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Frito-Lay’s new caffeinated line of Cracker Jacks elicits criticism from CSPI

BY DSN STAFF

PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay has stirred up controversy with its plan to launch an extended line of Cracker Jacks snacks, called Cracker Jack’d, which includes a caffeinated snack called Power Bites.

The new line will include snack mixes and popcorn clusters, as well as two flavors of Power Bites, which contain coffee as an ingredient, a Frito-Lay spokesman told Ad Age. The product is still being finalized, but the spokesman informed Ad Age that each 2-oz. Power Bites package is expected to "contain approximately 70 mg of caffeine from coffee."

The Center for Science in the Public Interest — a health advocacy group that has a history of contesting big brands it believes pose a threat to consumers’ health — worries the snack is a risk to children, who could suffer from potential side effects of caffeine, such as anxiety, restlessness, irritability, excitability and insomnia.

"Boxes of Cracker Jack are famous for having a toy surprise inside. But what parent suspects that Cracker Jack might come with a surprising dose of a mildly addictive stimulant drug?" CSPI said Wednesday. The organization wrote a letter to the Food and Drug Administration concerning the product, saying, "Caffeine is generally recognized as safe only in cola-type beverages and only at concentrations of 0.02% or less (about 72 mg per 12 oz.)."

The Frito-Lay spokesman, however, insisted that the Power Bites line has been specifically developed for adults and will be marketed toward only adult consumers, and that the packaging and appearance will differ from that of Cracker Jacks to prevent confusion.

"We stand by the safety of all products in the Cracker Jack’d line, including those that contain coffee. It is worth pointing out the regulation referenced in CSPI’s letter to [the] FDA speaks to caffeine — not coffee — and is not an exhaustive list of the safe uses of caffeine in foods and beverages," the spokesman said. "Rather it represents one particular recognized safe use."

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Makers of Aquatina introduce new collapsible water bottle

BY Rebecca Haughey

LONDON – The makers of Aquatina, the collapsible pocket drinks bottle, have launched its successor, Ohyo, the company announced on Thursday.

Ohyo, currently available from Ohyo.me, has a pop-out spout so the product can be used one-handed, making it suitable for children, commuters and gym users.

Designed and made in Britain, the collapsible bottle is made from toxin-free plastic, and is a reusable and safer alternative to disposable plastic bottles. The name of the product is derived from the French word for water, "eau," and a reference to the word "yo-yo," in reference to the up-and-down action of the bottle.

"Ohyo is the product I always wanted to make, and the continuing success of Aquatina meant that we were able to design and manufacture its successor here in Sheffield. The average person in Europe buys 85 bottles of mineral water a year … last year, we threw away 150 billion bottles, enough to stretch to the moon 50 times and back," said Guy Jeremiah, creator of Ohyo. "Ohyo is another step toward reducing this."

Ohyo retails for a suggested price of GBP9.98 for two bottles.

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Limited edition Newcastle Winter IPA heads to retailer shelves

BY Rebecca Haughey

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Newcastle on Wednesday announced the first nationwide release of its limited edition beer, Newcastle Winter IPA. The Winter IPA will be on retail shelves and on draught in on-premise locations now through January 2013.

New Castle IPA features a copper color with a strong hop aroma, subtle caramel notes, a full body and a balanced finish, as is characteristic of traditional British-style IPAs.

"Winter IPA is ideal for any situation, whether you’re trying to reconnect with family over the holidays, or if you need an excuse to head to the pub and avoid them," said Charles van Es, brand director of Newcastle Brown Ale. "No matter what happens, you’ll at least have a balanced, drinkable brew to enjoy this season."

Made with Super Styrian and Styrian Goldings hops, Newcastle Winter IPA has an alcohol by volume (i.e., ABV) of 5.2% with 28 International Bitter Units (i.e., IBUs). The new beer is available in 12 oz. bottles in 6-packs and 12-packs priced comparably to Newcastle Brown Ale.

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