Acquisitions, mergers, awards, charity work, certifications, company news and more.

For the third year in a row, I’ve been honored to assist in analyzing the data from WholeFoods Magazine’s Retailer Survey, which starts on page 20, and this year is outstanding! We’ve had the largest response in 35 years of doing the survey, and the quality of stores is truly remarkable. With nearly one million square feet and $665 million in sales represented, the survey offers a comprehensive view of our dynamic industry, from the smallest supplements store to the largest fresh-foods supermarket.

What’s Selling is our monthly review of what retailers nationwide say is selling well in their stores. This month, we’ve compiled all of the data from October until the end of the year for the final quarter as well as looked back at all 2012 data.

Promotions, new hires, retirements and more.

Growing up in the New York /New Jersey area, as well as the natural products industry, has taught me many things. First, we are tough survivors and will do what it takes to overcome. With that in mind, we were tested again with perhaps one of our biggest challenges last month when Super Storm Sandy hit our area.  Many people lost their homes, cars and items of sentimental value. Relief workers are helping them, but it is not enough.

Resveratrol wine isn’t just good for your heart—it helped inhibit prostate cancer androgens in a recent lab study. Prostate cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer, is cause for the second most cancer-related deaths of American men.

Santa Barbara, CA–Thanks to the generosity of numerous industry members, Vitamin Angels now has extra funds with which to do its good work distributing vitamins to those in need around the world.

Washington, D.C.—The Natural Products Association (NPA) and WholeFoods Magazine are working together to help Hurricane Sandy victims (specifically natural products retailers) get back on their feet with the NPA Retailer Relief.

Hoboken, NJ—A recent study published in Panminerva Medica indicates that Pycnogenol (distributed in the U.S. by Horphag Research, based here) may help control asthma symptoms. Pycnogenol is a natural plant extract that comes from the bark of French Maritime pine trees. The extract’s combination of procyanidins, bioflavanoids and organic acids has been studied for years in promoting healthy inflammation, but now researchers from the University in Pescara, Italy believe it may have other benefits, too.