Press Clips: Cold-Pressed Vending, a Few Takes on Health

The Juice Cold Pressed team next to their creation. Don't you dare question the rawness. Photo credit: Nick Halter, The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

When you think of cold-pressed juice, you think of freshness. And what better way to market freshness than by stocking juice in a hunk of Czech-made metal and topping it off with the word “raw” in the kind of digital type that Ferris Bueller would use to tell time?

Which is to say that a student from the University of St. Thomas (UST) in St. Paul, Minn., has launched a cold-pressed juice vending machine, calling it Juice Cold Pressed. (We’d probably call it Pressed Juice Cold or even Cold Juice Pressed, but enough with the nitpicking.)

Nick Halter of The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal writes that after devising the idea in a business class at UST, Kalamel Mohamed plans to install 250 of the machines across the Twin Cities, along with business partners LJ Stead and Eric Ploeger. The group hopes to someday have 10,000 machines worldwide, according to the article.

The machine enables customers to swipe a credit card for $6.99, choose from a variety and fill up their own containers with 16 oz. of juice.

“The juice is pressed off-site and loaded into stainless steel containers,” Halter writes. “The containers are loaded into the vending machines. When they get low, the machines send the owners a text message.”

We also sometimes send texts when we’re low, but nobody calls it “high-tech.” Meanwhile, if Nelson Peltz ever feels low, he could probably seek relief from a quick peek at his bank statement.

On Tuesday, Mondelez International, the snack company that owns Oreo, Nabisco, Cadbury and Trident, announced that it has added big-time investor Peltz to its board, according to Aditi Shrivastava and Lisa Baertlein of Reuters.

The agreement, viewed by J.P. Morgan analyst Ken Goldman as a way to prevent an expensive and lengthy proxy fight, will end Peltz’s campaign for PepsiCo to acquire Mondelez and lean more toward its snack business. As previously reported, Trian Partners, a New York-based investment firm of which Peltz is the CEO and co-founder, has already invested $1.4 billion in Pepsi and $1.3 billion in Mondelez (making Trian the company’s fourth-largest shareholder at 2.3 percent stake).

The article notes that analysts expect Peltz to lobby separately for each company.

“While this may have been disappointing for some investors, we see this as a very amicable outcome that now allows the management team and board (at Mondelez) to focus on running the business,” Bernstein Research analyst Alexia Howard writes, according to the article.

As Pepsi continues to market its somewhat puzzling role in the fight against obesity, a number of journalists are monitoring sugary beverages in the marketplace and how these products influence the diets of consumers.

Emine Saner of The Guardian writes that while fruit juice has long been known as a healthy substitute for a day’s serving of fruit and vegetables, that distinction could change.

Earlier this month, Susan Jebb, a British Government advisor and head of the diet and obesity research group at Cambridge University in England, said that fruit juice often has as much sugar as carbonated soft drinks.

“It is also absorbed very fast,” Jebbs said, according to the article, “so by the time it gets to your stomach your body doesn’t know whether it’s Coca-Cola or orange juice.”

Saner found that much of the consumer misperception can be attributed to the government’s longstanding encouragement for fruit juice as a healthy alternative to fruit and vegetables.

“You can’t trust government health advice,” Joanna Blythman, author of What to Eat, said in the article. “They have the same advice that they’ve been recycling for 50 years and rarely change it. It’s embarrassing to admit they’ve made a mistake.”

Looks like there are other governments that would rather continue foolishness than take the blame. In other highly unsurprising news, scientists writing for the American Journal of Public Health found that overweight and obese adults who use diet drinks to help lose weight actually eat more food calories than overweight people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages, according to Mary MacVean of The Los Angeles Times. Somehow, we feel that “grab a Coca-Cola instead of a Diet Coke” isn’t the message here for the 20 percent of adults who consume diet beverages, compared to 3 percent of adults in 1965.

“They said the dieters should look at what else they’re consuming, especially sweet snacks, to find other ways to modify their diets,” MacVean writes.

We’ll surmise that the Tenacious D Drive-Thru compromise wouldn’t work here.