One innovative retailer has managed not only to survive, but also to thrive for over 25 years through an emphasis on building trust and loyalty among their consumer base. It is this achievement and innovation that makes Debra’s Natural Gourmet a perfect choice for the WholeFoods Magazine 2015 Retailer of The Year.

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Americans have a love–hate relationship with cooking oils. The right culinary oil can transform a so-so recipe into something that tastes amazing. But, a nagging voice in the back of our heads may still warn, “Stop, stop! Oil is bad.” Should we listen?

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The customer is always right, but perhaps the customer should always be your inspiration, too. All stores, regardless of what products or services they offer, can take the opportunity to learn from their customers and grow their business in ways that meet their needs.

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It’s no secret that functional foods comprise a steadily rising category, with more and more consumers seeking to improve their overall health through their food. However, as the category both expands and improves, new factors and new demographics are changing how functional foods are perceived.

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healthy indulgences

Pizza, popcorn and jerky. Nope, it’s not a suggestion for tonight’s dinner, though it would make for an interesting combo! Together, they represent some of the hottest savory items in the healthy indulgences market. When considered as a unit, they speak to what gourmet shoppers are craving: high-end natural foods that are built for taste and are still part of a healthy diet.

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This year makes it a (gluten-free) baker’s dozen as we honor our winners in the 13th annual Natural Choice Awards. Natural products in 18 categories were voted on by our readers, and we’ve come away with a truly impressive group of winners and runners up, including several multiple-time Natural Choice Award winners. There are some newcomers to the party as well.

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ancient grains

Ancient grains have achieved strong recognition from mainstream and natural shoppers alike. Here’s what you need to know about some of the hottest grains on the market.

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What do more than half of your shoppers have in common with each other? Pets! About 62% of U.S. households own at least one pet, and 47% percent have at least one dog, according to The Humane Society. Incorporating some pet care items into your store will likely make your loyal pack see your business as a one-stop shop for the entire family—and yes, that includes the furbabies!

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People will always crave carbohydrates of all shapes and sizes. But the cookies, crackers, breads and baking mixes that lead the market, especially in the natural and specialty channels, are offering a little something extra. Let’s find out what makes certain baked goods more appealing to the foodies of today, and how retailers can make use of this knowledge.

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With current strong market expansion for hemp products and state-legalized marijuana, the Cannabis plant is the foundation for some of the fastest growing industry segments in the United States today. This is in spite of the fact that no commercial production of hemp is occurring in the United States and the Cannabis plant remains prohibited by federal statute.

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