Natural Foods Merchandiser

Kosher products develop new following
Twenty-one percent of Americans deliberately purchase at least some kosher products, according to new research by Mintel. Of those who said they buy kosher occasionally, 70 percent were in the 18 to 34 age demographic—a group actively sought by naturals manufacturers and retailers. The crossover appeal of kosher and natural is strong: The young people who keep kosher said they do so because of a belief that kosher food is healthier and offers good options for eating a vegetarian or dairy-free diet.

Hemp advocates decry ?pot on a stick?
Back in the ?70s, bubblegum ?cigarettes? had parents burning up. In the 21st century, marketers are pushing another illicit candy: marijuana-flavored lollipops and gummy candies. Sold under such names as Chronic Candy (?Every lick is like taking a hit?) and Munchies Pot Suckers, the confections claim to be made with hemp oil, which imparts flavors such as Acapulco Gold. Consumers can even buy ?nickel bags? of Icky Sticky Skunk Buds. Not everyone is high on the concept, however.

?Hemp seed oil is, in fact, not used in such candies,? said Vote Hemp and the Hemp Industries Association in a joint statement. Foods made with hemp seed and oil are legal after last year?s federal decision overturning a ban on such products. The groups allege that these candies are made with cannabis flower essential oil, which ?remains controlled and unlawful under the Controlled Substances Act.?

David Bronner, chair of the Food and Oil Committee of the HIA, said that although there is ?no drug effect? from the essential oil, consumers will have a hard time weeding out the truth about these products. ?Such marketing and sale can only lead to public confusion about bona fide hemp seed and oil in safe, healthy foods,? he said.

Tom Murphy, national outreach coordinator for Vote Hemp, agreed. ?These lollipops are, in the eyes of the law, pot-on-a-stick and should not in any way be associated with nutritious hemp foods.?

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVI/number 8/p. 30

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