Each sector of the drink industry brings its own excitement, including tales of success, growth and obstacles overcome. In sharing with you their window onto the beverage landscape, these insiders and entrepreneurs will help bring you up to date on the state of the healthy beverage market.

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Founded in 1994, Garden of Eden (www.edengourmet.com) is a premier gourmet grocer with six locations in New York and New Jersey. The stores are stocked floor to ceiling with over 10,000 gourmet items, showcased artistically in beautiful displays. This month, our Gourmet Guru Jaime Chailland, director of HR and development, talks about what it takes to be a top-notch gourmet store in the tri-state area.

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Everybody needs omega fatty acids, so luckily, today’s market has something to suit all lifestyles and preferences. “It is clear that, for non-fish-eating meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans, vegetable sources of omega-3 are the best option,” says Carolina Chica, manager of nutrition research and regulatory issues for Proprietary Nutritionals, Inc., Kearny, NJ.

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In many quarters today, sugar and artificial sweeteners are squarely in the crosshairs. One need only look at the vehemence with which New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg fought to restrict soda sizes to see an outline of the trend: many public health officials and individuals are trying to reduce intake of sugar and artificial sweeteners. Earlier this year, the Center for Science in the Public Interest sent the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a petition urging the agency to address safe sugar limits in food (1).

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A child’s school-age years are a special time, and not just because she/he moves from taking stroller rides to pedaling without training wheels to begging for your car keys! From ages four through 13, a child goes through a period of immense growth and development that’s topped off during the teen years.

Your store can help parents make sure their kids are getting everything from supplements to skincare to healthy foods and drinks to support this important growth period.

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Let’s play a word association game. What comes to mind when you hear the term, “gluten free diet plan”? Perhaps, “celiac disease”?  Try, “dairy free.” Did you think of “lactose intolerant”? Now, what about “nut free”? Maybe you thought of “allergen.”

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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.

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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.
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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.

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Sprouting up in neighborhoods across eight different states and counting, a relatively young chain of grocery stores trades on a decidedly old-time look and feel. “When you walk into a Sprouts Farmers Market, it’s supposed to feel a little bit different than your everyday grocery store,” says communications manager Lauren Rosenblum. With fresh produce and wholesome grains sold from wooden crates and barrels, and spacious aisles all brightly lit to evoke the feel of a sunny afternoon outdoors, the store makes quite the impression on first-time shoppers. There are a lot of those lately, as the chain expands rapidly and grand openings generate excitement in new markets.

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