Tiger by the Tail

Tiger Woods is, by many accounts, either the greatest golfer ever or at least on track to be mentioned among the greatest. Of course, in this age of celebrity endorsements, he has been quick to lend his name and likeness to advertising campaigns. His new deal with Gatorade marks a first for the star, however.

The 13-time major championship winner will actually have a hand in the creation of the products. According to Gatorade, Woods picked the flavors for Gatorade Tiger (cherry blend, citrus blend and grape). The Gatorade Thirst Quencher sub-line will debut in March, and more flavors are expected to follow. However, the formula for Gatorade Tiger is the same as that used in the other Gatorade products.

The deal is Woods’ first with a beverage company and his first licensing agreement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Golfweek magazine has reported that the five-year agreement could fetch Woods as much as $100 million.

Days of Future Pasta

What a difference a couple of years can make! Remember a couple of summers ago, when the carbohydrate-cutting fad was at its zenith, and consumers were abandoning pasta, bread and anything with the dreaded carb?

Fast forward to today, and manufacturers have taken such products and improved their healthy aspects. Ronzoni, for instance, has launched Smart Taste pasta, promising three times the fiber of regular white pasta, in addition to the same amount of calcium as an 8oz glass of milk. The company appears to be targeting parents, in particular.

It cites American Academy of Pediatrics statistics indicating only about 30% of boys and 10% of girls between 12 and 19 meet their daily calcium requirements.

Organics Better?

An extensive four-year study has revealed that organic food is more nutritious than ordinary produce and contains higher quantities of antioxidants, reports London’s Daily Telegraph. The E.U. and food companies funded the £12 million ($25 million) Newcastle University study.

Organic fruit and vegetables contained up to 40% more antioxidants, the study found. A switch to organic food was “the equivalent of eating an extra portion of fruit and vegetables per day.”

The project grew organic and conventional fruit and vegetables side by side and reared cattle at the same location. Conventional test crops (lettuce, cabbage, carrots, potatoes and wheat) were tested for nutritional quality. Antioxidant levels in organic milk were up to 90% higher than conventional milk’s.

Cold Coffee Hot?

The growth in coffee sales continues unabated. In 2006, American spending on the beverage hit nearly $12 billion, up from $8 billion in 2001. The products, however, have met with some negative publicity about their healthiness, though recent studies point to some unique health benefits.

In the more “luxury” coffee arena, those benefits are likely offset by added calories and fat. Bolthouse Farms is trying to add some additional benefits with its Perfectly Protein line containing 10g of whey protein per 8oz serving of the Mocha Cappuccino or Hazelnut Latte variety. The company’s Vanilla Chai Tea offers the same amount of soy protein.

In other ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee news, Coca-Cola continues to look outside soft drinks for sales growth and has partnered with illycaffè SpA in a global joint venture that will focus on the premium RTD coffee segment. Coca-Cola estimates the RTD coffee category at $10 billion worldwide.