New from J.R. Watkins is a line of natural gourmet spice grinders. Options include Course Sea Salt, Whole Black Peppercorns, Four Peppercorn Blend, Garlic Peppercorn Blend, Steak & Chops Seasoning, Chicken Seasoning, Pizza & Pasta Seasoning and Seafood Seasoning. According to the company, the products are all housed in sustainable and recyclable packaging.

News and notes from industry food companies.

Salem, OR—At the end of July 2012, natural and organic potato chip manufacturer Kettle Brand will have crunched its way to 30 years in business. “Kettle Brand started out in the natural products channel and we plan to honor the brand’s heritage in that channel by offering two of our four limited-edition flavors as exclusive products for natural food retailers. Our loyal customers in the natural channel have been with us since the beginning and know that they can find us there,” says brand manager Marc McCullagh.

Washington, D.C.—A recent report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which advises policy makers and leaders on public health matters, recommends that efforts be made by the food industry, as well as the government, to reduce unhealthy food options and increase access to healthy ones. “Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation” was presented at the Weight of the Nation conference, held here in May.

Los Angeles, CA—Resolving a case dating back to 2010, a federal administrative judge has ruled that POM Wonderful, maker of pomegranate juice drinks, used some deceptive practices in advertisements placed in national print media. Specifically, advertisements claiming that the company’s juice products could treat, prevent or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction were deemed illegal under Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations.

Santa Cruz, CA, Corvallis, OR—The organic industry is welcoming a major development with the upcoming merge of two of the nation’s largest third-party organic certification agencies, CCOF and Oregon Tilth.