Natural Foods Merchandiser

Retailer roundtable: How do you stay up-to-date in the industry?

Jeffrey Stephens, owner of Palmyra Natural Foods in Palmyra, Pa.
“I use some Internet, but I mostly refer to magazines. I also get the monthly catalog from UNFI.”

Alison Lively, natural health practitioner at Creative Health in Greenville, S.C.
“We don’t read specific literature, but instead use a direct marketing company (Nature’s Sunshine) and its materials to know what products to stock. We also go to regional seminars any chance we get, and try to go to a National Products Expo once a year. We never do anything just by a sales call. We do trial runs and things of that nature before we actually count on the product. It’s worked for us.”

Diana Roach, owner of Village Apothecary in Cedar Crest, N.M.
“I read different magazines, and I get emails from some manufacturers to learn about new products. I also use Dr. Mercola’s website [] to stay informed.”

Jeff Hills, owner of Healthy Appetites Natural Foods in Plymouth, Mass.
“We read magazine articles to see what is new and exciting in the industry. We go to trade shows like Natural Products Expo East. We subscribe to several newsletters. We do Internet searches to see what’s available. We’re always taking recommendations from our customers, because they’re always keeping us up-to-date. We look at distributors’ emails and publications to see all the new products that are available.”

David Kephart, owner of Simple Foods Market in Salida, Colo.
“NFM is one of the main things we read, as well as other trade publications. I get emails from those magazines and I’ve been to some trade shows. We stock products based on a fair bit of word of mouth. A lot of times what we do is check products out in Whole Foods Markets. That’s one way we keep abreast even though they’re a little slower to bring things in because they have a stocking process.”

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