2011 has been another ride on the financial roller coaster. Anyone who has not felt the tremors, bumps and absolute death drops of the economy is extremely lucky. The same is true of small and large businesses alike, even though there are some rays of hope breaking through the cloudy economic storms. It’s arguable that the natural and organic industry is among the bright spots.

Introducing Ayala’s Herbal Water, a line of zero-calorie, USDA organic herb-infused drinks. Varieties such as Lemongrass Mint Vanilla and Cinnamon Orange Peel comprise the 16-oz. plastic bottle offerings, while Sparkling varieties are available in 25.4 and 12 oz. glass bottles. Ayala Laufer-Cahana, M.D., developed Herbal Water in 2005, and now they are available nationwide.

Now available: The Fountains of Juice, a line of vitamin-packed, low-calorie juice drinks that comes in four varieties: Beetox (from beet root); Eat, Drink and Be Berry! (aronia berry); One-in-a-Melon! (watermelon); and CherryO! (tart cherry). Each drink contains 60–90 calories per 16-oz. bottle and is sweetened with stevia. The products are said to drink like water, with no aftertaste and no coated mouth feel. Drinks are free of caffeine, sodium, gluten, preservatives, GMOs and added sugar.

Sophie’s Kitchen introduces vegan seafood for seafood lovers who maintain special diets or have seafood allergies. Varieties include breaded vegan shrimp, vegan calamari, vegan squid rings and more. This product offers 100% vegan, cholesterol-free food that is also a good source of fiber. The line contains no trans-fat, genetically engineered ingredients, preservatives, artificial colors or artificial flavors.

Green Valley Organics now offers a peach yogurt that is lactose free and gluten free. This real cow dairy yogurt includes pieces of juicy, sweet organic peaches at the bottom of the cup. Other yogurts in the line include Plain, Vanilla, Honey, Strawberry and Blueberry in 6-oz cups. Green Valley Organics is introducing a new larger size (24 oz.) of it best-selling Vanilla yogurt. The Plain and Honey yogurt also are available in the larger size.

Lifeway now offers Frozen Kefir, a creamy, nutritious dessert that packs 10 live and active probiotic cultures. The product contains all-natural ingredients and is high in protein and calcium. The frozen kefir is said to contain 90 calories per serving, is gluten free and 99% lactose free. According to Lifeway, the frozen kefir tastes delicious and shares the same health benefits as Lifeway Kefir. The flavors include mango, pomegranate, original and strawberry.

Soy

Earth Spring Foods recently launched PrimaSoy, an all-natural, patented process for deactivating estrogen, phytic acid, oligosaccharides and trypsin inhibitors in soy. As per the company, this product helps consumers enjoy nutrient-dense soy products without the associated concerns of estrogen-intake. EarthSpring Foods asserts that PrimaSoy will play a significant role in fighting global malnutrition and create new options for people who want to limit their estrogen levels for health reasons. The company will release PrimaSoy products, as well as licensing the process to other manufacturers.

Blue Diamond Growers introduces Breeze Almondmilk­­-Coconutmilk Blend. The beverage is made from real almonds and coconuts and has 50% more calcium than milk. The product contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), is lactose, soy and gluten free and is vegan and kosher. The original and vanilla flavors consist of 60 and 70 calories per serving, respectively, and the unsweetened original and unsweetened vanilla contain 45 calories per serving.

Domino Foods now offers Domino Light, a 100% sugar blend with half the calories of sugar. The product has been created by blending pure cane sugar with a zero-calorie, naturally sweet extract from the tropical stevia plant. According to the company, Domino Light contains no artificial ingredients, and has five calories per serving. Available in 2-lb. polybags and 40-count cartons.