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Natural Foods Merchandiser

Retailer Roundtable: 'Have you begun incorporating gourmet foods into your store's product mix?'

Four natural foods retailers discuss how gourmet products sell in their stores.

Eileen Long
Eileen Long, owner of Health Food Hut in Harvey, La.
We do carry a few specialty items, such as KIND protein bars, derma e [personal care], agave nectar and coconut oil—one of our best-selling products. We also carry gluten-free products that sell fairly well. I try all the samples I receive and tell the customers about the great-tasting products, such as Kettle Cuisine gluten-free soups.


Jodi HarrisJodi Harris, naturopathic practitioner, Reiki master and owner of Back to Nature in Sturgis, S.D.
Not so much gourmet foods, but we offer a variety of foods and classes for raw food diets. We emphasize the value of medicinal and tonic herbs. We also have a high demand for healthier choices of grains from several customers with celiac disease or wheat intolerances and allergies, or just from people who are choosing quinoa, amaranth or buckwheat to eat healthier.

Joan PetrilloJoan Petrillo, certified nutritional consultant and manager of Martindale’s Natural Market in Springfield, Pa.
We are trying to be a full-service health food store by serving the whole gamut of customers, from those who eat beef but want it grass fed, those who eat chicken but want it pastured or vegans who don’t eat animal products at all. Each person needs to know their own body and realize there are so many variables that go into a healthy diet before picking one lifestyle and assuming it is the healthiest choice for them.

Karin DidisseKarin Didisse, manager of Huckleberry Garden in McCall, Idaho
We have specialty products, but they haven’t done very well so we are phasing them out. We had jars of roasted/marinated garlic, olive spread and grilled eggplant in oil, but they weren’t selling. We have stocked gluten-free for 11 years and it is steadily growing, selling much better recently. We have customers with food allergies and get new people in for our gluten-free products.

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