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FDA survey notes increased awareness of diet, heart disease link

BY Allison Cerra

SILVER SPRING, Md. Consumers who often read food labels are increasingly aware of the link between diet and heart disease, according to the Food and Drug Administration’s recent Health and Diet Survey.

The survey, which was conducted in 2008 via telephone of more than 2,500 adults in every state and the District of Columbia, noted that 91% of consumers were aware of the diet-heart disease relationship, an 8% jump since 2002.

The FDA also found that awareness that trans fats in the diet may raise the risk of heart disease nearly doubled over just four years, from 32% in 2004 to 62% in the recent survey. Additionally, the majority of consumers surveyed (81%) knew that certain foods or drinks may help prevent heart disease or heart attacks, including omega-3 fatty acids (52% from 31% in 2004), and many acknowleged (74%) that saturated fat may raise the risk of heart disease.

This is the 10th such survey since 1982. The most recent previous surveys were conducted in 2002 and 2004.

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Reed’s launches nausea relief beverage

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES Soda maker Reed’s is gearing up to introduce a nausea relief beverage to drug stores nationwide.

“Reed’s Rx” Natural Ginger Nausea Relief is being launched in convenient 4-packs of 5.5-oz. cans and is a brew of fresh ginger, honey, pineapple juice, and lemon and lime juices with added vitamin B6.

“The ‘Reed’s Rx’ product line represents an exciting new growth area, and is a testament to the naturalness and healthiness of our products, which can be used to treat nausea and motion sickness,” said Neal Cohane, Reed’s SVP sales and marketing. “This new product allows us to access over 240,000 convenience, grocery, and drug stores across the U.S. that have stomach aisles offering over-the-counter nausea relief products, as well other channels, including hospitals, cancer centers, airports, and cruise ships, where consumers are looking for natural alternatives. We believe this represents an exciting new opportunity to significantly grow our sales beyond traditional food and supermarkets.”

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Sargento introduces reduced sodium line

BY Allison Cerra

PLYMOUTH, Wis. In an effort to reach health-conscious consumers, Sargento is making its cheeses with 25% less sodium.

Sargento’s reduced sodium cheeses come in six new varieties, including: colby-jack slices, provolone slices, colby-jack snack sticks, string snacks, mild cheddar shredded cheese and mozzarella shredded cheese.

“With almost 50% of consumers reading food labels for sodium content, we’re responding to their interest in lowering their daily intake by offering reduced sodium Sargento cheeses,” said Chris Groom, marketing director. “However, we only wanted to launch the line if we could still provide the great tasting natural cheese that consumers love, which this line does successfully.”

Available in slices, shreds and snacks, the new reduced sodium cheeses will be on grocery store shelves nationwide in March. In addition to the new reduced sodium cheeses, Sargento offers a variety of full flavor natural reduced fat cheeses.

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