A Line about Health

Manufacturers continue attempts to answer the consumer desire for more-healthful foods and beverages, now expanding their efforts into areas already considered fairly healthful in the first place.

Poultry may not have the same beneficial reputation as certain omega-3-laden seafood options, but it is not the vilified red meat, either. To capitalize on the healthful attributes of its poultry products, Pilgrim's Pride Corporation (Pittsburg, Texas) is introducing an entirely new line.

The EatWellStayHealthy brand communicates clearly and instantly to consumers, the company believes. For that matter, it is among the first poultry lines to meet the nutritional requirements necessary to carry the USDA-regulated term “healthy.” As such, the American Heart Association's (Dallas) mark of approval can be found on all eight EatWellStayHealthy products: uncooked whole and split chicken breasts and breast tenderloins; and cooked chicken breast strips and fillets, Szechwan chicken breast tenderloins, Italian-style grilled chicken breast fillets, and Key Lime Flavor chicken breast fillets.

A New Mix

While malternatives or flavored alcoholic beverages (FABs) may have been one of the hotter categories just a few years ago, the number of launches in the segment has cooled. Brewers turned their collective attention to low-carbohydrate introductions for the last couple of years, and energy-boosting tipples appear to be one of the next areas of focus.

However, all is not lost for malternatives. While the number of introductions has subsided, the category remains active. Segment veteran Mike's Hard Lemonade (San Francisco) has added a berry variety to its growing lineup, and Miller Brewing (Milwaukee) is importing Brutal Fruit from South Africa. Currently in test market, Brutal Fruit contains fruit juice with 5% alcohol by volume (ABV) and is available in four flavors: strawberry, mango, litchi and kiwi.

Similarly, Anheuser-Busch (St. Louis) has turned to another fruit seldom found in alcoholic beverages. Watermelon is the flavor for a new launch under the company's Bacardi Silver label.

A Punch of Fortification

Mott's Inc. (Rye Brook, N.Y.) has a team working on research supporting apple juice and applesauce as good dietary choices when consumed as part of a healthful, balanced diet. The efforts are beginning to pay off, as a review of several government food surveys found no association between the consumption of apple juice or applesauce and overweight children or adults.

The news comes just in time, as Mott's has announced a pair of apple juice introductions—Mott's Plus for Kids' Health and Mott's Plus Light. The new juices and drinks have been “specifically fortified with the entire family's health needs in mind,” the company notes.

Mott's Plus for Kids' Health is 100% juice fortified with 100% of the RDA of vitamin C, 10% vitamin A and 10% calcium. The apple grape and apple punch varieties have no added sugar and promise to be low in sodium.

Sweetened with sucralose, Mott's Plus Light is an apple juice with half the calories and sugar of regular apple juice. Containing 50% juice, Mott's Plus Light is fortified with 100% of the RDA of vitamin C, 20% of vitamin D and 10% calcium.

Junk Science

A study by Oxford University has found a correlation between diets high in processed foods and children with behavior problems and learning difficulties. Arguing “junk” food prevents the brain from working properly, scientists say the foods lack the vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids to boost brain power and, furthermore, reduce the body's intake of nutrients which can improve concentration.

Many children given medication to combat attention deficit disorder, the researchers suggest, could do better with simple dietary improvements. For example, essential fats found in fish and nuts were found to improve the brain power of the 117 British children involved in the study. Each of the subjects, who ranged in age from five to 12, had suffered physical coordination problems but were of “normal ability,” though underachieving. Of those given daily supplements rich in omega-3s, 40% made dramatic improvements in reading and spelling, as well as “significant” improvement in concentration and behavior.