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Sixteen companies producing 36% of calories from packaged foods, beverages remove 6.4 trillion calories from marketplace

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. — Food and beverage manufacturers in the United States exceeded the goal to remove calories from their products by 400%, according to a new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The report found that 16 food and beverage companies sold 6.4 trillion fewer calories in 2012 than in 2007; the companies, which together produce 36% of the calories from all packaged foods and beverages, had pledged to work with the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation to remove 1 trillion during that time frame and 1.5 trillion by 2015. Collectively, the companies sold 60.4 trillion calories in 2007 and 54 trillion in 2012, resulting in a reduction of 78 calories per person in the United States each day. The partnership between the HWCF and the manufacturers represented the first effort to track all they sold in the United States.

"It’s extremely encouraging to hear that these leading companies appear to have substantially exceeded their calorie-reduction pledge," RWJF Health Group SVP and director James Marks said. "They must sustain that reduction, as they’ve pledged to do, and other food companies should follow their lead to give Americans the lower-calorie foods and beverages they want."

The HWCF was formed in October 2009 when more than 40 of the country’s largest retailers, food and beverage manufacturers and non-profit groups partnered to reduce obesity, particularly in children, by 2015.

Participating companies include Unilever, Bumble Bee Foods, Campbell Soup Co., PepsiCo, Nestle, the Coca-Cola Co., The Hershey Co. and others.

 

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Sparkling Ice announces new offerings

BY Ryan Chavis

PRESTON, Wash. — Sparkling Ice, part of the TalkingRain portfolio of beverages, will expand its line of zero-calorie sparkling waters with the addition of two new flavors. Starting this month, consumers will get to indulge in Cherry Limeade and Strawberry Watermelon.

Sparkling Ice Cherry Limeade mingles the sweetness of cherries with the tanginess of lime to provide a bold flavor, while Strawberry Watermelon joins two summertime favorites for a refreshment that can be enjoyed year-round.  

"We are so pleased to present more offerings to our dedicated fans, and we are eager to tempt new consumers looking to make healthier choices with our bold-flavored, zero-calorie sparkling waters," Kevin Klock, CEO of TalkingRain Beverage Company, said. "2013 was an exciting year for the brand, and as we kick off the new year, we look forward to continued success and growth for Sparkling ICE."

Additional Sparkling Ice flavors include Black Raspberry, Orange Mango, Pink Grapefruit, Kiwi Strawberry, Coconut Pineapple, Pomegranate Blueberry, Peach Nectarine, Lemon Lime and Crisp Apple.

Sparkling Ice can be found nationwide and retails for $1.19 to $1.29.  

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Cascadian Farm introduces pea protein bars

BY Ryan Chavis

SEDRO-WOOLLEY, Wash. — Cascadian Farm will welcome a line of bars made with organic pea protein — a protein source derived entirely from plants — to its robust line of products.

The bars are available nationwide in two flavors, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and Honey Roasted Nut, and offer a chewy texture that packs 9 g of protein in each serving.

"We know consumers are searching for innovative products made with protein from legumes, vegetables and nuts, and so we are thrilled to introduce a new line of bars made with organic pea protein," Scott Lee, marketing director for Cascadian Farm, said. "What’s especially exciting about these bars is that we’ve found a way to deliver this protein source while also fulfilling our promise to provide our customers with delicious organic foods the whole family will enjoy."

The new Cascadian Farm pea protein bars retail for $4.49 for a box of five bars.

 

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