Archive for February, 2011

Kansas City Barbeque Society announces Big Red Soda as Official Soft DrinkKANSAS CITY, Mo.  (Food-News.net)  The Kansas City Barbeque Society is kicking off barbeque season on a sweet note, announcing Big Red Soda as its Official Soft Drink.

In addition to being the Official Soft Drink of the KCBS, Big Red Soda will also work with barbeque events across America in an effort to introduce attendees to the nation’s favorite red soda.

“We are very excited to be working with Big Red Soda,” said Carolyn Wells, executive director and co-founder of KCBS. “Many of our members and cooks are fans of the soft drink because it compliments barbeque perfectly.”

Through the new partnership, Big Red Soda will be offering select KCBS sanctioned events exclusive pouring rights. Big Red Soda will also roll out new programs for event directors to use to entertain crowds and engage competitive teams.

“Big Red consumers love to gather with family and friends at festive backyard BBQ cookouts,” said Jack Pok, senior vice president of marketing of Big Red, Inc. “Our partnership with KCBS will provide the perfect vehicle to bring together the millions of BBQ enthusiasts who love to accompany their BBQ with an ice cold, deliciously different Big Red.”

It’s estimated that more than 5,000 teams compete on the KCBS barbeque circuit. With more than 14,500 members, KCBS has been sanctioning events and training certified barbeque judges nationwide for 25 years. Using an objective, blind judging process, the society sanctions more than 350 barbeque competitions throughout the nation each year. For more information about KCBS, visit www.kcbs.us.

About Big Red, Inc.

Big Red, Inc. is one of the top 10 beverage companies in North America with a history dating back to 1937. Along with Big Red®, recognized as the number-one selling red soda, Big Red, Inc. also markets beverage brands Diet Big Red®, Big Blue®, Big Red Vanilla Float®, Big Peach®, Big Pineapple®, Big Punch®, Big Honey Lemonade®, NuGrape®, and Nesbitt’s ® products. Distributed widely throughout the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Independent Bottlers and Pepsi Bottling Group consumers across the country enjoy Big Red, Inc.’s beverages.



CHICAGO  (Food-News.net)  Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels, the company known for its premium stuffed soft pretzels, is introducing a gluten-free soft pretzel to its tasty roster.  

This gluten-free soft pretzel, two years in the baking, offers a great soft pretzel experience.  The hand-twisted product has hit some Whole Foods stores in various regions and will continue to expand into other chains throughout the spring.  Also, it can be purchased on the company’s website, www.kimandscotts.com and at the company’s Chicago cafe, Cafe Twist, 2218 N. Lincoln Ave.

While gluten-free diets top the charts of menu trends, gluten-free consumers are on the hunt for delicious meal alternatives.  Kim & Scott’s gluten-free soft pretzel boasts a blend of 5 “ancient grains,” including sorghum flour, millet flour, quinoa flour, amaranth flour and teff flour.  In addition to rice flour, these “ancient grains” offer more fiber and therefore a healthier pretzel.

“Some gluten-free products rely solely on rice flour as their alternative grain,” said Scott Holstein, COO and founder of Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels.  “‘Ancient grains’ allow us to bake a more nutritious food, something gluten-free dieters often need and want.”

Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels has proudly baked nut-free pretzels in a nut-free facility for the past 15 years.  Now not only can consumers with nut allergies enjoy the soft snack, but also those with other dietary constraints.  Kim & Scott’s will showcase the gluten-free pretzel at trade show, Expo West 2011 (March 11-13, Anaheim, CA, booth no. 3789) and looks forward to its nut-free and gluten-free pretzels not only selling in frozen grocery aisles, but also ballparks.

“We’re always looking to bake new flavors and not only tempt the taste buds, but also satisfy dietary restraints,” said Kim Holstein, president and Chief Inspiration Officer of Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels.  “Everyone deserves to enjoy flavorful soft pretzels and with the addition of our gluten-free pretzel, the soft pretzel can be a mainstay in everyone’s kitchen.”  

Gluten-free and allergy conscious cuisine was included in the top 20 food trends this year, according to The National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot in 2011” survey.

Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels can be found in the frozen aisles of Whole Foods Market, Wegmans, Jewel, Kroger, Super Target, Walmart and other major grocery chains. They’re also sold in smoothie chains, coffee shops, movie theaters and airports around the country.  Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels was started in 1995 and is now run out of a 38,000 sq. foot Chicago bakery with annual sales projected at $10-15 million.  Fifteen years later they’ve transformed the pretzel from a snack to an anytime meal.  Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels deliciously touts more than 12 varieties. Each all-natural pretzel is twisted by hand and made from scratch.  The company is proud that its pretzels are made in a nut-free facility, a great source of whole grains and free from trans fats, preservatives and hydrogenated oils. 

Those who maintain a gluten-free lifestyle often have Celiac Sprue disease, disorder-related gastro-intestinal distress, or are using it for weight management.  Various outlets have stated that gluten-free celebrities include Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Keith Olberman, Victoria Beckham, Rachel Weisz, Emmy Rossum, Dayna Delaney and Meredith Vieira.  

Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels was founded in 1995 by husband and wife team Kim and Scott Holstein.  Since inception, the company has prided itself on its all natural, twisted by hand soft pretzels made in a nut-free bakery.  The pretzels can be found in the frozen grocery aisles of Jewel, Kroger, SuperTarget, and Whole Foods.  Cafe Twist™, 2218 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago opened spring 2010, the company’s 15th anniversary in business.  The inspired cafe offers sandwiches, soups, salads and smoothies; and features the company’s stuffed soft pretzels.  Kim & Scott’s products and philanthropic efforts were highly praised in 2004 by Fortune Magazine as a company “Breaking Big” and recognized by Inc. 5000 as one of the “fastest growing companies in America.”  Additionally, they have been deliciously touted by USA Today, Entrepreneur, CNBC’s Power Lunch, CNBC’s Donny Deutsch’s “Big Idea,” Food Network’s Dean Brothers and Food Network’s Roker on the Road who even called the pretzels “the talk of the Windy City.”  For the past seven years, the pretzels have been sold on QVC to an audience of more than 87 million.  In September 2009, Kim was recognized as the Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year by the Women’s Business Development Center of Chicago.    

And for more, visit us on our blog, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and You Tube.

http://kimandscotts.wordpress.com 
http://twitter.com/kimandscotts 
http://www.facebook.com/kimandscotts 
http://www.youtube.com/user/kimandscotts 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimandscotts

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.  (Food-News.net)  The Western Pistachio Association (WPA) announced from its 2011 Annual Meeting that pistachio growers have a significant impact on the states’ economies in three primary growing regions: California, Arizona and New Mexico. As a result of collective grower spending, pistachio growers create nearly $682.5 million annually, or $1.9 million each day of the year, in “ripple effect” business activity, according to a new WPA-commissioned study conducted by Dennis H. Tootelian, Ph.D., Tootelian & Associates.

“The goal of the study was to demonstrate the overall impact of the pistachio growers’ spending and their ability to generate business activity, employment, personal income and tax revenue for other industries and the states they operate in overall,” said Tootelian, who is also Director of the Center for Small Business at California State University, Sacramento. “Even though we took a very conservative approach to measuring the data, the results showed a very sizeable impact to California – in particular – where the majority of pistachios are grown, but to Arizona and New Mexico as well.”

The research indicates pistachio growers spend nearly $415.3 million each year to produce the pistachio crop. This spending spurs a wave of ripple effect economic activity that, in turn, creates 5,910 full-time equivalent jobs each year. With this increase in employment, more than $224.4 million is generated annually in wages and salaries for new employees, as well as for the expanded incomes for existing industry jobs.

Additionally, more than $24.4 million annually in tax revenue and other business licenses and fees are generated from the economic activity created by pistachio growers – that is $66,849 in funding each day of the year. Depending on how these funds are used, they can help pay for state and local programs that further benefit the residents of California, Arizona and New Mexico.

“I grew up in agriculture and we growers have a great amount of pride in the food we grow,” said Jim Zion, WPA Chairman and Managing Partner of Meridian Nut Growers. “This report demonstrates that pistachio growers touch virtually every segment of the economy and positively influence the communities where our growers live and work.”

“This report shows us how we as an industry contribute to the economy – through substantial job creation, funding for community programs, literally millions in tax revenues to the states where growers operate – all by simply growing the best possible product for consumers,” said WPA Executive Director Richard Matoian.

The report demonstrates the impact pistachio growers have on the states’ economies annually, based on averages during an eight year time span from 2000-2008. These averages were reviewed by growers through surveys and interviews and adjusted to reflect 2010 estimations. Because agricultural revenues and expenditures can fluctuate significantly from year-to-year depending on climate, pest, market and other conditions, an “average year” was created based on historical and industry operating statistics.

The study was implemented by utilizing industry statistics, conducting grower surveys and interviews, and analyzing the data through the IMPLAN model, which examines economic relationships between businesses and between businesses and consumers. This impact analysis then measures changes in economic variables on an entire economy.

Data used to compute the analysis through IMPLAN mainly comes from the Census of Agriculture; U.S. Department of Agriculture; California Department of Food and Agriculture’s California Agricultural Production Statistics 2009-2010; and, University of California Cooperative Extension’s Sample Costs to Establish and Produce Pistachios.

The full economic impact report and related fact sheets can be found at www.westernpistachio.org.

About the Western Pistachio Association

The Western Pistachio Association is a voluntary agricultural trade association representing U.S. pistachio growers, processors and industry partners in California, Arizona and New Mexico. Governed by an 18-member Board of Directors, the WPA is headquartered in Fresno, California. The organization provides services vital to U.S. pistachio growers. For more information, visit www.westernpistachio.org.

IRVING, Texas  (Food-News.net)  Hostess®, the maker of America’s most iconic snack cakes, is kicking off a Twinkie® Mania sweepstakes. This unprecedented promotion invites Twinkie lovers everywhere to write a new chapter in Twinkie history by casting their votes for a new flavor filling. The candidates up for election for new flavor are: Raspberry Tart, Cookies n Creme, Blueberry Pie and Lemon Meringue, and the winning flavor will be featured as a limited time offering in the Hostess product line.  

Hostess Kicks Off Twinkie ManiaAs part of the promotion, Hostess is introducing two new limited-edition flavors – Chocolate Creme and Strawberry & Creme – which are now available in stores across the country.  The two new varieties will compete with the Original Vanilla Creme filling for the title of best current flavor. In addition, one lucky Twinkie lover will win $25,000 when registering two UPC codes online of specially marked packages of any variety of Twinkies including: 100 Calorie Pack Twinkie Bites®, Original Vanilla Creme Twinkies, and the new Chocolate Creme and Strawberry & Creme Twinkies.  

“Twinkie Mania is sweeping the country, and we are excited to let our fans’ voices be heard as they indulge in our newest varieties and campaign for the next Twinkie flavor,” said Mike Touhey, Vice President of Snack Marketing for Hostess.

Polls will be open from February 21, 2011 through March 29, 2011 and votes can be cast at www.hostesscakes.com/twinkiemania. The winning flavor will be announced online April 15, 2011.  

To enter to win $25,000, consumers can register UPC codes of specially marked Twinkie packages at www.hostesscakes.com/twinkiemania.

For official rules and additional information visit www.hostesscakes.com. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hostess_snacks

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

BATTLE CREEK, Mich.  (Food-News.net)  The recently released 2010 Dietary Guidelines identifies fiber as one of four nutrients of concern, noting most Americans fail to get enough in their daily diet. Confusion about which foods contain the important nutrient may be one reason many consumers look to the wrong foods to meet their fiber needs.

Nearly 20 percent of Americans incorrectly believe that meats, seafood and dairy foods are a good source of fiber and nearly one in 10 even thinks water provides the nutrient, according to a recent consumer survey commissioned by Kellogg Company.(1)

In other research, Kellogg found that 72 percent of Americans expect whole-grain foods to also be a good source of fiber, when that is not always the case.(2)

“Our research indicates a need for further consumer education about where to find dietary fiber, and it is underscored by the Dietary Guidelines naming fiber a nutrient of concern,” said Lisa Sutherland, vice president of Kellogg North America Nutrition. “The fact is the vast majority of Americans are failing to get even half of the needed 25 grams of fiber each day.”

Fiber can be found in many foods, including fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes. However, when it comes to whole grains, the fiber content varies significantly. The key, according to Dietary Guidelines recommendations, is for people to use the nutrition label to compare whole-grain products to find choices higher in dietary fiber. In general, foods with 3 grams of fiber are considered a good source and foods with 5 grams of fiber are an excellent source, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

To help people meet their fiber needs, Kellogg offers more ready-to-eat cereals that provide at least a good source of fiber and 8 grams of whole grains than any other U.S. food company.(3)

“Kellogg aims to be part of the solution to help Americans increase their intake of fiber and whole grains,” said Sutherland. “We are committed to helping close the fiber gap by making it easy for consumers to choose delicious foods that can help them get both fiber and whole grain, such as Kellogg’s® Frosted Mini-Wheats®, Apple Jacks® and Kellogg’s FiberPlus™ cereals, to name just a few.”

Survey Finds Gap in Consumer Fiber Knowledge

Aiming to better understand Americans’ knowledge of fiber, Kellogg commissioned a consumer survey of 1,006 adults, conducted in November 2010 by Caravan® Survey. The results uncovered some surprising information gaps. Some key findings include:

  • Americans Think They Get Enough Fiber, But Most Fall Far Short Four out of five Americans surveyed say they make a conscious effort to include fiber in their diet and 80 percent believe they get enough. Yet, the reality is that less than one in 10 actually get the recommended daily intake of 25 grams of fiber.
  • Looking For Fiber In All The Wrong Places Among those surveyed, 20 percent mistakenly believe that meats and seafood provide dietary fiber and 17 percent say dairy products are fiber sources. One in 10 even thinks fiber is in water.
  • Fiber Is Not Just For Regularity Fifteen percent of Americans falsely believe that they only need to eat fiber when they are experiencing irregularity, despite strong, consistent evidence that diets high in fiber contribute to overall health and help address health issues, including digestive health, weight management, diabetes, heart health and certain cancers.

For more information on the benefits of fiber and Kellogg Company’s efforts to increase fiber in foods that consumers are already eating and enjoying, please visit www.KelloggsNutrition.com.

About Kellogg Company

For more than 100 years, consumers have counted on Kellogg for great-tasting, high-quality and nutritious foods. Kellogg Company, with 2010 sales of more than $12 billion, is the world’s leading producer of cereal and a leading producer of convenience foods, including cookies, crackers, toaster pastries, cereal bars, fruit-flavored snacks, frozen waffles and veggie foods. Kellogg Company’s beloved brands, which are manufactured in 18 countries and marketed in more than 180 countries, include Kellogg’s®, Keebler®, Pop-Tarts®, Eggo®, Cheez-It®, All-Bran®, Mini-Wheats®, Nutri-Grain®, Rice Krispies®, Special K®, Chips Deluxe®, Famous Amos®, Sandies®, Austin®, Club®, Murray®, Kashi®, Bear Naked®, Morningstar Farm®, Gardenburger® and Stretch Island®. For more information on the Kellogg Company, including our corporate responsibility initiatives, visit www.kelloggcompany.com.

(1) Kellogg telephone survey of 1,006 American adults conducted by Caravan® Survey in November 2010.

(2) Kellogg Company’s Whole Grains & Fiber Omnibus Survey, 2009.

(3) Based on a Kellogg audit of national breakfast cereals in September 2010. The data was drawn from label, website and a syndicated database and includes nationally distributed ready-to-eat cereals from Kellogg’s®, General Mills®, Post®, Quaker® and Malt-O-Meal®.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla.  (Food-News.net)  Moms will be glad to learn about a simple and delicious way to incorporate more vegetables into their family’s diet!  All-new Dominex Veggie Fries are a super-side-dish boasting nutritional benefits and terrific taste that families will love.

Dominex LC, the leader in specialty eggplant products for more than 25 years, recently launched Veggie Fries as a unique alternative to traditional French fries or onion rings.  The Veggie Fries are packed with crunch and flavor, yet offer a hearty, healthy addition to any meal.  

The all-natural product, made with hearty eggplant, also boasts 65% less sodium per serving than the leading brand of French fries.  This is great news based on the new USDA Food Pyramid guidelines recommending a daily allowance (RDA) of sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams per person. A full serving of Veggie Fries has 80 mg of sodium, making it a satisfying choice as a side dish or mini-meal.

“Dominex Veggie Fries perfect to accompany a balanced meal,” said John G. McGarvey, President, Dominex. “The familiar form and great taste makes eating them feel indulgent and fun to eat, but Veggie Fries also deliver important nutrients with lower sodium, calories, and fat than other choices. They are simple to prepare, fun to dip in sauces and the taste keeps families coming back for more.”

Veggie Fries, like all Dominex products, including Eggplant Parm Bites, Eggplant Burgers, Vegetarian Eggplant Meatballs, and the #1 selling Eggplant Cutlet in the country, are made with all-natural ingredients and with freshly-sourced eggplant.  Each eggplant is carefully cut and perfectly seasoned with Dominex’s signature Italian breading.  The eggplant is processed immediately following harvesting, ensuring that quality and freshness is locked in with each bite.

A batch of Dominex Veggie Fries may be baked or fried, and served as a side dish, mini-meal or snack any time of the day. Veggie Fries are available in the frozen food aisle at Publix and in specialty health food stores across the Southeast with an SRP of $4.49 for a 14-ounce bag.    

About Dominex

Based in St. Augustine, FL, Dominex sells to the retail, foodservice, club, and ingredient channels. To learn more about Dominex products visit www.dominexeggplant.com or find Dominex on Facebook.

BATTLE CREEK, Mich.  (Food-News.net)  Fill up on fiber each day and you just may live a longer life. A study published in the current issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that people who eat a high-fiber diet may live longer than those who fail to get enough dietary fiber each day. Researchers specifically noted that dietary fiber from grains – such as those found in breakfast cereal – was significantly related to a lower risk of death from certain diseases in both men and women.

“Kellogg has long understood the important role fiber plays in overall health and is committed to helping Americans increase the fiber in their diet through foods they already eat and enjoy. This study is further proof of the significant contribution of fiber to the diet,” said Lisa Sutherland, Ph.D., vice president, nutrition, Kellogg North America. “For this reason, Kellogg offers more ready-to-eat cereals that provide at least a good source of fiber and 8 grams of whole grains than any other U.S. food company.” (1)

A Closer Look at the Study

The study looked at the diets of more than 388,000 adults, ages 50 to 71, who participated in a nine-year diet and health study conducted by the National Institutes of Health and AARP. A link was found between high-fiber diets and a lower risk of death from heart disease, infectious and respiratory illness and, in the case of men, certain cancers. In fact, the risk of dying from these diseases was reduced by 24 to 56 percent in men and 34 to 59 percent in women with high-fiber intakes.

While fiber is found in fruits, vegetables and beans, fiber from grains was most strongly tied to the lowered risk of death in the study. Grain-based fiber sources also contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which may play a role in reducing the risk, so fiber supplements may not be as effective.

Mounting Evidence for the Importance of Fiber

The new research comes on the heels of the recently released 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which calls attention to fiber as a “nutrient of concern.” The technical report of the Dietary Guidelines highlighted fiber’s compelling association with reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease, as well as fiber’s role in promoting a healthy digestive system and in contributing to satiety (a feeling of fullness), which is important for weight control.

Despite efforts to increase fiber in their diets, more than 95 percent of Americans fall far short of meeting their daily fiber needs. Americans’ fiber deficit cuts deep, averaging only 15 grams of fiber per day, far less than the recommended 21 to 38 grams for most adults and 19 to 38 grams for children ages 1 to 18.

“This latest research, combined with the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines last month, should serve as wake-up call to all Americans to start making some small changes to their diets to ensure they are getting enough of this nutrient so important for overall health,” said Sutherland. “Making simple changes, such as swapping your low-fiber breakfast cereal for a higher-fiber cereal that provides at least 3 grams of fiber per serving, can help close the gap.”

Action Steps for a “Fiber-Full” Diet

Starting the day with a bowl of one of the many Kellogg’s® cereals that provide fiber is an excellent way to increase fiber in the diet. Choices include long-time favorites All-Bran®, Frosted-Mini-Wheats® or Kellogg’s Raisin Bran® cereal, as well as newer additions to the cereal aisle, such as Kellogg’s FiberPlus™ cereal. Offering between 4 and 13 grams of fiber per serving, these cereals can help people get a jump-start on meeting their daily fiber needs.

Other small changes that can add up to big fiber gains include sprinkling All-Bran® on salads or fruit, choosing snack bars with at least 3 grams of fiber such as Kellogg’s® Nutri-Grain® cereal bars, and switching to Eggo FiberPlus™ waffles with 9 grams of fiber.

For more information on the benefits of fiber and Kellogg Company’s efforts to increase fiber in foods that consumers are already eating and enjoying, please visit www.KelloggsNutrition.com.

About Kellogg Company

For more than 100 years, consumers have counted on Kellogg for great-tasting, high-quality and nutritious foods. Kellogg Company, with 2010 sales of more than $12 billion, is the world’s leading producer of cereal and a leading producer of convenience foods, including cookies, crackers, toaster pastries, cereal bars, fruit-flavored snacks, frozen waffles and veggie foods. Kellogg Company’s beloved brands, which are manufactured in 18 countries and marketed in more than 180 countries, include Kellogg’s®, Keebler®, Pop-Tarts®, Eggo®, Cheez-It®, All-Bran®, Mini-Wheats®, Nutri-Grain®, Rice Krispies®, Special K®, Chips Deluxe®, Famous Amos®, Sandies®, Austin®, Club®, Murray®, Kashi®, Bear Naked®, Morningstar Farm®, Gardenburger® and Stretch Island®. For more information on the Kellogg Company, including our corporate responsibility initiatives, visit www.kelloggcompany.com.

(1) Based on a Kellogg audit of national breakfast cereals in September 2010. The data was drawn from label, website and a syndicated database and includes nationally distributed ready-to-eat cereals from Kellogg, General Mills, Post, Quaker and Malt-O-Meal.

5 Things to Know About Sweet PotatoesFALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA  (Food-News.net)  February is National Sweet Potato Month. That makes this the perfect time to be reminded of some of the many great things about the sweet potato, including that it is a nutritional powerhouse of a food option. That’s just one of the many reasons why sweet potatoes have stood the test of time and remain so popular today.

“In addition to being one of, if not the most, nutritious vegetables, the sweet potato can also work culinary magic without adding anything bad to your dish,” says Jordan Lichman, dean of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management at Stratford University (www.stratford.edu). “My favorite way to prepare sweet potatoes is to roast them whole in the skin (recipe below). Once they are cooked, you can simply eat them or use them as a base for other recipes.”

Here are five things to know about sweet potatoes:

1.  They are versatile. You can use sweet potatoes in many ways, including baking, boiling, in the crock pot, in soup, fried, in muffins, and more.

2.  They are super-nutritious. Considered one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients, including vitamin C, antioxidants, vitamin A, beta-carotene, and more. They are also low in fat and have anti-inflammatory properties.

3.  When it comes to selecting sweet potatoes, choose ones that do not have visible bruises or cracks. It is best if they are firm and without soft spots. They can be stored for up to ten days in a cool, dark place that is well ventilated.

4.  The “Sweet Potato Capital of the World” is considered to be Vardaman, Mississippi, as it is one of the top producers of sweet potatoes. Interestingly, sweet potatoes were growing in America before Christopher Columbus ever arrived!

5.  They are actually not the same thing as yams. Although in the U.S. many people refer to yams and sweet potatoes interchangeably, the sweet potato is not from the Dioscoreaceae family, so they are botanically different. Yams are heavily cultivated throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

“The sweet potato is also a favorite of my 11-month-old baby boy, Jamie,” adds Lichman. “He probably likes it for the sweetness, but I can rest assured that the low glycemic carbs in the sweet potato, along with its fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, and iron, will provide him with great, dense nutrition.”

Try these great sweet potato recipes:

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 Large Sweet Potatoes (about 1.5 to 2 pounds total)
Pinch of salt and pepper

Method:

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2.  Place whole, unpeeled sweet potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet in the preheated oven. Cook for a total of 1 to 1.5 hours or until the sweet potato is soft to the touch. Turn the sweet Potatoes after the first 30 minutes of cooking to prevent scorching on the underside of the potato. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.

3.  To serve. cut the potato in half with a sharp knife and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Eat! The creamy roasted sweet potato should have an excellent rich texture that doesn’t require any butter or fat.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with lime and chipotle

This Mexican inspired side dish is great with any grilled, braised or roasted meats or vegetables.

Serves  4

Ingredients:

2 roasted sweet potatoes
1-2 lime, juiced
1 Tablespoon, canned chipotle en adobo, chopped
1-2 teaspoon salt

Method:

1.       Roast sweet Potatoes as in steps 1 and 2 above.

2.       Quickly remove the skin from the sweet potato with fingertips. Allow to cool if it is too hot to handle.

3.       Place peeled potatoes into the bowl of a food processor, add the lime juice, chopped chipotle peppers and salt. Puree until very smooth about 1 minute.

4.       Serve hot.

Stratford University offers a variety of culinary degrees, as well as non-degree culinary workshops. There are a variety of culinary arts and hospitality management degrees to choose from. Degrees offered include advanced culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, hotel and restaurant management, and hospitality management. 

About Stratford University:

Stratford University operates campuses in Tysons Corner, Glen Allen, and Woodbridge. It offers 31 undergraduate and graduate degrees in the areas of Culinary Arts and Hospitality, Health Sciences, Business Administration, and Information Technology. The degree programs are offered both on campus, as well as online. For more information on Stratford University, please visit www.stratford.edu.

Ethnic Food-Lovers Developing a Taste for Exotic FlavorsCHICAGO  (Food-News.net)  Consumers love tickling their taste buds with Italian, Mexican and Asian cuisine, so much that all three have become so mainstream, they’re hardly considered ethnic anymore. However, according to Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD), lesser-known ethnic fare has enjoyed robust product growth in recent years, as ethnic-food lovers and their palates are hungry for more exotic ingredients and flavors.

In 2010 alone, Mintel’s GNPD tracked a 150% increase from 2009 in new food items that contained “Caribbean” in the product description. “Japanese” product launches soared more than 230% from 2009-2010.  Meanwhile, “Thai” products launches saw a 68% increase from 2009- 2010.

“Italian, Mexican and Asian cuisine are the more mainstream, popular ethnic cuisines,” says David Lockwood, senior analyst at Mintel. “But Thai, Caribbean and Japanese foods are seeing healthy growth, and consumers seem to be getting more comfortable with a wider variety of ethnic flavors.”

This increase in product launches may be due to the wide variety of outlets consumers have at their disposal to learn more about ethnic foods that aren’t common to their ethnic background. In fact, 26% of ethnic food-lovers say they were introduced to the cuisine by TV programs, newspapers or magazines that feature cuisine from other countries.

Twenty-three percent of ethnic food users say they were spurred to try them after reading cookbooks that include recipes for dishes that are popular in other countries. Additionally, 18% developed a taste for ethnic chow after travelling abroad and 25% say they were introduced to their favorite ethnic fare because they live in a diverse neighborhood where the food and ingredients are readily available.

“In keeping with Mintel’s ‘professionalization of the amateur’ CPG trend, consumers are becoming more interested in trying out complicated ethnic dishes at home that would usually be prepared by a chef in a restaurant,” notes David Lockwood. “Cooking programs, culinary magazines and recipe websites are an easy way to get more comfortable with ethnic food preparation.”

About Mintel

Mintel is a leading global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence. For more than 38 years, Mintel has provided insight into key worldwide trends, offering exclusive data and analysis that directly impacts client success. With offices in Chicago, New York, London, Sydney, Shanghai and Tokyo, Mintel has forged a unique reputation as a world-renowned business brand. For more information on Mintel, please visit www.mintel.com. Follow Mintel on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mintelnews

New Ocean Spray Sparkling Juice Drinks Bring Blast of Bubbly Refreshment to Juice AislesLAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass.  (Food-News.net)  If anyone can figure out how to make a cranberry sparkle, bubble and pop with flavor, it is the cranberry experts at OceanSpray.com. The juice category leader is introducing a new refreshingly bubbly beverage choice, Ocean Spray® Sparkling Juice Drinks, that taste good and are good for you. For more than 80 years, Ocean Spray has provided novel ways to enjoy the healthy, uniquely tart cranberry and is now adding some fresh fizz from the farm.

Sparkling provides the same great tasty goodness of Ocean Spray juices, now with bubbles. Available in two original and diet flavors, Cranberry and Pomegranate Blueberry, the Sparkling Juice Drinks are naturally delicious, carbonated beverage options that provide a burst of healthy refreshment the whole family can feel good about enjoying throughout the day.

Made with 70 percent real fruit juice and no added sugar, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, Sparkling Juice Drinks blend the fruit juice from fresh cranberries, sweet blueberries and juicy pomegranates with a splash of crisp, clean sparkling water for added effervescent refreshment. Offering just 90 calories per serving, one can is a good source of vitamin C and equals a full serving of fruit.

Juice lovers looking for an alternative with fewer calories can enjoy Diet Ocean Spray® Sparkling Juice Drinks with just 10 little calories per serving. Like the original, diet varieties are also made with real fruit juice, are a good source of vitamin C, and contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. 

“Whether it’s our Light, Diet, Cran-Energy®, 100 percent juice, or traditional cranberry or grapefruit, we’re always looking for new ways to innovate and highlight the year-round versatility of the cranberry,” said Larry Martin, vice president of marketing at Ocean Spray. “With the launch of our Sparkling Juice Drinks, we hope to provide the right mix of the bubbly refreshment consumers crave with the tasty goodness of Ocean Spray juices.”

Consumers eager to try Ocean Spray’s newest bubbly beverage are invited to sign-up for a free first taste on Facebook. Ocean Spray is giving away samples of its Sparkling Juice Drinks at Facebook.com/OceanSpray.

Bubbling over with excitement for all the latest Sparkling Juice Drink news? Visit Ocean Spray at Facebook.com/OceanSpray and Twitter at http://bit.ly/dK6rwv to keep up to date on all the exclusive giveaways, contests and other special offers in the coming months.

About Ocean Spray

Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry growers in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and other parts of Canada as well as more than 50 Florida grapefruit growers. Ocean Spray was formed 80 years ago by three cranberry growers from Massachusetts and New Jersey. Florida grapefruit growers joined the Cooperative in 1976. Ocean Spray is North America’s leading producer of canned and bottled juices and juice drinks, and has been the best-selling brand name in the canned and bottled juice category since 1981. Ocean Spray posted fiscal 2010 gross sales of $2.05 billion and net proceeds of $340 million.

SOLON, Ohio   (Food-News.net)  Delicious meals that freshly steam in minutes for a premium dinner experience, LEAN CUISINE® Market Creations certainly live up to consumer expectations. With unique steaming pouches that lock in nutritious ingredients and help release delicious flavor, these new entrees created such a buzz with their 2010 launch that they recently received the Better Homes and Gardens Best New Product Award* in their healthier meals category.

LEAN CUISINE Market Creations Voted #1 in Healthier MealsBetter Homes and Gardens Best New Product Awards is a 100% consumer-voted award spotlight focusing on the best and most appealing products of the last year conducted by leading market research firm, BrandSpark International. Winners in each category had to have the highest combined score on product appeal and re-purchase intent among those who had previously purchased the product. With thousands of products launched every year, LEAN CUISINE® Market Creations stood out from other products, winning best in its category and receiving direct endorsements from everyday shoppers.

“We were excited to introduce LEAN CUISINE® Market Creations and it’s great to hear that the product has been so well received by consumers,” said Christine Dahm, VP of Marketing for LEAN CUISINE®. “Each entree is crafted to feature premium, high quality ingredients, offering consumers a no-fuss dinner they can feel good about. And to hear that the line has been voted #1 in healthier meals lets us know that this product delivers on a variety of levels – taste, quality and nutrition.”

Adding to their award-winning line of dinner entrees, LEAN CUISINE® Market Creations now includes two new recipes in addition to the other eight great-tasting dinner varieties:

  • NEW! Chicken Poblano features chicken tenderloins with penne pasta, green beans, tomatoes, Poblano peppers, roasted corn and black beans in a chili cheddar sauce  
  • NEW! Chicken Pot Stickers features chicken pot stickers with green beans, red peppers, water chestnuts, edamame, orange and yellow carrots in a sweet chili ginger soy sauce

Available in the freezer section of supermarkets nationwide, LEAN CUISINE® Market Creations entrees have a suggested retail price of $3.99. Visit the “Where to Buy” section on LeanCuisine.com to find a grocer near you and experience these no-fuss recipes today.

For additional information and a full list of Better Homes and Gardens Best New Product Award winners for 2011, please visit www.BestNewProductAwards.com.

*2011 Winner, Healthy Meals Category, Survey of over 50,000 people by BrandSpark International/Better Homes and Gardens American Shopper Study

About Nestle USA

Named one of “The World’s Most Admired Food Companies” in Fortune magazine for thirteen consecutive years, Nestle provides quality brands and products that bring flavor to life every day.  From nutritious meals with Lean Cuisine® to baking traditions with NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE®, Nestle USA makes delicious, convenient, and nutritious food and beverage products that enrich the very experience of life itself.  That’s what “Nestle. Good Food, Good Life” is all about.  Well-known Nestle brands include: NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE®, NESTLE® NESQUIK®, NESTLE® COFFEE-MATE®, STOUFFER’S®, LEAN CUISINE®, HOT POCKETS® and LEAN POCKETS® brand sandwiches, NESCAFE®, NESCAFE® TASTER’S CHOICE®, NESTLE® JUICY JUICE®, BUITONI®, DREYER’S/EDY’S®, NESTLE® CRUNCH®, NESTLE® BUTTERFINGER®, WONKA®, DIGIORNO®, TOMBSTONE® and CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN® frozen pizza.. Nestle USA, with 2009 sales of $10.4 billion, is part of Nestle S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland — the world’s largest food company with a commitment to Nutrition, Health & Wellness — with 2009 sales of $99 billion.  For product news and information, visit Nestleusa.com or NestleNewsroom.com.

All trademarks are owned by Societe des Produits Nestle S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.

BrandSpark International is an independent market research and brand strategy firm with a strong grasp on consumer segmentation, innovation, new product research and global consumer trends.  BrandSpark developed the Best New Product Awards program to be the most credible consumer voted awards program for Consumer Packaged goods. www.BrandSpark.com

About Better Homes and Gardens:

Better Homes and Gardens serves and connects women who are passionate about their homes and the lives they create there. BHG inspires her to dream and gives her the confidence to move from dreaming to doing. For more information, please visit www.bhg.com.

Calendar Islands Maine Lobster Introduces Eight New Gourmet Lobster DishesPORTLAND, Maine  (Food-News.net)  Calendar Islands Maine Lobster introduces eight new gourmet Maine lobster dishes this month, significantly expanding the specialty food options available to lobster lovers around the world. The company’s innovative approach to bringing fresh Maine lobster to homes and specialty retailers throughout the country and across the globe is made possible through the partnership of 38 Maine lobster fishermen and celebrity foodies Jonathan King and Jim Stott of Stonewall Kitchen fame.

King and Stott, world-renowned for their gourmet cooking school, popular gourmet cookbooks and as the owners of Stonewall Kitchen, are accustomed to partnering with other celebrity foodies, but found the opportunity to work directly with Maine lobster fishermen to develop gourmet seafood products too enticing to pass up. No strangers to building a specialty food business from the ground up, King and Stott bring a fresh perspective and vast knowledge of gourmet foods and recipes to Calendar Islands Maine Lobster. The new partners currently offer a variety of specialty food products, including their Maine Lobster Pizza, Maine Lobster Cakes, Maine Lobster Corn Chowder, Maine Lobster Mac & Cheese, Maine Raw Lobster Tails, Maine Lobster Bisque, Maine Lobster Pot Pie and Maine Lobster Stew. With the help of King and Stott, these Maine lobster fishermen will continue to expand the gourmet seafood selections available on the Web, and in specialty retail for worldwide delivery.

The partnership between the group of Maine lobster fishermen and these famed foodies resulted from the lobstermen’s desire to shift from primarily selling their catches wholesale to creating a gourmet seafood company specializing in delivering local lobster dishes directly to consumer markets. According to John Jordan, a Casco Bay lobsterman and President of Calendar Islands Maine Lobster, “We certainly knew a lot about lobstering, but we didn’t really know a lot about specialty food.”

Their search for partners who understand and appreciate gourmet seafood, Maine’s coastal communities, and how to bring an idea to fruition ended when they found King and Stott right in their home state.

“We were very lucky to find Jonathan King and Jim Stott, who are the owners of Stonewall Kitchen here in Maine and who turn out some wonderful products,” states Jordan. “Working with them we have developed a number of recipes where we feel we can bring our customers lobster in really delicious, interesting and creative ways.”

When it comes to seafood, the Calendar Islands are among the most coveted regions for harvesting fresh, delicious Maine lobster sold to consumers across North America and around the world. The local lobstering community has shaped the culture and economy of this beautiful area, where fishing knowledge, boats, and territories are handed down from one generation to the next. This has brought together the lobstermen of the Calendar Islands to form a tight-knit community with a deeply ingrained love and respect for the sea. “The lobstermen at Calendar Islands Maine Lobster take great pride and care in the natural resource that supports our lives. Our focus will continue to be on sustainability, conservation, quality and tradition,” states Jordan.

First functioning much like a co-op and selling their catch wholesale to dealers, the initial group of nine Maine lobstermen were determined to bring their harvest directly to market by telling their story, which includes the rich history of lobster fishing in the Calendar Islands and Maine. Just a few years later, this handful of lobstermen has expanded to over three dozen working with celebrity foodies like King and Stott to take the lobstering industry in a new direction that honors Maine lobstering traditions, while introducing the world to local gourmet dishes.

About Calendar Islands Maine Lobster

Calendar Islands Maine Lobster got its start in 2009 when Calendar Islands lobster fishermen came together with the idea of turning their multi-generational knowledge of Maine lobstering and their love of local lobster recipes into an innovative business venture. Determined to forgo dealers and create their own markets, the lobstermen teamed up with celebrity foodies well-versed in gourmet seafood. Their partnership with Jonathan King and Jim Stott of Stonewall Kitchen allowed the lobstermen to bring their bounty fresh from harvest to provide Maine lobster fans with delectable dishes, some created from local recipes passed down through the generations, and some gourmet options perfected by the celebrity foodies of Calendar Islands Maine Lobster.

Wholey Seafood Kicks Off New Campaign for Boil in the Bag Seafood EntreesWARREN, Mich.  (Food-News.net)  Jerry Newport, director of national sales at Wholey Seafood, announced a marketing campaign to support the introduction of Wholey Seafood’s Boil in the Bag Seafood Entrees.

The campaign for the seven Boil in the Bag entrees involves in-store materials, a new website at wholeyseafood.com, online banner ads and free-standing coupon inserts.  Materials use the unique and differentiating theme “Seafood with Saucy Seaphistication™.” The campaign was developed by SMZ of Troy, MI.

The promotional launch reinforces that each Boil in the Bag entree has been designed so that it requires minimal prep time and clean up and cooks to perfection in 15 minutes or less. Wholey Boil in the Bag entree choices pair farm-raised tilapia, shrimp or Norwegian salmon with intriguing sauces that are packed with flavor and have been created exclusively for Wholey Seafood by Irish Provenance.  Additional sauce is included with each entree and can be used for an accompanying side dish.

“These Boil in the Bag Seafood Entrees are in a category all their own. Nothing like them exist in the marketplace,” Newport said. “We’re proud to bring consumers a product that makes it easy to enjoy restaurant quality seafood at home with virtually no work.”

Boil in the Bag Seafood Entrees have seven delicious flavors to choose from: Bearnaise, Tarragon, Lemon Salmon; Cayenne, Thyme, Tomato Salmon; Fiery Tomato, Cilantro, Pepper Salmon; Cayenne, Ginger & Garlic, Coconut Shrimp; Sweet Chili, Lime, Cilantro Shrimp; Garlic, Lemon, Parsley Tilapia and Pineapple, Chili, Tomato Tilapia.

For more information including store locations, visit the new wholeyseafood.com.

About Wholey Seafood

Wholey Seafood manufactures of a full product portfolio of frozen seafood offerings.  Wholey’s seafood is sourced from multiple global regions and distributed throughout the U.S.

Ben & Jerry's Bonnaroo Buzz Ice Cream Goes on National TourBURLINGTON, Vt.  (Food-News.net)  As the promoters of one of the world’s biggest, modern day rock and roll concert event unleashed their powerhouse 2011 line up today, there was one act guaranteed to go back to the show in Tennessee in a bigger and bolder way: Ben & Jerry’s Bonnaroo Buzz ice cream. The flavor, which was available only in Scoop Shops in 2010, is set to make its national debut on the main stage of frozen foods freezers across the country as Ben & Jerry’s has selected it to be one of its prestigious pint flavors for 2011.

“Bonnaroo Buzz is going from playing intimate clubs to the national circuit,” said Marketing Director Dave Stever about the flavor made with Fair Trade Certified coffee. Since Ben & Jerry’s uses Fair Trade coffee from the Huatusco cooperative in Mexico the ice cream maker felt loyal fans of the flavor would be able to celebrate their love of delicious swirls, chunks, and rock ‘n roll while knowing that their flavor is doing good for the world. “Our Scoop Shops will continue to feature the flavor, but now there is more ‘Roo for everyone with its release in pints across the U.S.A.,” added Stever.

Ben & Jerry’s has long been known for melding melodious flavors into its ice cream line up, including best-sellers Cherry Garcia and Phish Food. In 2010 Ben & Jerry’s unveiled its first festival-themed flavor to date, Bonnaroo Buzz. The flavor was created in partnership with the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, dubbed one of “50 moments that changed the history of Rock & Roll” by Rolling Stone magazine.

Bonnaroo Buzz is a sweet concoction of light coffee and malt ice creams with a whiskey caramel swirl and English toffee pieces. The flavor was first introduced at an invite-only event at the legendary Bowery Ballroom in New York City. The flavor debut party featured Latin funk rap band, culture mashers Ozomatli. The band, a perennial Bonnaroo performer, was a perfect initiation for the Ben & Jerry’s launch as it represented the eclectic, broad-range of top musical acts that are featured at the music festival in Coffee County, Tennessee.

The festival’s location additionally served as inspiration for Ben & Jerry’s flavor developer Eric Fredette. “It’s Coffee County, so it only made sense to add a cool coffee base to this flavor,” said Fredette. And the unique caramel-whisky** swirl? “Well, it is Tennessee,” said Fredette, “and we thought Bonnaroo fans would appreciate it.” Coffee County, Tennessee also benefits as well as Bonnaroo donates its shares of the proceeds from the ice cream flavor to the Bonnaroo Works Fund, which seeks to further the organization’s community investment and philanthropic efforts. Rock on.

For more information on Ben & Jerry’s or to find your local Scoop Shop, visit www.benjerry.com.

About Ben & Jerry’s

Ben & Jerry’s produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream and ice cream novelties, using high-quality ingredients including milk and cream from family farmers who do not treat their cows with the synthetic hormone rBGH. The company states its position on rBGH* on its labels. Ben and Jerry’s products are distributed nationwide and in selected foreign countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchise Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops, restaurants and other venues. Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. Contributions made via the employee led Ben & Jerry’s Foundation in 2009 totaled over $1.7 million. Additionally, the company makes significant product donations to community groups and nonprofits both in Vermont and across the nation. The purpose of Ben & Jerry’s philanthropy is to support the founding values of the company: economic and social justice, environmental restoration and peace through understanding, and to support our Vermont communities. For the full scoop on all Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop locations and fabulous flavors, visit www.benjerry.com.

* The FDA has said no significant difference has been shown and no test can now distinguish between milk from rBGH treated cows and untreated cows. Not all the suppliers of our other ingredients can promise that the milk they use comes from untreated cows.

** The whisky used in the caramel swirl has had the alcohol cooked out so the buzz from Bonnaroo Buzz is a not an alcohol buzz.

 

Hostess Thinks Pink, Launching New Strawberry CupCakeIRVING, Texas  (Food-News.net)  Hostess®, the maker of America’s most iconic snack cakes, is introducing a new pink strawberry cupcake as a permanent addition to its line of squiggle-topped treats. Baked with a burst of fresh strawberries, each package contains eight moist, strawberry-flavored cupcakes with delicious strawberry-flavored icing, Hostess’ signature creme filling and, of course, The Original Squiggle™.

“Hostess CupCakes continue to be among America’s most popular sweet treats,” said Mike Touhey, Vice President of Snack Marketing for Hostess Brands. “Strawberry is an increasingly popular flavor trend and now consumers can enjoy our signature cupcake with festive pink icing and the fresh taste of strawberry.”  

New Hostess Strawberry CupCakes are now available in stores across the country.  Each 15.0 ounce package includes eight individually wrapped cupcakes.

In addition to Hostess’ new Strawberry CupCake, the brand offers: The Original Chocolate CupCake with chocolate icing, Golden CupCakes which debuted in 1999, and flavored Orange CupCakes.

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

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

Starbucks to Expand Premium Single-Serve Coffee OfferingsSEATTLE & ST. LOUIS  (Food-News.net)  Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) announced today that it is entering into an agreement with Courtesy Products, the nation’s leading provider of in-room coffee service to hotels, to provide Starbucks ground coffees for use in Courtesy’s patented CV1® in-room and on-demand brewed coffee system in up to 500,000 luxury and premium hotel rooms across the U.S.

Starbucks plans to begin offering its premium quality coffees for the CV1 this fall. In a recent study, 95% of Courtesy’s hotel customers surveyed said they prefer and would recommend the CV1 single-cup system over traditional in-room solutions. With the addition of the Starbucks brands, the CV1 will also deliver Starbucks quality and flavor and the Starbucks Experience in a single-serve format to guests in the luxury and premium segment of the hospitality industry.

“The single-serve coffee category in the U.S., and much of the world for that matter, is in its beginning stages of development,” said Jeff Hansberry, president, Starbucks Consumer Products Group. “At this very early stage, there are numerous contenders and no demonstrated, long-term winners related to either format or machines. Following our very successful introduction of Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew in the U.S. and into a growing number of international markets, Starbucks will continue to explore the many single-serve and on-the-go solutions and options available to us, and to participate in those where we can better and more conveniently serve our customers wherever they may be. Look for further announcements from Starbucks as we continue to expand our presence in the premium single-serve category.”

“Courtesy Products is continually looking for ways to innovate as well as provide our customers with amenities to make traveling more comfortable for their guests,” said Jim Theiss, CEO, Courtesy Products. “We know guests staying at luxury and premium hotels value a great cup of coffee. By pairing Starbucks coffees with our CV1 machine, we will be able to deliver a quick and delicious high-quality cup of Starbucks coffee right in their room or suite.”

Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew was Starbucks first entry into the newly-emerging and fast-growing premium single-cup segment, defined as single-serve portions (including sticks and pods/capsules) with a consumer price greater than $0.50 per serving. In the most recent 52 weeks, according to Nielsen Data, premium single-cup represented more than two thirds of the dollar growth in total U.S. coffee category, with Starbucks VIA® driving 40 percent of that growth. Starbucks VIA became a customer favorite quickly after its launch, has generated over $180 million in sales and is now available in the U.S., Canada, England, Ireland, Japan and the Philippines through a combined 50,000+ points of distribution globally.

About Starbucks

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

About Courtesy Products

For more than 30 years, Courtesy Products has been providing innovative in-room coffee service to hotels and motels nationwide. From instant coffee programs years ago, to today’s patented CV1® in-room brewed coffee system, Courtesy Products has been a leader in quality, service and innovation. Please visit us online at www.courtesyproducts.com.

DENVER  (Food-News.net)  Now there’s another reason to love beef — the Beef Checkoff Program is proud to announce that the American Heart Association has listed three beef cuts as part of its Food Certification Program.  This program helps healthy consumers over age 2 identify foods that meet criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol when labeled with the association’s heart-check mark.

The three beef cuts that met the American Heart Association’s criteria for extra lean, and are now certified to display the heart-check mark include:

  • Boneless Top Sirloin Petite Roast (select grade)
  • Top Sirloin Filet (select grade)
  • Top Sirloin Kabob (select grade)

American Heart Association Certification Gives Consumers and Retailers Another Reason to Love Beef“We are extremely thrilled to receive the American Heart Association certification because for consumers, it represents the independent voice of a trusted health organization,” says Margie Hand, a cow/calf operator from Amidon, ND and chair of the checkoff retail committee.  “Today the Beef Checkoff Program has added another nutrition success point to its growing roster to show that a serving of extra lean beef can be part of an overall sensible eating plan.  The nutrients in lean beef, such as protein, iron and zinc, help people feel satisfied longer and get more nutrition from their calories without sacrificing taste.”

The American Heart Association’s heart-check mark is the one of the most trusted icons on food packaging today – and it continues to resonate with health-conscious shoppers, even in a challenging economy. In fact, more than 83 percent of consumers have an aided awareness of the heart-check mark(1) and nearly 75 percent of primary grocery shoppers say the heart-check mark improves the likelihood that they’ll buy a product.(1)  

This certification allows retailers to display the heart-check mark on fresh case beef packages; promoting the health benefits of a serving of these particular beef cuts to their customers. This is good news, as many of the food industry’s top brands have certified products. The mark has been shown to influence sales by as much as 5 percent (2).  In addition, The Beef Checkoff Trade Association Certification simplifies a retailer’s processing and related costs to participate in the American Heart Association’s heart-check mark program such as certain fees waived as well as significant discounts to participate.

In addition to the three products certified by the American Heart Association, there are many popular beef cuts that meet government guidelines for lean for a single serving, including favorites such as Sirloin, Flank steak, Tenderloin, T-Bone steak and 95 percent lean Ground Beef. With more than 29 lean beef cuts, it’s easy to build great-tasting and healthy meals that include America’s favorite protein – beef – with vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

“Lean beef helps Americans build a healthy diet and manage their waistline because one 3 ounce serving provides ten essential nutrients for about 154 calories, helping you meet the new Dietary Guidelines,” says Cheryl Hendricks, a registered dietitian with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, which contracts to manage retail marketing efforts for the beef checkoff. “With today’s focus on obesity, lean beef is a solution that satisfies our appetites and provides more nutrients for fewer calories than many other foods.”

For retailers, the checkoff-funded integrated promotions feature merchandising elements where it matters most –the point of purchase. As part of the integrated promotions, there is a comprehensive campaign including on-pack labels, recipes and more to help drive awareness, traffic to lean beef cuts in the meat case and ultimately product sales.

“Knowing that 99 percent of primary grocery shoppers think lowering saturated fat is important to managing overall health and wellness, we are pleased to be able to provide the three American Heart Association-certified beef cuts as another option in creating an overall sensible eating plan,” says Hendricks. “Looking forward, we’re not stopping at just three cuts. We are in the process of obtaining certification for some of our other extra lean beef choices as well.

To learn more about receiving the American Heart Association’s certification, please visit www.BeefRetail.org.

About The Beef Checkoff Program

The Beef Checkoff Program (www.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 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 work together as a marketing organization on behalf of the largest segment of the food and fiber industry.

About the Heart-Check Mark

The American Heart Association established the heart-check mark in 1995 to give consumers an easy, reliable system for identifying heart-healthy foods as a first step in building a sensible eating plan. Approximately 800 products that bear the heart-check mark have been screened and verified by the association to meet criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol.

To learn more about the heart-check mark, and to see a complete list of certified products and participating companies, visit heartcheckmark.org.

 

Lower Cholesterol Levels Reported in EggsPARK RIDGE, Ill.  (Food-News.net)  New data issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports the cholesterol content of eggs has dropped significantly since levels previously measured in 2002. The USDA recently reviewed the nutrient composition of standard large eggs and results show the average amount of cholesterol in one large egg – or its 50-gram equivalent within the further processed egg ingredient category – is 185 mg, or 12 percent lower than recorded in 2002. The analysis also reported that large eggs now contain 41 IU of vitamin D, an increase of 64 percent over the last recorded analysis. This information is available on the USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference at http://www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata.

“Positive nutritional news about eggs continues to bolster their image in the eyes of consumers,” says Mitch Kanter, PhD, Executive Director of the Egg Nutrition Center, Park Ridge, Ill. “And these same consumers are already tuned into more natural ingredients on food labels. This news about the lower cholesterol levels and increased vitamin D in eggs can only benefit formulators already relying on further processed eggs for their impressive range and performance as highly functional ingredients.”

Researchers state one possible explanation for the lower cholesterol content of eggs could relate to nutritional improvements in poultry feed. The high-quality, nutritionally balanced diet of feed is made up mostly of corn, soybean meal, vitamins and minerals.  

The egg is one of the few natural sources of vitamin D, in addition to lutein, zeaxanthin, choline and other vitamins and minerals. The yolk provides the majority of the vitamins and minerals found in an egg, including most of the choline and vitamin B12, and approximately 40 percent of the protein. One large egg – about 50 grams worth – provides 6 grams of highly digestible protein – and eggs are rated 1.0 or a perfect score on the PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score). Eggs are an excellent source of choline and selenium and a good source of protein, vitamin D, phosphorous, and riboflavin.

More information about egg products and their functionality is available at AEB.org. Just click the “Food Manufacturers” tab.

About the American Egg Board (AEB)

AEB is the U.S. egg producer’s link to the consumer in communicating the value of The incredible edible egg™ and is funded from a national legislative checkoff on all egg production from companies with greater than 75,000 layers, in the continental United States. The board consists of 18 members and 18 alternates from all regions of the country who are appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. The AEB staff carries out the programs under the board direction. AEB is located in Park Ridge, Ill. Visit http://www.AEB.org for more information.

About the Egg Nutrition Center (ENC)

The Egg Nutrition Center (ENC) is the health education and research center of the American Egg Board. Established in 1979, ENC provides science-based information to health promotion agencies, physicians, dietitians, nutritional scientists, media and consumers on issues related to egg nutrition and the role of eggs in the American diet. ENC is located in Park Ridge, Ill. Visit http://www.EggNutritionCenter.org for more information.

f'real foods Expands Voluntary Recall of Strawberry Banana Smoothies Due to Potential Peanut ContentORINDA, Calif.  (Food-News.net)  f’real® foods announced today that it has expanded its voluntary recall of f’real® Strawberry Banana Smoothies (Lot # 06/21/2012) produced at Smith Dairy Products Company in Orrville, Ohio.  The expansion to additional states is due to customer input regarding the extent of their distribution areas. The company is recalling one specific lot as it may contain peanuts, an undeclared allergen.

The specific product in question is:

f’real® Strawberry Banana Smoothies – 10 FL OZ Container (16 FL OZ as Prepared)

  • Lot #: 06/21/2012
  • Time Stamped Between: 10:45am to 11:19am
  • UPC:813993004494
  • Distributed in the following states:  AK, AL, AR, CA, CO, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, VA, WA, WI

The potential issue was discovered by the manufacturer while conducting flavor comparisons between lot numbers of smoothies. f’real® foods and Smith Dairy Products Company are removing this lot of product from the market out of an abundance of caution.  People who have allergies to peanuts run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product.

f’real® foods and Smith Dairy Products Company have comprehensive food safety programs in place to provide the highest quality products available and will continue to closely monitor the situation.  f’real® foods is notifying customers of the voluntary recall by phone and in writing.  Consumers who have purchased the product listed above should return the container to the place of purchase for a refund.  Consumers with questions may contact f’real® Customer Support at 1-877-367-7325 from 6 AM to 9 PM Central Standard Time or e-mail us at realpeople@freal.com.

About f’real® foods:

Founded in 2003, f’real® foods designs, sells and markets authentic milkshakes, smoothies and frozen cappuccino beverages all made from real ingredients:  ice cream, fruit, milk and coffee.  Consumers freshly blend our beverages in our patented blenders found in over 5000 retail locations in the US and Canada.  Visit us on the web at www.freal.com or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/frealfoods.

Ocean Spray Shares Sweet Recipes for Every SweetheartLAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass.  (Food-News.net)  With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, don’t wait until the day before to rush to the nearest convenience store to stock-up on candy, chocolate and flowers. Ocean Spray has helped Americans celebrate holiday traditions for more than 80 years, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Because the way to a loved one’s heart is through the stomach, the grower owned cooperative is providing a little direction for lost Valentines with a roadmap of tart, tangy and tasty recipe ideas – complete with a splash of festive cranberry red.

“Although many people think of the cranberry as a fall fruit, Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to be creative with cranberries in the kitchen,” said Cindy Taccini, senior test kitchen manager at Ocean Spray. “From Ocean Spray® Cranberry Juice Cocktail, to Chocolate-Covered Craisins®, to Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce, these items are an easy way to add a splash of red to your meal from cocktails through dessert.”

Start the night off by sipping on a lovely elixir such as the Love Potion cocktail or Cranberry Kiss mocktail, combining the power of Ocean Spray® Cranberry Juice Cocktail with a refreshing splash of citrus. These bright-hued drinks not only fit the Valentine theme perfectly with a pop of romantic red, but they also taste good and are good for you.

For your main course, try something colorful and simple. Using Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce as a glaze over roast chicken, the Cranberry Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes allows you to spend more time with your honey instead of slaving away in the kitchen with a taste that screams hours of preparation.

For the grand finale, think out of the box – chocolate box that is – by sprucing up traditional chocolate with the color of your heart and whip-up Ocean Spray’s Outrageous Chocolate Cranberry Fudge Cake. It not only exudes effort, but the combination of rich chocolate and tangy cranberry will be sure to have him or her coming back for seconds. Or, turn after dinner time into an activity and buy a fondue set – Ocean Spray’s Cranberry Raspberry Fondue is the perfect soul warming experience.

For more recipes for your sweetheart, visit www.oceanspray.com. Cranberry lovers can also connect with Ocean Spray at www.facebook.com/oceanspray and www.twitter.com/oceansprayinc for info on giveaways, contests and special offers in the coming months.

About Ocean Spray

Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry growers in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and other parts of Canada as well as more than 50 Florida grapefruit growers. Ocean Spray was formed 80 years ago by three cranberry growers from Massachusetts and New Jersey. Florida grapefruit growers joined the Cooperative in 1976. Ocean Spray is North America’s leading producer of canned and bottled juices and juice drinks, and has been the best-selling brand name in the canned and bottled juice category since 1981. Ocean Spray posted fiscal 2010 gross sales of $2.05 billion and net proceeds of $340 million.

BUITONI Riserva Complete Meals for Two Voted Product of the Year in Specialty Foods Category by ConsumersSOLON, Ohio  (Food-News.net)  Last night, the 2011 Product of the Year Awards Ceremony recognized the year’s most innovative products, including BUITONI® Riserva Complete Meals for Two. Consumers recently participated in a nationwide survey of product innovation to ultimately name the complete meals the Product of the Year* in the specialty foods category.

To help celebrate its rich Italian history and tradition, BUITONI® added the new line of frozen complete meals for two to its already popular line of refrigerated Italian pastas and sauces. BUITONI® Riserva Complete Meals for Two deliver high quality, all-natural authentic Italian ingredients, like tender sweet Italian sausage, fresh-roasted Portabello mushrooms, custom ricotta, and imported Pecorino Romano cheeses. Time-honored culinary techniques bring out the integrity and flavor of these carefully selected ingredients. Premium pasta pillows are overstuffed, noodles are thin and delicate, and perfectly paired sauces enhance the natural flavors.

“At Buitoni we live and breathe an artisanal philosophy of food – taking simple, nutritious ingredients and artfully combining them for an extraordinary meal,” said Brigid Gilmore, Director of Marketing for BUITONI®. “We’re honored to be recognized by consumers as an innovative leader in the specialty foods category!”

Pair any of the BUITONI® Riserva Complete Meals for Two with a simple salad and favorite wine for an easy, yet extraordinary Italian meal. The result is an exceptional dish you’ll want to savor. Look for the following products, available in the frozen section of grocery stores nationwide:

  • Shrimp and Lobster Ravioli With Garlic Butter Sauce (22 oz., SRP $9.99): Sweet and succulent wild lobster from the North Atlantic is combined with shrimp, and custom impastata ricotta cheese in freshly made ravioli, and is finished with a drizzle of the lightest Garlic Butter Sauce.
  • Chicken & Mushroom Ravioli with Marsala Wine Sauce (22 oz., SRP $8.99): Freshly made ravioli filled with oven roasted white meat chicken, fresh roasted portobello mushrooms and a blend of custom impastata ricotta, fontina, aged Parmesan and provolone cheeses. A Marsala Wine Sauce simmered with portobellos completes the dish.
  • Four Cheese & Spinach Ravioli with Tomato Basil Sauce (26 oz., SRP $8.99): A custom impastata ricotta cheese combined with aged Parmesan, imported Pecorino Romano, Asiago and fontina cheeses and freshly picked spinach. The rich cheeses are nestled inside our freshly made ravioli and topped with a Tomato Basil Sauce made from vine-ripened tomatoes, basil and fresh-roasted garlic.
  • Braised Beef & Sausage Ravioli with Creamy Marinara Sauce (24 oz., SRP $8.99): Ravioli filled with only premium, natural beef and a unique blend of sweet Italian sausage, aged Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and sweet carrots. This special ravioli is topped with a simple, Creamy Marinara Sauce made with vine-ripened tomatoes, light cream and Parmesan cheese.
  • Grilled Chicken & Spinach Cannelloni with Alfredo Sauce (22 oz., SRP $8.99): Freshly made semolina flour cannelloni is filled with grilled natural white meat chicken, spinach and custom impastata ricotta, fontina, aged Parmesan, imported Pecorino Romano and Asiago cheeses. Baked until golden and topped with a decadent Alfredo Sauce.
  • Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Sage Sauce – (22 oz., SRP $8.99): Freshly made ravioli is filled with oven roasted butternut squash, ricotta and Parmesan cheeses combined with brown sugar and a touch of amaretti cookie. A Brown Butter Sage sauce–a light white wine and butter-based sauce spiced with nutmeg—perfectly complements the ravioli.
  • Grilled Vegetable & Goat Cheese Agnolotti with White Wine Sauce – (22 oz., SRP $8.99): Grilled asparagus, zucchini, red and yellow peppers, onions, summer squash and fire roasted tomatoes are folded into a blend of ricotta, goat and aged Parmesan cheeses to fill our freshly made agnolotti. This is topped with a White Wine Sauce, a mellow sauce of vegetable broth with white wine and roasted garlic.

Product of the Year is the world’s largest consumer-voted program that recognizes innovation in consumer packaged goods. More than 60,000 shoppers nationwide judge products on elements of innovation such as ingredients, form, function and design. Winning items are selected from a variety of categories including food, beverage and personal care, representing the best new products in the marketplace.

For additional information about BUITONI® Riserva Complete Meals for Two, please email jenna.walsh@publicis-pr.com. For more information on or high resolution images of the Product of the Year USA winners for 2011, please visit www.productoftheyearusa.com.

*2011 Winner, Specialty Foods Category. Survey of 60,493 people by TNS.

About Nestle USA

Named one of “The World’s Most Admired Food Companies” in Fortune magazine for thirteen consecutive years, Nestle provides quality brands and products that bring flavor to life every day.  From nutritious meals with Lean Cuisine® to baking traditions with Nestle® Toll House®, Nestle USA makes delicious, convenient, and nutritious food and beverage products that enrich the very experience of life itself.  That’s what “Nestle. Good Food, Good Life” is all about.  Well-known Nestle brands include: Nestle® Toll House®, Nestle® Nesquik®, Nestle® Coffee-mate®, Stouffer’s®, Lean Cuisine®, HOT POCKETS® and LEAN POCKETS® brand sandwiches, Nescafe®, Nescafe® Taster’s Choice®, NESTLE® Juicy Juice®, Buitoni®, DREYER’S/EDY’S®, Nestle® Crunch®, Nestle® Butterfinger®, Wonka®, DIGIORNO®, TOMBSTONE® and CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN® frozen pizza. Nestle USA, with 2009 sales of $10.4 billion, is part of Nestle S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland — the world’s largest food company with a commitment to Nutrition, Health & Wellness — with 2009 sales of $99 billion.  For product news and information, visit Nestleusa.com or NestleNewsroom.com.

All trademarks are owned by Societe des Produits Nestle S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.

About Product of the Year:

Product of the Year is the only consumer product award that rewards innovation and is voted on by real consumers. Established 24 years ago in France, POY currently operates in 28 countries with the same purpose: Guide consumers to the best products in their market and reward manufacturers for quality and innovation. Backed by the votes of 60,000 consumers, the distinct red POY logo serves as shortcut for shoppers in the supermarket, saving them time and money. For manufacturers of the winning products, the award is a powerful marketing message proven to increase retail distribution and sales by an average of 10-15%. Product of the Year accepts entries every year from consumer packaged goods that demonstrate innovation and were launched within the previous year. Entered products are then placed into specific categories such as food, beverages, personal care, household care, etc. with a product then being chosen as a winner in its category through a nationally representative online study. For more information visit www.productoftheyearusa.com.

LEAN CUISINE Market Creations Voted Product of the Year in Frozen FoodsSOLON, Ohio  (Food-News.net)  With crisp vegetables, tender chicken, al dente pasta and a variety of savory and creamy sauces, LEAN CUISINE® Market Creations are truly a dinner revolution, delivering on taste, quality and innovation. In fact, consumers recently participated in a nationwide survey of product innovation, naming these steamed dinner entrees Product of the Year* in the frozen food category!

Product of the Year is the world’s largest consumer-voted program that recognizes innovation in consumer packaged goods. Voted on by more than 60,000 shoppers nationwide, products are judged on elements of innovation such as ingredients, form, function and design. Winning items are selected from a variety of categories including food, beverage and personal care, representing the best new products in the marketplace.

“We’re thrilled that LEAN CUISINE® Market Creations have been voted Product of the Year in frozen food,” said Christine Dahm, VP of Marketing for LEAN CUISINE®. “And the fact that this line of entrees is being positively endorsed by thousands of real consumers makes the win even more special.”

Delicious dinners that go from pouch to plate in minutes, each recipe comes in an innovative steam bag that locks in nutritious ingredients and unlocks delicious flavor. The unique steam valve releases just the right amount of moisture, circulating gentle steam and evenly cooking each ingredient.

Following up on the success of its 2010 launch, LEAN CUISINE® introduces two new LEAN CUISINE® Market Creations varieties steaming their way to the dinner table:

  • NEW! Chicken Poblano features chicken tenderloins with penne pasta, green beans, tomatoes, Poblano peppers, roasted corn and black beans in a chili cheddar sauce  
  • NEW! Chicken Pot Stickers features chicken pot stickers with green beans, red peppers, water chestnuts, edamame, orange and yellow carrots in a sweet chili ginger soy sauce

LEAN CUISINE® Market Creations entrees have a suggested retail price of $3.99 and are available in the freezer section of supermarkets nationwide. Visit the “Where to Buy” section on LeanCuisine.com to find a grocer near you.  And don’t forget to check out our wellness resources while you’re there. From delicious meal options to fitness planners, LEAN CUISINE® makes it easy to eat what you love while staying on track.

For additional information / hi-res images of the Product of the Year USA winners for 2011, please visit www.productoftheyearusa.com.

* 2011 Winner, Frozen Food Category. Survey of 60,493 people by TNS.

About Nestle USA

Named one of “The World’s Most Admired Food Companies” in Fortune magazine for thirteen consecutive years, Nestle provides quality brands and products that bring flavor to life every day.  From nutritious meals with Lean Cuisine® to baking traditions with Nestle® Toll House®, Nestle USA makes delicious, convenient, and nutritious food and beverage products that enrich the very experience of life itself.  That’s what “Nestle. Good Food, Good Life” is all about.  Well-known Nestle brands include: Nestle® Toll House®, Nestle® Nesquik®, Nestle® Coffee-mate®, Stouffer’s®, Lean Cuisine®, HOT POCKETS® and LEAN POCKETS® brand sandwiches, Nescafe®, Nescafe® Taster’s Choice®, NESTLE® Juicy Juice®, Buitoni®, DREYER’S/EDY’S®, Nestle® Crunch®, Nestle® Butterfinger®, Wonka®, DIGIORNO®, TOMBSTONE® and CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN® frozen pizza.. Nestle USA, with 2009 sales of $10.4 billion, is part of Nestle S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland — the world’s largest food company with a commitment to Nutrition, Health & Wellness — with 2009 sales of $99 billion.  For product news and information, visit Nestleusa.com or NestleNewsroom.com.

All trademarks are owned by Societe des Produits Nestle S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.

About Product of the Year:

Product of the Year is the only consumer product award that rewards innovation and is voted on by real consumers. Established 24 years ago in France, POY currently operates in 28 countries with the same purpose: Guide consumers to the best products in their market and reward manufacturers for quality and innovation. Backed by the votes of 60,000 consumers, the distinct red POY logo serves as shortcut for shoppers in the supermarket, saving them time and money. For manufacturers of the winning products, the award is a powerful marketing message proven to increase retail distribution and sales by an average of 10-15%. Product of the Year accepts entries every year from consumer packaged goods that demonstrate innovation and were launched within the previous year. Entered products are then placed into specific categories such as food, beverages, personal care, household care, etc. with a product then being chosen as a winner in its category through a nationally representative online study. For more information visit www.productoftheyearusa.com.

LANSING, Mich.  (Food-News.net)  Tart cherries could help athletes reduce muscle damage to recover faster from a tough workout, according to new research published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Researchers at the Sports and Exercise Science Research Center at London South Bank University in the UK gave 10 trained athletes 1 ounce of an antioxidant-packed tart cherry juice concentrate (provided by CherryActive) twice daily for seven days prior to and two days after an intense round of strength training.  The athletes’ recovery after the cherry juice concentrate was significantly faster compared to when they drank juice without the same phytonutrient content of cherry juice.  

After drinking cherry juice, athletes returned to 90 percent of normal muscle force at 24 hours, compared to only 85 percent of normal at the same time point without cherry juice – a significant difference that could affect an athlete’s next bout of performance. Researchers suggest that the powerful antioxidant compounds in cherry juice likely decreased oxidative damage to the athletes’ muscles – the damage that normally occurs when muscles are worked to their max – allowing the muscles to recover more quickly.

Cherries and Muscle Recovery

This is the latest in a growing body of science linking cherries to muscle recovery. Researchers attribute the benefits to anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compounds in the red fruit called anthocyanins, also responsible for cherries’ bright red color.

“Cherries are what I call an ultimate super food,” said Dr. Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, registered dietitian and author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet: Lose Weight with the Power of SuperNutrients “Not only are they a perfect complement to a training routine since they’re available year-round in dried, frozen and juice forms, but they taste great.” Dr. Bazilian says some of her favorite ways to include cherries in the diet range from topping dried cherries in oatmeal to enjoying a smoothie of cherry juice and low-fat yogurt.  

In addition to recovery benefits, research also suggests cherries could affect inflammation related to heart disease and arthritis.

For more information on the recovery benefits of tart cherries, and to download the Red Recovery Routine, a guide to training with cherries, visit www.choosecherries.com.

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

Source: Bowtell JL, Sumners DP, Dyer A, Fox P, Mileva KN. Montmorency cherry juice reduces muscle damage caused by intensive strength exercise. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2011. Epub ahead of print

Butterball Partners With National Salt Reduction Initiative to Reduce SodiumGARNER, N.C.  (Food-News.net)  Partnering with the National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI), Butterball® LLC joins a nationwide effort to cut the salt in packaged and restaurant foods by 25 percent by 2014 – an achievement that would help reduce the nation’s salt intake by 20 percent.

As a trusted turkey brand recognized for its leadership and innovation, Butterball provides a variety of high quality, great tasting products for consumers to enjoy, including lower sodium and better-for-you options. While the majority of Butterball’s products already fall within the NSRI 2014 guidelines, the company is actively working to make further sodium reductions.

Even though Butterball Whole Turkey, traypack and lunchmeat products already fall within NSRI guidelines, Butterball plans to further reduce sodium in those products and has committed its deli meat and turkey franks to meet NSRI guidelines by 2014:

  • Butterball plans to reduce the sodium levels of turkey ham and turkey pastrami by 20 percent by 2012
  • Sodium in the remaining deli products will be reduced on average by 10 percent, which will exceed 2014 goals

In addition to being recognized as a prominent company to partner with the NSRI, Butterball also offers 27 turkey products that have been certified by the American Heart Association (AHA) as meeting its criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol.  Consumers can distinguish these items by looking for the well-known AHA heart-check mark on the package.  

“Whether they are celebrating a special holiday with a Butterball Whole Turkey or enjoying an every day family meal with Butterball Ground Turkey, consumers deserve a variety of better-for-you choices that fit their needs and preferences,” said Kari Lindell, director of retail marketing for Butterball.  “By working with partners like the NSRI and AHA, we show consumers that Butterball turkey can be a healthier option for their meals.”  

As many consumers aim to kick off a healthy new year, they can rely on Butterball’s wide variety of better-for-you offerings to stay on track.

For more information on Butterball products, including nutritional details, visit www.Butterball.com.

About Butterball, LLC

Butterball, LLC offers consumers opportunities to celebrate traditional holidays and every day meal occasions with the Butterball branded line of products.  As the most recognized name in turkey, the brand represents over 50 years of cherished memories with consumers worldwide.  The retail, deli and foodservice products are distributed throughout the United States and in over 20 countries.  The tradition of providing quality great tasting products that make meals something to celebrate every day has made the brand America’s Favorite.

Headquartered in Garner, N.C., Butterball is the largest producer of turkey products in the United States.  The company’s three pronged approach to Doing Business Right focuses on self-governance, sustainability and social responsibility.  The initiative plays a key role in providing internal oversight for integrating values that are important to the company.

As the industry leader in quality and food safety, the company employs numerous processes to ensure the health of flocks and implements recognized prevention measures to exceed food safety standards in its six plants, located in North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas and Missouri.  In addition, Butterball has surpassed important workplace safety and health benchmarks set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Production Program, (VPP.)

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

Bolthouse Farms Introduces the Protein Plus Parfait SmoothieBAKERSFIELD, Calif.  (Food-News.net)  Bolthouse Farms, an innovative health and wellness company based in California’s fertile San Joaquin Valley, today introduced the newest addition to its popular Protein Plus beverage line: the Parfait Smoothie. The Parfait Smoothie is the only yogurt parfait based smoothie in the category. Its flavor is extraordinary – each smooth sip delivers an equal measure of strawberries, yogurt and granola. The Parfait Smoothie is the third Bolthouse Protein Plus flavor, joining Chocolate and Mango, and will be also available nationwide, with a suggested retail price of $3.19 for each 15.2 oz bottle.

Protein Plus Parfait Smoothie is the only parfait protein drink in the super-premium beverage category. Made from 100% natural ingredients, including the company’s proprietary whey & soy protein blend, Parfait Smoothie packs 25 grams of protein per 15.2 oz bottle with a smooth, creamy finish, far superior to the chalky, artificial texture common to protein drinks. Protein Plus Parfait Smoothie offers no preservatives, artificial flavors, colors or genetically modified ingredients. One serving has just 180 calories and 3 grams of fiber. It is a satisfying, healthy, delicious choice for breakfast, for a refreshing afternoon snack or as a post-workout re-fuel.

“The Parfait Smoothie tastes so exceptional that you may be surprised to know that each bottle delivers 25 grams of protein,” said Bryan Reese, chief marketing and innovation officer, Bolthouse Farms. “For people on the go, there’s probably no easier way to make protein a part of your diet.”

Bolthouse Farms is a national leader in premium beverages. It is also the market leader in baby carrot production. The company employs a network of farms throughout the United States, Canada and South America that are fueled by innovation. Its production and distribution capabilities are unrivalled in speed and scope. As a result, Bolthouse Farms products arrive on store shelves as fresh as physically possible, ensuring that consumers receive the fullest bounty of nature’s nutrients with every serving.

About Bolthouse Farms

Established in 1915, Bolthouse Farms is a fourth-generation farm located in California’s fertile San Joaquin Valley. Known for quality and innovation, Bolthouse Farms is a market share leader in carrot growing and processing. In addition to growing and harvesting premium fresh vegetables and fruits, Bolthouse Farms produces a leading brand of super-premium refrigerated juices, smoothies and protein drinks. Bolthouse diversified its offerings in recent years by launching a line of all natural, premium refrigerated yogurt dressings and extra virgin olive oil vinaigrettes. To learn about the entire line of current Bolthouse Farms products, visit www.bolthouse.com.

WASHINGTON  (Food-News.net)  The International Dairy Foods Association urged Congress to move quickly to approve pending free trade agreements (FTAs) with the Republic of Korea, Colombia and Panama in written testimony submitted to the House Committee on Ways and Means. The testimony emphasized the positive impact these agreements will have on the dairy industry, and was submitted as part of a recent hearing that focused on the economic and job creating benefits of FTAs.

“While IDFA supports all three pending agreements, the agreement with Korea is one of the most important free-trade deals for the American economy since the North American Free Trade Agreement,” said Clay Hough, IDFA’s senior group vice president. “The Korea-U.S. free trade agreement represents a tremendous opportunity for the U.S. dairy industry to increase and sustain its growing presence in an extremely important economic region and could mean 10,000 or more additional U.S. jobs across the dairy industry value chain.”

U.S. dairy exports to the Pacific Rim region were up more than 100 percent last year. Korea, in particular, has emerged as an important market for U.S. dairy processors. In 2010 South Korea was the U.S. dairy industry’s sixth-largest export market and imported over $115 million worth of American dairy products. An International Trade Commission report analyzing the economic effects of the Korea-U.S. FTA found that the dairy industry would be among the industries seeing the largest gains in output and employment. Using 2008 as a base year, dairy exports to Korea would see an increase of up to $336 million or 478 percent.

“If Congress fails to act quickly, this tremendous opportunity for market growth will be critically threatened, especially in light of the rapid pace at which Korea has negotiated other FTAs with other dairy exporters, such as the agreement negotiated with the European Union,” IDFA said in its testimony.

Korea and the European Union have negotiated a competing agreement that is on-course to be implemented by July 2011. The full testimony is available here.

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 550 companies representing a $110-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA’s 220 dairy processing members run more than 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States. IDFA can be found online at www.idfa.org.

SAN FRANCISCO  (Food-News.net)  The 2010 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) urge Americans to reduce their sodium intake, replace saturated and trans fats with the “good” fats (poly and monounsaturated fats) and to lower cholesterol consumption.  Walnuts just happen to be sodium and cholesterol free and a great source of “good” fat.

In addition to the specific recommendations, the new DGA remind consumers that there are no shortcuts to good nutrition.  Portion control and a well-balanced diet that relies heavily on naturally whole foods are emphasized as important tools for maintaining health.  

“People need to change the way they eat along with what they eat,” states Dr. Brian Wansink who was responsible for overseeing the planning, development, review and promotion of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and author of Mindless Eating.  He believes that too often consumers eat more than they need and have imbalanced portions of food because they are not paying attention to external cues.  Your hand is one of his favorite portion control measuring devices.  “Grabbing a handful of walnuts will give you approximately an ounce – a convenient and ideal portion-controlled snack AND the only nut chock-full of omega-3s,” states Dr. Wansink.

Unique among nuts, walnuts are the only nut that is an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 essential, polyunsaturated fatty acid, required by the human body.  In addition to offering “good” fat, walnuts rank high in antioxidants and are a convenient plant-based source of fiber (2 grams) and protein (4 grams).  These nutrient dense nuts are also an economical and versatile ingredient that can be used in salads, entrees and other tasty dishes.  

As a natural, sodium free whole food, walnuts offer more.  Over 15 years of clinical research has started to uncover numerous potential health benefits of walnuts involving heart health, diabetes, cancer, weight management and cognitive behavior.  

Visit www.walnuts.org to download the California Walnut Commission’s Portion Plate Tool to help create a balanced plate.

Given the potential challenges of adhering to the new dietary guidelines, Dr. Wansink encourages consumers to honor the people in their community that inspire others to live healthier lives.  Nominate the person in your community that fits the title of Original Health Nut and they could win an all-expenses paid trip to Napa Valley, California to experience the walnut harvest!

CARROLLTON, Texas  (Food-News.net)  The USDA’s new dietary guidelines for the food you put on your plate encourage Americans to focus on what they eat and how they eat. At the heart of the guidelines: cut back on salt, sugar and fat, and trim portion sizes.

“These new and improved dietary recommendations (www.dietaryguidelines.gov) give individuals the information to make thoughtful choices of healthier foods in the right portions and to complement those choices with physical activity,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Improving our eating habits is not only good for every individual and family, but also for our country.”

How can you make the new guidelines work for your family’s meals? Healthy Steps by Jokari, whose innovative line of kitchen tools has taken the guesswork out of portion sizes, offers these tips:

  • Portion control is key
  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
  • Switch to a reduced fat milk
  • Compare sodium in foods in order to reduce your intake
  • Drink water instead of high-calorie sugary drinks

Limiting sodium intake helps prevent hypertension, edema and strokes. One tool that can help is the Healthy Steps Salt Shaker, which delivers a precise amount every time. It’s a measuring dispenser and a tabletop shaker, all in one.

Another product to help with the new guidelines is the Healthy Steps Portion Control Serving Set to control portions when serving meals right at the dinner table. Portion sizes are tucked away on the heads of the tools, which include a slotted spoon, solid spoon and spatula.

Also from Healthy Steps, the Portion Control Pasta Basket cooks a precise amount of pasta, as you measure and cook with the same tool. The Portion Control Vegetable Server is a slit spoon measuring a half-serving of cooked vegetables, without the steaming liquid.

“We are first to market, revolutionizing portion control with a complete line of sleek and simple tools designed to make preparing and serving fresh and vitamin-packed foods a breeze,” says Doug Taeckens, president and CEO of Healthy Steps by Jokari. “We simplify the cooking routine, making it easier to follow the new USDA dietary guidelines.”

Currently, Healthy Steps by Jokari line more than products priced from $2.99 to $14.95. The entire line is available online at Organize.com, Amazon and Chef Central and retailers, including Hy-Vee, Garden Ridge, Cost Plus World Market, Zabar’s, Wegmans, Big Y Food Stores, King’s Food Stores, Fred Meyer and Giant Food Stores.

For more information, log on to www.myhealthysteps.com for products, recipes and nutritional information. Follow Healthy Steps by Jokari on Facebook.com/healthysteps and Twitter www.twitter.com/healthy_steps and on YouTube: www.YouTube.com/user/MyHealthySteps.

About: Jokari has built a strong reputation since 1974 and is well-known in the industry for creating innovative products for the home and beyond. The company offers a wide range of mostly patented products designed to simplify everyday tasks, create storage solutions and extend the life of common household products such as carbonated beverages and wine.

ALBANY, Ga.  (Food-News.net)  The new 2010 Dietary Guidelines address the American obesity epidemic by telling consumers to “maintain calorie balance over time” and to do it by “consuming nutrient-dense foods” such as peanuts.  When maintaining proper calorie balance, refined grains, solid fats, and added sugars should be replaced with nutrient dense foods.  The new Dietary Guidelines explains, “A healthy eating pattern … emphasizes nutrient-dense foods – vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk products, seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, and nuts and seeds.”  

According to USDA data, peanuts and peanut butter are 67% of the nuts eaten in the US.  Consumer data highlights taste, health benefits, convenience, and affordability as the reason.  Peanuts are technically a legume and contain more protein than any other nut.  

For the first time, a Key Recommendation says to consider the protein package that brings good fats along with it. It says to “Replace protein foods that are higher in solid fats with choices that are lower in solid fats and calories and /or are sources of oils.”  The report explains, “The fats in meat, poultry, and eggs are considered solid fats, while the fats in seafood, nuts, and seeds are considered oils.”  A peanut butter sandwich, preferably on whole grain bread, would be a healthier option than a hamburger or a grilled cheese sandwich.  Research has shown that peanut oil is similar to olive oil in reducing risk of heart disease.

According to the new Guidelines, “Consumption of a balanced variety of protein foods can contribute to improved nutrient intake and health benefits. For example, moderate evidence indicates that eating peanuts and certain tree nuts reduces risk factors for cardiovascular disease when consumed as part of a diet that is nutritionally adequate and within calorie needs.” Research shows that a small, daily serving of peanuts or peanut butter can cut the risk of heart disease in half.  

Peanuts and peanut butter are placed in the nutrient dense category because for 160 calories, they provide hard-to-get nutrients such as dietary fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin E, thiamin, and magnesium. There are numerous studies showing that peanuts help manage weight because of their high satiety value and consumers don’t tire of them. Multiple studies show that participants who ate peanuts and peanut butter had a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) and more nutritious diets.

The Peanut Institute is a non-profit organization that supports nutrition research and develops educational programs to encourage healthful lifestyles. Learn more about peanuts and health at www.peanut-institute.org.

The Dannon Company Introduces Activia Parfait CrunchWHITE PLAINS, N.Y.  (Food-News.net)  The Dannon Company today announced the launch of Activia® Parfait Crunch, a delicious blend of creamy Activia® lowfat yogurt, fruit pieces, and lowfat crunchy granola. With 220 calories and three grams of fat per 6oz, Activia® Parfait Crunch offers people a convenient choice to add to their breakfast or a delicious snack option that helps naturally regulate the digestive system. Activia® Parfait Crunch will be available in February in supermarkets nationwide in four delicious flavors: Strawberry & Granola, Mixed Berry & Granola, Vanilla & Granola, and Peach & Granola. Each single-serve six-ounce cup with its granola topper retails for $1.29.

Activia® contains the unique probiotic culture Bifidus Regularis® (Bifidobacterium lactis DN 173 010) and helps regulate the digestive system when consumed daily for two weeks as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. That’s why The Activia® Promise encourages people to experience the benefits of Activia® firsthand. If consumers are not satisfied after eating the product, Dannon will refund up to $12.00 (see terms and conditions on Activia products and www.Activiapromise.com).  

“Activia® Parfait Crunch blends sweet, refreshing fruit lowfat yogurt with granola to give you a creamy and crunchy snack,” said Philippe Guerra, Senior Brand Manager at Dannon. “We’re offering the Activia® Promise because we want everyone to love the way they feel when they try our flavorful products and see for themselves how Activia® helps them.”

The Activia® Promise runs from December 20, 2010, through April 15, 2011; all claims must be postmarked no later than April 30, 2011 and received no later than May 14, 2011.

For more information about The Activia® Promise or Activia® Parfait Crunch, visit www.activia.us.com or call 1-888-Activia.

About The Dannon Company, Inc.

The Dannon Company is America’s founding national yogurt company and continually leverages its expertise to develop and market innovative cultured fresh dairy products in the United States. Headquartered in White Plains, NY, Dannon has plants in Minster, OH, Fort Worth, TX, and West Jordan, UT and produces approximately 100 different types of flavors, styles and sizes of cultured fresh dairy products. Dannon is a subsidiary of Danone, one of the world’s leading producers of packaged foods and beverages, and Dannon is the top-selling brand of yogurt products worldwide, sold under the names Dannon and Danone.

With a strong commitment to high-quality, wholesome, nutritious and innovative products, The Dannon Company is committed to encouraging people to eat a balanced diet and live a healthy lifestyle. In 2010, for the tenth year in a row, Danone was listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, a worldwide reference for socially responsible businesses. Danone is a recognized leader for its contributions to nutrition and health and was ranked best in class in a 2008 JPMorgan & Insight Investment study about the response of the world’s largest food companies to obesity and health-related concerns. This commitment is also illustrated through The Dannon Company’s support of the Dannon Institute, an independent, non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting research, education, and communication about the links between nutrition, diet and health. For more information, please visit www.dannon.com.

LIMA, Ohio  (Food-News.net)  Rudolph Foods, the world’s largest manufacturer of pork rinds and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of private and branded label snack products, announces a campaign for National Pork Rind Appreciation Day on the same day as The Big Game – this year falling on Sunday, February 6, 2011. The campaign has been created in an effort to help Rudolph Foods consumers celebrate pork rinds as a quirky and nostalgic snack that encourages family togetherness and tradition. Now through Big Game 2012, Rudolph Foods and their Lee’s, Southern Recipe and Pepe’s brands, will be campaigning to make Big Game Sunday the official National Pork Rind Appreciation Day.

The pork rind brands are calling upon the public to help to make the National Pork Rind Appreciation Day campaign a success. Consumers can cast their vote at VotePorkRinds.com and view campaign videos from Rudolph Foods executives and fans. Consumers are also asked to spread the news streaming from the Facebook and Twitter communities for Rudolph Foods, Southern Recipe and Pepe’s El Original, about the campaign. Additionally, Rudolph’s will donate $0.10 per vote to Wounded Warriors Family Support to celebrate this quirky and nostalgic snack and to emphasize American support, family fun and tradition.

“There are few things more American than pork rinds and The Big Game,” says Mark Singleton, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Rudolph Foods. “As a family-owned company ourselves, Rudolph Foods is proud to lead other football-lovin’ families in the support of Wounded Warriors Family Support through our voting campaign. What else could possibly go better with pigskin than pig skins? Vote to make National Pork Rind Appreciation Day an official holiday!”

Wounded Warriors Family Support is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides support to the families of those who have been wounded, injured or killed during combat operations. To learn more, visit www.WoundedWarriorsFamilySupport.org.

Rudolph Foods Company, Inc., one of the world’s largest suppliers of branded and private-label snack products, is the world’s largest pork rind manufacturer. Awarded the title of 2010 Energy Saver, Rudolph Foods operates energy efficient plants in Ohio, Georgia, Texas and California, and is solely dedicated to providing its customers with sustainable, top quality products and the highest levels of customer service at the best price. For additional information, please call 1-800-241-7675, or visit www.RudolphFoods.com.

Iskream Brand Announces Supreme 'Blend' with Truvia RebianaMINNEAPOLIS  (Food-News.net)  Iskream Inc. and Truvia™ brand today announced the introduction of Iskream™, the first line of low-fat, naturally sweetened ice creams for the newly established, handcrafted gourmet ice cream brand.

Created by a small boutique creamery in Connecticut, Iskream™ was founded to create a brand of ice cream that is delicious without the guilt. The new Iskream™ brand was inspired by the food ingredient innovation, Truvia™ rebiana, a natural, zero-calorie great tasting sweetener produced by Cargill.

“Bringing a new kind of natural sweetness to ice cream is a positive step in the development of innovative foods,” said Zanna McFerson, assistant vice president, Cargill Health and Nutrition and business director for the Truvia™ enterprise. “With the introduction of this new dairy-based product family, there are now more than 20 new food and beverage products on the retail shelves featuring Truvia™ rebiana.”

Made from the best-tasting components of the stevia leaf, Truvia™ rebiana is the first product in this new category. Since its introduction in 2008, Truvia™ rebiana has been recognized for its clean, sweet taste by food and beverage product brands, establishing it as a leading natural, zero-calorie sweetener ingredient.

“It is with great pride and enthusiasm that we announce the launch of the Iskream™ brand,” said its co-founder, Sandra Lee. “The Cargill team provided the application resources to craft a great tasting ice cream that contains all the fun, but none of the guilt.”

Susan Patrick, Iskream™ co-founder, says “Iskream™ is a dream come true because I love the idea of a women-owned business. Cargill and Truvia™ rebiana have allowed us to create an ice cream using whole ingredients with a rich creamy texture. We use the finest Madagascar vanilla, Dutch cocoa and whole berries. Honestly, if Iskream™ didn’t taste great we couldn’t stand behind it.”

Consumers can purchase the new Iskream™ line in three authentic flavors, Berry Good, Chocolate Brownie and Vanilla. Iskream™ became available to retailers in the Northeast in January.

After less than two years on the market, the Truvia™ brand continues to set the trend in the sugar substitute category. As the number three sugar substitute, Truvia™ natural sweetener has achieved a 9.5 percent share of U.S. retail sales of the sugar substitutes category, surpassing Merisant’s Equal® (aspartame) for a year (Source: ACNielsen Food/Drug/Mass+Wal-Mart, 4 weeks ending 12/25/10)

About Truvia™ natural sweetener tabletop and ingredient

The Truvia™ brand business represents both the tabletop products – Truvia™ natural sweetener and the ingredient – Truvia™ rebiana.  Truvia™ natural sweetener is a great tasting, natural, zero-calorie tabletop sweetener made with rebiana, derived from the best tasting part of the stevia leaf. Truvia™ rebiana is an ingredient used to sweeten foods and beverages. For more information, visit truvia.com.

The Truvia™ brand brings with it Cargill food safety, quality assurance and global agronomy expertise. Cargill is the company in the sweetener market managing from field to the consumer table, and is responsible for opening the category of zero-calorie natural sweetness in 2008.

About Cargill

Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 131,000 people in 66 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit cargill.com.

About Iskream™ Inc.

Do you remember when ice cream was just fun and delicious without the worries of high fat, processed sugars and artificial sugars?  Iskream™ gives you all the fun you remember without the guilt – a low fat ice cream with Truvia™ rebiana, a natural, zero-calorie sweetener made from the best tasting part of the stevia plant which has been used for centuries to make life sweeter in a healthier way. For more information visit iskream.com.

How Much Do Fruits and Vegetables Really Cost?HOCKESSIN, Del.  (Food-News.net)  A new study just released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service shows just how affordable fruits and vegetables really are. Getting the recommended amount costs only $2 – $2.50 per day. Researchers also found no significant difference between the average prices of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables.

The study used Nielsen Homescan data from 2008 to estimate the average retail price per pound and per cup of 153 commonly consumed fresh and processed fruits and vegetables. They found that average prices ranged from under 20 cents per cup to over $2 per cup depending on the specific fruit or veggie.

“We all know how important fruits and vegetables are to a healthy diet, yet most Americans don’t eat enough of them,” said Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D., R.D., president and CEO of Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), the nonprofit organization, in partnership with CDC, behind the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® national public health initiative. “Eating fruits and vegetables is a sound investment in long-term health. The notion that they are too expensive is just an excuse for some people. Fruits and vegetables are literally the cheapest form of health insurance you can buy!”

The new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise us to fill half our plates with fruits and vegetables at each meal and snack. This new USDA research shows that this can be done easily and affordably while incorporating all forms of fruits and vegetables into the diet. Among the 153 varieties of fruits and vegetables used in the USDA study were fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and 100 percent juice. All of these nutritious, delicious forms of produce count towards filling half your plate each day.

These findings are consistent with a Produce Marketing Association (PMA) study done last year. PMA’s study concentrated only on fresh fruits and vegetables but found the same level of easy affordability with the lowest average price for nine servings of fresh fruits and vegetable per day in the East region at $2.08, while the South was the highest at $2.30 for nine servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day.

Furthermore, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditures Survey, the average two person household spends $6,308 on food. Filling half the plate with fruits and vegetables for this two person household would only cost 29 percent of their food budget. That means you can fill half your plate (and your grocery cart) for only about a quarter of your food budget.

Pivonka says that Fruits & Veggies—More Matters has a wide array of tips for eating healthy on a budget and advice for eating more fruits and vegetables while limiting sodium, added sugars, and solid fats, just the goals recommended by the new dietary guidelines. On their website, www.FruitsAndVeggiesMoreMatters.org, you’ll find a page detailing some key highlights from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and suggestions on filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables. There is also a database of over 1,000 recipes, many of which can be made in 30 minutes or less, and a Video Center that features videos about fruit and vegetables selection, storage, and preparation.

Learn more about Fruits & Veggies—More Matters and the America’s More Matters Pledge at www.FruitsAndVeggiesMoreMatters.org. For more information on the USDA’s Economic Research Service’s study, How Much Do Fruits and Vegetables Cost, visit www.ers.usda.gov/publications/eib71. For more information on PMA’s study, The Cost of the Recommended Daily Servings of Fresh Produce, visit www.pma.com/system/files/fresh_produce_year_round_bargain_2_3_2011.pdf. For more information on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditures Survey, visit http://stats.bls.gov/cex/2009/Standard/cusize.pdf.

About Produce for Better Health Foundation

Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) fruit and vegetable education foundation.  Since 1991, PBH works to motivate people to eat more fruits and vegetables to improve public health.  PBH achieves success through industry and government collaboration, first with the 5 A Day program and now with the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters public health initiative.  Fruits & Veggies—More Matters is the nation’s largest public-private, fruit and vegetable nutrition education initiative with Fruit and Vegetable Nutrition Coordinators in each state, territory and the military. To learn more, visit www.PBHFoundation.org and www.FruitsandVeggiesMoreMatters.org. Follow Fruits & Veggies—More Matters on Facebook or Twitter.

PBH is also a member and co-chair with Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) of the National Fruit & Vegetable Alliance (NFVA), consisting of government agencies, non-profit organizations, and industry working to collaboratively and synergistically achieve increased nationwide access and demand for all forms of fruits and vegetables for improved public health.  To learn more, visit www.NFVA.org.