Archive for July, 2011

Results from a recent study eliminates the common misconception that vegetarian diets are deficient in important nutrients that most people get from animal foods, according to an article in the July issue of Food Nutrition & Science.

The study conducted by Eastern Michigan University and published in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association, shows that vegetarian diets are nutrient dense, consistent with dietary guidelines, and high in fiber, protein, vitamin B12, calcium, zinc, and iron – nutrients that most people get from animal foods.

Researchers looked at a cross-sectional analysis of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999-2004) dietary and anthropometric data focusing on participants aged 19 and older. All vegetarians were compared to all non-vegetarians. Researchers found that mean intakes of fiber, vitamins A, C and E, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, calcium, magnesium, and iron were all higher for vegetarians than for all non-vegetarians.

“I think this is fascinating,” says Phil Lempert, founder of Food Nutrition & Science and CEO of The Lempert Report and SupermarketGuru.com. “These results combined with the plant-based diet guidelines provide food retailers with an opportunity to help their customers better understand how to shop and eat a healthy lifestyle. With only six percent of the population meeting the daily goal for vegetables even those who don’t want to be a vegetarian could use this model to improve their health.”

Also in the July edition of Food Nutrition & Science, how supermarkets are reducing emissions. According to reports, supermarkets with typical refrigeration systems leak, on average, 25 percent of their refrigerant every year. Pound for pound, the effect of these leaks is up to 3,900 times worse than that of carbon dioxide on the environment. When calculated for their effect on climate change, an average supermarket’s refrigerant leaks have a higher impact on our planet than all the electricity used by an average store in one year. The article details how retailers are working with GreenChill, an Environmental Protection Agency program that helps food retailer’s transition to environmentally friendlier refrigerants, reduce the amount of refrigerant used, eliminate leaks, and adopt green refrigeration technologies, strategies and practices.

In addition, this month’s Food Nutrition & Science shows how Albertson’s, LLC, which has stores in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas, is removing self-checkouts in their stores to improve customer service.

“All retailers can learn how to make improvements to their stores by just talking and listening to the needs of their customers,” says Lempert.  “I applaud any effort for interaction.”

Other articles include news about a news Birds Eye campaign to help make vegetables accessible and enjoyable to everyone and an interview with Jason Rodgers, a South Carolina peach farmer.

Food Nutrition & Science is a free monthly newsletter with articles relating to retailers, manufacturers, farmers, nutritionists, educators, government agencies and more. It’s also a newsletter that services members of the National Grocer Association and offers breaking food news and articles on food safety and industry-wide green initiatives.  Food Nutrition & Science is committed to covering topics and trends that interest anyone with a stake in the food industry including supermarket retailers, food manufacturers and consumers.  Each issue contains an interview with a farmer.

For more information or to subscribe to Food Nutrition & Science, please visit www.FoodNutritionScience.com.

About Food Nutrition & Science

With more than 26,000 readers, Food Nutrition & Science from The Lempert Report is the only monthly newsletter that provides readers analysis and offers discussions on all issues relating to the food industry. Founded by food industry analyst and CEO of The Lempert Report and SupermarketGuru.com Phil Lempert, Food Nutrition & Science was created so that all industry players could communicate about the safest, most efficient and healthiest way to get food to our plates. For more information or to subscribe to Food Nutrition & Science, please visit www.FoodNutritionScience.com.



Medifast Makes Weight Loss Portable, Expands Medifast to go! Product Line With Two New Meal ReplacementsMedifast, Inc., a leading portion-controlled weight-loss program, today announced the launch of two new meal replacements to its Medifast to go!™ product line. Cheese Pizza Bites and BBQ Bites are crunchy, savory treats that are also complete, fully fortified Medifast meals. New products are available for purchase at http://www.choosemedifast.com/, through a Take Shape For Life Health Coach or at a Medifast Weight Control Center.

New Cheese Pizza and BBQ MediBites are naturally flavored and add to the convenience of Medifast’s current on-the-go meal replacement options, including Medifast Crunch Bars and Medifast Ready-to-Drink Shakes. The Medifast to go!™ line is designed to make weight loss more portable and convenient without sacrificing quality or taste.

“MediBites were developed in response to requests from our customers for more crunchy Medifast Meals in savory flavors,” said Lisa M. Davis, Ph.D., PA-C, C.N.S., L.D.N., Vice President of Scientific and Clinical Affairs, Medifast, Inc. “Because they’re portable and ready to eat right out of the bag, the foods in our Medifast to go!™ line make it easier for clients to stay on plan, even when they’re busy. New products like these reflect our dedication to our clients, and our ability to give them what they need and want for successful long-term weight loss.”

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

About Medifast:

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

Exclusive Meat Purveyor, 35 Degrees Premium Aged Steaks, Now Delivering Overnight to Your Door35 Degrees Premium Aged Steaks is the LUXE online meat purveyor, and delivers fresh, never frozen, premium quality meats to your doorstep overnight.

For the first time, home chefs, foodies and trendsetters alike are provided access to the same premium quality that had been reserved for America’s top restaurants and Prime steakhouses.

35 Degrees Products: We Are Meat Specialists

Specializing in Prime and Certified Angus Beef® grades, as well as Kurobuta and Salmon Creek Natural Pork, and Colorado Lamb. Taste panel comparisons consistently confirm that our exceptional quality is simply not available at retail supermarkets and local butcher shops.

At 35 Degrees Premium Aged Steaks we have aligned ourselves with the highest quality producers of natural beef, veal, lamb and pork. At 35 Degrees we pay particular attention to animal genetics, type of feed, proper aging, correct cut and trim, packaging integrity, and overall appearance.

35 Degrees Experience:

Rick Nicholas, Technical Director & Partner, founded Newport Meat Company in 1975, and grew the company to being regarded as Southern California’s premier wholesale meat purveyor. The business was sold to SYSCO in 1999.

Adam Nicholas, Managing Partner, grew up in the meat business, and was passionate about uncovering new business opportunities for the company. The family business was the topic of the table each night at home for dinner, where gracious home entertaining was a hallmark. After dinner, friends always raved about the meal and asked where they could buy such outstanding meat. Rick and Adam would then explain that properly aged beef, and premium quality meats, were simply unavailable at the retail level.

This discussion served as the foundation for Rick and Adams’ collaboration in creating “35 Degrees Premium Aged Steaks” and with the advent of state-of-the-art packaging and modern transportation and shipping methods has finally allowed the this company and its high standards to provide, for the first time, the home consumer with access to premium quality meat products.

The 35 Degrees Brand Promise: “All Beef, No Bull”

35 Degrees’ mission is to deliver custom-cut Prime Steakhouse quality direct to your kitchen, or as a gracious gift to your friends and associates. 35 Degrees understands how to control the complex variables that affect meat quality.

You will see, and definitely taste, the 35 Degrees difference.

The lazy days of summer can often result in a too-casual, graze-all-day approach to eating. Connie Evers, a registered dietitian, founder of NutritionForKids.com and author of “How to Teach Nutrition to Kids,” has developed some simple tips for parents to help break bad on-the-go eating cycles as well as ideas for smart snacking options this summer.

1 — Make half your grains whole. Whole grains make a valuable addition to meals and snacks throughout the day. In fact, the USDA recommends making half the grains you consume whole grains, which haven’t been refined and therefore still contain dietary fiber, iron and B vitamins. That recommendation is important to note, as a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that whole grain consumption was low across the board and that children who consumed the most servings of whole grains had higher nutrient intake and better diets overall.(1)

In recognition of the benefits that whole grains offer, Ore-Ida® Bagel Bites® brand recently incorporated whole grains into its popular line of mini-bagel pizza snacks. To help families make the most of snack time, the Bagel Bites brand also launched a pledge to “Snack Simply” this summer that asserts the importance of simple, wholesome ingredients and offers valuable snack-time tips. For each parent who takes the pledge at http://www.snacksimplypledge.com, the Bagel Bites brand will donate $1 (up to $50,000) to Boys & Girls Clubs of America to help promote wholesome nutrition in youth programs and will also offer a $1 coupon off Bagel Bites snacks.

2 — Prepare for on-the-go snacking.  Hungry kids and traffic jams don’t mix! Make sure to keep fresh or dried fruit, water bottles, and trail mix stashed in your car for those times that you can’t get home right away and need a snack to hold you over.

3 — Keep snacking simple. Parents don’t need to spend more than 10 minutes preparing a good-for-you, wholesome snack that kids will love. If the snack takes more than 10 minutes to prepare, it’s likely too complicated and chances are your kids won’t like it! When choosing nutritious snacks for kids, those that have fewer, simple ingredients are always the better choices. Bagel Bites snacks are simple to make and ready to go in less than 10 minutes.

4 — Adopt the “Easy to See, Easy to Reach” approach. When a child walks into the kitchen, what catches his or her eye? Make sure to keep a bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter. Stock the pantry, fridge and freezer with plenty of tempting wholesome choices strategically placed at eye-level for your child.

You can find more of Connie’s tips and information about the Bagel Bites campaign at http://www.snacksimplypledge.com. More information is also available at www.bagelbites.com.

(1)  O’Neil CE, Nicklas TA, ZanovecM,Cho SS, Kleinman R., Consumption of whole grains is associated with improved diet quality and nutrient intake in children and adolescents: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2004. Public Health Nutr. 2011 Feb;14(2):347-55. Epub 2010 Oct 6.

Butterball, LLC Donates 145,000 Pounds of Turkey, Over $25,000 Dollars and Needed Supplies for Storm ReliefSince the onset of the spring storms, Butterball, LLC, the nation’s largest turkey producer, has contributed a total of 145,000 pounds of turkey products to food banks in the severely affected areas of eastern North Carolina, western Alabama and southwestern Missouri, as well as supplies for relief efforts.  Additionally, the company established a Butterball Disaster Relief Fund to provide for the immediate needs of its affected employees.

“On behalf of Butterball, our thoughts and sympathies go out to all of those impacted by the storms. We know the damage is extensive, just within our company 92 associates and their families were severely affected. We are hopeful that our efforts are helping to eliminate at least one of the uncertainties these families are facing by providing wholesome meals,” said Walter Pelletier, president of Butterball, LLC co-owner Maxwell Farms, LLC and member of Butterball’s board.

The Butterball Disaster Relief Fund was started to help its impacted associates in all three of the affected states pay for damages and certain essentials not covered by insurance. Butterball has committed to match contributions to the fund dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000 total. As of today, the fund has been able to raise and distribute over $25,000 through the support of its customers and friends.

“We greatly appreciate Butterball’s generous contribution,” said Scott Boggs, warehouse facility supervisor of Ozarks Food Harvest in Springfield, Mo., which received more than 39,000 pounds of donated Butterball turkey this week. “The company’s donations and overall relief efforts will help us provide food and supplies to hundreds of severely impacted community members,” he continued.

In addition to food and monetary contributions, Butterball associates have also helped the various communities by volunteering, providing nearly 4,000 meals and assisting in the rescue efforts. Clothing, bedding and personal hygiene items were collected, and Butterball facilities have provided water, over 200,000 pounds of ice, special gloves that protect against sharp objects, product and cooking equipment to assist relief groups. All of the Butterball facilities have worked with the Red Cross to determine immediate needs.

Butterball is also partnering with Joplin Public Schools in their Adopt-A-Classroom program, whereby they will “adopt” a classroom to replenish materials and supplies that were destroyed in the May tornadoes.

Butterball, LLC is the largest producer of turkey products in the United States.  Headquartered in Garner, N.C., Butterball produces more than 1 billion pounds of turkey each year, and the company supplies its products to more than 30 countries. Perhaps best known for its succulent whole bird products, the company also has a broad array of offerings for deli, retail and foodservice.

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

Barbara's New Peanut Butter + Chocolate Cereal and Snacks = Doubly Delicious!Barbara’s introduces the classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate to three new, all-natural products:  Peanut Butter & Chocolate Puffins cereal, Double Chocolate Snackimals and Peanut Butter Snackimals cookies.  All three products hit store shelves nationwide this month.

“Peanut butter and chocolate are classic flavors that make a great combination,” said Kent Spalding, Barbara’s Vice President of Marketing.  “Today’s consumers, especially moms, are looking for all-natural products without the ‘bad stuff’ like high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, preservatives and hydrogenated oils.  With the new additions to our popular Puffins and Snackimals lines, we’re excited to offer families more delicious options that are free of unhealthy ingredients.”

Each bowl of Peanut Butter & Chocolate Puffins cereal provides three grams of fiber and 20 percent of the daily recommend calcium intake, with only one gram of fat and six grams of sugar per serving.  Barbara’s signature cereal line, Puffins, includes five other natural, wheat-free varieties:  Original, Cinnamon, Peanut Butter, Gluten Free Multigrain and Gluten Free Honey Rice.

Additionally, the new Double Chocolate Snackimals and Peanut Butter Snackimals cookies are a guilt-free treat for snacking at home, school or work.  The Double Chocolate flavor is packed with natural cocoa and real chocolate chips, while the Peanut Butter variety is brimming with natural peanut butter goodness and pure peanut butter chips.

In keeping with Barbara’s commitment to providing great-tasting, natural products, the new products are free of:

  • Hydrogenated Oils
  • Artificial Flavors
  • Artificial Preservatives
  • Refined Sugar
  • Trans Fats
  • Artificial Additives
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Puffins cereal is available in a 10.5 oz. package, while both of the new Snackimals flavors are available in a 7.5 oz. re-sealable pouch or convenient grab-and-go 2.125 oz. bags. For more information on any of Barbara’s all-natural products, please visit www.BarbarasBakery.com.

New Goldfish Sandwich Bread from Pepperidge Farm Makes a Splash with KidsMany parents consider Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers a wholesome, fun and delicious snack-time staple. And now, Pepperidge Farm is pleased to announce the national launch of new Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Sandwich bread. The bread’s “friendly face,” familiar shape and wholesome credentials make it an ideal lunchtime solution.

With 120 calories per serving, the crust-free Goldfish Sandwich bread is sure to please even the pickiest sandwich seekers. The Soft White, Soft 100% Whole Wheat and Soft Honey Whole Wheat varieties taste great and contain no high fructose corn syrup. Parents will feel good that this wholesome bread boasts 3 grams of fiber per serving, plus essential vitamins and minerals. Ideal for families seeking a nutritious lunchtime punch, the Soft 100% Whole Wheat and Soft Honey Whole Wheat varieties are made with 18 grams of whole grain, while the Soft White variety is a good source of calcium.

“We are excited to offer kids and the young at heart a fun and healthful new way to enjoy their favorite sandwiches,” said Maureen Linder, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Fresh and Frozen Bakery at Pepperidge Farm. “When you see our Goldfish Sandwich bread, you can’t help but smile. It’s also part of Pepperidge Farm’s ongoing commitment to health and wellness, which we already demonstrate in both our bakery and cracker categories.”

In celebration of the launch of this “smiling” sandwich bread, Pepperidge Farm commissioned “The Shape of Sandwiches” national survey, and found that lunch-making can often be challenging for parents. Whether creating sandwiches for summer afternoons on-the-go or the first day of school, 9 out of 10 moms agree it is easier to get a young child to eat when food is made “fun” by creating shapes and faces. The survey also revealed:

  • Many moms receive special lunch requests from their children including “cut sandwich in half” (61%), “cut sandwich into triangles” (50%), “cut sandwich into squares” (39%), and “make a ‘food face’” (23%).
  • Furthermore, 71% of lunch-making moms reported they have “surprised them with a favorite food item,” while 63% have “cut the crust off of a sandwich” and 43% have “cut a sandwich into a fun shape” for their children.

New Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Sandwich bread is available in major supermarkets, grocery stores and mass merchandisers for a suggested retail price between $3.29 and $3.49. Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Sandwich bread Soft White and Soft 100% Whole Wheat are available in New England. Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Sandwich bread Soft White and Soft Honey Whole Wheat are available in all other US regions where Pepperidge Farm fresh bakery items are sold. For more information, visit www.PepperidgeFarm.com. Pepperidge Farm encourages families to share their experiences with Goldfish Sandwich bread by uploading photographs to the Pepperidge Farm Facebook page where lunch ideas and sandwich tips can be shared.

About Pepperidge Farm

Pepperidge Farm, Incorporated, based in Norwalk, Connecticut, is a leading provider of premium quality fresh bakery products, cookies, crackers, and frozen foods. The company was named the #1 Place to Work in Connecticut in the large companies category of the Best Places to Work in Connecticut competition for 2009. Among the company’s most popular products are Sausalito and Milano cookies, Goldfish crackers, Baked Naturals crackers, frozen Puff Pastry, frozen garlic loaves and Texas toasts, and more than 50 varieties of fresh baked breads including Pepperidge Farm Swirl, Farmhouse and Whole Grain. The company recently added Ecce Panis gourmet artisan breads to its portfolio. Pepperidge Farm was founded in Connecticut in 1937 by Margaret Rudkin, an entrepreneurial homemaker who began baking fresh, all-natural bread for her allergy-afflicted son. The company is now a nationwide business with 9 manufacturing facilities and almost 5,000 employees. Pepperidge Farm has been part of Campbell Soup Company since 1961.

Field Roast Frankfurter Brings New Life to the Vegetarian Hot Dog CategoryJust in time for barbecue and baseball season, Seattle-based Field Roast Grain Meat Company elevates the vegetarian hot dog category with the launch of its new Frankfurter. Crafted from grains, fresh garlic, traditional seasonings and a combination of vegetable oils, it stands out as the only “veggie dog” that both dedicated carnivores and vegetarians alike will enjoy. The Frankfurter is currently available in select natural foods markets and will roll-out nationally throughout summer 2011.

“We want to reinvigorate the stale and much maligned vegetarian hot dog category by creating a real frankfurter rooted in tradition that is moist and flavorful — there’s really nothing else like it,” says chef David Lee, Field Roast President. “The Frankfurter puts an all-American twist on Field Roast’s old-word heritage that blends European and Asian culinary traditions.”

As with Field Roast’s other offerings, the Frankfurter is created in small batches with fresh, natural ingredients. Field Roast’s Frankfurter is neither processed nor made with dehydrated or previously frozen ingredients, and does not include soy — unlike other vegetarian hot dogs on the market.

The Field Roast Frankfurter recently landed on menus at Seattle’s Major League Baseball stadium Safeco Field. “We are proud that our Frankfurter has passed the test at a Major League Baseball park,” says Lee. “The Seattle Mariners are very discriminating when it comes to food; they know their hot dogs!”

The original maker of vegetarian grain meats, Field Roast uses traditional food making practices to combine grains, fresh-cut vegetables, legumes, seasonings and oils into a high-quality, artisanal vegetarian meat. “By using basic ingredients and traditional practices that are time honored and simple, we make our veggie meats for all people who enjoy good food — vegetarians and carnivores alike,” Lee says.

With a suggested retail price of $5.49 for a package of six, the Frankfurter joins the company’s existing line of vegetarian meats, which includes a variety of sausages that are available nationwide.

About Field Roast Grain Meat Company

Founded in 1997, Field Roast Grain Meat Company creates high-quality vegetarian meats that are based on European and Asian culinary traditions, and are made with the simple tenets of good cooking and traditional food making practices. Its ever-expanding array of products currently includes roasts, sausages, deli slices, loaves, and now an American-style Frankfurter. Field Roast can be found in over 1,000 retail stores and upwards of 500 restaurant menus nationwide. For more information, visit www.fieldroast.com.

Van's Natural Foods Launches Artisan Muffin Crowns and Fun-to-Eat Waffle SticksAccording to a recent consumer survey*, two-thirds of Americans eat breakfast regularly, and many of them eat it on the run.

Van’s Natural Foods, the market leader in delicious, better-for-you frozen breakfasts and snacks, announces two new, convenient foods to help Americans meet those breakfast needs: Muffin Crowns and Waffle Sticks. Both items reflect Van’s complete commitment to nutrition with wholesome, minimally processed ingredients. Van’s Muffin Crowns are individually packed for grab and go ease.

In addition to ease and great taste, Van’s Muffin Crowns and Vanilla Waffle Sticks offer whole grain goodness – Van’s survey also found that Americans have a growing desire for more whole grains, with nearly half of those surveyed saying they eat them for breakfast.

“Our research revealed strong consumer preferences for convenient, whole grain breakfasts,” said Eric Kufel, Van’s CEO. “At Van’s, we offer many foods with whole grains, and we have a passion for promoting healthy choices that fit busy lifestyles. Our new Muffin Crowns and Waffle Sticks are delicious, no-fuss, healthy options for breakfast, and our Muffin Crowns are an easy, tasty way to eat more whole grains.”

Van’s Muffin Crowns (MSRP $5.49) offer six grams of fiber, three grams of protein and two delicious flavors, Triple Chocolate and Wild Blueberry – all for 120 calories or less per serving. Each muffin comes individually wrapped and requires no toasting, making them an ideal choice for those on the go. Van’s Triple Chocolate Muffin Crowns are made with seven grams of whole grain and prepared with rich chocolate. Van’s Wild Blueberry Muffin Crowns are made with eight grams of whole grains, along with real blueberries, whole grain oats and applesauce and seasoned with allspice, ginger and nutmeg.

Van’s Waffle Sticks (MSRP $3.29) offer a healthier alternative to highly processed, sugary convenience breakfast items such as donuts and pastries. With 80 calories or less and four grams of sugar per serving, Van’s Waffle Sticks are also an excellent source of calcium and are free of artificial flavors and colors. Van’s Muffin Crowns and Waffle Sticks are available in stores now.

“As a busy mom, I’m constantly looking for tasty, nutritious and convenient foods that I can feel good about serving my family,” said Robin Plotkin, R.D. and L.D. “As a registered dietitian, I can recommend Van’s Muffin Crowns and Waffle Sticks as a healthy breakfast for anyone.”

*In the survey, conducted by online consumer research firm Zoomerang, Van’s questioned 1,000 randomly selected, representative American adults on their approaches to breakfast and found several key trends:

  • Two-thirds of American adults eat breakfast regularly
  • One-third of Americans regularly eat breakfast on the run or at their desks
  • Nearly 50 percent of Americans choose whole grains for breakfast
  • Southerners reported eating breakfast most often, and Northeasterners were the most likely to report a desire for a whole-grain breakfast.
  • Women were more likely than men to seek out whole-grain breakfast options.
  • Nearly half of respondents regularly included eggs or egg whites in their breakfasts – and nearly a third of respondents reported eating a type of breakfast sandwich.
  • Eleven percent reported regularly eating leftovers for breakfast, such as reheated Chinese food or pizza.

Van’s expects full distribution of its Muffin Crowns and Waffle Sticks by the end of 2011.

Crunchmaster Announces Nationwide Launch of 7 Ancient Grains CrackersCrunchmaster, the fastest growing brand of certified gluten free crackers in the U.S., has announced its new 7 Ancient Grains product line is now available in supermarkets nationwide. The crackers are available in two flavors – Hint of Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper & Herb – and will be showcased at the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) Fancy Food Show July 10-12 in Washington, DC.

Crunchmaster 7 Ancient Grains crackers are made with 100% whole grains including brown rice, sorghum, quinoa, sesame, millet, flax and amaranth. The crackers are also oven-baked and contain low sodium, making them an ideal snack option for consumers who need to avoid gluten or simply want a nutritious alternative to traditional processed wheat crackers.

“It’s always exciting to launch a new product line and we think consumers are going to enjoy our 7 Ancient Grains crackers,” said Jim Garsow, Director of Marketing for the Crunchmaster brand. “We’ve incorporated several grains into these crackers that have been staples in the Mediterranean region for centuries, making them a healthy snack option that more and more consumers are looking to find on their supermarket shelves.”

The 7 Ancient Grains crackers join a growing family of nutritious Crunchmaster brand products, including the recently honored Sea Salt Multi-Grain crackers, which were named by FITNESS Magazine as a Best Savory Snack in its 5th Annual Healthy Food Awards. More than 1,000 healthy snacks were submitted to the magazine for consideration and then narrowed down by nutritionists to a select number of products that met specific nutritional criteria. The remaining products were then sampled and voted on by FITNESS staffers, who selected the winning products that were announced in the July/August 2011 issue of the magazine.

“We’re thrilled our Sea Salt Multi-Grain crackers have received this kind of recognition and are being touted as a healthy and savory food by FITNESS magazine,” said Garsow. “The response to the Sea Salt flavor has exceeded our expectations and led to the recent expansion of our Multi-Grain line to include White Cheddar and Roasted Vegetable flavors, both of which are now available at grocery and specialty food stores nationwide.”

All Crunchmaster products are manufactured in the U.S. by TH Foods. Visitors to the NASFT Fancy Food Show can sample the newest Crunchmaster products at booth #1802.

About Crunchmaster and TH Foods, Inc.

Crunchmaster is a registered trademark of TH Foods, Inc. Headquartered in Loves Park, Ill., TH Foods, Inc. is a leading manufacturer in the natural snack food industry. Formerly known as Sesmark Foods, the company was founded in 1984, and joined with Mitsubishi International Corporation and Kameda Seika (the leading producer of rice crackers in Japan) as a joint venture. TH Foods strives to bring innovative, authentic “Better for You” balanced nutrition, rice-based crackers and snacks to North America.

Pistachios Help Regulate Blood Sugar Levels in People With Type 2 DiabetesA study published June 29 in Diabetes Care suggests that nuts, such as pistachios, are a healthy food choice for people with type 2 diabetes. Researchers from the University of Toronto and St. Michael’s Hospital found that people with type 2 diabetes, who ate about two ounces of tree nuts in place of carbohydrates, improved their long-term blood sugar control and lowered their cholesterol levels.

“There are two important factors in caring for diabetes: blood sugar control and heart health,” said Dr. Cyril WC Kendall, study co-investigator. “This study found that eating two ounces of nuts, such as pistachios, daily as a replacement for carbohydrates improved both blood sugar (glycemic control) and ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol) in people with type 2 diabetes. This is a very exciting and promising finding about the treatment of the disease.”

Here are a few tips to trade out carbohydrates for pistachios:

  • Curb the crackers. If your go-to afternoon treat consists of crackers, pretzels or chips, get your crunchy fix instead with pistachios. Not only will you get that satisfying crunch, but cracking open the shells will slow you down, naturally helping you eat less.
  • Swap out sweets. Instead of reaching for an after-meal and carb-loaded cookie or slice of cake, grab a handful of pistachios. As one of the lowest calorie nuts, pistachios are a delicious, nutrient-packed option.
  • Tote a tasty snack. Keep a bag of pistachios in your purse or work bag as a handy snack option. Experts agree you should steer clear of the vending machine or drive-through lines and instead enjoy heart-healthy pistachios. You can have 49 nuts per serving, more than any other tree nut.

About the Study

The study, conducted by the University of Toronto and led by Dr. Cyril CW Kendall, is titled “Nuts as a replacement for carbohydrates in the diabetic diet.” The three-month study involved 117 people with type 2 diabetes who were randomized to one of three treatments. Groups were given about two ounces of mixed nuts, a healthy muffin control or half portions of both at about 450 calories per 2000-calorie diet. The primary outcome was change in HbA1c, a marker of blood sugar control over the previous three months. Notably, this change occurred even though they were taking medication to control their blood sugar. The study was funded by the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation and the Peanut Institute.

This study shows yet another way that pistachios may help improve the diet of people with type 2 diabetes. A previous study conducted by Dr. Kendall also showed that pistachios, when eaten with carbohydrates, result in a lower than expected blood sugar level than when carbohydrates are consumed alone.

About the Western Pistachio Association

Western Pistachio Association is a non-profit voluntary trade association representing more than 400 American pistachio growers. WPA is governed by an 18-member board of directors and is funded entirely by growers and independent processors with the shared goal of increasing global awareness of nutritious, American-grown pistachios.

Launch of Planters Peanut Butter Looks Beyond the LunchboxIs there anything better than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?  Planters, America’s leading snack nut brand, thinks so and encourages adults to think outside the lunchbox with the launch of Planters Peanut Butter in Creamy and Crunchy varieties.  

Americans haven’t outgrown their peanut butter.  In fact, peanut butter consumption is on the rise growing at a rate of five to six percent per year.  And while most peanut butters are marketed to families with kids, surprisingly, adults comprise two-thirds of peanut butter consumption in the United States.(1)

“As the reigning nut experts for more than 100 years, peanut butter is a natural extension for Planters,” said Triona Schmelter, Senior Director of Enhancers, Kraft Foods.  “It’s no secret that our fans have been asking for peanut butter from their favorite peanut brand.  Those peanut butter lovers now have a delicious snack from Planters that can help fuel their active lifestyles.”

Whether as a snack or part of a meal, Planters Peanut Butter is a nutrient-dense energy source and plant-based protein, providing 10% or more of the daily value for 7 essential nutrients, including magnesium and antioxidant Vitamin E, when consumed in the recommended two tablespoon serving size.  

Marcus Samuelsson Serves Up Planters Peanut Butter Adult Style

The classic PB&J sandwich will remain an icon, yet Planters is urging adults to explore the versatility of peanut butter.  To do so, Planters Peanut Butter teamed up with famed Chef/Owner of Red Rooster Harlem, Marcus Samuelsson, to create exclusive recipes with a contemporary twist for snacking and entertaining.  Recipes include Planters Peanut Butter-Chocolate French Toast, Planters Peanut Butter Dipping Sauce with Grilled Chicken Skewers and Planters Peanut Butter Steak Sauce.

“Peanut butter has always been a favorite ingredient of mine to add great taste while helping to fuel my day,” said Samuelsson.  “I’m excited to be working with Planters to create unexpected and inspired ways to enjoy Planters Peanut Butter.”

Planters “Naturally Remarkable” World Welcomes “Peanut Butter Doug”

Along with Samuelsson’s exclusive recipes, Planters Peanut Butter unveils a new animated character.  “Peanut Butter Doug” — the dubious and adventurous stunt double of Mr. Peanut — makes his debut in a 45-second, stop-animation online video on the Mr. Peanut Facebook page today.  Identical to Mr. Peanut with the exception of a goatee and aviator sunglasses, “Peanut Butter Doug” is the nut sent in to take the “crushes” for Mr. Peanut and champion Planters Peanut Butter.

Planters Peanut Butter in Creamy and Crunchy is available in the peanut butter aisle nationwide with suggested retail prices of $2.69 for 16.3 oz and $4.29 for 28 oz. All Planters peanuts meet rigorous USDA quality standards and testing.  

(1) Peanut butter category share and growth calculations based upon Nielsen 3-Outlet Scan Data.

About Planters

Planters, America’s leading snack nut brand, has a long history of pioneering industry firsts. This inventiveness is delivered through a diverse portfolio of nutritious and delicious plant-based snacks such as peanuts, cashews, almonds and other nuts. Planters NUT-rition offers a distinctive line of nut mixes that focus on specific nutritional needs. Planters almonds and pistachios are roasted with real herbs and spices, delivering extraordinary flavor. Planters Trail Mix blends roasted nuts, delicious fruit and other wholesome ingredients to help fuel an active lifestyle.

About Kraft Foods

Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE: KFT) is a global snacks powerhouse with an unrivaled portfolio of brands people love. Proudly marketing delicious biscuits, confectionery, beverages, cheese, grocery products and convenient meals in approximately 170 countries, Kraft Foods had 2010 revenue of $49.2 billion, more than half of which was earned outside North America. Twelve of the company’s iconic brands — including Cadbury, Jacobs, Kraft, LU, Maxwell House, Milka, Nabisco, Oreo, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Trident and Tang — generate revenue of more than $1 billion annually, and 40 have been loved for more than a century. A leader in innovation, marketing, health & wellness and sustainability, Kraft Foods is a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor’s 500, Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Ethibel Sustainability Index.

Whether it’s hard-boiled, over-easy or poached; used for breakfast, lunch or dinner, baked goods or sauces…the egg is truly the MVP of the kitchen. Not surprisingly, penetration is extremely high and egg use remains steady at 94% of all US household, according to a recent Mintel report.

A whopping 92% of Mintel respondents agree that eggs are an important part of a healthy diet however there is a potential struggle for organic producers as more than half (57%) don’t think organic eggs are any healthier for you than regular ones. Furthermore, 30% of respondents eat fewer eggs than they would like due to concerns about cholesterol.

“Older egg buyers confront heart-health issues and therefore limit egg consumption because of the cholesterol,” notes Bill Patterson, senior analyst at Mintel. “The over-55 egg buyer is a prime target for low-cholesterol eggs and egg substitutes, and could be reminded that cholesterol levels in eggs have fallen.”

Eggs are such a staple in people’s lives, that regardless of price increases or decreases, half of those households that buy eggs say they will not change their egg purchasing habits.

“Eggs represent an economical source of protein for people’s diets,” adds Bill Patterson. “Since the recession began in 2008, consumers have been driven to opt for larger volumes of eggs as a substitute for more expensive proteins. In April 2009 to June 2010, the 30-day average of eggs used increased to its highest level in seven years…33 eggs per household.”

Regular white eggs are purchased by a large majority of consumers (88%), followed in the distance by brown eggs at 27%, organic eggs and free range eggs come in at 17% and 14%, respectively. Organic and free range eggs are most widely used by those aged 25-34. Whether because of higher awareness of and concern with diet and health for young children in the household, or due to a generational tendency to experiment with and embrace natural and sustainable foods, this age group should prove most responsive to marketers’ attention.

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.

Bear Naked, the natural food company for the everyday adventurer, today introduced two new cereals designed to provide energy to jumpstart the day and fuel an active lifestyle.  Bear Naked® Nut Cluster Crunch is a delicious blend of hearty flakes and energy-dense, crunchy clusters made with toasted nuts, whole grain oats and puffed wheat.  The cereal was specially crafted with nutrients to give busy, active people the natural energy they need to make the most of their morning.

“Bear Naked is committed to providing a variety of energy-dense, all-natural and flavorful options that provide an extra boost for going to work, climbing a mountain, or doing whatever activity you love most,” said Ryan Therriault, Associate Director, Brand Marketing and Innovation. “Our new cereals follow that tradition by combining high-quality ingredients you can recognize, with the bold crunchy texture of nut clusters – giving consumers the fuel they need to energize their day.”

The new Bear Naked Nut Cluster Crunch Cereal is available in Honey Almond and Maple Nut varieties:

  • Honey Almond is a tasty combination of hearty flakes and crunchy nut clusters made with oats, almonds and puffed wheat  
  • Maple Nut combines real maple syrup and flavor with hearty flakes and crunchy nut clusters made with walnuts and pecans

Each variety contains at least 18g of whole grains, 3g of fiber and 4g of protein per serving and, like all Bear Naked products, the Bear Naked Nut Cluster Crunch Cereals are 100% Pure and Natural and free of artificial flavors, trans fats, cholesterol, hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup.

Bear Naked Nut Cluster Crunch Cereals are now available exclusively at select Target stores nationwide for $3.99 SRP.   For more information, visit www.bearnaked.com.