Prepared Foods May 16, 2005 enewsletter

Bumble Bee has announced a marketing agreement and joint sales effort with Leiner Health Products to produce and market new fish oil supplements under the seafood brand.

The fish oil supplements -- produced from a pure blend of oils from cold-water deep-sea fish, and high in omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFAs) -- will be made available to consumers under a new Bumble Bee Seafood Supplement label beginning summer 2005.

Omega-3 fatty acid benefits have been linked to improved heart health, reduced hypertension, aid in fighting autoimmune diseases, and improved mental health.

Consumers will have the choice of two Bumble Bee Seafood Supplement formulations to meet their lifestyle and dietary needs.

A premium, high-potency option will contain 1,200mg softgels, each providing 216mg of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 144mg of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are both forms of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish.

The supplements will feature a vanilla scent and enteric coating designed to mask any fishy odor and aftertaste.

Consumers will also have the choice of a value-priced supplement containing 1,000mg softgels, each offering 180mg of EPA and 120mg of DHA.

Bumble Bee president and chief executive officer Christopher D. Lischewski commented, "We're pleased to join with Leiner Health Products in launching a product that represents a new category of tremendous growth for Bumble Bee, capitalizing on the healthful attributes of our fish resources and offering consumers another option to increase their omega-3 intake."

Lischewski added, "While we expect that the Bumble Bee Fish Oil supplements will be shelved in traditional locations alongside other like health products, we're hopeful that our retail buyers will also consider shelving them in the canned seafood section to increase their availability to consumers."

Leiner Health Products president Gale Bensussen said, "We are excited about the opportunity to work with a brand as respected and trusted as Bumble Bee. With numerous fish oil supplements in the market, consumers sometimes feel overwhelmed when trying to choose a quality product. At Leiner, quality assurance is our number-one priority, which is why we manufacture all our nutritional supplements to the industry's strictest standards. The Bumble Bee Fish Oil softgels are high-quality supplements that have been manufactured to meet the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) guidelines set for purity, quality and potency."

He continued, "The National Academy of Science recommends 1,100mg of omega-3 per day for women, and 1,600mg for men, to help protect against heart disease. But most consumers -- even those with normal patterns of tuna consumption -- do not meet that level of intake. The good news is consumers can boost their omega-3 consumption by taking the Bumble Bee Fish Oil supplements."

According to Bensussen, the 1,200mg formulation has an omega-3 content that is higher than or equal to any leading brand on the market. "Each of these enteric-coated softgels contains the purest and finest fish oil available. In fact, according to USP, the omega-3 fish oil concentrate used in Leiner's softgels is the only fish oil concentrate on the market to date to achieve the USP ingredient verification mark," he said.

The USP’s new Ingredient Verification Program (USP-IVP) verifies the quality of raw materials used to manufacture dietary supplements, giving manufacturers even greater confidence in the ingredients they use.

The Bumble Bee Fish Oil supplements will be made available through mass merchandisers and club stores, as well as food and drug outlets.