Natural Foods Merchandiser


Gorging on Gourmet
Call it the foie gras phenomenon. Sales of gourmet foods are through the roof, hitting $72.6 billion in 2003, according to Datamonitor, the international business-research company. Even more encouraging, that number is expected to increase by 30 percent, to $94 billion, by 2008. Datamonitor reports that new demographics are partly responsible for the surge. The group says ?wealthy seniors? and ?urban singles? have large disposable incomes and are joining ?educated cosmopolitans? in pursuit of fine dining. Also playing a role: celebrity chefs and restaurants that feature fresh, authentic cuisine.

The Grass Is Leaner
Cattle that graze on grass yield beef that is both leaner and more tender than meat from feedlot cows. The Agricultural Research Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has been studying 72 Black Angus cattle for the past two years. The ARS found that the grazing cattle produce beef that has half the saturated fat and higher levels of healthy fats, such as omega-3 and CLA, than grain-fed bovines. In addition, tests of shear force found that steaks from pasture-finished cattle were superior in tenderness.

Food for Fido?s Body and Soul
You know the type: the outdoorsy natural foods enthusiast whose dog is just as eager as its human to go for a 5-mile hike. But if the pooch?s joints creak and he just can?t keep up the way he did as a young pup, there?s a product just for him. Zukes, which makes all-natural dog and cat treats, now offers meatless, peanut butter-flavored snacks, called Hip Action, packed with 300 mg of glucosamine and 250 mg of chondroitin, to ward off that aching feeling.

And for customers equally concerned about their pets? spiritual development, KosherPets is now making its kosher dog biscuits available year-round. Previously available only for Hanukkah, Deli Doggie Treats are dairy-free and certified kosher by the Chicago Rabbinical Council, which takes pains to note the treats are not kosher for human consumption.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXV/number 4/p. 24

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