There’s a transformation underway in the natural retailing community. After decades of strong leadership, many pioneering retailers are scaling back their duties or passing the reins of their stores to the next generation of retailers—some family members, others young entrepreneurs. At the same time, we’re seeing stores grow from the ground up under the guidance of young owners who are new to natural or retailing or both.

If any consumer today feels that food is not a means of improving their lives, they are in a distinct minority. Data from the Natural Marketing Institute indicate nearly four out of five people believe “healthy foods and beverages can be used to increase the quality of their lives” (1). This explains the current zeal for what functional foods, from nutritious greens to probiotic-infused cookies, have to offer.

Here, grab a glimpse of who is buying functional foods, what they’re buying, and how they’re learning about their options.

Organic Müesli and Cinnamon Organic Müesli from EDEN Foods are made with three organic whole grains (oats, rye and spelt wheat) and mixed with 100% organic dried fruit and seeds. Raisins, dried wild blueberries and dried cranberries add flavor and antioxidants. Pumpkin and raw sunflower seeds lend crunch and nutrition. Both varieties are very low in sodium and rich in magnesium.

New from Nutiva are Organic Shortening and Organic Buttery Spread. Each vegan product is made from organic red palm and coconut oils blended together without any dairy, trans-fats, soy or canola. The shortening can make crispy cookies or flaky pie crust, and the buttery spread can be used as a 1:1 replacement for butter while providing antioxidants from vitamins A and E.