Lakewood, Colo.-based Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers has turned its name upside down—to Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage.
"The name change was a thought-out effort to bring attention to the fact that we carry many groceries and produce as well as the vitamin supplements and nutritional coaching that we became famous for initially," said company spokeswoman Nancy Flynn. "About half of our floor space in most stores now is dedicated to natural and organic groceries and organic produce."
Owner Kemper Isely said the company is expecting about $190 million in sales this year. Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, which continues to be family-owned, has 26 stores throughout Colorado and New Mexico. It plans to expand into Texas and Utah this year.
—Jane Hoback Public uncertain about safety of cloned food
The public is nowhere near as certain as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration when it comes to the safety of cloned food, according to a recent survey. Though the FDA approved the sale of milk and meat products from cloned livestock, 77.8 percent of respondents to a January poll conducted by Clear Seas Research said they were unsure, and wanted more information before making a decision on the safety of cloned food.
"These findings indicate that processors need to supply consumers with more information," said Sarah Corp, executive director of Clear Seas, a division of Troy, Mich.-based BNP Media. "There are a lot of misperceptions about what cloning is."
Hain makes chocolate, nut butter buys
"You put your (natural) chocolate in my (organic) peanut butter!" The Hain Celestial Group Inc.acquired the MaraNatha and SunSpire brands and their nut butter manufacturing facility in Ashland, Ore., from American Capital Strategies Ltd. on March 6. The two brands generated sales of approximately $40 million in North America last year, according to Melville, N.Y.-based Hain.
"Adding the category leader MaraNatha to our natural and organic portfolio of brands strengthens Hain Celestial's position in the growing nut-butter category and expands our variety of offerings with almond, cashew, macadamia and other blended nut butters," said Irwin Simon, Hain's president and CEO. "Additionally, SunSpire, with its natural and organic chocolate products, provides an exciting entry into the natural candy category."
Perhaps a blockbuster natural peanut butter cup is in the works?