Blue Diamond Almonds introduces Honey Nut Thins, crackers made with real almond and a touch of honey for sweetness. Wheat- and gluten-free, these crackers come in two flavors: Honey Cinnamon and Honey Mustard; the Blue Diamond Nut Thins line also includes Almond and Hint of Sea Salt flavors.

News and notes from industry food companies.

The organic food industry achieved its fastest growth rate in five years in 2013, says a new survey from the Organic Trade Association (OTA). An 11.5% jump saw the industry reach $35.1 billion in sales, up from $31.5 billion in 2012. The growth is set to continue, according to OTA, as the Organic Industry Survey projects that this rate will at least be matched and possibly exceeded over the next two years.

Washington, D.C.—In what is being called a “historic investment,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making $78 million available annually for the development of regional and local food systems. The operations eligible to receive funds include food hubs, farmers markets, aggregation and processing facilities, distribution services and other local food business enterprises.

Harvard, MA—Neonicotinoids, a class of insecticide, are harmful to honey bee colonies during winter months, according to researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health. This study strengthens previous findings associating insecticide use with Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a term used to describe the recent widespread disappearance of honey bee colonies.

As a staple of the lauded Mediterranean diet, olive oil has been praised for its healthful qualities and flavor in countries such as Italy and Greece for quite a long time, and now it’s gained a foothold in the United States as well.

Manhattan, MT—Gluten-Free Prairie Bakery, co-owned by husband and wife Rick and Deb Wheaton and their son Jeremy, were in preparation to open their new healthy, gluten-free bakery in March. Two weeks before opening day, the store was flooded with the basement entirely under water, damaging the floors and the equipment stored in it.