CINCINNATI, June 28, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- The Kroger Co. (KR) , one of the nation's largest retail grocery chains, is launching a new, cholesterol reducing, fat-free milk available in its stores beginning this week. The non-fat milk product will be sold under the expanding Active Lifestyle (TM) in-house brand.
"The war against high cholesterol just got stronger and easier," said Linda Severin, Vice President of Corporate Brands at Kroger. "As part of a heart-healthy diet, people can enjoy the additional benefits of one of their favorite beverages and reduce their cholesterol."
This new milk product contains CoroWise(TM) plant sterols, an all-natural ingredient sourced from plants and found naturally in foods such as vegetables, seeds and nuts. Plant sterols are recognized by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for cholesterol lowering attributes. Clinical studies show they can help reduce "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
"This new cholesterol reducing milk is a perfect example of Kroger providing customers the products they need and want to make their lives better and healthier," said Ms. Severin. "More and more people, especially 'baby boomers', are becoming conscientious and proactive about managing their health, particularly heart health. This makes it easy for them to do the right thing."
With more than 100 million people in the U.S. with high or borderline-high cholesterol, Kroger's Active Lifestyle Fat Free Milk is the right product at the right time. Elevated blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease.
Two 8-ounce servings of this milk, when consumed with meals, provide the minimum daily amount recognized by the FDA as providing a heart-healthy benefit, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Clinical studies have demonstrated that plant sterols can reduce cholesterol levels up to 15 percent. "For people with borderline-high blood cholesterol levels, this can potentially help them get to the normal range and potentially avoid medication," said Ms. Severin. "For others, it is one way to help shave off points for better heart health - and we know every point counts."
Changes can be detected in as soon as two to three weeks after incorporation into one's daily diet. Individual results may vary.
Great Taste, Nutritional Value
Milk is a popular beverage among adults and very versatile. It's great for breakfast as a beverage or over cereal or fruit; an accompaniment to a lunch sandwich or a tasty way to complement a snack.
"The nutritional value of milk is well established. This provides another health reason to drink this time-tested beverage," Ms. Severin said. The new fat free cholesterol lowering milk tastes and looks just like other Kroger fat free milk products. There is no fat (saturated or trans) in this milk. It contains other vitamins and nutrients, including calcium, Vitamin C (not a typical source of Vitamin C) and Vitamins A & D.
Availability and Price
The new Active Lifestyle Fat Free Milk with plant sterols will be sold in a half-gallon size in Kroger's family of stores nationwide (please see store names below). The new milk will be available at a price point on par with the company's other regular milk products.
More about CoroWise(TM)
All plants include some amount of a substance known as plant sterols that naturally reduce cholesterol. CoroWise(TM) is the brand name of an ingredient developed by Cargill, Inc. and is a concentrated form of plant sterols that come from plants such as soybeans and corn. From the body's point of view, CoroWise(TM) plant sterols look a lot like cholesterol and as a meal is digested, the plant sterols compete with cholesterol, so less cholesterol is absorbed. Incorporating CoroWise(TM) plant sterols in a diet can help reduce bad cholesterol.
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kroger is one of the nation's largest retail grocery chains. In 2006, the Company donated $150 million to help hunger relief efforts across the country, raise awareness of breast cancer, and support local schools and organizations in the communities it serves. At the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2007, the Company operated (either directly or through its subsidiaries) 2,458 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banners including Kroger and Kroger Marketplace, Ralphs, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less, King Soopers, Smith's and Smith's Marketplace, Fry's and Fry's Marketplace, Dillons, QFC and City Market. Kroger also operated (either directly or through subsidiaries, franchise agreements, or operating agreements) 779 convenience stores, 408 fine jewelry stores, 652 supermarket fuel centers and 42 food processing plants. For more information about Kroger, please visit our web site at http://www.kroger.com.