70,070           60,314  
Other intangible assets, net         56,577           49,125  
Long-term marketable securities held to maturity         28,322           19,994  
Other         1,893           2,110  
Total       $ 467,242         $ 439,827  
   
Current liabilities       $ 72,689         $ 67,679  
Long-term obligations under capital leases         211           285  
Deferred income taxes         27,033           27,033  
Other long-term liabilities         1,983           1,986  
Stockholders’ equity         365,326           342,844  
Total       $ 467,242         $ 439,827  
                         

The forward-looking statements contained herein are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect management’s analysis only as of the date hereof. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly revise or update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that arise after the date hereof.

LONDON  (Food-News.net)  Abbelen during routine quality control tests has found, that some of its hot dog sausage products are contaminated with listeria (listeria monocytongenes).

Consumption could cause serious health risks to pregnant women, children, diabetics and those with weak immune systems.

The company is, therefore, recalling all hot dog sausage products with use-by-date 12.08.2010 as a safety precaution.

Purchasers should return the product to the supermarket that they were bought from where full refunds will be made. Consumers and customers can obtain detailed information about the products concerned on the homepage at

www.abbelen.de/recall

Abbelen is available for all consumer enquiries between 06.00 – 22.00:

Hotline No. + 0800 6127 365

 

Two New Tastes – Stadium Nacho and Tailgater BBQ – Hit Stores Nationwide

PLANO, Texas  (Food-News.net)  It began by giving consumers an unprecedented opportunity to choose who they wanted as the Madden NFL 11 cover athlete. Now, as gaming and sports fans alike wait in anticipation for the release of Madden NFL 11 on August 10, Doritos tortilla chips – the bold, intense snack brand within PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division – is unleashing two new limited-edition flavors inspired by the legendary video game franchise – Stadium Nacho and Tailgater BBQ.

“When we invited Doritos lovers to choose this year’s Madden NFL cover athlete, the response was overwhelming,” said Rudy Wilson, vice president, marketing, Frito-Lay. “Now, with the release of Madden NFL 11 just around the corner, we wanted to give fans a new snack to enjoy that pairs perfectly with the franchise. From football themes to the bold, intense tastes, we’re bringing fans new flavors that enhance their experiences while gaming and on game days.”

The special Madden-inspired Doritos were developed using Frito-Lay’s cutting-edge FlavorPlus technology, which replicates the timing of how a flavor is released during consumption – from the smell and taste all the way to the texture – to deliver a truly authentic flavor experience. For consumers, it means each time they open a bag of new Stadium Nacho or Tailgater BBQ Doritos chips, they’ll enjoy powerful flavors that remind them of game day and unique aromas that will take them right onto the field.

Continuing its commitment to gaming fans, Doritos is also offering an exclusive chance to collect Madden Ultimate Team packs and coveted player cards with every Stadium Nacho and Tailgater BBQ bag purchase. For a limited time, consumers can redeem on-bag codes for online Madden Ultimate Team rewards and Madden NFL 11 prizes.  Madden Ultimate Team combines the best aspects of Madden NFL 11 gameplay, card collecting and fantasy football, allowing fans to put their personally crafted teams up against the rest of the online world.

Stadium Nacho and Tailgater BBQ are an extension of the Doritos “Change the Game” (www.doritoschangethegame.com) partnership with Electronic Arts. Doritos “Change the Game” allowed fans for the first time ever to pick the cover athlete of a Madden NFL game, for Madden NFL 11. From February 4 – March 15, 2010, fans voted online, with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees winning the coveted cover athlete honor.

“The partnership between EA SPORTS and Doritos has granted fans the opportunity to influence the Madden NFL franchise like never before,” said Christopher Erb, Senior Director of Partnership Marketing for EA SPORTS.  “We are proud to continue this partnership with Doritos’ new Madden NFL inspired flavors just in time for the launch of the game on August 10th.”

The limited-edition Stadium Nacho Doritos and Tailgater BBQ Doritos are available nationwide in the following sizes, 11.5 ounces for $3.99, 2.875 ounces for $1.29 and 2.125 ounces for $.99.

About Frito-Lay

Doritos tortilla chips is one of the many brands that make up Frito-Lay North America, the $13 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY.  Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate Web site, http://www.fritolay.com/, the Snack Chat blog, http://www.snacks.com/ and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/fritolay.

PepsiCo offers the world’s largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that each generates more than $1 billion in annual retail sales. Our main businesses – Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade – also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in more than 200 countries. With annualized revenues of nearly $60 billion, PepsiCo’s people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose. By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is a leading global interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the Company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, wireless devices and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTS™, EA™, EA Mobile™ and POGO™. In fiscal 2010, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.7 billion and had 27 titles that sold more than one million units. EA’s homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More information about EA’s products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com.

EA SPORTS™ is one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world, with top-selling videogame franchises, award-winning interactive technology, global videogame competitions and breakthrough digital experiences.  EA SPORTS delivers personal access to the emotion of sports through industry-leading sports simulation videogames, including Madden NFL football, FIFA Soccer, NHL® hockey, NBA ELITE basketball, NCAA® Football, Fight Night boxing, EA SPORTS MMA,  Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® golf, and EA SPORTS Active.

EA, EA SPORTS, EA Mobile, POGO and EA SPORTS Active are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.  John Madden and NFL are trademarks of their respective owners and used with permission.

© 2010 NFL Properties LLC. Team names/logos/indicia are trademarks of the teams indicated.  All other NFL-related trademarks are trademarks of the National Football League.

Fans Will Have a Chance to Sing Karaoke, Win Tickets to Lilith and More

TARRYTOWN, N.Y.  (Food-News.net)  The following event was announced today by Crystal Light:

WHAT:

  • Lilith title sponsor Crystal Light is offering Lilith fun for everyone and helping concert-goers get ready for a day at Lilith with a tailgating event at ShopRite.  There will be plenty of music and Crystal Light.  
  • Attendees will be invited to sing karaoke for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the New York Lilith show in Holmdel, N.J. and receive other exciting giveaways.
  • Once there, fans will be able to stock up on summer essentials from ShopRite for a day at Lilith or whatever they have planned, like Crystal Light to help them get the water they need.
  • Attendees who purchase two boxes of Crystal Light drink mix from ShopRite on July 29 will also receive a prize.  

WHEN:

  • Thursday, July 29, 4-6 p.m. – before July 31 New York Lilith tour stop

WHERE:

  • ShopRite in Brick
    668 Route 70
    Brick, NJ 08723

Crystal Light will also be at Lilith for the July 31 New York show and all U.S. tour stops.  The brand that helps women drink the water they need is bringing fans a “Refreshing Oasis” where they can get out of the sun to relax and rejuvenate with cooling mist and massage chairs.  Once there, they’ll enjoy free samples of refreshing Crystal Light Pure Fitness, the first nationally available low-calorie fitness drink mix with no artificial sweeteners, flavors or preservatives.(1)

(1) Among mass marketed sports drinks (Nielsen 52 Week Ending 2/20/2010)

To learn more about how Crystal Light is making a splash at Lilith, connect with Crystal Light on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/CrystalLight and follow @CrystalLight on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/CrystalLight).

Soft-Discount Grocer Plans to Expand in Greater Philadelphia Market

SALISBURY, N.C.  (Food-News.net)  Bottom Dollar Food, a soft-discount grocer, announced plans today to open approximately 15-20 stores by the end of 2010 in the greater Philadelphia market.  The announcement will create more than 600 jobs in the region and bring another grocery option to customers in the greater Philadelphia region.

“Bottom Dollar Food has great potential in the market as we believe it is underserved in the soft-discount grocer arena,” said Meg Ham, President of Bottom Dollar Food.  “We are very excited to expand Bottom Dollar Food and deliver the best price and value in grocery products to customers.”

Bottom Dollar Food is a full-shop discount grocer.  Bottom Dollar Food opened its first store in High Point, N.C., on Sept. 21, 2005.  Since that time, the banner has grown to 28 stores in North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland.  

“We look forward to serving the greater Philadelphia community,” added Ham.  “Customers will find Bottom Dollar Food unique because we carry national and private products, and offer outstanding quality in produce, meat and other products.  We offer the best prices on groceries in the market and provide our customers a friendly, fun and lighthearted shopping experience.”

Bottom Dollar Food has identified 21 locations for new stores, including:

  • 197 E. Dekalb Pike, Upper Merion, Pa. (King of Prussia)
  • 2134 Street Road, Bensalem Township, Pa. (Bensalem Plaza)
  • 154 Airport Road, Valley Township, Pa. (Coatesville, Airport Village Shopping Center)
  • 889 E. Lancaster Ave., East Caln, Pa. (Downingtown, Ashbridge Square)
  • 11 Bellvue Ave., Penndel, Pa. (Penndel Shopping Center)
  • 1856 Catasauqua Road, Allentown, Pa. (Valley Plaza Shopping Center)
  • 1955 Davisville Road, Willow Grove, Pa.
  • 782 Bethlehem Pike, North Wales, Pa. (Montgomeryville)
  • 2826 Dekalb Pike, Norristown, Pa. (East Norriton, Northtowne Plaza)
  • 219 W. Butler Ave., Chalfont, Pa. (Chalfont Village Shopping Center)
  • 2919 Lehigh St., Allentown, Pa.
  • 5200 Route 42, Turnersville, N.J. (Ganttown Plaza)
  • 1400 N. Charlotte St., Pottstown, Pa. (The Shops at Ringing Rock)
  • 4270 Perkiomen Ave., Exeter Township, Pa. (Reading Mall)
  • 230 N. Marlton Ave., Marlton, N.J. (Crispin Square)
  • Bustleton Ave. and County Line Road, Lower Southampton, Pa. (The Shops at Walnut Grove)
  • 6119 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pa. (Broad Street and Godfrey Avenue)
  • 3245 Hamilton Blvd, Allentown, Pa. (Dorneyville Shopping Center)
  • Krewstown Road and Welsh Road, Philadelphia, Pa. (Krewstown Shopping Center)
  • Lansdowne Ave. and Baltimore Ave., Lansdowne, Pa. (The Borough of Landsdowne)
  • 7627 Lindbergh Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. (Penrose Park Plaza)

Bottom Dollar Food is also considering other locations in the greater Philadelphia area, and will open its first store in the fall 2010.

“We are very fortunate to have a strong emerging banner that we can continue to grow in new markets,” added Ham.  “Bottom Dollar Food will be a great place to work as we create new jobs in the community.  We look forward to growing with the greater Philadelphia residents and being a good community partner in the areas in which we operate.”

About Bottom Dollar Food  

Bottom Dollar Food, based in Salisbury, N.C., operates 28 stores in North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. Bottom Dollar Food is a full-shop discount grocer offering the most popular national brands and private brand products at everyday best prices. Bottom Dollar Food is redefining discount shopping with its lighthearted atmosphere and focus on fresh produce and quality meats. For more information, visit www.bottomdollarfood.com.

ON THE GO BREAKFAST ITEMS AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY IN CONVENIENCE STORES NATIONWIDE

IRVING, Texas  (Food-News.net)  Hostess®, the maker of America’s most iconic snack cakes, has unveiled new Hostess Breakfast Classics, a convenient and familiar assortment of muffins, honey buns, cinnamon rolls and danishes available to consumers across the country, exclusively in convenience stores.  

The entire line of Hostess Breakfast Classics includes:

  • Twin Pack Blueberry Muffins
  • Twin Pack Chocolate Chip Muffins
  • Cinnamon Rolls
  • Glazed Honey Buns
  • Jumbo Honey Buns
  • Berry and Cheese Danishes
  • Cheese Danishes
  • Iced Cheese Danishes
  • Apple Danishes
  • Bear Claws

“For consumers on the go, Hostess Breakfast Classics offer convenient and delicious options that deliver the fresh, great taste consumers look for in our products,” said Mike Touhey, Vice President of Snack Marketing at Hostess Brands.  

For additional information about Hostess visit www.hostesscakes.com. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hostess_snacks.

Hostess Brands, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest providers of fresh-baked bread and sweet goods, sold under various brand names including Wonder®, Merita®, Home Pride®, Nature’s Pride®, Hostess®, Drake’s®, and Dolly Madison. The Company is headquartered in Irving, Texas.

Kellogg’s FiberPlus™ Cereal added to line-up after independent testing revealed consumers prefer the great taste of Kellogg’s FiberPlus™ Antioxidant Bars to comparable Fiber One® Bars(1).

BATTLE CREEK, Mich.  (Food-News.net)  Fiber-containing food products have flooded the market as Americans struggle to meet their daily fiber recommendations(2), but the need for something tasty and nutritious doesn’t stop at fiber. Research shows that consumers also are seeking to add more antioxidants and other nutrients to their diets(3). That’s why Kellogg Company is introducing new Kellogg’s FiberPlus™ Antioxidants Cereals, great-tasting sources of fiber and antioxidant vitamins C and E.

Kellogg’s FiberPlus™ brand raised the bar on taste last year with the introduction of Kellogg’s FiberPlus™ Antioxidants Bars. In an independent taste test, consumers said that both Kellogg’s FiberPlus™ Chocolate Chip and Dark Chocolate Almond bars tasted better than General Mills’ Fiber One® Oats & Chocolate Chewy bars(4). Now, Kellogg Company is bringing the great taste and nutrition of Kellogg’s FiberPlus™ to the cereal bowl. Consumer approval of Kellogg’s FiberPlus™ Antioxidant bars created the next logical opportunity for the Kellogg’s FiberPlus™ brand — Kellogg’s FiberPlus™ Antioxidants Cereals.

Kellogg’s FiberPlus™ Antioxidants Cereals are available in Berry Yogurt Crunch and Cinnamon Oat Crunch, and are available in the cereal aisles of grocery stores nationwide. Learn more at www.kelloggsfiberplus.com.

Kellogg’s FiberPlus™ is a brand that understands that consumers want to get positive nutrition without sacrificing great taste,” said Cheryl Dolven, registered dietitian and director of nutrition marketing at Kellogg Company.

Kellogg’s FiberPlus™ Antioxidants Cereals deliciously delivers fiber and antioxidants. It’s an ideal choice for consumers who want great taste and nutrition from their cereal.”

Kellogg Company already provides more ready-to-eat cereals that are at least a good source of fiber than any other food company(5); however, in a companywide effort to support better nutrition, Kellogg Company announced last June that the majority of its U.S. ready-to-eat cereals will be at least good sources of fiber by the end of 2010.

About Kellogg Company

With 2009 sales of nearly $13 billion, Kellogg Company is the world’s leading producer of cereal and a leading producer of convenience foods, including cookies, crackers, toaster pastries, cereal bars, fruit-flavored snacks, frozen waffles and veggie foods. The Company’s brands include Kellogg’s®, Keebler®, Pop-Tarts®, Eggo®, Cheez-It®, All-Bran®, Mini-Wheats®, Nutri-Grain®, Rice Krispies®, Special K®, Chips Deluxe®, Famous Amos®, Sandies®, Austin®, Club®, Murray®, Kashi®, Bear Naked®, Morningstar Farm®, Gardenburger® and Stretch Island®. Kellogg products are manufactured in 18 countries and marketed in more than 180 countries.  For more information, visit www.kelloggcompany.com. Kellogg’s Corporate Responsibility report including its approach, progress and future direction in the marketplace, workplace, environment and community can be found at www.kelloggcompany.com/CR. For information on Kellogg Company’s commitment to nutrition, visit www.kelloggsnutrition.com.

(1) In an independent taste test, consumers said that both Kellogg’s FiberPlus™ Chocolate Chip and Dark Chocolate Almond bars tasted better than General Mills’ Fiber One® Oats & Chocolate Chewy bars. The double-blind taste test was conducted by a third-party supplier in accordance with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Claims Testing Guidelines and showed statistically significant results. (Statistically significant indicates results could be duplicated 95 percent of the time.)

(2) NHANES 2003-2004

(3) Wellness Lifestyle Insights 2007 by the Hartman Group, Inc.

(4) The double-blind taste test was conducted by a third-party supplier in accordance with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Claims Testing Guidelines and showed statistically significant results. (Statistically significant indicates results could be duplicated 95 percent of the time.)

(5) Based on 42% share of ready-to-eat cereals that qualify as a source, high source and/or very high source of fiber. Nielson GB+MM+DRU, latest 52 weeks ending March 12, 2009.

Provides New Wholesome Frozen Option for Consumers

SALISBURY, Md.  (Food-News.net)  Perdue Farms Incorporated today announced a new Whole Grain frozen product line to provide consumers with a convenient meal or snack option that is both nutritious and delicious. Perdue’s latest line of frozen chicken is made with whole grain breading and includes Whole Grain Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets, Whole Grain Breaded Chicken Breast Strips and Whole Grain Breaded Chicken Breast Tenders.

The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend that all Americans make half or more of their grains, whole grains. Each Whole Grain PERDUE® product features the Whole Grains Council’s Stamp indicating that each serving provides at least one half-serving (8g) of whole grains. Plus, the line tastes great too – in consumer taste tests, consumers loved the appearance, aroma and taste of PERDUE® Whole Grain. Additionally, the PERDUE® Whole Grain Chicken products provide four grams of daily fiber per serving and are a good source of Vitamin B1, B6 and Niacin. As with all PERDUE® frozen products, the whole grain line is made with only white meat chicken, is an excellent source of protein and contains no preservatives or fillers.

PERDUE® Whole Grain Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets and Tenders are also “child nutrition” labeled, clearly identifying the contribution of these products towards fulfilling the USDA’s daily child nutrition meal pattern requirement.

The suggested retail price is $6.99 for the Perdue Whole Chicken Breast Nuggets and Tenders (29oz bag) and $9.49 for the Perdue Whole Grain Breaded Chicken Breast Strips (25oz bag).  The products can be found at local supermarket stores.

About Perdue

The PERDUE® brand is the #1 brand of fresh chicken in the Eastern United States.  Ranked third in sales in the poultry industry, Perdue Incorporated is a leading international food and agriculture business providing quality products and services to customers in more than 70 countries.

Privately held and family-run for three generations, the company employs more than 21,000 associates and partners with 2,200 independent farm families — all who share in the commitment to quality, service and reliability that has guided the company since its founding in 1920.

For more information, visit www.perdue.com®

MARSHALL, Minn.  (Food-News.net)  Minnesota-based Schwan’s Food Service, Inc. (SFSI), is the largest supplier of pizza to the National School Lunch Program. Currently, the company works with approximately 75 percent of the nation’s more than 96,000 schools. Earlier this year, SFSI committed to reducing the sodium in its school pizzas by 10 percent by the fall of 2011. Dedicated efforts in one of the company’s biggest brands have resulted in sodium reductions exceeding that goal as early as this fall.

Michael Wiser, senior marketing director for Schwan’s Food Service, announced at the 64th annual School Nutrition Association’s show that the company has achieved positive results with the reformulation of its Big Daddy’s® brand, which represents approximately one-third of its school pizza business. “We’re pleased to inform our school customers that this fall, twelve months earlier than anticipated, they will be able to offer their students a variety of Big Daddy’s pizzas with a 15 to 25 percent reduction in sodium.” This, explained Wiser, is a meaningful start to additional work that is being done by the company in the area of sodium reduction.

The Big Daddy’s line of pizza products was first introduced in 2005 and has become a well-known brand for middle and high school students. Developed with restaurant trends in mind, Big Daddy’s provides students a fun pizza experience similar to a pizzeria. Much research was done to develop the flavor profiles for these pizzas, as well as the right nutrition. The brand also offers harvest crust varieties, which combine enriched and whole grain flours to meet the demand for increased whole grains in schools.

“For more than a year, we’ve researched sodium reduction for Big Daddy’s pizza,” explains Sean Trygestad, pizza category marketing manager. “Our primary goal, in addition to reducing sodium, has been to retain and enhance the taste quality, ensuring that students would continue to enjoy the pizza,” said Trygestad. Taste tests were held with students throughout the process to confirm that the reduced sodium products performed as well as the original recipes. Final results were achieved through a reduction of salt as well as the use of sea salt.

“All pizza is not created equal,” said Wiser. For 35 years, SFSI has focused on the nutrition of children, understanding that feeding America’s children at school is an enormous responsibility. “On average, one slice of Schwan’s Food Service’s cheese pizza provides as much calcium as an 8-ounce glass of milk, as much fiber as a slice of whole grain bread, and the equivalent of an eighth-cup of vegetables…all for less than 400 calories,” continued Wiser. When paired with low-fat milk, fruits and vegetables, it’s a nutritious option for lunch and one that children and teens enjoy.

Since 2007, all subsidiaries of The Schwan Food Company have implemented internal guidelines specific to sodium and fat, anticipating the ongoing evolution of nutrition science and the dietary guidelines. Work has been ongoing at Schwan’s Research and Development since that time and SFSI has led the way in sodium reduction with these pizza products. The balance between taste and nutrition, two attributes of Schwan’s Food Service’s school pizza, is delicate. “It’s important that students eat well at school to perform to their best ability in the classroom,” said Wiser.

Children and teens eat a variety of foods during the week at school – balance is the key. “We know that pizza is a favorite choice, and we believe it’s our responsibility to make these products as nutritious as we can,” said Wiser.

With this reduction in sodium in the Big Daddy’s products, SFSI is well on its way to meeting the Institute of Medicine’s recent recommendation to reduce sodium over the next ten years in the school meal program. “This is an exciting first step in shifting our portfolio regarding sodium content, and increasing our better-for-you options for schools across the country,” said Wiser.

Schwan’s Food Service, Inc., a subsidiary of The Schwan Food Company based in Marshall, Minn., offers value-added frozen foods to foodservice operators through more than 1,800 active distributors. Customers include chain restaurants, public and private schools, universities, healthcare facilities and convenience stores. The company markets major brands such as Tony’s®, Freschetta® and Big Daddy’s® pizza, Rising Sun Sushi and Minh® brands. For more information, contact Schwan’s Food Service at 1-877-302-7426 or visit www.schwansfoodservice.com.

State’s leading food companies benefit from industry talent, research institutions

DES MOINES, Iowa  (Food-News.net)  Iowa food companies and Iowa research institutions are leading the charge to overhaul the ingredient and packaged food industries to meet the demands of consumers for healthier, wholesome food that is accessible and affordable.

“Iowa is synonymous with food, based on our heritage of feeding the world from our agricultural products, and we continue to produce more value-added products that are meeting the demands of today’s consumers,” said Bret Mills, director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development. “Iowa is truly fertile ground for the companies creating the food of tomorrow.”

The Iowa Department of Economic Development is a major sponsor and exhibitor at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting and Food Expo in Chicago this week along with more than 50 companies with facilities in Iowa.

Iowa is home to 32 of the world’s top 100 food companies, along with 40 more food packaging companies, and these companies are leading the way to produce the food of tomorrow.

  • Sethness Products Company in Clinton, the largest Caramel Color manufacturing facility in the world, launched a new caramelized sugar syrup this spring that delivers flavor, sweetness and color with one ingredient listing – sugar. This heeds consumers’ cries of ingredient overload and calls for simplified labels. It has applications in baked goods, spirits and liqueurs, high-sodium applications like soy sauce, beverages, ham glazes, meats, confectionery products and flavoring extracts.
  • Natural Products, Inc. (NPI), based in Grinnell, Iowa, continues to expand its product offering with the addition of two new food ingredients in 2010. IVORY200 Vegan Dairy Replacer allows industrial bakeries to reduce ingredients costs and address consumers’ allergy concerns by removing milk from bakery products. FELO100 Fiber-Enriched Low Fat Flour provides triple the amount of dietary fiber found in standard soy flour. Since its beginning in 1995, NPI has introduced over 25 new ingredients to the food industry. Roughly half of NPI’s total production is exported.
  • Des Moines, Iowa-headquartered Kemin Food Technologies offers FORTIUM® RGT Rosemary plus Green Tea food technologies that provide outstanding antioxidant benefits. With FORTIUM RGT, products can look great, taste delicious, and stay safe and fresh longer, since FORTIUM RGT specifically curbs lipid oxidation, delaying onset of rancidity as well as changes to color, flavor, and odor profile. Its versatile combination of green tea and rosemary complement each other with little or no impact on sensory and color profiles. The company has been in business since 1961 and now houses its world headquarters, Kemin Industries, Inc, Kemin AgriFoods North America, Kemin Health, Kemin Nutrisurance® and Kemin Food Technologies offices in Iowa.
  • Embria Health Sciences, headquartered in Ankeny, Iowa, combines science and nature to develop high-quality, research-based natural ingredients that are added to finished products. Embria’s flagship ingredient, EpiCor®, is an all-natural product that helps the body balance the immune system. Containing protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and other metabolites that deliver nutritional benefits and support immune health, clinical studies have found EpiCor’s immune-balancing properties provide year-round support by helping the body boost or suppress immune response as needed.
  • Islamic Services of America, headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa since 1975, is the oldest and most globally recognized Halal services provider in North America. ISA provides on demand services in the fields of Halal slaughter of meat and poultry, food processing, flavors and ingredients, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, vaccines and cosmetics around the world. Its trademarks are globally and USDA recognized. The current global Halal consumables industry is valued at $2.3 trillion with 67 percent being spent on food, beverage, flavors and ingredients. With 1.8 billion consumers worldwide demanding Halal certified U.S. goods, ISA has witnessed a 35 percent annual increase in demand for Halal certification services. That trend is expected to continue as population centers in Asia and the Middle East continue to grow.

In 2009, Iowa exported more than $9 billion in agricultural, manufactured/value-added goods. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2,851 Iowa companies exported goods from Iowa locations in 2007. And Iowa is exporting beyond U.S. borders. In 2009, the top five importers of Iowa agricultural, value added and manufactured goods were Canada, Mexico, Japan, Germany and China, according to the Global Trade Information Service.

The move toward ingredient and finished product manufacturing in Iowa shows the concentration of food industry talent, access to research and experts at education institutions and a young, technology driven work force that make Iowa a draw for new developments and existing companies’ expansions.

In addition, Iowa is training tomorrow’s workforce for the food industry. Iowa State University’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, headed by Dr. Ruth MacDonald, offers a combination of courses that integrate food science with nutrition down to the metabolic level . It is the leading program in the region and offers degrees that no other institution does to prepare graduates for major issues facing the U.S. food industry today, like obesity and increasing concerns that our food have a healthy balance between tasting good and providing the essential nutrients  for a healthy life.

“Careers in food science are the best kept secrets out there. Because of ISU’s strong reputation and proximity to the leading food companies in the world, most of our students have internship opportunities before graduating,” Dr. MacDonald said. “We didn’t see a decrease in job opportunities for our graduates during the economic downturn and students usually have two or three job offers to consider. It’s a path to worldwide job opportunities because most food companies have global markets.”

ISU graduates not only have a global marketplace, but Iowa’s agricultural commodities do as well. Iowa exported pork products to 32 countries and beef products to more than 23 countries in 2009. Iowa is the top producer in the U.S. of corn, soybeans, pork and eggs and produces one-tenth of the nation’s food supply. It’s the work ethic and productivity of the Iowa farmer that led the state to its international status as a food and ingredient manufacturer today.

Follow the latest news from the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) on Twitter (@FoodinIowa) and Facebook (Facebook.com/IowaEconomicDevelopment) before and during the IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo 2010. Also, stop by IDED’s pavilion (Booth 3621) to visit with representatives from IDED and more than 15 other Iowa food companies out of more than 50 exhibiting at the EXPO. For more information visit www.iowalifechanging.com/mediacenter.aspx.

Tis the Season for Blueberries – What you can do with Blue!

LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass.  (Food-News.net)  The heat is on, summer is in full swing, and there’s no better way to keep cool than with the refreshing taste of sun-ripened blueberries. Ocean Spray’s new line of blueberry inspired juice drinks, fresh and dried fruit are a sure-fire way to beat the heat and rejuvenate recipes for summer snacks and cocktails.

Throughout the summer, blueberries take center stage as a seasonal fruit favorite from pies and cobblers to fruit salads and smoothies. With good-for-you antioxidants packed into each blueberry, a blueberry inspired dish is a no-brainer. But don’t let the lazy days of summer get you in a recipe rut. Add a blueberry twist to traditional lemonade to impress party guests or delight the family with one-of-a-kind, Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Pops.

On a hot summer night, a cool salad not only hits the spot, but can provide a light and easy dinner option for two, four or even six.  Toss together blue cheese, baby greens and Craisins® Blueberry Juice Infused Dried Cranberries for a sweet yet savory dish — no oven required.  

Check out these blueberry recipe favorites and visit www.oceanspray.com:

BLUEBERRY-MINT LEMONADE

INGREDIENTS:

7 cups Ocean Spray® Blueberry Juice Cocktail

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, washed

1 12-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

DIRECTIONS:

Combine 1/2 cup of the blueberry juice cocktail with the mint leaves in large (at least 2-quart) nonmetal pitcher or container. Crush the mint leaves against the side and bottom of the container with a wooden spoon. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in remaining juice cocktail and the lemonade concentrate. Pour into glasses over ice. Garnish with extra mint leaves, if desired.

Makes 8 servings.

FROZEN BLUEBERRY YOGURT POPS

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup Ocean Spray® Blueberry Juice Cocktail

1 cup Ocean Spray® Fresh Blueberries, cleaned and rinsed

1 6-ounce container of fat-free vanilla yogurt

8 wooden craft sticks

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients in blender. Cover; blend on high speed 15 to 20 seconds or until smooth. Pour into 8 frozen pop molds (2.5 ounces to 3 ounces each). Cover, insert craft sticks, and freeze for 2 hours or until completely firm. To serve, dip outsides of molds into warm water to loosen.

Makes 8 pops.

BLUE CHEESE AND BABY GREENS WITH BLUEBERRY CRAISINS

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup walnut pieces or halves

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon water

1 5 to 6-ounce bag baby salad greens or spring greens

1 cup crumbled blue cheese

3/4 cup Ocean Spray® Craisins® Blueberry Juice Infused Dried Cranberries

DRESSING

2 tablespoons Ocean Spray® Blueberry Juice Cocktail

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE SALAD: Combine walnuts, sugar and water in 1-quart saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar melts and coats walnuts. Spread walnuts on waxed paper lightly sprayed with cooking spray; cool.

Combine greens, cheese, sweetened dried cranberries and walnuts in large bowl.

TO MAKE DRESSING: Whisk together all Dressing ingredients except oil in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil until slightly thickened. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat.

Makes 6 servings.

Green Bay conversion facility officially certified by Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)

RICHFIELD, Wis.  (Food-News.net)  DCI Cheese Company (DCI) today announces that the organization’s Green Bay facility has been recognized for meeting or exceeding the standards of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) as defined by GFSI’s official benchmarking procedure. GFSI is widely considered to be the “gold standard” for food safety. DCI’s Santa Rosa, Calif., facility was GFSI certified in March of this year as well. With the Green Bay facility’s certification, the company has successfully achieved its goal of company-wide GFSI certification at all production facilities placing DCI at the leading edge of advanced food safety practices.

GFSI is a non-profit benchmarking organization that seeks to continuously improve food production and manufacture systems to ensure the global supply chain is safe for consumers. The organization is comprised of the world’s leading food safety experts and serves 400 members in 150 countries. GFSI’s benchmarking procedure is executed in an impartial and transparent manner. Its benchmarking criteria meet internationally recognized food safety requirements and are accepted by many international and regional/national retailers and suppliers. In most cases, the level of food safety attained through GFSI far surpasses the requirements of federal, state and international standards.

“We take food safety and quality assurance very seriously and have invested heavily in our Green Bay facility to ensure we’re providing our customers the safest product possible,” says Tim Omer, President of DCI. “Very few manufacturers pass GFSI’s initial audit. We’re proud to say that we passed with flying colors, achieving an ‘A’ ranking – the best you can get.”

In meeting GFSI’s stringent requirements, DCI is recognized for embracing the standards of the British Retail Consortium and other highly respected national and international standards organizations that fall under the GFSI umbrella. In addition to meeting or exceeding GFSI’s standards, DCI is also fully committed to the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Programs. The company has also implemented exhaustive quality-assurance measures including formal programs for Current Good Manufacturing Practices and elevated standards for Food Safety Systems audits.

About DCI Cheese Company

An innovative leader in the cheese industry since 1975, Richfield, Wisconsin-based DCI Cheese Company is the largest importer, manufacturer and marketer of specialty cheeses and other restaurant-quality prepared foods in the United States. The company offers an impressive portfolio of fully-owned or exclusively-held imported and domestic specialty cheese brands including Black Diamond®, Goldy’s®, Joan of Arc®, King’s Choice®, Meza®, Nikos®, Organic Creamery® and Salemville®, among others. DCI’s value-added products can be found in restaurants, grocery stores, club stores and specialty shops across the country. DCI’s mission is to be the leading solution-based provider in the cheese industry and actively seeks strategic partnerships to expand their manufacturing, branding, sales, marketing and distribution. For more information on DCI Cheese Company and their portfolio of specialty cheese and prepared food brands, visit www.dcicheeseco.com.

Great-tasting, reduced sodium tortilla prototype will be featured at IFT 2010

MINNEAPOLIS  (Food-News.net)  At the Institute of Food Technologist (IFT) Food Expo, July 18-20 in Chicago, Cargill will demonstrate how food and beverage manufacturers can significantly reduce sodium in their products while providing the great “salty” flavor consumers desire. Specifically, Cargill will showcase a reduced sodium tortilla made with the SaltWise® sodium reduction system, a blend of ingredients that provides a salty taste while reducing sodium content from 25 to 50 percent, while also providing food manufacturers with the functionality of salt.

“Sodium, which is mostly obtained through salt, is one of many essential nutrients that our bodies need to function properly. Salt also plays an important functional role in many foods, such as texture and shelf stability,” said Carlos Rodriguez, marketing manager, Cargill Salt.

“As with many foods we like, salt is best enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle that includes exercise,” said Rodriguez. “However, according to the government’s health study(1), consumers are ingesting sodium levels above the daily maximum amount recommended by the current 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In addition, with another study showing that 77 percent of dietary sodium comes from processed and restaurant foods(2), the challenge for food manufacturers is to offer balanced options for consumers.”

According to Rodriguez, trends in sodium reduction aren’t being driven by consumer preference alone. “Industry and regulatory trends around salt have implications for our customers, as well,” he said.

For example, the National Salt Reduction Initiative is a voluntary program encouraging food manufacturers to reduce salt by 25 percent in five years, and a significant number of major food companies, national health organizations and states, cities and related entities have joined this partnership. Public and private organizations, such as the Institute of Medicine and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, are reviewing policies related to sodium/salt content, as well. Rodriguez further discusses the topic on the Cargill Innovation Exchange.

Cargill’s SaltWise® sodium reduction system addresses two major technical challenges that food and beverage manufacturers face when they’re looking to reduce salt in their products.

“The first challenge is reducing the sodium content without affecting the taste consumers love,” said Janice Johnson, food applications leader, Cargill Salt. “The second challenge is maintaining the texture, functionality and shelf-stability that salt provides.”

According to Johnson, the SaltWise® sodium reduction system takes a holistic approach to sodium reduction by using a blend of ingredients that can be used to reduce sodium, yet maintain the functional properties that salt delivers.

“We know that consumers are looking for lower-sodium foods that taste good. With the SaltWise® sodium reduction system, manufacturers have a new way to change how people think about reduced-salt foods,” she said. “The tortilla we’re showcasing at IFT is just one example of how we can help our customers innovate to develop successful, great-tasting products with less sodium.”

Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services.  Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 138,000 people in 67 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit www.cargill.com.

(1)National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2006

(2)Mattes and Donnelly, JACN, 1991; 10:383

SALINAS, Calif.  (Food-News.net)  Fresh Express is voluntarily recalling certain Romaine lettuce salad products with expired Use-by Dates of July 8 – 12 and an “S” in the Product Code because they may have the potential to be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. No other Fresh Express salads are included in the recall.

No illnesses have been reported in association with the recall. The precautionary recall action is being conducted to reach retailers as well as consumers.  Consumers should check their refrigerators for Fresh Express Romaine salads with Use-by Dates of July 8 – 12 and an “S” in the Product Code (see separate listing).  Retailers should check their inventories and store shelves to confirm that none of the product is mistakenly present or available for purchase by consumers. Fresh Express customer service representatives have already contacted a majority of retailers and are in the process of confirming that the recalled product is not in the stream of commerce.  

E. coli O157:H7 is a bacterium that can cause serious foodborne illness in a person who eats a food item contaminated with it. Symptoms of infection may include severe and often bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting. Often, little or no fever is present. Most healthy adults recover within a week. Young children and the elderly are at higher risk for developing Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) as a result of the infection. HUS can lead to serious kidney damage and death. Consumers who may experience these symptoms should consult a doctor.  

Only the Romaine lettuce salad products with use-by dates of July 8, July 9, July 10, July 11 and July 12, AND have an “S” in the product code are affected(see separate listing).

Retailers and Consumers who have any remaining expired product should not consume it, but rather discard it.  Retailers and Consumers with questions may call the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center at (800) 242-5472, Monday – Friday, 5 a.m. – 8 p.m., Pacific Time.  

The recall notification is being issued out of an abundance of caution due to an isolated instance in which one package of Fresh Express Hearts of Romaine salad yielded a positive result for E. coli O157:H7 in a random sample test collected and conducted by a third-party laboratory for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  

Fresh Express is coordinating closely with regulatory agencies.   Immediately upon learning about the positive test result, Fresh Express conducted a traceability assessment and a full review of its food safety documentation, all of which were found to be in compliance with the company’s multi-step food safety program including field and manufacturing records which did not show any unusual occurrences or the presence of any pathogens.    

Snapshot of Recall Action

What:

Fresh Express Romaine-based salad products with Use-by Dates of July 8 – 12 and an “S” in the Product Code are being recalled.  Although no longer being sold, consumers may still have the expired product in their homes. This recall action serves to notify them not to consume the expired product, but to discard it instead.

Reason:

A positive result for E. coli O157:H7 in a random sample test of a single Hearts of Romaine salad conducted by the FDA.

Instructions for Consumers:

Check refrigerators for expired Fresh Express Romaine salad with Use-by Dates of July 8 – 12 and an “S” in the Product Code. If found, do not consume and immediately discard it – as Fresh Express specifically recommends consumers should routinely do with any expired product. Consumers with questions may call the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center at (800) 242-5472, Monday – Friday, 5 a.m. – 8 p.m., Pacific Time.  

Instructions for Retailers:

Check inventories and store shelves to confirm that none of the expired product is mistakenly present or available for purchase by consumers. Coordinate with Fresh Express customer service representatives who are already confirming that the recalled product is not in the stream of commerce.  

Illnesses:  No illnesses related to this recall have been reported.

Detailed listing of Recalled Product Codes:  
Complete Listing of Romaine-Based Products Included in the Fresh Express Precautionary Recall Announced July 14, 2010

(No other Fresh Express Salads are included in this recall)

 
Bag UPC Code Product Description Ounces Production Code Use By Date Range  
71279 10802 Double Carrots 12.0 S174, S175 July 8-9, 2010  
71279 10804 Green & Crisp 12.0 S174, S175 July 8-9, 2010  
71279 10808 Premium Romaine 9.0 S174, S175, S176 July 8-10, 2010  
71279 10809 Lettuce Trio 9.0 S175, S176 July 9-10, 2010  
71279 21100 Italian 10.0 S174, S175, S176 July 8-10, 2010  
71279 23201 Fancy Greens 7.0 S174, S175 July 8-9, 2010  
71279 24100 American 12.0 S175, S176 July 11-12, 2010  
71279 25101 5-Lettuce Mix 6.0 S175 July 9, 2010  
71279 26102 Hearts of Romaine 10.0 S174, S175, S176 July 8-10, 2010  
71279 26111 Triple Hearts 8.0 S175, S176 July 9-10, 2010  
71279 26112 Leafy Green Romaine 9.0 S175 July 9, 2010  
71279 26201 Hearts of Romaine 18.0 S174, S175 July 8-9, 2010  
71279 28100 Veggie Lovers 12.0 S174, S175 July 8-9, 2010  
71279 30100 Caesar Completes Kit 10.0 S175, S176 July 9-10, 2010  
71279 30101 CaesarLite Completes Kit 10.0 S175, S176 July 9-10, 2010  
71279 30104 Caesar Supreme Completes Kit 10.8 S175, S176 July 9-10, 2010  
71279 30105 BLT Caesar Completes Kit 10.5 S175 July 9, 2010  
71279 30201 Asian Supreme Completes Kit 13.8 S175, S176 July 9-10, 2010  
71279 30601 Salsa! Ensalada Supreme Completes Kit 14.0 S174, S175 July 8-9, 2010  
71279 40701 Gourmet Cafe Chicken Caesar 7.8 S175 July 9, 2010  
71279 40705 Gourmet Cafe Caribbean Chicken 8.6 S175 July 9, 2010  
71279 40706 Gourmet Cafe Tuscan Chicken 7.8 S175 July 9, 2010  
71279 26100 Romaine Chopped 32.0 S175 July 9, 2010  
Distribution Area  
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska,  
New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, Washington, Nevada  
           

Fresh Express Prevention-based Food Safety:

Fresh Express is firmly committed to food safety and has made food safety its number one priority.  The company has invested heavily in building a comprehensive food safety program that is widely regarded for its excellence.  Focused on prevention, the multi-step food safety program covers the entire supply chain, beginning in the fields before planting and continuing all the way through to growing, pre-harvesting, harvesting, manufacturing, shipping and delivery. Microbial testing is an important component of the program.

Case Involving Drink for Kids Is Agency’s First Challenging Deceptive Probiotic Advertising

WASHINGTON  (Food-News.net)  A subsidiary of Nestle S.A., the world’s largest food and nutrition company, has agreed to drop allegedly deceptive advertising claims about the health benefits of its children’s drink BOOST Kid Essentials, as part of a settlement resolving the Federal Trade Commission’s first case challenging advertising for probiotics.

The FTC complaint charges that from fall 2008 to fall 2009, Nestle HealthCare Nutrition, Inc. made deceptive claims in television, magazine, and print ads that BOOST Kid Essentials prevents upper respiratory tract infections in children, protects against colds and flu by strengthening the immune system, and reduces absences from daycare or school due to illness.

BOOST Kid Essentials is a nutritionally complete drink intended for children ages 1 to 13.  The probiotics in BOOST Kid Essentials are embedded in a straw that comes with the drink, which was prominently featured in ads for the product.  Probiotics are live, beneficial bacteria that are found naturally in many foods, and they are known for aiding digestion and fighting harmful bacteria.  

“??Nestle’s claims that its probiotic product would prevent kids from getting sick or missing school just didn’t stand up to scrutiny,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.  “Parents want to do right by their kids, and the FTC is helping them by monitoring ads and stopping those that are deceptive.” 

The advertisements challenged by the FTC featured the drink’s probiotic straw.  In one ad, the straw jumped out of the drink box, formed a protective barrier around a girl as she encountered a sneezing boy, and then formed steps allowing her to reach a basketball hoop and shoot a ball into the net.      

The ads falsely claimed that BOOST Kid Essentials is clinically shown to reduce illness in children, to protect from colds and flu by strengthening the immune system, and to help children up to age 13 recover more quickly from diarrhea, the FTC charged.

Under the proposed settlement, Nestle HCN has agreed to stop claiming that BOOST Kid Essentials will reduce the risk of colds, flu, and other upper respiratory tract infections unless the claim is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  Although FDA approval of health claims generally is not required for compliance with the FTC Act, in this case, the FTC determined that requiring FDA pre-approval before Nestle HCN makes claims that certain   products prevent or reduce the risk of upper respiratory tract infections will provide clearer guidance.  In turn, this will facilitate Nestle HCN’s compliance with the proposed settlement order and will make the order easier to enforce.  

Nestle HCN also has agreed to stop claiming that BOOST will reduce children’s sick-day absences and the duration of acute diarrhea in children up to age 13, unless the claims are true and backed by at least two well-designed human clinical studies.

The FTC’s proposed settlement also prohibits Nestle HCN from making any claims about the health benefits, performance, or efficacy of any probiotic and nutrition drinks that it sells at  retail, unless the claims are true and backed by competent and reliable scientific evidence.  It also bars the company from misrepresenting any tests or studies.

The FTC vote to approve the administrative complaint and proposed consent agreement was 5-0.  The FTC will publish an announcement regarding the agreement in the Federal Register shortly.  The agreement will be subject to public comment for 30 days, beginning today and continuing through August 16, 2010, after which the FTC will decide whether to make it final.  To file a public comment, please click on the following hyperlink: https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/nestle.  Copies of the complaint, the proposed consent agreement, and an analysis of the agreement to aid in public comment are available from both the FTC’s website at http://www.ftc.gov and the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580.

NOTE:  The Commission issues an administrative complaint when it has reason to believe that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest.  The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the respondent has actually violated the law.  The consent agreement is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute admission by the respondent of a law violation.  When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions.  Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $16,000.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them.  To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).  The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

(FTC File No. 549015)

Target Guests to Help Donate Up to $800,000 to Feed Hungry Children in Schools Across the Country

MINNEAPOLIS  (Food-News.net)  Target today announced its continued support to help end childhood hunger and support K-12 education by partnering with Kraft Foods and Procter & Gamble to donate up to $800,000 to Feeding America™.  From July 11 to August 14, when Target guests purchase select Kraft Foods and Procter & Gamble products at any local Target store, five percent of the total sales of those products will be donated to Target Meals for Minds – an innovative school food pantry program that brings food to schools to help feed children and families in need across the country.  The program donation is part of Target’s $3.5 million total 2010 commitment to Feeding America and local food banks nationwide to help combat childhood hunger and its impact on learning.  

“When children are hungry, they have trouble staying alert and can fall behind in school,” said Laysha Ward, president, community relations, Target. “This in-store promotion reinforces Target’s commitment to putting more kids on the path to graduation and allows our guests to help kids meet their academic potential by purchasing products already on their shopping lists.”

Through this exclusive promotion, Target guests can help feed the more than 17 million children and their families in America who are faced with hunger by purchasing products such as select varieties of Kraft® Macaroni & Cheese Dinner, Maxwell House® Coffee, and Planters® nuts, as well as Cheer® laundry detergent, Bounty® paper towels and Pampers® among other items. To view a complete list of designated Kraft Foods and Procter & Gamble products or for more information about the Target Meals for Minds program, visit Target.com/mealsforminds.  Target also will publicize the promotion through its weekly ad and in-store signing at stores across the country.  

“P&G has been a proud supporter of Feeding America for more than 20 years. Partnering with Target to support Target Meals for Minds is a natural extension of that relationship.  Through our company’s cause (Live, Learn and Thrive), we aim to reach more than 50 million children in need every year with programs that help them get off to a healthy start, receive access to education, and build skills for life.  Supporting Target Meals for Minds makes a meaningful difference in the lives of children, who are our future,” said Joanne Harris, Procter & Gamble’s Target team leader.

“Fighting hunger is Kraft Foods’ biggest opportunity to give back to the community.  We’ve partnered with Feeding America for decades to do just that, through our food donations and our mobile food pantries that deliver fresh produce and meal-time staples to hungry families,” said Dave Cichocki, Customer Vice President for Kraft Foods.  “We’re thrilled to join Target to help expand this innovative school pantry program to reach even more people in need.”

Target began piloting the Target Meals for Minds school food pantry program last spring in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Miami, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Chicago. The pilot schools were selected by participating food banks, in cooperation with local schools.  At each school, a majority of students qualify for participation in the free and reduced-price lunch program.   The school food pantry program provides families with emergency food assistance, helping them bring home the ingredients to build balanced meals and feed healthy minds.  

As part of the pilot, Target is partnering with Feeding America to develop the tools needed to help local food banks bring the Target Meals for Minds school food pantry program to more schools in their communities. Currently, a number of school food pantry models are being tested, including in-school and mobile pantry versions.  Target also is developing best practices to incorporate nutrition education into the Target Meals for Minds program and to drive parental engagement in schools.

Target has partnered with Feeding America since 2001 in its fight to end hunger in the U.S. Target donated an estimated 19.6 million pounds of food and other products to Feeding America in 2009, and in 2010 Target is projected to donate more than 20 million pounds of food to help feed children and families across the country.

About Procter & Gamble

Four billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world. The company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Pampers®, Tide®, Ariel®, Always®, Whisper®, Pantene®, Mach3®, Bounty®, Dawn®, Gain®, Pringles®, Charmin®, Downy®, Lenor®, Iams®, Crest®, Oral-B®, Actonel®, Duracell®, Olay®, Head & Shoulders®, Wella®, Gillette®, Braun® and Fusion®. The P&G community includes approximately 135,000 employees working in about 80 countries worldwide. In these countries and beyond, P&G is committed to improving lives for children in need through its global cause, Live, Learn and Thrive.  Every day P&G Live, Learn and Thrive™ is helping children get off to a healthy start, receive access to education, and build skills for life.  Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G, its brands, and Live, Learn and Thrive.

About Feeding America

Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, our network members supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks support 61,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms. For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community and across the country, visit http://www.feedingamerica.org. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or follow our news on Twitter at twitter.com/FeedingAmerica

About Kraft Foods Support of Hunger and Healthy Lifestyles

Kraft Foods is taking a stand when it comes to fighting hunger and promoting healthy lifestyles.  The company, along with the Kraft Foods Foundation, is addressing food insecurity through an integrated approach to affect lasting change. The company is meeting the immediate needs of the hungry with direct aid through financial contributions and donations of food.  Kraft Foods and its Foundation have donated nearly $1 billion in cash and food to organizations since 1990.  In the United States alone, they’ve provided over one billion servings of food during the past 10 years.

About Target

Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,740 stores in 49 states nationwide and at Target.com. Target is committed to providing a fun and convenient shopping experience with access to unique and highly differentiated products at affordable prices. Since 1946, the corporation has given 5 percent of its income through community grants and programs like Take Charge of Education. Today, that giving equals more than $3 million a week.

Product, Merchandising Innovations Seen As Biggest Revenue Drivers: Most Now See Full U.S. Economic Recovery Two Years Out

NEW YORK  (Food-News.net)  Senior executives in the food and beverage industry see improved revenue and profitability this year and next, but caution that the jobs outlook in their sector will only gradually improve in 2011 according to a recent survey conducted by KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm.

About two-thirds of executive respondents in the KPMG survey said their revenue and profitability were better now than a year ago, in marked contrast to KPMG’s survey of the sector last summer when less than one-third thought these business measures were better than the previous year.  

Regarding jobs, 39 percent of respondents were more optimistic about employment in their sector over the next year, which is seven percentage points higher than last summer’s survey.

When it came to their specific hiring plans, while 51 percent of the senior food and beverage executives said they expect to add headcount – most estimated only in the range of one to three percent.  Twenty-three percent of respondents thought they would cut headcount this year and 26 percent expected no change.

Product, Merchandising Innovations Drive Revenue Growth

When asked to name the biggest drivers of their company’s revenue growth in the next 1-3 years, the food and beverage execs most frequently cited product innovations (89 percent) and innovative merchandising strategies (82 percent) as their top two factors.  

“Food and beverage executives are seeing a better economic picture this year relating to their overall business,” said Patrick Dolan, KPMG LLP national line of business leader – Consumer Markets, and U.S. sector leader – Food, Drink and Consumer Goods.  “However, significant concerns remain over the employment outlook and the continued challenges of heightened competition and aggressive pricing and discounting practices.

“The executives tell us they are also focusing on innovation–in products, in services and in branding and promotions–to drive growth,” continued Dolan.  “A clear illustration of this is the skyrocketing use of mobile internet and online shopping.  Food and beverage executives will need to meet the challenge of marketing to a consumer base growing more technologically savvy every day.”

U.S. Economic Recovery Seen As Two Years Away

Consistent with the results of last year’s survey, the majority of food and beverage executives (59 percent) expect their sector to recover ahead of the U.S. economy as a whole.  And they believe the timeline for a full U.S. economic recovery, on average, is now 2.2 years away – which translates to June 2012.  In last year’s survey, executives estimated 1.9 years for a U.S. economic recovery.  

When survey respondents were asked to identify the triggers they think will accelerate a U.S. economic recovery, the top two factors cited were increased hiring from improved business conditions (70 percent) and improved consumer confidence (66 percent).  

“While there is an uptick in the level of optimism this year from the food and beverage execs, they are pushing their recovery outlook even further out from last year’s predictions,” added Dolan.  “These results illustrate that the economy will most likely not recover as rapidly as hoped, placing additional emphasis on food and beverage companies to continue to employ strategies to manage costs and improve productivity.  Companies are trying to achieve sustainable margin improvement in the face of continuing challenging times.”

Factors and Triggers Impacting Sector Recovery

Executives thought the increased use of mobile internet by consumers (39 percent) would most positively impact sector recovery followed by increased online shopping (34 percent) and increased outsourcing of technical/business procedures (28 percent).  Overcapacity of store space was cited by 30 percent of the respondents as having the most negative impact on sector recovery.

Factors most likely to hinder economic recovery in their sector include continuing high national unemployment (64 percent), decreased consumer confidence (49 percent) and increased government regulation (34 percent).

In a related question, when asked about their current biggest expected challenges, the execs cited discounts driven by market competition (46 percent), recognizing/responding to customer needs/trends (11 percent) and increase in private labels (11 percent).

Other major KPMG survey findings include:

  • Nearly half of the executives (49 percent) also say their company’s ability to get financing and raise capital has improved in the past six months, with 44 percent saying it has stayed the same and 7 percent claiming it has gotten worse.  
  • Interestingly, 67 percent of the executives say perceived value is the most important factor in determining where customers will buy, followed by price which was cited by 20 percent of the respondents.
  • When asked about their company’s global expansion efforts, 43 percent of respondents said they have already expanded into emerging markets.  Of those that have already entered emerging markets, the regions cited most often were Latin America (25 percent), China (23 percent) and Brazil (18 percent).  
  • The KPMG survey also asked food and beverage executives to indicate if their strategic focus was now on investing for growth or cutting costs.  In line with last year’s results, almost two-thirds (61 percent) chose the investment option, but 39 percent said they were still focused on cost cutting.  

The KPMG Industry Pulse Survey

The KPMG survey was conducted during April and May 2010 and reflects the responses of 61 CEOs and other C-level suite executives in the food and beverage industry.  Approximately 21 percent of respondents work for food and beverage companies with annual revenues exceeding $1 billion; 46 percent represent companies with annual revenues in the $250 million-$1 billion range and 32 percent represent companies with annual revenue below $250 million.  Clarion Research Inc. conducted the survey and compiled the data.

About KPMG LLP’s Food, Drink and Consumer Goods Practice

KPMG LLP in the U.S. is a leading accounting, tax and advisory firm for the food, drink and consumer products industry, where our in depth and long-term experience has helped clients become or remain market leaders in the sector. KPMG LLP assists clients in increasing shareholder value by offering industry-specific advice that helps clients manage the challenges specific to the food, drink and consumer goods industry.  

About KPMG LLP

KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (www.us.kpmg.com), is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”).  KPMG International’s member firms have 140,000 professionals, including more than 7,900 partners, in 146 countries.

The views and opinions expressed in the survey results are based on the responses of the survey participants and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of KPMG LLP.

Pierre’s Smart Picks™ line will be available in school cafeterias this fall

CINCINNATI  (Food-News.net)  Pierre Foods, Inc. today officially unveiled Smart Picks ™—its new line of more nutritious school menu options—at the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference, giving students across the nation a reason to look forward to cafeteria lunches this coming fall. While other food manufacturers have committed to offering students more nutritious meal options in the coming two to five years, Smart Picks will be ready to serve in cafeterias when school begins next month.

Pierre Foods’ Smart Picks line will allow students to choose from more than 60 different nutritional menu choices, including all-beef hamburger patties, which have 37 percent less sodium than current patties; grilled chicken patties, which contain less than 15 percent of the recommended daily allowance of sodium; and macaroni and cheese, which is made with whole grain pasta and is an excellent source of protein.

“In an effort to fight the child obesity crisis, First Lady Michelle Obama, school foodservice directors, parents and students nationwide have called on school food manufacturers to create new products with reduced sodium and excellent sources of protein, but that students will still choose and enjoy,” said Bill Toler, CEO of Pierre Foods, Inc. “Pierre Foods is proud to be among the first to answer that call by launching our Smart Picks line.”

Pierre Foods’ Smart Picks line includes a variety of items that have one or more of the following attributes: zero grams of trans fat, reduced sodium, reduced fat, a good source of protein, no hydrogenated oils, made with whole grains and a good source of fiber.  

In order to find the balance between the tastes that kids love and the nutritional values that they need, Pierre Foods spent more than a year creating Smart Picks’ recipes. Nearly 2,000 students recently taste-tested products from Pierre’s Smart Picks line and liked these items as well as or better than similar Pierre school menu items.

“As a school chef, I’ve seen first hand that food can’t just have lower fat, reduced sodium, or whole grains,” said Chef Jimmy Gherardi, chief culinary advisor at Pierre Foods and chef at Seven Hills School in Cincinnati.  “Food has to taste and look good—or the kids won’t eat it. This is why I really appreciate the time Pierre Foods took to taste-test the Smart Picks products with more than 2,000 kids.  Now, they not only have a product line that contributes to that healthier lifestyle for kids, but also one that has products kids will actually eat.”

And not only is Pierre dedicated to the quality and taste of the product, but it is committed to working with schools’ limited budgets. To that end, the new Smart Picks items are comparatively priced to its classic school product counterparts.

In conjunction with the launch of the Smart Picks line and as a further sign of its commitment to student nutrition, Pierre also announced the reinstatement of its Nutrition Advisory Council that will provide expert advice on how to continue to promote better eating in America’s schools and develop products that kids will love. The Council’s 12  members represent a broad cross-section of school foodservice directors from a variety of schools sizes and locations.

“For more than 30 years, Pierre Foods has been creating school menu options that contribute to a healthy lifestyle,” said Toler.  “As a company that serves 90 of the nation’s 100 largest school districts, we recognize the importance of creating nutritious products as well as a support system to promote better eating. The creation of the Smart Picks line and the development of our Nutrition Advisory Council are just the next step in Pierre’s continued commitment to supporting ‘smarter’ eating in America’s schools.”

For more information about the Smart Picks line, visit www.PierreFoods.com.

**Editor’s Note: Video from the press conference will be available later today, please call 312-573-5480 if you would like to receive the video coverage.**

Pierre Foods is a nationally recognized industry leader in providing meat and sandwich products to a wide variety of distribution outlets including restaurants, grocery stores, vending machines, schools, the military, convenience stores and hospitals. Pierre Foods offers more than 1,000 different products, including more than 400 different types of full-size and mini sandwiches plus beef, pork, poultry, bakery items, pastas, fruit cups and peanut butter products.  Headquartered in Cincinnati, OH, Pierre has manufacturing facilities in Cincinnati, Rome, GA, Claremont, NC, Amherst, OH and Easley, SC.  

 

Decline in Milk Drinking Translated to Substantial Loss of Nutrients that Could Negatively Impact Children’s Health

DALLAS  (Food-News.net)  Eliminating chocolate and other flavored milks from school cafeteria menus resulted in a dramatic drop in milk consumption along with a substantial reduction in nutrients – which are not easy or affordable to replace, according to a new study presented today at the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference.

The largest of its kind to date, the study included nearly 700 measurement days over three months at 58 elementary and secondary schools across the country. It found that when lowfat flavored milk was not available in school cafeterias, many children chose not to drink milk and missed out on the essential nutrients that milk provides. On days when only white milk was offered, milk consumption dropped an average of 35 percent, with some schools experiencing a decline of more than 50 percent. The study also revealed that milk consumption stayed down in schools that were in their second year of eliminating or restricting flavored milks.

“When flavored milk was not an option, many children wouldn’t take the white milk or if they did, they frequently threw it away,” said Linda Stoll, MPH, executive director of food services at Jeffco Public Schools in Jefferson County, Colo., which participated in the study. “It was tragic to see all the nutrients go down the drain.”

The researchers estimate that this decline in consumption translates to an alarming drop in nutrients – including calcium, vitamins A and D, potassium, magnesium and protein. This includes three of the four “shortfall nutrients” the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has said both adults and children need to consume more of: vitamin D, calcium and potassium. The researchers concluded it would require up to four different foods to match the nutrient contributions of milk, yet these foods would add back more calories and fat and cost up to $4,500 more annually per 100 students.

Conducted by Prime Consulting Group and funded by the Milk Processor Education Program, the study analyzed the impact of changing the availability of flavored milk in schools on children’s milk consumption and intakes of key nutrients in seven school districts across the country that had made decisions to either eliminate flavored milks, or limit the days they were offered. While the findings reinforced previous research that showed restricting flavored milk reduced overall milk consumption1, this was the first study to examine the amount of milk taken by students and then measure the actual quantity of milk discarded to estimate the nutrients lost.

Nutrients Down the Drain

All seven school districts experienced a decline in milk consumption when flavors were not available. Overall, milk consumption dropped an average of 35 percent. Two districts found that milk consumption dropped by an average of 43 percent when only white milk was offered. In addition, five of the individual schools participating in the study saw consumption drop by more than 50 percent.

The study also revealed that the drop in consumption did not recover over a year’s time. Even the 40 schools that were in their second year of a limited- or no-flavors policy did not see students moving to white milk. On average, students at these schools drank 37 percent less milk compared to when they had flavored milk available every school day.

“It’s important for parents and school professionals to recognize the implications of removing chocolate milk from school meals,” said Rachel K. Johnson, PhD, RD, a professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont who reviewed the study and provided consultation on the impact of the flavored milk changes on the children’s nutrient intakes. “As the study demonstrated, there could be well-meaning but negative consequences of limiting the availability of flavored milks.”

The results indicate that the essential nutrients lost from the decline of milk consumption with the elimination of flavors are substantial and are not easily replaced by other foods. For a first grader, the drop in milk consumption equates to an average loss in daily nutrients of about 10 percent of their recommended daily calcium, protein and vitamin A, and about 15 percent loss of vitamin D and phosphorus.

“Milk ranks among the top sources of calcium, vitamin D, protein, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin A,” Johnson said. “Schools would need to re-plan their menus to ensure they deliver the important nutrients that are lost due to reduced milk consumption.”

“It seems clear to me that there are far better ways to trim calories and added sugars from the menu than removing chocolate milk, which makes so many positive contributions to children’s diets,” Stoll said. “Chocolate milk is just as nutrient-rich as white milk, and if it helps children drink more milk, then that’s a positive strategy.”

Nearly 70 percent of the milk children choose to drink in school is flavored, which offers the same nine essential nutrients as white milk. The majority of milk offered in schools, both white and flavored, is lowfat or fat-free.

A Nutrient-Rich Option

The nation’s leading health and nutrition organizations and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recognize the valuable role that milk, including flavored milk, can play in meeting daily nutrient needs. In addition, they recognize the small amount of added sugars in flavored milk is an acceptable trade-off for the nutrients provided.

Stoll said it’s unfair to try to compare the sugar content of flavored milk and other sugar-sweetened beverages like soft drinks because milk is such a nutrient-rich beverage that supplies protein, calcium and so many of the other vitamins and minerals that kids need.

Additionally, studies show that children who drink flavored milk drink more milk overall, have better quality diets, do not have higher intakes of sugar, fat or calories, and are more likely to be at a healthy weight compared to kids who drink little or no milk.2-4

“I think it comes down to the importance of offering a choice,” Stoll said. “We have a lot of kids – and the study showed it – who won’t drink white milk. If chocolate or flavored milk is what they want, to me, that is far preferable to no milk. It is a cost-effective way to provide essential nutrients they may not be getting elsewhere.”

Industry Innovations

Recognizing that many schools want to reduce the sugar content in all their menu offerings, more than 90 industry-partner milk companies across the U.S. have proactively reformulated flavored milk to lower its added sugars, fat and total calories, while preserving its nutritional value. These new products aim for 150 calories and less than 25 grams of sugar per 8-ounce serving, while striving to provide a product with a taste students will accept so they will continue to choose and enjoy drinking nutrient-rich flavored milk.

About the In-School Study

Conducted by Prime Consulting Group and funded by the Milk Processor Education Program, the study analyzed milk consumption in 58 elementary and secondary schools in seven school districts across the country that had made decisions to either eliminate chocolate and other flavored milks, or limit the days they were offered. The participants monitored the amount of milk selected and measured “plate waste” (the amount of milk thrown away) to calculate the ounces of milk consumed or wasted. The study included a total of nearly 700 observation days over a three-month period. Prime Consulting Group worked with nutrition and school food service professionals to calculate the nutrients lost by the decline in milk consumption and the menu changes required to make up for the lost nutrients.

About the Milk Processor Education Program

The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), Washington, D.C., is funded by the nation’s milk processors, who are committed to increasing fluid milk consumption. The National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board, through MilkPEP, runs the National Milk Mustache “got milk?®” Campaign, a multi-faceted campaign designed to educate consumers about the health benefits of milk. For more information, go to www.whymilk.com. Deutsch, A Lowe and Partners Company, is the creative agency for the National Milk Mustache “got milk?®” Campaign.

____________________

References

1. Patterson J, Saidel M. The removal of flavored milk in schools results in a reduction in total milk purchases in all grades, K-12. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009; 109,(9): A97.2.
2. Johnson RK, Frary C, Wang MQ. The nutritional consequences of flavored milk consumption by school-aged children and adolescents in the United States. J Am Diet Assoc. 2002; 102(6):853-856.
3. Frary CD, Johnson RK, Wang MQ. Children and adolescents’ choices of foods and beverages high in added sugars are associated with intakes of key nutrients and food groups. J Adolesc Health 2004; 34(1):56-63.
4. Murphy MM, Douglas JS, Johnson RK, Spence LA. Drinking flavored or plain milk is positively associated with nutrient intake and is not associated with adverse effects on weight status in U.S. children and adolescents. J Am Diet Assoc. 2008; 108:631-639.

Consumers can now make foods calling for confectioners’ and brown sugar without sugar

INDIANAPOLIS  (Food-News.net)  Heartland Sweeteners, known for its array of sugar-free sweeteners with health benefits, has created Ideal® Confectionery, the world’s first and only low-calorie powdered sweetener made with the natural ingredient xylitol. In addition, the company is also announcing Ideal® Brown, which measures cup for cup like brown sugar and is perfect for baking. These are the first low-calorie brown and powdered products that will sweeten without sugar.

Ideal® Confectionery provides all the flavor of your favorite buttercream frosting, without using sugar – especially important for those with diabetes and calorie-conscious individuals. Plus, Ideal® Confectionery has 130 fewer calories per cup than sugar, and xylitol, the key ingredient in all Ideal® products, is known to effectively reduce tooth decay.

Performing as well as brown sugar in muffins or marinades or sprinkled on oatmeal, Ideal® Brown has the texture and taste one expects from traditional brown sugar. Yet Ideal® Brown contains zero calories and just 1.5 carbohydrates per serving.

“We have been developing and testing Ideal® Brown and Confectionery sweeteners for months and are pleased to be signing additional customers each week,” said Eddie Pellegrino, VP sales. “The Ideal® line of sweeteners has been very successful, and we look forward to further innovation in the future. Ideal® is the best-tasting sugar substitute on the market and does not have the bitter aftertaste often associated with many varieties of stevia.”

Ideal® Confectionery will be sold in 16-ounce packages, equal to a standard size box of powdered sugar. Ideal® Brown will be sold in 10.6-ounce packages, with equivalent sweetness to a 2-lb box of brown sugar. For more information, visit www.idealsweet.com.

About Heartland Sweeteners

Based outside of Indianapolis, Heartland Sweeteners, LLC, is a leader in the production and development of innovative food products that are great for the whole family. Heartland produces and distributes branded and private label sweeteners for the food industry. Their branded products of Nevella® with probiotics and Ideal® are great for the whole family, diabetics and people watching their calorie intake. Both Nevella® and Ideal® are perfect for baking and are distributed throughout North America, Europe and Central and South America. Visit Heartland at www.idealsweet.com and www.nevella.com.

 

Yogurt raisins to be available to sample at this year’s Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting and Food Expo

CLEVELAND  (Food-News.net)  Ganeden Biotech, Inc., maker of the patented probiotic strain GanedenBC30®, today announced the launch of a new partnership with Tropical Nut & Fruit, Inc., a manufacturer of nuts, snacks, high-quality chocolate and yogurt products.  The new partnership includes a series of four functional confection mixes that will incorporate GanedenBC30, the first of which is included within the company’s yogurt covered raisins.  

The probiotic yogurt covered raisins are currently only available for purchase in bulk, but samples will be available at Ganeden Biotech’s booth (3361) during this year’s IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo, which runs from July 17 – 20, 2010 in Chicago.  

“Ganeden’s status as the industry leader, combined with the ability of GanedenBC30® to remain shelf-stable made partnering with them a no-brainer,” said Alicia Lehota, president of Tropical Nut & Fruit, Inc.  “We wanted to ensure that our products maintained the same flavor and consistency when infused with a probiotic, and GanedenBC30® allowed us to do that.”  

GanedenBC30® is unique to the market, as it has an ability to survive harsh manufacturing processes, unlike other probiotic strains.  This is due to the naturally-occurring layer of organic material that protects the genetic core of the bacteria, allowing for GanedenBC30® to survive the manufacturing process and still provide its added health benefits, which includes supporting digestive and immune health.  

“We are excited to be able to provide our patented probiotic to such a great company, especially one that is similarly committed to superior customer service and nutritional excellence,” said Andrew Lefkowitz, Ganeden Biotech president and CEO.  “The yogurt raisins are the first product of this partnership, but we look forward to developing similar confections and continuing to expand on this partnership in the near future.”

About Ganeden Biotech

Founded in 1996, Ganeden Biotech, Inc. is based in Cleveland, Ohio, and is the largest seller of over-the-counter probiotics in the U.S. through its Digestive Advantage® and Sustenex® brands. It also licenses its patented probiotic bacteria, GanedenBC30, for use in commercial food and beverage applications, nutraceuticals and in animal health industries. GanedenBC30 is self-affirmed GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by an independent panel of experts assembled to assess its safety in use as a food ingredient. For more information about licensing opportunities visit ganedenlabs.com and for probiotic supplement information visit digestiveadvantage.com or sustenex.com.

About Tropical Nut & Fruit, Inc.

Tropical Nut & Fruit, Inc has been in business for over 25 years, roasting and seasoning nuts, manufacturing sesame sticks, snacks and snack mixes and producing high quality chocolate and yogurt products.  As a manufacturer, they offer products in a variety of packages, including bulk and retail.  They happily support their brand and private label opportunities.  Always innovative and forward thinking, Tropical Nut & Fruit constantly strives to find ways to develop new tastes, textures or add functionality to mainstream consumer products.  For more information, please visit http://www.tropicalfoods.com.

Customer enthusiasm for Starbucks VIA™ expands to the grocery aisle

LONDON  (Food-News.net)  Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ:SBUX) announced that from today, Starbucks VIA™ Ready Brew coffee will be sold in Tesco throughout the UK, following a highly successful introduction into Starbucks retail stores. With Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and other major retailers following later this year, Starbucks VIA™ will soon be available in over 2,000 grocery stores across the UK and will represent the first international grocery expansion for the product.

Starbucks has teamed up with Fine Food distributor R.H. Amar & Co Ltd to secure the grocery retail distribution of Starbucks VIA™ in the UK, so that consumers who have previously bought this product in its coffeehouses can now purchase it during their weekly shop. The launch will be supported through extensive in-store sampling, digital engagement and newspaper advertising.

Ray Conway, director, Starbucks Global Consumer Products, UK and Europe commented: “The expansion into grocery is one of the key elements of the company’s long-term strategy to extend high quality coffee beyond the coffeehouse. It is not just in the coffeehouse where customers are becoming more discerning about the quality of coffee, but is also evident in the grocery sector where a number of retailers are focusing on reinvigorating their premium coffee offer.”

Starbucks VIA™ took nearly 20 years to develop and marks a major breakthrough in quality and innovation – containing fresh microground coffee to bring a full-bodied taste and aroma to coffee made in an instant. Put simply, Starbucks aims to provide an instant coffee that tastes as good as its fresh filter coffee and is targeted at coffee lovers who want convenience but find conventional instant is falling short of their expectations.

Brian Waring, vice-president, Marketing & Category, Starbucks UK & Ireland commented: “There’s been a huge rise in the number of people drinking quality coffee in the UK, but while coffeehouses have become a national habit, instant hasn’t seen innovation in the last 50 years. We trialled VIA for a year before taking it nationwide and found customer response to be exceptional. We anticipate a similar response now that customers can also purchase Starbucks VIA™ where they buy their groceries.”

Starbucks whole bean coffees have been available in grocery stores across the UK since 2006, with Starbucks Discoveries® chilled coffees and Starbucks Doubleshot® espresso drinks launching in April 2010. Starbucks VIA™ will be sold in Tesco in single-serve packets in boxes of 3 or 7. It is available in both Starbucks® Italian Roast and Starbucks® Colombia and its RRP is £1.39 and £2.99. A decaf Italian Roast variety will be available in the 7-pack and will retail at £3.49.

About Starbucks

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting the highest quality arabica coffee in the world. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at www.starbucks.com.

About R.H. Amar & Co Ltd

R.H. Amar & Co Ltd is a leading full service importer and national distributor of fine foods in the UK, supplying 40 fine food brands across a dozen food categories. Founded in 1945 by Raoul Amar, today the company is led by Raoul’s son Henry, who is Chairman. The third generation of Amar is represented by Henry’s son Rob who is Vice Chairman. The company now has a turnover in excess of £40m and looks after suppliers from all over the world. R.H. Amar & Co Ltd has the experience and expertise to service all trade sectors, from Multiple Grocery retail, foodservice, Cash & Carry & wholesale to independent retailers. More info can be found at: www.rhamar.com

Six New Options Expand Variety and Versatility of the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan

OWINGS MILLS, Md.  (Food-News.net)  Medifast, Inc. (NYSE: MED), a leading portion-controlled weight-loss program, today announced the launch of original and chocolate chip Medifast Pancakes and your favorite ice cream parlor flavors in chocolate mint, coffee, mango, and peanut butter Medifast Soft Serve.  The new Pancakes and Soft Serve add to the list of breakfast and dessert meal replacement options available on the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan while maintaining the nutritional value of Medifast Meals. The Pancakes and Soft Serve are available for purchase at http://www.choosemedifast.com.

“Medifast is expanding our product line with six new breakfast and dessert options.  Customers can enjoy traditional favorites like naturally sweetened pancakes for breakfast, or escape the heat and enjoy a cool treat with one of Medifast’s four new flavors of soft serve,” said Lisa M. Davis, Ph.D., PA-C, C.N.S., L.D.N., Vice President of Research and Development, Medifast, Inc. “The Pancakes and Soft Serve meal replacements are another tool to enhance compliance with the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan and to reinforce healthy habits.”

Medifast Pancakes and Soft Serve are completely interchangeable with other Medifast Meals in the popular Medifast 5 & 1 Plan. Medifast has been recommended by over 20,000 doctors since 1980. Customers can expect to lose up to two to five pounds per week on the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan, in which clients eat five Medifast Meals and one Lean & Green Meal, consisting of lean protein and non-starchy vegetables, each day.

Medifast’s new Pancakes and Soft Serve are low-fat, satisfying, and fully fortified Medifast Meals, providing the right balance of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and high-quality protein. The Pancakes and Soft Serve are ideal for healthy dieters looking for authentic taste with minimal preparation time.

About Medifast:

Medifast (NYSE: MED) is the leading easy-to-use, clinically proven, portion-controlled weight-loss program. Medifast has been recommended by over 20,000 doctors and used by over one million customers since 1980. It is committed to enriching lives by providing innovative choices for lasting health. Medifast programs have been proven effective through studies by major university teaching hospitals. The company sells its products and programs via four unique distribution channels: 1) the web and national call centers, 2) the Take Shape For Life personal coaching division, 3) Medifast Weight Control Centers, and 4) a national network of physicians. Medifast was founded in 1980 and is located in Owings Mills, Maryland. For more information, log onto http://www.choosemedifast.com.

Please Note: This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified by use of phrases or terminology such as “intend” or other similar words or the negative of such terminology. Similarly, descriptions of Medifast’s objectives, strategies, plans, goals or targets contained herein are also considered forward-looking statements. Medifast believes this release should be read in conjunction with all of its filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and cautions its readers that these forward-looking statements are subject to certain events, risks, uncertainties, and other factors. Some of these factors include, among others, Medifast’s inability to attract and retain independent Associates and Members, stability in the pricing of print, TV and Direct Mail marketing initiatives affecting the cost to acquire customers, increases in competition, litigation, regulatory changes, and its planned growth into new domestic and international markets and new channels of distribution. Although Medifast’s believes that the expectations, statements, and assumptions reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, it cautions readers to always consider all of the risk factors and any other cautionary statements carefully in evaluating each forward-looking statement in this release, as well as those set forth in its latest Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, and other filings filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including its current reports on Form 8-K. All of the forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date of this release.

Researchers find red hot Super Fruit aids sleep in older adults

LANSING, Mich.  (Food-News.net)  Drinking tart cherry juice daily could help reduce the severity of insomnia and time spent awake after going to sleep, according to a new study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food(1).

A team of University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester and VA Center of Canandaigua researchers conducted a pilot study on the sleep habits of 15 older adults. The adults drank 8 ounces of tart cherry juice beverage (CheriBundi ™ www.cheribundi.com) in the morning and evening for 2 weeks, and a comparable matched juice drink, with no tart cherry juice, for another 2 week period. There were significant reductions in reported insomnia severity and the adults saved about 17 minutes of wake time after going to sleep, on average, when drinking cherry juice daily, compared to when they were drinking the juice drink.

Ongoing sleep issues plague more than 40 million adults and another 20 million experience occasional sleep disruptions, putting their health and wellbeing at risk, and leaving many Americans on a quest for sleep solutions, according to the National Institutes of Health. Americans spend more than $84 million on over-the-counter sleep aids each year(2).

The researchers suspect tart cherries’ natural benefits could be due in part to their relatively high content of melatonin – a natural antioxidant in cherries with established ability to help moderate the body’s sleep-wake cycle. Produced naturally by the body in small amounts, melatonin plays a role in inducing sleepiness at night and wakefulness during the day.  

Russel J. Reiter, Ph.D, a biomedical scientist at the University of Texas Health Science Center and one of the world’s leading authorities on melatonin, says while melatonin supplement pills have been heavily promoted as a sleep aid, foods such as cherries – available year-round as dried, frozen and juice – may be a better alternative for boosting the body’s own supply of melatonin.

“When consumed regularly, tart cherries may help regulate the body’s natural sleep cycle and increase sleep efficiency, including decreasing the time it takes to fall asleep,” says Reiter.  “And, because cherries are so rich in other antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, you get other important health benefits.”

The Power of Red

Not only is melatonin linked to sleep, but research suggests melatonin can be a powerful antioxidant, helping reduce age-related inflammation and fighting free radicals in the body. Beyond melatonin, cherries are packed with other powerful antioxidant compounds, including anthocyanins – the compounds responsible for cherries’ bright red color. A growing body of science indicates that cherries may help reduce inflammation, aid muscle recovery and reduce risk factors of age-related conditions.

To learn more about choosing cherries and for easy-to-follow recipes, visit choosecherries.com.

The Cherry Marketing Institute (CMI) is an organization funded by North American tart cherry growers and processors.  CMI’s mission is to increase the demand for tart cherries through promotion, market expansion, product development and research.  For more information on the science supporting the unique health benefits of cherries and for cherry recipes and menu ideas, visit www.choosecherries.com.

Sources:

  1. Pigeon WR, Carr M, Gorman C, Perlis ML. Effects of tart cherry juice beverage on the sleep of older adults with insomnia: a pilot study. Journal of Medicinal Food. 2010;13:579-583.
  2. Hossain JL, Shapiro CM. The prevalence, cost implications, and management of sleep disorders: an overview.  Sleep and Breathing. 2002;6:85-102.

Marlborough, MA  (Food-News.net)  The Blue Ribbon Flour Co., specialists in gluten free baking, announces its new line of “Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour” and “Ready-Made Mixes”.

Nadine McNeil, owner of the Blue Ribbon Bakery and The Blue Ribbon Flour Co. has been baking gluten free with this same flour blend for all of her in-store bakery items and has now packaged the same flour blend for use with home baking.

“This remarkable gluten free all purpose flour blend is a beacon of light for gluten intolerant people because of the versatility of the flours. This blend lets them bake all of their favorite family recipes that they had to give up when going gluten free,” said McNeil. “Now they can feel like part of the family again.”

Gluten intolerant folks can be intimidated when it comes to gluten free baking due to the fact that it’s unfamiliar territory and there are so many different flours that are rather expensive. Besides having the gluten free all purpose baking flour in the new lineup, The Blue Ribbon Flour Co. also packages its own buttermilk biscuit mixes, pumpkin bread mixes, banana bread mixes, pancake mixes, chocolate chip cookie mixes, and more.

“We hope to help people understand that gluten free baking can be very simple and affordable. With our Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour you can make just about any recipe you have on hand just by substituting traditional flour cup for cup with our flour. And our mixes really stretch your dollar because most of them make enough to eat and freeze for later”, said McNeil.

For a complete listing of the new flour line at The Blue Ribbon Flour Co. visit http://glutenfreebaking.theblueribbonbakery.com and get free shipping on orders over $75.00.

Owner, Baker and Personal Chef, Nadine McNeil has been baking for over 30 years. She is a member of the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA), a graduate of the Culinary Business Academy, a Certified Nutritionist, Owner of The Blue Ribbon Gluten Free Bakery and is dedicated to excellence in the gluten free world of baking.