Press Clips: Is Matcha Mainstreaming?

matcha-handIs Matcha Mainstreaming?

ABC News headed over to Brooklyn’s MatchaBar to get the scoop on matcha, the finely ground green tea that has, of late, become a trendy ingredient. Brothers Max and Graham Fortang, who source their matcha from a fifth-generation family farm in Japan, opened up shop six months ago, and now claim to have lines of patrons out the door seeking a sip of the antioxidant-rich, caffeinated beverages. The Fortang brothers contend that while matcha may have first caught on within the American health community, it’s quickly gaining caffeine converts from all walks of life.

The Post Profiles Runa

In other Brooklyn/tea happenings Runa has gotten some love from the New York Post, following its high-profile showing at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim last month. The write-up hits Runa’s bullet points in short order, informing readers about the benefits of guayusa and naming company investor Channing Tatum a “super-hunk” in its first sentence. Runa is projecting just under $10 million in dollar sales for 2015.

The Demise of Diet

The Washington Post recently explored the downfall of diet soda, which has been on a steady decline since its peak in 2009 of $8.5 billion in sales. Since then, sales of low-calorie carbonated soft drinks have dropped by nearly 20 percent, with no turnaround in sight. The report follows last week’s news that Pepsi has passed Diet Coke as the No. 2 soda in the United States.

The Curious Case of 4-MEI

Men’s Journal recently examined a report conducted at Johns Hopkins University which follows up on a 2014 study that suggested drinking dark-colored soda may increase one’s risk of getting cancer. Researchers tested 110 cans of soda from stores in New York and California for 4-MEI, the chemical compound that gives dark-colored soft drinks their caramel coloring. Their findings produced a wide range of 4-MEI levels, from 3.4 micrograms to 352.5 micrograms per 12-ounce can.

California added 4-MEI to its list of probable carcinogens in 2011, despite the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s contention that the ingredient is safe. As a result, both the Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo reformulated their products to ensure their levels were below the 29 microgram threshold. Interestingly, John Hopkins’ study shows that sodas purchased in California tested significantly lower for 4-MEI than those purchased in New York, where no such regulations exist.