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Food makers support fight against obesity
“The food and beverage industry already has taken significant steps to create and encourage healthier choices,” Sophos said in her testimony. “In recent years, we have changed our packaging to promote portion control and we have reformulated more than 10,000 products to reduce or remove saturated fats, trans fats, calories, sugar and sodium.
“Changes in advertising practices have resulted in a significant shift in the product mix of advertising viewed by children, and companies continue to compete by focusing on consumers’ desires for healthy products and a healthy lifestyle,” Sophos added.
Dr. Bill Dietz, director, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, an arm of the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, told the committee the rise in childhood obesity can be linked to too much unhealthy food and drink and too much television viewing. The combination magnifies the problem, he suggested.
“The impact of television on childhood obesity is likely mediated by the food advertisements directed at children, and the consumption of foods advertised on television,” Dietz said.
Sophos wants government to step up its efforts and devote more of its resources to combating obesity. “It is critical that Congress and the states do more to increase investments in physical education, nutrition education and workplace wellness,” she said.
Federal aid slated for dairy industry
“This is an essential stop-gap measure that will help many dairy farmers stay in business in the short-term,” said Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. “Looking forward, it is obvious that our existing dairy programs are not providing an adequate safety net for dairy farmers, and we need to look at ways we can reform dairy policy to ensure that it provides adequate support for the long term success of the industry.”
Dairy processors, who are not always in agreement with producers on dairy price support issues, supported the measure.
“We still need to look for longer-term solutions as our current dairy programs were not designed for the realities of the 21st century dairy industry,” said Jerry Slominski, senior vice president of legislative and economic affairs for the International Dairy Foods Association.
Nestlé to acquire Kraft Foods' frozen pizza business
The acquisition brings leadership in the frozen pizza category, where Nestlé previously had a minor presence. “This frozen pizza business greatly enhances Nestlé’s frozen food activities in North America, bringing together a selection of great US and Canadian brands, industry-leading R&D and excellent route-to-market capabilities, which complement our existing ice cream direct-store-delivery,” said Paul Bulcke, Nestlé CEO.
With estimated sales of $2.1 billion in 2009, Kraft Foods was the leader in the frozen pizza category and enjoyed double-digit growth in the US and Canada over the last four years. The business will become part of Nestlé USA, adding to Nestlé’s strong presence in prepared dishes and hand-held product categories under the Stouffer's, Lean Cuisine, Buitoni, Hot Pockets and Lean Pockets brands.
Pepsi, others go retro sweetening soft drinks with sugar
“Consumers are making a move back to sugar, and we’re thrilled that Pepsi is getting back to the basics,” said Andy Briscoe, CEO of the Sugar Association. “Pepsi Throwback gives shoppers another opportunity to choose natural sweeteners instead of manufactured ones.”
Pepsi is not the only beverage bottler making a return to sugar. Dr Pepper recently released Heritage Dr Pepper, and Gatorade has also announced plans to move back to sugar. Snapple and Jones Soda have likewise moved away from corn syrup, the association said.
Hillenbrand to acquire K-Tron International
Following completion of the transaction, K-Tron will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Hillenbrand, and it will remain headquartered in Pitman. Kevin Bowen will be president of K-Tron’s Process Group, and Donald Melchiorre will be president of K-Tron’s Size Reduction Group; both will report to Kenneth Camp, Hillenbrand president and chief executive officer. Edward Cloues II, chairman and chief executive officer of K-Tron, will be appointed to the Hillenbrand board.
“We are delighted that K-Tron will be joining the Hillenbrand family of companies,” Camp said. “Although K-Tron’s products differ from ours, we are both manufacturing companies that share similar processes and core operational values.”
“We’re looking forward to taking advantage of Hillenbrand’s lean business strengths in planning, processes and talent development to help create even more opportunities for growth and financial success,” said Cloues.
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