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GMA adds health and nutrition talent

BY Mike Troy

WASHINGTON — The Grocery Manufacturers Association has named Robert Burns as VP health and nutrition policy.

Burns most recently was owner of Nutrition Implications, a consulting firm focused on helping companies develop strategic approaches to nutrition and health, including engagement with external stakeholders and development of research and communications initiatives.

“I am very pleased to welcome Dr. Burns to GMA,” GMA CEO Pam Bailey said. “Health and nutrition policy is critically important to GMA and its member companies and Dr. Burns clearly has the scientific expertise and proven leadership skills to take our work in this area to an even higher level of success.”

Prior to founding Nutrition Implications, Burns held nutrition leadership roles at Cadbury Schweppes and Mead Johnson where he worked with cross-functional business and technical partners to develop and execute nutrition and wellness strategies.

“I am thrilled to join the GMA team,” Burns said. “GMA’s accomplishments and leadership in the health and nutrition policy arena are truly impressive and I look forward to working with the GMA staff and its member companies to build on that record of success.”

Burns will report to Leon Bruner, GMA’s SVP for scientific and regulatory affairs and chief science officer.

Burns has a Ph.D. in nutritional biochemistry and a B.S. in biochemistry, both from Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Subsequent to his graduate studies, he conducted postdoctoral research fellowships at Nottingham University, U.K., and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Nordic Naturals launches omega powder

BY Michael Johnsen

WATSONVILLE, Calif. — Nordic Naturals on Tuesday launched Omega-3 Fortify, a food- and water-soluble omega powder.

"We found that many people were complaining that their store-bought enriched foods were not delivering significant amounts of EPA, only DHA, and they liked the idea of not having to take supplement," stated Keri Marshall, Nordic Naturals chief medical officer. "Added to yogurt, dressings, juice, applesauce — anything that is not too hot — Omega-3 Fortify allows customers to fortify their favorite foods without changing taste or texture."

The neutral-flavored formula can be used as a soluble drink mix or a topping on food. Each single-serving stick pack contains 500 mg of EPA and DHA. Available in seven- or 30-count boxes, Omega-3 Fortify contains micro-encapsulated cod liver oil in powder form.


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Bartell’s sells Chia Fremont Troll

BY Alaric DeArment

SEATTLE — For 21 years, a great troll has resided beneath the Aurora Bridge in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood.

No, seriously: Underneath the bridge is a giant concrete sculpture of a troll grabbing an actual Volkswagen Beatle, built by local artists. The neighborhood has long been known as a counterculture and arts center.

After 21 years, and in time for the neighborhood’s annual "Trolloween" event on Oct. 31, local retail pharmacy chain Bartell Drugs is selling a "Chia Fremont Troll" for $24.99. The sculpture consists of a terra-cotta planter with a beard and hair made from patented Chia plant material.

"We’re always looking at products that reflect the personalities of the communities we serve," Bartell’s VP marketing Theron Andrews said. "This may be the most unusual, and the positive response has extended far beyond Fremont, otherwise known as the ‘Center of the Universe.’"

The Chia Fremont Troll is the result of a collaboration between Bartell’s, the Fremont Arts Council and the original artist behind the troll, Steve Badanes.

The Chia-ization of a local landmark isn’t the first example of Bartell’s catering to local tastes. The chain recently opened a store in Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood with an updated store format that includes a special section devoted to locally produced products. The Pacific Northwest — particularly Seattle — has become known for its locavorism and provenance-centric consumption patterns in recent years, with profiles in The New York Times and other national publications of restaurants that specialize in local foods.

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