Expo West Briefs

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Natural Vitality showed off its recently redesigned company Web site (http://naturalvitality.com), which toggles with Organic Connections (http://organicconnectmag.com), now an electronic-only magazine that focuses on positive news and healthy living. Said company president Ken Whitman, “Being healthy is not just about taking a supplement; it’s also about lifestyle.” Stressing the need to find your inner calm, Whitman suggested “we focus on things that are causing stress in your life so they don’t end up manifesting on the physical level…you can live in a less stressful world if you choose to.” The articles found in Organic Connections support this message with content on healthy food, calm living, environment topics and more. The firm is also launching several new free e-books on topics like balance and stress available on its Web site.

Reserveage Nutrition held a Chef’s Table Tasting and Brand Discovery Experience in which guests were treated to a gourmet meal created using ingredients also found in the company’s supplement. Guests were given new ways to think about what they put in their mouths with tastings like Bergamot-Lavender White Chocolate Truffles, which incorporate two key ingredients from the Reserveage line: cocoa and bergamot. Said Naomi Watts, the company’s founder, “Your genetics, environment, diet and attitudes all come together to shape one’s health.”

Amy’s Kitchen announced a new twist on fast food. The company is opening a 4,000-ft2 restaurant and drive-through in Rohnert Park, CA, featuring veggie burgers, fries, shakes, burritos, pizza, macaroni and cheese and salads. The menu items will be made with organic veggies, fruits, grains and dairy, and many gluten- and dairy-free options will be available.

Albert’s Organics launched the Organic Produce Prodigy App, which is intended to help users know how to select the best organic produce. The free app—available for iOS or Android—also offers nutritional information and recipes.

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps hosted a Dr. Bronner’s Family Celebration event, combining several important company announcements with a celebration of its company philosophy. Vice president Michael Bronner began by announcing an “old and improved” label redesign for the entire company line that keeps a familiar look while making information easier for consumers to read. Company president David Bronner also announced the company’s latest product, All-One Toothpaste, a vegan-flouride free toothpaste in three varieties: Anise, Peppermint, and Cinnamon. Kris Lin-Bronner, strategic adviser and CSR manager, discussed the company’s first annual All-One Report, a social responsibility report combining testimonials from employees and industry professionals with sales and social contribution statistics. The event ended with a loving video tribute to Ralph Bronner.

At the Hall of Legends ceremony on March 6th, 12 influential figures in the natural products industry were honored for their contributions. Among the inductees were Al Powers, former CEO of the NOW Foods Group, who reflected on the many changes he had witnessed in the industry, before saying that this “was a time of change” again. Also inducted were Margaret Isley, co-founder of Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Michael Mooney, co-founder of Supernutrition, and Rick Antonelli, CEO of Galaxy Foods and GoVeggie.

The Organic Center hosted more than 500 organic stakeholders at its Annual VIP Dinner, featuring the theme of “Where Science Meets Soul.” The keynote speaker was author and sustainability and healthy foods advocate Anna Lappé.

The American Botanical Council (ABC) held its 10th annual celebration and awards ceremony. This year, ABC honored Soho Flordis International with the Varro E. Tyler Commercial Investment in Phytomedicinal Research Award; Loren D. Israelsen, president of the United Natural Products Alliance received the 2014 Mark Blumenthal Herbal Community Builder Award; Professor Harry H.S. Fong, Ph.D., took home the ABC Norman R. Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award; Nancy J. Turner, Ph.D., received the 2014 James A. Duke Excellence in Botanical Literature Award for her two-volume work, Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge: Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014); and Terry Lemerond, founder and president of EuroPharma, Inc., received the inaugural Champion Award.

Nordic Naturals celebrated its 20th anniversary in style with a 1920s-inspired cruise around the Marina del Rey. Attendees were treated to dinner, dancing, a photo booth, a casino wheel game and prizes.

The American Herbal Products Association gave out its 2015 awards during its annual member meeting and breakfast. Recipients included Dick Griffin, former owner of Grifcon Enterprises, with the AHPA Herbal Hero Award; Mountain Rose Herbs with the AHPA Herbal Industry Leader Award; and Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., with the AHPA Herbal Insight Award.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, May 2015