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Blue Diamond spreads honey across product lines

BY Ryan Chavis

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Blue Diamond Growers, an almond processing and marketing company, on Wednesday announced the launch of a new line of honey-flavored products across the Snack Almonds, Nut Thins and Almond Breeze lines.

“Honey is growing in popularity as a great natural alternative to sugar,” said Al Greenlee, director of marketing at Blue Diamond Growers. “Honey’s sweet, yet understated flavor adds complexity to any meal or snack. We’ve incorporated honey flavors into everything from Snack Almonds to Almond Breeze Almondmilk.”

The new products include:

  • Four new flavors of Snack Almonds: honey roasted, honey roasted vanilla, honey roasted cinnamon and honey roasted chipotle, all of which come in 6-oz. cans;
  • New honey cinnamon and honey mustard Nut Thins, available in 4.25-oz. boxes; and
  • Almond Breeze AlmondMilk in Hint of Honey and honey vanilla, available in both refrigerated and shelf-stable cartons.   

Blue Diamond also announced that it is donating $100,000 to Project Apis m., a nonprofit whose mission is to direct research that will enhance the health of honey bees while also improving crop production. Since 1976, Blue Diamond has helped fund research for more than 70 projects focused on bees, pollination and colony health.

“We understand the importance of honey bees in the process of the food chain and the critical role that they play in the success of our business,” said John O’Shaughnessy, general manager of consumer foods division, Blue Diamond Growers. “We are committed to supporting honey bee health as demonstrated with this donation effort to Project Apis m.”

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Study: Healthcare providers concerned about proposed FDA rule on generic drug labeling

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A survey co-released on Wednesday by the Generic Pharmaceutical Association and the National Coalition on Healthcare reveals that the healthcare providers patients rely on most to explain safety information about their prescription drugs have serious concerns about a proposed FDA rule on generic drug labeling.  



A random phone survey of 150 physicians, 150 physician assistants and 150 pharmacists conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind on behalf of GPhA, found strong reservations about many of the rule’s key provisions among all three groups.



The study comes as FDA considers more than 100 responses to its proposed rule, “Supplemental Applications Proposing Labeling Changes for Approved Drugs and Biological Products,” which would alter the current regulations to allow generic medicine manufacturers to change their safety labels without prior FDA review and without immediate access to the drug’s complete safety data.



“Doctors, physician assistants and pharmacists are on the frontlines of health care in America, and large majorities said that provisions of the proposed rule would create confusion, take up essential time and impact their likelihood to prescribe generic drugs. And most importantly, 81% of those surveyed believe FDA approval should be required prior to generic drug safety label changes. Their voices need to be heard,” stated Ralph G. Neas, president and CEO of GPhA.



“The proposed rule raises significant concerns for practicing pharmacists, particularly in regard to patient confusion and effective risk counseling,” added Thomas E. Menighan, EVP and CEO of the APhA. “Pharmacists devote a great deal of time to counseling patients on appropriate medication use, and as the survey indicates, 67% of pharmacists asked are concerned that they will not have sufficient time to effectively address issues created by this proposed regulation.”

 

“This new research indicates that physician and health professionals concerns about the proposed rule could significantly increase healthcare costs,” stated John Rother, National Coalition on Health Care president and CEO.  “For instance, 60% say the proposed rule would have at least ‘some’ impact on their willingness to recommend generic drugs in the future.  Given that generic drug use has generated more than $1.2 trillion in savings to the U.S. healthcare system over the past decade, and saved $217 billion in 2012 alone, this could undermine the sustainability of our healthcare system.”



Other key findings of the study include:

  • News of the proposed new generic drug labeling rule has not yet reached physicians, pharmacists or physician assistants; in fact, 79% say they have heard “nothing” about this rule;
  • Prescribers and dispensers both expressed the belief that by allowing multiple versions of labeling for the same drug, the proposed new rule would lead to confusion in the marketplace.  Most (76%) say their patients would be at least somewhat confused, while more than half (53%) say having multiple safety labels would be “very” confusing for themselves;
  • Most believe the new rule would have a negative impact on their time.
  • 71% anticipate the new rule would increase the amount of time they need to spend with their patients reviewing patient history and the new labels;
  • 74% believe it would have at least some impact on the time they will need to spend researching labeling differences;
  • In addition, 68% believe they would not have the time required to keep current with the labeling changes; and
  • Concerns regarding liabilities also are an issue, as 77% are at least somewhat concerned the proposed new rule could impact their legal liabilities. This concern is even more pronounced among pharmacists (85%).

Click here to access the full study.

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Dannon unveils decadent new brand

BY Ryan Chavis

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Dannon introduced Dannon creamery, a new brand of dairy desserts that takes inspiration from pudding and cheesecake. There will be five cheesecake-inspired options, which incorporate Greek yogurt with fruit sauces. The three pudding offerings are made with Grade A milk.

“This is another example of Dannon leading category growth, and it’s not just another flavor or line extension. Dannon Creamery is the launch of a new category within dairy,” said Sergio Fuster, CMO of the Dannon Co. “Living well means enjoying the simple things, like a great dessert, and Dannon Creamery re-imagines what indulgence in the dairy aisle can mean. Dessert is about never compromising on taste, and we have created a smart option for indulgence."

Dannon Creamery will be available this July in 5.3-oz. cups for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $1.69. The three puddings varieties are milk chocolate, dark chocolate and vanilla. The cheesecake-inspired flavors will be available in strawberry, blueberry, cherry, lemon and caramel.

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