Sea Cliff, NY-based Robert’s American Gourmet Food, LLC, maker of Pirate’s Booty, announced an investment as well as a new name—Pirate Brands. Company founder and CEO, Robert Ehrlich, has joined forces with Mike Repole, former president and co-founder of Energy Brands, Inc., who now owns a majority stake in the company along with VMG Partners, a branded consumer products-focused private equity firm.  Ehrlich will continue his duties as the CEO.

San Clemente, CA-based Sambazon, Inc. announced its açaí crop in Brazil has been certified as Fair Trade.

Boulder, CO-based Justin's Nut Butter was awarded Best New Product at Coffee Fest 2009 in Seattle, WA for its single-serve squeeze packs of almond and peanut butter.

Omaha, NB-based ConAgra Foods, Inc. pledged to reduce salt in its food products by 20% by 2015. Since2006, the company has removed more than two million pounds of salt from its products.

In a study conducted by the Harrisburg, PA-based marketing agency, Pavone, more than 75% of respondents said they’d prefer to purchase organic and all-natural goods if comparably priced with other leading brands.

Earth's Best, a brand of The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., Melville, NY, celebrates 25 years of producing organic baby food, toddler food and infant formula. To kick off its year-long celebration, the company is hosting a contest to find the 25 Faces of Generation Pure. Winners will be announced this month and featured on and

VegNews announced Northridge, CA-based Turtle Mountain as the 2009 Veggie Award Winner for both Company of the Year and Favorite Vegan Ice Cream.

NSF International
announced the call for nominations for the 2010 Food Safety Leadership Awards (FSLA) Program. Celebrating its seventh year, the FSLA program recognizes individuals and companies that have demonstrated excellence in the foodservice industry. Foodservice operators, manufacturers, researchers and members of academia are encouraged to submit nominations. Winners are recognized in one of eight awards categories: education, training, equipment design, packaging innovation, product development, research advances, system improvement and technology breakthroughs. One individual is also recognized with a lifetime achievement award for his/her significant contributions to advancing food safety. The 2010 FSLA award recipients will be announced at the Food Safety Summit on Wednesday, April 14, 2010. Program guidelines can be viewed at

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, Januray 2010