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.
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.
Feed The Children, PepsiCo And Albertsons Help Needy Dallas Families
Feed The Children, PepsiCo and Albertsons partnered with CitySquare to distribute three tractor-trailers full of food and essentials to help 1,200 Dallas area children and families in need earlier this week. Families received food and essentials at CitySquare Opportunity Center.
PepsiCo is a longtime Feed The Children partner and donated a variety of its products including Frito-Lay variety packs of chips and peanut butter crackers, Quaker Chewy bars, Life cereal, Propel water, Tropicana juice and Pepsi Max to families as part of the event. Albertsons also donated shelf-stable and fresh food items including canned vegetables, peanut butter and rice during the distribution. Feed The Children partner agency CitySquare pre-identified families receiving the donations. Each family also received a 25-lb. box of food, a 10-lb. box of personal care items and Avon products. The boxes are designed to help support a family of four for up to one week.
The distribution is part of Feed The Children’s Americans Feeding Americans Caravan, which has helped more than 450,000 families across the country since it began in 2009.
More than one in three children living in Dallas (37.5 percent) is considered impoverished. In fact, the number of children living in poverty in Texas (1,751,189) could fill Cowboy Stadium more than 16 times.
“Many of the families we serve on the Americans Feeding Americans Caravan are making hard choices between paying bills and feeding their families,” said Kevin Hagan, Feed The Children president and CEO. “With support from PepsiCo we are helping to ease the burden for families struggling in this economy.”
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.
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.
LifeIce Offers New Snack In The Form Of Bite-Sized Ices
A new healthy snack treat, just in time for the hot summer months, is being rolled out.
As the first 100 percent natural, bite-sized ices, LifeIce “cubettes” are “A Frozen Source for Healthy Living,” according to a news release. The product is fat free, low in calories and sugars, gluten free, Kosher certified, GMO free and without preservatives. Additionally, LifeIce’s patent-pending freeze and eat delivery system allows these bite-sized ices to be sold shelf stable, at room temperature, in liquid form and in custom-engineered trays that carry a one year “Best If Frozen By” shelf life.
LifeIce comes in four flavors: Citrus Chomp, Berry Bite, Green Grind and Chocolate Crisp. Each of these flavors start with a power base of coconut water and agave, which is then blended with combinations of superfoods such as Mangosteen, Yumberry, Green Tea Extract & Cherry and everyday health boosters like Ginger, Blueberry, Kale & Currant. MSRP is $4.99.
Study About Lead In Rice Is Retracted
A study released earlier this month by Dr. Tsananagurayi Tongesayi of Monmouth University announcing that “rice from Asia, Europe and South America had 20-60 times higher toxic levels of lead than is allowed by the Food & Drug Administration” has been recalled.
Tongesayi has admitted he was having an “issue” with his measuring instruments.
Consumers remain unaware of the flawed nature of the study, according to a news release from Axiom Foods. World rice expert David Janow, who also is the CEO of Axiom Foods, hopes to quell consumers’ fears about rice.
Janow has set the standards for rice processing, is a sought-after expert by the FDA and the USDA and is a founding member of the World Rice Alliance, providing the food industry with clean sources of rice, the release says.
• Rice, like other vegetables, fruits and grains is a translocator grown in water, soaking up whatever is in the environment whether naturally occurring or due to pollution. Manufacturers are required to test, especially if sold in California under Proposition 65′s guidelines.
• There are areas throughout the world where industrial contamination has affected the soil and everything that grows from it can be infested with heavy metals. The Hunan Province of China, where rice is grown, is extremely polluted. However, China is a 3.7-million square mile country with rice fields all over, far away from polluted areas.
• Food companies know that lead is an inherent challenge with rice and are careful to source from the most pristine parts of fields and change sources if tests show new levels. They create technology to remove additional heavy metals. Rely on the World Rice Alliance for clean sources.
• Most rice ingredients are extracted with a highly noxious gasoline product called “hexane.” Since 2005, natural enzyme methods have been used by some companies; look for them when buying food products.
• In 2012 when a Dartmouth study demonized arsenic in rice, researchers failed to convey the difference between inorganic and organic arsenic, the latter is naturally occurring, posing no known health risk. The study also measured levels in finished products (that) doesn’t single out rice as the problem.
“The absorption of lead in translators has always been a challenge. While there are polluted places in the world where rice fields exist, the standards and technologies to ensure excellent products can be trusted. We recently created a technology, which ensures that 50-70 percent of heavy metal residue can be removed. Blanket statements about not trusting ‘rice from Asia,’ a continent that makes up 8.7 percent of the earth’s surface, is not a responsible scientific statement,” Janow says.
Janow’s team spoke directly with Tongesayi who said the rice in the study was sourced from “New Jersey grocery stores,” according to the release.
The researchers did not identify or disclose where exactly in “Asia, Europe and South America” the contaminated rice originated.
“The results from one of the places we had sent our samples just came in and all levels are less that 1ppm using a different method even though XRF results from another lab still gave high values in the ppm range,” Tongesayi says, according to the release. “I will be raising the issue of the XRF instrument with the supplier of the instrument, Innov-x-systems. I have been talking to their technical guys and they were assuring me that everything was OK. It is not the first time that XRF instrument was used for analysis of heavy metals in food with levels of metals reported at levels less than 5ppm. Because of the conflicting results, I will be recalling our accepted paper.”
Janow provides this advice for consumers: “Take responsibility for the food you buy and ingest. Read labels. Stay informed. Question generalizations.”