Coca-Cola working on thick, dessert beverage made with rice
ATLANTA It seems Coca-Cola is looking for revenue-raising opportunities outside of the soft drink category. According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the beverage giant has filed a patent for a rich, dessert-type product, thickened with rice.
The product’s added rice extracts or derivatives would provide it with a cream- or custard-like texture, and the company’s application explains that textures with varying degrees of thickness could be developed. A “dairy-free, low caloric, low fat beverage” was described, sounding strangely similar to Pepsi Bottling Group’s Muscle Milk, a relatively new product that has thrived in the nutrition beverage category.
Coke’s mystery creation may also include starch, protein, fiber, fat, fruit flavors and sweet flavors frequently associated with ice cream, pie, cake or pudding.
BJ’s Wholesale Club reports 3Q results; plans expansion
NATICK, Ma. In its third quarter company call, BJ’s Wholesale Club executives told stockholders that the company is planning for greater expansion over the course of the year than previously considered.
BJ’s will open three more stores by the close of the current fiscal year, and, the company plans to open eight new stores in fiscal 2009, the company said.
In the conference call, the company said that net sales for third quarter 2008 totaled about $2.4 billion, up13.4 percent from third quarter 2007. The hike in gas prices padded net income so the total reported for third quarter was $28.2 million, up from $22.7 million at the same time the year prior.
Same store sales, not including gas, were up 6.6 percent, total comp increase of 11.9 percent, the company said. The wholesale chain reported that food comp sales were up 11 percent. General merchandise sales were down 1 percent, the company reported.
Global Probiotics Council announces grants for probiotic research
ALEXANDRIA, Va. The Global Probiotics Council, a committee formed by Groupe Danone and Yakult Honsha, on Monday announced the availability of two grants for the second annual Young Investigator Grant for Probiotics Research.
Each Young Investigator Grant will provide $50,000 over one year. This year, the grant focus is on the role of probiotics and gastrointestinal microbiota in health and disease. The grants are designed to contribute to the advancement of probiotics and gastrointestinal microbiota research in the United States and to attract promising, young researchers into this field of study.
“Groupe Danone and Yakult Honsha are committed to benefiting human health by advancing research on probiotics,” said Sven Thormahlen, executive vice president of research and development for Danone Research. “We established the GPC to raise awareness of probiotics and their health benefits through science-based education.”
Researchers applying for this grant must be interested in understanding the health benefits of probiotics and the relationship between probiotics, gastrointestinal microbiota and the body.
Probiotic research is a key expertise of Danone Research, the companies stated. Over the past 90 years, Danone has amassed a collection of approximately 3,500 lactic bacteria strains or “cultures.” In addition to taste and texture, some of these cultures provide probiotic health properties. Such is the case of Bifidobacterium animalis DN 173 010, used to produce Activia, and Lactobacillus casei DN 114 001, used to produce DanActive.