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Peeps brand gets the party started with latest confection

BY Ryan Chavis

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Peeps, a brand from Just Born Quality Confections, announced a variety of offerings for Easter 2014, which includes the new Peeps Party Cake Flavored Marshmallow Chicks — vanilla cake-flavored marshmallow chicks decked out with rainbow confetti.

Other offerings for Easter 2014 include:

  • Peeps Marshmallow Chicks and Bunnies in six colors (yellow, pink, blue, lavender, green and orange) and varying package sizes;
  • Peeps 3-ct. Chocolate Dipped Marshmallow Chicks, which are available in milk or dark chocolate flavors;
  • Peeps Marshmallow Chick in a Hollow Milk Chocolate Egg;
  • Peeps Peepsters, which offer a bite-sized combination of chocolate and marshmallow-flavored crème;
  • Peeps 3-ct. Sugar-Free Marshmallow Chicks;
  • Peeps 4-ct. Rainbow Pops;
  • Peeps 1-ct. and 3-ct. Large Marshmallow Bunny; and
  • Peeps 1-ct. Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Chicks in either dark or milk chocolate.

“For decades our fans have looked forward to finding our wide variety of products poking out of their Easter baskets, and we continue to provide the classic Peeps they have come to love plus exciting new additions like Peeps Party Cake Chicks which are sure to become favorites,” said Mark Hoffman, senior brand manager for Peeps. “Each year we are excited to see how our fans express their Peepsonality and get creative with our products through recipes, crafts, and as a part of Easter traditions and festivities.”

 

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Study to explore heart-health benefits of cocoa flavanols

BY Michael Johnsen

BOSTON — Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Seattle-based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the National Institutes of Health and Mars, Inc. plan to partner on the largest research trial to date that will investigate the heart-health benefits of cocoa flavanols and multivitamins, the groups announced Monday. 

"Cocoa flavanols and multivitamins are two of the most promising and exciting nutritional interventions available, and this new randomized trial is the natural next step in advancing our understanding of their potential benefits," stated JoAnn Manson, chief of the division of Preventive Medicine at BWH. "In smaller studies, cocoa flavanols have been linked to improvements in intermediate risk factors for heart disease, such as reductions in blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improvements in the body’s sensitivity to insulin and improved ability of blood vessels to dilate." 

The large-scale, prospective nutritional intervention will evaluate the role of flavanols in reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke and death from cardiovascular disease. The study will also explore the effect of a daily multivitamin as compared to placebo, as a follow up to previous research conducted only in men, which suggested that multivitamins may lower the risk of cancer. 

This five-year study of 18,000 men and women nation-wide will also be the first large-scale randomized trial testing multivitamins in women.

Manson will co-lead the trial with Howard Sesso, ScD, MPH, also in the division of Preventive Medicine at BWH.

"For multivitamins, the exact mechanisms leading to lower risks of cancer remain unclear, but could be due to individual and joint effects of more than 20 vitamins and minerals," commented Sesso, who is also in the division of Preventive Medicine at BWH and co-leader of the study. "This supplement has shown favorable results in research to date, but the proposed randomized trial is needed to provide conclusive evidence." 

Recruitment of women will be done through the large nationwide Women’s Health Initiative and men will be recruited from other large population-based studies. This trial substantially increases the number of women included in randomized trials of interventions for prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer, areas where inclusion of women has lagged. The recruitment process is slated to begin in fall 2014 and continue into 2015.

Mars, Inc. will provide financial infrastructure support, together with the Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of NIH, as well as the cocoa flavanol-containing capsules for use in this study. 

"This collaboration represents the best of a public-private partnership in the interest of advancing science and public health. It’s exciting to be at this turning point in scientific discovery where we have the potential to achieve benefits for some of our most significant health challenges today," noted Harold Schmitz, chief science officer at Mars, Inc.

The partnership between academic hospitals, NIH and industry is expected to yield answers by 2019. 

 

 

 

 

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Kline: OTC market up 3% on returning brands and dietary supplement growth

BY Michael Johnsen

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Sales of the U.S. OTC market in 2013 were up 3% to $23.5 billion at the manufacturer’s level, according to a blog on research firm Kline’s site posted Monday. 

"Driven by strong sales gains in analgesics, upper respiratory, nutritional and topical products, the market appears to be showing signs of recovery," wrote Laura Mahecha, Kline industry manager healthcare. "This is partly due to the long-awaited rejuvenation of several brands that have posted steep declines in the recent past as a result of supply disruptions and recalls. Brands such as Novartis’ Excedrin and Johnson & Johnson’s Tylenol and Motrin IB have experienced strong gains in 2013 thereby helping the analgesics category to post very strong gains this past year while Pfizer’s Advil, Bayer’s Aleve and private-label analgesics also posted gains in 2013."

Within nutrition, adult multivitamins, glucosamine and chondroitin and fish oils were significant market drivers, Mahecha reported. 

Looking ahead, Kline expects the OTC market to continue to expand as a result of new and innovative Rx-to-OTC switches. "With the addition of new Rx-to-OTC switch brands and, in some cases, entirely new OTC categories, the market is expected to gain considerable sales and growth in the next few years," Mahecha suggested.

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