Natural Foods Merchandiser

Company/People News

Tom's of Maine, of Kennebunk, Maine, announced the recipient of its first Prize for River Stewardship, which recognizes an individual who demonstrates outstanding leadership and service in river/watershed restoration, preservation and education. Carol Donnelly of the York Rivers Association received this year's award and was honored at an event June 3 at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farm in Wells, Maine. The award is one component of Tom's five-year Rivers Awareness Program, a partnership with The Nature Conservancy, River Network and the National Park Foundation to raise awareness of the need to protect and restore our nation's rivers and watersheds. Tom's also works with its retail partners across the country to increase customer involvement and action on behalf of threatened waterways.

Kate Chappell, Tom's of Maine VP (left), presents Carol Donnelly with the Prize for River Stewardship.

Norita Solt of Bettendorf, Iowa, has won the Lundberg Family Farms second annual rice recipe contest with a recipe called "Black Japonica Ravioli With Blue Cheese Cream." Second place went to Christopher Heath Stone of Denver, and third place went to Priscilla Yee of Concord, Calif.

Avatar Marketing Inc. now offers consulting, collateral materials, corporate-staff sales trainings, feasibility studies and more. Avatar has purchased a new office building in Las Vegas and hired Jean Baugh as personal assistant to President/ CEO Kimberly Driggs.

La Merced Organic Yerba Maté Tea from Argentina announced that Avatar Marketing will handle its national sales and marketing for North America as the company builds a national broker and distributor network. La Merced tea comes individually wrapped and bulk in several flavors, and the company is adding new flavors as well as a German silver bombilla and gourd in the fall.

Hauppauge, N.Y-based Nature's Answer is celebrating 30 years of promoting wellness through product innovation with a sweepstakes promotion for both retailers and consumers. One retailer and one consumer each has a chance to win a grand prize of either a Carnival Cruise or $2,000. Runner-up prizes also will be awarded. Enter online at, or call 800.439.2324, x381 for consumer entry, x382 for retailer entry. The sweepstakes is being promoted via print, radio, direct mail, in-store and online.

Portland, Ore.-based Healthnotes Inc. said Wild Oats Markets Inc. has expanded its use of Healthnotes' touchscreen kiosks to educate customers about healthy living. Wild Oats has placed two kiosks, labeled Natural Knowledge, in its new prototype store in Long Beach, Calif. Customers can access the full Healthnotes Application Suite for answers to the most commonly asked health and lifestyle questions. Ninety-one out of 102 Wild Oats Markets now feature at least one Healthnotes kiosk as part of the company's ongoing commitment to value-added customer education.

Carrington Laboratories Inc., of Irving, Texas, reported that material grown and refined at its Costa Rica facility, Finca Sabila, has been awarded the certified organic designation by Costa Rica's Eco-LOGICA. The rating means that the raw material, which is the basis for all Carrington products and those marketed by its subsidiary, Caraloe Inc., has met stringent guidelines for organic production. Carrington Labs is a research-based biopharmaceutical company currently utilizing naturally occurring complex carbohydrates to manufacture and market products for mucositis; radiation dermatitis; wound and oral care; nutraceutical raw materials; and consumer products.

Los Angeles-based OptiPure Chemco Industries Inc. announced the recognition of Maitake BetaPreme and Maitake BetaPure by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as registered trademarks. Maitake BetaPreme is a deodorized extract powder containing 25 percent beta-glucan content at a 10-micron particle size. Maitake BetaPure is a mushroom powder with 22 percent beta-glucan content at a 30-micron particle size. OptiPure uses a patent-pending processing technique to preserve the fiber, nutritional content and medicinal properties of the maitake mushroom.

In congruence with the recently published study by Harvard and Columbia universities, the findings of a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial by Marshall-Blum Herbal Research Clinic of Bangor, Maine, studying the nutritional supplement Fat Cutter (distributed by Health & Nutrition Systems in West Palm Beach, Fla.) show that ephedra/caffeine and chitosan-based weight loss products can be effective with minimal side effects. The goal of this trial was to test the efficacy and short-term safety of a product that combines metabolic boosters with a material known to prevent the absorption of dietary fat.

Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Vitamin Angel Alliance, a nonprofit organization that provides basic nutrition to people in need around the globe, has signed a formal memorandum of understanding for a collaborative partnership with The Healthy Foundation, a nonprofit based in Murietta, Calif., which provides at-risk populations in the United States with basic nutrients through supplementation. The arrangement between the two organizations is designed to foster mutual support and promote the ending of malnutrition in the world through multivitamin and micronutrient supplementation.

Santa Cruz, Calif.-based California Certified Organic Farmers, an organization that has been supporting and promoting organic agriculture and food in California, North America and worldwide for 30 years, received a $48,251 check from Whole Foods Market as a contribution to CCOF's outreach and educational efforts to promote organic agriculture and organic food. This donation is the result of the Community Support Day, held on June 18, a program in which Whole Foods Market's Northern Pacific region (16 stores in Northern California and one in Oregon) gives 5 percent of the total sales of one day to a nonprofit organization.

Matthias Rath Inc., an international nutritional research and development company, announced its inauguration of the Youth Empowerment Research Symposium. The first day-long educational program for minority students between the ages of 11 and 13 was held on July 24. YERS encourages students to consider careers in science and health-related fields.

The American Herbal Products Association expanded its ability to provide research on more than 160 medicinal herbs by incorporating the herbal database, HerbMed, into the Association's website, Designed and developed by the Alternative Medicine Foundation Inc., HerbMed catalogs all available modern-day studies carried out on each herb, with direct links to the available scientific publications and study abstracts. Continually updated, the database presents published evidence of herbal efficacy and activity, side effects and interactions, historical data, and other significant information for more than 160 botanicals.

Lakewood, N.J.-based Cytodyne Technologies, makers of the ephedrine-free diet supplement Xenadrine-EFX, said its all-new Xenadrine High Protein Weight Control Bar was awarded the 2002 Gold Medal for Excellence and designated America's best-tasting protein bar by the American Tasting Institute.

Boston-based Dancing Deer Baking Co. has recently received several awards for its products and business practices. The National Association of Specialty Food Trade announced its annual product award winners, and Dancing Deer won the Outstanding Baked Good, Grain or Cereal category for its Lemon Coconut Pound Cake. FleetBoston Financial has awarded Dancing Deer one of 10 small business leadership awards. Recognized for its innovative business practices, Dancing Deer was chosen from among 1,500 nominees. For the second year in a row, Dancing Deer was listed among the nation's 100 fastest-growing inner-city companies by Inc. magazine and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. Also, Dancing Deer is now certified as a Woman-Owned Enterprise by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council.

The Fresh Ideas Group in Boulder, Colo., announced that Coleman Natural Products has retained its services to manage a five-month public relations campaign and serve as the company's agency of record.

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson has commended dietary supplements manufacturer Chatsworth, Calif.-based Natrol Inc. for its "Care for Kids" campaign, which supports the Children's Hunger Fund.

Santa Barbara, Calif.-based EarthShell Corp. said its hinged-lid "clamshell" sandwich container was awarded the Foodservice & Packaging Institute's "Best of the Best" Award for 2002. As with other EarthShell packaging products, the clamshell is manufactured with renewable starch and abundant limestone to form a special composite material with unique environmental characteristics. The new packaging substantially reduces risk to wildlife compared to polystyrene foam packaging, because it biodegrades when exposed to moisture in nature, physically disintegrates in water when crushed or broken and can be composted in a commercial facility or in your backyard.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIII/number 9/p. 54-56

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