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Mars Food teams up with the National Salt Reduction Initiative

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES Mars Food has signed on to reduce sodium in its Uncle Ben’s flavored rice products.

Mars Food said it is endorsing the National Salt Reduction Initiative, a New York City-led coalition of cities, states and health organizations working to help food manufacturers and restaurants voluntarily reduce the amount of salt in their products, with the goal of reducing Americans’ salt intake by 20% over five years. As part of the company’s endorsement of the NSRI, Mars Food US is voluntarily committing to lowering the sodium content in its Uncle Ben’s brand flavored rice products by 25% over five years. The company’s other varieties of Uncle Ben’s brand rice and products, including the certified organic Seeds Of Change flavored rice, pasta sauce, simmer sauce and salad dressings, already meet the NSRI targets.

“Mars Food US believes that sodium reduction is one of many important health and nutrition issues, and something we have been actively engaged in for some time,” Mike Wilson, VP research and development, Mars Food. “As part of our long term health and nutrition strategy, we remain committed to making significant sodium reductions without compromising the great taste our consumers expect as they continue to look for healthier food choices. We believe that our efforts to reduce sodium in Uncle Ben’s brand flavored rice can have a significant impact, especially since it is the number-one rice brand in America.”

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PepsiCo-sponsored recycling initiative makes its way to Rite Aid stores

BY Michael Johnsen

PURCHASE, N.Y. PepsiCo and Waste Management on Wednesday announced a multi-year partnership in support of the Dream Machine recycling initiative designed around PepsiCo’s goal of increasing the U.S. beverage container recycling rate from 34% to 50% by 2018. Dream Machine kiosks are computerized receptacles that include a personal reward system that allows consumers to collect and redeem points for each bottle or can they recycle in the kiosk.

Rite Aid is set to be one of the first national retailers to sign on to the program, starting with 150 kiosks in their North Carolina locations. PepsiCo also has entered into a partnership with Keep America Beautiful to encourage community involvement in the program by engaging nearly 600 local KAB affiliate organizations in communities nationwide.

The program also intends to provide funding to the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, a national program offering free, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veterans with disabilities.

PepsiCo leads the industry by incorporating 10% recycled plastic in soft drink containers in the United States.  Currently, less than one-third of plastic beverage containers are being recycled each year and only 12% of public spaces are equipped with recycling receptacles.

The Dream Machines will be provided by GreenOps, a subsidiary of Waste Management.

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Reed’s inks distribution deal with Harris Teeter

BY Alaric DeArment

LOS ANGELES A soda maker is expanding its product placement with a distributon deal with a supermarket chain that operates stores in eight Southern states.

Harris Teeter said it immediately will begin carrying three SKUs of Reed’s Ginger Brews and three SKUs of Virgil’s branded products in all of its 196 stores throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Maryland and Delaware.

At the request of Harris Teeter, Reed’s brands will be distributed through their own distribution network.

Christopher Reed, founder and CEO of Reed’s, stated, “Harris Teeter is an upscale, cutting-edge retailer that is a great fit for our brands. As a leading retailer with a strong commitment to natural and organic product offerings across their regions, Harris Teeter lends an incredible opportunity to develop Reed’s and Virgil’s brand awareness in the greater Southern mainstream market.”

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