Every retailer is dying to know, “What are the next big market segments I can tap into so as to best serve my clients and increase my store sales?”

Well, here at WholeFoods Magazine, we believe we have found one for you: the natural gourmet market.

GMOs natural

Washington, D.C.—The Natural Products Association (NPA) board of directors recently announced that it has endorsed the Genetically Engineered Food Right-To-Know Act, which mandates that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) require the labeling of genetically modified ingredients to be labeled on foods. NPA is the first natural products industry trade association to back the legislation.

 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially set a final standardization for labeling foods as “gluten-free.” Previously, there had been no guidelines concerning what amounts of gluten in a product qualified it as “gluten-free” and thus safe for the 25 million Americans who suffer from celiac disease or gluten-intolerance.

A federal judge put the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the spot recently, asking the agency to decide whether genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be present in food products labeled “natural.” The request from U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers put on hold a class action suit against Gruma Corp., which markets tortillas and other products under the Mission brand name.

Monrovia, CA—Naked Juice Co., owned by PepsiCo, will be removing the term “all natural” from its fruit and vegetable juice smoothie products, after it chose to settle a class-action lawsuit for $9 million. By claiming its products are all natural and free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the lawsuit alleged, the brand was engaged in false advertising.

Phoenix, AZ—Sprouts Farmers Market, which operates over 150 stores and was the 2013 WholeFoods Retailer of the Year, officially set the terms of its initial public offering on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The company seeks to pay down $247.6 million in debt and other costs through the sale of 18.5 million shares, at prices ranging from $14–$16. The fully diluted market capitalization of the company at the midpoint of this price range would be $2.3 billion, according to the NASDAQ Web site.

The story of Tofutti is one of triumph, loss and three divine brushes with fate.

Holding the reigns of this successful company is founder and CEO David Mintz, a jovial, passionate businessman who has yet to abandon the eye of the tiger that served him well for over three decades. With a lot of prayer and even more spirit, Mintz revolutionized the tofu industry and established a business that features over 75 dairy-free products.

On product labels, in testimonials and in marketing literature, we often see phrases like, “…for the active lifestyle.” It’s trendy marketing vernacular, sure, but when it comes to sports nutrition foods and beverages, it rings true: the consumer base for these products is indeed active, and it needs products to support that lifestyle.

Often, we don’t know what we need to make our lives more convenient, until some new technology arrives to show us. People got by without the Internet fairly well in the pre-digital era, but can you imagine life without it now? If so, good for you! You’re a more resourceful sort than the rest of us over-connected Web crawlers. But the point here is that the same general principle applies to retailing. Once you’ve integrated or upgraded to some of the technologies described below, you’ll never know how you got by without them.