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.

Research shows that 90% of businesses do not know what their customers want. In a world burdened with financial difficulties, American stores need to shape up. According to a four-year study conducted by the market intelligence firm, BIGresearch, most customers will put value and service ahead of price. That’s right. Even though your store may be just a tad more expensive than the one next door, if yours provides quality assistance for consumers, they will choose you over the lower-priced competition.

The days may be numbered in which the disposable plastic bag sees widespread use in the retail setting. After the Los Angeles City Council voted 13-1 to phase out plastic bags in an estimated 7,500 stores over the next 12 months, the end may indeed be nigh for the convenient items that nevertheless harm the environment.

Eagan, MN—Strenuous exercise causes stress on the body that could weaken the immune system, so two new studies have examined how a branded immune ingredient could affect athletes.

Washington, D.C.—The Natural Products Association (NPA) has found a new leader. John Spitaleri Shaw will become the nonprofit's new Executive Director and CEO, filling the void left by former CEO John Gay.

Toledo, OH—The natural products industry has lost a beloved retailer and friend, Joseph M. Bassett, N.M.D., D.M., age 79.

Zurich, Switzerland—The international peer review journal Heart printed a study from Switzerland on dietary calcium and supplement intake and the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Paramus, NJ—Udi’s Healthy Foods, LLC, a company known and loved for its gluten-free breads and other foods, is now owned by Smart Balance, Inc., based here.  

Rockville, MD—On May 30, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially told the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) that its September 2010 citizens petition to allow the term “corn sugar” to replace “high-fructose corn syrup” (HFCS) was going nowhere.

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