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Articles from 2012 In May

IMG hires Ryann Rasmussen as PR counsel

IMG hires Ryann Rasmussen as PR counsel

To adapt to its ever-growing demand for expertise in the healthy lifestyles category, Integrated Marketing Group hired Ryann Rasmussen this week as a public relations counsel.

Rasmussen spent the last four years as an in-house public relations specialist at University of Utah Health Care (UUHC), the highest quality academic medical center according to the University Health System Consortium. Her work with UUHC produced national exposure in media outlets such as The Washington Post, The LA Times, ABC’s “20-20,” NPR, “Inside Edition” and the Fox Business Network.

“Ryann provides an immediate advantage to IMG’s PR team,” said Jeff Hilton, IMG cofounder and CMO. “The natural products industry is closely tied to developments in the health care field, and Ryann’s expertise in that field and knowledge of medical science will produce outstanding results for our clientele.”

Prior to joining UUHC, Rasmussen covered general news for The Spectrum & Daily News, the daily newspaper in Cedar City and St. George, Utah. She also served as the media relations director for the student body government at Southern Utah University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising and journalism.

Get your Ganeden BC30 in instant coffee

Get your Ganeden BC30 in instant coffee

Ganeden Biotech, a recognized world leader in the manufacturing and marketing of probiotics, announced that its industry leading probiotic, GanedenBC30, is the first probiotic that will be launched in instant coffee.

Ganeden Biotech is no stranger to the beverage market. Partnerships with tea manufacturers include The Republic of Tea, Bigelow Tea Company, Red Mango Frozen Yogurt (iced teas), GT Kombucha, KeVita, and most recently, Tipton Mills. Each company has demonstrated successful product tea launches—hot and/or cold—with the addition of probiotic ingredient GanedenBC30.

“We have repeatedly seen that adding GanedenBC30 to other foods and beverages has consistently increased margins and sell-through, so we are extremely excited about adding GanedenBC30 to one of the two largest selling beverages in the world,” said Mike Bush, Vice President of Business Development, Ganeden Biotech. “GanedenBC30 is the number one selling probiotic outside of the dairy case and it just made sense to add it to something that consumers already love—coffee.”

Ganeden Biotech is currently working with multiple manufacturers and will be announcing partnerships in the coming weeks that will have product on store shelves this year.

About GanedenBC30
GanedenBC30 (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086) is a patented natural probiotic, or good bacteria, manufactured by Ganeden Biotech that has been researched and shown to support the immune and digestive health when added to a healthy lifestyle. While most strains of probiotics need to be delivered in capsule form or in refrigerated products, Ganedenʼs probiotic delivery system is different—itʼs an ingredient, consumed in a variety of foods and beverages such as breads and muffins, nutrition bars, yogurt, protein powder, chocolate, and even oatmeal and hot beverages. GanedenBC30 is a high-survivability probiotic. It has a naturally occurring layer of organic material that protects the genetic core of the bacteria. This protective layer provides the

probiotic the ability to survive extreme temperatures involved in food and beverage manufacturing processes, shelf life, stomach acids and intestinal bile. Other probiotics,  such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, are unable to form this protective layer, making them more vulnerable to manufacturing conditions.

NPCI seminar to highlight how to secure financing

NPCI seminar to highlight how to secure financing

Getting a company capitalized is perhaps the most difficult, time-consuming and frustrating part of building a business. “Financing Your Consumer Products Company,” a packed, full day workshop will demystify the terms and process and provide insights and tips on how entrepreneurs can improve their odds of successfully obtaining financing. In addition, participants will hear directly from industry-leading entrepreneurs who raised venture capital and then grew and sold their companies, investment bankers, investors and other industry experts.

Topics include: Determining financing needs, structuring deals, understanding term sheets, issues and trade-offs pertaining to friends and family rounds, angels, debt, and venture capital. Also covered are key areas such as expected presentation materials, working with investment bankers, building company value, valuation methodologies, exit strategies, crowd funding, IPO’s and more.

The seminar will be led by Bob Burke and Michael Burgmaier. Bob Burke is co-author of The Natural Products Field Manual, and The Sales Manager’s Handbook. Bob is a consultant in the natural and specialty products industry and former VP of Sales and Corporate Development at Stonyfield Farm. Michael Burgmaier is an investment banker (Silverwood Partners), and former consultant (Royal River Associates) and former venture capital investor (CEI Community Ventures) in the food & beverage/ Healthy Living sectors.

Special guest speakers include experts on debt financing, strategic investors, venture capitalists, investment bankers and entrepreneurs who have successfully raised capital. This seminars speakers include: Keith Kohler, President, The K2 Group LLC, Gregg Bagni, White Road Investments, Andrew Whitman, 2x Consumer Product Growth Partners, Neil Kimberly, The Hershey Company, Amol Dixit, General Mills Ventures, and Ryan Caldbeck of CircleUp.

Valued sponsors of the event are: The Volkman Group, Trade Insight, Buyer’s Best Friend, Perkins Coie, Rachel Kay Public Relations, Silverwood Partners, and Nutrition Capital Network.

The seminar will be held on June 28 at The Law Offices of Perkins Coie, LLP  131 S. Dearborn St., Suite #1700, Chicago, IL 60603. The rate is $699. If you register by June 1, 2012, take the early bird discount and save $200. Additional discounts are available for additional people from the same company.

For more information, please visit: You are also welcome to call 978-975-9902 or email: [email protected].

New Hope 360 Blog

Why you should take the calcium/heart attack study with a grain of salt

In the editorial offices at New Hope Natural Media, we've all been buzzing about the recent Zurich University study by Sabine Rohrmann, et al., which claimed to find a significantly increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI)—but not stroke—in people who take calcium supplements.

What gives? And what will be the shakeout for one of the most widely taken dietary supplements ever? (My colleague Todd Runestad wrote the first sally on this issue in a recent blog.)

In such matters, I am always grateful for the seasoned perspective of Robert Rountree, MD, a renowned, longtime integrative physician, and the medical editor who scrutinizes all of Delicious Living's articles.

His objections to the EPIC-Heidelberg study methodology follow, along with citations of well-designed studies that came to quite different conclusions about calcium and heart-attack risk.

"The way that the [EPIC-Heidelberg] assessment was performed was by giving people a questionnaire that asked whether they took a multivitamin and or calcium supplement. In other words, use of calcium supplements were entirely self-reported—a serious flaw. Furthermore, they did not ask the participants how much calcium they were taking, an omission that indicates a serious lack of understanding of nutritional principles. In other words, participants could have been taking as little as 100 mg or as much as 2000 mg of calcium. It doesn't make any sense to me to conclude that the effect would be the same regardless of the dose.

In contrast, consider this 2012 review of calcium intake and risk of CV disease by Sesso et al. at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Boston. They point out the major flaws in previous meta-analyses and conclude that the effect of calcium on CV disease is negligible.

If calcium supplements increase the risk of heart attacks, the assumption is that they would do so by increasing calcification of the arteries. Unlike the Swiss study, which simply looked at the incidence of heart attacks, this 2009 study from the Mayo Clinic actually measured aortic valve and coronary calcification for up to three years after the patient started taking calcium supplements. They did not find any significant progression of calcification.

One other thing to note: The Swiss researchers only found 354 heart attacks in the 11 years that the 24,000 men and women were followed. That is a very small number. When you are dealing with numbers that small, it doesn't take a big increase in the actual numbers to have a huge increase in the percent change."

How negatively do you think this research news will affect sales (and formulations) of calcium supplements? How can the industry best respond? Leave a comment.

Delicious Living

Easy recipes for healthy salad dressings

Easy recipes for healthy salad dressings



All-Purpose Vinaigrette

Serves 4 | Staff Favorite, Gluten Free / Follow these steps for foolproof dressing every time; once you’re comfortable with the basic approach, modify it using ingredients you have on hand. Serve over any kind of mixed greens.

Get recipe.


Cardamom-Clove Dressing

Alan Roettinger

Serves 2 | Gluten Free / This dressing uses spices you probably have in your pantry; it’s fantastic on butter lettuce with julienned green apples and seared scallops. You could also drizzle it over fresh fruit salads.

Get recipe.


Creamy Vanilla-Grapefruit Dressing

Alan Roettinger

Serves 4 | Gluten Free / Using flaxseed oil for this creamy dressing adds a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids to each serving. It’s delicious over a smoked trout salad with red onion.

Get recipe.

6 salad dressing combinations

Use two parts oil to one part acid; add other seasonings to taste.

  1. Combine: walnut oil, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, chopped Thai basil.
    Use with: fruit, grain, mixed-bean, or seafood salads; coleslaw.
  2. Combine: extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, orange juice, minced garlic, chopped fresh parsley, cumin.
    Use with: leaf, grain, or black bean salads; fruit salad with cinnamon.
  3. Combine: toasted sesame oil, lime juice, peanut sauce, fresh ginger, minced garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, minced fresh mango.
    Use with: fruit salad with banana; coleslaw; pasta or seafood salads.
  4. Combine: hazelnut oil, raspberry vinegar, chopped fresh chives.
    Use with:  whole-grain, leaf, or herb salads; meat or poultry salads.
  5. Combine: rice bran oil, lemon juice, minced roasted red bell peppers, poppy seeds.
    Use with:  herb, fruit, pasta, or seafood salads.
  6. Combine: grapeseed oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, fresh orange zest, tomato paste, chopped fresh rosemary.
    Use with:  roasted vegetables; leaf, seafood, or pasta salads.

–Kris Wetherbee



Delicious Living

3 ways to use dill

3 ways to use dill

Fresh dill is a cook’s delight, lending dishes a sweet-sharp, pleasantly grassy taste. The delicate, feathery leaves should look bright; they droop quickly after picking, so use within a day or two. Refrigerate upright in a glass of water. Use fresh, or add to dishes at the very end of cooking. Dill offers a surprising amount of calcium, plus anticancer and antifungal properties.

Herbed butter

Blend chopped fresh dill into softened butter along with minced garlic and chives. Toss with steamed carrots or butternut squash; stir into cooked grains such as farro or couscous; melt over grilled salmon.


Mix 1 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, 2 chopped green onions, 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and a dash of cayenne. Serve with jicama sticks or blue corn chips, dollop on vegetable chili, toss with cooked red potatoes, or swirl into tomato soup.


Shower minced fresh dill and Italian parsley over a Mediterranean pizza of feta cheese, sliced tomatoes, red onion, and kalamata olives.

FDA: High fructose corn syrup is not 'corn sugar'

FDA: High fructose corn syrup is not 'corn sugar'

Color me surprised.

I thought that the sophisticated marketing and lobbying machine of the Corn Refiners Association would prevail in its attempts to first “change the conversation” about high fructose corn syrup, and also to prevail upon the FDA to official change its feared-and-loathed name of “high fructose corn syrup” to the much more consumer-friendly “corn sugar.”

Didn’t happen.

Instead, the FDA sent a letter to the Corn Refiners Association yesterday saying high fructose corn syrup will remain just that.

The 1,000-word letter, supported by 14 reference citations, claimed three reasons why the FDA believes the petition by King Corn “does not provide sufficient grounds for the agency to authorize ‘corn sugar’ as an alternative common or usual name for HFCS.” Those three reasons are:

  • HFCS and sugar are not equivalent. “Sugar is a solid, dried and crystallized food; whereas syrup is an aqueous solution or liquid food.”
  •  “Corn sugar” for the past 30 years officially means dextrose. HFCS in reality is usually comprised of 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose. Sugar itself is 50/50. Hence the proper and accurate term, “high fructose.”
  • People with a fructose intolerance would be subject to “a public health concern” if they were led to believe that “corn sugar” had no fructose in it.

Of note, the official statement from the Corn Refiners Association was that its smackdown was made only “on narrow, technical grounds” and that “the fact remains” that “the vast majority of American consumers are confused about HFCS.”

The thing is, had FDA allowed this name change to go through, consumers would only have been more, not less, confused about HFCS.

The difference is in how you look at it. HFCS supporters claim consumers are confused because they think HFCS is bad, and their position is it’s no worse—no different, really—than sugar. And sugar is making a comeback because—say what you will about it—there’s no question that sugar is natural.

Opponents point out the suspicious spike in obesity that correlates with the introduction of HFCS in the mid-1970s. In August 2007, at the American Chemical Society meeting, researchers disclosed a unique way HFCS's unbound fructose and glucose molecules increase reactive carbonyls that lead to diabetes.

The flip side of the consumer confusion issue is manifest in a 2007 Consumer Reports National Survey indicating that a large majority of consumers (83 percent) did not believe that ingredients like high fructose corn syrup should be used in products labeled as “natural.”

Corn loses again

It’s notable that this is the second time in the last four years, since the corn lobby has tried to burnish the tarnished street cred of HFCS, that the FDA has come down against it.

Back in 2008, an FDA staffer created a media brush fire when he was quoted as saying that HFCS does not qualify as “natural.” This was part of a dialogue to create an official definition of natural—a pitched battle that is currently being waged not by regulators but by lawyers.

“If the name had been changed, it would have given consumers the wrong impression that this product is ‘natural,’” said Urvashi Rangan, PhD., the director of the Consumer Safety Group at Consumer Reports. “This is a corn starch that has to be chemically processed. The term ‘corn sugar’ simply doesn't reflect the chemical changes that take place in production." 

The Corn Refiners Association, for their part, have made the case that HFCS is not only corn sugar but also natural. This is based on the reasoning that HFCS is derived from corn, and, like natural sugar also contains the two primary sugars, fructose and glucose.

While this decision by FDA does not address the “natural” equation, if the corn lobby’s rationalization that HFCS is corn sugar—which, face it, sounds a whole lot more natural and friendly than high fructose corn syrup—has been denied, who’s to say its “HFCS is ‘natural’” gambit is also flawed?

And there goes the whole house of cards.

And this is why I’m so surprised. After all, this is America gosh darn it, and he who holds the most money wins. Why did a regulatory agency go against an association whose members include all the giants of American agribusiness: ADM, Cargill, National Starch, Tate & Lyle?

The answer may lay in the other giant of American agribiz: the sugar lobby. “Enough is enough: there’s only one sugar, and it’s not high-fructose corn syrup,” crowed the Sugar Association.

Corn still on top, stevia not so much

And yet, this battle is hardly over.

The advantage of HFCS to food manufacturers is that it is sweeter than sucrose, is easier to handle during processing, has a longer shelf life and is cheaper than sugar. Much like GMOs, this battle about HFCS all about food producers and nothing at all to do with consumer health.

Buck up, King Corn. With tariffs on imported sugar, the Farm Bill and a propped-up corn-based biofuel industry, King Corn does all right by the US government.

The pitched battle over HFCS's alleged role in obesity continues. Backers assert that HFCS has nearly the same composition and caloric content as sugar and honey (half fructose and half glucose, 4kcal/g). A July 2007 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, supported by the Corn Refiners Association, concluded there was no difference between HFCS and sucrose on hunger, satiety or short-term energy intake.

Despite evidence to the contrary—from health benefits to proper nomenclature—I don’t expect the corn lobby to pack up their tents and withdraw their lucrative product from the market. Chalk up this battle victory to consumers (and maybe to cane sugar). But the larger war goes on.

To that end, I bring you the next great functional, natural sweetener for your consideration: monk fruit. Hey, hey we’re the monk fruit! Davy Jones would approve.

“Concentrate the mogrosides and you can drive the price point down,” said Marc Brush, editor-in-chief of Nutrition Business Journal. “When monk fruit has price parity with stevia, it’s a whole new game.”

Stevia is so 2010.

Natural Foods Merchandiser

10 new natural food product reviews, May roundup

By Kelsey Blackwell

As Natural Food Merchandiser's food editor, I regularly receive new product samples. Some I'm able to incorporate as editors' picks in the pages of NFM, others are reviewed on the web series First Bite, but most are filed away for future referenceuntil now. At the end of the every month, look for a gallery of everything that landed in my inbox.

Each product is given a rating (based on the First Bite system) for flavor, packaging, quality standards and ingredients. Here's a key:

1 bite: Junk food
2 bites: Meets some (but not many) quality standards
3 bites: Solid product, but room for improvement   
4 bites: Nearly perfect
5 bites: Amazing in every way

Have a new product you'd like reviewed? Email [email protected]

7 predictions for the supplement industry in 2012

7 predictions for the supplement industry in 2012

At the NIA West conference this week, Mark LeDoux, chairman and CEO of Natural Alternatives International, closed the day's seminars with seven predictions for the supplement industry in the coming year. Mark is one of the few CEOs in the industry who truly understands the business, politics and regulatory landscape of the supplement industry. Because of his broad expertise, I share his predictions below. 

7 predictions for 2012

  1. We should expect to see a revised New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) guidance document out by the end of the calendar year of 2012. Engagement between industry and the FDA is absolutely mandatory.
  2. The FDA will step up enforcement of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and will also continue pressure on label claims and cite unapproved new drug claims in warning letters.
  3. The number of warning letters citing basic flaws in a significant number of inspections will initiate Congressional action.
  4. If Congress gets involved in any significant review or rework of the Dietary Supplements Health & Education Act (DSHEA), life as we know it will abruptly change leading to the real potential of pre-market registration requirements.
  5. FDA and FTC are going to step up collaborative enforcement.
  6. Self policing activities by industry have been ineffective as evidenced by the number of warning letters citing basic deficiencies. Our greatest enemy is complacency.
  7. The alarming number of warning letters is fertile ground for political posturing, not to mention litigation by an enterprising plaintiff’s bar.

Bill Frankos, formerly of the FDA and now with Herbalife, added: "By the end of the year, supplements will be classified as 'high risk foods' that under the Food Safety Modernization Act will enable the FDA to increase spending on enforcement and potentially recalls."

So, in other words, now is not the time to sit back and relax. Storm clouds are gathering in the regulatory hemisphere, and responsible manufacturers best stay sharp, lest they get caught unaware.

What do you predict will happen in the coming months?

Rouses Markets' rooftop garden catches air

Rouses Markets' rooftop garden catches air

The local movement doesn’t get any closer than the rooftop. That’s where a New Orleans grocer has planted herbs for the market below.

Rouses Markets officially launches its aeroponic urban farm today (May 31, 2012).

The vertical Tower Garden uses air and a timed mist rather than soil, with “plots” growing up rather than out. A former Disney greenhouse manager developed the system used at the amusement parks as well as the Chicago O'Hare Airport Eco-Farm and Manhattan’s Bell Book & Candle restaurant.

The market calls the project Roots on the Rooftop.

Chef Louis “Jack” Treuting, Rouses culinary director, foresaw future-looking farm as a way to provide fresh herbs for the food the market’s chefs prepare. But he quickly saw potential to expand the program to package and sell herbs as well.

"I knew if our chefs wanted it, so would our customers," he said in a press release.

Managing partner Donny Rouse envisions many possibilities for the farm.

"The flat rooftop on this store is perfect for urban farming," Rouse said. "And the view of downtown is postcard-perfect. I imagine we will do a lot of dinners up here on the farm."

A focus on local has been the way of Rouses Markets since the family started in the produce business. Anthony J. Rouse grew up working for his father’s produce shipping company, City Produce, before opening his first grocery store in 1960. The company, operated by the second and third generation of the Rouse family, now has 38 locations in two states.

“My grandfather was a farmer at heart,” says Rouse. “He would have loved everything about this."

New York-based BrightFarm, too, envisions a future when grocers grow produce in their own greenhouses-elevated or otherwise.

Rooftop gardens and farming, in particular, are rising trends. They have been sprouting for years but now are propagating faster than ever. Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, a trade association, earlier this month announced that the industry grew by 115 percent in 2011. Washington, D.C., led the way with more than 800,000 square feet of gardens installed in 2011. Chicago has the greenest skyline, with 5 million square feet of planted plots.

Integrating the parcels into urban farms of the future will raise the industry to great heights, especially as technology and techniques evolve.

Do you know about other local efforts like this? Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine would love to report more about the grocers growing their own. Comment below or email me.