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Grapes, grape-based products may boost heart health

BY Allison Cerra

CONCORD, Mass. Two scientific papers published in Nutrition Reviews and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition addressed a link between heart health and a diet that includes grapes or grape-based products.

Both studies found that grapes and grape products, including Concord grape juice, may promote cardiovascular health. Specifically, the study published in Nutrition Reviews found that grapes, which contain natural plant nutrients called polyphenols, can help maintain healthy, flexible arteries and manage LDL or "bad" cholesterol.

"Grape products can be a wise choice for a healthy lifestyle," said review co-author Maria Luz Fernandez with the department of nutritional sciences at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn. "Grapes and grape juice are easy ways to take a proactive step in maintaining health."

Meanwhile, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, M.M. Dohadwala and colleagues examined the role of Concord grape juice in maintaining healthy blood pressure. Study participants included 64 adult men and women with an early stage of high blood pressure classified as either pre-hypertension or stage-1 hypertension. This study showed that drinking Concord grape juice helped lower nocturnal or night-time blood pressure (an indicator of healthy blood pressure regulation), and had a beneficial impact on blood sugar levels compared with a calorie-matched, grape-flavored drink. The study authors noted, however, that more science is needed to confirm these findings, and that the researchers found no significant effect on blood pressure measured over a 24-hour period.

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Eat good, do good: New partnership looks to end hunger

BY Allison Cerra

NEEDHAM HEIGHTS, Mass. A maker of all-natural chips has developed an initiative that gives back to its communities, its employees and the environment.

Food Should Taste Good said the goal of its partnership with Share Our Strength is to end childhood hunger in America by 2015. The Food Should Do Good initiative will help raise money through both on-shelf purchases and an online coupon redemption donation of its Food Should Taste Good chips. The chips are available in limited edition Share Our Strength bags, and are offered in multigrain, olive and sweet potato flavors.

“This partnership is completely in line with our company philosophy –– we know that food should not only taste good, but should do good as well,” said Pete Lescoe, founder and CEO of Food Should Taste Good.

Food Should Taste Good’s Share Our Strength bags are available beginning in December at major retailers, including Kroger, Publix, Whole Foods, Wegmans and more. The 5.5-oz and 6-oz. bags retail for $2.99 to $3.29. 

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Hershey names new COO

BY Allison Cerra

HERSHEY, Pa. The current SVP and president of Hershey North America was elected to serve as Hershey’s COO, the confectionary giant announced Wednesday.

J.P. Bilbrey will serve as the company’s EVP and COO, effective immediately. Bilbrey will be responsible for Hershey’s day-to-day operations and global commercial activities, leading the company’s supply chain and realigned geographic regions, including the United States, the Americas and Asia. He also will lead two newly created global strategic business units. The chocolate SBU and sugar confection SBU will be responsible for building and leveraging Hershey’s global brands, creating confectionery marketplace innovation and disseminating best demonstrated practices around the world.

Bilbrey will report to president and CEO David West.

 

“J.P. has an extensive record of success in delivering global growth and in building successful teams at Hershey,” West said. “J.P.’s global experience and knowledge of our business will ensure that more and more consumers around the world will come to recognize the quality and fun represented by Hershey’s brands.”

 

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