Grocery Briefs: June 2015

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Natural food company Eden Foods, Clinton, MI, has relocated its West Coast warehouse facility to Fremont, CA, 12 miles south of its current location in Union City. The 45,000 square foot facility has been completely renovated with green technology like internal and external LED lighting and a white roofing system designed to lower energy costs.

The Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) acquired a minority stake in Bai Brands, Trenton, NJ, makers of the Bai5 Antioxidant Infusion drinks. Forecasting $125 million in sales in 2015, this took place 18 months after Bai signed a national distribution deal with the Group.

The Just Label It campaign announced that it received over $60,000 in donations from the Independent Natural Food Retailers Association (INFRA). Campaign chairman Gary Hirshberg praised the Association for “for rallying its members in support of transparent labeling and for their generous contribution in support of our work.” Just Label It advocates for labeling of foods containing GMOs in the U.S.

Denver, CO-based restaurant chain Chipotle recently announced that all of its ingredients will be GMO-free moving forward, making it the first national fast food chain to take this step. Chipotle has already previously made the switch to non-GMO corn, as well as using non-GMO sunflower oil and bran oil in place of soybean oil.

Organic food maker Alter Eco, San Francisco, CA, was recognized as one of the “Best for the World” in creating positive social and environmental impact by nonprofit B Lab. B Lab notes that the honor is given to “companies that use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems and have met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.”

Green Grass Foods, Inc., Newport Beach, CA, secured Non-GMO Verification for its first product: Nutpods, a clean label, dairy-free creamer made from almonds and coconuts.

KIND LLC, New York, NY, received a warning letter from the FDA regarding the labeling of several of its KIND snack bars. Specifically, the letter targets the claim of “healthy and tasty, convenient and wholesome,” saying that the mentioned products do not meet the nutritional requirements to use the term “healthy.” In an official statement on the company Web site, KIND stated it is “working now to bring all items to compliance,” while reassuring that there are no quality or safety issues regarding its snack bars or their ingredients.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, June 2015