When consumers say they’re fed up with the artificial additives in foods, chances are, they’re talking about dyes that are linked to behavioral problems and fake flavors that have a tinny not-quite-authentic taste.

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Food for thought: this year, 83% of shoppers bought more Brand ABC products than they did a year ago (1). And, 60% of shoppers feel Brand ABC is a better value than the top brands while being of the same quality (1). Wouldn’t you love to carry Brand ABC on your shelves?

Well, next time you head into your store, take note of the name above the door. Brand ABC can be you.

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Often, we don’t know what we need to make our lives more convenient, until some new technology arrives to show us. People got by without the Internet fairly well in the pre-digital era, but can you imagine life without it now? If so, good for you! You’re a more resourceful sort than the rest of us over-connected Web crawlers. But the point here is that the same general principle applies to retailing. Once you’ve integrated or upgraded to some of the technologies described below, you’ll never know how you got by without them.
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Mother Nature has given us many great nutrients to support our bodies’ health and wellness. Unfortunately, she’s a bit of a trickster, as some compounds—despite their helpfulness—don’t absorb well.

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It’s that time of the year again! Natural Products Expo West, hosted by New Hope Natural Media, is once again coming to the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA from Thursday, March 7th to Sunday, March 10th. On Friday and Saturday, the show floor is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Co-located with several other events (Engredea; Nutracon; Fresh Ideas Organic Marketplace; and Beer, Wine, and Spirits Marketplace), Expo West provides invaluable knowledge for those looking to improve their stores and products.

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The pressure is on. You are charged with making an important decision about an issue that affects millions of people. Worse, you’re really not well versed on all its complex potential ramifications. Wouldn’t it be great to have a helping hand, someone knowledgeable to tell you what you need to know in 15 minutes and leave you with a clear one-pager to remind you about everything you discussed?

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According to the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), over 400 registered green logos exist worldwide (1). Most consumers say they are more likely to buy products with green seals, says NMI (1), and there are good reasons why. Certifications help a product standout in saturated markets.

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With the market now saturated with interesting and appealing natural products, it is imperative to stand out. You could try to have sales reps standing in every aisle of every natural store to highlight the benefits of your product. Or, you could let your packaging do the talking for you. A well-designed, professional look is more than a pretty picture; done well, packaging will put your best foot forward, showing customers why they should care about your story and your unique products.

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Positive contract manufacturing relationships are all about meeting and exceeding expectations. Seeing eye to eye, being on the same wavelength, having one’s clocks synchronized…these are crucial factors for the success of any partnership between manufacturer and finished product marketer. “It is never a good practice to over-promise and under-perform,” notes Richard Kaufman, executive vice president of Paragon Laboratories, Torrance, CA.

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Will 2013 be a good year for the natural products industry? And, how will 2012’s hottest issues like GMOs affect the new year from a business standpoint? In this feature, WholeFoods goes right to the source via interviews with raw materials suppliers to bring you insight into key areas we should have our eyes on in the coming year. These companies are often at the forefront of innovation, often playing with new ingredients and combinations years before we see them on the market. Their knowledge of industry trends is something from which we can all benefit.

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