Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural Products Business & Operations Buzz

Healthy to-go joint targets pint-sized market
It's a small world at Kidfresh, a newly opened New York to-go joint geared—and sized—for the littlest healthy eaters. Marketed to parents and caretakers who have little time to pack meals but are concerned about their children's nutrition, the store sells freshly prepared natural and organic kids' meals to go, ranging in price from $4.45 to $7.45. Petite grocery carts, a special child-sized entrance and short shelves add to the kid-friendly ambience.

Opened in January by a father of two, Kidfresh combines the talents of an award-winning chef and a dietitian to produce child-sized portions of a variety of breakfasts, lunchboxes, snacks and dinners served in biodegradable packages. And for on-the-run families, Kidfresh provides online and phone ordering, catering and delivery within a range of its Manhattan location.

Prepare for launch
New product launches can be victorious or disastrous, depending on how retailers and manufacturers cooperate during the process. To help guide trading partners into a smooth, successful product launch, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, based in Alexandria, Va., released "How targeted collaboration between retailers and manufacturers promotes the success of new product launches," a report prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"Both manufacturers and retailers rely on new product launches to drive growth and help them stand out in a crowded market," said Lisa Feigen Dugal, partner and leader of the North American Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods Advisory practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers' New York office, in a statement. "Yet launches are often hindered by misunderstandings regarding each partner's expectations, abilities and timetables, threatening revenue generation and profitability." The new paper identifies four steps as a roadmap that can help manufacturers and retailers grow and differentiate within the market.

New help for local farmers
To help increase availability of local organic foods to its Midwestern stores, Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market is partnering with Chicago-based nonprofit Sustain to promote and administer Whole Foods' Local Producer Loan Program, designed to give low-interest loans to small, organic producers for expansion.

Sustain connects local farmers with buyers, and has already helped increase the number of Midwestern organic producers and helped existing producers expand, according to Sustain's Web site. The partnership is also developing training programs to assist smaller farmers, who usually only sell at farmers' markets, comply with quality standards for wholesale. Whole Foods has pledged to give $10 million annually in these loans.


Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 5/p.16

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