Natural Foods Merchandiser


Eat your D
Eat—don't soak—it up, say doctors about vitamin D in a recent position statement released by the American Academy of Dermatology. The academy stresses the importance of getting enough D via foods and supplements rather than exposure to ultraviolet rays in sunshine and tanning beds. They point out that one person dies from melanoma almost every hour in the U.S.

People need vitamin D to absorb the phosphorous and calcium that are essential to bone health. The Institute of Medicine recommends that children and adults up to age 50 should consume 200 international units of D per day. Adults between the ages of 51 and 70 should get 400 IUs, and those 71 and older should consume 600. The AAD noted that these recommendations may be revised upward due to evolving research. Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics doubled its recommended level of D for kids, raising it to 400 IU.

PC recession proof?
Consumer goods prices stumbled like the latest pro football player on "Dancing with the Stars," but retail prices for the personal care category are holding their own, according to U.S. government statistics. The 1.7 percent drop in consumer goods prices was the biggest fall since the U.S. Department of Labor started publishing the figures in February 1947. Though personal care stats fared better than others, including food, apparel and transportation, the trend is still downward. Recent data from a study conducted by market-research firm The Conference Board shows consumer confidence to be at an all-time low.

Fill in the snack gap
Looking to serve up healthy prepared foods for shoppers? Focus on breakfast and afternoon snacks. According to a recent report by market-research firm The NPD Group, 62 percent of all retail foodservice offerings are either morning meals or afternoon snacks eaten in the car, at work or other places. While consumers might hit up a quick-service restaurant for lunch or supper, they often turn to retail outlets for the in-between-meal munchies. According to the report, shoppers' top motivations when hunting for snacks include convenience, availability of healthier options, variety and affordability.

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