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Novartis to ship at least 30 million vaccine doses for 2013-2014 flu season

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Novartis said Wednesday it would ship a "minimum" of 30 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine to customers in the United States this season.

The Swiss drug maker said the vaccines would include Fluvirin, used to prevent flu in patients ages 4 years and older, and Flucelvax, for use in adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends routine seasonal flu vaccination for everyone age 6 months and older, particularly children younger than 5 years, adults older than 50 years and people with chronic diseases, suppressed immune systems and nursing home residents.

"Last year’s flu season, which peaked early and was intense, is a significant reminder of the importance of annual seasonal flu vaccination," Vanderbilt University medical professor William Schaffner said. "The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccination for all adults, and getting a flu vaccine is an important step in protecting one’s health."

Both of the vaccines are trivalent, meaning they protect against three strains of flu, namely two A strains and one B strain.

 

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Merrick Pet Care launches new ‘Purrfect’ cat food

BY Jason Owen

AMARILLO, Texas — Merrick Pet Care announced today a new line of cat food and a new marketing campaign behind a fictional, "acclaimed" food critic, W. "Mittens" Bloomfield.

Merrick’s new Purrfect Bistro line of dry and canned cat foods comes in 21 recipes, including chicken, salmon, tuna, duck turkey and beef, with a minimum of 70% protein and fat ingredients in every dry food bag. The Purrfect Bistro lineup features real, deboned meat as the No. 1 ingredient and features paté, shredded and sliced varieties. 

Five grain-free dry recipes are available in 4-lbs. and 12-lbs. bags at the suggested retail prices of $15.99 and $32.99, respectively. Sixteen canned grain-free recipes are available in 3-oz. and 5.5-oz. cans at the suggested retail prices of $1.29 and $1.69, respectively. Merrick Purrfect Bistro is available at independent pet specialty stores, nationally at Petco and at select online retailers.

Cat parents are invited to join the Merrick Real Food Revolution on Facebook or Twitter and learn more about the Cat Critic on Twitter with the hashtag #TheCatCritic. Meanwhile, W. "Mittens" Bloomfield will be musing about finer foods for felines in his blog at TheCatCritic.com.


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Convenient meal category gets revamped with new Revolution Foods meal kits

BY Jason Owen

OAKLAND, Calif. — Revolution Foods, a company founded and run by two moms, is introducing new Meal Kits, a product the company hopes will revolutionize the convenient meal category, and as the New York Times lauds, a possible competitor to Kraft Foods’ Lunchables, which has maintained a reputable share of the niche market for years.

The Meal Kits are a new and convenient way for families to eat meals that are made with natural, high-quality ingredients and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives — whether it’s at home, school or on-the-go. The Meal Kits can be found in the refrigerated section at grocery stores across the United States.

“We’re bringing our expertise in creating great-tasting, good-for-you, kid-inspired natural food for hundreds of thousands of students each week to the grocery aisle to fill a void that parents and teachers have repeatedly voiced: the need for on-the-go meals that taste great without artificial colors, flavors or preservatives,” said Kristin Groos Richmond, cofounder and CEO of Revolution Foods. “We serve 1 million school meals per week so we know what kids like, and we know what parents want. After partnering with thousands of school kids and parents across the United States to help craft the kits, we know kids love the taste and fun of on-the-go meals and parents love the convenience, but they don’t love all the artificial ingredients. Our Meal Kits are a natural, high-quality solution.”

Each Meal Kit is packed with protein and at least 7 g of whole grains and one serving of fruit. The Meal Kits are made with real food: meat raised with no antibiotics and no added nitrites or nitrates, and real cheese from cows not treated with rBST, an artificial growth hormone, the company stated. The Meal Kits come in four varieties:

  • Turkey and Cheddar;
  • Ham and Cheddar;
  • Cheese Pizza;
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly.

Revolution Foods Meal Kits will be available in mid-August in Safeway’s across Northern California, select H-E-B and Central Market stores in Texas and King Soopers stores across Colorado. The Meal Kits will roll out to Whole Foods Market’s across Northern California in September, and additional markets and retailers, including Target, beginning in October.

Revolution Foods landed on Inc. magazine’s Inc. 5000 list for 2013 as one of the fastest growing companies in America.


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