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Natural Foods Merchandiser

Retailers rave about innovative new products

And the most innovative product of 2011 is... don't take our word for it—find out what these four retailers have to say. 


Question: What’s the most innovative product you’ve seen this year?

Claire GelinasClaire Gelinas, general manager of Fare Share Market in Norway, Maine

The new products we get tend to feature  local items. The most innovative thing this year would be the addition of another greenhouse in our community. More greenhouses mean we can supply more local greens.

Maryjane StoneMaryjane Stone, health and beauty buyer
at Kent Natural Foods Co-op in Kent, Ohio

We have a lot of products coming in now with hempseeds. We sell Plant Kingdom Bakery bars, which are made locally and are gluten free and vegan. I see hempseeds, locally made products and local produce as trends throughout the natural foods community.

Deborah WiancekDeborah Wiancek, owner of Riverwalk Natural Health Center and Natural Pharmacy in Edwards, Colo.

Vitamin D. With all the studies coming out on its anti-inflammatory qualities, as well as its role in preventing colon and breast cancers and asthma, there are so many things that vitamin D is good for. It’s also inexpensive. We sell a lot in our natural pharmacy because people walk in and buy it or we refer it to our patients, 75 percent of whom have low vitamin D levels when we test them in our clinic.

Eric BarbeeEric Barbee, manager of Sunrise Natural Foods in Roseville, Calif.

Garden of Life probiotics have basically taken the cake compared to all other probiotic supplements as far as potency and sales. Generally, we see a lot of women buying probiotics, but recently we’ve seen a spike in men interested in probiotics for immunity.   

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