Natural Foods Merchandiser

Letters to the Editor

Reader Says Hurray for the Real Little Guys
To the Editor:
I saw something over the weekend that might interest you and others in the natural foods industry. It?s hardly the first instance of this marketing tactic—but maybe one of the more extreme examples. I was drinking a bottle of Nantucket Nectars—which was pretty good—and killing time by reading the label.

After I got the third repetition of ?Tom & Tom? and the fifth of ?We?re Juice Guys? on this one bottle, I thought, ?Gee, they are really pushing this intimate/uncorporate image, but didn?t they sell to some large company a while back??

So I checked online at www.juice Seemed I was wrong. Still just two ?Juice Guys? running a terrific little company. No mention of any corporate ties or the like. (OK, so maybe they?re not really on Nantucket anymore like the bottle says—but ?the heart of the company and the philosophy still remains on the island.?)

Maybe I was mistaken. Or maybe they had regrets and bought the company back. I looked elsewhere. As you most likely remember, they did in fact sell the company to Cadbury Schweppes for $59 million in 2001. End of story.

Not that that is any crime. The product is still good, and I?ve nothing against Cadbury Schweppes. My interest? It?s just that as part of a still small ($16 million) natural foods company, in an industry full of unknown, struggling little companies and authentic mom-and-pop enterprises, this kind of aggressive mega-corp, faux-little guy marketing is kind of annoying.

Just my two cents.

Rodney North, employee-owner
Equal Exchange (a worker cooperative dedicated to fair trade with small-farm owners)

Extend ?The Line on Flax Lignans?
To the Editor:
Just wanted to compliment and thank you for the terrific ?The Line on Flax Lignans? article (September 2004) in my perennially favorite section of your magazine, Nutrition Science News (although I do read the rag cover to cover). I don?t have the privilege of knowing the author, but her ability to communicate the complex topic and her selections of peer-reviewed science are highly commendable.

One recommendation for this piece and similar ones planned for future issues: Address label issues. What is the correct (both legally and ethically) way to label lignans in a food or a dietary supplement? Our health-conscious consumers will be unfortunate victims because of the egregious mislabeling and misrepresentation of this important ingredient—just take a gander at all of the ?high-lignan? claims—and then see how few actually state the amount of lignans. Any company making a claim should identify lignans as secoisolariciresinol diglucosides (SDG), as Marilyn Sterling notes in her second paragraph.

Your magazine continues its greatness—keep up the great work.

Karl Riedel, president, Nature?s Life

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXV/number 11/p. 14

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