News and notes from industry food companies.

A few years ago, an independent natural products retailer with several stores got a new point-of-sale system. Because they had been ordering manually, going from store to store on different days of the week, the owners were very excited that they would be able to remotely track products and sales, and be able order from their central office, saving time and money.

The United States is forging ahead with the natural oil and gas boom that defines its energy policy, even as the significance of this boom flies under the radar. The average person has rarely heard about the explosive growth, except perhaps from stories about fracking controversies. But the global community has taken notice, with the official Chinese state news agency calling U.S. energy growth the most underreported story of 2013. Meanwhile, major alternative energy sources have been carving their own paths.

Orlando, FL—The Southeast Natural Products Association (Southeast NPA) held a successful show, SOHO, in early December 2013, here.

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

South Plainfield, NJ—The Natural Products Association, based in Washington, D.C., has selected Howard Wainer, president of WholeFoods Magazine, as the winner of its 2014 President’s Award. This annual award is given to a natural products industry member who has made long-term and significant contributions to the industry.

Promotions, new hires, retirements and more.

Washington, D.C.—A final regulatory guidance on how to correctly market a product as a beverage versus a dietary supplement has been released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The distinction is an important one, since products that fall into the beverage category are regulated as food. It is also a safety issue when consumers cannot easily tell if a liquid supplement is intended to be taken in small doses, unlike a drink.

coffee heart

Dallas, TX—According to a recent study, caffeine from coffee may increase blood flow and improve small blood vessel function.