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Calorie Count Blog

Your Drinkified Snack


By Mary_RD on Apr 06, 2011 10:00 AM in Healthy Eating
Edited By +Rachel Berman

By Mary Hartley, RD and Carolyn Richardson

A few months ago, Pepsi's Chairman and Chief Executive Indra Nooyi told the Wall Street Journal, "We see the emerging opportunity to 'snackify' beverages and 'drinkify' snacks as the next frontier in food and beverage convenience." Ms. Nooyi is simply accommodating the continuing desires of health conscious consumers.

'Snackified Beverage' Defined

Informally, drinkable snack and snackified beverage category seems to includes thick drinks made of some combination of fruit purees and juices, added nutrients and, at times, yogurt, soy powder, and starch.  In our minds, products like Odwalla Wholly Grain! - made of fruit juice and purees, whole grain brown rice, coconut, and added vitamins -  or Naked Juice Protein Zone with pureed fruit and soy and whey protein – might be on that list. 

But those are 'adult' products not marketed to kids.  For kids, Pepsi has introduced Tropicana Tropolis™ in test markets, advertised as “a smooth blend of real squeezable fruit, packed with nutrition”.  Tropicana Tropolis™ comes in a tube to "make fruit fun'.  (As a side note, PepsiCo owns Tropicana and Naked Juice and Coke owns Odwalla.)

Available and Convenient

In their press release for TropolisPepsiCo writes, “With challenges in mind that moms and kids face when it comes to consuming enough fruits and vegetables, Tropicana worked with moms, kids and health experts including dietitians and pediatricians to develop this healthy, delicious, lunchbox and grab-and-go snack. Price, availability and convenience are the three main barriers for moms when it comes to squeezing fruits and vegetables into everyday routines, leaving Americans, including children, short on the five to 13 fruit and vegetable servings recommended for everyday consumption.” 

Pepsi is right about kids coming up short in the fruit and veggie department. When researchers analyzed a recent NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) to assess the fruit and vegetable intake of American kids, they found 6 to 18 year-olds do not eat enough fruit (2-to-5 year-olds get enough fruit in the form of juice) and for all children of all ages, of the vegetables consumed, only 8 percent were dark green or dark orange, and French fries potatoes contributed 46 percent of total vegetable consumption.  We have a problem here.

Fruit in a Tube or Pouch

But are these drinks really necessary and they even fruit?  Tropolis boasts that it is made with "no added sugars, artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup; and no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives."  The beverages are made of apple puree, filtered water, banana puree concentrate, fibersol-2 fiber (maltodextrin), grape or cherry juice depending on the flavor, apple juice concentrate, lemon juice concentrate, natural flavor and ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University, wrote in her blog, Food Politics, “Juice concentrates” is another euphemism for sugar.”  “They start out with real food, so let’s give them credit for applesauce and mashed-up bananas,” but “the rest of it is sugar,” she said. “Kids would be better off eating an apple or a banana.”  But is a banana fun?

The Bottom Line:

We have yet to see a Nutrition Facts label for Tropolis but it is likely to contain more carbohydrate than a piece of fruit.  Because fresh fruit is 80 to 90 percent water by weight and is high in fiber, its natural sugar is not overly concentrated.In various places on the web, the calorie count of Tropolis is listed as 80-100 calories per 3.17 fluid ounce serving, about the same count as one large piece of fruit.  But each pouch sells for around 80-cents; a smart shopper could buy twice as much fruit for that.  And then there's of not normally compensating for calories in liquids by eating less explained is this past blog.  When you put it all together, drinkified snacks don't seem to be worth it.

Read advice from Calorie Count experts about Ideas for Eating More Fruits.

Your thoughts....

Are 'snackified beverages' a good substitute for fruit?  Under what circumstances would you buy them?



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Comments


Price..banana at trader joes.....19cents   an apple on sale 10-20 cents maybe 30-40 when not in season   what barrier

convenience....how is a little tube more convenient than an apple  you take the perfect convenient snack..fruit...squish it up,process it , add ascorbic acid (ask your kids dentist about this) and call it more convenient...huh

availabilty.....really, your local walmart doesn't sell apples,grapes,bananas etc....some parents are just too lazy to  teach their kids about proper nutrition and feed them whole foods, pepsi knows this and thats who they are marketing these to kids who won't eat anything unless its a neon color and comes in a fun pouch....

labeling legislation was created to provide information for people and to protect the consumer from false advertising, but until we as parents learn the difference between glorified junk food and real whole foods, its just a bunch of scribbles on the back. A few key words, healthy,natural, no added sugar, days supply of vitamin C, will be just enough to make parents feel good about giving kids garbage instead of real food.

I have 4 children and a limited grocery budget, we don't buy many "convenience" foods at all. Snacks are fresh fruit , veggies, and homemade baked goods. People ask me all the time how I can "afford" that much fruit, but a bag of chips is 2-3 dollars, no nutritional content at all, And the same people buy multiple bags, granola bars(aka glorified candy bars), and little applesauce cups etc... if you shop with nutrition in mind, you find you can spend less and get more for your money.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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My son is 14mos, so fruits and veggies are what he LOVES to eat; our biggest challenge is getting him enough protein b/c he's not a fan of eating meats.  As Jodie pointed out - its cheaper to buy the REAL fruits and we make our own smoothies for him (with a tiny pinch of whey protein) and he absolutely LOVES them. As soon as he hears the blender, he gets all excited.

I can understand parents sometimes need that quick, on-the-go snack, but you can't substitute the real thing all the time.



isn't this just a new way (well, not really even a new way) to get people to drink way too many calories under the guise of a "healthy" smoothie? 

 



'snackify' beverages and'drinkify' snacks as the next frontier in food and beverage convenience."

1) Neither 'snackify' or 'drinkify' are real words LOL 

2) Definitely the next frontier in facilitating already overweight people to up their intake of sugar and salt thus increasing Pepsico's ability to earn a fast buck!

The only thing I actually admire here is Indra Nooyl's blatant deviousness and marketing skills at presenting this 'news' as a good thing.

 



Original Post by: mmconn2

My son is 14mos, so fruits and veggies are what he LOVES to eat; our biggest challenge is getting him enough protein b/c he's not a fan of eating meats.  As Jodie pointed out - its cheaper to buy the REAL fruits and we make our own smoothies for him (with a tiny pinch of whey protein) and he absolutely LOVES them. As soon as he hears the blender, he gets all excited.

I can understand parents sometimes need that quick, on-the-go snack, but you can't substitute the real thing all the time.


Fromage Frais and Yoghurt are protein, perhaps he'd enjoy that instead of meat? 



Jodi I couldnt agree more. This is just a move to make more cash. As a matter of fact, smoothies, unless made carefully, are loaded with sugar, calories and lot less of the fiber you would get by eating the fruit or veg. For me, its veg, fruit, fruit, veg or rarely home made smoothie that I can control and make whole and nutritious.



@ Jodi - WELL SAID!!!



As grandparents we try to make up on weekends for the lack of nutrition given to our kids during the week by sitters and parents who each work 2 jobs to make ends meet.  I don't think LAZY has anything to do with it.  Exhausted is more likely the word here. SO......anything that skips the arguments, pouts, sit there til your finished conversations and hits right to the brain of the child with a desire to be like all the other kids sipping nutrition is a very good idea.  It is too easy to sit back and  say it is all a money making ploy....of course it is but it is selling an idea that really works.  How many kids look at a bunch of kale and say ummmm I want THAT!!! Come on. I personally cant wait to try it.



@Jodi - I applaud you for your effort and your level of responsibility as a parent. I completely agree with all your comments that with a little effort it can be done.

I also think there's a very real issue with the cost discrepancy between fresh/real VS prepared/processed - eating healthy should be a choice NOT a luxury, but I digress...

I make 95% of our meals from scratch (no one's perfect all the time Wink ). I tend to make a lot of home made granola and nut bars as snacks instead of buying them - they are just so much better tasting and they don't have a bunch of ingredients I can't pronounce!

I suspect (hope!) with the great push towards weight loss we will eventually see lower average body weights, but I'm curious to see all the other side effects that will show up from years of eating/drinking snackified, drinkified, pre-packaged, etc. items... 



Processed foods are never going to be healthier than the real thing, and the point we have to get to is where real food is more fun than this "snackified" pseudo-plastic garbage.

Bananas can be fun if they're chopped up and frozen for an ice cream-like treat. Many fruits are fun chopped up into a fruit salad drizzled with plain yogurt. And if you want convenient smoothies, mix up a big batch on the weekend, divide into small cups, freeze some for a spoonable treat, and keep the rest in the fridge to have throughout the week.

It's not that hard or inconvenient. These companies that are already rolling in money just want you to think it is so they can take your hard-earned cash.



Original Post by: jodiebanner

Price..banana at trader joes.....19cents   an apple on sale 10-20 cents maybe 30-40 when not in season   what barrier

convenience....how is a little tube more convenient than an apple  you take the perfect convenient snack..fruit...squish it up,process it , add ascorbic acid (ask your kids dentist about this) and call it more convenient...huh

availabilty.....really, your local walmart doesn't sell apples,grapes,bananas etc....some parents are just too lazy to  teach their kids about proper nutrition and feed them whole foods, pepsi knows this and thats who they are marketing these to kids who won't eat anything unless its a neon color and comes in a fun pouch....

labeling legislation was created to provide information for people and to protect the consumer from false advertising, but until we as parents learn the difference between glorified junk food and real whole foods, its just a bunch of scribbles on the back. A few key words, healthy,natural, no added sugar, days supply of vitamin C, will be just enough to make parents feel good about giving kids garbage instead of real food.

I have 4 children and a limited grocery budget, we don't buy many "convenience" foods at all. Snacks are fresh fruit , veggies, and homemade baked goods. People ask me all the time how I can "afford" that much fruit, but a bag of chips is 2-3 dollars, no nutritional content at all, And the same people buy multiple bags, granola bars(aka glorified candy bars), and little applesauce cups etc... if you shop with nutrition in mind, you find you can spend less and get more for your money.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Amen Jodie, I couldn't have said it better myself! 



I agree that real fruit is healthier, cheaper and easier. However, the sad fact is, kids aren't eating it. Most adults aren't eating enough of it, either. I'm hesitant to believe that pepsi will make it anything more than a fruity soft-drink, but I think they have the start to a good idea. Something that might make kids want fruit. Something that makes fruit FUN.

Deep down, I hope that pepsi can take fruit, and turn it into a filling snack that is easier than having a banana peel to throw away, etc. No one will know until we see it, but it's still healthier than a muffin for a snack, so I think they're on the right track. With all the health problems and soda addictions they help fuel, it would be nice for them to give something healthy.



I agree so very true



Original Post by: jodiebanner

Price..banana at trader joes.....19cents   an apple on sale 10-20 cents maybe 30-40 when not in season   what barrier

convenience....how is a little tube more convenient than an apple  you take the perfect convenient snack..fruit...squish it up,process it , add ascorbic acid (ask your kids dentist about this) and call it more convenient...huh

availabilty.....really, your local walmart doesn't sell apples,grapes,bananas etc....some parents are just too lazy to  teach their kids about proper nutrition and feed them whole foods, pepsi knows this and thats who they are marketing these to kids who won't eat anything unless its a neon color and comes in a fun pouch....

labeling legislation was created to provide information for people and to protect the consumer from false advertising, but until we as parents learn the difference between glorified junk food and real whole foods, its just a bunch of scribbles on the back. A few key words, healthy,natural, no added sugar, days supply of vitamin C, will be just enough to make parents feel good about giving kids garbage instead of real food.

I have 4 children and a limited grocery budget, we don't buy many "convenience" foods at all. Snacks are fresh fruit , veggies, and homemade baked goods. People ask me all the time how I can "afford" that much fruit, but a bag of chips is 2-3 dollars, no nutritional content at all, And the same people buy multiple bags, granola bars(aka glorified candy bars), and little applesauce cups etc... if you shop with nutrition in mind, you find you can spend less and get more for your money.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Amen!  If we all took the time to cook our kids seasoned vegetables or serve them nicely-cut fruit, maybe they wouldn't think healthy food was gross.  My upbringing had me convinced that I hated the majority of vegetables--spinach, celery, asparagus, squash, bell peppers...  Then I grew up, taught myself how to cook, and realized my mom never seasoned our vegetables.  The only thing she seemed to know to put on them was butter, which did nothing for the vegetables I disliked.  Curried, grilled and braised veggies have changed my life!  Now my cravings for vegetables are just as strong as for french fries.



It's a sad day when peeling a banana or eating an apple (you don't even have to open anything!) is not convenient enough for some people. But I guess mother nature finds it increasingly difficult to compete against food science and advertising.  



I agree with the fact that surprisingly fresh fruit and vegetables can be more cost effective than packaged foods.  Eleven months ago, we decided to eliminate as many processed foods from our diet as possible, and we thought buying all whole foods, fruits, and vegetables would really show up in our grocery bill.  We were pleasantly surprised to find we were actually having a lower bill.  Kudos to Walmart who (in our area of the country) has dropped the cost of their fresh fruits and vegetables until the cost is sometimes half or less than the regular grocery store price.  I know I appreciate buying kale for .99 for a big bunch instead of the usual $2.49!



Children will eat fruit if their parents model that behavior. When my daughter was in preschool, the kids were given fruit and veggies for their snacks and they delved into all of it with gusto. Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots (with a little ranch dip to make it interesting); sliced apples, chunks of melon, bananas in big slices with the peel still on so they could "unwrap" the tasty morsels themselves. And the banana wrappers are biodegradable and less troublesome to discard than a foil pouch that will clutter up the environment as man-made waste for hundreds of years to come!



Seems a lot like Wall*E.

And that was definitely a cautionary tale.



What an awful idea from a high fructose pusher.  Why is picking up a bottle of "drinkified snack" (an awful marketing mangle of the English language and well as the food itself) easier that picking up and actual banana or an apple?  They are conveniently packaged by nature and environmentally friendly. 

The LAST thing we need is more food that has been "drinkified" and certainly nothing that has been "snackified" both of which lead us to be "fatified" but not satisfied.



I completely agree.  It is so much easier to purchase fresh fruits and veggies because it's relatively easy to find them on sale at you local grocer.  Also, buying fresh produce is easier on the planet, as it creates much less non-biodegradable waste. 

All these boxed, squeezed and vacuum sealed snacks are terrible sources of empty calories and they are laden with preservatives that age us faster and create bad habits. 

Stick to the fresh stuff...when a child has a sweet tooth, a fresh sliced fuji apple or a stick of celery with fresh peanut butter is much better and more satisfying than a juice box or a fruit roll up! 



@ distra

"fatified" but not satisfied. Very good. Mind if I use it? Should I attribute it to you? 



It is up to us, as parents, to provide a good example to our children as to what is considered a good and healthy snack.  If I'm eating it, and enjoying it, my kids want it.  So I try to eat healthy foods in front of them, and keep healthy foods available at home. 



Bravo to all of the above, sorry but the minute i hear pepsi and the word nutrition together, I get deeply suspicious.!



I am a teacher, and in my classrooms, I eat my snack with the kids.  When they see me pull out a banana, every kid that has a banana in their lunch bag pulls it out and shows me that they are eating the same snack.  Same with apples and strawberries and yogurt and carrot sticks.  Whatever I eat, they search their lunch kits for.  The sad thing is that most kids can`t find the healthy food that I eat.

Kids don`t like unhealthy foods, they like to be like the people that they look up to.  They choose what I choose.  They ask their parents for special fugi apples because their teacher has them.  They ask for bananas cut up in a cup because that`s what their teacher has.

We, parents and teachers, set the example.  If we eat healthy food all the time, and eat cookies and chocolate and chips only occasionally, they will follow suit.  (I call unhealthy foods `sometimes food`)

 

 



First commenter - totally with you.



Actually, agree with many here :)



It is better than some stuff. But NOT for me. I enjoy making what I eat and drink right from the preparation, blending, mixing, and pouring out into a nice tall glass. It is rather ritualistic and very thoughtful to make it yourself. That way I control what I have. We still REALLY need to get away from prepared foods and bottled drinks....because in the end it is still about real nutrition and controlled calories!



I'm so happy to hear of parents, grandparents -- and teachers! -- modeling healthy eating for our children.  If we don't, then the only place left to "learn" is the media -- oh, no.....  But we're preaching to the choir here.  How can we broadcast this all important message?



Why shouldn't a banana be as fun as a tube?  There's an important message here.  Teaching kids to not value marketing ploys is as important as teaching them good nutrition.  Kids need to learn to think for themselves to truly understand why a banana peel is better than a plastic wrapper.



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As a kid, I grew up loving carrots, raw peas, and fruits of all kinds as snacks. (My mom had to hide shelled peas because she thought I'd get indigestion from eating too many of them!) I still can't drink packaged juice because it simply is not as delicious as a real piece of fruit.

I don't have kids, but my nephews are growing up loving fruits and vegetables. They may enjoy candy now and then, but wouldn't dream of picking fruit in a plastic container/tube over the real thing. Kids have taste buds, too.

Teach by example.



That sounds nasty. I love fresh fruit and eat it every day. I would never want to eat this processed tube stuff. I would never feed it to children either. Get kids into eating less processed foods and cut out the junk. Stop being lazy parents, and if it's about not having time, then I say If you don't have the time, money, energy to spend on your kids then why did you have them in the first place?



The "cheapness" of processed foods is an illusion that the advertising executives have spent years formulating. We are paying 3-4 dollars for a good loaf of whole grain bread that actually has whole grains in it. A loaf of "cheap" walmart brand white bread is 1.36 in my area. The walmart brand has 0 nutritional value except for the added nutrients required by our government(hmm...) The expensive brand is better but still contains preservatives and additives to give it an extended shelf life and most kids won't eat it anyways. However, in 2-3 hrs over a weekend I can make and freeze about 7 loaves of bread for about 5 dollars total. They are whole grain, no preservatives, and any kid I've tried feeding them too, even picky neighbors kids, love them. Also, the other problem with the cheap processed foods, without any fiber or nutrition a sandwich made on white air, processed flour and chemicals is not satisfying, kids can eat 3 or 4 and still feel hungry. A piece of fruit and a sandwhich on whole grain bread fills them up and fuels them for the day. Like I said, we have all fallen for this illusion, even some government agencies think the processed foods are cheaper and therefore want to regulate them. I read a website proposing outlawing toys in happy meals because parents with limited resources were forced to eat fast food because it was cheaper. Its crazy.....



I agree with you on that.  Why not try to show kids how fun real fruit is and better for them.



It sounds like a lot of the commenters here are on board with the fresh fruit and fresh foods are vastly preferable to anything processed philosophy.  Now if we can just spread the word here to others and to governmental agencies who can promote this concept. 

We can start a revolution!



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Original Post by: purplesque

As a kid, I grew up loving carrots, raw peas, and fruits of all kinds as snacks. (My mom had to hide shelled peas because she thought I'd get indigestion from eating too many of them!) I still can't drink packaged juice because it simply is not as delicious as a real piece of fruit.

I don't have kids, but my nephews are growing up loving fruits and vegetables. They may enjoy candy now and then, but wouldn't dream of picking fruit in a plastic container/tube over the real thing. Kids have taste buds, too.

Teach by example.


I think we're the same person ;) I too loved (and still do) fruits and veggies as a kid. 

 I also agree about packaged juice, though recently I discovered an apple juice that actually tastes like apples! Tropicana - NOT from Concentrate in the refrigerator isle. It has a real expiry date (~ 2 weeks) because there's no preservatives or other crap. No added sugar, JUST sqeezed apples.

And Black Cherry juice in the organic isle (http://www.rwknudsenfamily.com/products/concentrates/black-c herry/) - same thing, just cherries! 

In prairie Canada these are both $4.99 and 1 glass a day goes a long way. I normally don't drink anything other than water, tea/coffee, and beer but this juice is a really nice treat. 

I know this post is a little off topic, but I did want to share that there are some decent products out there.



Original Post by: panda869

Original Post by: purplesque

As a kid, I grew up loving carrots, raw peas, and fruits of all kinds as snacks. (My mom had to hide shelled peas because she thought I'd get indigestion from eating too many of them!) I still can't drink packaged juice because it simply is not as delicious as a real piece of fruit.

I don't have kids, but my nephews are growing up loving fruits and vegetables. They may enjoy candy now and then, but wouldn't dream of picking fruit in a plastic container/tube over the real thing. Kids have taste buds, too.

Teach by example.


I think we're the same person ;) I too loved (and still do) fruits and veggies as a kid. 

 I also agree about packaged juice, though recently I discovered an apple juice that actually tastes like apples! Tropicana - NOT from Concentrate in the refrigerator isle. It has a real expiry date (~ 2 weeks) because there's no preservatives or other crap. No added sugar, JUST sqeezed apples.

And Black Cherry juice in the organic isle (http://www.rwknudsenfamily.com/products/concentrates/black-c herry/) - same thing, just cherries! 

In prairie Canada these are both $4.99 and 1 glass a day goes a long way. I normally don't drink anything other than water, tea/coffee, and beer but this juice is a really nice treat. 

I know this post is a little off topic, but I did want to share that there are some decent products out there.


Thanks, panda869! :)

It is good to know that there are things out there that we can eat/give our kids when nothing else is around. I like freshly squeezed juice, but its so much easier to just eat fruit. No clean up!

My point was that in a blind taste test with clean palates, fresh fruits and properly cooked vegetables would always win over most processed foods. We're human. We eat what is available, what is accessible, and what tastes good. If delicious, healthy food is made available and accessible, there is no reason why people would choose packaged fruit pulp. The industry has used convenience and marketing to subvert our natural instincts.



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I so agree, how inconvenient is it to drop an apple in your purse and head out the door.

I've stopped buying a lot of the processed junk that I used to. My weight is down, because I'm now mindful of what I'm eating and my grocery bill isn't as high believe it or not.



I gave up soda for fruit. I'd be crazy to give up fruit for THIS.



Bottom Line - these corporations see an opportunity to make MONEY - and huge profits - whatever they want to call it.  My nieces and nephew are being raised as vegatarians.  They eat whole food, 99% organic because that's what they know, it's what mom & dad eat and prepare for them, and they will be better off for it.  Their family is not rich - far from it and that's why it's the best way to go.  They aren't sick much either.

There is nothing as good as fresh picked cherries or blueberries or a cold fresh watermelon slice.  Peaches that drip down your chin.  Maybe I'm still a kid because what makes food fun is that it should be messy and sticky.  What's wrong with washing your hands again afterward, and using lots of napkins & wet washcloths? 

I love my weekend ritual of preparing good food for my healthy body and to care for my family and show them some love by chopping fresh produce.  So now I'm off to make some homecooked vegetable soup.



Comment Removed

I agree with the above poster.  Nothing more convenient than the real fruit.  Anything processed is not as good as making it yourself and nothing is more convenient than throwing fruit in a bag!  We need to get back to basics with how we eat and what we provide for our children. 



This post reminded me of Wall-E, where in the future everyone's obese, stuck in chairs which hover around and drink all their meals.



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If they are able to keep the calories down and fortify with many nutrients, I think I see a potential in this market. It could potentially used for breakfast replacement since many Americans don't have enough time to eat breakfast. Keep the price reasonable with well nutrient balanced product, I think there will be demands.



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