About a decade or so ago, when Internet buying was starting to get really hot, I remember hearing of an experiment. A man tried living for a year without leaving his house, even banning face-to-face contact with anyone. The challenge was to see how easy it would be to buy everything he needed to live—from apples to toilet paper—online only and to communicate only through e-mail, chat rooms and other Web services.
Welcome to the 2014 edition of the WholeFoods Who’s Who of Manufacturers and Suppliers, the only reference tool of its kind in the natural products industry. In these pages, you will find listings of hundreds of companies and thousands of individuals who work for these companies.
Over 11,150 Facebook comments. Within 48 hours of the initial post, that’s how many fans turned to the Annie’s Facebook page to voice their opinions over the announcement that General Mills was buying the 25-year-old company.
Let’s say you traded your quiet ho-hum life for one filled with fame and glory. Sure, the dollars that come with prominence in our society are bountiful, but after a while, thorns would start to grow. Lost quality time with those who knew you from the beginning would weigh heavily, intense pressure to excel would build, and even the simple pleasure of “being yourself” would become a distant memory. And then, there’s the unsettling feeling of knowing that one day, you could fall out of favor with the public. Picking up the pieces after such rejection would be crushing.
I have become so accustomed to seeing negative headlines about dietary supplements that they barely jump off the page at me anymore. But recently, I saw a story with such a brazenly false headline on a news/opinion Web site that I couldn’t help but click through: “Your Probiotic Is Probably B.S.”
How much time do you think the average expecting couple spends choosing the perfect baby name? Circling options in baby books, bouncing ideas off friends, arguing about spelling…that has to take at least 24 hours spread over nine months, right? Naming a child is a process that can’t be taken lightly, and with good reason. Few of us would want a name that ends up on one of those “Worst Baby Names” lists alongside Apple (sorry, Gwyneth), North West (courtesy of Kim and Kanye) and Tu Morrow (thanks, Rob).
A revolution is underway at cafeterias across the nation. Part of it is stemming from disgruntled kids who aren’t thrilled with their ho-hum plates of spaghetti. But, school administrators are also ready to launch their meatballs at lawmakers who tasked schools with making lunches healthier—a job that schools say is next to impossible to accomplish while still making meals appealing. In the end, could it be young natural products retailers who are saving the day for schoolchildren across the nation?
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.