Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural Products Industry News Beat

Tofu takeover
Broomfield, Colo.-based WhiteWave Foods Co. agreed May 30 to sell its tofu and meat-alternative business to Hain Celestial Group Inc. for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition continues the expansion of meat-free offerings that Hain Chief Executive Irwin Simon began last year. The deal marks the first time in its 30-year history that WhiteWave, whose products are sold under the names TofuTown and WhiteWave and include tofu, seitan and tempeh, will no longer sell tofu products. Shedding that part of the business will allow the company to focus on its four core dairy products: Silk, Horizon Organic, International Delight and Land O' Lakes. Hain is not buying the WhiteWave trademark, but will market products under the brand for a year-long transitional period.

—Jane Hoback

Med diet fad leads to new food label
Move over Atkins and Ornish: The heart-healthy foods of the Mediterranean are the latest doctor-approved diet, and food processors are jumping on the marketing potential. A new Mediterranean diet symbol was launched last month and will soon appear on the region's food staples, from cereals and pastas to fish and olive oil. Created by Boston-based nonprofit Oldways, the nutrition group behind the Whole Grains stamp, the new Med Mark symbol is an image of an amphora, the jug used by Mediterranean cultures to store and ship their foods and drinks. In a statement, Oldways said it expects to see products featuring the symbol as early as this month, and estimated that within a year it will be on "thousands" of products.

On-the-go organics
Healthier fast food options will soon be even easier to find, thanks to a new partnership between O'Naturals, a natural and organic quick-service chain, and Compass Group, the world's largest foodservice company. Compass, whose worldwide revenue is $19.5 billion, will place O'Naturals franchised kiosks and restaurants in the hundreds of corporations, hospitals, colleges and other contracted locations it manages, a company spokesperson said in a statement. "This is a huge opportunity to expand our concept and roll out O'Naturals to people across the country," said O'Naturals Chairman and Co-founder Gary Hirshberg. Hirshberg, who is also the chief executive at Stonyfield Farm, added: "Our timing could not be better as people are demanding organic and natural offerings, even when on the run."

—Meghan Rabbitt

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 7/p.11

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