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Natural Products Expo

6 new products with functional herbs

Expo East 2018 Promo Image

Potent botanicals that promise improved energy, stress response and cleansing benefits are entering the mainstream—or at least growing more popular in natural products.

Applications ranging from oils to tinctures to beverages help consumers get more in, such as these exciting new products exhibiting at Natural Products Expo East 2018.

NOW Let It Be Organically Essential Oils Kit
What are your four most popular essential oils? We bet it’s these four—lavender, tea tree, peppermint and lemon. Essential oils are on a tear these days, and this tidy set is an ideal starter collection for customers interested in getting in touch with their olfactories. SRP: $28.99; Booth 1835 and 3535

Herbalist & Alchemist David Winston’s Metabolic Support
Botanical wizard David Winston keeps on rolling out thoughtful preparations, and this tincture is no different. This contains bitter melon, cinnamon, fenugreek, olive, artichoke, holy basil and lyceum. Together, the herbs support healthy blood sugar levels already in the normal range. Which means if your customers are using blood sugar-lowering drugs, they should check with their doctors to monitor their levels. SRP: $25.75; Booth 3327

Performance Tea Focus Super Functional Tea
Herbs continue to work their way out of traditional pills and into easier-to-consume beverages, foods and personal care items. This sachet from Performance Tea exemplifies the popularity of herbs and mushrooms designed with functional benefits, such as improved energy, in mind. Inside this sachet you’ll find reishi, green tea, astragalus, eleuthero, gotu kola, gynostemma and more—stir it into hot or cold water for an earthy, portable refresher. SRP: $17.99 per box; Booth 6437

Bitter Love Tart Cherry
Handcrafted cocktail bitters are trendy with the hipster crowd, and Bitter Love carries this momentum from the bar to the shelf. A specially formulated herbal blend including ashwagandha root, artichoke leaf extract, gentian extract and wormwood extract is blended with cherry and lime juices for a curiously delicious beverage. Per the drink name, it’s more bitter and tart than sweet. Sparkling water infuses the drink with a gourmet feel. SRP: $2.99; Booth 4400

Lone Star Botanicals Good Vibes Only Herbal Tea
This USDA Organic tea is formulated to promote wakeful calm—not necessarily to put you to sleep. Ingredients such as St. John’s Wort, ginger root, lavender and cinnamon will encourage relaxation, and uplift your mood. Lone Star Botanicals is a small brand based in Texas, and its product line ranges from tea to herbal salves to facial masks. SRP: $10.25; Booth 6429

Snoooze Natural Sleep Drink Regular
This pretty, 4.6-ounce can combines the powerful sleep-encouraging properties of lemon balm, valerian root, passionflower and linden flower extract to gently nudge sleepy consumers to dreamland. We love how this product uses time-tested herbs rather than melatonin—which can induce grogginess the following morning. We also adore the matte texture on the packaging. SRP: $3.95; Booth 4609

Which breakfast foods have the most (and the least) glyphosate residue?

Environmental Working Group EWG Glyphosate promo

Glyphosate is having a rough month.

Last week, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a study conducted by an independent third-party lab that found the herbicide was present in 95 percent of breakfast foods made with conventionally grown oats, and 31 percent of samples made with organic oats.

The active ingredient in the popular weedkiller Roundup, glyphosate is a contentious chemical.

Earlier in August, a San Francisco jury told Roundup manufacturer Monsanto to award $289 million in damages to a man who claims he developed cancer after repeatedly spraying large quantities of Roundup while working as a school groundskeeper. And both the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer and California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) have linked glyphosate to cancer.

The EWG argues that current glyphosate exposure safety levels of 70 milligrams per day set by the Environmental Protection Agency and California's 1.1 milligrams per day are too high, and that the threshold should fall closer to 0.01 milligrams per day.

"Because children and developing fetuses have increased susceptibility to carcinogens, the federal Food Quality Protection Act supports including an additional 10-fold margin of safety," writes toxicologist Alexis Temkin, PhD, in the EWG report. "With this additional children’s health safety factor, EWG calculated that a one-in-a-million cancer risk would be posed by ingestion of 0.01 milligrams of glyphosate per day."

The EWG adds that one would only have to eat a single 60-gram serving of cereal (about 1/2 cup) with a glyphosate level of 160 parts per billion (ppb) to go over their set daily maximum. Unfortunately, many cereal samples tested by the EWG had greater glyphosate levels.

Find below an infographic showing the products tested by the EWG to learn which samples contained the most—and the least—amount of glyphosate.

[email protected]: PepsiCo acquires SodaStream | Costco competes by being itself, but better

PepsiCo and SodaStream logos

PepsiCo to buy SodaStream for $3.2 billion

PepsiCo is going to purchase SodaStream—a Tel-Aviv, Israel-based company that produces a kitchen accessory with which consumers can make flavored, carbonated beverages at home—for $3.2 billion, or $144 per share of outstanding stock. The acquisition gives PepsiCo an entrance into consumer’s homes as the percentage of shoppers who purchase groceries online continues to grow. Read more at CNBC.com

 

How Costco thrives in the Amazon era

Instead of changing how it does business to compete with Amazon, Costco is just doing what it does best and trying to do it better. Although it directly competes with Amazon, especially as both companies share a sizeable number of higher-income customers, Costco customers seem to be incredibly loyal to the warehouse retailer. The company’s same-store sales are growing faster than its competitors, including Walmart, Kroger and Target. Read more at CNN.com

 

Tyson Foods is acting like a much smaller company, to reach a much younger consumer

Is it time to stop catering to millennials and start looking at Gen Z, the generation that follows? Tyson Foods’ Jen Bentz, the SVP of R&D, innovation and insights, says today’s youngsters have more spending power than their older siblings and are increasing the pressure on foodservice to move forward, faster than before. Even a company the size of Tyson Foods has to think like a startup to keep up. Read more at Forbes

 

California wants to curb kids' soda habits

California wants children to consumer fewer sugary beverages, and it’s poised to move beyond so-called “soda taxes” to actually regulating what restaurants can offer children. If Gov. Jerry Brown signs the bill, restaurants will have to serve water or milk with children’s meals. No soda or juice allowed. In July, Baltimore prohibited restaurants from promoting soda on kids’ menus; water, milk and 100 percent juice are offered instead. Other cities, including some in California, have made passed similar ordinances. Read more at CBS News.com

 

Consumer food safety concerns cited as reason for Made in USA beef labeling

Most consumers and organizations who commented on a U.S. Department of Agriculture petition want “Made in the U.S.A.” or similar labels only on beef from cattle that are born, raised and slaughtered in the United States. The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association wants Country of Origin Labeling on domestic beef products because, it says, consumers are concerned about the safety of imported beef.” Read more at Food Safety News

[email protected]: Is dark money behind vitamin D surge? | Vacant shops get new life as D.C.s

Vitamin D, the sunshine supplement, has shadowy money behind it

A Boston University endocrinologist, Dr. Michael Holick, is a vitamin D enthusiast. He has argued in numerous papers that we humans are deficient in the mineral and we face disease and suboptimal health as a result. He advocates for widespread blood tests for vitamin D levels and pushes for supplementation in most people. But are his intentions good, or is he the mouthpiece of a pro-vitamin D cartel? Read more at The New York Times

 

Why The Sam's Club store-to-distribution-center makeover is the shape of things to come

As consumers continue to embrace e-commerce, many brick-and-mortar stores are closing, leaving possibly hundreds of abandoned buildings behind. Walmart has found one way to employ some of those properties, as well as some of the people living nearby. The company is converting a shuttered Sam’s Club into a fulfillment center for online orders. The Chicagoland site is the second to be changed. Read more at Forbes

 

State can label widely used herbicide as possible carcinogen

In yet another court battle regarding glyphosate, a California state appellate court has decided that listing the herbicide as possible carcinogen is OK. Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s widely used Roundup weed killer. Earlier this year, a federal judge ruled that California cannot require a warning label be placed on glyphosate products; Monsanto sued the state in state and federal courts after health officials put the product on the list in July 2017. Read more at SF Gate

 

Nestlé USA denies it misled consumers over ‘No GMO’ seal

Nestlé USA says a Geneva, Switzerland-base company certified that the products labeled non-GMO actually are not genetically modified. Last month, a California woman filed a lawsuit against Nestlé USA, arguing that some of the company’s products that are labeled non-GMO contain genetically engineered ingredients. Read more at Natural Products Insider

 

This app makes you a personalized nutrition label for any food

Pinto, a new app, can help consumers on special diets find products with the ingredients they want, while keeping them away from foods they should not eat. The company behind Pinto worked with food manufacturers and large grocery retailers to create a database of foods and ingredients. The app also knows what’s allowed and prohibited in certain diets, so it alerts the consumer if a product is a good or bad fit. All the consumer has to do is scan the label. Read more at Fast Company

IdeaXchange

The risks, roles and rewards of shining a light on your sustainability efforts

Justin Neff, Moss Adams

Consumers are increasingly interested in what the food and beverage companies they buy from are doing to protect and preserve the planet.

They’re no longer only looking at products—consumers are also seeking to learn about the company that produces them. A company’s overall business plan can play a large part in this process, and as such, should outline any environmental impact and safeguard efforts.

As your food and beverage company builds its brand and tells its story, taking steps to define, start, and talk about your sustainability efforts can prove immensely valuable.

How are sustainability and business risks intertwined? 

Managing environmental resources can help a business avoid interruptions, much like managing a workforce helps to avoid turnover. Whether through a reduction of recall risk or the avoidance of potential lawsuits for unsubstantiated claims, understanding the supply chain can help reduce the risk of brand damage and unnecessary expenses. 

For this reason, large retailers are staying attuned to suppliers’ practices to help lower business and sustainability risks as well as ensure all claims are validated.    

Who’s the best person to lead an investment in sustainability?

A CFO works at the intersection of sustainability and financial performance, which means he or she is best suited to define and communicate how a company’s management of environmental, social and governance risks contributes to value creation. 

Additionally, the CFO is closest to a company’s measurement and reporting of financial metrics, two items that naturally help provide effective oversight of sustainability efforts. 

How does a company get started?

Building a sustainability program from scratch can seem daunting. It comes down to finding an internal team that’s passionate about the company’s sustainability efforts. From there, that team can take these steps:

  • Identify which key performance indicators (KPIs) are most important to company stakeholders, including customers, investors and employees.
  • Determine baseline metrics for identified KPIs.
  • Begin tracking data.

Companies can’t manage what they don’t measure, which makes securing good baseline data a critical step in working toward any sustainability goal. It’s also essential to implement internal controls to ensure the data being reported on is accurate.

The best part of this process occurs once the data is gathered: telling the company’s story. There are various models and frameworks available for building a corporate social responsibility (CSR) report. The Global Reporting Initiative and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board both offer resources.    

How does a business talk to different stakeholders about what it’s doing?

Determining what information stakeholders are most interested in can be the most challenging part of sustainability reporting. It comes down to a company’s core values and where it wants to dedicate resources and focus. 

CSR reporting is a great and effective way to tell a company’s story. In terms of delivering the message, companies can use a variety of forms:

  • Infographics
  • Website statements
  • Product certifications
  • Full CSR reports that cover social, environmental, and financial information 

What matters most is the authenticity of the message. When a company is passionate about its vision, stakeholders are more likely to buy into it.  Some companies go a step further and obtain third-party assurance over parts of their report to further demonstrate their commitment and the credibility of their claims.    

What business value can be created from sustainability efforts?

The value of sustainability efforts is often substantial. Studies have shown consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable brands and products from companies that place importance on CSR. Consumers aren’t basing their food and beverage purchases solely on taste and price—environmental impact is factoring into buying decisions as well.

Recent surveys have also shown that most young professionals entering the workforce prefer to work for an environmentally friendly employer. These workers are looking for information from prospective employers on their sustainability efforts. 

From increased employee engagement to decreased turnover, the potential value of these efforts is significant. Combining this with additional cost savings from energy and waste reduction as well as available tax credits, it makes sense to prioritize sustainability efforts.

Justin Neff is a senior manager at Moss Adams, specializing in providing assurance and financial-reporting services to middle-market private companies.

Join Moss Adams as it presents the Natural Products Business School at Expo East, a full day of learning and networking purpose-built for emerging brands. 

When: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sept. 12, 2018
Where: Hilton, Key Ballroom 7/8
Register here.

[email protected]: Court: Enforce chemical rule | Matcha, frozen yoghurt and CBD?

U.S. court orders Trump administration to enforce chemical safety rule

The Environmental Protection Agency cannot continue to delay enacting federal regulations that former President Barack Obama created, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday. The Chemical Disaster rule, which was a response to the 2013 fertilizer explosion in Texas that killed 15 people. Read more at Reuters

 

You can now get cannabis-infused, vegan frozen yoghurt in London

You probably won’t get high from it, but a serving of Yogland’s vegan froyo “Hemp Matcha” will give you a good dose of cannabidiol, or CBD. CBD is believed to ease the symptoms of many health problems. It’s available for a limited time at one London location for today’s equivalent of $6.29. Read more at Go London

 

Why gluten-free is here to stay

Restaurant sales of gluten-free foods are dropping, but demand is still strong in foodservice and retail: Sales in the United States are expected to reach nearly $7.6 billion by 2020. About 30 percent of Americans have reduced their consumption of gluten or avoided it completely, but only about 7 percent must avoid it for medical reasons. Read more at IFT.org

 

Felony criminal cases top 3Q enforcement actions by USDA’s food safety arm

The United States Department of Agriculture brought several felony cases to federal court during the government’s third quarter. Later this month, a Florida man will be sentenced after pleading guilty to knowingly handling and slaughtering livestock in an inhumane manner. Another case involves a meat distributor that repackaged, relabeled and soled out-of-date poultry. Read more at Food Safety News

 

Five ways a new fish bill could hurt marine management

The Magnuson-Stevens Act or the Fish Bill, which governs the country’s marine fisheries, is behind the successful conservation and recovery of 44 different species. But the U.S. House of Representatives last month passed a bill that its sponsor says creates “a proper balance between the biological needs of fish stocks and the economic needs of fishermen.” Read more at The Fern

[email protected]: Seed sellers want dicamba spraying limited | Kroger tests driverless delivery

Kroger Kroger pilots driverless delivery cars

Exclusive: U.S. seed sellers push for limits on Monsanto, BASF weed killer

Beck’s Hybrids and Stine Seed, the country’s largest independent seed brokers, have told Reuters they want regulators to ban dicamba weed killer during summer. By limiting spraying to spring, farmers would not be able to apply the chemical on Monsanto’s resistant soybeans—or damaging non-resistant soybeans, which happened last year when the herbicide drifted onto nearby farms. Read more at Reuters

 

Kroger begins test of grocery delivery with self-driving vehicles

It’s not as Jetson-esque as piloting a flying car, but it might be close: Some Fry’s Food Store (a Kroger brand) customers in Scottsdale, Arizona, can receive a grocery delivery from a self-driving car. For now, the company is using a fleet of self-driving Toyota Priuses, but this fall, they’ll roll out the Nuro R1 robot delivery pod. Read more at Supermarket News ...

 

Massachusetts governor wants public health oversight for raw milk

When Gov. Charles D. Baker vetoed a bill that would have broadened the distribution of raw milk through farm stands and community-supported-agriculture programs, he also called on lawmakers to toughen regulation of unpasteurized milk to reduce the related risks of milkborne illnesses. Read more at Food Safety News

 

Washington judge just dealt a blow to the youth-led fight over climate change

A judge in Seattle, Washington, on Tuesday told a group of 13 plaintiffs between 8 and 18 years old not to be discouraged, but he had to dismiss their lawsuit against the state. The state constitution does not guarantee a right to a healthy environment or a stable climate, King County Superior Court Judge Michael Scott said. Read more at Mother Jones

 

Hurricane Maria stirred up dangerous pollutants on this Puerto Rico waterfront

A nearby mountain range protected the Puerto Rican town of Guanica from the most destructive forces of Hurricane Maria last year, but the town’s bay didn’t escape unscathed. Long-hidden PCBs were stirred up—levels are now 10 times higher than before the hurricane struck. Read more at Grist

Top takeaways from the 2018 Supplement Business Report

supplements on blue

With an overall sales growth slowdown in the supplement market, it’s easy to look at the bright spots, even if the size of these standout ingredient markets isn’t large enough to boost sales growth overall.

Yes, sales are slower, but not significantly slower. It’s also a bigger and more complicated supplements marketplace with an increasingly intricate set of channels and consumers hopping from one to the next. That makes both predicting changes and reacting to them very difficult.

Nutrition Business Journal's 2018 Supplement Business Report contains 334 pages, 38 company profiles and 111 charts and graphs to give you confidence in the data used to make sound business decisions for your brand.

Claire Morton, Nutrition Business Journal's senior industry analyst, offers these top takeaways from the report: 

• Mass market retail dominates sales in the natural and organic products industry with more than half of total market share and over $120 billion in annual sales.

• E-commerce, while frequently discussed and rapidly growing in the double-digits, still represents only 4 percent of total market share.

• Consumers report frequenting mass, grocery and natural stores over other retail channels, including e-commerce.

• Manufacturers rate the top three challenges of online retail as driving awareness of product, navigating Amazon and standing out.

• Natural and specialty retail has lost market share consistently since 2006, with growth slowing exponentially since 2015.

Fill out the form below to download the charts that these insights were derived from, and purchase the report here.

Download the top charts from the 2018 Supplement Business Report: 

 

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IdeaXchange

5 tips to create a successful influencer event

Cynthia Samanian

From Coachella festival booths to pop-up dinners, marketers are taking their campaigns offline and into the physical space. In contrast to digital marketing, experiential events offer brands a channel to build a relationship with their audience by engaging all five senses. The natural foods industry is ripe for experiential marketing given the importance of product trial. According to EventTrack’s 2015 Consumer Report, 83 percent of respondents said that trying a food product was "very influential” or “influential” in their decision to purchase.

Many brands are going all-in with experiential marketing with influencer events exclusively for Instagrammers, bloggers and other content creators with large followings. With the right people in the room, a 15-person dinner can reach an audience of hundreds of thousands to even millions.

So how can you design a successful influencer event? Consider the following five tips to ensure a standout experience for your brand and guests.

Set your goals.

Write down the reasons why your brand is hosting the influencer event and the goals for the activation. Is it to grow brand awareness through influencers posting on social? Is it to deepen your existing relationships with influencers? Make sure that everyone involved in the event, from the head of marketing to the photographer, is aware of these goals. Every decision should ultimately tie back to these objectives.

Define success.

Now that you’ve outlined your goals, how will you measure if you’ve achieved them? What information do you need to know? Do you have the tools in place to collect this data? With our clients, we use a customized mix of quantitative and qualitative data. We define, collect and analyze data based on the brand’s specific goals. Some examples of this data include social media impressions, affiliate codes redeemed and testimonials from influencers. You may also want to consider long-term benefits such as an influencer’s interest in partnering on content, becoming an email affiliate, joining your ambassador program and more.

Remember, identifying the key metrics and setting up a tracking process is just the beginning. Don’t forget to take the time after the event to analyze and understand its performance. You can’t improve what you don’t measure.

Invite with intention.

Influencer events should be treated as an investment, and you should consider all of the ways you can earn a greater return. One place to start is the influencer invite list. No matter who you invite, the cost of the event is the same. Therefore, focus on inviting influencers who are the best fit for your brand, product and goals.

If your goal is to grow brand awareness on Instagram, then target Instagram influencers who are known to share their favorite brands with followers. And remember, when it comes to followers, bigger isn’t always better. For example, if your brand sells paleo bone broth, then inviting a paleo blogger with 25k followers would be a much better fit than a vegan fashion blogger with 200k followers.

Think holistically.

Your influencer event may seem to be just three hours long, but the experience begins well before the official start time. As you design the event, think about how you can create opportunities for influencers to connect with your brand even with just a clever or thoughtful invitation. We often craft physical invite packages featuring a few handmade items that offer a sneak peek into the event. You’ll also want to follow up with photos or an offer afterwards. You’ve done the hard work of getting them to show up—now is the time to build off the momentum.

Sweat the details.

It’s not unusual for an influencer to have multiple party invites for the same evening. What’s going to make your event stand out? This is where the details matter. Focus less of your energy on how to get people to post on Instagram, and spend more time creating a memorable experience they can’t help but share. Find creative ways to connect guests to the brand’s mission and values (bonus points if your founder can attend.) From the table decor to the Spotify playlist, there are so many little ways you can highlight your brand’s personality.

Experiential marketing will continue to grow as an attractive channel to develop and strengthen relationships with influencers, customers and more. To make the most of this opportunity and create an event that truly stands out, brands need to be thoughtful about the design of the overall experience.

Cynthia Samanian is the founder and CEO of Confetti Kitchen, an experiential events studio for natural food brands. From interactive dinners to cocktail parties, Confetti Kitchen’s one-of-a-kind events showcase brands to influencers, media and more. 

 Hear more from Samanian on New Hope Network's BrandCamp webinar: Partnering with Influencers to Drive Sales. Watch it on demand now.