image-asset.jpgNatural Grocers Mounts Up for Cycling Season

Established in 1987, the Natural Grocers Cycling Club is gearing up for another season of bike races, clinics, and events. This year, Natural Grocers and Natural Grocers Cycling will be providing a grant to subsidize women's entry fees to $5 for the annual Jesse Blancarte Memorial 10k Time Trial taking place on June 16 in Gardner, Kansas. A Kansas City tradition, the USA Cycling-sanctioned event is sponsored by The Blue River Bicycle Club and runs along the Missouri 210 Highway by the Missouri River.

"Natural Grocers Cycling has a simple mission: Grow the communities in which we operate, support our sponsors as brand ambassadors, and promote a healthy, active lifestyle on two wheels," said Dan Messina, Managing Partner for Natural Grocers Cycling, of the upcoming event. "We accomplish this by providing financial support to events, connecting local Natural Grocers stores to the cycling community and lowering the barriers for women by subsidizing entry fees."

Europe Welcomes Sabinsa Knowledge Day

On June 4, Dr. Umar Jan, MBA, President of European Operations, and Business Development Manager, Iwona Podewska, and the rest of the Sabinsa team started making their way across Europe educating consumers on the latest information for the company's products with the start of mini-seminar series, "Sabinsa Knowledge Day." The first regional educational session was held at Hotel Mestair in Helsinki, Finland and featured interactive educational sessions on the benefits and science behind Sabinsa’s flagship products like C3 Reduct and Shagandha (Ashwagandha). The educators then moved on to other European cities discussing published studies, formulation options, and marketing opportunities for brands using Sabinsa's ingredients. “Educating formulators and marketers about the research behind Sabinsa’s products and providing manufacturing advice has always been appreciated and utilized by brands using our ingredients,” said Shaheen Majeed, Global Managing Director & CEO of Sami-Sabinsa Group.

Other products highlighted during the education sessions include:

  • Nigellin, known for its anti-allergic, immune-boosting, and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Cirpusins, for healthy weight management and metabolic health
  • Silbinol, recognized for its benefits managing blood sugar levels
  • Starmeric, a unique starch offering digestive support and anti-inflammatory properties
  • LactoSpore, shelf-stable probiotic known for promoting gut health
  • Saberry, extract supporting sugar and lipid balance

Nordic Naturals Joins Cleanup Effort

Nordic Naturals has joined the 40th annual California Coastal Cleanup. The event, taking place in Santa Cruz, will be led by the California Coastal Commission and volunteers as they pick up and record the types of garbage they collect while trying to protect and improve California's coast and ocean. The data collected from the event helps lawmakers and state residents make decision regarding pollution and the reduction of plastic production. “California Coastal Cleanup aligns perfectly with Nordic’s commitment to our values of environmental stewardship and sustainable practices," shared Amy Mirialakis, Director of Sales at Nordic Naturals.

Maypro Teams Up with HITLAB

Maypro and HITLAB, a digital health research, teaching, and advisory service organization, are partnering to create a discovery launchpad and usher in a new era of wellness through digital innovation. Together, the companies will address how digital health solutions can help brands, consumers, and doctors can have greater access to information to better address the nutritional needs of individuals and specific population groups and will and look to optimize formulation, discover novel ingredients, research personalized care, and couple innovation of health-enhancing natural ingredients with efficient clinical trial processes. May Yamada-Lifton, CEO of Maypro Group, shared, “In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, our collaboration with HITLAB represents an exciting opportunity to harness technology’s transformative power in the pursuit of wellness."

Wild Orchard Available at Whole Foods Market

Wild Orchard Tea Company is debuting three of its signature products at select Whole Foods Market stores. Shoppers will be able to pick up Regenerative Certified Everyday Green Tea, Regenerative Organic Certified Everyday Black Tea, and the Sunday Brunch tea bag with botanicals and Regenerative Organic Certified green tea can at some of the chains California, Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada, and Northeast locations. Founded in 2020, the tea company's product line is built around providing organic teas that promote human and planetary health. "We’re incredibly proud to see the Wild Orchard Tea line joining other Regenerative Organic Certified products in Whole Foods Market. It’s a significant contribution to the momentum of this important movement,” said Elizabeth Whitlow, Regenerative Organic Alliance’s Executive Director.

Bionova Expands Into Plasmid DNA GMP

Bionova Scientific is looking to develop a manufacturing facility in The Woodlands, TX, to launch its plasmid DNA (pDNA) production. With goals of Q1 2025 opening date, the new facility will allow Bionova to produce research grade and high-quality pDNA and offer pDNA development services. Founded in 2014 and acquired by the Asahi Kasei Group in 2022, Bionova is now looking to expand its services to meet the need for timely and reliable PDNA supply. "For the past few years, we've seen the cell and gene therapy marketplace struggle with constrained availability of high quality pDNA. In response, we have been building internal expertise and creating a thoughtful market entry plan, culminating with today's announcement of our new Houston facility," said James Glover, Chief Operating Officer of Bionova. 

TruCBN Receives Clinical Validation

FloraWorks presented its latest sleep quality improvement research from its double-blind, placebo-controlled trial featuring TruCBN, a hemp-derived, THC-free, non-psychoactive cannabinol, at SLEEP 2024, the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS). "TruCBN represents a pioneering approach to gaining mainstream acceptance of cannabinoids for therapeutic use through rigorous scientific research and clinical validation," said Alleh Lindquist, FloraWorks Chief Executive Officer. 

Luker Chocolate Releases Latest Sustainability Report

Luker Chocolate released the details of its 2022-2023 Sustainability Report showing the company's progress towards their 2027 goals of increasing farmers incomes, social well-being, and deforestation-free cocoa. In its announcement, Luker reports paying Colombian farmers nearly double the amount made by suppliers from Ghana and the Ivory Coast during the same period, facilitating a 12% income increase for 1,125 farming families, increasing the number of families participating in their social well-being projects by more than 13%, monitoring its ‘deforestation-free’ compliance through its LukerTrace technology, reducing its scope 1 and 2 energy and industrial emissions by 17%, and increasing its protected lands by 347% to 11,945 hectares. “At Luker, we don’t just aim to positively impact cocoa producers; we involve their families and wider communities too. We are utterly convinced that the transformation towards sustainable well-being is done by involving communities in their own development through education, entrepreneurship, and environmental awareness," said Julia Ocampo, Luker Chocolate VP of Cacao Sourcing and Sustainability.

Brevel Announces First Commercial Plant

Microalgae protein manufacturer, Brevel, has opened its first commercial plant in the desert periphery of Israel. The 27,000 square foot facility is capable of producing hundreds of tons of clean, non-GMO, ecofriendly, microalgae protein powder. Starting in 2025, the company hopes to provide industrial level production of its new commercial food market plant protein and begin making protein extracted from the uniquely grown microalgae belonging to the chlorella family. 

The company held an opening ceremony at its new location and provided tours of state-of-the-art facility with advanced bioproduction labs, spacious working environments, a modern food application lab, and the latest in quality control equipment to over 150 attendees including  investors, food-tech start-ups, government representatives and food manufacturers. Guests also enjoyed protein rich plant-based cheese analogous showcasing their ability to provide nutritional value without compromising flavor or appearance.

Flore Clinical Enters Distribution Deal with Evexia Diagnostics

Evexia Diagnostics has signed on to distribute Flore Clinical's GI SereniT, a personalized microbiome mapping technology, to its 20,000 clinical practitioners base. Known to cater to functional and integrative medicine communities, Evexia offers comprehensive, cutting-edge laboratory services at reasonable prices. Flore Clinical creates custom probiotic/prebiotic formulas based on each individual patients gut health analysis provided by GI SerentiT, the at-home stool test, offering insight into gut dysbiosis, microbiome diversity, pathogenic bacteria, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and irritable bowel disease (IBD) analysis through Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) of the gut microbiome. “About 15% of the population suffers from unresolved gastrointestinal issues. Leveraging advanced microbiome mapping methods, personalized gut health testing technology like GI SereniT helps people get to the root cause of their health problems faster,” said Sunny Jain, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flore.

Kerr Offers Upcycled Certified Products

Customers will now be able to purchase Upcycled Certified products from Kerr by Ingredion's fruit and vegetable portfolio. The Upcycled Certified Standard, developed by the Upcycled Food Association, is given to companies that contribute to a renewable food chain through a rigorous certification process that evaluates the full supply chain. “We’re excited to offer a broad selection of Upcycled Certified products from our portfolio. This certification allows us not only to contribute to sustainability efforts, but also to provide additional value to our customers," said Gabriel Pereira, commercial director for Kerr. In addition to the new certification, the company plans on reducing Scope 1 and 2 absolute GHG emissions by 28% and water use intensity in high stress geographies by 30%.

OFI Earns Rainforest Alliance Certification

Olam Food Ingredients (ofi) has earned the industry's first Rainforest Alliance certification for its California almonds orchards. With orchards in California and Australia the brands approach to achieving high-quality, lower carbon footprint almonds packed with flavor is through partnerships with the Almond Board of California, California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC), universities and labs. With its new accreditation, the company will look to continue its responsible almond sourcing practices and further its Almond Trail sustainability product strategy. “Our approach to responsible almond farming and supply chain transparency is ambitious, but it goes hand in hand with delivering high-quality products to our customers - and their consumers," shared Damien Houlahan, Head of Almonds at ofi. 

GNT Exhibiting at IFT 2024

GNT will treat guests of IFT 2024 to a build-your-own rainbow snack bar, highlighting the many color variations of its plant-based EXBERRY. Visitors can stop by booth#1680 and choose from several different taste profiles—savory, salty, and sweet and six seasoning offerings including African Spice mix and Yuzu Aji Amarillo to create their personalized snack. Each seasoning will showcase a different color of EXBERRY which is made from non-GMO fruits, vegetables, and plants and let attendees gain greater understanding of the influence colors have on product appeal and tasting experience. “The power of color in food and drink is immense, affecting not only the perception of taste but also our emotional and psychological connections to the product. We look forward to giving attendees the opportunity to experience the transformative power of color in a fun, immersive, and thought-provoking way," explained Jeannette O'Brien, Vice President of GNT USA. 

Also at the event, GNT will be presenting the results of its Regeneration Rising trend report, an investigation on three new future-forward color directions and their influence on building connections with eco-conscious consumers as well as the effects of sustainability on the use of color in food and drink.

Columbia Grain Kicks Off Seed And Agronomy Program

Fresh off its USDA Climate Smart Commodities initiative funded, Climate-Friendly Rice product launch in late March, Columbia Grain International (CGI) is now introducing farmers and buyers to its Seed and Agronomy program, an end-to-end initiative aimed at providing expert agronomy forecasts, high-quality seeds and seed advising, and guidance for all members of the harvest cycle. The program will also look to build lasting long-term producer partnerships through the even exchange of information and the strengthening of crop health and bottom lines for all. Montana-based Seed Agronomist and Certified Crop Advisor for CGI, Madison Fritz, shared her thoughts on the new program, "Our new Seed and Agronomy Program makes growing better for everybody. Importantly, it gives farmers high-quality, certified and conditioned seeds hand-selected for their growing conditions, and guidance throughout the entire growing cycle.”

MarketPlace Receives Awards and Grows Portfolio

Hermes Creative Awards has presented strategy, marketing, and creative firm, MarketPlace, with three Gold Winner Hermes Creative Awards and two Honorable Mentions during its international creative competition:

  • Gold Winner for ingredient supplier Virginia Dare’s website
  • Gold Winner for consumer packaged goods (CPG) pasta brand Ronzoni’s website
  • Gold Winner for CPG pet supplement brand Snubbies’ packaging
  • Honorable Mention for Ronzoni branding
  • Honorable Mention for Ronzoni packaging

In addition, Graphic Design USA (GDUSA) has awarded the company with a 2024 American Package Design Award for its redesign work for Ronzoni. These awards come on the heels of their two new ingredient supplier brand portfolio additions: Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America, Inc. and EverGrain by AB InBev. MarketPlace will look to provide its new clients with brand and marketing strategies, creative, media activation, and trade show strategies. 

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