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Smart Balance launches line of better-for-you butter-based spreads

BY Drug Store News Team

PARAMUS, N.J. — Smart Balance has introduced a new line of blended butter spreads, with 40% less saturated fat, made from a unique blend of butter and canola oil, plus EPA/DHA & ALA Omega-3s and naturally sourced plant sterols that help block the cholesterol in butter.

"We’re excited to produce another flavorful, high-quality product in support of those seeking a heart-healthier lifestyle," said Steve Hughes, Smart Balance chairman and CEO. "These spreadable butters combine great taste with added benefits in a soft butter that’s easy to spread."

The new heart-healthier butter spreads include Smart Balance Butter & Canola Oil Blend, Light Butter & Canola Oil Blend and Butter & Canola and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Blend. The spreadable butters come in 7.5-oz. containers.

"This is truly a unique product in the marketplace," said registered dietitian Tammi Hancock. "Smart Balance Spreadable Butter has absolutely no hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, [has] 0 grams trans fat naturally and, unlike regular butter, it has a naturally sourced ingredient that helps block the cholesterol in the butter."

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Kraft Foods outlines sustainability with lifecycle assessment

BY Allison Cerra

NORTHFIELD, Ill. — Kraft Foods announced its use of lifecycle assessment, which measures the footprint of what goes into making a product.

Building on its multiyear footprinting project, Kraft Foods said LCA has been used to map its impact on climate change, land and water use, and are utilizing lifecycle thinking to uncover ways to eliminate waste in manufacturing, including reducing the amount of raw materials used at the beginning of a supply chain and to help measure how product and packaging innovations improve on previous designs. For example, Kraft has used LCA to confirm the design of the Kraft Yes pack salad dressing has a reduced environmental impact, using 60% less plastic packaging than the previous container.

Additionally, as part of LCA, Kraft Foods also has used a proprietary tool called Eco-Calculator, which calculates the percentage of post-consumer recycled material in a given package design, along with the amount of energy and carbon dioxide emissions required to create the package. The tool is based on data from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and packaging industry groups.

"Lifecycle assessment is an important part of our sustainability journey," said Roger Zellner, sustainability director for research, development and quality at Kraft Foods. "It gives us a competitive advantage, as we now have more insight into how to reduce our products’ footprints, find efficiencies and validate and explain those benefits to customers and consumers. Together, we’re focusing and working smarter and communicating better, which is good for the environment, people and our business."

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Michelob Ultra debuts light cider

BY Allison Cerra

ST. LOUIS — Anheuser-Busch has expanded its Michelob Ultra brand to include a naturally sweetened and gluten-free cider made from crisp apples.

Michelob Ultra light cider is the first cider from Anheuser-Busch to be produced and distributed in the United States. The cider touts 120 calories and is ideal for year-round enjoyment and provides adult drinkers a light, refreshing alternative to white wine, champagne and heavier ciders.

"As more people continue to discover cider, we’ve found that many view traditional ciders as either too heavy, too sweet or both," Anheuser-Busch VP premium lights Ryan Moore said. "This perception has often times limited ciders to a seasonal beverage during fall and winter, but we saw an untapped potential to expand the category as a year-round option for adult drinkers. Michelob Ultra light cider fills this void with a lower calorie cider with a milder, but distinct, sweetness that can be enjoyed straight or over ice."

Michelob Ultra light cider now is available nationwide in 6-packs of 12-oz. clear glass bottles.

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