Himalaya Herbal Healthcare broke ground on a LEED Gold Certified, eco-friendly business office, warehouse and training center in Sugar Land, TX. Stated CEO Nabeel Manal, “We are creating a green facility with a teaching organic herb garden, meditation labyrinth and large-capacity training rooms as a way of bringing a piece of India here to the United States. Our new business campus is designed to share the wisdom and science behind our products in a beautiful and green environment, and we enthusiastically look forward to inviting retailers and other industry members to join us here in Houston.”

Representatives of Washington, D.C.–based Natural Products Foundation (NPF) met with members of the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to give them information about 13 supplement marketers that have not—despite requests—changed their marketing materials to comply with the group’s Truth in Advertising program. NPF asked that regulatory action be taken against the firms.

Arlington Heights-based Carlson Laboratories partnered with the NPF in a fundraising effort. Carlson promised to give part of the proceeds from specially labeled Carlson Super Omega-3 Gems to the non-profit. Such bottles will be available May through August of this year. “Carlson has always demonstrated support of industry initiatives, and this flagship program to fund industry research and education programs is an example of their commitment,” said NPF Executive Director Deb Knowles.

 In other news, Carlson Labs announced the winners of its Heart Month End-Cap Contest. The top prize (and winners of $500 in Carlson products) went to Our Daily Bread of Bryan, OH, and Peggy’s Natural Foods of Stuart, FL; second place winners (and recipients of $250 in Carlson supplements) went to Basic Bulk of Kitchener, ON, Canada and Debbie’s Health Foods of Port Orange, FL; and third prize (and winners of $100 in products) was given to Herbs ‘n’ More of Carrollton, GA, Peachtree Natural Foods of Columbus, GA and The Healthy Gourmet of LeHigh Acres, FL. Several honorable mentions were awarded.

Bioforce USA of Ghent, NY now has the U.S. distribution rights for Bionorica products (like Sinupret and Bronchipret).

FortiSalt from Mineral Resources International, Inc., based in Ogden, UT, received top honors from international chefs and sommeliers at a gathering in Belgium. FortiSalt offers a salty flavor using whole balanced sea minerals and nutritional salts, the company says.

Watsonville, CA-based Nordic Naturals received GMP certification from NSF International for its new LEED-designed corporate headquarters.

Holistic Select, a WellPet brand based in Tewksbury, MA, launched the Holistic Select Health Scale (www.petwiseparent.com/healthscale). This tool helps pet owners evaluate their pets’ health on the basis of nutrition, education, socialization, physical health and environment.

Herbalist and Alchemist of Washington, NJ has renamed its Re-Leaf line to avoid confusion with medical marijuana stores. Grief Re-Leaf is now David Winston’s Grief Relief; Emotional Re-Leaf is now David Winston’s Emotional Relief; Lung Re-Leaf is David Winston’s Lung Relief; Tension Re-Leaf is David Winston’s Tension Relief; Herbal Re-Leaf is David Winston’s Herbal Relief; and Kid’s Tummy Re-Leaf is now David Winston’s Kid’s Tummy Relief.

Natural products store chain Richard’s Foodporium, based in Sarasota, FL, acquired two Good Earth stores in Bradenton, FL, which will be rebranded and remodeled this summer. Richard’s Foodporium now has 16 stores. Good Earth owner, Mark Egan, will join Richard’s organization.

According to SPINS data (collected May 2010 to February 2011), Ogden, UT-based Trace Minerals Research (TMR) gained a 2.6% market share in the trace mineral category in natural products supermarkets across the United States. Says the firm, “Of 24 total brands that sell trace mineral products, the next closest brand owns just over two percent of current dollar share and is not an ionic trace mineral.”

United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) will divest its non-foods and general merchandise businesses so it can focus on its natural, organic and specialty foods products. UNFI will also lose its Harrison, AR facility where it previously handled shipments of such products. L&R distributors will take over the non-food lines.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, July 2011