Archive for November, 2010

JoshEarlyCandies.com Celebrates Black Friday with Chocolate Gift BoxesAllentown, PA  (Food-News.net)  JoshEarlyCandies.com has announced that it will begin offering an exclusive Christmas Chocolate Gift Box with free shipping just for the holidays. Josh Early Candies is famous for their fresh made chocolates, candies and nuts using time tested family recipes . For five-generations their stores in Allentown, PA and Bethlehem, PA are usually standing-room-only during the holiday season.

Barry Dobil, Jr. of the fifth generation stated, “We realize that our stores can get pretty busy, and while we are very efficient in serving each customer, we realize that shopping online might be preferred for some of our customers.”

However, for a company that is rooted in tradition, creating a customer experience online similar to the store was a task that took them years to perfect. “When you come into our stores, with over 400 varieties of chocolates, nuts and candies to choose from, it can be an overwhelming experience,” remarked Dobil, Jr. “You can smell, taste, and see everything we have to offer. If you tell us what you like, we’d be happy to take you on a taste test through our history one sample at a time. It was difficult to replicate that process online, so we came up with this special chocolate gift box for Christmas. In it, we have included a very wide variety of our holiday favorites so that online shoppers can experience what has made Josh Early Candies a family favoite for generations. We couldn’t think of a better way to introduce people to Josh Early and at $35 with free shipping this chocolate gift box is quite a value.”

Inside the latest collection they have included a box of their most popular assorted chocolates, milk chocolate nonpareils, assorted nuts, cashew patties, and holiday favorite dark chocolate cranberries. This is the third special gift box that JoshEarlyCandies.com has unveiled for the holidays and they are only available on their website at http://www.joshearlycandies.com. Prices range from $35-$55 with free shipping to any location with a Unites States zip code.



Hostess Brands Joins National Sodium Reduction InitiativeIRVING, Texas  (Food-News.net)  Hostess Brands, Inc., maker of America’s most iconic bread brands, is partnering with the National Sodium Reduction Initiative (NSRI), as part of the company’s continued efforts to reduce sodium levels in its bread portfolio, which includes Wonder®, Nature’s Pride® and Merita®, among other brands.  In addition to having existing products meet NSRI’s sodium reduction guidelines by 2012, new breads will be formulated with reduced sodium levels. 

As part of the company’s commitment, Wonder Bread today will be featured on the “Halt the Salt” episode of the national, Emmy award winning daytime talk show, THE DOCTORS. Wonder became the first brand to take THE DOCTORS’ “Halt the Salt” pledge and publicly commit to the NSRI guidelines for sodium reduction. Check local listings for show times.

“Hostess Brands is proud to join the NSRI program as part of the company’s ongoing sodium reduction efforts,” said Stephany Verstraete, Vice President of Bread Marketing at Hostess Brands, Inc.  “We know consumers are making healthier choices.  We want our brand brands to be among these choices and we are working hard to produce great tasting, healthier products from brands they know and trust.”

NSRI is an unprecedented public-private partnership of more than 50 cities, states and health organizations established to help reduce sodium in foods by 20 percent over the next five years and improve the health of the American public.

Hostess Brands breads have a long history of providing nutritious options for American families and the company has already made significant strides as part of the current NSRI initiative.  Earlier this year, Hostess Brands introduced Wonder® Smartwhite®, a new bread with the taste and soft texture of white bread – but with the fiber of 100% whole wheat bread and one third less sodium than regular white breads. Wonder® Classic and Wonder® Made With Whole Grain White have also been reformulated with reduced sodium.

Nature’s Pride, the only all natural bread brand to be available across the country, offers reduced sodium levels in all of its varieties.  

Also, this month, Merita, one of the most popular bread brands in the Southeast, introduced two new bread varieties that offer the great taste consumers love about Merita, but with more nutrition.  Merita® Smartwhite® provides more calcium, one third less sodium than regular white bread and nine vitamins and minerals all at 50 calories a slice. Merita® Made With Whole Grain White has eight grams of whole grains per serving, more calcium, less sodium than regular white bread and nine vitamins and minerals. Merita® Old Fashioned has been reformulated with less sodium, but still provides the same great taste.

About Hostess Brands, Inc

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 PrideNature’s Pride®, Hostess®Drake’s®, and Dolly Madison. The Company is headquartered in Irving, Texas.  

For additional information about Hostess visit hostessbrands.com

Butterball, LLC Donates More Than 330,000 Pounds of Turkey in 2010GARNER, N.C.  (Food-News.net)  In the spirit of giving, Butterball, LLC has donated more than 330,000 pounds of turkey to charitable organizations this year.

Leading into the Thanksgiving holiday, in the past week alone, the company has contributed 75,000 pounds of holiday turkeys (whole turkeys) to soup kitchens and military to reach families that might need a little assistance with their holiday meal.  

“This year we proactively doubled our contributions of whole turkeys from last year,” said Keith Shoemaker, CEO, Butterball, LLC. “Hunger in our country affects about 15 percent of U.S. households, according to recent reports(1). I would encourage other food producers to do what they can to help in the national plight.”

In an effort to spread some holiday cheer, the company initially focused the donation of 75,000 pounds of holiday turkeys locally, near its plants and corporate locations in Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri and North Carolina, but has also donated to other communities like Los Angeles, Calif.  Some of the recipient groups included: the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, which collects and distributes food to its six food banks across the state; Airmen and families of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina; Fort Carson Soldier and Family Assistance Center, Outreach United Resource Center, Inc. and Meals on Wheels in Colorado; and The Salvation Army’s soup kitchen in Carthage, Mo. Additionally, as a Feeding America (Second Harvest) participant, Butterball donations to Feeding America from Jan. 1, 2010 through Nov. 11, 2010 totaled nearly 85,000 pounds.

“We are honored to help make the holidays a bit brighter and more celebratory by providing folks with turkeys to enjoy as the centerpiece of their meal,” said Shoemaker.  “The reality though is that this is only a drop in the bucket.  You always wish you could do more, and I know that there are others in the meat and poultry industry that are making donations and working to provide hunger relief.  We are thankful for the opportunity to join with individuals and organizations in our communities to support the valiant nonprofit organizations that help meet the needs of the community every day.”

Additionally, with the help of celebrity chef and legendary Barbecue Pitmaster Ed Mitchell, Butterball executives delivered holiday turkeys to eight charitable organizations in Raleigh, Durham and Garner, N.C.  

About Butterball, LLC

Butterball, LLC is the largest producer of turkey products in the United States.  Headquartered in Garner, N.C., Butterball produces more than one billion pounds of turkey each year, and the company supplies its products to more than 15 countries.  The industry leader has seven plants located throughout the United States.

For more information about Butterball, visit www.butterballcorp.com. You can also call 1-800 BUTTERBALL for answers to your most puzzling questions about turkey preparation.  

(1) Nord, M., Coleman-Jensen, A., Andrews, M., & Carlson, S. Household Food Security in the United States, 2009. USDA Economic Research Report No. (ERR-108), 68 pp, November 2010.

United Fresh Produce Association Foundation Helps Launch Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools InitiativeWASHINGTON  (Food-News.net)  The United Fresh Produce Association Foundation joined First Lady Michelle Obama today at the Riverside Elementary School in Miami, Florida as a new coalition of public and private sector partners launched the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative.

The new initiative builds on the pioneering work done by United Fresh to spearhead public health attention on the power of school salad bars as an effective strategy for increasing children’s consumption of fruits and vegetables. In 2009, United Fresh brought university researchers and school officials together for a series of Congressional and Administration briefings on the effectiveness of fruit and vegetable salad bars in schools. Subsequently, the United Fresh Foundation’s Center for Nutrition & Health launched its own Salad Bar in Every School campaign earlier this year. During 2010, the United Fresh Foundation has donated more than 60 salad bars to schools in 12 states and the District of Columbia to create models of excellence and demonstrate how fruit and vegetable salad bars can be important tools in increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.

“We are thrilled to now take this campaign to a new level, joining with the Let’s Move! initiative in a broad coalition committed to increasing children’s access to a wide array of fruits and vegetables in schools,” said United Fresh Chairman of the Board Steffanie Smith, CEO, River Point Farms. “Research has shown that kids given a variety of choices of fruits and vegetables in a salad bar respond by trying new items, incorporating greater variety in their diets, and increasing their daily consumption of fruits and vegetables. And, increased daily access to a variety of fruits and vegetables in schools can provide children an experience that carries over beyond school, reaching both families at home and leading to a lifetime of healthy snack and meal choices,” she said.

The new Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools coalition includes three founding partners – the United Fresh Foundation, Food Family Farming Foundation, and the National Fruit & Vegetable Alliance*, which in turn represents a wide array of public and private sector partners.

“The addition of these partners, including the USDA, CDC and numerous public health organizations, provides a powerful team to make salad bars a cornerstone strategy in increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in schools,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “Even now, the USDA team is preparing guidance for schools in effectively incorporating salad bars in meal planning, providing food safety training, and bringing together school foodservice leaders to share best practices and innovations. The CDC is providing strong public health evaluation, working with state health and nutrition directors to measure the impact of salad bars in schools in increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and combating childhood obesity. Public health groups focused on prevention of cancer, heart disease and diabetes are alerting their constituents to the simple but effective strategy of using school salad bars to meet the critical need to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. And, consumer groups, foundations and industry partners are working together to build private-sector funding and grassroots support for school salad bars. It’s an incredible team,” Stenzel said.

One of the key strategies in the new Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative is to provide schools that want a salad bar the opportunity to create their own webpage at http://www.saladbars2schools.org to raise donations from their local communities as well as receive donations from the general funds of the initiative.

“I anticipate that this will become one of the most effective features of the campaign,” Smith said. “As an onion grower in a rural community in Oregon, we want to work with our local schools to show them the value of salad bars, and get them registered on the site. It won’t take long for local businesses, parent-teacher organizations and community organizations to raise the $2,500 or so that it takes to install a modern, food safety compliant salad bar in schools across the country,” she said.

In addition to local community support, the coalition is now moving into high-gear in national fundraising from corporations, foundations and others to support this important health initiative. “I can’t think of a better investment than the future health of our kids,” Stenzel said. “We know the obesity crisis in American children today is not only taking years off our children’s lives, but also adding billions of dollars to the nation’s healthcare costs. Employers, insurance companies and really all of us have a very strong motivation to work together now to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables today to prevent future health problems and costs,” he said.

“We invite anyone interested in this shared mission to contact the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools partners, and join the team,” Stenzel concluded.

* Members of the National Fruit & Vegetable Alliance:

American Cancer Society
American Diabetes Association
American Dietetic Association
American Frozen Food Institute
American Heart Association
California Department of Public Health
Canned Food Alliance
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
National Council of Fruit & Vegetable Nutrition Coordinators
National Alliance for Nutrition & Physical Activity
National Cancer Institute
Produce for Better Health Foundation
Produce Marketing Association
United Fresh Produce Association
US Department of Agriculture
  Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services
  Research, Education and Economics
  Marketing and Regulatory Programs
   

Founded in 1904, the United Fresh Produce Association serves companies at the forefront of the global fresh and fresh-cut produce industry, including growers, shippers, fresh-cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and Western Regional office in Salinas, Calif., United Fresh and its members work year-round to make a difference for the produce industry by driving policies that increase consumption of fresh produce, shaping critical legislative and regulatory action, providing scientific and technical leadership in food safety, quality assurance, nutrition and health, and developing educational programs and business opportunities to assist member companies in growing successful businesses. For more information, visit www.unitedfresh.org or call 202-303-3400.

 

Poultry Industry Blasts Proposed GIPSA Rule, Urges Agency to Withdraw ItWASHINGTON  (Food-News.net)  A massive regulation proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the production and marketing of poultry and livestock is unconstitutional, unsupported by any meaningful economic analysis, and is in defiance of court rulings and Congressional mandates, the poultry industry said in comments filed with the agency today. The proposed regulation should be withdrawn and rewritten, the industry said.

The industry’s comments and a supporting economic study are posted to the web site www.nationalchickencouncil.com

“The proposed rule is ill-advised, exceeds GIPSA’s statutory authority, and, for some provisions, is unconstitutionally vague,” said a 45-page letter signed by George Watts, president of the National Chicken Council, and John Starkey, president of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association. “GIPSA fails to provide an adequate justification for imposing such sweeping and detrimental changes to the poultry industry and does not explain corresponding benefits to counterbalance the hundreds of millions of dollars of detrimental effects this proposal will have on the U.S. economy.”

The industry comments said the proposed rule is unconstitutional because it has so many vague and undefined terms that people and companies who have to comply with the rule will not know what is illegal and what’s not.

The industry comments also objected to the changes proposed by GIPSA in the so-called “tournament” system of compensation for poultry growers, in which more efficient farmers are paid premiums based on their performance.

“The result would be increased production costs for poultry dealers coupled with a decreasing incentive for growers to deliver high quality chickens because compensation would not be tied to performance or quality,” the comments said.

GIPSA should withdraw the rule as proposed and rework it to meet the Farm Bill mandate, the industry said.

The National Chicken Council, Washington, D.C., represents integrated chicken producer-processors, accounting for more than 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.

The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, Tucker, Georgia, is the world’s largest poultry organization, whose membership includes producers of broilers, turkeys, ducks, eggs and breeding stock, as well as allied companies

Stater Bros. Turkey Program Will Help Feed More Than 165,000 People This Thanksgiving SeasonSAN BERNARDINO, Calif.  (Food-News.net)  Stater Bros. Supermarkets has partnered with many local charities to help feed more than 165,000 people in need this Thanksgiving.  This is the 19th straight year that Stater Bros. has offered this unique program which is one of the components of the Stater Bros. “Harvesting Hope in our Community” Campaign.

Leading up to Thanksgiving, Stater Bros. assists qualified nonprofit organizations that feed the hungry by making a substantial contribution towards the purchase of turkeys. These organizations are located throughout the communities served by Stater Bros., which include San Bernardino County, Riverside County, Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Diego County, and Kern County.  

“The Stater Bros. Supermarket Family believes strongly in giving back to the communities we serve because we just don’t do business in a community, we are part of the community,” stated Jack H. Brown, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Stater Bros. Markets.  “This year the need is greater than ever, and we are glad to provide assistance so that many more families may have a joyous Thanksgiving.”

The 2nd Annual “Harvesting Hope in our Community” Campaign is providing food and funding throughout the months of November and December to assist with hunger relief efforts in the communities where Stater Bros. customers and employees live and work.  In addition to the Turkey Program, the Stater Bros. Harvesting Hope Campaign is helping in the following ways:

  • Stater Bros. Charities, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is presenting over $450,000 in cash donations to more than 100 Southern California food banks and self-help organizations  
  • All 167 Stater Bros. Supermarkets have food barrels in place to collect nonperishable food items for struggling families.
  • All 167 Stater Bros. Supermarkets are accepting additional cash donations at each check stand for allocation to food banks in the summer of 2011 when food reserves are traditionally low.

Stater Bros. Supermarkets was founded in 1936 in Yucaipa, California, and has grown steadily through the years to become the largest privately owned Supermarket Chain in Southern California and the largest private employer in both San Bernardino County and Riverside County, with annual sales in 2009 of $3.77 billion.  The Company currently operates 167 Supermarkets, and there are over 18,000 members of the Stater Bros. Supermarket Family.  Stater Bros. is the proud recipient of the “2010 Community Service Award” from America’s Supermarket Industry and will celebrate its 75th Anniversary in 2011.

New Report Findings Underline Important Role Frozen Fruits and Vegetables Can Play in Supporting Healthy DietsMCLEAN, Va.  (Food-News.net)  The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI)  welcomed the release of the National Fruit & Vegetable Alliance’s (NFVA) 2010 National Action Plan (NAP) and Report Card, which suggests that American consumers and foodservice operators can rely on convenient and affordable frozen fruits and vegetables to foster healthy diets.

The NAP report card found that the average American’s fruit and vegetable consumption remains far below recommended levels, despite evidence that fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases. In fact, just 6 percent of individuals achieve their recommended target for vegetables, with 8 percent achieving their recommended target for fruit in an average day.

“The findings released today clearly indicate that more work must be done to help Americans improve their diets by increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, a goal that can be achieved with the help of frozen fruits and vegetables,” said AFFI President and CEO Kraig R. Naasz.

“Frozen fruits and vegetables enable families and foodservice providers to stretch limited budgets and offer an invaluable source of year-round access to a variety of foods that provide the nutrition we all need,” said Naasz.

“AFFI and its member companies are working to promote healthy eating through a variety of platforms, including the Frozen Food Foundation, which supports scientific research focused on food nutrition and safety and helps educate consumers through its newly launched website at www.frozenfoodfacts.org,” Naasz said.

“Frozen fruits and vegetables are increasingly recognized by experts as being equal to, and in many cases exceeding, their raw counterparts for nutritional content, making them an ideal option for narrowing the current gap between actual and recommended fruit and vegetable consumption.

“Changing Americans’ eating habits will not happen overnight. The goals set by the NFVA are ambitious and worthy of continued pursuit. Improving Americans’ diets will yield a great many benefits, including reduced rates of obesity-related diseases that reduce life expectancy and place a massive strain on private and public healthcare programs.

“We are committed to helping realize the NFVA’s goals by raising awareness of the important benefits offered by frozen foods, and we look forward to continuing to partner with the NFVA to improve the health of Americans,” said Naasz.

Led by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), the NFVA, of which AFFI is a member, developed a national action plan in 2005 designed to improve public health through increased fruit and vegetable consumption. The 2010 report card was developed to evaluate progress made in meeting the objectives enumerated in the 2005 plan.

The National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance supports the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters public health initiative, which encourages increased consumption of fruits and vegetables in all forms: fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100 percent juice.

For more information, please visit the 2010 National Action Plan online.

The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) is the national trade association that promotes the interests of all segments of the frozen food industry. AFFI works to foster industry development and growth, and advocates before legislative and regulatory entities on the industry’s behalf. For more information, please visit www.affi.com.

The Frozen Food Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering scientific research, public awareness and industry education regarding the nutritional and safety attributes of frozen foods for the benefit of the common good. The Frozen Food Foundation is affiliated with the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), and is a separate entity organized under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. For more information, please visit www.frozenfoodfacts.org.

The National Fruit & Vegetable Alliance (NFVA) is an alliance of public and private partners working collaboratively and synergistically to increase nationwide access to and demand for all forms of fruits and vegetables for improved public health. The Alliance is co-chaired by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), with PBH as secretariat. To learn more, visit www.nfva.org.

 

Green Mountain Gringo Salsas and Tortilla Strips Awarded "Non-GMO Verified" status by the Non-GMO ProjectWINSTON-SALEM, N.C.  (Food-News.net)  TW Garner Food Company has announced that its Green Mountain Gringo® salsas and tortilla strips are now officially “Non-GMO Project Verified,” meaning that they have been independently tested and verified to demonstrate best practices for avoidance of genetically-modified ingredients by The Non-GMO Project and its technical consultants, FoodChain Global Advisors.

“We are excited to have our full Green Mountain Gringo® product line Non-GMO Project Verified, which is a very important seal of approval for our health-conscious consumers who rely upon our products for their families,” said Glenn Garner, Director of Marketing for TW Garner Food Company. “The Non-GMO Project is a highly respected organization and we appreciate their efforts over the past several months to work with us in verifying the non-GMO status of every step of our supply chain in the creation of Green Mountain Gringo® salsas and tortilla strips.”

Megan Westgate, Executive Director of the Non-GMO Project said, “TW Garner has been a pleasure to work with during the verification process, and we are thrilled to add their Green Mountain Gringo® salsas and tortilla strips to our shopping guide to assist consumers in making healthy choices for their families.”

Green Mountain Gringo® salsas are available in five varieties: Hot Salsa, Medium Salsa, Mild Salsa, Roasted Chile Salsa and Roasted Garlic Salsa. Its tortilla strips come in Original, Blue Corn and White Corn varieties. Green Mountain Gringo® salsas and tortilla strips are sold in natural, health and specialty food stores, as well as grocery stores and the company website at www.greenmountaingringo.com. Green Mountain Gringo® products have been recognized by Epicurious as the best overall salsa among 20 competitors, and Health Magazine named Green Mountain Gringo® Salsa “best brand in its class” and described the product ”as close to homemade as store bought salsa gets.”

“I am so proud of our team. Being Non-GMO verified is something we have worked long and hard to achieve,” said Ann Garner Riddle, President of TW Garner Food Company.

About TW Garner Food Company

Headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, TW Garner Food Company is famous for its Texas Pete® Hot Sauce, the number three brand of hot sauce in the United States. Founded in 1929 as a maker of barbecue sauce, the company now sells a full line of hot sauces, wing sauces and seafood sauces under the Texas Pete® brand, as well as salsa and tortilla chips under the Green Mountain Gringo® brand. Texas Pete® and Green Mountain Gringo® products are sold in supermarkets, military commissaries, convenience stores and restaurants throughout the United States. In 2010, Green Mountain Gringo® Salsa was named best overall salsa by Epicurious, among 20 retail salsas that were tested.

About the Non-GMO Project

The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization, created by leaders representing all sectors of the organic and natural products industry in the U.S. and Canada, to offer consumers a consistent non-GMO choice for organic and natural products that are produced without genetic engineering or recombinant DNA technologies. With the help of technical consultants FoodChain Global Advisors, the Non-GMO Project has successfully created a collaborative non-GMO verification program that began enrolling products in the fall of 2008. Working at every level of the supply chain, all the way back to the seeds, the Project’s role is to inspire and ensure viable non-GMO alternatives long into the future.

New Research Supports Eating Tomato Products For Heart HealthAPTOS, Calif.  (Food-News.net)  New research findings support the heart health benefits of tomato products. The findings, presented at three sessions during the American Dietetic Association’s Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo held in Boston last week, introduced new data that continues to support a body of evidence linking tomato products such as canned tomatoes, tomato paste, salsa, juice and sauce with heart health.  

Lycopene and other antioxidants found in food sources of tomato products appear to be behind the reduction in oxidative stress and inflammation associated with consuming tomato products according to Julie Talbot, MS, RD, Illinois Institute of Technology. Talbot reported that “In a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, tomato products significantly attenuated oxidative stress and associated inflammatory response, with potential benefits on endothelial function.” These benefits are linked with reduced risk of heart disease. A high-fat meal can raise levels of inflammation within hours of consumption.  This and other studies suggest that if tomato products are consumed with the meal, the inflammatory effect may be blunted.

According to co-author Britt Burton-Freeman, Ph.D., Director of Nutrition and Health Promoting Foods, National Center for Food Safety and Technology, Illinois Institute of Technology, a speaker on dietary influences on inflammation and chronic disease at a FNCE session, “Our research supports that eating a diet rich in particular plant foods that are high in antioxidant compounds like tomato products may reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, and thus, help reduce the risk of heart disease.”

More evidence that tomato products may protect against inflammation, the root of heart disease, was presented by Tissa Kappagoda, Ph.D. of the University of California-Davis, and Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D. of Penn State University, who reported findings from the multi-center, randomized, controlled trial that they co-authored.  The study, which is awaiting publication, found that consuming a diet high in tomato products, blunted LDL oxidation and reduced levels of the inflammation. The study also found a positive effect on blood pressure.

“Eating more tomato products is a simple, delicious way to help reduce your risk of heart disease, because these foods are popular, economical and easy to include in your favorite dishes,” says Sharon Palmer, RD, a Los Angeles-based dietitian.

Additional information is available at www.TomatoWellness.com and on Facebook: Make it Red with Tomato Products!

Genesis Today Expands Exclusive Line of Superfruit Juice Offerings at WalmartAUSTIN, Texas  (Food-News.net)  Genesis Today, one of the country’s fastest growing juice brands and emerging leader in the superfood consumer category, announces today its expanded partnership with leading retail chain, Walmart.  Beginning in November 2010, Genesis Today will be extending its exclusive line of superfruit juice offerings with four new products that include first-to-market superfruit teas, omega enriched orange juice and a lower-calorie Acai juice.  With these product offerings, Walmart will lead the market with the widest variety of healthy, superfruit juices in the country.  

Together, Genesis Today and Walmart are leading the way in providing healthier juice options outside of the walls of health food stores.  “We are incredibly excited to expand the Genesis Today product line through Walmart.  This continued partnership allows us to extend our mission to properly educate consumers on the power of superfruits and easily expand availability of high quality, value-friendly, nutrient-rich beverage choices within the mass market,” says Dr. Lindsey Duncan, Founder & CEO of Genesis Today.  

NEW PRODUCTS FROM GENESIS TODAY INCLUDE:

FIRST-TO-MARKET SUPERFRUIT TEAS

Genesis Today Superfruit Tea

This first-to-market tea combines the finest green, black, red and white teas with 4 superfruit juices: acai, goji, pomegranate and mangosteen. Genesis Today’s Superfruit Tea also contains 100% of the daily value of antioxidant vitamin C and energy-supporting vitamin B12 with no added sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

Genesis Today Acai Diet Tea

A low calorie blend of red and green tea with 1,000 mg of real acai berry juice from the Amazon rainforest in every serving. Genesis Today’s Acai Diet Tea contains antioxidant vitamin C and vitamin B12 with no added sugar or high fructose corn syrup.  With only 15 calories per serving, it’s a refreshing tea that’s naturally delicious.

HEALTHIER ORANGE JUICE

Genesis Today Omega Orange Juice

Genesis Today has doubled the vitamin C, added energy-supporting B-vitamins and heart-friendly DHA omega-3 fatty acids with the launch of Genesis Today’s Omega Orange. Featuring a unique orange cream flavor, this healthier orange juice option is a 100% pure orange juice minus the acid burn.  

LIGHT JUICE DONE RIGHT

Genesis Today Acai Light with Coconut Water

A lighter version of the original Genesis Today Acai Berry Juice with less sugar and calories. This formulation contains 12,000 mg of acai per serving as well as 200% of the daily value of vitamin C and 1,000% of vitamin B12.

According to Dr. Lindsey Duncan, “Consumers are thirsty for healthier beverage options.  With this, we are constantly looking for ways to expand the Genesis Today brand and the healthy products we are so passionate about creating. We will continue to focus on innovation and our commitment to quality. We pour our heart and soul into everything we do, and our latest group of products at Walmart is no exception.”

All of Genesis Today’s new products can be found in the refrigerated juice section of your local Walmart store.

About Genesis Today

Genesis Today, located in Austin, Texas, is a world leader in creating nutrient-rich products made from all-natural superfoods. Genesis Today produces 100% superfruit juice blends such as Acai Berry, Cranberry Goji, Pomegranate & Berries with Resveratrol and Veggie Blast juices, as well as a line of superfruit vitamin chews.  Genesis Today is a fast-growing, innovative company that’s passionate about formulating healthy products – making Inc. Magazine’s list of fastest growing companies for three years in a row. Learn more at genesistoday.com

Proposed GIPSA Rules Would Hike Costs to Chicken Industry and Consumers, Study SaysWASHINGTON  (Food-News.net)  Proposed new regulations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will cost the broiler chicken industry more than $1 billion over five years in reduced efficiency, higher costs for feed and housing, and increased administrative expenses, according to a study released today by the National Chicken Council.

And that doesn’t even count the potential costs of litigation, lost export sales, and increased consumer prices, according to the study by FarmEcon LLC, an agricultural economics consulting firm.  

“The proposed rule changes are likely to slow the pace of innovation, increase the costs of raising live chickens, and result in costly litigation,” wrote Thomas E. Elam, president of FarmEcon.  “Higher costs would put upward pressure on chicken prices, and economic theory strongly suggests that consumers would ultimately bear most of these costs.”

Rules proposed by USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) would force changes in the relationship between the nation’s chicken companies and the independent farmers who grow chickens under contracts with the companies, and would also require changes in the production and marketing system for cattle and pigs.  GIPSA maintains that the changes will have little economic impact, but evidence is accumulating that the cost will in fact be considerable.  The FarmEcon study was the first to look at the impact on the meat chicken industry specifically.

“GIPSA’s proposed rules would alter long-standing contractual and business relationships between chicken companies and independent growers,” Elam wrote.  “The changes that are proposed are, in part, designed to broaden the scope of GIPSA authority, reduce the latitude to pay growers based on their performance, limit the ability of chicken companies to seek grower investments, and set new requirements for cessation or reduction of delivery of birds to growers.”

“The most likely economic effects would be a reduction of performance-based competition among growers, a reduced rate of capital investment, a reduced rate of efficiency gains, higher chicken prices, and reduced chicken exports,” he added.

The cost burden from all identified sources increases over time, Elam wrote, reaching about $337 million per year in 2015.  The total identified cost over the first 5 years is about $1.03 billion.

Elam noted that the chicken industry has achieved “exemplary” efficiencies and technological and management improvements that have brought lower costs of production, lower prices for consumers, and increased chicken production and exports.  The GIPSA proposed rule would introduce inefficiencies into the system and make it more expensive to produce chickens, he predicted.

For example, Elam wrote, chicken companies do not normally run technical analyses, called “assays,” on every load of feed delivered to chicken farmers.  Yet the rule could require a feed analysis to be available for each load of feed delivered to a grower.  Simply running and tracking the huge number of tests required would cost over $20 million per year, Elam noted.

Less efficient use of the “growout houses” in which chickens are raised would lead to a need for about $150 million over five years in costs to operate additional space, and could cause the chicken companies to consider building their own growout houses, Elam said.  More than 95 percent of chickens are now raised in growout houses owned by the farmers rather than the companies.

By changing the system under which farmers are paid by the companies to grow their chickens, the rule would also reduce the incentive for farmers to improve their facilities, Elam said.  Without the level of upgrades normally expected, more feed would be needed to produce the chickens, costing an extra $644 million over the years 2011-2015, Elam estimated.

The FarmEcon study is available on the web site www.nationalchickencouncil.com.  It will be filed with the government as part of the industry’s comments on the proposed rule.

The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce and process chickens.  Member companies of NCC account for more than 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.

Heinz Ranks Number One in Customer Satisfaction Among Food Processing Companies for 11th YearPITTSBURGH  (Food-News.net)  H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE: HNZ) is pleased to announce that it ranked first in overall customer satisfaction among food processing companies for the 11th consecutive year in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which was released today.

Heinz led all food processing companies with an overall customer satisfaction score of 88, which also measures the Company’s performance in categories including quality, value, consumer loyalty, and consumer expectations. Heinz’s score was 7 points higher than the industry average, an increase of one point from a year ago.

The ACSI scores and rankings are based on customer evaluations of the quality of products and services available to household consumers in the United States. Heinz has held the ACSI’s number-one ranking among food manufacturers since 2000.

Commenting on the 2010 ACSI results, Heinz Chairman, President and CEO William R. Johnson said: “Heinz is proud to be recognized for the 11th year in a row as the food industry leader in satisfying U.S. consumers. Heinz has earned this Number One ranking and consistently outperformed our industry by staying true to our founder’s vision for customer satisfaction – quality, great taste, nutrition, innovation and value.”

“The fact that Heinz has ranked among the highest scoring of all companies in the ACSI is a testament to its longstanding ability to match a variety of high quality products to the personal tastes and preferences of its customers,” stated Claes Fornell, professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and founder of the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

First published in October 1994, the ACSI is a national economic indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of products and services available to household consumers in the U.S. and produced by both domestic and foreign firms with substantial U.S. market shares. ACSI reports scores on a 0-100 scale at the national level and produces indexes for 10 economic sectors, 45 industries (including e-commerce and e-business), and more than 225 companies and federal or local government agencies. In addition to the company-level satisfaction scores, ACSI produces scores for the causes and consequences of customer satisfaction and their relationships. The measured companies, industries and sectors are broadly representative of the U.S. economy serving American households.

About Heinz

H.J. Heinz Company, offering “Good Food Every Day,”is one of the world’s leading marketers and producers of healthy, convenient and affordable foods specializing in ketchup, sauces, meals, soups, snacks and infant nutrition. Heinz provides superior quality, taste and nutrition for all eating occasions whether in the home, restaurants, the office or “on-the-go.” Heinz is a global family of leading branded products, including Heinz® Ketchup, sauces, soups, beans, pasta and infant foods (representing over one third of Heinz’s total sales), Ore-Ida® potato products, Weight Watchers® Smart Ones® entrees, T.G.I. Friday’s® snacks, and Plasmon infant nutrition. Heinz is famous for its iconic brands on six continents, showcased by Heinz® Ketchup, The World’s Favorite Ketchup®.

POM Wonderful’s latest offering gives consumers a convenient way to enjoy the delicious taste and nutritional value of pomegranates

POM Wonderful Celebrates National Pomegranate Month With Launch of Ready-to-Eat Pomegranate ArilsLOS ANGELES  (Food-News.net)  For consumers who love the taste and versatility of fresh pomegranate arils but hate the hassle of collecting them from the fruit, POM Wonderful introduces convenient, ready-to-eat servings now available in the cut-fruit section of most grocery stores.  

With their surprisingly sweet-tart taste, ruby-red Wonderful variety pomegranates offer a culinary versatility that can add sweet overtones to a savory entree or zest to a holiday dessert.  POM Wonderful’s Fresh Pomegranate Arils can be enjoyed on their own as a crunchy, healthy snack or added to tossed salads, yogurt, cereals and cocktails. Each package of ready-to-eat arils is an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber and a good source of potassium and polyphenol antioxidants, which help neutralize free radicals.

“Let’s face it, extracting the edible arils from a pomegranate can be inconvenient and time-consuming for many fans of the fruit,” said Matt Tupper, President of POM Wonderful. “Our new ready-to-eat product eliminates that prep work, making enjoying pomegranates easier than ever.”

While bottled pomegranate juice has gained tremendous popularity in recent years, many consumers are unsure how to open or use the fresh fruit. Tupper said he believes the new ready-to-eat, six-ounce packages will encourage these shoppers to sample pomegranates for the first time—and quite possibly become enthusiasts for life.    

“Pomegranate aficionados all over the globe look forward to the fruit’s harvest season, which begins in October,” said Tupper. “We’d like to broaden that anticipation by introducing the fruit to a whole new market.”        

POM Wonderful’s Fresh Pomegranate Arils are available through January, and have a suggested retail price of $4.99.  For more information about fresh pomegranates and delicious recipes developed by top chefs from around the country, visit: www.pomwonderful.com/products/fresh.

About POM Wonderful

POM Wonderful is the largest producer of California Wonderful pomegranates and the company exclusively grows and sells this variety.  POM Wonderful’s pomegranates grow in central California, in the sunny San Joaquin Valley.  Fresh pomegranates are in season from October through January and November is National Pomegranate Month.

Through its proprietary technology, POM Wonderful is able to extract the full benefits of polyphenol antioxidants from its pomegranates.  POM Wonderful uses its fresh pomegranates to make its delicious, all-natural POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice and extract POMx, an all-natural, ultra-potent concentration of polyphenol antioxidants.  POMx is available exclusively in POMx Iced Coffee, POMx Tea, POMx Pills, POMx Bars and POMx Shots.  POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice and POMx Tea are available year-round in the refrigerated section of produce departments in supermarkets nationwide.  POMx Iced Coffee, POMx Pills, POMx Bars and POMx Shots are available in select markets.  POMx Pills are also available at www.pompills.com.  To learn more, visit www.pomwonderful.com.

SILVER SPRING, Md.  (Food-News.net) 

Fast Facts

  • Mauri Gorgonzola cheese with sell-by dates of 01/13/11 and 01/14/11 is being recalled because of a positive test for E. coli O157:H7. DPI Specialty Foods of Tualatin, Ore., cut, packaged and distributed the cheese to Costco Wholesale Corporation (Costco) stores in Colorado.
  • Consumers who have any of this cheese should not eat it. They should return the cheese to the place of purchase or dispose of it in a closed plastic bag and place in a sealed trash can to prevent people or animals, including wild animals, from eating it.
  • Most people infected with E. coli O157:H7 develop diarrhea and abdominal cramps, but some illnesses may last longer and can be more severe. While most people recover within a week, some may develop a severe infection. Rarely, as symptoms of diarrhea improve, a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) can occur; this can happen at any age but is most common in children under 5 years old and in older adults. People with HUS should be hospitalized immediately, as their kidneys may stop working and they may be at risk for other serious health problems.
  • The bacterial strain from this cheese is different from the strain linked to those illnesses reported in the recent E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Southwestern states. Investigations are ongoing to determine if any illnesses are associated with eating this recalled cheese.
  • The FDA is investigating how this cheese became contaminated.

What is the Problem?

FDA: Lot of Mauri Gorgonzola cheese positive for E. coli O157:H7The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention join DPI Specialty Foods in warning consumers not to eat Mauri Gorgonzola cheese with sell-by dates of 01/13/11 and 01/14/11. A sample of this cheese tested positive for E. coli O157:H7 in a Colorado state laboratory. Colorado officials discovered the positive sample during the investigation into the recent E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Southwestern states.

What are the Symptoms of Illness/Injury?

Most people infected with E. coli O157:H7 develop diarrhea and abdominal cramps, but some illnesses may last longer and can be more severe. While most people recover within a week, some may develop a severe infection. Rarely, as symptoms of diarrhea improve, a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) can occur; this can happen at any age but is most common in children under 5 years old and in older adults. People with HUS should be hospitalized immediately, as their kidneys may stop working and they may be at risk for other serious health problems.

What Do Consumers Need To Do?

Do not eat Mauri Gorgonzola with sell-by dates of 01/13/11 and 01/14/11. Consumers should return this product to the place of purchase or dispose of it in a closed plastic bag and place in a sealed trash can to prevent people or animals, including wild animals, from eating them. Anyone who experienced signs or symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 infection should contact his or her healthcare provider immediately. Healthcare providers should report any suspected infection to state or local public health authorities right away.

Where is it Distributed?

DPI Specialty Foods distributed the Mauri Gorgonzola in Costco locations in Colorado only. Costco is using card record information to contact its members who bought the cheese.

What is Being Done to Protect Consumers?
The FDA, CDC and DPI are working together on the investigation and will update the public with more information as soon as it is available. As more information becomes available, the recommendations to consumers may change.

Consumers who have purchased Mauri Gorgonzola are urged to return it to Costco for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact DPI Specialty Foods at 1-800-597-3876.

The information in this press release reflects FDA’s best efforts to communicate what the manufacturer has reported to FDA.

Media Inquiries: Siobhan DeLancey, 301-796-4668, siobhan.delancey@fda.hhs.gov

Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

Historic Belgian chocolatier Neuhaus is launching a new online store offering delivery throughout the US.

Belgium Neuhaus Chocolates Are Now Available OnlineNEW YORK  (Food-News.net)  Founded in 1857, Neuhaus is one of Belgium’s most historic and respected chocolatiers.  Inventors of the Belgian praline, the filled bite size piece of chocolate, Neuhaus is legendary for its innovative chocolate creations, all made at one single factory located in Belgium.  The Neuhaus Belgian Chocolate Online Store was launched on 1st November 2010.  Its authentic Belgian chocolate can now be shipped anywhere in the United States.  

Chocolate lovers will rejoice that they no longer have to wait for a trip to Europe, New York City or Washington DC, to purchase chocolates at one of the luxury Neuhaus retail stores.  Now they can enjoy delivery of their favorite Neuhaus Belgian chocolate treats right to their home for any occasion.  From pralines, truffles, biscuits and chocolate bars or tablets, to candied orange peel dipped in dark chocolate, the online store has a wide selection of chocolate delicacies to choose from.  The Neuhaus online store also offers a broad selection of services ranging from assistance with corporate gifts to the creation of custom favor selections for events.  Neuhaus is famous for its delightful Christmas chocolates, including unique Christmas ornaments filled with gourmet Belgian chocolates.

Delivery of high quality chocolates in the US with its various temperature regions can be a challenge.  Neuhaus is focused on ensuring that chocolates arrive at a perfect temperature for an amazing taste experience.  Chocolates are carefully packed with dry ice when necessary to maintain the quality of their taste and aroma.  At the same time, Neuhaus has focused on keeping shipping costs very low so everyone in the United States can enjoy one of the world’s most delectable gourmet treats fresh from Belgium.

Visit the online store at http://www.neuhauschocolate.com

Real Snacking Trends Revealed in National Dole SurveyWESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.  (Food-News.net)  According to the results of a new national survey fielded by Impulse Research on behalf of Dole, more than 25 percent of women want healthier options when it comes to snacks that taste good and satisfy their sweet tooth. Additionally, the survey found that when women proactively sought healthier snacks, 41 percent would choose a snack under 100 calories, 36 percent a low-fat snack and 33 percent “whole grain anything.”

The study, which aimed to uncover snacking habits of U.S. women, also revealed that nearly 60 percent of women do the right thing by reaching for fruit or dried fruit when choosing a healthier snack. After fruit, 43 percent prefer yogurt and 31 percent reach for something with whole grains. However, nearly two out of five women, or 39 percent, still revert to grabbing candy when they feel like having something sweet.

“It’s not surprising that so many women snack on candy bars when they crave something sweet,” said Director of Nutrition Paulette Lambert, RD, CDE, of California Health & Longevity Institute. “One of the problems is that candy only temporarily satisfies you and over stimulates the taste buds, making you eventually want to eat more. Natural fruit does not have that same effect. When seeking healthier snack options, it’s better to go with a snack, like fruit, that’s sweet enough to satisfy yet not over stimulate.”

Recently, Dole introduced new DOLE® Real Fruit Bites to directly respond to women seeking healthier snacks that satisfy their sweet tooth. DOLE® Real Fruit Bites combines fruit, yogurt and whole grain oats – the top three healthier ingredients desired by women according to the survey – into one delicious bite. Each bite-size piece is made from real dried fruit chunks, coated with yogurt and sprinkled with toasted whole grain oats. Real Fruit Bites are a tasty, on-the-go snack, and each single serving pouch has only 80 calories and no trans fat.

“DOLE Real Fruit Bites are satisfying but not over stimulating, perfect for when you need that sweet taste but are still watching your waist line,” continued Lambert. “At 80 calories it’s a portion-controlled and healthier treat. And because it is made with real fruit, it’s a good source of vitamin C.”

DOLE Real Fruit Bites are available in three delicious flavors including apple, pineapple and mango. The Suggested Retail Price is $3.99 for a package of six pouches (prices may vary depending on geographic location and retail outlet).

DOLE Real Fruit Bites are available now in the dried fruit section of local grocery retailers.

About The Survey

The survey was conducted online with a random sample of 1,006 women, ages 25+ — all members of the Impulse Research proprietary online panel. The Impulse Research proprietary online panel has been carefully selected to closely match U.S. population demographics, and the respondents are representative of American women ages 25+. The research was conducted in September 2010.

About Dole Food Company, Inc.

Dole, with 2009 net revenues of $6.8 billion, is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the leading producer of organic bananas. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen fruit and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.

About Impulse Research

Since 1982, Impulse Research has been an award-winning full-service communications and marketing research firm with significant experience and expertise in all public opinion research methodologies, receiving the Public Relations Society of America’s Silver Anvil and the American Marketing Association’s Effie Award for research supporting and evaluating public relations and marketing campaigns.

Campbell Lowers 2011 Full-Year GuidanceCAMDEN, N.J.  (Food-News.net)  Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) today announced that it is lowering its full-year guidance due to first quarter results that were weaker than originally planned and the company’s current outlook for the remainder of the year. Campbell attributes its change in guidance to increased promotional spending that resulted in lower-than-planned purchases of its soup by U.S. consumers, amid weak economic conditions and intense competitive pricing activity.

For the first quarter, Campbell estimates a decline in net sales of 1 percent, and declines in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) and earnings per share (EPS) of 7 percent and 6 percent, respectively. As previously announced, Campbell will report first-quarter results on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010 and will discuss its results on a conference call at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time that day.

For the full year, including an estimated 1-point favorable impact from currency, Campbell now anticipates net sales growth of 1 to 3 percent, EBIT comparable to the prior year and EPS growth of 2 to 4 percent from the fiscal 2010 adjusted base of $2.47. A detailed reconciliation of the fiscal 2010 adjusted financial information to the 2010 reported financial information is included at the end of this news release.

Douglas R. Conant, Campbell’s President and CEO, said, “Our increased promotional spending in the first quarter behind U.S. soup did not produce the planned volume gains. This result was due in part to even deeper soup promotions by competitors, which we chose not to match. While economic conditions remain challenging and competition intense, especially in U.S. soup, many of our businesses continue to perform well. Over the balance of the year, we believe that revised promotional strategies and continued cost and expense initiatives will yield stronger results, especially in the second half of the year. We will provide additional details on our results and plans when we report the first quarter on Nov. 23.”

About Campbell Soup Company

Campbell Soup Company is a global manufacturer and marketer of high-quality foods and simple meals, including soup and sauces, baked snacks and healthy beverages. Founded in 1869, the company has a portfolio of market-leading brands, including “Campbell’s,” “Pepperidge Farm,” “Arnott’s” and “V8.” Through its corporate social responsibility program, the company strives to make a positive impact in the workplace, in the marketplace and in the communities in which it operates. Campbell is a member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. For more information, visit www.campbellsoup.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains “forward-looking statements” that reflect the company’s current expectations about the impact of its future plans and performance on sales and earnings. These forward-looking statements rely on a number of assumptions and estimates that could be inaccurate and which are subject to risks and uncertainties. The factors that could cause the company’s actual results to vary materially from those anticipated or expressed in any forward-looking statement include (1) the impact of strong competitive responses to the company’s efforts to leverage its brand power in the market; (2) the risks associated with trade and consumer acceptance of the company’s initiatives; (3) the company’s ability to realize projected cost savings and benefits; (4) the company’s ability to manage changes to its business processes; (5) the increased significance of certain of the company’s key trade customers; (6) the impact of fluctuations in the supply or costs of energy and raw and packaging materials; (7) the impact of portfolio changes; (8) the uncertainties of litigation; (9) the impact of changes in currency exchange rates, tax rates, interest rates, debt and equity markets, inflation rates, economic conditions and other external factors; (10) the impact of unforeseen business disruptions in one or more of the company’s markets due to political instability, civil disobedience, armed hostilities, natural disasters or other calamities; and (11) other factors described in the company’s most recent Form 10-K and subsequent Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The company disclaims any obligation or intent to update the forward-looking statements in order to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release.

Reconciliation of GAAP and Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Fiscal Year Ended Aug. 1, 2010

Campbell Soup Company uses certain non-GAAP financial measures as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission in certain communications. These non-GAAP financial measures are measures of performance not defined by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States and should be considered in addition to, not in lieu of, GAAP reported measures.

Items Impacting Earnings

The company believes that financial information excluding certain transactions not considered to be part of the ongoing business improves the comparability of year-to-year results. Consequently, the company believes that investors may be able to better understand its earnings results if these transactions are excluded.

The following items impacted earnings in fiscal 2010:

          (1)   In fiscal 2008, the company announced initiatives to improve operational efficiency and long-term profitability, including selling certain salty snack food brands and assets in Australia, closing certain production facilities in Australia and Canada, and streamlining the company’s management structure. In fiscal 2010, the company recorded pre-tax restructuring charges of $12 million ($8 million after tax or $0.02 per share) for pension benefit costs related to these initiatives.
           
          (2)   In fiscal 2010, the company recorded deferred tax expense of $10 million ($0.03 per share) due to the enactment of U.S. health care legislation in March 2010. The law changed the tax treatment of subsidies to companies that provide prescription drug benefits to retirees. Accordingly, the company recorded the non-cash charge to reduce the value of the deferred tax asset associated with the subsidy.
               
     
(millions, except per share amounts)   Year Ended
    Aug. 1, 2010
Earnings before interest and taxes, as reported   $ 1,348
Add: Restructuring charges (1)     12
Adjusted Earnings before interest and taxes   $ 1,360
     
Interest, net, as reported   $ 106
     
Adjusted Earnings before taxes   $ 1,254
     
Taxes on earnings, as reported   $ 398
Add: Tax benefit from restructuring charges (1)     4
Deduct: Tax expense from health care legislation (2)     (10)
Adjusted Taxes on earnings   $ 392
Adjusted effective income tax rate     31.3%
     
Net earnings, as reported   $ 844
Add: Net adjustment from restructuring (1)     8
Add: Tax expense from health care legislation (2)     10
Adjusted Net earnings   $ 862
     
Diluted earnings per share, as reported   $ 2.42
Add: Net adjustment from restructuring charges (1)     0.02
Add: Tax expense from health care legislation (2)     0.03
Adjusted Diluted earnings per share   $ 2.47
     

Acme Smoked Fish Corporation Launches Consumer Awareness Campaign

Acme Smoked Fish CorporationNEW YORK  (Food-News.net)  Acme Smoked Fish Corporation, a fourth-generation family-owned and operated business founded in 1954 and one of the most popular smoked fish brands in North America, today announced the launch of its Consumer Awareness Campaign. The unprecedented campaign aims to help the company build an accurate customer profile and drive highly relevant product innovation in the months and years ahead. Participants are automatically entered into a drawing to win a new Apple iPad or equivalent $500 Amex Gift Card.

Voluntary participants are asked to complete a brief online questionnaire exploring their preferences, expectations and priorities when selecting smoked fish products along with product preparation and serving practices. The survey is open to both individuals and businesses including food service institutions and establishments. The survey is available at www.acmesmokedfish.com. The full range of questions, primarily multiple-choice, was designed to help the company better understand its audience, their perceptions on product quality and on the company’s brand.

“We’re excited to launch our new awareness campaign and build a closer, more direct communication channel with our end-customer,” explains Gabriel Viteri, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development. “As we move forward, we will use this valuable information to drive future business decisions and introduce new product innovations.”

For four generations, the Acme Smoked Fish Corporation has delivered superior-quality seafood products to households nationwide, with a significant portion of sales derived through leading retailers, delis, bagel shops, club stores, supermarkets, gourmet and specialty stores. To participate in the Consumer Awareness Campaign or to learn more about Acme Smoked Fish Corporation, visit www.acmesmokedfish.com.

About Acme Smoked Fish Corporation

Founded in 1954, Acme Smoked Fish Corporation is a family owned and operated smoked fish producer. The company is recognized for its New York style Kosher smoked salmon and lox, whitefish, chubs, herring and sable. Based in Brooklyn, New York, the widely recognized brand is committed to providing a superior quality product. The company’s Blue Hill Bay brand is known for its delicious all-natural and preservative-free food products, its Ruby Bay brand for its supermarket and retail packs, and its Great American brand for quality food service products sold primarily in the southeast region. Private label arrangements are also available for selected customers.

Meals Together…Memories Forever™ Offers Families Convenient Tools and the Chance to Win Prizes Every Day

The J.M. Smucker Company Helps Busy Families Rediscover the Power of Family Meals During the HolidaysORRVILLE, Ohio  (Food-News.net)  Making family mealtime a priority is challenging during the holidays with parties, school events, and last-minute shopping trips. To help fit time together at meals into a busy schedule, families can visit www.poweroffamilymeals.com to create a meal plan with delicious recipe ideas and enter for a chance to win prizes now through January 13, 2011.

Throughout the promotion, parents can win one of 70 daily prizes of $20 gift cards, 10 weekly prizes of single-cup coffee brewers, one first prize of a set of gourmet cookware and one grand prize including a $1,000 grocery shopping spree and a set of gourmet cookware. Limit one daily and one weekly prize per person, family, household or e-mail for the entire promotion.

While on the website, busy families can also download the new iTableTime application via the Apple® App Store(SM) online store. Use the app on iPhone®, iPad™ and iPod touch® mobile digital devices, to watch recipe videos, invite family and friends via customized email or text message to meals or events, or read the family mealtime blog, written by Miriam Weinstein, author of The Surprising Power of Family Meals.

“Just as daily meals bring our immediate family together for good food and good times, holidays call for, and reward us with, more,” said Weinstein. “We make a greater effort to get together, pulling out old recipes, sliding another leaf in the table. These celebrations stop time for a moment and give us time to celebrate and create memories, as the seasons and years fly by.”

Weinstein offers guidance of how to use the holiday season as a springboard for gathering the family around the table throughout the rest of the year featured on www.poweroffamilymeals.com. The site also offers thousands of recipes, along with complete meal ideas, conversation starters, pantry planning and grocery list tools to make mealtime planning easier. And the iTableTime app, mealtime tips, conversation starters and Weinstein’s tips add inspiration to make mealtime fun for the family.

“We are honored to play a small but valuable role to help families make meals together and memories forever during the holidays and beyond,” said Maribeth Badertscher, Vice President, Corporate Communications, The J.M. Smucker Company.  “We know that eating together makes families smarter, stronger and happier, which is why we are happy to offer recipes, along with complete family meal plans and other shortcuts to make the most out of family mealtime.”

The promotion ends on January 13, 2011 and is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., 18 years of age or older.  Void where prohibited.  Visit www.poweroffamilymeals.com for complete details and Official Rules.  

About The J.M. Smucker Company

For more than 110 years, The J.M. Smucker Company has been committed to offering consumers quality products that help families create memorable mealtime moments.  Today, Smucker is a leading marketer and manufacturer of fruit spreads, retail packaged coffee, peanut butter, shortening and oils, ice cream toppings, sweetened condensed milk, and health and natural foods beverages in North America. Its family of brands includes Smucker’s®, Folgers®, Dunkin’ Donuts®, Jif®, Crisco®, Pillsbury®, Eagle Brand®, R.W. Knudsen Family®, Hungry Jack®, White Lily® and Martha White® in the United States, along with Robin Hood®, Five Roses®, Carnation®, Europe’s Best® and Bick’s® in Canada. The Company remains rooted in the Basic Beliefs of Quality, People, Ethics, Growth and Independence established by its founder and namesake more than a century ago. The Company has appeared on FORTUNE Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in the United States 12 times, ranking number one in 2004. For more information about the Company, visit www.smuckers.com.

The J.M. Smucker Company is the owner of all trademarks, except Pillsbury, the Barrelhead logo and the Doughboy character are trademarks of The Pillsbury Company, LLC, used under license; Carnation is a trademark of Societe des Produits Nestle S.A., used under license; and Dunkin’ Donuts is a registered trademark of DD IP Holder, LLC, used under license. Borden and Elsie are trademarks used under license.

Apple, App Store, iPad, iPhone and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., which are not a participant in or sponsor of the Promotion.

Marler Clark Sues Cheese Maker on Behalf of E. coli VictimSEATTLE  (Food-News.net)  Maricopa County, Arizona resident Annette Sutfin filed an E. coli lawsuit today against Bravo Farms Cheese, LLC, the cheese manufacturer that produced and distributed Gouda cheese that has been identified as the source of an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak among Costco Wholesale customers in the southwestern United States.

According to the complaint filed in Federal District Court in Arizona by the Marler Clark food safety attorneys, on October 15 Ms. Sutfin consumed a sample of E. coli-contaminated Gouda cheese at the Costco warehouse located at Christown Spectrum Mall in Phoenix. Three days later she began experiencing symptoms of E. coli infection, including painful abdominal cramping.

On October 21, Ms. Sutfin experienced bloody diarrhea, the hallmark symptom of E. coli O157:H7 infection, and sought treatment at the St. Joseph’s Medical Center ER. She returned to the hospital on October 23 and was admitted for treatment. Ms. Sutfin was hospitalized until October 25. On November 1 she was notified by the Maricopa County Health Department that a stool sample had tested positive for E. coli O157:H7 and later learned that the strain of E. coli O157:H7 isolated from her stool matched the outbreak associated with the Bravo Farms Gouda Cheese outbreak.

“This cheese was adulterated at some point in the production process, and a lot of people have been injured as a result,” said Ms. Sutfin’s attorney, Drew Falkenstein of Marler Clark. “Fortunately, Annette appears to be making a good recovery but she has sustained significant medical expenses and it is Bravo Farms’ responsibility to compensate her for her losses.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ms. Stufin is one of at least 25 people from 5 states who became ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections after consuming Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda Cheese sold and sampled at the “cheese road show” held at Costco warehouses. Victims of the outbreak reside in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico.

THE MARLER CLARK FOOD SAFETY ATTORNEYS are the nation’s leading lawyers representing victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness outbreaks. The firm has been representing victims of E. coli outbreaks nationwide for nearly 20 years, including many related to raw milk products. The firm sponsors the informational Website about E. coli: www.about-ecoli.com.

To contact Ms. Sutfin or Mr. Falkenstein, contact Suzanne Schreck at sschreck@marlerclark.com or (206) 346-1888.

National Grape Cooperative Completes Smaller-Than-Average Concord Juice-Grape HarvestWESTFIELD, N.Y.  (Food-News.net)  1,150 grape growers delivered this year’s Concord and Niagara juice-grape crop to Welch’s receiving plants in New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Washington State. Welch’s is the co-op’s wholly owned marketing arm producing and selling the Welch’s products consumers have been enjoying since 1869.

Says Richard Erdle, director Member Relations, “This year’s crop yielded only 78 percent of the co-op’s average crop size, due in large part to devastating frost/freeze events in our southwest Michigan growing area where the Concord harvest yielded only 40 percent of our pre-frost expectations. Michigan growers have experienced several weather-related losses over the last 10 years, not unlike those occurring in the 1960s when the area was affected by similar weather patterns.  While each of the co-op’s growing areas experienced frost damage, Michigan’s losses were by far the greatest.”

Grapes are considered a “specialty crop,” and Michigan is known for many of those including apples, cherries and peaches. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), known to be a champion of the specialty crop industry, recently showed her support by visiting Jon and Diane Hinkelman’s Farm in Michigan’s Bainbridge Township to personally see the damage and meet with affected grape growers. Agriculture has the second largest economic impact on Michigan’s economy ($71.2 billion annually), employing 25 percent of the state’s workforce. Senator Stabenow introduced the Specialty Crops Competitive Act of 2007, which focused on and supported specialty crop trade and research.

Other than the spring weather events, the rest of the growing season has set the stage for good crop potential in 2011. Welch’s is the world’s leading provider of Concord and Niagara grape-based products, including grape juice and jelly. The company also produces a variety of other fruit-based products, including 100 percent juices and juice cocktails. Welch’s will use this year’s high-quality crop to supply consumers with the great tasting products they’ve come to expect.

14 Million Hours Required Annually for Vending Industry to Comply With Calorie Disclosure RegulationsCHICAGO  (Food-News.net)  A notice published by the Food and Drug Administration in the November 5 Federal Register estimates that the nation’s vending industry will need to spend 14 million hours annually to comply with proposed calorie disclosure regulations, National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) Sr. VP Government Affairs Ned Monroe, CAE announced today.  

In discussing the FDA report Monroe said, “Our industry has always understood that consumers need access to product nutritional information, but requiring an industry to invest 14 million hours annually is absurd and sure to kill jobs.  We are opposed to the colossal burden these regulations impose on our industry and this report just confirms what an enormous and unfair burden it truly is.”

The calorie disclosure legislation was included as part of the federal Health Care reform legislation that was passed last March.  The legislation requires that vending companies which operate 20 or more vending machines where caloric information is not available prior to purchase must “provide a sign in close proximity to each article of food or the selection button that includes a clear and conspicuous statement disclosing the number of calories contained in the article”.

The FDA notice in the Federal Register said:

“The total recurring hours needed for third party display is then 14 million hours (= 5000 firms × 1,400 machines/firm x 20 displays/machine × .05 hours/display….” 

“…FDA estimates a total of 14,068,808 recurring hours, with nearly all of these for vending machine operators, including 31,408 recurring hours for recordkeeping and 14,037,400 recurring hours for third party disclosure….”

According to Monroe, the vending industry has always recognized the importance of educating consumers about health and wellness as evidenced by its national health and wellness program Balanced for Life.  Said, Monroe, “Over the past several years the vending industry has helped address skyrocketing obesity rates by investing millions of dollars into its Balanced for Life program to educate consumers about the elements of a healthy diet and the importance of physical activity.  In addition, as part of that work we developed our highly acclaimed “Fit Pick” nutrition rating system which clearly marks in the vending machine better-for-you items that meet strict nutritional guidelines.  Considering that most products purchased out of a vending machine are the same ones that are well known and available in other retail channels everywhere, and not prepared menu items where consumers may be unaware of what the nutritional content is, we question whether this measure is necessary at all.”  

He concluded, “It’s even more troubling that after reviewing the calculations in the report the 14 million hour estimate might not even be enough.  The implementation for this policy is completely wrong.  It’s obvious that the FDA needs to rethink this approach completely.  In this economy where our small business members are struggling to survive, they can’t afford to spend 14 million hours each year to comply with this new regulation.”

To see the FDA Federal Register notice visit http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-28014.pdf

NAMA is the national trade association of the food and refreshment vending, coffee service and foodservice management industries including on-site, commissary, catering, & mobile. Its membership is comprised of service companies, equipment manufacturers and suppliers of products and services to operating service companies.  The basic mission of the association, to collectively advance and promote the automatic merchandising and coffee service industries, still guides NAMA today as it did in 1936, the year of the organization’s founding.

An 'Apple a Day' Could Help Keep Your Cardiologist at BayBOSTON  (Food-News.net)  Recent research out of the University of Michigan Health System – a premier academic medical center – has found that adding more apples and apple products to your diet may be an easy way to lower your risk for developing heart disease.  More than one in three U.S. adults has one or more types of cardiovascular disease (CVD) according to the American Heart Association.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

Researchers presented their initial study results this week at the American Dietetic Association (ADA) Annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Exposition.  Dr. Mitch Seymour, the lead researcher on the study reports, “When rodents prone to obesity were given a higher fat diet – similar to a ‘typical American’ diet – and fed a freeze dried powder made from whole apples (roughly equivalent to two medium-sized apples per day), the results showed a heart health benefit that went beyond cholesterol reduction alone.”

Although the exact mechanisms that yield this benefit are still unclear, the research team speculates that reduction in oxidative stress, a critical component of heart disease, may play a prominent role. The researchers suspect that the phytochemicals (or antioxidant components) in apples help reduce oxidative stress in the rodents and contribute to improved measures of blood pressure – ultimately reducing overall heart damage. (Although not tested in this study, it is possible that products made from whole apples, like apple juice, cider, or applesauce, may confer similar benefits.)

In the study, the rodents were given either a ‘standard’ diet, a diet with apple pectin (most notable as a source of dietary fiber), or a diet with freeze-dried powder made from whole apples. The amount of food, total calories, sugars and fiber content of the diets was held constant for each group. At the end of four months, researchers examined the following markers for heart disease: cholesterol level, oxidative stress level, blood pressure, and overall heart function.

Initial results, discussed and presented at the ADA meeting this week showed that both the whole apple powder and the apple pectin reduced cholesterol levels. In addition, the whole apple powder also reduced oxidative stress (as measured in the blood samples), reduced blood pressure, and increased heart function.

For more information on the health benefits of apples and apple products, please visit: www.usapple.org and www.appleproducts.org.

Reference: Seymour EM, Spink HC, Kondoleon MG, Urcuyo-Llanes DE, Bolling SF.  Apple intake reduces hypertension and cardiac pathology in obese rats with metabolic syndrome. American Dietetic Association 2010 Poster Presentation (unpublished).

The U.S. Apple Association (USApple) is the national trade association representing all segments of the apple industry. Members include 40 state and regional apple associations representing the 7,500 apple growers throughout the country, as well as more than 400 individual firms involved in the apple business. USApple’s mission is to provide the means for all segments of the U.S. apple industry to join in appropriate collective efforts to profitably produce and market apples and apple products.

The Apple Products Research & Education Council (APREC), formerly the Processed Apples Institute, is a coalition of U.S.-based producers of processed apple products.

NEW YORK  (Food-News.net)  Palladium Equity Partners, LLC, a leading private equity firm based in New York (together with its affiliates, “Palladium”), announced today that it has completed the sale of Castro Cheese Company, Inc. (“Castro Cheese” or the “Company”) to Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (“DFA”).  Terms were not disclosed.    

Castro Cheese is a leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor of queso fresco and other varieties of Hispanic cheeses and creams. The Company’s products are marketed under the brand “La Vaquita” in Texas and other southwestern states.  

“We are thrilled with the successful outcome of the Castro Cheese transaction,” said Luis Zaldivar, Managing Director of Palladium. “Since the acquisition in August 2007, Castro Cheese has successfully targeted major retailers such as H.E.B., Wal-Mart, Fiesta Mart, Kroger and Costco, where they have launched several new Hispanic cheese products under the brand ‘La Vaquita’ and pursued geographic expansion beyond Texas. We are proud to have partnered with management on what has been an outstanding investment, and we are confident that DFA is well positioned to support the Company’s continued growth.”  

“Palladium’s distinctive focus on companies that serve the Hispanic market and strong track record in investing in food businesses made them an extremely valuable partner for us,” said Alberto Bandera, Operating Executive of Castro Cheese. “Palladium has helped us grow and develop our family business into a professionally-managed enterprise, while preserving the spirit, heritage and focus on high quality products that make us successful.”

“This transaction is a validation of our investment strategy and a hallmark of our leadership position in the U.S. Hispanic market. We will continue to pursue promising opportunities to invest in this rapidly growing market,” concluded Alex Ventosa, Managing Director of Palladium.    

Lincoln International acted as financial advisor to Palladium and Castro Cheese in connection with the sale.

About Palladium Equity Partners

Palladium Equity Partners, LLC, along with its affiliates (“Palladium”) targets investments in companies across a broad range of industries, including business/financial services, consumer/retail, food/restaurants, healthcare, manufacturing and media businesses. Palladium has a focus on companies that are well-positioned to capitalize on the fast-growing U.S. Hispanic market. The principals of Palladium have directed investments of over $2.5 billion of equity in more than 65 portfolio companies over the last two decades.

About Castro Cheese Company, Inc.

Castro Cheese, headquartered in Houston, is a leading manufacturer and distributor of premium, authentic Hispanic cheeses and other dairy products that target the rapidly growing Hispanic demographic in the United States. Sold under the brand “La Vaquita,” the Company’s product line includes

ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston Celebrates Grand Opening of New State-of-the-Art Sweet Potato Processing PlantDELHI, La.  (Food-News.net)  ConAgra Foods CEO Gary Rodkin joined Lamb Weston President Jeff DeLapp, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and others today to commemorate the grand opening of ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston’s new state-of-the art, environmentally friendly sweet potato processing plant in Delhi, La. Situated in a prime sweet potato growing region, the Delhi plant is uniquely equipped to process high-quality sweet potatoes, using cutting-edge proprietary processing and packaging technologies. The plant will produce products for the Sweet Things® line for foodservice, which includes sweet potato fries, wedges, puffs, as well as mashed sweet potatoes. The plant will also produce ALEXIA® retail grocery brand sweet potato products.

“The Delhi plant is the culmination of our decade-long experience with sweet potato processing technologies and product innovation,” said DeLapp. “Today’s official grand opening ribbon cutting celebrates the past year and a half of intense planning and construction, building our most sustainable plant to date. It is a singular accomplishment and true cornerstone of our continuing leadership in the industry.”

“When ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston selected Louisiana for this new expansion last year, it was a major victory not only for Northeast Louisiana, but for our entire state,” said Jindal. “Phase one of this project is already having a significant impact in terms of jobs, capital investment and revenues. ConAgra’s new facility means we can develop our homegrown resources to help our farmers, create good jobs and produce high quality products for the world. Indeed major economic development wins like ConAgra Foods, along with many others that we have announced since entering office, are helping transform Louisiana into the nation’s best place for businesses to invest, expand and create jobs for our people.”

Official grand opening festivities will continue through Saturday, Nov. 6, with a community celebration at the Delhi National Guard Armory to show appreciation for the residents in Northeast Louisiana who have enthusiastically welcomed Lamb Weston to the area. The community celebration will include performances by local school groups and musical acts as well as renowned musicians Amanda Shaw, Chubby Carrier, David St. Romain and Darryl Worley. Rounding out the day will be kids activities and free sweet potato fries for all attendees.

Lamb Weston’s Delhi plant is one of 20 Lamb Weston plants in the U.S., Canada and Europe, and the total Delhi plant project employs 275 people. For more information about the plant, visit www.lambweston.com/delhi.

At the inception of the project, Rodkin said, “This significant investment is indicative of the big opportunity we see in our potato platform. Potatoes, including sweet potatoes, are a strategic priority for ConAgra Foods, and we are committed to expansion in this area. This new plant will further our North American leadership position in potatoes by supporting growth in an adjacent category, and add to our worldwide presence.”

Lamb Weston, a brand of ConAgra Foods, Inc., is North America’s premier supplier of frozen potato, sweet potato, appetizer and other vegetable products, serving both the foodservice and retail industries. For more information, please visit us at www.lambweston.com.

ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America’s leading food companies, with brands in 97 percent of America’s households. Consumers find Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Egg Beaters, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Hunt’s, Marie Callender’s, Orville Redenbacher’s, PAM, Peter Pan, Reddi-wip, Slim Jim, Snack Pack and many other ConAgra Foods brands in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise and club stores. ConAgra Foods also has a strong business-to-business presence, supplying frozen potato and sweet potato products as well as other vegetable, spice and grain products to a variety of well-known restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers. For more information, please visit us at www.conagrafoods.com.

Cheese may be related to outbreak of E. coli infections

SILVER SPRING, Md.  (Food-News.net) 

Fast Facts

  • Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda cheese, (Costco item 40654) offered for sale and in cheese sampling events at Costco Wholesale Corporation (Costco) locations is preliminarily linked with an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections.
  • Consumers who have any of this cheese should not eat it. They should return the cheese to the place of purchase or dispose of it in a closed plastic bag and place in a sealed trash can to prevent people or animals, including wild animals, from eating it.
  • Most people infected with E. coli O157:H7 develop diarrhea and abdominal cramps, but some illnesses may last longer and can be more severe. While most people recover within a week, some may develop a severe infection. Rarely, as symptoms of diarrhea improve, a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) can occur; this can happen at any age but is most common in children under 5 years old and in older adults. People with HUS should be hospitalized immediately, as their kidneys may stop working and they may be at risk for other serious health problems.
  • As of Thursday, November 4, 2010, 25 persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from five states since mid-October. The number of ill persons identified in each state with this strain is as follows: AZ (11), CA (1), CO (8), NM (3) and NV (2). There have been 9 reported hospitalizations, 1 possible case of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and no deaths.

What is the Problem?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention join Costco Wholesale Corporation (Costco), in warning consumers not to consume Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda cheese (Costco item 40654), as this cheese may be associated with an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections. The cheese was available for sale, and free samples were offered for in-store tasting at Costco in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.

What are the Symptoms of Illness/Injury?

Most people infected with E. coli O157:H7 develop diarrhea and abdominal cramps, but some illnesses may last longer and can be more severe. While most people recover within a week, some may develop a severe infection. Rarely, as symptoms of diarrhea improve, a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) can occur; this can happen at any age but is most common in children under 5 years old and in older adults. People with HUS should be hospitalized immediately, as their kidneys may stop working and they may be at risk for other serious health problems.

What Do Consumers Need To Do?

Do not eat Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda cheese (Costco Item 40654) purchased at Costco. Consumers should return this product to the place of purchase or dispose of it in a closed plastic bag and place in a sealed trash can to prevent people or animals, including wild animals, from eating them. Anyone who experienced signs or symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 infection should contact his or her healthcare provider immediately. Healthcare providers should report any suspected infection to state or local public health authorities right away.

Where is it Distributed?

Costco offered the Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda cheese for sale and for in-store tasting at its stores in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.

What is Being Done to Protect Consumers?

The FDA, CDC and Costco are working together on the investigation and will update the public with more information as soon as it is available. As more information becomes available, the recommendations to consumers may change. The FDA, in conjunction with the state of California, has initiated an investigation at Bravo Farms.

In addition, Costco is advising consumers to return any remaining Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda cheese they may have at home to Costco for a full refund. Costco has voluntarily removed the cheese from its stores and, using card purchase records, has notified consumers by phone of the situation.

The information in this press release reflects FDA’s best efforts to communicate what the manufacturer has reported to FDA.

Media Inquiries: Siobhan DeLancey, 301-796-4668, siobhan.delancey@fda.hhs.gov

Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

Aim is to help produce growers, packers access food safety educational materials

FDA, USDA, Cornell University Announce Alliance for Produce SafetySILVER SPRING, Md.  (Food-News.net)  A public-private organization will provide produce growers and packagers with fundamental, on-farm food safety knowledge, in advance of a proposed produce safety regulation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA/AMS), and Cornell University announced today.

The new Produce Safety Alliance is a three-year, $1.15 million partnership funded by the FDA and USDA. It will be housed at Cornell University through a grant from AMS. Cornell’s national Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) program has been a leader in the development of materials on GAPs and in its dissemination of food safety knowledge to the agricultural community.

Key elements of the alliance’s work include

  • Developing a standardized, but multi-formatted and multi-lingual education program on GAPs and co-management;
  • Creating an information bank of up-to-date scientific and technical information related to on-farm and packinghouse produce safety, environmental co-management, and eventually the FDA’s proposed produce safety rule;
  • Launching a website to make the alliance’s work and information readily accessible;
  • Establishing a network of educational collaborators;
  • Conducting an assessment of existing educational outreach tools to identify knowledge gaps and to provide for continuous updating;
  • Working with partners on the steering committee and others to develop and deliver train-the-trainer materials and sessions.

In 2011, the FDA is expected to issue a proposed rule on the safe production, harvesting, and packing of produce. The alliance is aimed at giving produce growers and packers training and educational materials and opportunities to learn about current risk-and science-based best food safety practices, and future regulatory requirements.

“As we traveled around the country listening to growers and packers and soliciting their comments even before we propose a produce safety rule, we have committed ourselves to just this kind of collaborative effort,” said FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods Michael R. Taylor. “We also know that small growers and packers are especially interested in the kind of hands-on training and support envisioned by the alliance.”

The alliance will have representatives from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), land grant universities, growers and shippers, produce trade organizations, and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, joining FDA, AMS, and Cornell officials on the alliance’s steering committee.

“The alliance is another sign of our commitment to working with growers and packers and our federal partners at FDA to make certain that our marketplace is economically strong and provides American families the safe, fresh produce they need for healthy diets,” said Ann Wright, Deputy Under Secretary, Marketing and Regulatory Programs, USDA.

“In our 12-plus years of working with growers and packers on how best to implement GAPs, we have seen how much they want to do the right thing and meet the industry demand for food safety,” said Betsy Bihn, coordinator of Cornell University’s National GAPs Program. “What growers and packers want is science-based information they can use in the fields and the packing houses to improve food safety practices in practical ways. Our goal is to meet that need today and down the road as FDA moves forward in its rulemaking process.”

Taylor and Wright noted that voluntary and contractual produce safety standards already are in use by many producers nationwide and said that the alliance will take those into account in developing its materials. The work of the alliance also will be based on the co-management approach of integrating food safety and environmental protection efforts, they said.

“This effort builds on the collaborative effort we have led over the past three years to develop a model produce safety code for our members,” said AFDO President Ron Klein. “We welcome an opportunity to share what we have learned and move forward everyone’s goal of ensuring the safety of fresh fruits and vegetables.”

“Whether they are large, small, or somewhere in between, what our farmers want and need is hands-on practical information, and we see the Produce Safety Alliance as a vital way to develop that information and deliver it in a timely and effective way,” said North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler, chair of NASDA’s Food Safety Committee.

The FDA and USDA will issue updates on the progress and activities of the Produce Safety Alliance in the coming months.

For more information:

Fall Back Into BreakfastCENTENNIAL, Colo.  (Food-News.net)  As you turn your clocks back to mark the end of Daylight Savings, take a few of those extra minutes to add a healthy, protein-packed breakfast to your morning routine.  Research suggests that including protein like lean beef at breakfast promotes satiety, which can curb hunger when trying to maintain or lose weight(1). What’s more, a new study finds that balancing protein intake across three meals by increasing protein intake at breakfast and lunch protects muscle when losing weight(2). With these benefits in mind, Daylight Savings is the perfect opportunity to save your day and break free of your morning rut with a protein-rich breakfast.

“People tend to consume about 65 percent of their protein in one sitting at dinnertime(3), not realizing all the benefits of spreading protein intake throughout the day,” said Dr. Shalene McNeill, PhD, RD, and Executive Director of Nutrition Research with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, which contracts to manage nutrition programs for the beef checkoff. “It is especially important to think outside ‘the cereal box’ when it comes to breakfast because high-quality protein foods like lean beef can be an important, simple and delicious addition to the morning routine.”

According to Dr. McNeill, there are many advantages to beefing up your breakfast and incorporating the right balance of protein, nutrients, and flavor.

Why Beef Up Breakfast?

Breakfast is Easy: Breakfast doesn’t have to be time-consuming. There are many simple, creative and delicious ways to include lean protein in your breakfast routine. Visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com for a bevy of beefy new breakfast ideas — from grab-n-go weekday wonders to gourmet ways to beef up your weekend brunch.

It’s a Nutrient Powerhouse: Lean beef is a naturally rich source of 10 essential nutrients, and a perfect partner for your everyday breakfast favorites like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products, making it simpler to start your day in a balanced way.

A Little Beef Goes A Long Way: Just one three-ounce serving of lean beef provides nearly 50 percent of the Daily Value for protein(4). From folding 95 percent lean Ground Beef into a breakfast burrito to using last night’s leftover pot roast in a beefy sweet potato hash, beef makes it easy to incorporate more protein into your daily breakfast schedule.

Help Shed Those Pounds: Including protein at breakfast promotes satiety, which can curb hunger when trying to maintain or lose weight(5). What’s more, choosing lean beef as a source of high-quality protein is actually a calorie-saver. A 3-oz serving of lean beef is, on average, about 154 calories. You would have to eat more than 7 Tablespoons (680 calories) of peanut butter to get the same amount of protein(6).

For more information on recipes, nutrition information and to learn more about how to include nutrient-rich lean beef in your daily breakfast routine, visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

About The Beef Checkoff

The Beef Checkoff Program (MyBeefCheckoff.com) was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The Checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national Checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.

About The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is a contractor to the national Beef Checkoff Program which is administered by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. Consumer-focused and producer-directed, NCBA and its state beef council partners are the marketing organization on behalf of the largest segment of the food and fiber industry.

MEDIA CONTACT:
 
Julie Sodano
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
720-987-4781
jsodano@beef.org
 

Rebecca Andexler
Edelman
312.233.1247
rebecca.andexler@edelman.com

(1) Leidy H, Bossingham M, Mattes R, Campbell W. Increased dietary protein consumed at breakfast leads to an initial and sustained feeling of fullness during energy restriction compared to other meal times. British Journal of Nutrition. 2009; 101, 798–803.

(2) Devkota S, Layman D. Protein metabolic roles in treatment of obesity. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition. 2010; 13:403-407.

(3) U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2005. What We Eat In America, NHANES 2001-2002: Usual nutrient intakes from food compared to dietary reference intakes. Internet: http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/fsrg (accessed 13 October 2010).

(4) U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2010. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23.

(5) Leidy H, Bossingham M, Mattes R, Campbell W. Increased dietary protein consumed at breakfast leads to an initial and sustained feeling of fullness during energy restriction compared to other meal times. British Journal of Nutrition. 2009; 101, 798–803.

(6) U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2010. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23.

 

Bauducco Launches Panettone in the U.S.MIAMI  (Food-News.net)  Enjoyed for centuries during the holiday season in Italy, panettone – a sweet, specialty cake typically incorporating raisins, dried fruit and candied citrus peel – can add an unexpected twist to your holiday table.

“In Italy, panettone is a staple from late November through New Year’s, served as a dessert, at breakfast with coffee, and even in recipes like French toast,” said Lucinda Scala Quinn, author of MAD Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys and Lucinda’s Rustic Italian Kitchen and an expert in Italian culinary traditions. “But it has been hard to find in America, limited to gourmet specialty stores in cities with large Italian-American populations.” Now, Bauducco Foods, a Brazilian food company with Italian roots, is looking to change that by introducing panettone into grocery stores across the U.S.

Made in the authentic Italian fashion, Bauducco Panettone incorporates the highest quality ingredients like Sun-Maid raisins and – in a new take on tradition – Hershey’s chocolate chips. “With its subtle sweetness and light texture, panettone is more versatile than traditional cakes. I like it on its own, or topped with ice cream or powdered sugar,” said Scala Quinn. “It pairs well with dessert wines or Champagne for an after-dinner treat, or coffee or hot chocolate in the morning.”

The Story of Panettone

While there are various versions of the story of panettone, all of them take place in northern Italy, near Milan. One version of the story centers around a baker’s helper named Toni, who accidentally knocked raisins into a bowl of bread dough, and then tried to remedy the situation by adding more dried fruit, sugar, butter and eggs. He baked it and gave it to his employer, who hailed the new creation and named it “pane di Toni” (Toni’s bread, in Italian). In another legend, Toni the baker is deeply in love and concocts the recipe to win the respect of his beloved’s father. In reality, the recipe developed from the Romans, who made a bread enriched with fruit similar to panettone.

“The story of panettone is a big part of its appeal,” said Scala Quinn. “How perfect for a holiday treat to have developed out of an intense love.”

Panettone as a Gift

In addition to being served to friends and family throughout the holiday season, panettone is also typically given as a hostess gift in many countries, in lieu of flowers or wine. “It’s such a lovely and, at least in the U.S., unexpected gesture to give a panettone,” said Scala Quinn. “I give it decoratively wrapped, and attach a card with a serving idea or two on one side, and the story of panettone written on the other.”

Bauducco Panettone  is now available for the holiday season at grocery stores nationwide. For more information on Bauducco Panettone, as well as recipes and serving suggestions, visit www.bauducco.com.

About Bauducco Foods

Founded in 1952 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, by Carlo Bauducco, Bauducco Foods is the leading manufacturer of baked goods in Brazil and is the largest maker of panettone in the world, exporting to 80 countries. The company employs 3,000 full-time and 2,300 seasonal workers. In addition to panettone, Bauducco produces cookies, wafers, roll cakes, toasts, bread sticks, shortbread and tea biscuits. Bauducco’s base of operations in the U.S. is in Miami; the company serves a variety of retailers with the support of partners, distributors and an accomplished sales team.

HERSHEY, Pa.  (Food-News.net)  The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY):

  • New structure to leverage competencies for global growth
  • Strengthens regional focus with additional resources
  • Augments confectionery consumer insights, innovation capabilities

The Hershey Company Elects J.P. Bilbrey Chief Operating OfficerDavid J. West, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY), today announced that the Company’s Board of Directors has elected J.P. Bilbrey Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately. Bilbrey, currently Senior Vice President, President Hershey North America, will continue to report to West.

Bilbrey brings 30 years of consumer packaged goods experience in the United States and international markets to this newly created role. He will be responsible for Hershey’s day-to-day operations and global commercial activities, leading the Company’s supply chain as well as realigned geographic regions, including the U.S.A., the Americas and Asia. Bilbrey will also lead two newly created global strategic business units (SBU). The Chocolate SBU and Sugar Confection SBU will be responsible for building and leveraging Hershey’s global brands, creating confectionery marketplace innovation and disseminating best demonstrated practices around the world.

“J.P. has an extensive record of success in delivering global growth and in building successful teams at Hershey,” West said. “In this new role, J.P. will ensure that we continue our unrelenting focus on building on our competitive advantage in the U.S. while at the same time we focus on developing other international markets. We will continue to make the investments that will enable us to build scale in key growth markets such as China and Mexico. This new structure will enable Hershey to build formulas for repeatable success in our global markets. J.P.’s global experience and knowledge of our business will ensure that more and more consumers around the world will come to recognize the quality and fun represented by Hershey’s brands.”

“The Company is experiencing strong performance,” said James E. Nevels, Chairman of the Board. “But we will not rest on our laurels. This new structure will enable Dave West to have more focus on the strategic and business development initiatives that will ensure Hershey delivers disciplined global expansion while it maintains its current momentum. The new structure also strengthens our regions and enables us to more fully leverage our brands around the world. J.P. will lead the international rollout of our consumer demand landscape, ensuring that best practices and resources are shared globally.”

Bilbrey is currently Senior Vice President, President Hershey North America. In this position, he is responsible for leading Hershey’s U.S. and Canadian businesses. Bilbrey played a key leadership role in the Company’s turnaround since the creation and implementation of the Company’s consumer demand landscape as well as in establishing Hershey’s presence in markets around the world.

Prior to his current position, Bilbrey was Senior Vice President, President Hershey International, where he was responsible for directing the Company’s international businesses and the execution of its global strategy.

Bilbrey joined The Hershey Company in 2003 from Mission Foods, where he served as Senior Vice President. Before joining Mission Foods, he was President and Chief Executive Officer, Danone Waters of North America, Inc., a division of Groupe Danone, Paris, France. In this position, he was responsible for all operations of Groupe Danone’s North American water division. Additionally, he spent 22 years at The Procter & Gamble Company where he began his career as a Sales Representative. He served in positions of increasing responsibility in both the U.S. domestic business as well as international assignments. He has broad international experience and has lived and worked in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.

Richer, Darker Extract and Up to 50% Less Cocoa

Muntons Malted Ingredients Announces 'Maltichoc' for Baked GoodsSEATTLE  (Food-News.net)  Muntons PLC, maltsters and malted ingredients makers of ‘World Class Malt’ based in Stowmarket Suffolk, United Kingdom, with a North American office in Seattle, Washington, have announced ‘Maltichoc’ a new ingredient designed to enhance chocolate baked goods, while also reducing raw material costs.

Maltichoc is a blend of roasted malt flours and dried malt extracts. It has a bitter/roasted flavor, with a sweet background flavor. Although the flavor of the ingredient is not obviously chocolaty, the blend compliments and extends bitter chocolate notes in a wide range of baked goods. It also has a clean label:  “Barley Malt Flour, Barley Malt Extract.”

Andrew Fuller, Muntons Product Development Technologist, said, “The cost of cocoa powder is spiraling and availability is poor. A reduction of up to 50% in cocoa powder is possible with the inclusion of our new product Maltichoc, while maintaining product quality. In fact in our sensory panels many tasters preferred products made using the Maltichoc recipe.”  

Andrew also added, “It’s not just cost saving where Maltichoc performs. The addition of this new ingredient to a value product or to a core recipe instantly enhances the product providing a richer chocolate flavor, and dark chocolate color.”

Maltichoc is available in 25 kg. sacks. Samples are available on request.

About Muntons

Muntons has been producing high quality malt and malted ingredients for more than 80 years. During this time, the company has grown to become a major supplier of malts, malt extracts, homebrew kits, flours and flakes to the food and drinks industry. Based in Suffolk, UK, Muntons is organized into two operating divisions: Muntons Malt, which services the brewing and distilling industries worldwide, and Muntons Malted Ingredients, which focuses on food industries and non-alcoholic beverages. Please visit us at www.muntons.com

JetBlue adds Popcorn the Perfect Movie Complement to its In-flight Snack Itinerary

PopCorners, The New Shape of Popcorn Flies Nationwide on all JetBlue FlightsFREEPORT, N.Y.  (Food-News.net)  Medora Snacks, LLC announced today, that PopCorners, The New Shape of Popcorn will be served on all JetBlue flights throughout the country.  JetBlue passengers will now be able to enjoy PopCorners, which are made from all-natural ingredients and were created to satisfy the cravings of popcorn lovers’ desire for popcorn, all while maintaining that authentic chip-like experience.  The airline will rotate serving all four delicious flavors including White Cheddar, Butter, Sea Salt and Kettle.

“This is an incredible opportunity for us to provide JetBlue passengers with a great tasting healthy option to enjoy with their in-flight entertainment” said Linda Fishman, President, Medora Snacks LLC. “PopCorners and a movie are a perfect match.”

PopCorners are popped, not fried or baked, in the form of a triangle or tortilla that achieves an all-new shape of popcorn never seen before. The PopCorner’s “chip” can be eaten alone or used with any kind of dip including salsa, ranch or sour cream and onion.

Passengers will be able to enjoy all the benefits of popcorn like the great natural flavor while avoiding the downfalls.  The fact is, regular popcorn still gets stuck in your teeth and ends up making a mess.  PopCorners, the first real popcorn chips, are here to shake up the traditional popcorn industry with a new shape that is made for your mouth.

PopCorners will be available on all JetBlue flight in November beginning with Kettle. In addition, PopCorners can be found JetBlue’s T5, a new state-of-the-art terminal at JFK International Airport in New York, in addition to other locations throughout JFK and LaGuardia. PopCorners are available at Key Foods in Brooklyn; assorted Manhattan delis and grocers; Magruder’s Supermarkets in the Washington D.C. area; Fairway in NY and NJ; online at Medora Snacks’ Amazon.com digital storefront; and coming soon to a location near you. Visit www.popcorners.com for more information.

About PopCorners

All natural PopCorners created by Medora Snacks, LLC out of Freeport, NY are The New Shape of Popcorn. PopCorners are a delicious snack with the snap of a chip and the same wholesome goodness as popcorn. They are popped with real corn and the finest all natural ingredients. You can snack smart while still satisfying your craving for popcorn. Take them to the movies or in your lunch bag. Enjoy them alone with your favorite dips. For additional information on PopCorners, please visit www.popcorners.com.

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United Natural Foods Announces Partnership With Feeding America To Fight HungerPROVIDENCE, R.I.  (Food-News.net)  United Natural Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq: UNFI) (the “Company”), the leading distributor of natural, organic and specialty foods and non-food products in the United States and Canada, is pleased to announce a new partnership with Feeding America, the leading domestic hunger-relief charity in the United States.  UNFI’s commitment to the nationwide organization will focus on combating hunger in the communities the Company serves including through local food banks, soup kitchens, and shelters. Through each of the Company’s U.S. distribution centers, UNFI will strive to reach families in need through its food donation program, as well as school children by sponsoring Feeding America’s national BackPack Program.  

Feeding America is a leading philanthropic charity that supplies needed food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors. Their goal is to eliminate starvation in America, and they have many different programs which target different age groups and areas of the country.

Tom Dziki, UNFI’s Chief Human Resources and Sustainability Officer, commented, “We continue to support national and local organizations focused on improving lives in each community we serve. Feeding America is a terrific values-orientated organization that complements our tradition of charitable giving and we are proud to enter into a strategic partnership with them.”

“We are thrilled that UNFI has partnered with Feeding America to help us with the tremendous task of providing food and groceries each and every week to more than 5.7 million Americans who are now living on the brink of hunger,” said Ross Fraser, spokesperson for Feeding America. “We could not meet the challenge of helping so many people without the assistance of companies like UNFI.”

Feeding America’s BackPack program provides nutritious, kid-friendly food for children to take home on weekends and school vacations when school meals are not available.  The long term effect of childhood hunger is adults who are not prepared physically, mentally, emotionally or socially to productively join the workforce.  The Backpack Program targets elementary school children, who have the greatest need for nutrients in their formative years.  Launched nationally in 2006, the program has rapidly expanded in the past four years and currently provides backpacks filled with child-friendly food to more than 200,000 each year.  

About United Natural Foods

United Natural Foods, Inc. (www.unfi.com) carries and distributes more than 60,000 products to more than 23,000 customer locations in the United States and Canada. The Company serves a wide variety of retail formats including conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores, independent retail operators and the food service channel. United Natural Foods, Inc. was ranked by Forbes in 2005 as one of the “Best Managed Companies in America,” ranked by Fortune in 2006 – 2010 as one of its “Most Admired Companies,” winner of the Supermarket News 2008 Sustainability Excellence Award, and recognized by the Nutrition Business Journal for its 2009 Environment and Sustainability Award.

Safe Harbor” Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding the Company’s business that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” that involve risks and uncertainties and are based on current expectations and management estimates; actual results may differ materially. The risks and uncertainties which could impact these statements are described in the Company’s filings under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10?K for the year ended July 31, 2010, and include, but are not limited to, the Company’s ability to successfully deploy its operational initiatives in the Canadian market; the Company’s dependence on principal customers; the Company’s sensitivity to general economic conditions, including the current economic environment, changes in disposable income levels and consumer spending trends; increased fuel costs; the Company’s sensitivity to inflationary pressures; the relatively low margins and economic sensitivity of the Company’s business; the ability to identify and successfully complete acquisitions of other natural, organic and specialty food and related product distributors; and management’s allocation of capital and the timing of capital expenditures. Any forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and, as such, speak only as of the date made. The Company is not undertaking to update any information in the foregoing reports until the effective date of its future reports required by applicable laws. Any projections of future results of operations are based on a number of assumptions, many of which are outside the Company’s control and should not be construed in any manner as a guarantee that such results will in fact occur. These projections are subject to change and could differ materially from final reported results. The Company may from time to time update these publicly announced projections, but it is not obligated to do so.