Archive for September, 2012

Sartori's Extra-Aged Goat Cheese wins top honors at Global Cheese Awards

Sartori’s Extra-Aged Goat Cheese wins top honors at Global Cheese Awards

Plymouth, WI  (Food News)  Sartori Company is pleased to announce their Limited Edition Extra-Aged Goat Cheese has received a Gold Medal at this year’s Global Cheese Awards in Somerset, U.K.  This is the second year the competition has been opened to non-European countries.  Last year, Sartori’s SarVecchio® Parmesan was named “Best Parmesan.”

Since childhood, Sartori’s Cheesemaker Pam Hodgson was motivated to create an extraordinary goat cheese due to a connection she felt from her father’s purchasing of a pair of goats. As a natural lover of goat cheese, Hodgson saw a real opportunity to fill a void that goat cheesemakers were not exploring: an approachable, yet flavorful aged goat cheese.  Keeping in the Sartori tradition, Pam and her team spent many years experimenting with different ingredients and various innovative processes to perfect this award-winning cheese.

When asked about the process of crafting an extra aged goat milk cheese Pam explains, “It is critical to understand the development of the pleasing, complex flavors that are a truly unique characteristic of this cheese.  I am especially delighted in how we have been able to balance the flavors.  When working with goat milk, it can be rather tricky to make the cheese without one flavor or another taking over and negatively impacting taste.  As a result of the care and special processes, we enhanced the savory and caramel notes.  The extra care also allows this cheese to be more approachable to the tentative taster.  It’s creamy and smooth with slight earthy flavors, and not overwhelming in any aspect.”

The Frome Cheese Show / Global Cheese Awards is one of the oldest cheese shows in the U.K. and has been well known for over 150 years.  Last year, the competition expanded, enabling international entries to be associated, growing the entries by 60%.  “We are very fortunate to participate in such a successful cheese competition that values specialty cheeses and unique recipes that have been handed down for many generations.  Sartori is a fourth generation, family owned artisan cheese producer and that is how we will always be,” stated Sartori President, Jeff Schwager.

Other awards received this year were bronze medals both for Dolcina® Gorgonzola and SarVecchio Parmesan.

All of Sartori’s cheeses are available at finer cheese shops throughout the United States and online for purchase at www.sartoricheese.com.



20 Worst Foods In America Revealed

20 Worst Foods In America Revealed

New York, NY  (Food News)  Authors David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding have revealed their annual list of the “20 Worst Foods in America” in the new EAT THIS, NOT THAT! NEW! UPDATED 2013 EDITION (Rodale Books; ISBN: 978-160-961-824-7; Paperback, $19.99; 368 pages). The list includes the nation’s worst pizza, fish, appetizer, chicken and more at major restaurant and fast-food chains across the country. The popular EAT THIS, NOT THAT! book series, which currently has more than 8 million copies in print and 15 installments, identifies unhealthy foods – in fast-food chains, restaurant chains and grocery stores – and offers healthier alternatives.

“We can’t take all the credit, but since the EAT THIS, NOT THAT! series launched five years ago, many chain restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory, IHOP, and Applebee’s have rolled out low-calorie menus for health-conscious consumers,” said David Zinczenko, editor-in-chief of Men’s Health and author of the bestselling book series. “But despite the progress, America’s restaurants still have a long way to go and our annual list highlights the worst offenders.”

The list was compiled by evaluating the calorie counts, fat, sugar and sodium content, as well as portion sizes and other factors for menu items around the nation.

The Cheesecake Factory tops the list as the worst offender for the third consecutive year, this time with the French Toast Napoleon, a caloric bomb filled with indulgent ingredients like cream-drenched bread, piles of pecans, and a snowstorm of powdered sugar. The result: a breakfast with as many calories as three dozen eggs.

Top 5 Worst Foods in America 2013:

  1. Worst Food in America: The Cheesecake Factory French Toast Napoleon (2,530 calories)
  2. Worst Grilled Entree: Chili’s Shiner Bock BBQ Ribs (full rack) with Cinnamon Apples and Homestyle Fries (2,310 calories)
  3. Worst Pasta Dish: The Cheesecake Factory Fettuccini Alfredo with Chicken (2,300 calories)
  4. Worst Pizza: Uno Chicago Grill Chicago Classic Individual Pizza (2,300 calories)
  5. Worst Appetizer: Outback Steakhouse Bloomin’ Onion (1,949 calories)

To see the full list of 20 worst foods by category with nutrition information for each item, in addition to healthier options, pick up a copy of EAT THIS, NOT THAT! 2013 or visit: http://eatthis.menshealth.com/slideshow/worst-foods-america-2013.

Readers of EAT THIS, NOT THAT! 2013 will also discover:

  • The 20 Worst Kids’ Foods in America: A list of the worst kids meals at chain restaurants and at the supermarket, including the “worst breakfast cereal,” “worst PB&J”, “worst macaroni and cheese,” and more.
  • The Year in Food 2012: The high points and the low points of the past year in the food industry, including pink slime, “all natural” food frauds, Congress approving pizza as a vegetable, and Burger King’s massive brand reinvention, including new “premium” food offerings.
  • The Truth About Your Food: Unravel the mysterious ingredients list of popular fast-food choices like McDonald’s Big Mac, Dunkin’ Donuts’ Boston Kreme Donut and KFC’s Chunky Chicken Pot Pie.
  • America‘s Best Packaged Foods at the Supermarket: Strategies for ignoring the food manufacturers’ advertising tricks and buying more nutrition for less money at the supermarket.
  • Cook This, Not That!: Save hundreds of dollars and thousands of calories by simply preparing these quick and delicious meals at home.

For more information on this essential guidebook for navigating American fast food and restaurant chains, visit: http://eatthis.com.

EAT THIS, NOT THAT!

The popular “Eat This, Not That!” brand, which was created by Men’s Health Editor-in-Chief David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding, identifies unhealthy foods in fast-food chains, restaurant chains and grocery stores and offers healthier alternatives. It currently has more than 8 million books in print nationwide with 15 installments, a stand-alone website (www.eatthis.com) and multiple iPhone applications. Eat This, Not That! is a regularly-branded series on The Today Show, has been featured as an hour-long segment on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and has become one of the most popular blogs in Yahoo! history.

EAT THIS, NOT THAT! 2013
David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding
Pub date: September 18, 2012
ISBN: 978-160-961-824-7
Paperback/$19.99
368 pages

Zagat Announces 2012 Fast-Food Survey Results

Zagat Announces 2012 Fast-Food Survey Results

New York, NY  (Food News)  Zagat has announced the results of its annual Fast-Food Survey of 274 national restaurant chains. More than 10,500 diners voted on everything from Salads and Sandwiches to Pasta and Pizza. These avid consumers – who report eating at a chain restaurant 9.4 times a month – separately rated the chains on Food, Decor and Service on Zagat’s signature 30-point scale, and selected their favorites in a number of sub-categories.

The survey divided restaurants into four categories: Mega Chains (more than 5,000 U.S. locations), Large Chains (up to 5,000 U.S. locations) and Quick-Refreshment (beverages, ice cream, etc.). The survey also covered 117 Full-Service chains – those with table service. Below are this year’s Most Popular and top-rated chains:

MOST POPULAR

Mega Chains
1. Subway
2. Wendy’s
3. McDonald’s
4. Taco Bell
5. Burger King

Large Chains
1. In-N-Out Burger
2. Panera Bread
3. Chipotle
4. Five Guys
5. Chick-fil-A

Quick-Refreshment
1. Starbucks
2. Dunkin’ Donuts
3. Ben & Jerry’s
4. Peet’s Coffee/Tea
5. Auntie Anne’s Pretzels

TOP FOOD

Mega Chains
1. Wendy’s
2. Subway
3. Pizza Hut
4. Taco Bell
5. Burger King

Large Chains
1. In-N-Out Burger
2. Papa Murphy’s
3. Chipotle
4. Panera Bread
5. Bojangles’

Quick-Refreshment
1. Rita’s Italian Ice
2. Ben & Jerry’s
3. Haagen-Dazs
4. Peet’s Coffee/Tea
5. Culver’s

TOP DECOR

Mega Chains
1. Wendy’s
2. McDonald’s
3. Pizza Hut
4. Taco Bell
5. Subway

Large Chains
1. Fazoli’s
2. Panera Bread
3. On The Border Mex. Grill
4. Corner Bakery Cafe
5. Buffalo Wild Wings

Quick-Refreshment
1. Caribou Coffee
2. Peet’s Coffee/Tea
3. Starbucks
4. Culver’s
5. Tim Hortons

TOP SERVICE

Mega Chains
1. Subway
2. Wendy’s
3. Taco Bell
4. Pizza Hut
5. McDonald’s

Large Chains
1. In-N-Out Burger
2. Papa Murphy’s
3. Jimmy John’s
4. Fazoli’s
5. Panera Bread

Quick-Refreshment
1. Caribou Coffee
2. Rita’s Italian Ice
3. Culver’s
4. Peet’s Coffee/Tea
5. Tim Hortons

TOP OVERALL

Mega Chains
1. Wendy’s
2. Subway
3. Pizza Hut
4. Taco Bell
5. McDonald’s

Large Chains
1. In-N-Out Burger
2. Fazoli’s
3. Panera Bread
4. Papa Murphy’s
5. Chipotle

Quick-Refreshment
1. Caribou Coffee
2. Rita’s Italian Ice
3. Peet’s Coffee/Tea
4. Culver’s
5. Tim Hortons

In the Full-Service category, Cheesecake Factory wins for Most Popular while neighborhood restaurant Cheddar’s sweeps Top Food, Top Decor and Top Overall. When it comes to Top Service, O’Charley’s rises to the top.

Zagat surveyors also shared their opinions on the best fast-food items in a variety of categories:

Burger: Five Guys
Fried Chicken: KFC
Grilled Chicken: Chick-fil-A
Fish: Long John Silver’s
French Fries: McDonald’s
Coffee: Starbucks Coffee
Milkshakes: Steak ‘n Shake
Ice Cream/Custard: Rita’s Italian Ice
Breakfast Sandwiches: McDonald’s
Salads: Wendy’s
Value Menu: McDonald’s
Overall Value: McDonald’s
Child-Friendly: McDonald’s
Wings: Buffalo Wild Wings
Healthy Options: Panera Bread

For more information, visit the Zagat blog: http://blog.zagat.com/2012/09/2012-fast-food-survey-results-are-live.html

About Zagat

Known as the “burgundy bible,” Zagat is the world’s most trusted source for consumer-generated survey information. With a worldwide network of surveyors, Zagat rates and reviews restaurants, hotels, nightlife, movies, music, golf, shopping and a range of other entertainment categories and is lauded as the “most up-to-date,” “comprehensive” and “reliable” guide. Zagat content is integrated throughout Google, including Maps, Search Google+ and mobile. Guidebooks are also available at all major retailers. In September 2011, Zagat was acquired by Google Inc.

About Google Inc.

Google is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information. Google’s innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top Internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world.

Google is a trademark of Google Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

Quick Meals That Pack Great Flavor

Lawry's Seasoned Salt Brings the Flavor Back to Dinnertime

Lawry’s Seasoned Salt Brings the Flavor Back to Dinnertime

Sparks, MD  (Food News)  Between carpool, soccer practice and music lessons, the school year leaves little time for parents to make memorable family meals. In fact, it’s often difficult to wrangle everyone together — let alone get them excited about dinner.

The secret to rebooting family dinnertime? Make meals so fun and flavorful, they won’t want to leave the table.

“In the crunch time of back-to-school season, it’s the perfect opportunity to revisit your family’s favorite flavors; the vibrant classics that everyone at the table can agree on,” says MaryBeth Harrington from McCormick Kitchens. “Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, a blend of seven herbs and spices, has long been a reliable delicious companion to chicken dinners, adding that unmistakable zing your family craves.”

For busy school nights, MaryBeth recommends one-dish wonders like the Southwest Skillet Chicken and Rice. This vibrant meal takes less than thirty minutes to prepare and packs a bold, memorable flavor. Cook juicy chicken breasts, fresh veggies, and fluffy rice in a single skillet to cut down on prep work, cook time and cleaning. Infuse the dish with the mouthwatering zing of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and add this great-tasting meal to your well-rounded repertoire.

For this recipe and more back to school ideas, visit www.lawrys.com.

About LAWRY’S

Whether preparing a quick weeknight dinner or grilling for an al fresco backyard bash, LAWRY’S® full line of marinades, seasoning mixes and spice blends helps create delicious meals the whole family will enjoy. Whatever your flavor, these signature products add excitement to everyday dinners with mouth-watering varieties that will please every palate. The signature zing of LAWRY’S gives busy families the opportunity to spend less time cooking and more time enjoying their meal and each other’s company. To learn more, visit www.lawrys.com and like us on www.facebook.com/Lawrys.

LAWRY’S is one of McCormick & Company’s portfolio brands. As the leading global supplier of innovative flavor solutions, McCormick has built a portfolio of leading flavor brands that enhance people’s enjoyment of food all around the world. Every day, no matter where or what you eat, you can enjoy food flavored by McCormick. McCormick brings passion to flavor.™

Sweet Treats for the Lunch Box

Transitioning back to school means getting accustomed to a new schedule, teachers and classmates. Parents can help make the transition a little easier by surprising their little one with a sweet treat in their lunch box. But due to food allergies, many desserts with peanuts are not allowed in schools.

These delicious cookie recipes, however, are made with SoyNut Butter from I.M. Healthy. A great tasting and safe alternative, soynut butter does not contain peanuts, gluten, eggs or dairy, making it the perfect go-to ingredient for lunch box meals and after school snacks.

For more SoyNut Butter recipes and health information, visit www.soynutbutter.com.

Nutty Butter Cookies
Yield: Approximately 45 cookies

1 cup I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter (chunky or creamy)
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup liquid egg substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup chopped soy nuts
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup soy flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine moist ingredients; cream until smooth.

Combine dry ingredients in small bowl.

Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until well blended. Batter will be stiff. Take dough with fingers, shaping into 1 to 1 1/2-inch balls.

Place dough balls on prepared cookie sheet. Flatten with a fork, making crisscross patterns. Bake 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Chocolate Soynut Bars
Yield: 16 bars

2 tablespoons margarine, melted
3/4 cup I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter (creamy)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup crushed graham crackers
2 to 4 tablespoons apple juice
3/4 cup I.M. Healthy Chocolate SoyNut Butter

Combine margarine and soynut butter in food processor.

Add sugar and graham crackers, drizzling in just enough apple juice (one tablespoon at a time) to make the dough stick together, but not enough to make it wet.

Press dough into 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Chill for 20 minutes.

Spread chocolate soynut butter liberally over dough.

Chill for 20 minutes. Cut into 16 squares.

California Turkey Sandwich

California Turkey Sandwich

Brown bagging with a tasty sandwich is a great way to save money and enjoy a healthier lunch. But sometimes you can fall into a rut and get bored eating the same thing every day. Here are some easy ways to make brown bagging better:

  • Try different sandwich bread — Add some extra flavor to your favorite sandwich with a zesty rye, a dark pumpernickel or an Asiago ciabatta.
  • Switch spreads — Mayo and yellow mustard are good, but how about Italian-style deli dressing, honey mustard or even Russian dressing?
  • Stack your sandwich high with fresh ingredients — Avocado, hummus and cucumbers are all unexpected options that give an extra kick to any sandwich.

This delicious turkey sandwich starts with premium Boar’s Head Ovengold® Turkey Breast, which is roasted to perfection and certified heart-healthy. And like all Boar’s Head Brand premium deli meats and cheeses, it is gluten-free and contains no fillers or artificial colors or flavors.

For more delicious ways to make your lunch better, visit www.boarshead.com.

California Turkey Sandwich
3 slices Boar’s Head Ovengold® Turkey Breast
1 slice Boar’s Head Muenster Cheese
1/4 medium avocado, peeled, pitted, thinly sliced
2 lettuce leaves
3/4 tablespoon Boar’s Head Pepperhouse Gourmaise®
1 whole wheat sandwich roll, thin, round

Separate the sandwich roll in 2 halves. Layer the bottom half of bread with lettuce, tomato, turkey, avocado and cheese. Spread the Pepperhouse Gourmaise over top half of bread; then flip atop the sandwich. Press together lightly and serve.

Nutrient-Rich Foods Nourish Kids All Day

Eating breakfast that includes nutrient-rich foods, such as milk, cheese or yogurt, puts kids on track to meet recommendations made in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It also sets them up for greater achievement in school, as studies show kids who eat a morning meal have improved concentration, score higher on tests and behave better.

But including nutrient-rich foods in meals throughout the day can also boost energy levels. Healthy snacks keep kids on track and prepare them for after-school activities. And while fueling kids with the right foods before and after the school day is a priority for many families, busy schedules or tight budgets make it a challenge to ensure kids get the nutrition they need to learn at their best. Dairy foods offer a smart solution because they are nutritious, convenient and affordable.

In fact, dairy foods deliver on taste, variety and availability, making them a simple addition to breakfast and snacks. Dairy foods also deliver nine essential nutrients — including bone-building calcium and vitamin D — making dairy one of the most economical sources of nutrition.

“Milk, cheese and yogurt take center stage in our house,” says mom and Midwest Dairy Council registered dietitian Stephanie Cundith. “While my son loves them for the taste, I love that dairy foods support his nutritional needs without breaking the bank.” To illustrate dairy’s nutritional bargain, consider that milk — white or flavored — provides a powerful nutrient package and costs about 25 cents per 8-ounce serving.

How to Fuel Your Family
To fuel your family, aim for three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy every day, the amount recommended by the dietary guidelines for ages nine and up. Also, try these breakfast and snack tips:

  • Stock a “Mom-approved” bowl with grab-and-go foods in the fridge, like containers of flavored milk and yogurt, cheese sticks, and ready-to-eat cereal.
  • Break boredom with a breakfast and snack swap. Eat cereal with milk after school and cheese and crackers in the morning.
  • When short on time, try the school breakfast program.
  • Be a role model. If you don’t make healthy eating a priority, neither will your kids.

Find more tips and nutritious recipes, such as this kid-favorite, Pita Pizza Faces, at www.DairyMakesSense.com.

Pita Pizza Faces
Servings: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes

6 whole-wheat pitas (about 4 1/2-inch rounds)
3/4 cup tomato sauce, no salt added, divided
1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella or cheddar cheese, divided
2 tablespoons sliced black olives
3 cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 small yellow or orange bell pepper, cut into rings and cut in half
6 large basil leaves

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place pitas on a greased cookie tray. For each pita, top with 2 tablespoons tomato sauce. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese on top of sauce. Make a face using 2 olives for eyes, 1 tomato slice for nose and 1 red pepper strip for smile.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese is melted. While baking, tear each basil leaf into 4 parts, using 2 pieces for eyebrows and 2 pieces for a bowtie. Place on pizza after slightly cooled.

Tips to Make a Game Day Party Fun for Everyone

Game day is no time to be sidelined in the kitchen. Do a little pre-game planning so you can spend less time cooking and more time cheering on the home team.

Keep it simple — Instead of taking up space with a lot of dishes to hold condiments, use muffin pans. Each well in the pans can hold a different topping for your burgers, hot dogs or chili. Put a spoon in each for easy dipping. It’s simple, fun, and you’ll have fewer post-game dishes to wash.

Set up a dipping station — Have a selection of salsas and guac available so everyone can have their favorite. From Wholly Salsa’s classics to the new red pepper mango or roasted tomato varieties, fans can find a salsa to cheer about. And for guacamole lovers, try Wholly Guacamole’s all-natural, gluten free varieties. In addition to chips, set out some of these tasty dippers:

  • Bell pepper slices
  • Baked mozzarella sticks
  • Shrimp
  • Pita chips
  • Bagel chips
  • Jicama sticks
  • Mini rice cakes

Make sure you have enough — Don’t disappoint guests by running out of munchies or drinks. Here’s how to figure out how much you need to prepare:

  • If you’re having 8 to 10 guests, figure on three different appetizers. For up to 16 guests, plan four or five appetizers.
  • For non-alcoholic drinks, plan on two 16-ounce cups per person. Plan on about two glasses of wine or three beers per person.
  • To have enough ice for drinks, as well as to keep drinks cold in a cooler, get about a pound and a half of ice per person.
Homegating Snackers
Yield: 10 to 12
1 tube pre-made pizza crust (thin)
1 7-ounce package Wholly Guacamole dip
1 red bell pepper cut into small strips

Roll out uncooked pizza dough on counter.

Use football or other shaped cookie cutter to cut pizza dough and place on cookie sheet sprayed lightly with oil.

Cook dough according to packaging instructions. Allow to thoroughly cool.

When cool, spread with guacamole and use cheese shreds and pepper to create football laces and markings.

Optional: Plate on a bed of shredded lettuce, and use sour cream to create field yard lines.

Avocado Cream Cheese Dip
Serves: 6
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 7-ounce package Wholly Guacamole
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, pureed
1 cup 3-cheese blend shredded cheese
1/2 cup green onion, sliced
3/4 cup Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced

Allow cream cheese to soften and warm to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Whip cream cheese at medium speed for 3 minutes to fluff. Add guacamole and beat for another minute.

Season mix with 1/4 teaspoon salt, half of lime juice and cilantro.

Transfer mixture to a 9 x 9-inch pan, and dust with chili powder.

Mix together sour cream, chipotle, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the rest of the lime juice.

Add to pan as the second layer.

Top with cheese; garnish with green onion and tomatoes.

Guacamole Chicken Taquitos
Yield: 28 taquitos
1 orange, juiced
1 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
6 tablespoons canola oil, divided
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/3 cup minced yellow onion
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
1 7-ounce package Wholly Guacamole
28 corn tortillas

Mix together orange juice, lime juice, salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin and 3 tablespoons canola.

Add to chicken and marinate for 20 to 30 minutes.

Heat remaining canola oil over medium high heat.

Remove chicken from marinade. Reserve marinade for later.

Cook chicken for 3 minutes on one side. Flip over and cook for another 3 minutes.

Add reserved marinade, turn heat to low, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Uncover, and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes.

Shred chicken into a separate pan. Coat with a little of the reduced sauce — don’t use all of it or the taquitos will be oily.

Mix chicken with guacamole, cilantro and onion.

Warm tortillas, between wet paper towels, in the microwave (about 5 at a time), or by dipping them into a hot pan with a few tablespoons of oil.

Add about 2 tablespoons filling to each tortilla. Roll up and skewer with a toothpick to hold it together.

For best results, prepare deep fryer according to manufacturer’s instructions, and fry in batches for 2 minutes. When all taquitos have been fried, warm them up in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes.

These game day recipes will score big with the crowd at your house. You can find more delicious ways to homegate at www.eatwholly.com.

Get "Parking Lot" Ready with Tips and Tricks from the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association

Get “Parking Lot” Ready with Tips and Tricks from the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association

Arlington, VA  (Food News)  With the kick-off to the football season here, fans across the country are preparing their tailgate checklists and equipment for the pre-game festivities, for what is sure to be the best tailgating season yet. And, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), when it comes to tailgating, this season North Americans are more likely to tailgate at professional football games (27%) than any other type of event, such as outdoor concerts (19%) and college football games (15%). So, fire-up the portable grill, smoker or fryer, grab all the essentials for a finger-licking good time, and assemble your team to help get this year’s tailgating season off to a winning start.

“What better way to kick-off game day than bringing together friends and family for a tailgate? From the rookie to the pro tailgater, everyone should always start with a game plan and the right equipment and tools,” says Leslie Wheeler, HPBA Communications Director. “A portable grill, smoker or fryer is a must for a successful tailgate, and coming to the stadium prepared with all the essentials will ensure a touchdown every time.”

Starting your tailgating season off right sets the right tone for the rest of the season. HPBA has the following game day plan to get you started:

  • Know the Rules: Know the tailgating rules for your stadium before game day. Are grills, smokers and fryers allowed? What time do the parking lot gates open for tailgaters?
  • Morning Practice: Create a tailgate checklist so you won’t forget your gear, including food, drinks, grill, smoker or fryer, grilling accessories, chairs, table, cooler and paper goods.
  • Equipment Check: You can’t play the game without the ball, and you can’t cook without the grill, smoker or fryer. Make sure your ‘equipment’ works properly before getting to the stadium. You’ll also want to bring your favorite outdoor cooking accessories, like tongs, and plenty of paper goods for serving.
  • Be a Team Player: Score big with your friends by bringing a variety of food to throw on the grill, smoker or fryer, and drinks and water, so that there’s something for everyone, including kids, vegetarians and those who may just want a snack.
  • Pre-Game Prep: Prep and marinate meat ahead of time and keep on ice during transportation to ensure freshness (and safety). Arrive early to start up the grill so that it’s fired-up by the time other tailgaters arrive.
  • Go the Extra Yard: You’ve got the grill and the food, but don’t forget about tailgating entertainment, like an iPod, MP3 player or other device for parking lot music, generator to power a TV for pre-game coverage, or even a football, frisbee or cornhole set for activities to play before the game starts.
  • Clean-up Blitz: Before heading into the stadium, make sure the grill is completely extinguished, coals are cooled and disposed, and you’ve cleaned up your tailgating area. Many stadiums provide metal trash cans to place used charcoal. However, if you are tailgating at a stadium that does not, it is always a good idea to bring your own small metal can to place cooled coals.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: After you and your guests deemed the tailgate a success and the game is over, go home and ‘review the tapes’. Did the new marinade you used work? Do you have enough charcoal, propane, etc. for next week’s tailgate? Take what you learn from each tailgate and apply it to the next to be the champion of the tailgating season.

For more tailgating tips, resources and recipes, please visit www.hpba.org

Join the conversation at “HPBA Barbecue” HPBA’s official Facebook and Twitter communities: facebook.com/HPBABarbecue and twitter.com/HPBA_Barbecue

About Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA)

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), based in Arlington, Va., is the North American industry association for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, representatives, service firms and allied associates for all types of hearth, barbecue and patio appliances, fuels and accessories. The association provides professional member services and industry support in education, statistics, government relations, marketing, advertising and consumer education. There are more than 2,500 members in the HPBA.

Incorporating healthy fare like California Raisins in snacks boosts nutrient intake and provides fuel for an A+ year!

Incorporating healthy fare like California Raisins in snacks boosts nutrient intake and provides fuel for an A+ year!

Fresno, CA  (Food News)  As children across the country head back to the classroom, parents will likely hear a familiar refrain each afternoon: “I’m hungry.” It is officially after-school snacking season! With research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill indicating that children consume a quarter of their daily calories from snacks, it’s important to make sure that after-school goodies are truly good for them, too.

“Think of your child’s afternoon school snack as his or her fourth meal,” says Christine M. Palumbo, registered dietitian, mom and a nutrition advisor for California Raisins.  “As a mini-meal, healthy after-school snacks can provide needed energy to sustain grumbling tummies until dinnertime.”

For easy and healthy snacking ideas, Palumbo shares the following five tips:

  1. Pack your own. At the beginning of the week, assemble nibbles such as whole grain crackers, unsalted nuts and no-added sugar dried fruit into small containers or bags. You’ll save time and money by preparing these easily accessible snacks in advance.
  2. Focus on fruits and veggies. Create tasty grab bags by mixing raisins with cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, grapes, sugar snap peas or celery sticks.
  3. Make an inside-out sandwich. Spread low-fat cream cheese on a slice of deli turkey and wrap it around a sesame breadstick.
  4. Subtract the sugar.  Rather than fruited yogurt, which can contain more than 20 grams of sugar (5 teaspoons) per six-ounce container, take plain Greek yogurt and top with chopped walnuts, a light drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of naturally sweet California raisins.
  5. Involve the kids! If the kids make their own healthy snacks, chances are they’ll be more likely to eat them, too! For a fun snack activity, try these California Raisin Peanut Butter Roll Ups: grab a tortilla, spread a light layer of peanut butter, dot with California raisins and fold into a roll.

Palumbo adds that after-school snacks are a great opportunity to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables to help children meet their daily nutrient needs.

“Instead of highly processed snack foods, consider offering your child a half sandwich on whole- grain bread, along with some dried fruit,” says Palumbo. “For example, adding California raisins to your child’s diet will deliver nutrients such as potassium and antioxidants along with fiber.”

Earlier this year research from the University of Toronto revealed that snacking on raisins may help control hunger in children, an added benefit for weeknight evenings when dinner is delayed due to soccer practice, band rehearsal or other after-school activities. The study showed that among children, eating raisins as an after-school snack prevents excessive calorie intake and increases satiety – or feeling of fullness – as compared to other commonly consumed snacks.

California raisins are all-natural, fat- and cholesterol-free and are ranked number one as the most economical dried fruit by the USDA, making them a delicious snack addition. For more snack ideas visit www.LoveYourRaisins.com.

About the California Raisin Marketing Board

A State Marketing Order in 1998 created the California Raisin Marketing Board and it is 100 percent grower funded. Its mission is to support and promote the increased use of California-grown raisins and sponsor crop production, nutrition and market research.  For more information about the California Raisin Marketing Board and to browse delicious recipes, visit LoveYourRaisins.com.

No Evidence the Gluten-Free Diet Offers Health Benefits or Promotes Weight Loss in the General Population

Washington, DC  (F0od News)  Research published in the latest issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics indicates there is no benefit for the average healthy adult to follow the gluten-free diet. It also debunks the perception that going gluten-free is an effective way to lose weight. The paper, “Gluten-Free Diet: Imprudent Dietary Advice for the General Population?” authored by Arizona State University professor and researcher, Glenn Gaesser, PhD, addresses common misperceptions about the gluten-free diet and explores the scientific support for following it.

The term gluten refers to protein found in the grains wheat, rye and barley. People affected by celiac disease and gluten sensitivity must avoid all foods containing gluten; currently, the gluten-free diet is the only treatment for these conditions. Approximately one percent of Americans have celiac disease and another six percent are estimated to suffer from gluten sensitivity, yet many others believe going gluten-free leads to good health.

Despite purported health claims often seen in the media, Dr. Gaesser found there is no evidence that the gluten-free diet provides benefits to the general population and that gluten itself may, in fact, provide important benefits, such as supporting heart, gut and immune system health. Likewise, he explored the perception that the gluten-free diet is effective for weight loss. After reviewing the existing research on gluten, Dr. Gaesser concluded the gluten-free diet is not an effective weight-loss method. In fact, it frequently leads to weight gain because many gluten-free products contain more added fats and sugars than their gluten-containing counterparts.

“This paper is one of the first to look at the other side of the gluten craze. While the gluten-free diet is an important medical treatment for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, far too many Americans are following the diet for reasons that simply do not make sense,” stated Dr. Gaesser. “Even though it has been endorsed by celebrities for weight loss, let’s face it – they are not the experts on nutrition and health. It’s time to listen to the science.”

These findings run counter to a recent Harris survey of more than 2,000 adults polled about their perceptions and use of the gluten-free diet. Of those participants who followed the diet, half reported doing it to “feel better” and 26% as a “diet for losing weight.” Furthermore, according to a 2011 report from Packaged Facts, the gluten-free product market grew by a rate of 30% each year between 2006 and 2010; reasons for this rapid growth include more accurate testing methods for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, the perception gluten-free products are healthier in addition to endorsements from celebrities.

This disconnect illustrates the need for stronger efforts to educate the public about reasons for following the gluten-free diet.

For expert nutrition advice, and more information about the gluten-free diet, please visit www.gowiththegrain.org.

About the Grain Foods Foundation

The Grain Foods Foundation, a joint venture of members of the milling, baking and allied industries formed in 2004, is dedicated to advancing the public’s understanding of the beneficial role grain-based foods play in the human diet.  Directed by a board of trustees, funding for the Foundation is provided through voluntary donations from private grain-based food companies and is supplemented by industry associations.  For more information about the Grain Foods Foundation, visit gowiththegrain.org, or find GoWithTheGrain on Facebook and Twitter.

Comfort Food Line to Begin with Soups, Followed by Full Range of Favorites

Comfort Food Line to Begin with Soups, Followed by Full Range of Favorites

Cos Cob, CT  (Food News)  Chicken Soup for the Soul, the famous book publisher and world leader in life improvement, inspiration and wellness, has created a line of nutritious, quality comfort foods that will soon be available in supermarkets and food retailers across the country.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Foods will launch its national line of comfort foods in early 2013, beginning with soups. Inspired by real people and their stories about food, family, and feelings, the line will expand quickly in 2013 and 2014 to include a full range of more than 100 comfort food products in a variety of different categories.  Perfect for singles or busy families, many items will offer convenient ways to shorten meal prep time and serve delicious meals in minutes, such as gravies, broths and meal starters that can be used to start a variety of different meals, including pot pies, casseroles and stews.  All items in the food line will also be designed with today’s health-conscious consumer in mind.

“With hundreds of millions of books in print, which have been sold in more than 100 countries, our worldwide group of readers and fans know that the ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ name represents a trusted and familiar source for stories and products that resonate and inspire,” said Bill Rouhana, chief executive officer of Chicken Soup for the Soul. “Meal times play such an important role in living a well-balanced life that our readers and fans have asked us for years to launch a food line.  By creating a line of delicious comfort foods that warm the heart and nourish the soul, we are providing yet another way that we can always be there to care for and support our community.”

Launching the line will be seven soups, led by iconic Chicken Noodle, made with tender chunks of chicken, egg noodles and vegetables in a signature broth. Other varieties will include traditional favorites such as Chicken and Rice, Creamy Tomato, and Mushroom Barley, as well as unique blends including Country Style Squash, Sweet Corn and Chipotle, and Hearty Black Bean.  The initial soups will be available in 15 oz and 24 oz reusable and recyclable traditional glass mason jars.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Foods is a partnership of Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC, and Daymon Worldwide, a full-service, global retail branding and sourcing company that works directly with the world’s leading suppliers and retailers.  “To achieve our goal of creating a new kind of comfort food that is both delicious and nutritious, we followed our usual practice of seeking a world class partner that has deep knowledge of all aspects of its industry. Daymon’s extensive network of supplier partners and understanding of the needs of grocery retailers made it the perfect partner for us on this mission,” said Rouhana.

“Bringing specialty brands to market is part of Daymon’s commitment to helping our suppliers and retailers grow,” said Carla Cooper, chief executive officer of Daymon Worldwide.  “One of our goals is to generate new opportunities for suppliers across a wide variety of categories, and innovative products and brands will do just that.  For retailers, adding these brands to the assortment enhances key categories and can help drive store traffic.  With strong consumer awareness and established brand loyalty, specialty brands, like Chicken Soup for the Soul, are poised for immediate success.”

About Chicken Soup for the Soul Foods

Established in July 2012, Chicken Soup for the Soul Foods is a partnership of Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC, the owner of the iconic brand known by more than 88 percent of adults in the United States, and Daymon Worldwide, the global retail branding and sourcing leader.  With a full line of comfort foods that warm the heart and nourish the soul, Chicken Soup for the Soul Foods will include a variety of products that are inspired by real people and their stories about food, family, and feelings to provide today’s health-conscious families with quality, wholesome meals. Many items in the product line will offer convenient ways to shorten meal prep time and serve delicious meals in minutes.

About Daymon Worldwide

Daymon Worldwide is the only full-service, global retail branding and sourcing partner. Daymon works directly with the world’s leading suppliers and retailers to drive sales and profitable growth through customized brand-building and sourcing solutions. The company’s expertise includes branding & strategy, insights & measurement, private brand development, and shopper marketing. Founded in 1970, today Daymon has 22,000 associates worldwide, with offices in over 20 countries on six continents.  For more information, visit www.daymon.com.  

About Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC

Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC is best known for publishing the book series of the same name. Since 1993, books in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series have sold more than 100 million copies in the U.S. and Canada alone. Chicken Soup for the Soul titles have been sold in more than 100 countries and translated into more than 40 languages. Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing also licenses the right to use its famous brand to high-quality licensees. The company is currently implementing a plan to expand into all media including a daily talk show, TV specials, a major motion picture, and rapidly expanding digital offerings dedicated to life improvement, emotional support, inspiration, and wellness. In 2007, USA Today named Chicken Soup for the Soul one of the five most memorable and impactful books in the last quarter century. For more information, visit www.chickensoup.com.

Gordonsville, VA  (Food News)  Printable baby formula coupons are now available to parents online at www.storebrandformula.com. Sold as “store brands” under individual retailer, grocery and drugstore labels, “Store Brand Formula” has become a branded concept for infant formulas sold nationwide that meet or exceed FDA nutritional standards just like Enfamil® and Similac® “national brand” formulas.

“Storebrandformula.com is a great source of information and a savings vehicle for parents who want or need to use infant formula,” said Sandra Gordon, national baby products expert and author of the newly released Save a Bundle: 50+ Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear. “Store Brand Formula is as nutritionally complete as national brands, yet costs up to 50 percent less, which can add up to a savings of $1,000 or more per year if you formula-feed your baby without supplementing with breast milk. And the site allows parents to download a $2.00 baby formula coupon from participating retailers, so moms and dads can save even more by trying a store brand at their preferred store.”

The website offers helpful articles, blog postings, truthful information about breastfeeding and baby formula brands, and a Store Brand Formula savings calculator.

“Most parents aren’t aware of the absolute fact that all infant formula has to meet the same federal regulations, regardless of brand name or price,” added Gordon. “This means every brand and container of infant formula found on store shelves must meet the same safety, quality, nutritional and packaging guidelines established by the FDA. It’s a secret worth sharing and I share it in my books.”

About Sandra Gordon

Sandra Gordon writes about baby products, parenting, health, and nutrition for books, leading consumer magazines and websites including Parents, American Baby, ShopSmartmag.org, Prevention, Family Circle and Productiopia.com. Sandra is also the author of Consumer Reports Best Baby Products, (the 8th, 9th and 10th editions).

About Store Brand Formula

Store Brand Formula (www.storebrandformula.com) is manufactured in the United States to exacting FDA and ISO 9001:2008 standards. The Vermont factory that makes Store Brand Formula has been manufacturing infant formula for more than 25 years.

Similac® is a registered trademark of Abbott Laboratories.

Enfamil® is a registered trademark of Mead Johnson & Co.

Store Brand Formula is neither made by nor affiliated with Abbott Laboratories or Mead Johnson & Co.

NUT-rition Peanut Butter Adds Adventurous Ingredients to an American Favorite

NUT-rition Peanut Butter Adds Adventurous Ingredients to an American Favorite

Northfield, IL  (Food News)  Peanut butter just got a makeover, as Planters introduces a new PB that has a bit of a punch. Created for adventure-seekers, the new line is the first national brand to add wholesome ingredients like bananas, granola, berries, raisins, cinnamon and nuts into its peanut butter. The Planters NUT-rition varieties are a delicious new take on the peanut butter people have come to love.

Made with a peanut butter base, Planters NUT-rition peanut butter is nutrient dense and a good source of energy, providing six to seven grams of protein per serving and at least five vitamins and minerals, depending on variety[i].

Planters NUT-rition peanut butter will change the way PB lovers think about their favorite staple,” said Jon Hall, Brand Manager at Kraft Foods. “Once fans get a taste of NUT-rition, we know they’ll be hooked! It’s time for all of us to expect more from peanut butter.”

Made with real chunks of granola and dried fruit, Planters NUT-rition is a perfect combination that results in zero grams of trans fat per serving and endless snack options. The good source of energy and delicious taste this mix provides will satisfy consumers ready to take on whichever adventure they choose to pursue.

Planters NUT-rition peanut butter is available nationwide in 12 oz. jars, with a suggested retail price of $3.49-$3.99. It’s available in three flavors: Cinnamon Raisin Granola Nut, Banana Granola Nut and Berry Nut.

Mr. Peanut and Peanut Butter Doug

Planters will be releasing a new advertising campaign with the iconic Mr. Peanut along with his adventurous stunt double, “Peanut Butter Doug.” 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 to create the new Planters NUT-rition peanut butter. The campaign, developed by BEING NY, part of TBWA, includes print, digital and social media creative that will be featured in lifestyle and sporting magazines this fall including: Golf, ESPN, Fitness, Sports Illustrated, WomensHealthmag.com and MensHealthmag.com.

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. Planters Peanut Butter builds on that heritage and quality Americans expect from the iconic nut brand with its Creamy, Crunchy and Natural peanut butter varieties.

About Kraft Foods

Kraft Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: 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 2011 revenue of $54.4 billion. Twelve of the company’s iconic brands – Cadbury, Jacobs, Kraft, LU, Maxwell House, Milka, Nabisco, Oreo, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Tang and Trident – generate revenue of more than $1 billion annually. On Aug. 4, 2011, Kraft Foods announced plans to divide and create two independent public companies: a high-growth global snacks business and a high-margin North American grocery business. The transaction is expected to be completed on Oct. 1, 2012. A leader in innovation, marketing, health & wellness and sustainability, Kraft Foods is a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor’s 500, NASDAQ 100, Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Ethibel Sustainability Index. Visit www.kraftfoodscompany.com and www.facebook.com/kraftfoodscorporate.

[i] Amount varies by variety. Serving size is 2 tablespoons.

Free training materials and resources for foodservice professionals and consumers available at FoodSafetyMonth.com

National Restaurant Association Shares Best Practices for National Food Safety Month in September

National Restaurant Association Shares Best Practices for National Food Safety Month in September

Chicago, IL  (Food News)  The restaurant industry holds a long-standing commitment to food safety training, and new National Restaurant Association (NRA) research shows that consumers overwhelmingly value that commitment. To highlight the importance of food safety, the NRA will hold its National Food Safety Month (NFSM) campaign this September with the theme “Be Safe, Don’t Cross-Contaminate.” Now in its 18th year, NFSM 2012 offers free resources for both foodservice industry professionals and home cooks at FoodSafetyMonth.com.

New NRA research shows that the majority of consumers find food safety important both at restaurants and at home. According to an August 2012 survey of 1,015 American adults, virtually all (96 percent) say it is important to them to know that the restaurants they visit train employees in food safety. In addition, more than eight out of 10 (81 percent) say they would be more likely to visit a restaurant that trains all its employees in proper food safety practices.

When it comes to cooking at home, virtually all consumers say they have at least basic knowledge of food safety. Sixty-three percent say they are aware of proper food safety practices and always follow them, while 33 percent say they are familiar with some food safety practices and follow those when they can.

“Food safety is a priority year-round for the nation’s nearly one million restaurant and foodservice outlets and we celebrate that commitment with September’s National Food Safety Month,” said Paul Hineman, executive vice president of the National Restaurant Association. “Our industry serves 130 million guests daily, making food safety training critical for restaurant employees. But, practicing food safety at home is just as important, which is why we’re also providing tips for home cooks through this year’s campaign.”

NFSM highlights components of the NRA’s ServSafe® Food Safety program – the leading source of food safety training and certification for restaurant and foodservice industry professionals for nearly 40 years, with more than 5 million certifications issued. Because ServSafe is developed by the NRA, proceeds go toward helping improve the foodservice industry through research and education.

The NRA’s survey showed that three-quarters (76 percent) of consumers say they would be more confident in a restaurant that displays food safety training certificates in public areas. Currently, less than two out of five (37 percent) have ever noticed food safety training certificates displayed in restaurants; younger consumers are much more likely to have noticed such certificates, as nearly half (49 percent) of 18 to 44-year olds say they have seen food safety certifications displayed, compared with only one-fifth (21 percent) of consumers age 55 and above.

This year’s NFSM is sponsored by SCA, a global hygiene company and makers of the Tork® brand away-from-home paper products. The NRA selected SCA as the sponsor of the campaign due to the company’s commitment to food safety education and dedication to hygiene product solutions.

“We work diligently to help our customers understand the critical and often hidden hygiene hazards restaurants face that can lead to serious food safety issues if not properly addressed,” said Suzanne Cohen, Foodservice Marketing Director for SCA Tissue North America. “Everyone benefits from a healthy, safe and welcoming restaurant and as a result patrons will return again and again. That is why we are partnering with the National Restaurant Association to help educate our industry on vital food safety issues.”

The free National Food Safety Month 10-minute training materials for restaurant employees are broken down into five weekly sessions, with each covering how to prevent cross-contamination through: personal hygiene; hand washing; cleaning and sanitizing; correct storage, preparation and cooking; and how to prevent cross-contact of food allergens.

National Food Safety Month was created in 1994 to heighten the awareness about the importance of food safety education. Each year, a new theme with training resources is created to help reinforce proper food safety practices and procedures. For more information and resources, visit the NFSM website, ServSafe on Facebook, or join the conversation on Twitter using #foodsafetymonth.

About National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 970,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of nearly 13 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry’s largest trade show (NRA Show May 18-21, 2013, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF’s ProStart, including the National ProStart Invitational April 19-21, 2013, in Baltimore, Md.); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids’ menu options. For more information, visit www.restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.

About Tork®

The Tork brand offers professional hygiene products and services to customers ranging from restaurants and healthcare facilities to offices, schools and industries. Products include dispensers, paper towels, toilet tissue, soap, napkins, and industrial and kitchen wipers. Through expertise in hygiene, functional design and sustainability, Tork has become a market leader. Tork is a global brand of SCA, and a committed partner to customers in over 80 countries. To keep up with the latest Tork news and innovations, please visit: torkusa.com or tork.ca.

About SCA

SCA is a global hygiene and forest company that develops and produces personal-care products, tissue, publication papers and solid-wood products. Sales are conducted in some 100 countries. SCA has many well-known brands, including the global brands TENA and Tork. Sales in 2011 amounted to SEK 16 billion (EUR 11.7 billion). SCA has approximately 37,000 employees. For more information about SCA, please visit: www.sca.com

An Examination of 17 Clinical Investigations Demonstrated Positive Markers for Weight Loss and Cardiovascular Health

New Analysis Study Demonstrates that the Atkins Diet is Safe and Effective

New Analysis Study Demonstrates that the Atkins Diet is Safe and Effective

Denver, CO  (Food News)  A just-released meta-analysis study entitled “Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials of the Effects of Low Carbohydrate Diets on Cardiovascular Risk Factors” being published in Obesity Reviews reveals that the Atkins™ Diet is a safe and effective plan that demonstrates positive health outcomes for both weight loss and cardiovascular health.

“This article is unique in that it’s not trying to pit the low carbohydrate diet head-to-head with another diet, rather it investigated whether parameters improve while on the diet, and they did.  The article shows how the low carbohydrate diet improves multiple risk factors compared to the baseline diet,” said Dr. William Yancy with Duke University Medical Center and a researcher for the study.

The aim of the study was to identify randomized clinical trials which analyzed the effects of a low carbohydrate diet on body weight and other markers of cardiovascular risk. There were strict criteria surrounding the selection of studies.   The authors identified a total of 23 reports, corresponding to 17 clinical investigations, as meeting the pre-specified criteria.

The findings showcased that compared with the baseline diet, the Atkins Diet was shown to be associated with improvements in key health markers including significant decreases in body weight, BMI, abdominal circumference, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, plasma triglycerides, fasting plasma glucose, glycated haemoglobin, plasma insulin, and plasma CRP (an inflammation marker), as well as an increase in HDL-cholesterol.  LDL cholesterol did not change significantly.

The overall picture obtained from this investigation is that low carbohydrate diets like the Atkins Diet are safe and do not negatively impact markers for cardiovascular health or other risk factors. Of particular interest is that the low carbohydrate diet was able to increase HDL-C – a goal frequently difficult to achieve. Another key finding was the decrease in waist circumference given that it is an established risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and it has been stated that waist circumference explains obesity-related health risk more accurately than BMI.

Obesity is a growing health problem.  According to the World Health Organization, in 2008, 1.4 billion adults (20 years of age and older) worldwide were overweight.  Of these, more than 200 million men and nearly 300 million women were obese.

“The meta-analysis study findings demonstrate once again that the Atkins Diet is a safe and effective diet plan.  Atkins is not only backed by thousands of success stories, but has consistently shown that it is effective at diminishing health risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease,” said Colette Heimowitz, vice president of nutrition and education for Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.

Inclusion criteria for the studies included were that the study had to be a randomized clinical trial implemented in an adult population of at least 100 subjects, the trial was required to have at least a 3-month follow-up period after the initiation of the diet, weight loss had to be considered a major outcome, as well as examinations of variations in other cardiovascular risk factors.  Exclusion criteria for the studies included subjects with a specific pathology other than obesity (such as diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer, epilepsy) or altered endocrinological state (such as pregnancy or menopause) were excluded, as were studies written in languages other than English, Spanish, Portuguese or French.

The article can be referenced here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22905670

About Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.

Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. is a leader in the $2.4 billion weight control nutrition category, and offers a powerful lifetime approach to weight loss and management. The Atkins Diet focuses on a healthy diet with reduced levels of refined carbohydrates and added sugars and encourages the consumption of protein, fiber, fruits, vegetables and good fats. Backed by research and consumer success stories, this approach allows the body to burn more fat and work more efficiently while helping individuals feel less hungry, more satisfied and more energetic.

Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., manufactures and sells a variety of nutrition bars and shakes designed around the nutritional principles of the Atkins Diet™. Atkins’ four product lines: Advantage®, Day Break™, Endulge™ and Cuisine™ appeal to a broad audience of both men and women who want to achieve their weight management goals and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Atkins products are available online at atkins.com and in more than 30,000 locations throughout the U.S. and internationally. For more information, visit atkins.com.

Low/no/reduced sodium NPD claims decline despite salt concerns, reports Mintel

Low/no/reduced sodium NPD claims decline despite salt concerns, reports Mintel

Chicago, IL  (Food News)  Despite increased awareness about the risks of too much sodium in consumers’ diets and pledges from governments around the world to reduce salt levels in food, products with low/no/reduced sodium claims have seen some decline over the past years according to new findings from Mintel. Globally, launches of foods with low/no/reduced sodium claims declined 5% over the 2010-2011 period, appearing on just 2% of total food launches in 2011.

Chris Brockman, global food and drink analyst at Mintel, said:

“A large percentage of the global food industry remains wary of the commercial impacts of reducing salt in their products. This anxiety is well-founded, with many products positioned as low sodium forced off the shelves prematurely in recent years due to poor sales. Manufacturers struggled to find workable salt substitutes, forcing many to rapidly pull them from the market. Efforts are being made to offer consumers alternatives to sodium. However, existing salt replacements have not caught the imagination of consumers. Consumers are concerned about salt intake, but are not willing to compromise on taste.”

Indeed, according to Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) Europe remains the most active region in terms of product innovation, covering the same percentage in 2011 (35%) as the year before of new product launches carrying low/no/reduced sodium claims compared to 39% back in 2007. North America follows with 26% share of the global market in 2011 as opposed to 32% in 2010 and 28% in 2007. While APAC comes third covering 19% of new launches in 2011, vs. 18% in 2010 and 19% in 2007.

In Europe, 3% of all new food products introduced in 2011 in the UK carried a low/no reduced sodium claim, a higher percentage than other key European markets with the exception of Netherlands, where 9% of all new products had the same claim. For France the figure stood at 2% in 2011; for Spain 1.4%. Italy and Germany were somewhat lower, at just 1% each.

“The Netherlands was higher mainly because of the food industry’s Ik Kies Bewust (“I choose consciously”) campaign featuring on-pack logos to indicate new or reformulated products that are low in sugar, sodium and saturated fat,” Chris Brockman explains.

Over in Asia Pacific, New Zealand took the lead, with 3% of all new food products in 2011 labeled as low/no/reduced sodium followed by Australia with 2%. Other market activity in the region included Thailand with 1.2%, South Korea (0.8%) and Singapore (0.8%). In Japan, 0.7% of new product launches carried the claims, in Taiwan 0.7%, in China 0.5% and in Vietnam 0.4%.

And when it comes to consumer attitudes, according to Mintel’s research some 54% of US consumers say they limit their use of packaged snacks and other packaged foods because they think they have too much salt or sodium, and 53% are concerned about the amount of salt or sodium in their diets. However, it seems consumers will not give up salt easily. In general, 49% of British consumers agree that “taste is more important to me than calories in food,” while in the US, 60% of restaurant diners typically order what they want instead of what is healthy. Moreover, when it comes to products flavored with a non-sodium or salt alternative, almost half (46%) of consumers in the US think that they don’t taste as good as their traditional counterparts. Similarly in the UK, only a relatively small proportion (22%) of consumers have purchased low salt products, and just 4% of consumers have cut back on table sauces because of health concerns.

“Brands will need to dispel widely held perception about low sodium or salt alternatives to be successful. Fortunately, this is possible. Many food brands are already introducing step-by-step salt reduction programs that gradually reduce the salt content of their products, a strategy often called ‘stealth health,’ as the incremental removal of sodium can be carried out over a period of time to help the consumer to become accustomed to the changed flavor profile, without the need to flag that up prominently on-pack and thus deter consumers who may perceive ‘less taste.’ Other brands are also steering clear of the health issue by experimenting with different flavor profiles, such as strong spices and vinegars, to enhance taste while eliminating sodium,” Chris Brockman concludes.

Globally in 2011, snacks (16%) and sauces & seasonings (14%) have emerged as the most active categories in low/no/reduced sodium claims. While in response to concerns from parents toward their young children, the baby food category accounted for 12% of new products carrying the claim globally. While breakfast cereals and bakery accounted for 10% and 11% respectively, with 8% in dairy.

In the overall “minus” claim category, products positioned with low/no/reduced formulations such as reduced calories, fat, sugar or cholesterol, Mintel’s GNPD shows a global decline of 10% over the year 2010-2011, with low/no/reduced calorie (-19%) and low/no/reduced carb products (-41%) seeing the biggest drop, followed by low/no/reduced sugar (-9%), low/no/reduced cholesterol (-9%) and low/no/reduced fat (-8%).

The findings also tie in to the Mintel Inspire trend “Fauxthenticity,” which explores how food alternatives can become preferable to real versions, because they are variously healthier, greener or more affordable.

Richard Cope, principal trend analyst at Mintel, explains:

“Sometimes a fake alternative carries less risk than its authentic cousin, especially when it comes to something like alcohol. An option might be for manufacturers to explore tricking consumer taste buds and marketing foods that smell, as opposed to taste, salty. This is something we’ve seen food researchers investigate in our trend ‘Fauxthenticity.’ This has been the success story behind everything from B&Q’s sales of fake grass, to sunless tanners and meat substitutes.”

About Mintel

Mintel is a leading global supplier of consumer, product, and media intelligence. For 40 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, Tokyo, and now India, Malaysia and Singapore, 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 and LinkedIn, or catch up with the latest news, views, and information from the team behind Mintel on The Mintel Blog.

BI-LO Issues Voluntary Recall on Daniella Brand Mangoes Due to Possible Health Risk

BI-LO Issues Voluntary Recall on Daniella Brand Mangoes Due to Possible Health Risk

Greenville, SC  (Food News)  Today BI-LO announced an immediate voluntary recall on whole Daniella brand mangoes sold with a universal product code (UPC) of 0-00000-04051 in stores between  July 12 and Aug. 27, 2012.  The recalled mangoes, a product of Mexico, were sold as individual fruit and can be identified by the Daniella brand sticker.  The product is being recalled in the states of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee due to a potential health risk from possible contamination with Salmonella Braenderup.

Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.  Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.  In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

Out of an abundance of caution for customer safety and as a service to the general consuming public at large, the Daniella brand mangoes are being recalled in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The company has received no reports of illness associated with product consumption.

“We encourage consumers in possession of the recalled item to immediately discard the product or bring it back to their local BI-LO,” said Brian Wright, BI-LO’s senior director of communications.  “As part of the company’s Satisfaction Guarantee, customers who have purchased the product may visit their neighborhood store to request a full refund.”

Consumers are advised not to eat the mangoes and to either discard or return them to BI-LO for a refund.  To receive the refund, individuals must present proof of purchase through a receipt.

Customers with questions about the recalled mangoes may contact BI-LO’s consumer relations department at 1-800-862-9293. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET. Consumers who may have purchased mangoes without sticker information are urged to consult the store for sourcing information.

About BI-LO

Headquartered in Mauldin, S.C., BI-LO operates 206 supermarkets in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee, employing approximately 16,995 people. Founded in 1961, the company provides shoppers substantial savings without sacrificing quality or freshness through its BI-LO BONUSCARD® and other exclusive programs.  A committed corporate citizen, BI-LO has raised more than $63 million through its BI-LO Charities efforts to organizations across the company’s footprint since 1984.  For more information, visit www.bi-lo.com.