By the end of 2015, Boulder Brands, Boulder, CO, will source 100% of the palm oil in its Earth Balance brand products from responsible palm oil producers that are independently verified.

Lenny & Larry’s, a Los Angeles, CA-based maker of high protein snacks, announced it is opening offices in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. The new offices will allow the sales and marketing team to manage new and existing business on the East Coast.

The remaining 80% of EK Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiary Empire Kosher Poultry, Inc. has been acquired by Hain Celestial, Lake Success, NY. In 2010, Empire purchased chicken and turkey brand Kosher Valley from Hain Pure Protein Corp., and Hain Pure Protein received a 19% interest Empire in return.

Prevention magazine honored Organic EDEN Grape Butter from Eden Foods, Clinton, MI, with its “100 Cleanest Packaged Food” award.

McDonald’s USA announced that it is committing to the use of chickens that are not raised with antibiotics important to human medicine. The company says it has worked recently with farmers to reduce antibiotic use in its meat supply, and will be able to meet this new commitment in U.S. restaurants by March 2017.

Greenpeace named Wild Planet Foods, McKinleyville, CA, as the number one most sustainable and ethical tuna brand in the United States.

Roasted Salted Pistachios, Roasted Unsalted Pistachios, and Pistachio Chewy Bites from Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc., have been Non-GMO Project Verified. Biena Chickpea Snacks, Boston, MA, secured Non-GMO Project Verification for its full product line of roasted chickpea snacks. Green Grass Foods, Inc. had its first product, a dairy-free creamer made from almonds and coconuts called nutpods, Non-GMO Project Verified.

A new almond receiving warehouse is being built at the Salida, CA facility of Blue Diamond Growers. The company plans to expand its receiving capabilities by 33% to accommodate future growth. The new warehouse is designed to maintain product quality and enhance grower delivery speeds.

The manufacturer of natural chicken brands Just BARE and Gold’n Plump, GNP Company, says it has started a two-phase expansion plan for its operations in Cold Spring and St. Cloud, MN. The first phase, which began in April, includes a building addition, installation of new equipment and building up the company’s hatchery, at a cost of $35 million.

Mocktails Brand Non-Alcoholic Cocktails, based in Boston, MA, is now available at Whole Foods Market stores throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

H.J. Heinz Co. and The Kraft Foods Group have entered into a merger agreement led by investment firms 3G Captial and Berkshire Hathaway. The new company will be called The Kraft Heinz Company. Measured by sales, the new entity projects as the third-largest U.S. food company and the fifth-largest in the world.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, May 2015