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Organic Valley passes $1 billion sales mark

BY David Salazar

LA FARGE, Wis. — Organic farming cooperative and brand Organic Valley  announced at the end of 2015 that it had surpassed $1 billion in sales on Dec. 22. 
 
Organic Valley said the sales achievement capped off a year of growth in new product lines and strong continued support for its core products. In 2015, following its 2014 acquisition of Organic Balance and Organic fuel, the latter product became the best-selling organic protein shake in all grocery channels. 
 
“We see our growth as win-win-win,” Organic Valley VP brand marketing Lewis Goldstein said. “Our original mission of saving family farms also happens to produce some of the best food on the planet that’s the healthiest choice for everyone—the farmers, their animals and farmland, and consumers.”
 
Looking forward, Organic Valley said that it is planning a February launch of its Good to Go single-serve milk for adults, as well as the launch of its Might Bar organic meat snacks, which will be part of its Organic Prairie sister brand. 
 
“More than ever, people want to buy brands that are about more than just profit, but also about people and the planet,” public affairs director Anne O’Connor said. “In our growth and the growth of our industry, we remain committed to our core values of social responsibility, honesty, and caring for our communities. It’s the best way to provide the best organic food.”
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FDA surpassed previous record, approved 21 new orphan drugs in 2015

BY David Salazar

The Food and Drug Administration in 2015 approved 21 new orphan drugs for rare diseases, the organization announced recently. This group of drugs made up 47% of all approvals in 2015, making it the year that the most orphan drugs were approved in FDA history. 
 
For the National Organization for Rare Disorders, a nonprofit representing patients and families affected by rare diseases, the record number of approvals is evidence of progress in treatment options. 
 
“The remarkable number of orphan drugs approved by FDA in 2015 underscores the progress we are making in identifying and studying new therapies, the willingness of the investment community to invest in orphan drugs, and the continued flexibility shown by the FDA in reviewing applications that often include small studies due to the small number of patients with the disease,” NORD president and CEO Peter Saltonstall said. “At the same time, we must recognize that our patient community faces new challenges in accessing many new therapies, and that the vast majority of the 7,000 identified rare diseases still have no treatment options. … We look forward to still more approvals in 2016 and beyond.”
 
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Beanitos rolls out gluten-free, preservative free Hint of Lime bean chips

BY Barbara White-Sax

AUSTIN, Texas — Beanitos, creator of the Original Bean Snacks, recently expanded its signature line of bean chips to include a new Hint of Lime variety. Made from a proprietary blend of U.S.-farmed whole navy beans and non-GMO ingredients, including sea salt and natural seasoning, the better-for-you chips offer 6g of fiber and 4g of protein in every serving. The new chips also are low-glycemic and gluten-free, and contain no preservatives and no artificial flavors or colors.

(To view the full Category Review, click here.)

Beanitos Hint of Lime joins the company’s full line of bean chips, including Original Black Bean, Chipotle BBQ, Nacho Cheese, Restaurant Style, Simply Pinto Bean and Better Cheddar, as well as its savory assortment of baked Bean Puffs. Suggested retail is $3.49 for a 6-oz. bag.

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