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Durbin, Blumenthal ask FDA to review energy drinks quickly

BY Jason Owen

Some legislators are concerned with the way energy drinks can affect young consumers, especially in light of news reports linking several deaths with energy drink use.

Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., are urging the Food and Drug Administration to move quickly to review the safety of these drinks.

"There is very clearly a lack of understanding about the health effects of energy drinks and their ingredients, especially on children and adolescents,” Durbin and Blumenthal said in a statement Tuesday. “I am glad to see that the FDA is undertaking a review, but more needs to be done and quickly,” the senators said. “For instance, [the] FDA can and should take action now to regulate energy drinks that are marketed as beverages, like Red Bull, which has more than the standard of 71 mg of caffeine per 12 oz., [to] which beverages like Coke and Pepsi are held.”

The lawmakers have requested a meeting with FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg by year’s end to learn more about the FDA’s review.

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GoGo Squeez introduces adult snack line Fast Fruit

BY Jason Owen

NEW YORK — GoGo Squeez has introduced a new line of squeezable, resealable, spoon-free fruit-in-a-pouch snacks, Fast Fruit, specifically developed for adults. The company decided to expand their kids line of fruit snacks as they learned adults 18 years and older made up 30% of their consumer base.

“Through research we found that 30% of GoGo Sqeez is consumed by adults 18 years of age and older, so we set out to create something just for them with Fast Fruit,” said Meena Mansharamani, managing director of Materne North America. “Fast Fruit is a new way that our grownup fans can enjoy the wholesomeness of our pouches through a unique product inspired by the big kid in them.”

These all-natural, 100% fruit snacks will come in three varieties: Apple Peach Passion Fruit, Apple Mango Pineapple Banana and Apple Raspberry Cranberry. Like all GoGo Squeez products, Fast Fruit is a spoon-free, no-mess snack allowing fruit snack lovers to find a way to embrace their inner kid with a product reminiscent of their childhood. Containing only the best fruit available, these pouches offer pieces of fresh raspberries, peaches and bananas to provide quality taste and nutrients. At only 80 calories per pouch, Fast Fruit adds variety to GoGo Squeez’s growing family of products.

GoGo Squeez Fast Fruit follows on the launch of another new product line, GoGo Squeez Organic. GoGo Squeez Organic offers six delicious and squeezable fruit flavors that are certified USDA-organic and currently available at Whole Foods stores nationwide.

GoGo Squeez Fast Fruit is available at Target stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $3.49 per four-pack.

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Walgreens gives Los Angeles a taste of what’s to come with store No. 8,000

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens late Tuesday announced a mobile tasting tour across Los Angeles in advance of its latest flagship store opening Dec. 1. The Walgreens "Up Market: Fresh" experience will be brought to consumers via a custom-made, 40-foot bus that will visit various Los Angeles locations through Dec. 5. The "Up Market: Fresh" bus’ daily location and featured sample menu items are shared via Twitter @upmarketfresh.

"Several innovations are making Walgreens the first choice for health and daily living throughout neighborhoods nationwide. Our fresh food offerings provide customers with easier access to a greater selection of fresh foods and beverages," stated Joe Magnacca, president of daily living products and solutions for Walgreens. 

Free tastings include samples of nutritious, fresh-made juices made from a combination of fresh fruits and vegetables; a featured smoothie Raspberry Dream, which is blended fresh from raspberries, strawberries, bananas and apple cider; two premium, low-fat frozen yogurts alongside a selection of eight toppings; and free samples of a selection of coffees brewed using the same fresh roasts and barista quality techniques showcased at Walgreens.

Walgreens "Up Market: Fresh" experience will provide free tastes to Los Angeles residents and visitors to commemorate the grand opening of its latest flagship store and 8,000th location at Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood.

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