Dogged Determination

Manufacturers continue the rush to pamper pets with products echoing human health concerns and trends. Just in case dietary guidelines ever decide to dictate pets’ recommended daily allowance of vegetables, a new product already is available.

Pegetables from Splintek is a product line made from natural ingredients that provide dogs with the daily beneficial supplements derived from real vegetable content. The company is quick to note that these are not “garden-variety” dog treats, referring to them instead as a healthy gourmet snack fortified with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, protein, fiber, calcium and vitamins A, B, C, D and E.

In other news going to the dogs, a 12-month combined people and pet weight management study found quality of life for both owners and their pets improve when they battle the bulge together. That is, weight-loss programs are more successful when people and their pets both exercise together—good news, considering 65% of adult Americans are overweight, and 40% of the pet population fall into that category as well.

Doing a 180

Pomegranate may have received the big buzz in recent years, but one major brewer is hoping consumers will embrace a slightly smaller fruit. Anheuser-Busch is incorporating acai berries into its new 180 Blue.

Claiming the drink is the first packaged energy drink in the U.S. to feature the berry, Anheuser-Busch “did not set out to create just another energy drink,” says Andy Goeler, the company’s vice president of Import, Craft and Alliance. The acai berry is a small, purple fruit from the palmberry tree and is rich in B vitamins, minerals (particularly iron), fiber, proteins, omega-3 fatty acids and anthocyanin (an antioxidant).

The beverage also includes guarana, red grape and blueberry juices, plus vitamins B6 and B12. It will be the third member of the 180 family, joining 180 Orange Citrus and 180 Energy X3 Lemon-Lime Citrus Blast. The company notes the latter two are currently performing up over 75% year to date (through September of 2006).

Tea Team

Beverage Partners Worldwide (BPW), the joint venture between Nestle and Coca-Cola, was established back in 2001 to tap into the growth potential of emerging beverage segments, notably ready-to-drink coffee, teas and beverages with a healthful positioning. It followed a prior 10-year joint venture known as Coca-Cola and Nestle Refreshments, so it is clear the effort has quite a history. Now, it has announced one of its more interesting products, just before announcing it will refocus its efforts upon black tea beverages.

In the meantime, Enviga will hit the U.S. market nationwide beginning in January (after an initial rollout in the Northeast). The company claims this sparkling green tea “creates a new category that combines great taste and negative calories.” The drink contains green tea extracts, calcium and caffeine. According to studies, consuming the equivalent of three Enviga beverages over the course of a day will result in “a noticeable increase in calorie burning.”

The Knack for Snacks

Give Frito-Lay credit: it does remember its word. As early as 2004, the company hinted at plans to merge fruits and vegetables into its snacking platform, and now the company has announced it will further its healthful focus with a line of snack chips made from fruits and vegetables. To be known as Flat Earth, the line will feature half a serving of fruits or vegetables per ounce. It is the PepsiCo unit’s first homegrown brand in 15 years and will launch in February. Flavors will include garlic and herb, tomato ranch, wild berry patch and peach mango.

A 1oz. serving will contain a quarter-cup serving of fruits or vegetables, and the crisps are also made from rice and potatoes. The fat and calorie content are expected to be similar to Frito-Lay’s other baked goods. That is, each 28g serving of Flat Earth has less than 5g of fat and about 130 calories; a 31.8g bag of Baked Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream Chips has 4g of fat and 140 calories.

The Heat of the Night

The end of daylight savings time may mean an extra hour of sleep for some people, but Denny’s believes that additional time may well go toward late-night munching; particularly as American society further embraces the 24/7 concept. The company’s research found that over 80% of respondents dine out between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on a weekly or monthly basis. Based on 400 Internet interviews among national late-night eaters, Denny’s Late Night Dining Survey was conducted in August.

Furthermore, the majority of respondents (58%) prefer a sit-down restaurant to a fast-food drive-thru. Some 67% opted for sandwiches and dinner entrées, with 6% satisfying a sweet tooth and selecting a dessert. Hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken strips and fries have their place among late-night diners, but 70% admit they occasionally have less-conventional cravings, such as fried tofu, turkey burgers, Thai duck, chocolate scones and even goat’s milk.

Some 47% of the midnight munchers were over the age of 50, with only 30% saying the late-night meal was the end to a night of merriment. “Our survey revealed that eating after 10:00 p.m. has become more commonplace as America becomes a 24-hour society. Many ‘third-shifters’ and those that are out late want real meals and do not want to settle for fast food snacks,” said Peter Gibbons, vice president of product development with Denny’s.

The late-night diner would seem to be emerging as a focal point for certain restaurant chains. In the early summer, Taco Bell initiated its notion of the “Fourthmeal,” defined as food eaten between dinner and breakfast. A survey by the fast-food chain showed 53% of Americans eat later than they had previously in their lives, due to an increasingly busy schedule. Some 44.7% of 18- to 29-year-old males ate later than 7:00 p.m. every day; a sentiment shared by nearly a third of males between the ages of 30 and 39. Regardless, Taco Bell is targeting what it terms is the “tremendous amount of people eating out on a nontraditional schedule.”


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  • A one-week practical short course on Snack Food Processing in cooperation with The Snack Food Association will be presented on March 18-23, 2007, at Texas A&M. For information, contact Dr. Mian N. Riaz; Food Protein R&D Center; 2476 TAMU; Texas A&M University; College Station, TX 77843-2476; phone: 979-845-2774; fax: 979-458-0019 ; e-mail:; or at
  • Ocean Nutrition Canada announced the creation of an exclusive distribution partnership in Mexico with FX Morales y Asociados. The partnership will allow Ocean Nutrition Canada to expand its food ingredient sales into the important Mexican market.
  • Fortitech Inc. added Richard Schleif as its new director of marketing.
  • Loders Croklaan launched SansTrans™ RS39 T20, a reduced saturate, trans-free, non-hydrogenated all-purpose shortening.
  • Burke Corporation named Craig Willard as territory sales representative.
  • Soup Kitchen International Inc. announced the appointment of Keith Lyon as president and chief operating officer.
  • Dominic Olson was promoted to national sales manager from regional sales manager at Bell Flavors and Fragrances.
  • International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. announced the company will be organized into two business units that reflect its flavor and fragrance businesses, effective January 1, 2007. Hernan Vaisman has been elected by IFF’s board of directors to the newly created position of group president, Flavors, and Nicolas Mirzayantz has been elected to the newly created position of group president, Fragrances.
  • Lipid Nutrition is now a private limited liability company in its own right, part of Loders Croklaan Group. The new business structure is intended to allow Lipid Nutrition to operate as an independent entity.
  • NSF International announced three key senior level management promotions: Kristen Holthas been promoted to senior vice president of NSF’s Food Safety and Dietary Supplement Programs and president of NSF International Strategic Registrations Ltd.; Michael P. Walsh, CPA, has been promoted to vice president and chief financial officer; and Tom Chestnut has been appointed vice president of NSF’s Supply Chain Food Safety and Quality Programs.