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McNeil Benecol Broadening With Snack Bars, Tub

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

McNeil Consumer Healthcare is extending its Benecol line of cholesterol-lowering spreads and salad dressings with snack bars containing the plant stanol ester.

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Benecol salad dressing

Plant stanol ester cholesterol-lowering line from McNeil expanding with nationwide shipping of salad dressing in four flavors: Ranch, Thousand Island, French and Creamy Italian. TV spots and FSIs are expected to break in July; the agency for the brand is Saatchi & Saatchi, New York City. The 8 oz. bottles will retail for approximately $3.99 to $4.99 and carry the new brand claim "Helps promote healthy cholesterol levels." Benecol margarine spread, cleared for marketing by FDA May 17, has been using the claim "Benefits cholesterol" until old labeling sells through ("The Tan Sheet" May 24, p. 12). A detailing force of over 3,000 sales reps has been promoting the brand to physicians, cardiologists and dieticians. Unilever's Lipton division, which is marketing Take Control spread, said it also is looking into possible line extensions. Take Control is derived from vegetable oil sterol esters

McNeil Benecol Margarine Launching With "Benefits Cholesterol" Claim

McNeil Consumer Healthcare's Benecol cholesterol-lowering margarine is shipping to stores now with the labeled claim "Benefits cholesterol." However, packaging will "migrate in the first month or two to having a label claim saying "Promotes healthy cholesterol levels," the firm notes. McNeil is selling through packages printed for the planned fall 1998 launch that was halted due to FDA concerns.

Unilever Take Control Margarine "Helps Promote Healthy Cholesterol"

Unilever's new Take Control margarine "helps promote healthy cholesterol," according to packaging for the new "functional food" product. Take Control will be nationally distributed on grocery store shelves by the end of May. FDA completed its review of the product's generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status April 30.

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