Many of us shoot for efficiency in our lives and in our businesses. It’s safe to say from the results of the 2014 WholeFoods Retailer Survey that natural products businesses view this goal as a high priority, as many independent stores have hit on some profitable combinations of store size, product offerings, sales and expenditures.

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This is not a rapid expansion, nor is it the resurgence of something dormant. No, the rise of the coconut market over the past few years has been more like the birth of something new. Where before there was only a niche interest, today there exists a profusion of products that rake in hundreds of millions in sales annually. The majority of this growth has occurred right here in North America.

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Avoiding artificial food additives and excessive amounts of caffeine and sugar are at the top of many Americans’ criteria for a healthy diet. Perhaps nowhere are these preferences so abundantly clear as in the beverages market segment. Here are five key trends to keep an eye on in your store so as to best meet your shoppers’ new beverage preferences.

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As we round out our editorial series on Natural Success Stories, it’s time to highlight the accomplishments of several female industry pioneers. These amazing women cleared the way in previously unchartered territory. As company founders and top-level executives, they are truly inspiring. There are hundreds of women who we would have loved to feature in these pages. While space does not allow us to share all the amazing stories of the incredible and talented women in our industry, we are proud to offer the stories of the following leading ladies.

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Innovation, fresh applications and exciting new products continue to dot the natural sweetener landscape. But before we can engage with what’s new, it’s good to review the basics. We’ll also shed some light on the obstacles facing those that supply these solutions for sweetness. Then, learn how customers can put stand-alone sweetener products to use at home.

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Imagine owning and operating a company along with those closest to you.

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The momentum for the organic food movement is strong, and figures to remain that way—so much so that many consumers may begin to buy organic products almost by default, as it just seems to be the thing to do these days. With such a high profile, and more people being brought into the organic fold every day, the industry’s collective message about the benefits and unique qualities of organic food becomes more important than ever.

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In designing our series on Natural Success Stories, we at WholeFoods Magazine needed to come up with ways to categorize success within the natural products industry. We quickly realized that most within the industry would measure it by the positive impact made on other people’s lives. Natural, healthful products are, of course, a beneficial presence in the lives of many. But companies that focus great effort and resources on those in special need fill out the rest of the positive impact equation.

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Nearly all parents would do just about anything for their children, and that includes feeding them the best that stores have to offer. In fact, 47% of parents make sure at least half of the food they load into their grocery carts is organic (1). So says the Organic Trade Association’s newly released U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes & Beliefs 2014 Tracking Study, which surveyed more than 1,200 families with at least one child under 18.

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From bread to brownies, baked goods are favorite treats for people around the world. Statistics show that artisanal and gourmet baked goods occupied approximately 51% of the overall baked goods market in 2013, proving that when consumers go to the shelves, they want the highest quality (1).

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