Healthier Vending Options
As carbonated soft drinks make their way out of many school vending machines in the United States due to concerns about obesity and "empty calories," new better-for-you beverages are lining up to fill their slots. Bravo! Foods, North Palm Beach, Fla., offers flavored, 99% fat-free milks under its Slammers brand. The products, which meet the American Beverage Association’s new School Beverage Guidelines (www.ameribev.org), come in 8-oz, snowman-shaped plastic bottles, which can fill vending machine slots traditionally occupied by 12-oz soda cans. Coca-Cola Enterprises, Atlanta, Ga., distributes the drinks.
"The new ABA guidelines are changing what children can buy in schools," says Roy Warren, Bravo! Foods CEO. "We saw an opportunity to create ‘kid-friendly,’ 99% reduced fat milk that is not only delicious to students, but also makes parents happy from a health and nutrition standpoint. We moved quickly to design a new package, and are proud to be the first company to provide vendable milk that meets the guidelines." Produced aseptically, Slammers have no preservatives, do not need to be refrigerated, and have a shelf life of six months.
Fresh Fruit that Fizzes
Prepackaged fresh fruit has carved out a significant niche in the supermarket produce section. To leverage this trend, Fizzy Fruit Co., Portland, Ore., is introducing Fizzy Fruit FizzyCups in select retail stores. A patented process (with no additives) adds carbonation to the water that is naturally contained in fruit without altering the nutritional value of the fruit. The result is fresh grapes, pineapples, oranges, apples—virtually any fruit—that sparkle with their own fun and effervescence. Fizzy Fruit contains no artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or added sugar. The vitamin and fiber content of carbonated fruit is the same as that of regular fruit. Preliminary evidence suggests that carbonation may extend shelf life and preserve vitamin C levels. The chilled product comes in 5-oz and 8-oz individual cups, and a 5-oz six pack. Fizzy Fruit, available initially with red seedless grapes, is packaged in translucent PET containers with an aluminum peel-top lid. Average shelf life under refrigeration is 9-14 days. Carbonation persists about 20-40 minutes after opening the package. Suggested retail price is $1.99 to $2.49 for 5-oz package.
Drip-Free Oil Pouring
Lesieur, Cedex, France, has begun using a new dispenser from Bericap, Dijon, France, on its Puget brand of olive oil from Provence. The closure features a tamper-evident and oxygen barrier tear-off membrane, a non-drip dispenser, and a flow-control device. The beak-shaped, non-drip dispenser delivers precise and clean dispensing of olive oil and is fully integrated inside the cylindrical body of the closure, allowing easy capping on existing capper machines for standard closures, without the need to orientate the capping heads. The new closure—constructed of low-density polyethylene—provides a competitive advantage over private-label olive oils in France and Belgium.