Natural Foods Merchandiser
Rickland Orchards partners with Maria Menounos, Nordic Naturals adds vegan D3, Lucky's Market expands and more natural news

Rickland Orchards partners with Maria Menounos, Nordic Naturals adds vegan D3, Lucky's Market expands and more natural news

Catch up on the latest company, people and product news with the monthly Industry Insider column.


Rickland Orchards Brand, a subsidiary of Phoenix-based Natural Instincts and creator of the Greek Yogurt Bar, has partnered with Maria Menounos, host of Extra, as the new face of the brand.

Portland, Ore.-based New Season’s Market named Wendy Collie chief executive officer. Collie most recently served as president of consumer businesses for Knowledge Universe, a childhood education business.

Michael Besancon, former senior global vice president of purchasing, communications and distribution for Whole Foods Market, has been elected to Fair Trade USA’s board of directors.

Myra and Drew Goodman, founders of Earthbound Farm; Gary Hirshbergof Stonyfield; George Siemonof Organic Valley; and Jeffrey Hollenderof Seventh Generation were inducted into the Social Venture Network’s Hall of Fame as “Environmental Evangelists.”


Houston-based Whole Foods Market and Nature’s Path, based in Richmond, BC, Canada, introduced two exclusive mueslis with 2 percent of the retail price going to the Whole Planet Foundation, which strives to alleviate poverty worldwide where Whole Foods Market sources product.

Salt Lake City–based USANA Health Sciences (NYSE: USNA), a global nutritional company, announced that it signed U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) athletes as its newest brand ambassadors: freeskier Grete Eliassen and Nordic combined skiers Billy Demong, Bryan Fletcher and Taylor Fletcher.

Continental Mills acquired Sun Country Foods, headquartered in Norwood, Mass., from Brynwood Partners VI L.P., including the Kretschmer Wheat Germ brand and a manufacturing facility located in Manhattan, Kan. Continental Mills is based in Tukwila, Wash.

Dancing Deer Baking Company, a Boston-based gourmet baked goods gift company, became a Benefit Corporation under new Massachusetts state rules.

New York City–based BrightFarms received $1.26 million in funding from The Reinvestment Fund, a neighborhood revitalization investor. The money will go toward BrightFarms’ Pennsylvania greenhouse farm, which will harvest produce for McCaffrey’s Market, John Vena and Philadelphia Superfresh stores. The 53,000-square-foot farm will grow as much as 500,000 pounds of produce per year.

Association News

The Natural Product Association’s Natural Products Day in Washington, D.C., is March 19. For more information, visit

Product News

Organix-South has introduced two flavors of TheraNeem Naturals Dental Floss: mint and cinnamon. 

La Jolla, Calif.-based Kashi has introduced two USDA Certified organic cereals,Kashi Berry Fruitful and Kashi Blackberry Hills.

Nordic Naturals, based in Watsonville, Calif., added Vitamin D3 Vegan to its product line. The liquid formulation is naturally sourced from lichen and was developed for vegans, strict vegetarians and consumers who prefer a non-lanolin form of vitamin D3.

Sprout Foods, the Duluth, Ga., company that offers organic baby and toddler foods, launched new packaging with a choke-free, twist-off cap and dispensing spout and added a line of superfruit toddler puree snacks.

Celestial Seasonings, a brand of The Hain Celestial Group (NASDAQ: HAIN), added Sleepytime Snooz Natural Sleep Aid herbal supplement shots to its Natural Shots portfolio.

Charitable Giving

Seed Matters, an initiative of the Clif Bar Family Foundation, launched a program offering community seed tool kits to community groups and downloadable “how to” guides for saving, swapping and banking seeds. Seed Matters works to improve and protect organic seed to ensure an adequate supply of productive crops for the health of people and the planet. Local groups and gardening organizers can apply for the free Community Seed Tool Kits at

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps raised $42,000 to fight malaria in eastern Ghana through a crowdfunding campaign on The company matched donations dollar-for-dollar. The initial goal was to raise $25,000 to make a $50,000 donation.

Onward, Upward and Outward

MaMa Jean’s Natural Market in Springfield, Mo., plans to open its third location March 1.

Boulder, Colo.-based Lucky’s Market will expand to Longmont, Colo., with the opening of a 26,000-square-foot location in summer 2013.

Native Roots Market, formerly of Norman, Okla., opened its Oklahoma City location.

Dean’s Natural Food Market in New Jersey opened its third location.

Connecticut’s FoodWorks planned to relocate early this year to an 8,800-square-foot location in Old Saybrook.

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