Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural Products News Beat

Spice giant acquires Thai Kitchen
McCormick & Co., the Sparks, Md.-based producer of spices, seasonings and flavors, has acquired the Thai Kitchen and Simply Asia brands.

McCormick paid approximately $97 million for Epicurean International, which formerly marketed the two brands. According to McCormick, Epicurean's annual sales are approximately $50 million "and have grown at a 32 percent compound annual rate since 2002."

"While the 11x [earnings] multiple McCormick paid is in our view on the high side, we believe that the acquired brands have significant growth potential," Leonard Teitelbaum, an analyst for Merrill Lynch, wrote in a report about the sale.

Simply Asia and Thai Kitchen make instant rice and noodle meals, soups, and sauces, and are distributed in natural and conventional grocers, mass merchandisers and club stores. "Thai Kitchen is the leading brand in the Thai food category," McCormick officials said in an announcement.


High GI diet linked to vision disease
People avoiding high glycemic-index foods in hopes of losing weight or staving off diabetes now have another reason to stick to a low GI diet.

A study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that eating high GI foods over a long period may increase the risk of developing an early form of age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss in people older than 50.

Researchers at Tufts University in Boston evaluated the carbohydrate consumption of 526 women, age 53 to 73, over a 10-year period. Those who had eaten high GI diets were found to be more than twice as likely to have macular pigment abnormalities—an early sign of AMD—compared to those who ate a low GI diet.


Call for Spirit of Organic nominations New Hope Natural Media, publisher of The Natural Foods Merchandiser, is accepting nominations for the 2006 Spirit of Organic award, honoring "unsung heroes" of the organic movement. The award honors commitment, leadership, innovation, passion for organics, and a determination to create positive change through the principles and spirit of organics. Nominations are welcome from all segments of the organic community. Nominate your organic hero online at or contact Elaine Lipson, New Hope's organic program director, at 303.998.9077 or [email protected]. Please submit your nomination by July 17.

The awards will be presented Oct. 4 at the Natural Products Expo East Organic Harvest Festival, at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVII/number 7/p. 9

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