Sorrento Cheese Offers New Sorrento(R) +Plus String Cheese in Stride with Supermarket Trends Towards Functional Foods

BUFFALO, N.Y., Oct 01, 2007 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- More than ever before, consumers are health-conscious and functional food savvy. Supermarkets are responding by stocking their shelves to meet consumer demand for food products that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Food retailers and manufacturers who aren't responding to this trend for good nutrition and health may find their customers shopping elsewhere and purchasing their competitor's products. Consumers also are gravitating toward less processed food and drink, making them more likely to go for cheese fortified with calcium and vitamin D than, say, soda laced with vitamins.

Right in step with the emerging trend, Sorrento Lactalis, Inc. the brand known for its delicious, fresh-tasting cheeses, is launching new Sorrento +Plus string cheese that includes Sorrento +Plus Calcium & Vitamin D and Sorrento +Plus 100% Lactose-Free.

"The new Sorrento +Plus products respond to consumer demand for foods that offer good nutrition, health, convenience and taste all rolled into one," says Mary Genco, Snack Cheese Product Manager of the Sorrento Lactalis, Inc. "Calcium plus vitamin D is the number one food fortification requested by consumers, with lactose-free ranking in the top five. With these new offerings, consumers can enjoy the delicious, fresh cheese taste that Sorrento is known for and feel good about eating it at the same time."

In perhaps one of the healthiest trends today, functional foods aren't just good business, they are good for public health. Currently, the majority of Americans routinely fall short of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for both calcium and vitamin D, nutrients that are vitally important throughout the life cycle for healthy bones and teeth, muscle contractions, and optimal blood pressure. Sorrento's Sorrento +Plus Calcium & Vitamin D string cheese is fortified with 20% more calcium than our string cheese, and the additional vitamin D boosts calcium absorption.

Sorrento's other new offering, the Sorrento +Plus Lactose-Free string cheese, is the answer for the nearly 20% of the U.S. population (30-50 million Americans) who have difficulty digesting lactose, the major sugar found in milk. While some people who have difficulty digesting lactose, also known as lactose maldigesters, avoid dairy altogether, many look to yogurt, aged cheeses, or enzyme tablets taken with meals to fit the health benefits of dairy into their diet. But none of those options offer as much portable convenience and nutrition as Sorrento's Lactose-Free string cheese product, which still packs all the goodness of 20% of the RDA for calcium.

"Packaging this kind of nutrition into a snack food just makes sense because the body absorbs calcium best when it comes in small doses throughout the day." says Elizabeth M. Ward, registered dietitian and author of the books The Complete Idiot's Guide to Feeding Your Baby and Toddler, and The Pocket Idiot's Guide to the New Food Pyramids. "And they are a nutritional bargain at only 80 calories per snack, plenty of calcium, and no trans fat. The small amount of fat it does contain helps the body absorb vitamin D, and can be included in a balanced diet. What's more, this product can play an important part in promoting bone health in the young, thereby preventing bone deterioration later in life. But its universal appeal will help adults maintain optimal bone health, too."

Boning up on Good Health
The benefits of calcium and vitamin D to bone health during childhood and adolescence are now well known. Bones will never grow as fast or as strong, and reaching peak bone mass during this period of the life cycle is key to preventing debilitating fractures and breaks later in life. While it's important to stockpile as much bone mass as possible during this period, it's never too late to improve bone health. Adults, both male and female, should be actively working towards stronger bones, especially after age 50. The average peak bone mass is reached around age 30, with a sharp decline beginning mid- life.

The new +Plus cheese products come individually wrapped in 8 oz packages of 8 servings per package and have a suggested retail price of $3.99.

In addition to the new +Plus products, Sorrento Lactalis, Inc. offers a number of other snack cheeses, including Sorrento Part Skim Mozzarella String Cheese, Reduced Fat String Cheese, Provolone String Cheese, Cheddar Cheese Sticks, Colby Jack Sticks, and Pepper Jack Sticks. These cheeses offer kids and adults a delicious, fresh tasting snack that's great for lunchtime and on- the-go snacking.

For more information about Sorrento cheese products, including recipe information, visit the Sorrento website at

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