­­News from industry food companies.

Finland—Including more fatty fish in the diet is an important means of positively influencing cholesterol levels, says new research out of the University of Eastern Finland (UEF). The study, published in PLOS ONE, shows people who increased their fatty fish intake to at least three to four weekly meals had more large HDL particles in their blood than those who ate less fish.

Kansas City, MO—Add Popchips, Inc. to the growing list of food companies that have settled class action lawsuits over the use of the terms “natural” or “all natural” in marketing. A proposed settlement has the brand set to fork over $2.4 million to a class action fund, after a lawsuit alleged its use of “all natural” in marketing and on packaging is misleading to consumers.

Ice cream sales generate big dollars in the United States. $10 billion, to be exact, in 2011 (1). Manufacturers in the competitive ice cream space are pulling out all the stops to grab their piece of the pie (à la mode, of course). The results are some pretty unique high-end gourmet products that are far from vanilla. We’re seeing outside-the-carton ingredients and flavor combinations like herbs and salty-sweet varieties that have piqued the interest of shoppers. And the cherry on top are premium ingredients that bring products to new levels in terms of flavor and social responsibility.

Pet products are a big deal. So much so that a slew of “big box” retail outlets are devoted to the business of pet ownership. But pet dollars can still be captured at natural retail by properly presenting safe, healthful offerings and the right variety of products to suit the needs of the most common pets.

A peanut butter sandwich on whole-wheat bread, washed down with a nice tall glass of cold milk sounds like a delicious and healthy lunch for kids and adults alike. Unfortunately, for nearly 15 million Americans today, that meal could lead to severe health consequences. Peanut, wheat and dairy allergies and intolerances are becoming more and more commonplace; between 1997 and 2011, food allergies among children spiked 50% (1). Though there are many theories as to why they are becoming more prevalent, a direct cause is still unknown. But the fact is, for those with peanut allergies, dairy intolerances or gluten sensitivities, these conditions are very real and can disrupt and even threaten their daily lives.

Continuing on our discussion about Gourmet Snack Foods, we have an online exclusive interview with Angie Bastian, founder of Angie’s Artisan Popcorn of Mankato, MN. Angie's pops fresh popcorn batch by batch. The line includes Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt and Boom Chicka Pop White Cheddar, as well as Sweet and Spicy, Salted Caramel, Kettle Corn and more.

Eden Foods has introduced its nuts, seeds and dried fruits in one-ounce Pocket Snacks. Varieties include Dried Blueberries, Tamari Almonds, Wild Berry Mix, Dried Cranberries, Quiet Moon, Montmorency cherries, Pumpkin Seeds, Spicy Pumpkin Seeds, and Pistachios.

New from Evol are frozen all-natural burritos that come with a guacamole packet. The burritos are made with white meat chicken and premium beef from animals raised without antibiotics/hormones and fed a 100% vegetarian diet. Varieties include Gluten Free Chicken, Chicken Fajita, Steak Fajita and Veggie Fajita.