Beyond Meat Launches Chicken-Free Strips
Beyond Meat, the makers of plant-based protein foods that take the animal out of meat, is rolling out Chicken-Free Strips—offering consumers a plant protein that the company says is being touted as the most realistic chicken substitute to hit the market.
Beyond Meat provides consumers with clean, plant-based proteins that replicate the taste, texture and nutritional benefits of meat. Backed by Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams’ Obvious Corp. investment firm and San Francisco-based Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, Beyond Meat’s first introduction—Chicken-Free Strips—has been in the works for a decade.
Passionate about improving health, reducing ecological footprint and improving animal welfare, Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown believes Americans are ready for more choices when it comes to protein—specifically clean, plant-based proteins. By launching a chicken substitute that doesn’t sacrifice on taste, chew or satisfaction, he believes anyone looking to reduce meat consumption will be able to do so easily.
“We believe the future of protein is animal-free. We want Beyond Meat to be sold as a meat alternative in places where you would ordinarily find meat. Whether that is in the meat case at your local grocery store or at your local fast food restaurant chain,” Brown said. “This is very different from how meat alternatives are positioned today where you have to hunt them down in a separate refrigerated section far from areas where you would find meat.”
Beyond Meat launched its Chicken-Free Strips nationally in Whole Foods Market in April. Tropical Smoothie will be the first national restaurant chain to offer Beyond Meat as a substitute for chicken in salads and sandwiches in 338 locations across 36 states beginning Tuesday.
Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips are made with a blend of pea and soy protein offering consumers 20g of protein per 3-oz. serving and 120 calories. The strips have no saturated or trans fat and are cholesterol free, gluten free, dairy free, meat free, egg free, GMO free, hormone free and antibiotic free. They are available in three flavors: Southwest, Lightly Seasoned and Grilled.
Pepperidge Farm Employees Get Norwalk Beaches Ready For Season
Pepperidge Farm Inc. recently held its seventh all-employee service day for headquarter employees in Norwalk, Conn. More than 200 employees donated their time by gardening, painting and picking up litter in time for Memorial Day weekend later this month.
“As with many beaches along the shores of Connecticut, Calf Pasture Beach was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy last fall and getting the resources to fix it in time for the summer season was challenging,” said Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia. “And then our community partner, Pepperidge Farm, stepped up to help as they always do. We can always rely on them to assist the city of Norwalk whenever it needs it the most.”
“A healthy community requires a good working relationship and collaboration from all parties including the business sector, city hall, nonprofits and the community. Pepperidge Farm is committed to doing its part to strengthen and improve Norwalk,” said Ruthann Walsh, Pepperidge Farm’s director of corporate citizenship. “In this particular case, we came out today with two goals in mind: to beautify the beach for Norwalk residents and to be sure the beach was cleaned up and safe for the hundreds of children who will enjoy it over the summer months. With the national obesity rates at epidemic proportions, it is critical that today’s children get plenty of exercise and there is no better place to get that than at the beach.”
Some of the supplies used in the cleanup were donated by The Home Depot of Norwalk.
Past Pepperidge Farm all-employee service days have included painting, refinishing furniture and re-stocking pantry shelves at Norwalk’s food pantry, renovating the camp at the Carver Foundation of Norwalk and building edible gardens at Norwalk’s public schools. In addition, Pepperidge Farm has donated time and money to the community of Norwalk through various programs such as the Kids Back Pack program, participating in building a new playground in South Norwalk and supporting Project LEAN, in its third year at Jefferson Science Magnet School. This pilot program is an initiative Pepperidge Farm is co-leading with the Norwalk Health Department, the Norwalk Hospital and Jefferson School to reduce the rate of childhood obesity.
Pepperidge Farm’s contribution to the Norwalk Community has been recognized by awards from the Human Services Council, the Connecticut Food Bank, The Carver Foundation of Norwalk and induction into the Chairman’s Circle of the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County.
FDA Releases New Tool To Help Thwart Intentional Food Contamination
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released a new tool to help bolster the food industry’s defense measures against an act of intentional food contamination. The Food Defense Plan Builder is a comprehensive, easy-to-use software program designed to help owners and operators of food facilities—ranging from primary production and manufacturing to retail and transportation—develop customized plans to minimize the risk of intentional contamination at their individual food facilities, the FDA said in a news release issued today.
The FDA does not require food facilities to implement food defense plans, but many facilities have voluntarily put such plans into place to safeguard their products.
“The FDA is committed to providing best practices and resources to support industry as we pursue our shared goal of protecting our food supply,” said FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael Taylor. “We strongly encourage companies to take full advantage of the Food Defense Plan Builder.”
Cases of intentional contamination are infrequent but can entail serious adverse public health consequences. For example, in 2009, more than 40 people in Kansas became ill after disgruntled restaurant employees intentionally contaminated salsa with a pesticide. In 1996, 12 lab workers at a Texas medical facility became ill after eating pastries that were intentionally contaminated with a virulent strain of Shigellabacteria.
The Food Defense Plan Builder is FDA’s latest effort to help owners and operators of food facilities take appropriate action to defend the food supply. In the years following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the FDA released a number of food defense tools and resources to aid the U.S. food industry, federal partners, state and local regulators, and the international community in protecting the food supply against biological, chemical and radiological attack.
The Food Defense Plan Builder guides users through a series of substantive questions about the user’s food facility and the food manufactured, processed, packed or held there to develop a comprehensive food defense plan for the facility, which includes a vulnerability assessment, broad and focused mitigation strategies, and an action plan.
The content in the tool is based on the FDA’s food defense guidance documents and as such the Food Defense Plan Builder is consistent with the FDA’s current thinking on food defense preparedness. In addition to providing new functionality for food defense planning and implementation, the Food Defense Plan Builder harnesses existing FDA tools and resources into a single application. These tools and resources include the FDA’s food defense guidance documents, Vulnerability Assessment Software Tool, and Mitigation Strategies Database.
Go here to learn more about the FDA’s Food Defense Plan Builder or to download the tool for free.
MilkPEP Launches Katie Couric Milk Mustache Ad For Mother’s Day
Award-winning journalist, best-selling author, well known cancer advocate and talk show host Katie Couric finds breakfast to be the perfect time to model healthy habits for daughters Ellie and Carrie. She knows that the girls pay close attention to the choices she makes, so it’s important for her to start each day by including milk with breakfast to get nutrients—especially protein—she needs for busy, successful days.
The new Katie Couric “got milk?” ad, unveiled Friday on her daytime talk show, “Katie,” depicts the host and her daughters sharing breakfast in bed—while sporting the iconic Milk Mustache. The ad, Katie’s first foray into the campaign, reads, “Even when you have the day off, you still need protein. An 8-oz. glass of milk has 8g of protein. A glass worth raising, even on Mother’s Day. got milk?”
Including milk in the morning is a healthy habit that Katie learned from her mom growing up and passed down to both of her daughters. Milk has nutrients needed to make breakfast more complete, including protein to help power through the morning.
“When you’re adding milk to your breakfast you’re getting all sorts of added benefits,” said Couric. “You’re getting protein when you put it in your cereal; you’re getting calcium when you add it to your coffee or just drinking a glass straight up.”
Nonni’s Introduces THINaddictives
Nonni’s THINaddictives, created from a family recipe, are twice baked using real ingredients. They are made with antioxidant-rich ingredients, including real whole cranberries, raisins, pistachios and almonds. THINaddictives are served in 100-calorie portion-controlled packs.
“Over the years Nonni’s devotion to quality ingredients and product innovation has produced delicious baked goods that consumers have come to love,” said Patricia Wong Bridges, brand marketing manager for Nonni’s. “The introduction of new THINaddictives continues this tradition and provides a unique, thin cookie with wholesome ingredients that consumers can enjoy and feel good about.”
Every box of Thins contains six freshness packs, available for a suggested retail price of $3.29 at select grocery and club retailers nationwide.
THINaddictives are available in three flavors:
• Cranberry Almond Thins: California almonds combined with cranberries twice baked;
• Pistachio Almond Thins: California almonds mixed with pistachios baked and folded into a cookie; and
• Cinnamon Raisin Almond Thins: Raisins and California almonds laced with cinnamon swirls.
Coca-Cola Vows To Help Fight Obesity With Product Options, Marketing
The Coca-Cola Co. this morning announced four global business commitments to further contribute to healthier, happier and more active communities. These commitments, which apply to the more than 200 countries where the Atlanta-based company does business, include:
• Offering low- or no-calorie beverage options in every market;
• Providing transparent nutrition information, featuring calories on the front of all packages;
• Helping get people moving by supporting physical activity programs in every country where the company does business; and
• Marketing responsibly, including no advertising to children under age 12 anywhere in the world.
“Obesity is today’s most challenging health issue, affecting nearly every family and community across the globe. It is a global societal problem, which will take all of us working together and doing our part,” said Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO The Coca-Cola Co. “We are committed to being part of the solution, working closely with partners from business, government and civil society. Today’s announcement is another step forward on our journey, as we take action with scale and reach across every country and continent where we operate.”
Kent made the global announcement today in commemoration of the 127th anniversary of Coca-Cola. He was joined by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to kick off a series of programs designed to help get Georgians moving (see below). Today’s announcement in Georgia builds on recent partnerships the company has undertaken in Chicago, London, San Antonio and other cities.
Already, The Coca-Cola Co. has taken a number of steps, including product and packaging innovations like smaller portion sizes with its expansion of mini-cans in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Korea and Thailand. The Coca-Cola system currently supports hundreds of active, healthy living programs in more than 115 countries reaching millions of people, and is putting calories on the front of its beverages worldwide.
In addition, the company has committed to publicly and actively measure the scale and reach of its efforts on www.comingtogether.com. The digital platform provides further details about the company’s global commitments and invites people to learn more about what the company is doing, track its progress, post feedback and exchange ideas on how it can collectively promote choice, energy balance and movement.
The Coca-Cola Co. currently sells non-alcoholic beverages in nearly every beverage category—from sparkling beverages to water, enhanced and flavored water beverages, tea, coffee, juice and juice drinks, sports beverages and energy drinks. The portfolio includes nearly 800 low- and no-calorie beverages, representing 25 percent of the global portfolio.
At home in Georgia
To ignite The Coca-Cola Co.’s global commitment to fight the obesity epidemic, The Coca-Cola Foundation announced grants to organizations across the company’s home state of Georgia. These grants will provide increased access to community-oriented physical activity and nutrition education programs.
“Together with Gov. Nathan Deal and Mayor Kasim Reed, we are inspiring our hometown of Atlanta and home state of Georgia to be active,” said Kent. “Golden triangle efforts like these and others in Colorado, Chicago and San Antonio amplify the active role we must all take in helping to tackle the complex issue of obesity. We can only succeed with the collaboration of local governments, community leaders and other willing partners.”
The foundation has pledged $3.8 million to support statewide initiatives to help get people active and enjoy a balanced lifestyle, including Georgia SHAPE and Walk Georgia initiatives. Georgia SHAPE, Gov. Deal’s strategy to address childhood obesity, is using the additional funding to increase the time children are active before, during and after school. The program also will include nutrition education curricula for Georgia schools.
Walk Georgia was created by The University of Georgia’s Cooperative Extension Service. This initiative focuses on community-oriented physical activity programs customized by community members. Participants can engage in a variety of activities such as dancing, cycling and gardening and convert those actions into steps. Those steps are converted into miles. As participants accumulate miles, they virtually move across a map of the state, viewing fun facts about each county visited and learning new ways to improve health.
“One of our strategic goals for the state is to reduce childhood obesity and encourage healthy lifestyles through preventive care, disease care and early intervention,” said Deal. “Working with Coca-Cola and others to strengthen programs such as Georgia SHAPE and Walk Georgia gives Georgians of all ages and abilities more opportunities to become physically active.”
A $1 million grant to the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta supports the City of Atlanta’s Centers of Hope program. The program, which also serves at-risk youth, brings physical activity, leadership development, nutrition education and academic enrichment to nearly 2,000 young Atlantans. Through the grant, the program will expand from its two pilot locations to 10 of the city’s recreation centers. The initiative has a multi-generational strategy, offering additional resources for parents to receive their GED certification, along with parenting and nutrition education workshops.
“Investing in Atlanta’s youth through programs designed to teach them about the importance of wellness and physical fitness in a safe, structured learning environment is one of my top priorities,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “This generous grant to support the Centers of Hope enables the City of Atlanta to expand its successful pilot program at the Thomasville and Adamsville Recreation Centers into a sustainable, community-based initiative for young people.”
Additional Georgia grant recipients include:
• The PATH Foundation, Make the Connection Campaign, $500,000;
• YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta and its branches, Empowering Healthy Living, $75,000;
• Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, Healthy Atlanta BeltLine, $100,000;
• Piedmont Park, Kids Get Active, $30,000;
• Soccer In The Streets, Expanded Opportunities, $75,000; and
• Ryan Cameron Foundation, Healthy Lifestyle, $25,000.
In the featured photo at top: Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co., center, was joined today by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, left, and City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed as the company announced its commitments to fight obesity locally and around the world. (Photo by Michael Pugh)
Coca-Cola commits $2B to plant 25K acres of orange trees in Florida
In other Coca-Cola news, the company said Tuesday that it is supporting Florida’s largest citrus planting in 25 years with a commitment to purchase approximately $2 billion worth of oranges produced by the new groves. Partnering with Cutrale Citrus Juices and Peace River Citrus Products, Coca-Cola’s investment will enable the growers to plant 25,000 acres of orange trees, according to a news release.
Through this collaboration Coca-Cola says it will procure all of the fruit produced by these trees over the next 20 years. According to a 25-year study conducted by the Florida Department of Citrus, this initiative will add more than 4,100 direct and indirect jobs to the state economy.
“Citrus is synonymous with Florida, but the industry has faced many challenges in recent years, particularly the growing threat of citrus greening,” said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam. “With Coca-Cola’s generous investment towards 25,000 acres of new orange groves in Central Florida, the citrus industry and our state’s entire economy will benefit.”
Coca-Cola has played an active role in the Florida citrus industry since purchasing Minute Maid in 1960. Today, the company operates 26 facilities in Florida, employing 6,100 associates. Over the last five years, The Coca-Cola Co. has invested more than $400 million in its operations throughout the state. Most recently, the Auburndale, Fla., facility, which produces Simply juices, underwent a significant expansion. Adding a new production line and increased warehouse space, this multi-million dollar project created 129 new jobs, bringing the total number of facility employees to more than 500.
“The Coca-Cola Co. is proud to be part of this investment in Florida and its citrus industry. A thriving Florida citrus industry is critical to helping us build our Simply and Minute Maid juice brands,” said Steve Cahillane, president of Coca-Cola Americas. “Through viable partnerships and meaningful investment with Cutrale and Peace River, we together will foster sustainable, responsible growth in Florida. This is good news for the state’s citrus industry, our business and the communities we serve.”
The Coca-Cola Co. is the leading marketer of fruit juices and drinks in the U.S. and globally. In the U.S., the Minute Maid and Simply brands offer more than than 100 different varieties, including low-calorie options. In partnership with Cutrale Citrus Juices, Coca-Cola purchases nearly a third of all Florida oranges grown by more than 400 local growers.
“Coca-Cola’s commitment to purchase all of the fruit from the new groves enables us to play a role in helping restore Florida’s citrus industry with the largest planting of orange trees in 25 years,” said Jose Luis Cutrale, CEO of Cutrale Citrus Juices.
San Fran Sues Monster For Marketing To Kids Despite Alleged Health Risks
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera has filed a lawsuit against Monster Beverage Corp. for allegedly violating California law with its marketing of highly caffeinated energy drinks to children as young as 6 years old, despite scientific findings that such products may cause “significant morbidity in adolescents” from elevated blood pressure, brain seizures and severe cardiac events, a news release says.
The lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court earlier this week comes one week after Monster preemptively sued Herrera in a legal attempt to halt his office’s months-long investigation into the marketing and sales practices of the nation’s largest energy drink manufacturer. Herrera’s office had been working with Monster to negotiate voluntary changes to its youth-targeted marketing practices when the Corona, Calif.-based energy drink manufacturer sued the city attorney in federal court on April 29, the release says. Herrera, who has characterized Monster’s litigation strategy as “forum shopping” and a bid to win the race to the courthouse, has vowed to not back down.
“Monster Energy is unique among energy drink makers for the extent to which it targets children and youth in its marketing, despite the known risks its products pose to young people’s health and safety,” said Herrera. “Consumption of highly caffeinated energy drinks by children has been widely condemned by pediatricians and scientists, and the NCAA has banned its member institutions from providing these products even to college athletes because of the grave safety risks. When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week announced its investigation into the addition of caffeine to products like Monster, it expressed particular concern about aggressive marketing to young people. Yet Monster Energy remains defiant. As the industry’s worst-offender, Monster Energy should reform its irresponsible and illegal marketing practices before they’re forced to by regulators or courts.”
The FDA has received numerous adverse event reports allegedly related to consumption of Monster Energy drinks, including five deaths and multiple reported instances of illness, injury and hospitalizations. The alleged wrongful death of a 14-year-old Maryland girl from cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity after apparently drinking two 24-oz. servings of Monster Energy is the subject of high-profile private litigation currently pending against the company, the release says. Emergency room visits related to energy drink consumption have spiked dramatically in recent years, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Drug Abuse Warning Network, which reported a nearly 14-fold increase in medical events for which emergency invention was sought—from 1,494 instances in 2005, to 20,783 in 2011.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association, which represents more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 North American colleges and universities, currently prohibits its member institutions from distributing caffeinated energy drinks to student-athletes. The NCAA has concluded that energy drinks “pose a health and safety risk for student-athletes” and “can have adverse health consequences if consumed before or during strenuous exercise.” Pediatric studies have similarly found that the cardiovascular effects “of heavy caffeine use can be a significant source of morbidity in athletes,” citing new-onset seizures, hypertension, heart palpitations and diuretic effects that can “lead to dehydration in athletes who do not drink enough fluids to compensate,” according to the release.
“Yet despite scientific consensus about the dangers of highly caffeinated energy drinks for youth and young athletes, Monster targets the at-risk demographic with marketing that encourages consumers to ‘pound down’ and ‘chug down’ its products, and assurances that Monster Energy consumers ‘can never get too much of a good thing,’” the release says. “The company’s marketing includes its ‘Monster Army’ website, which uses children as young as 6 years old to promote the Monster brand.
“Other actionable marketing tactics detailed in Herrera’s complaint include the company’s ‘Monster Energy Drink Player of the Game’ series, which photographs high school athletes holding twin four-packs—eight 16-oz. cans, containing 128 ounces of highly caffeinated Monster products,” the release adds. “At 10mg of caffeine per ounce, the photos feature high school athletes, including minors, displaying more than 12 times the generally recommended daily maximum of caffeine for adolescents.”
Herrera’s complaint alleges that Monster Beverage Corp.’s business and marketing practices violate California’s Unfair Competition Law and Sherman Food, Drug and Cosmetic Law. If San Francisco’s lawsuit is successful, Monster Energy could be enjoined from continuing illegal conduct deemed harmful to consumers and competitors, and forced to pay significant civil penalties and restitution as a result of its unfair business practices, the release says.
Slimful Chews Can Help Satisfy Hunger
LE Bar LLC is introducing Slimful, 90-calorie chews that can help satisfy hunger, making it easier for people to eat less, and achieve their weight loss goals. When consumed with a glass of water, Slimful chews can help satisfy hunger for hours, according to a news release.
“People are going to like Slimful chews for two reasons,” said Jim Gold, Slimful spokesman. “First, Slimful chews taste great. People will be surprised how good the flavors are. Second, it’s simple. There is no calorie counting or meal plans. You just do what you normally do—eat. But with Slimful you can do a lot less of it and still feel satisfied.”
Slimful chews can help make it easier to diet. “Whether you’re dieting on your own or part of a weight loss program, eating less is a major component,” said Gold. “Hunger makes it hard to stay on your diet. With Slimful chews, hunger can be satisfied making it easier to stick with it.”
Drinking at least eight ounces of water after eating a Slimful chew is important, the release says. Slimful chews contain a dietary fiber that absorbs water and expands to take up space in the stomach.
“Many of us eat the largest meal of the day just before watching TV and going to bed,” said Gold. “Eating less at dinner is a great way to lose weight, and Slimful chews can help.”
LE Bar, the distributor of Slimful chews, recommends taking no more than three Slimful chews per day at least three hours apart.
Slimful chews come in four flavors (Orange Tangerine, Honey Bliss, Cocoa Brownie and Very Berry) and are available in single bars (12 per display) and 5-pack boxes.