Natural Foods Merchandiser

Company News

Traditional Medicinals Inc., based in Sebastopol, Calif., completed its limited private offering. With the assistance of Phil Moore of Monterey Bay, the following individuals have invested in the company: Lex Alexander, Joel Dee, Steve Demos, John Elstrott, Michael Funk, Mark Retzloff and Peter Roy.

Wisdom Herbs, the Mesa, Ariz.-based manufacturer of SweetLeaf brand stevia products, Wisdom of the Ancients herbal teas, Wisdom Nutrition and Sweet & Slender natural sweetener, and distributor of La Merced brand yerba mate, changed its name to Wisdom Natural Brands. The name change reflects the company's growing product diversity and core business philosophy.

Braintree, Mass.-based Richelieu Foods Inc.'s Grundy Center, Iowa, manufacturing facility has been certified to produce organic dressings, marinades, cooking sauces, salsa, condiments and mayonnaise. The certification was completed under the authority of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's Organic Certification Program.

Effingham, Ill.-based Hodgson Mill received the American Tasting Institute's Certificate of Distinction of Taste for its Oat Bran Hot Cereal.

Pittsburgh-based supplements producer Douglas Laboratories' in-house laboratory certification and accreditation program has met both the International Organization for Standard 9001 and ISO 17025 standards. These standards assure the facility meets customer and applicable regulatory requirements and that the company operates a quality, technically competent system able to produce valid results.

Point Group Holdings Inc. in San Diego joined with Bio-Nutritional Product Development Inc. of Carlsbad, Calif., as an investor to move the product Botanical Chi to worldwide availability. Both companies will have ownership in the product and share the benefits from the sales of the newly formed limited liability company, known as Botanical Chi.

Aloecorp, based in Broomfield, Colo., announced its distributor partnership with asi group of Mexico City. The asi group focuses on providing natural raw material ingredients for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and nutraceutical industries.

Lenexa, Kan.-based Wilke Resources has entered an agreement with Next Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Irvine, Calif., to act as the exclusive U.S. sales agent for Next's products Relora and Nexrutine.

Banner Pharmacaps Inc., a drug delivery and technology and proprietary health products company based in High Point, N.C., is collaborating with Contract Pharmacal Corp. to launch CPC's recent acquisition of the ARTHx brand of Joint Support products using Banner's patented Soflet Gelcap technology.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition has submitted a set of comments to the Food and Drug Administration, urging it to seriously consider industry recommendations about the Good Manufacturing Practices rule. One of CRN's main concerns with the proposed rule is a possible lack of strong focus on process controls and over-reliance on exhaustive and end-product testing.

Sales and marketing company SourceOne Global, a provider of proprietary branded ingredients programs to manufacturers and marketers, announced its strategic alliance with KGK Synergize for the exclusive global distribution rights for KGK's cholesterol-lowering product Sytrinol in the dietary supplements market.

Nutrition Business Journal presented Product Merit Awards to Benicia, Calif.-based InterHealth Nutraceuticals for Super CitriMax and UC-II at the annual NBJ Newport Summit, held in Coronado, Calif., in July. NBJ annually awards companies that have displayed innovation or initiative in launching or revamping products.

Kalahari Ltd., a South African food company, introduced updated packaging and flavor names for its line of Kalahari Red Tea. The new names are South African in origin. South Africa is the only place in the world where the rooibos herb for Kalahari's Red Tea is grown.

Minneapolis-based Cargill has invested in Manhattan, Kan.-based NutriJoy Inc., an early-stage company devoted to developing good-tasting, high-nutrition consumer foods and beverages. As part of the investment, Cargill, through its Cargill Ventures' business unit, will obtain a seat on NutriJoy's board of directors. NutriJoy was created and supported by Mid-America Commercialization corporation and Kansas State University.

Santa Barbara, Calif.-based ALL ONE has received the vegan certification by Vegan Action for five supplements: Fruit Antioxidant Formula, Rice Base Formula, Green Phyto Base Formula, Calcium Complex and Totally Fiber Complex.

DeKalb, Ill.-based Prairie Grove Farms, which earned the USDA Meat Quality certification, was featured in a Food Arts Magazine fund-raiser for hunger relief, held in conjunction with the National Restaurant Show in Chicago.

Bob MacLeod and Steve Byckiewicz, co-founders of Kiss My Face, hired AndosciaMoss Communications as the company's public relations agency.

Chatsworth, Calif.-based Natrol Inc. announced a partnership with Larex Inc., focused on selling ImmunEnhancer AG. The companies have signed an agreement that will provide Essentially Pure Ingredients, Natrol's functional ingredients division, with exclusive sales and marketing rights for ImmunEnhancer AG.

The Wall Street Journal in a recent article gave top marks for taste to Quorn Foods' Chicken-Style Patties and Gardenburger's Original, judged by a seven-member panel of Journal staff members and a restaurant owner.

Nederland, Colo.-based Green Marketing introduced The Green MarketScan, an analysis of three segments of the natural products industry: natural/organic personal care; functional/fortified foods; and nutritional supplements. Updated quarterly, The Green MarketScan includes market overviews, breakdowns, drivers and trends.

Salt Lake City-based Lily of the Desert, a certified organic grower, processor and distributor of aloe vera juices, gels and topical skin products, hired Integrated Marketing Group for creative strategy and design, sales collateral, package redesign and public relations.

The National Nutritional Foods Association's annual convention and trade show, NNFA MarketPlace, had 6,759 attendees, an 8 percent increase from 2002. In the People's Choice Awards, retailers voted for: Kashi Company's Kashi Organic Promise Autumn Wheat; Skylar Haley's Essn Fuji Apple; SunGold Foods' Sun Butter; Queen Bee Gardens Dark on Dark Classic Truffle; MuscleTech Research and Development's Meso-Tech Triple Layer Wild Berry Crisp; Fischer & Wieser Specialty Foods Inc.'s Mom's Garlic & Basil Spaghetti Sauce; and Fischer & Wieser's Das Peach Haus Peach Salsa.

Weleda USA, a Congers, N.Y.-based health and personal care company, relaunched its Web site, featuring a comprehensive look at the history and philosophy of Weleda's biodynamic product line.

Vancouver-based Cardinal Nutrition, manufacturer and supplier of MSM, announced that its OptiMSM has been certified halal by the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America.

Rockville, Md.-based U.S. Pharmacopoeia announced that Tishcon Corp., the Westbury, N.Y., vitamin and health supplements manufacturer, will participate in USP's Dietary Supplement Verification Program.

Raining Rose moved from its 4,050-square-foot location in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to an 18,200-square-foot factory one block north. The new facility will include a factory retail store. Purchased in January by Art Christoffersen and Chuck Hammond, the company specializes in private-label products, with emphasis on lip balm, and sells its own line of products, including All Around the World Hemp.

NOW Foods opened a 29,000-square-foot facility near Reno, Nev. The new facility will handle warehousing, shipping and some wholesale distribution for Idaho, Utah, California, Nevada and Washington.

People News
Health Strategy Consulting, of Providence, R.I., hired Dr. Kenneth E. Milligan III as principal of science and technology.

John Robert has joined Coppell, Texas-based Mannatech Inc. as Canadian sales and marketing manager.

Steven Hoffman, Natural Business Communications and LOHAS Journal co-founder, announced the establishment of Compass Natural Marketing, a marketing communications and strategic consulting firm serving natural, organic, sustainable and socially responsible businesses.

For the first time in its 30-year history, the Connecticut Restaurant Association has named a vegetarian chef Restaurateur of the Year. Claire Criscuolo, R.N., is majority owner, with her husband, of Claire's Corner Copia restaurant in New Haven, Conn.

Los Angeles-based Herbalife International Inc. announces the appointment of Gregory Probert as chief operating officer for the company's business operations in 58 markets around the world. Prior to joining Herbalife, Probert served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for Buena Vista Entertainment as well as president and chief executive officer of DMX MUSIC. The company also appointed Matthew Wisk chief marketing officer, a newly created position.

LaneLabs, based in Allendale, N.J., appointed Thomas Phillips director of sales in the natural and medical divisions.

Horizon Organic Holding Co. announced the appointment of Don Gaidano as vice president of international and corporate development. Gaidano previously served as chief financial officer at Horizon Organic in the United States and relocated to serve as managing director of Rachel's Organic, Horizon Organic's U.K.-based brand. Gaidano will oversee operations in Europe and Japan.

Ames, Iowa-based Proliant Inc. has promoted Angie Strotman to marketing manager of its health division. Strotman joined Proliant as an assistant marketing manager.

Amy Cone has been promoted to director of marketing at Des Moines, Iowa-based Kemin Foods. Cone will oversee marketing planning, execution and sales support for Kemin Foods' branded antioxidant ingredient FloraGLO Lutein. Cone was previously dietary and supplement product manager for FloraGLO Lutein.

Vernon Hills, Ill.-based Natural Inc., a division of Natural ASA, announced the appointment of Clint O'Brien as national sales manager.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIV/number 10/p. 58-60

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