gourmet

A great deal of gourmet brands and products are going the way of organic to invoke sustainability. While this is a positive step, it also saturates the market and makes it difficult for companies to stand out. Products like coffee, tea, chocolate and cheese are interesting because they can move from an everyday pantry item to a fine gourmet selection by focusing on quality and corporate responsibility. But how is sustainability defined in the world of gourmet, and how can your store embrace the definition to attract gourmet customers?

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nutrient dense super foods

Say “weight management” and most people think exercise and calorie counting. While exercise is essential, is a blanket recommendation to concentrate on low-cal meals outdated?

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pet food

As consumers educate themselves about potential contaminants and toxic ingredients in products, they are not only choosing a healthier lifestyle for themselves, but also for their families, which include their beloved pets. To ensure their four-legged family members are living longer, healthier and happy lives, pet parents are taking the plunge into humanization mode; purchasing for their pets what they would purchase for themselves. This, of course, means that pet dollars can still be captured by natural retailers—as long as products offerings are safe, healthy and suit the dietary and hygienic needs of the new-age pet.

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Expo West

Get ready for five days jam-packed with new sights, seminars and products. Natural Products Expo West, co-located with Engredea, is back for 2016 at the Anaheim Convention Center and the Anaheim Hilton, from March 9 to 13. With more than 70,000 industry professionals and 3,000 exhibits expected at the event, Expo West is a veritable cornucopia for anything and everything in natural, organic and healthy products. Since there will be more than enough to see, hear and do during your time there, here are some highlights for the days and nights ahead. And when you head over to the trade show floor, be sure to stop by WholeFoods at Booth 2011 for free bags of samples and literature!

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culinary oil

Whether your customers are devout foodies or just cooking to sustain themselves, anyone standing behind the stove will likely have a bottle of some kind of oil. Americans spend about six hours per week cooking and in 2015, private label brands of olive oil alone grossed nearly $320 million (1, 2). But, with so many culinary oils, do your customers really know what they are purchasing and why?

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Fermented

Chances are you have fermented products on your shelves, and for good reason, people want them. According to Packaged Facts, 53% of consumers are looking for bold flavors in food and 20% are seeking out international food.

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Paleo

For two years running, Paleo has topped Google’s most searched list for diets (1, 2) and it has frequently been boosted into the public eye by celebrity followers like golfer Phil Mickelson (3), and more recently, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush (4). With an estimated three million individuals who follow the Paleo diet (5), this passionate community of consumers and food companies is growing—the number of Paleo-positioned products rose by 178% in 2014 (5)—and doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

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Traction. 2015 was the year natural products gained significant traction outside their core channels of distribution. Overall, natural and organic product sales grew a stunning 14.9%, adding $9.367 billion to total $72.4 billion in sales, and reaching 11.75% of total U.S. food store sales. Perhaps more noteworthy is this fact: total U.S. food store sales grew 3.1%, adding $19.1 billion; meaning natural and organic products growth made up nearly half (49%) of this number. At this rate, the natural products industry is on track to reach one-third of total food store sales within the next generation, or $500 billion of the then $1.5 trillion U.S. food store business.

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retailer survey

We know today’s shoppers love online shopping and the convenience of their local big-box store. But are they still drawn to independent natural products retailers?

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