HEALTH

CRN explores addition of medical food to its lobbying repertoire

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Tuesday announced it is exploring adding representation for companies in the medical food industry to its mission, following a unanimous vote by the CRN board of directors at its June board meeting to launch an examination of this burgeoning sector of the nutrition category.

“CRN’s Board of Directors believes there is enormous growth potential for the medical food industry over the next several decades as healthcare practitioners, the academic community and policy makers continue to look at the ways that nutrition contributes to better health," stated Jim Hyde, CRN board chair and VP/general manager Balchem Human Nutrition and Pharma. "We take seriously the name of our association, and incorporating ‘medical food’ along with dietary supplements and functional food to our ‘responsible nutrition’ portfolio is forward-thinking and a logical next step for CRN to consider.”

“CRN’s strong reputation was created by our 45-year history of representing mainstream companies in the dietary supplement industry," added Steve Mister, president and CEO CRN. "Several years ago, we opened our doors to functional food companies with the reasoning that we were already representing the ingredient suppliers manufacturing the ingredients that went into the food. We envision the same synergistic approach with medical food. It’s all a spectrum of nutrition that provides health benefits to consumers," he said. "If there is an interest from companies who manufacture and market medical foods, we’re open to working with those companies to ensure their interests — and the interests of their consumers — are being properly represented to Congress, regulators and in the media.”

As part of its exploratory process, CRN intends to convene the major players in the industry, some of whom are already CRN members, as part of a listening tour to determine where voids in representation exist, if CRN can fill those needs and what the regulatory and policy priorities of the medical food industry should be. “We’ve already begun talking with some of the significant providers of these products to the market, and we understand some of their concerns focus on the lack of clarity provided by FDA’s oversight of the industry, leading to some controversy and uncertainty about these products,” Mister said.

The term “medical food” is defined by Congress under Section 5(b)(3) of the Orphan Drug Act as “a food which is formulated to be consumed [orally] or administered internally under the supervision of a physician and which is intended for the specific dietary management of a disease or condition for which distinctive nutritional requirements, based on recognized scientific principles, are established by medical evaluation.”

CRN has previously expressed concerns that a more narrow interpretation of that definition offered by FDA that limits the range of available products may undermine Congressional intent for this category, thereby stifling the market’s ability to reach its potential. On the other hand, CRN fears that some companies may try to take advantage of the lack of clarity with illegitimate products, leaving the industry open to the risk that rogue players will define the industry.

“In many ways, there are similarities between where medical foods are today and the dietary supplement industry immediately following the passage of the Dietary Supplement Heath and Education Act,” Mister said. “CRN wants to work with responsible companies who want to play by the rules. We want to ensure those rules protect consumers, but also allow for industry to innovate and grow."

 

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Optimum Nutrition launches two breakfast smoothie options

BY Michael Johnsen

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. — Global performance nutrition leader Optimum Nutrition today announced the arrival of two new options designed to help make protein-rich breakfasts fast and easy and help put fitness goals in reach. The respected fitness nutrition brand is shaking up morning routines with Optimum Nutrition Greek Yogurt Protein Smoothie and Whey & Oats, innovative new start-your-day proteins available at retailers by early July.

"A complete breakfast is too important to skip. Adding a scoop of protein powder to your breakfast is an easy way to boost your protein intake in the morning," stated Team ON athlete Alex Carneiro. "These new shake and smoothie options from ON can be made in seconds, and deliver high quality protein to help fuel your day," he said. "ON really did their homework and listened to athletes when creating the new A.M. Series – it tastes great, is super convenient and gives us six new ways to help satisfy our protein goals."  

"ON is all about innovation and giving people options to create better daily nutrition routines," said Stuart Heflin, director of North American marketing for ON. "We aim to help overcome obstacles that prevent people from staying on track for their fitness goals – that meant addressing fatigue with traditional morning nutrition options and delivering something truly different."

Both ON A.M. Series products are new combinations of traditional breakfast staples. The ON Greek Yogurt Protein Smoothie combines whey protein with Greek yogurt proteins and chia. ON Whey & Oats brings together whey protein, a complete protein with all the essential amino acids to help support muscle recovery and fine-milled whole oats, a complex blend of carbohydrates that provide energy to support strength and endurance, in an easy-mixing shake.

Each serving of Greek Yogurt Protein Smoothie provides 20 grams of protein and has zero added sugar. Unlike traditional smoothies, there is no need for a blender, as the formula blends smoothly with a spoon in a glass or in a shaker cup. Greek Yogurt Protein Smoothie is available in three classic yogurt flavors – strawberry, blueberry and vanilla.

Every Whey & Oats shake contains 27 grams of premium protein, plus as much fiber as a bowl of oatmeal (one cup, prepared). Whey & Oats is available in three breakfast bakery-inspired flavors – vanilla almond pastry, blueberry muffin and chocolate glazed donut.

 

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Soylent pilots launch of ready-to-drink meals through LA 7-Elevens

BY Michael Johnsen

LOS ANGELES — Rosa Foods, the makers of Soylent, on Friday announced that the company will test its suite of nutritionally complete, ready-to-drink meals at 18 participating 7-Eleven stores in the Greater Los Angeles area beginning July 10. The 7-Eleven locations currently plan to sell three Soylent flavors: Cacao, Cafe Coffiest and the new Cafe Chai.

"Soylent is a differentiated product for the on-the-go, millennial. It is a great example of a product that has reached online success in a short period, and we are excited to collaborate with Soylent to bring the drinkable meals to our stores in a single serving," commented Todd McFarland, 7-Eleven senior product director for vault.

"It is exciting that the demand for our breakthrough line of drinkable meals has moved beyond e-commerce," stated Rob Rhinehart, Soylent CEO. "This new collaboration with 7-Eleven will make Soylent an even better option for customers looking for convenience without sacrificing their health. We are thrilled to be working alongside the talented 7-Eleven team and look forward to building our retail presence nationwide."

Soylent's line of ready-to-drink products are designed from the ground-up to provide the vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates and protein that the body needs – all in a convenient, ready-to-drink package.

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