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Coca-Cola awarded for PlantBottle packaging

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA Coca-Cola was saluted for its recyclable, PET plastic packaging at the 22nd annual DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation.

Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle packaging — which was launched in December 2009 — earned a gold award for demonstrating breakthrough packaging innovation, Coca-Cola said. The DuPont Award is the packaging industry’s longest running, independently judged global award program. Made of up to 30% plant-based material, PlantBottle packaging is made from renewable sources that is 100% recyclable, like traditional PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic. PlantBottle packaging can be recycled in the existing commercial recycling infrastructure, Coca-Cola said.

 “Our journey has only just begun, but the initial success we have seen in the marketplace along with highly credible recognition like this from DuPont show that we are making progress and delivering packaging innovation in response to consumers, customers and our franchise insights and business needs,” said Scott Vitters, PlantBottle business lead at Coca-Cola.

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Planters introduces Flavor Grove line

BY Allison Cerra

EAST HANOVER, N.J. Planters has launched a new flavorful line of nuts.

Flavor Grove — which features nuts roasted with herbs, spices, and a variety of flavors — are beginning hit store shelves. Flavor Grove is the first Planters line of nuts to feature skinless almonds, Planters said. New almond varieties include sea salt and olive oil; nautrally-flavored chili lime and cracked pepper with onion and garlic. Flavor Grove cashew varieties include nautrally-flavored chipotle and sea salt and cracked pepper.

“People are looking for authentic and intriguing flavors and the snack aisle is no different,” said Jason Levine, senior director marketing for Planters. “And with Flavor Grove, we’re offering wholesome snacks that deliver all the great taste and quality people expect from Planters.”

Planters Flavor Grove almonds are available in 6 oz. stand-up bags and 1.5 oz. single serve pouches. The 6 oz. package retails for $3.49 suggested retail price, while the 1.5 oz. pack retails for 99 cents.

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Cutting sweetened beverages from diet may reduce blood pressure

BY Allison Cerra

DALLAS A new study published in Circulation, the American Heart Association journal, found that cutting sugar-sweetened beverages from one’s diet may lower blood pressure.

Using data of  810 adults, ages 25 to 79 years, with prehypertension (between 120/80 and 139/89 mm Hg) and stage I hypertension (between 140/90 and 159/99 mm Hg ) who participated in the PREMIER study, an 18-month behavioral intervention study with a focus on weight loss, exercise, and a healthy diet as a means to prevent and control high blood pressure. At the start of the study, the participants drank an average 10.5 fluid ounces of sugar-sweentened beverages/day, equivalent to just under one serving. At the study’s conclusion, average consumption had fallen by half a serving/day and both systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure significantly had declined.

“Our findings suggest that reducing sugar-sweetened beverages and sugar consumption may be an important dietary strategy to lower blood pressure and further reduce other blood pressure-related diseases,” said Liwei Chen, Louisiana State University Health Science Center School of Public Health and lead author of the study. “It has been estimated that a 3-millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) reduction in systolic blood pressure should reduce stroke mortality by 8% and coronary heart disease mortality by 5%. Such reductions in systolic blood pressure would be anticipated by reducing sugar-sweetened beverages consumption by an average of 2 servings per day.”

The PREMIER trial was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The present study is supported in part from the School of Public Health, Louisiana State University Health Science Center and from the Center for Human Nutrition, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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