Natural Foods Merchandiser


p>Sunrich Soaks Up Sigco, Dakota Gourmet
Sunrich Food Group will continue its expansion with the acquisition of natural snack maker Dakota Gourmet and sunflower producer SIGCO Sun Products.
Hope, Minn.-based Sunrich will add Dakota Gourmet?s soy, corn and sunflower snacks to its existing product mix, which includes Kettle Valley fruit bars and Sunrich Naturals gluten-free veggie burgers and domestically grown edamame. Sunrich?s Hearty & Natural brand will be phased out in favor of Sunrich Naturals, a company spokesman said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Survey Says: No More Junk Food, I Swear
Here?s a shocking development: Consumers are resolving to eat better in the new year. That?s what ?Supermarket Guru? Phil Lempert found when he surveyed 1,650 visitors to his Web site. An amazing 74 percent said they?re following a low-carbohydrate diet; more than half said they will eat more low-fat foods and cook more meals from scratch in 2004; and 27 percent said they want to buy and eat more organic foods.

Health and wellness are much on the minds of Lempert?s respondents: 96 percent said they follow news reports about food safety and health and 74 percent said those reports affect their shopping habits.

Wild Oats Rolls Out Corn Clamshells
After a successful pilot in Greater Portland, Ore., Wild Oats Markets Inc. has started nationwide rollout of compostable disposable containers.

Made from a corn-based resin called NatureWorks PLA (polyactide), the see-through tubs break down into water, carbon dioxide and organic residue in 47 days, according to the Boulder, Colo., natural supermarket chain. They?re not suitable for hot foods or microwaving because they start to decompose at 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cargill Dow, which developed NatureWorks PLA, is marketing the material as a reasonably priced alternative to plastic in other applications, including bottles, trays, bread bags, film wraps and even the windows in envelopes.

Wild Oats is using signage and prominently displayed recycling bins to tell consumers that the corn containers can come back from home to be composted.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXV/number 1/p. 24

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