“The teachings of this book can save the lives of millions worldwide,” I stated on the cover of Frank Murray’s new book, Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene Are Miracle Workers. Since the early 1970s, I have had the greatest admiration for Mr. Murray, his books and his many contributions to the health industry. Murray has been a soldier in the battle to preserve the health industry and make people healthier.

Last month, WholeFoods Magazine published its largest-ever survey of independent U.S. retailers representing nearly one-million square feet and $665 million in natural products sales. Retailers large and small, from every part of the country, responded to the survey questionnaire, giving us a full and balanced view of natural food and supplement retailing in 2012.

With the market now saturated with interesting and appealing natural products, it is imperative to stand out. You could try to have sales reps standing in every aisle of every natural store to highlight the benefits of your product. Or, you could let your packaging do the talking for you. A well-designed, professional look is more than a pretty picture; done well, packaging will put your best foot forward, showing customers why they should care about your story and your unique products.

According to the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), over 400 registered green logos exist worldwide (1). Most consumers say they are more likely to buy products with green seals, says NMI (1), and there are good reasons why. Certifications help a product standout in saturated markets.

Deerland Enzymes just launched PrefixPro, a prebiotic that promotes digestive health by stimulating probiotic growth. Unlike fiber- or starch-based prebiotics, PrefixPro requires a much smaller dosage and shorter time period to be effective. It works in both intestines, is not sensitive to specific environmental conditions of the gut and doesn’t cause flatulence.

Nutraceuticals International Group now offers SlimPro (a fish peptide enriched with BCAAs), which helps increase CCK and GLP-1 production. These molecules send messages to the brain to control hunger, eating and nibbling, and therefore may help control calorie intake. Applications include tablets, capsules, soft gels, stick packs, protein shakes, soft beverages and baked goods.

Jost Chemical Company now offers microencapsulated materials including Jost Copper Gluconate USP, Jost Ferrous Fumarate USP, Jost Manganese Sulfate USP/EP, Ferrous Sulfate USP, Magnesium Oxide USP and Zinc Oxide USP. Potential applications include chewable tablets and capsules, premixes and nutritional bars.

WILD Flavors, Inc. now distributes Immunel. Fast-acting Immunel helps “instruct” the immune system, thus providing a targeted immune response. It helps increase the number and vigor of immune cells that respond to microbial/bacterial invaders, supporting phagocytosis and activating NK cells. Immunel is clinically tested.

Alchem USA Inc. launched ReQollect Solution, a concentrated liquid vinpocetine suitable for use in beverages (including dairy, juices, functional waters and shots) to enhance memory and alertness by supporting blood circulation in the brain. The company says the ingredient would also be beneficial in pre-workout formulations to improve focus and coordination.