HEALTH

CRN releases two video statements in response to anti-supplement journal editorial

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — In response to the study "Long-Term Multivitamin Supplementation and Cognitive Function in Men: The Physicians’ Health Study II" and the editorial "Enough is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements," published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the Council for Responsible Nutrition on Tuesday released two video statements.

“The editorial demonstrates a close-minded, one-sided approach that attempts to dismiss even the proven benefits of vitamins and minerals," stated CRN president and CEO Steve Mister. "It’s a shame for consumers that the authors refuse to recognize the real-life need for vitamin and mineral supplementation, living in a fairy-tale world that makes the inaccurate assumption that we’re all eating healthy diets and getting everything we need from food alone."

Mister noted that, with regard to safety issues, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force draft recommendation, the basis for which comes from a study in the same issue of The Annals of Internal Medicine, did not identify safety concerns for vitamins at nutritional doses. Specifically, several scientific authorities have dismissed the concerns raised by the editorial for vitamin E, including this USPSTF report, which states “The USPSTF found adequate evidence that supplementation with vitamin E has little or no significant harm.” 

The concerns around beta carotene are isolated to high doses in smokers, and are not a concern for the majority of consumers taking a multivitamin, Mister noted. 

"We agree enough is enough," Mister said. "Stop the reductionist approach to nutritional research. Stop insinuating there is evidence of harm. Stop ignoring the scientific evidence that demonstrates there is value to getting your essential nutrients. There is plenty of scientific evidence that recognizes that vitamin and mineral supplements have a role in good health for all Americans.”

Response from Steve Mister, CRN president and CEO 

Commentary from Duffy MacKay, CRN VP scientific and regulatory affairs

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RuckPack energy drink backed by ‘Shark Tank,’ Noot! Nutrition gains distribution throughout Walgreens

BY Michael Johnsen

LOS ANGELES — During Friday's episode of ABC's "Shark Tank," Noot! Nutrition announced a $4 million distribution deal with Walgreens that will see its RuckPack eneregy shot distributed across the chain's more than 8,600-store base. According to company founder Rob Dyer, this will make RuckPack "an actual contender in the energy drink category." 

If successful, the new energy shot will provide a much-needed jolt to the $389.8 million category, which is down 10.7% in sales for the 52 weeks ended Nov. 3 across total U.S. multi-outlet channel, as defined by IRI. 

Living Essentials' 5 Hour Energy dominates that category with an 85.5% dollar share and $333.4 million in sales. The leading competitor, NVE Pharmaceuticals' Stacker 2 Xtra, possesses a 4.3% dollar share with $16.7 million in sales. Another NVE Pharmaceutical SKU, Stacker 2, has a 2.7% dollar share with $10.6 million in sales. 

Noots! Nutrition received $150,000 in venture funding last year from "Shark Tank" panelists Kevin O'Leary and Robert Herjavec. “This is a huge boost for RuckPack,” Dyer said after the broadcast. “We are indebted to everyone at ‘Shark Tank’ for their belief in the consumer value and future potential of RuckPack. This infusion of funds will help us to expand production to meet the already strong demand, as well as to extend national distribution.”

Dyer was a Marine aviation officer who served two tours of duty in Iraq and two in Afghanistan, where he formed the idea for RuckPack. He launched the product on Veterans Day 2011 while he was completing his MBA in financial management at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.

RuckPack is a single serving nutritional shot that sustains energy by supplying the vitamins, electrolytes and ingredients the body needs for peak mental and physical performance, the company stated. 

 

 

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IRI releases SilverLink, provides insights into baby boomer shopping segment

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — IRI on Tuesday released SilverLink, a new report that segments the U.S. population ages 50 years and older based on demographics; attitudes toward aging, health and wellness; shopping behavior; and lifestyle habits.

“The next generation of retirees will be the healthiest, longest lived, most educated and most affluent in history,” stated Robert Tomei, president of consumer and shopper marketing for IRI. 

IRI’s SilverLink identifies six distinct consumer segments. Three of the six segments, “Secure,” “Conscientious” and “Preoccupied,” present particularly strong growth opportunities for manufacturers and retailers. Accounting for a combined 52% of the 50-and-older population, these three groups and the unique opportunities they represent are:

  • Secure – With a median income of $58,000, these shoppers believe they have enough money for a comfortable retirement. They consider themselves to be in good health, prioritize exercise and try to eat a healthy diet about 80% of the time. These shoppers are ideal targets for nutritious items that support a healthy lifestyle;
  • Conscientious – These shoppers are diligent about their health and their finances and have a median income of $37,000. They monitor their diets, both to maintain a healthy weight and to feel good. Deals and coupons are key to attracting Conscientious consumers, and they will be particularly receptive to online promotions, as they love technology and social media, and often research new products online; and
  • Preoccupied – Unlike Conscientious and Secure shoppers, consumers in the Preoccupied segment do not focus on exercising or improving their diets, although they know they should. With a median income of $51,000, these shoppers are often on the go and generally choose convenience over nutrition. Although this group stands out due to its lack of commitment to healthy eating, CPG manufacturers and retailers can still win with this group via simple, convenient offerings, such as prepared single-serve meals.

The following three segments comprise the remaining 48% of the 50-and-older population:

  • Unconcerned – These consumers are content with their lifestyles and have a median income of $42,000. While most would like to lose at least 10 lbs., they do not make exercise or healthy eating a priority;
  • Resistant – With a median income of just $32,000, the Resistant segment is the worst off financially. They also are not particularly active, often as a result of mobility issues. This group would like to be healthier but lacks the financial resources to do so; and
  • Resigned – Like the Resistant group, Resigned shoppers also are suffering from physical deterioration and struggle to make ends meet. With a median income of $34,000, they prefer foods that require little preparation, often choose convenience over nutrition and tend to eat lots of processed foods.

Since 2007, real median income has declined for all age groups except those ages 65 years and older. In fact, this age group actually saw a 5% income increase from 2007 to 2010. The likelihood that an American who reaches the age of 65 years will survive to age 90 years has nearly doubled in the past 40 years.

IRI fielded data for the SilverLink segmentation in August 2013 among National Consumer Panel respondents, representing the U.S. population ages 50 years and over.

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