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Lunchables continues food evolution with new varieties

BY Allison Cerra

MADISON, Wis. Lunchables is getting more wholesome with new varieties that aim to keep kids healthy.

The line expansion includes the introduction of two new varieties: chicken strips made with 100% white meat chicken, and chicken and American sub sandwich, which features rotisserie seasoned chicken and bread made with 8 g of whole grain. Both products are good sources of protein and calcium and join the Lunchables-with-water roster introduced last year that offers quality meats, cheeses and spring water, the company said.

 

To continue to offer parents a full range of products that meet all of their needs, over the last 10 years, the Lunchables lunch combinations line has been extensively revamped. This evolution has resulted in a 24% reduction in sodium, a 22% reduction in fat and a 21% decrease in calories across the portfolio.

 

 

"We’re always looking for ways to make our products better," said Darin Dugan, senior director of marketing at Lunchables. "As a result, we constantly evaluate the nutritional profile of our food and have worked hard to improve it by adding whole grains, spring water and fruit options. We’ve also removed ingredients like high fructose corn syrup from our crackers."

 

 

The complete line of Lunchables lunch combinations with water, which are available in the refrigerated section of grocery stores, retail for $3.49.

 

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FDA issues warning letters for two green tea drinks

BY Allison Cerra

SILVER SPRING, Md. The Food and Drug Administration recently issued two warning letters to the Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Unilever for their respective green tea beverages, stating that the companies’ nutritional claims are not in compliance with FDA regulations.

The FDA sent a warning letter on Aug. 30 to DPS regarding the sparkling green tea ginger ale product from its Canada Dry brand. The regulatory agency said that the beverage maker’s product label "bears a nutrient content claim that is not authorized by regulation," using such beverage content claims as antioxidants, enhanced with vitamin C and fortified with nutrients. The FDA said in its letter, "[the agency] does not consider it appropriate to fortify snack foods, such as carbonated beverages."

A similar warning letter was issued on Aug. 23 to Unilever, which stated that Unilever’s Lipton green tea labeling on the brand’s website contained therapeutic claims. Lipton’s website claimed that green tea was cited as a reducer of cholesterol levels in people with coronary disease in four recent studies, which the FDA said implied that "the product is a drug because it is intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease."

 

The FDA requested executives from both companies to respond to the citations within 15 days and to outline their plans for addressing the problems.

 

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Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker introduces Ben Tre chocolate bar

BY Allison Cerra

HERSHEY, Pa. Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker has released a limited edition chocolate bar that has hints of both spices and fruit.

The new Ben Tre chocolate bar is made with cacao beans from the Ben Tre province of Vietnam, the company said. Beginning this month, the Scharffen Berger Ben Tre chocolate bar will be available on the chocolate maker’s website and select retail locations nationwide.

"What makes the Scharffen Berger Ben Tre bar incredibly special is the attention to quality and care given throughout the entire bean-to-bar process," said Ray Major, lead expert on cacao sourcing for Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker. "Plantations are small in Vietnam, and the farmers are meticulous cultivators, treating their properties more like gardens rather than farms."

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