All signs point to a continued rise in interest in alternative diets. A 2012 study from the Vegetarian Resource Group found that 2.5% of U.S. consumers self-identified as “vegan,” up from 1% since as recently as 2009 (1). Couple this with the documented decline in meat consumption, and it is clear that widespread dietary changes are afoot. Raw food-centered lifestyles also continue to garner interest. In each of these areas, food companies are stepping up to the plate to turn curious shoppers into loyal customers through marketing and innovation.

The ballots are in. The votes are tallied. And now without further ado, we are thrilled to share with you the winners of the 2014 WholeFoods Natural Choice Awards.

GMOs

Global ID Group, a co-founder of the Non-GMO Project and technical administrator of the group, launched a new initiative at Expo West.

One would think that most consumers don’t give Mother Earth a second thought as they go about their shopping. So from that point of view, the following statistics are surprising. 71% of consumers say they at least sometimes consider the environment when they shop. Over one in four say they regularly or always keep it in mind (1). Now, there’s a difference between thinking green and actually going green, but it’s reassuring to know the vast majority of people are aware that they can vote for the environment with their dollars, and improve the ecology of their daily lives as well.

Transparency is big these days, especially in our industry. Millions of U.S. shoppers are drawn to natural and organic products in the first place because they want to know exactly what’s in their food, how companies are treating the environment and how growers are compensated.

Jarrow L. Rogovin, president of dietary supplements manufacturer Jarrow Formulas, Inc., based in Los Angeles, CA, is seeking answers about some recent practices at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Washington, D.C.—The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has won $2.2 million it its lawsuit against supplement maker Wellness Support Network Inc. (WSN) for making false or unsupported claims about its diabetes supplements.

Silver Spring, MD—A recent increase in shipments of the herb kratom to the United States has caught the attention of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Late July Organic Snacks has launched Restaurant Style Organic Tortilla Chips, available in Sea Salt and Chia & Quinoa. The chips are certified USDA organic and Non-GMO Project Verified.