Natural Foods Merchandiser

Company News

Murrieta, Calif.-based The Healthy Foundation announced the results of its Vitamin Relief USA survey. One of every three parents surveyed stated that their children earned higher grades since taking daily multivitamins provided by Vitamin Relief USA. Improvements were also reported in school attendance, behavior, energy, appetites and self-image of the more than 1,350 children. Fifty-nine percent of parents said their children were eating better, while 48 percent reported their children were feeling better and were more active. School administrators said 42 percent of parents and 36 percent of teachers stated that children were sick less often, which resulted in higher school attendance.

Bellevue, Wash.-based inc., online retailer of health, beauty, wellness, personal care and pharmacy products, announced an agreement to acquire Custom Nutrition Services of Carlsbad, Calif. CNS provides online personalized vitamin assessments to consumers and then delivers a CustomPak daily dose package. CNS is the exclusive online distributor for CustomPaks from Dr. Andrew Weil at and The Pritikin Longevity Center at

Clovis, Calif.-based Consultants Association for the Natural Products Industry announced that eight consulting firms have joined its organization during the first quarter of 2003. New members include Haig Barrett Associates Inc., Los Angeles; HSR Associates Inc., Tarzana, Calif.; The MHM Group, Boca Raton, Fla.; William Gallagher Associates, Atlanta; Health Strategy Consultants, Providence, R.I.; Wordgirl, Soquel, Calif.; Trish Weber Studio, Pasadena, Calif.; and Innovative Consulting Solutions Inc., British Columbia, Canada. Also, the 2003 CANI member directory is now available.

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada-based NPIcenter has launched a program in collaboration with Sacramento, Calif.-based Clinical Pearls Publications Inc. to provide access to Clinical Pearls' research materials and subscriptions on its Web site. The program includes a monthly printed four-page newsletter and a Web subscription package featuring current briefs, year-to-date articles and the "Experts Speak" interview series. Also available is the Clinical Pearls database, which contains more than 27,000 briefs.

Norway, Iowa-based Frontier Natural Products Co-op announced that its Aura Cacia manufacturing facility in Weaverville, Calif., has received organic certification under the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program.

The Children's Health Environmental Coalition announced a new promotion. Consumers who visit and join the Coalition by July 31 will receive coupons from Coalition partners Earthbound Farm, Cascadian Farm, Eden Farms, Organic Valley, Santa Cruz Organics and Seventh Generation.

The American Institute of Baking gave Hope, Minn.-based Sunrich Food Group an "excellent" rating for its Hope, Minn., manufacturing facility.

The Stepan Co. of Maywood, N.J., has formed a new Food & Health Specialties division to serve the food and pharmaceutical industries.

The IZZE Beverage Co. of Boulder, Colo., has formed a partnership with the University of Colorado, Boulder, Alumni Association to sponsor several Association events.

Richmond, Va.-based The Switch Beverage Co. aligned with seven natural foods channel brokers that provide the company national coverage and soon will enable national natural foods store distribution in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Additionally, The Switch has appointed six direct store-door distributors in the Northeast, the Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic and Southern California regions.

Warsaw, N.C.-based Carolina Soy Products has received a patent from the U.S. Patent Office for processing its Whole Harvest line of soybean cooking oil without the use of solvents such as hexane.

San Marcos, Calif.-based Natural Alternatives International Inc., a formulator and manufacturer of customized nutritional supplements, entered into an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with actress and model Jennifer O'Neill to develop and market a line of health and beauty care products called the Jennifer O'Neill Signature Line.

Broomfield, Colo.-based Unigen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a supplier of plant-derived biologically active ingredients to the natural products and pharmaceutical industries, signed a collaboration agreement with Michigan-based biotech company 21st Century Therapeutics Inc. for the discovery, development and commercialization of anti-cancer drugs targeted against human solid tumors.

Ford, Wash.-based Willow Wind Organic Farms acquired the IQF Vegetable Processing and repack plant in Grandview, Wash., formerly operated by Agri-Frozen Foods. The remodeled and updated facility will operate under the name Grandview Frozen Foods and will be the largest frozen organic vegetable processing plant. The plant has a 120 million-pound capacity.

Toronto-based Stake Technology Ltd. acquired 100 percent of the shares of Kettle Valley Dried Fruit Ltd. and its related companies. Kettle Valley operates two production facilities in Summerland, British Columbia, and is currently constructing a third plant in Washington.

St. Johnsbury, Vt.-based Up Country Organics of Vermont received the Quality Institute International's American Tasting Institute's Certificate of Distinction for its brownie, pancake and cake mixes. A panel of professional chefs judged Up Country Organics against nationally distributed competitors on a range of criteria, including taste, appearance, texture and flavor.

The Greenfield, Mass.-based Organic Trade Association announced that its 2004 All Things Organic Conference and Trade Show will be co-located with the Food Marketing Institute's FMI Show, the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade's Fancy Food Show and the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association's United 2004 Produce Expo and Conference. The events will take place in Chicago May 2-4.

Santa Cruz, Calif.-based California Certified Organic Farmers announced a partnership with the U.K.-based Soil Association Certification Ltd. to provide organic certification services to companies interested in exporting their products to markets in the United States and the United Kingdom. CCOF and SA are now offering companies on both sides of the Atlantic organic certification services to U.S. standards as well as Soil Association standards, which meet and exceed the European standards.

Kearny, N.J.-based Pharmachem Laboratories Inc. announced that the company, with Avoca senior management, has acquired the Merry Hill, N.C.-based Avoca Division of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. The facility is the largest botanical extraction location in North America. Pharmachem is already planning a major expansion for increased capacities and technologies.

Chicago-based Inca Organics announced a new strategic alliance with Infinity Foods Cooperative Ltd. of East Sussex, U.K., to act as a U.K. importer and master distributor. The first consignment of Ecuadorian-grown organic heirloom quinoa was recently shipped to England. This alliance will donate a portion of each sale to the World Feeding Program of the United Nations in Ecuador that supplies quinoa, among other foods, to schoolchildren.

Lisa Maturo, N.D., Baywood International Inc.'s technical advisor and director of research and product development, has received her Arizona license to practice medicine. Maturo received her doctorate in naturopathic medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in Tempe, Ariz., one of only four accredited four-year graduate programs in the country.

Vancouver, Wash.-based Cardinal Nutrition promoted Michael D. Levin to president and chief operating officer and R. Grant Bergstrom to vice president of operations.

Coppell, Texas-based Mannatech Inc. announced the resignation of Robert Henry as chief executive and board member. Sam Caster, Mannatech founder and chairman, replaces Henry as CEO. The company promoted Jeffrey Bourgoyne, formerly vice president of operations, to senior vice president of supply chain and associate care. Also, Natalie Logan was named vice president of business systems.

Steven H. Brenia was named senior vice president of marketing for Rexall Sundown Inc. of Boca Raton, Fla.

Los Angeles-based Health Sciences Group Inc. appointed William T. Walker Jr., a former member of the American Stock Exchange Advisory Committee, to the company's board of directors. Walker is the founder of Walker Associates, a corporate finance consulting firm that acts as an adviser to corporations and investment banks.

Rockford, Ill.-based Genesis Marketing Communications hired Mark True as an account executive. True, formerly with Kemin Foods, will be based in a new Genesis office in Des Moines, Iowa.

Catherine Frost has joined Portland, Maine-based Planet Dog as director of sales and marketing, and her dog Ollie is the newest member of the Planet Dog product testing team. Frost was formerly with Eziba and L.L. Bean.

Mo Siegel, founder and retired chairman of Celestial Seasonings Inc., has been appointed to the board of directors of Minneapolis-based CNS Inc.

The U.S. Small Business Administration's Baltimore office has awarded Jody Cutler and Jeff Kaufman of Roots Market the 2003 entrepreneurial success of the year for Maryland.

Steve Jacobson, vice president of operations for Boulder, Colo.-based Horizon Organic Holding Corp., was appointed to the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Administration. Jacobson is the first member of a publicly traded organic foods company to join this competitive grants program.

Roseanna Bell has been named manager of promotions and customer relations for Eugene, Ore.-based Steve's Real Food for Pets. Bell has 40 years experience raising, breeding, showing and rescuing dogs.

Satellite Beach, Fla.-based D.W. Montgomery & Co., a supplier of specialty and organic sugar products, has been renamed Montgomery Contreras & Co. to reflect the addition of Cesar A. Contreras as officer and stockholder. Contreras will also serve as the company's vice president and director of technical services.

Dallas-based Natural Health Trends Corp. hired Joe Wood as president of its Lexxus Korea subsidiary. Previously, Wood managed the Asia Pacific Customer Support operations for eBay Inc., and helped establish NuSkin Korea Ltd.

Samuel K. Welsch, an organic certifier and former executive director of Organic Crop Improvement Association, started a new certification agency. Lincoln, Neb.-based OneCert was accredited to the National Organic Program and expects to receive accreditation to ISO Guide 65 (for European certification) in the near future.

ShiKai Products of Santa Rosa, Calif., hired Francisco Guzman as its director of marketing. Guzman was formerly with Zia Natural Skin Care.

Chicago-based Source One Global hired Monica Gonzalez as account service manager.

The Greenfield, Mass.-based Organic Trade Association awarded the Rodale family the Organic Leadership Award at its 2003 All Things Organic Conference and Trade Show. The Rodales, publishers of Organic Farming and Gardening, New Farm and Organic Style magazines, established The Rodale Institute and the Organic Price Index.

More than 50 industry leaders, with Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., gathered May 5 to raise support for the Dietary Supplement Education Alliance at Supplyside East. DSEA's consumer education campaign reached more than 75 million Americans in 2002 with positive news about supplements.

Van's International Foods, a Torrance, Calif.-based all-natural waffle company, announced the appointment of Alan Witcher (pictured) as vice president of sales and marketing and Charles Kujawa as vice president, operations.

Andrée Falardeau of Fayston, Vt., was named "International Entrepreneur of the Year" at a dinner sponsored by the Network of Quebec Businesswomen in Montreal. The annual award is co-sponsored by Les Affaires, a Quebec business magazine, and the governments of Quebec and Canada.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIV/number 7/p. 47-48

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