Natural Foods Merchandiser

Company/People News

Toronto, Canada-based Pro Organics Marketing, previously based in Ontario, has moved its warehouse operations to a new state-of-the-art facility in Toronto to better meet increasing distribution demand and quality control. Pro Organics distributes a wide range of certified organic produce to retail customers across Canada from facilities in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. The recently renovated, fully operational 23,000-square-foot distribution center provides six different temperature and humidity zones, more than 18,000 square feet of refrigerated warehouse space, four loading bays, and banana and tomato holding rooms.

Nutrition 21 Inc., of Purchase, N.Y., announced that it has acquired patents covering drugs consisting of chromium and an antidepressant. Initial studies demonstrated that chromium increases the effectiveness of antidepressants in relieving the symptoms of depression and premenstrual syndrome. Nutrition 21 acquired the technology from the inventor, Malcolm N. McLeod, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, School of Medicine in Chapel Hill. The company is sponsoring ongoing studies at Duke University Medical Center led by renowned researcher and Professor of Psychiatry Dr. Jonathan R.T. Davidson, to further substantiate the beneficial effects of chromium in mood regulation. The study is part of Nutrition 21's program to enhance the value of its technology through pharmaceutical-quality research designed to support its product marketing claims.

The California Olive Oil Council's Tasting Panel, of Berkeley, Calif., has received official recognition for its olive oil from the international Olive Oil Council, an intergovernmental organization focused on integrity in the olive oil industry. The California team, whose volunteer members include chefs and farmers as well as food and wine aficionados, has trained for this goal for more than four years. The COOC Seal of Quality was created to boost consumer confidence in California olive oil, and for the first time in the United States, this seal establishes a labeling guarantee for extra-virgin olive oil.

Indena S.p.A., of Milan, Italy, has launched its new corporate Web site: The Web site was created to be a meeting point between the company and public to reinforce its commitment to its market and clients. The site offers visitors Indena's history and mission and access to accurate, technical information on its products in the pharmaceutical, health food and cosmetic branches. Indena plans to keep its Web site visitors informed with constant updates on market innovations.

Purchase, N.Y.-based Quality of Life Labs announced that it has received NutraAward, the Nutracon Best New Product of 2002 award, for its Active Hexose Correlated Compound. AHCC is a Japanese medicinal mushroom extract sold as a raw ingredient and used to strengthen the immune system. It is derived from a highly specialized manufacturing process developed in the mid-1980s that relies on the hybridization of several species of mushrooms cultivated in Japan. Several studies are slated in the United States for 2002 at institutions such as Columbia Presbyterian and Faulkner Hospital. Quality of Life Labs, sister company to Maypro Industries, is the sole U.S. distributor of AHCC.

The executors of Eclipse Sales & Marketing of Portsmouth, N.H., Jack Kohn and Robert Shapiro, have announced the formation of a natural products brokerage company, which will service the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Eclipse will provide a variety of sales and marketing services to companies, including start-ups, midsize and mature brands, in an effort to maximize their sales opportunities. Kohn and Shapiro bring more than 30 years of combined experience in natural product's brokerage and sales management and are dedicated to working closely with partner companies to offer them their expertise.

Devansoy, a supplier of natural soy ingredients based in Carroll, Iowa, recently announced significant increases in its production capacity through a strategic alliance and the construction of a new processing facility in North Central Illinois. The company, formerly known as Devansoy Farms, also has rebranded itself as Devansoy.

Englishtown, N.J.-based, Edge Labs recently implemented the expansion of its manufacturing facilities. The company obtained a new 25,000-square-foot facility, which is located in East Brunswick, N.J. The modern Good Manufacturing Practices facility will have NNFA certification and will also house its corporate headquarters. The move is part of a general expansion that incorporates launching its own branded line.

Sherbrooke Capital Partners L.L.C., of Newton Lower Falls, Mass., a $101 million venture capital investment fund for the health and wellness industry, recently announced its investment in Outside The Classroom Inc. OTC is the first health education company to market health and life-skills courses to colleges, high schools and middle schools, in addition to parents, health educators, HMOs, corporations, state governments and the military. Sherbrooke Capital invested $1.5 million in OTC, leading a total equity financing of $2 million. Existing investors also participated in the investment round.

Integrated Marketing Group of Salt Lake City, a marketing and branding firm servicing both domestic and international clientele, announced it has signed on Lewisville, Texas-based OrderDog Inc., a computer technology company that provides secure third-party business-to-business solutions to the natural products industry. Using OrderDog online services will enable retailers to connect directly, anytime, with manufacturers and distributors, and to electronically catalog and purchase products by category or by aisle. OrderDog also allows an end user to easily monitor and track order status, avoid inventory out-of-stocks and receive updated email notifications, all while providing access to a real-time customer support center.

Kuhn Rikon, a Swiss company with U.S. headquarters in Greenbrae, Calif., recently launched its new Web site: The Web site has a new look and new features, including a convenient store locator that directs consumers to local authorized retailers, and also has a reseller page for Kuhn Rikon retailers only. The site features a product showcase that displays Kuhn Rikon's complete product line of pressure cookers, cookware and kitchen tools.

Animal Health Options, of Golden, Colo., announced a patent for its ProMotion small animal and ProMotion EQ exclusive formulations. The patent was issued based on results from clinical trials in the United States and Japan. The formulations are the only veterinary joint supplements to incorporate the antioxidant bioflavonol from grape seed extract, according to the company. Bioflavonal has been shown to scavenge free radicals, alleviate inflammation caused by oxidative damage and inhibit degradative enzymes released by oxidized cells, according to the company. A clinical study from Japan showed that more than 50 percent of the dogs involved in the study experienced a positive response in 10 days.

Penwest Pharmaceuticals, of Patterson, N.Y., and Finzelberg GmbH & Co. KG, of Andernach, Germany, have agreed to jointly develop and market a new line of herbal supplement formulations using Penwest's PROSOLV technology. The new line will be marketed to nutritional companies under the brand name RediRun DC. This collaboration will combine Penwest's expertise in oral drug delivery and Finzelberg's experience in producing herbal extracts.

American Custom Drying Co. of Burlington, N.J., and Niro Inc., of Columbia, Md., announced a formal cooperation agreement that combines the capabilities and experience of a custom spray-drying processor with a world leader in the design and manufacture of drying equipment.

Shelton's Natural Poultry, of Pomona, Calif., is celebrating 78 years in business. Shelton's is one of the largest family-operated purveyors of free-range chicken and all-natural turkey, duck, eggs and other farm products. The Flanagan family, who took over the company in 1969, continues to expand its distribution and facilities.

NSF Int'l., of Ann Arbor, Mich., a public health and safety company, awarded its first Good Manufacturing Practices Registration to Arizona Nutritional Supplements in Chandler. NSF is a leader in standards development, product certification, education and risk-management services for public health and safety. Arizona Nutritional Supplements received its GMP registration through the NSF Dietary Supplements Certification Program.

NSF also announced the Athletic Banned Substances Screening Program. NSF is offering, through its Dietary Supplement Program, a screening program to detect the presence of substances banned by the Int'l. Olympic Committee in dietary supplements including stimulants, narcotics, anabolic agents, diuretics, masking agents, beta-blockers and other banned substances. The NSF Athletic Banned Substances Screening Program tests to ensure the dietary supplements product contains the identity and quantity of ingredients listed on the product label and is free of any undeclared contaminants or prohibited ingredients that may result in disqualification.

Martek Biosciences Corp., of Columbia, Md., announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire OmegaTech Inc., a privately held DHA producer located in Boulder, Colo. "The acquisition of OmegaTech provides Martek access to the anticipated $1 billion global food and beverage DHA market," says Henry Linsert Jr., chief executive officer of Martek.

JBR Gourmet Food Inc., of San Leandro, Calif., a gourmet coffee roaster, and the Finca Irlanda coffee plantation of Chiapas, Mexico, have established a nonprofit foundation to provide additional economic and educational opportunities for coffee-farm workers and to protect natural resources, including rain forests and endangered wildlife. The Finca Irlanda Foundation is among the many projects of JBR's continuous Source Aid Development Program. For nearly a decade, the program has turned coffee into clothes, food, health care and other aid to thousands of coffee-farm workers and their families, from Latin America to Africa. In addition, JBR officials said, the company is considering promoting Finca Irlanda as an eco-tourism destination.

Taiyo Int'l., of Tokyo, with U.S. headquarters in Edina, Minn., appointed Cyvex Nutrition, in Irvine, Calif., to be its exclusive U.S. marketing agent for Suntheanine, Taiyo's L-theanine brand and a primary amino acid found in green tea. Cyvex has a 19-year tradition of developing and producing high-quality nutraceuticals and nutritional ingredients.

San Mateo, Calif.-based BioStar Nutriceuticals launched its Nutrient Network Library database. The library, built by professionals from the nutraceutical research community, is the first international nutrient library designed for the nutraceuticals industry. It was established to expedite the development of better health products and to be a reliable source for nutraceutical scientists to educate and promote good nutrition and health. The database will be continually expanded and updated with new research, clinical trials, new products and articles. Any qualified professional, researcher or company may help develop the Nutrient Network Library, the company says.

OrderDog Inc., of Lewisville, Texas, announced it has reached an initial milestone of servicing more than 100 stores domestically and internationally. Some of the recent retail customers OrderDog recently added to its list include: Down to Earth Natural Foods, Kahului, Hawaii; Clark's Nutrition, Riverside and Loma Linda, Calif., and Seattle Super Supplements Corp., Wash.

Tilia Inc., of San Francisco, maker of FoodSaver Vacuum Packaging Systems, announced it is being acquired by Alltrista Corp., of Rye, N.Y. Alltrista, which recently entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Tilia for $160 million, is a provider of Ball, Kerr and Bernardin brand home canning products in North America. The transaction will more than double Alltrista's consumer products revenue and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2002.

Eggland's Best, of Paramus, N.J., developer of the patented, fortified whole-shell egg, announced the winners of the 2001 Annual and the 2001 Fourth Quarter Excellence Awards in Product Quality. The Germantown Egg Company of Germantown, Ill., won the 2001 Annual Award for Excellence in Product Quality. The Fourth Quarter 2001 Annual Award for Excellence in Product Quality went to Herbruck's Poultry Ranch of Saranac, Mich. The awards were presented at the Eggland's Best Egg Quality Seminar in Atlanta by Bart Slaugh, Ph.D., director of quality assurance for Eggland's Best.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and The Council on Family Health, of Washington, D.C., have recently launched a campaign to educate women about the safe use of medicines and dietary supplements before, during and after pregnancy. The educational campaign includes television, radio and print public service announcements, as well as a tip sheet for women seeking more information. In addition, CFH is working with several pharmacy chains nationwide to disseminate the information. Components of the program are also available in Spanish.

For a second straight year, The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, of Washington, D.C., provided attendees at the Nutritionals 2002 Symposium & Exhibition the opportunity to hear directly from key FDA regulators. In a special videotaped message to participants in the regulatory session, Joseph A. Levitt, director of the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said safety issues, including enforcement and the future publication of Good Manufacturing Practices, are among the Center's top priorities for dietary supplements. The regulatory panel also presented key speakers on claims, enforcement activities and self-regulation.

Cargill's Soy Protein Solutions business unit, of Minneapolis, announced it has built a new soy protein isolate plant in Ohio, that will produce a wide array of good tasting soy protein products marked with the FDA soy health claim. Cargill conducted third-party, blind taste tests to assure its soy products are especially palatable. Cargill's Soy Protein Solutions business unit is part of a larger Cargill initiative called Food System Design. It, along with FSD, works with customers to produce ingredient breakthroughs and other food system solutions.

People News
Consumer Healthcare Products Association, of Washington, D.C., has elected Richard K. Green, president and COO of Blistex Inc., chairman-elect by the association's board of directors. Green was first elected to CHPA's board of directors in 1994 and to the association's executive committee in 1997.

RFI Ingredients of Blauvelt, N.Y., has recently named Ellen Schutt marketing director. Schutt will be responsible for overseeing the marketing of RFI's line of natural ingredients to the global marketplace. She was formerly editor of Nutraceuticals World trade magazine. RFI offers solutions for customized blending and specialty ingredient needs in natural botanicals and food.

President Scott Hagerman of Chemi Nutraceuticals, of White Bear Lake, Minn., announced that Steven O'Reilly is now a Registered and licensed dietitian.

O'Reilly holds a BS in nutrition from the University of Minnesota. Prior to his employment with Chemi Nutraceuticals, he was a sports nutrition specialist at Mother Nature's Nutrition in St. Paul, Minn. Chemi Nutraceuticals is the new U.S. branch of parent company Chemi S.p.A., a privately held pharmaceutical and nutraceutical company based in Milan, Italy.

Boulder, Colo.-based Wild Oats Markets Inc., recently announced Mary Mulry, Ph.D., has joined the company in the newly created position of senior director of product development and standards. Mulry joins John Taylor, recently named senior director of quality assurance/research and development, and Michelle Walker, manager of standards, to complete this vital company department. Mulry will be responsible for developing packaged goods and Wild Oats-branded products; overseeing the company's standards and quality assurance programs, and directing the company's food science, nutrition and safety initiatives. Mulry brings more than 18 years' experience to Wild Oats in various aspects of product development and technical and regulatory issues related to the food and dietary supplements industries. Mulry founded her food consulting business, FoodWise Inc., in 1993.

Los Angeles-based, Jarrow Formulas Inc., announced the hirings of Grant Henderson as its Southern California sales representative and Damon Martin as its customer service/inside sales associate. Henderson previously worked for Country Life's national field sales team and has nearly 15 years' experience in the nutrition industry. Martin was the manager of Lassen's Natural Foods and Vitamins nutrition department for more than 10 years.

Eco-DenT Int'l. Inc., based in Redwood City, Calif., announced that Joel Packman has joined the company as director of sales. Packman brings more than 20 years' experience in retail, sales, marketing and management in the natural products industry. Eco-DenT is a natural oral care manufacturer that supplies tooth powders, tooth brushes, mouth rinses, floss and dental gum to the natural products and dental professionals channels.

Maximum Marketing Inc., of Pompano Beach, Fla., announced that Julie Andrew has joined the company as grocery division manager. In this capacity, Andrew will fulfill the role of grocery headquarters contact and field sales supervisor for Maximum Marketing's grocery division. In addition to delivering headquarter presentations on behalf of manufacturers in the mass market, Andrew also will be responsible for calling on grocery chains to present new products and overseeing retail merchandising and promotions for the grocery division sales force. Andrew comes to Maximum Marketing with more than 15 years' experience in outside sales and marketing for manufacturers, distributors and supermarket chains.

Long Life Beverages, of Randolph, N.J., recently appointed Mark Cook as vice president of sales. Cook's strong distributor relationships, coupled with his experience in brand management and broker management, qualify him to spearhead the sales effort at Long Life Beverages, the company says. Cook brings 12 years of sales experience to Long Life.

Honest Tea, of Bethesda, Md., announced the nomination of two new directors to its board: Gary Hirshberg, president and CEO of Stonyfield Farm, and Tim Tenney, president and CEO of Pepsi Cola of the Hudson Valley, an independent Pepsi bottler and distributor. Honest Tea is seeking to expand into new channels, including mainstream grocery and convenience stores.

The National Grocers Association, of Arlington, Va., recently elected and appointed six new members to its board of directors at the association's annual convention in Las Vegas. Newly elected retail members include Dick Casey, president and owner of Food 4 Less, Joplin, Mo., and David James Sr., CEO of E.W. James and Sons Supermarkets, Union City, Tenn. Newly elected wholesalers include Joseph H. Campbell Jr., president and CEO of Associated Grocers, Baton Rouge, La.; Virgil Froehlich, president and GM of Affiliated Foods Midwest, Norfolk, Neb., and David Mitchell, president of Mitchell Grocery Co., Albertville, Ala. The newly elected state association member is James Hopper, president and CEO of Oklahoma Grocers Association, Oklahoma City. Re-elected to the board are retail members Mark Feldpausch and Jon Greenfield, and wholesaler Gregory L. Tarr.

The Women Grocers of America, of Arlington, Va., presented its 2002 Woman of the Year Award to Mary Anne Kowalski, co-owner of Kowalski Markets in Woodbury, Minn. Kowalski received the award during the WGA luncheon at the National Grocers Association annual convention in Las Vegas. In addition to running the many stores that make up the Kowalski market chain, Kowalski is the founder of Kowalski's for Kids, an organization that raises funds for children in need, as well as for local charities. She is also a leader of the Civic Business Initiative and Minnesota Active Citizenship Initiative and is a board member of the Minnesota Grocers Association.

Kemin Foods, of Des Moines, Iowa, has promoted Matt Dobereiner to manager of global finance and accounting for the Des Moines-based international manufacturer and marketer of FloraGLO brand lutein. Dobereiner will oversee accounting operations and the reporting of financial matters associated with Kemin Foods in Europe. He will also continue his role in supporting Kemin Food's worldwide personal care market, food and beverage market, and its dietary supplements industry in Asia and the United States.

Newleaf Designs LLC, of Chanhassen, Minn., has recently named Scott Johnson general manager/vice president of sales. Johnson will oversee all manufacturing, distributing, sales and marketing activities, including profit and loss in this position. He brings more than 17 years of sales and marketing experience in the food and merchandising industries to Newleaf Design. Johnson was formerly vice president of Harmony Foods Corp.'s Western division.

Oregon Chai Inc., of Portland, Ore., recently promoted Cory Comstock to president and CEO. Comstock succeeds the company's founder, Heather Howitt, who will assume a part-time role as vice chairman and will remain on the board of directors. Comstock joined Oregon Chai in 1999 and served as senior vice president of sales and marketing for six months, then was promoted to COO. Comstock will be responsible for continued development of the company's strategic initiatives, building the organization, broadening distribution and working with the board of directors to maximize shareholder value.

Madera, Calif.-based Polyphenolics announced the appointment of Bala Sreenivasan, Ph.D., as research chemist. Sreenivasan was most recently a research associate at Michigan State University. He holds a doctorate in organic chemistry and brings a decade of international research and development experience to the technical staff. As research chemist, Sreenivasan will focus his research efforts on understanding the biological mechanisms of grape phytochemicals and their role in cardiovascular health, as well as on developing related high-performance natural extracts with targeted health benefits.

Lance Hewitt, president and CEO of Monterey Pasta Company, of Salinas, Calif., recently announced several senior management promotions and plans for succession planning. Joseph Stirlacci, promoted from national sales manager to vice president of sales, has more than 20 years' sales experience in the food and beverage industry and has been with the company since 1995. Dan Brown, promoted from director of operations to vice president of operations, joined the company in May 2001 with 18 years' food industry experience in operations, quality assurance and logistics. Steve Brinkman has been promoted from chief financial officer to executive vice president. He joined the company in August 1997 with nearly 25 years' food industry experience in finance, accounting, banking and operations. In addition, Hewitt also announced that, under his supervision, the company will begin a nationwide search for a new president so he may become chairman of the board of directors in 2003. As chairman, Hewitt will be primarily involved in strategic issues, including new-product development and acquisitions.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIII/number 6/p. 76, 78-79

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.