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New research attempts to add cancer-fighting antioxidant to beer

BY Melissa Valliant

HOUSTON In a few months, beer may be just as beneficial for you as red wine. Scientists at Rice University in Houston are currently working on new research with Texas-based Saint Arnold Brewing Company to add the antioxidant resveratrol to the yeast in beer.

Resveratrol is known as the cancer-fighting antioxidant found under grape skins and, therefore, also found in red wine. Jonathan Silberg, one of the researchers involved, said the researchers and Saint Arnold Brewing Company are attempting to synthesize resveratrol from the amino acid tyrosine. Researchers hope to have evidence within a few months to support that resveratrol can be formed in beer during the fermentation process.

A California study has discovered that low doses of freeze-dried grape powder could prevent colorectal cancer because of its high concentration of resveratrol. Scientists have also found anti-inflammatory and other cardiovascular effects, as well as the ability of the chemical to lower blood sugar in rats. Though experts assert that people should drink in moderation, resveratrol has enough healthful benefits that more people should consider including resveratrol-added food to their diet.

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Shamrock Farms launches new product line nationally

BY Melissa Valliant

PHOENIX Arizona-based dairy brand Shamrock Farms is releasing a new single-serve “mmmmilk” line throughout select national markets in October. The company’s popularity has been on the rise recently due to its role as the official milk of SUBWAY restaurants, and its various flavored lines have been increasingly appearing in vending machines all over the country.

Shamrock Farms currently produces portable, 12-ounce containers of whole white, whole chocolate and 2 percent reduced fat white, chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. On-the-go Shamrock Farms milk will be available through Kroger and Marsh in Charleston, W.V.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; and Roanoke and Richmond, Va.

“We have a strong brand with on-the-go functionality, compelling graphics, and even a sassy spokescow, Roxie,”” said Sandy Kelly, direcot rof marketing for Shamrock Farms Dairy Division. “This product delivers fun flavors and the great taste kids love without compromising the nutrition parents demand. Our single serve milk line has proven to be a real stand-out in the dairy case.”

The company plans on utilizing print, radio and in-store POS advertising to gain national interest in the new line, sampling the product at high-traffic locations and promoting it through sponsored sporting events.

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Diamond Foods acquires Pop Secret, makes plans for marketing

BY Melissa Valliant

SAN FRANCISCO Diamond Foods, marketer of Emerald brand snack nuts, is popping into the microwavable popcorn segment with its recent $190 million acquisition of Pop Secret, currently the No.2 microwavable popcorn brand.

Emerald brand snack nuts transformed the snack nut category in 2004 with resealable lids, different packaging, new flavors and heavy ad spending. Diamond Foods has the opportunity to do the same with Pop Secret. Diamond Foods chief executive Michael Mendes plans on catering the new advertising campaign to younger consumers through different flavors and packaging, and, according to Investor’s Business Daily, a series of national TV ads will be aired soon. The company intends to spend between $26 million and $29 million on advertising this year and expects to gain $85 million to $90 million in annual sales with the addition of Pop Secret.

“The microwave popcorn market has been pretty stagnant over the past few years, with little money spent on marketing,” analyst Mark Argento of Craig-Hallum Capital Group said. “There’s a big opportunity to re-grow the category with some marketing dollars and product improvement.”

Diamond Foods’ microwavable popcorn possesses high selling potential because of its location in the snack aisle, often adjacent to the snack nuts, and because retail buyers often have control over the purchasing of both snack nuts and popcorn. Both products also have a long shelf life and do not require refrigeration.

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