Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural Products Business News Briefs

California grocers bag plastic grocery sacks
An agreement between the city of San Francisco and seven area grocers resulted in the reduction of more than 7.6 million plastic grocery bags used in the past year, according to the California Grocers Association. Because the bags are blamed for using up imported oil, damaging marine life and taking up landfill space, San Francisco officials suggested an ordinance in 2005 requiring a fee for supermarket checkout bags. But the association agreed to voluntarily attempt to reduce the number of plastic bags used by 10 million. However, CGA's claimed reduction of 7.6 million, released in January, is under scrutiny. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, the city has hired an independent consulting firm to verify the numbers released by CGA.

Entrepreneuring 101
Think you could be the inventor of the next Clif Bar or Izze? Creative natural-food concepts might abound, but practical production knowledge and industry connections are still necessary for bringing a product to fruition. That's where the Food Startup Kit steps in. Food consulting firm Palate Works, based in San Francisco, has already done some of the necessary legwork for starting up a food business, from regulation and testing tips to contacts with brokers and trade associations. The company's Food Startup Kit, available at, is continually updated with links to commercial kitchens, business classes, software and nutrition testing services, as well as sources of ingredients, packaging and funding. A six-month membership will set a new entrepreneur back $89.

Entrepreneuring 201
Speaking of building new businesses, San Francisco-based entrepreneur Stuart Skorman shares business-startup experiences and advice in his new book, Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur: Why I Can't Stop Starting Over (Jossey-Bass, 2007). Skorman, who got his start at Bread & Circus (now Whole Foods Market) in Boston, is founder of Elephant Pharmacy, and Empire Video. "I wrote Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur to motivate, teach and challenge store managers and young entrepreneurs by sharing my experiences creating Elephant Pharmacy and helping to create Bread & Circus (Whole Foods)," Skorman says. Skorman has been featured in articles in Forbes, Business Week, USA Today and Business 2.0.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 3/p. 56

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