Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural products industry business briefs

Military goes organic
The U.S. military is marching in step with the organics trend, more than tripling the number of organic products on commissary shelves in the last seven years, according to the Defense Commissary Agency. Stocked alongside their conventional counterparts, the organic products are sold at the same discount to military personnel, retirees and their families—about a 30 percent savings compared with what they cost at commercial supermarkets.

Supermarkets cook up restaurant competition
While consumers report dining out less often because of economic concerns, supermarkets could be in a prime spot to pick up some of the slack with their foodservice departments. In a survey of 1,000 people released in September by New York-based RBC Capital Markets, two in five respondents said they are dining out less frequently today than six months ago, and 54 percent said they would eat at restaurants fewer times in the next three months. Only a week earlier, Port Washington, N.Y.-based market research firm The NPD Group published stats showing that in the past two years, foodservice operations at food retail outlets have posted stronger traffic growth than any other segment of the restaurant industry.

Eco-friendly pest control
A new seal for eco-friendly pest control providers, Green Shield Certified, is now available for companies that undergo an on-site evaluation by an independent integrated-pest-management professional. Endorsed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the New York Public Interest Research Group and Physicians for Social Responsibility of Greater Los Angeles, the seal's standards are developed and maintained by the IPM Institute of North America, in collaboration with a technical advisory committee. In September, seven U.S. companies offered a Green Shield Certified service.

Happy travels for those with food allergies
For the millions of Americans who struggle with food allergies and intolerances, traveling can be a challenging affair. But a series of newly released guidebooks by Kim Koeller and Robert La France offer hundreds of pages of insight about how to communicate special food requirements and order allergy-free menu items. R & R Publishing's Let's Eat Out!: Your Passport to Living Gluten and Allergy Free covers more than 175 specific menu items, along with 300 food-related questions translated into different languages.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 11/p. 16

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