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Articles from 2014 In September


The next natural products consumer

The next natural products consumer

Impulsive brand switchers. Racially diverse. Male. Are these the demographics you’d most readily associate with natural products?

Probably not, but start thinking now about these non-endemic shoppers as the natural products industry broadens to attract entirely new categories of consumer. Take #Young4ever, a consumer segment identified by New Hope Natural Media with every bit as much market potential as those go-to moms orchestrating the diets inside their family unit. #Young 4ever is 56% male, 50% single, and unapologetically fad-focused for that next new health ingredient or trend sure to impress friends at the gym. This is where Millennial meets hipster meets natural in a very unexpected way.

The great expansion beyond price in natural products opens the door to rooms inside the consumer psyche long since ignored by conventional CPG. Slowly but surely, lifestyle and quality, nutrient-density and “free from” attributes gain equal relevance alongside price right at the point of purchase. That’s why everyone’s turning those packaged foods around to scan the labels. Once the tyranny of price yields a bit of power, we expect to see entirely new and unanticipated codes of commerce gain purchase in the market.

Convenience matters, right? Of course, but then how best to explain the success of DIY mushroom kits and hydroponic mini-farms? Or backyard chicken coops and rooftop gardens? There’s even a wave of homebrew mixers storming the market in 2014. Companies like Owl’s Brew, Pok Pok Som and Sodastream don’t go all-in on the dogma of convenience by letting consumers back into the equation. Turns out, we kind of like making stuff after all, especially foodstuff.

The unexpected motivations of consumers now sniffing at the edges of natural products give credence to new product introductions around ethnic cuisines and a growing market for “stealth health.” Don’t call it healthy, don’t call it nutritious, but bake those into the formulation and lead with the mainstream affinities for taste and fun. Consider Goodie Girl Cookies with the tagline “just the right amount of wrong.” It’s delicious first, gluten-free second.

For more on the unexpected motivations of the new natural products consumer, we'd recommend a full download of the 2015 NEXT Forecast, now available.


Progressive Labs launches Antioxidant Resilience with Setria Glutathione

Progressive Labs launches Antioxidant Resilience with Setria Glutathione

Progressive Labs introduces Antioxidant Resilience™, a clinically studied formulation of ingredients for optimal antioxidant support. Antioxidant Resilience utilizes a combination of clinically researched ingredients including Setria® Glutathione, Extramel® superoxide dismutase (SOD), and a proprietary Cell Resilience Blend™ which combines high-ORAC superfoods and botanicals.

Antioxidant Resilience is designed to reduce oxidative stress in the body and support critical immune function. It is an artful formulation that skillfully blends ancient tradition with modern science to bring relief from the damaging effects of toxins and free radical activity.

Progressive Labs creates top-of-the-line products by utilizing the exact ingredient sources and forms used in clinical research. They produce products with raw materials obtained from quality-verified suppliers of key raw materials like Setria Glutathione from Kyowa Hakko USA.


Enzymotec establishes subsidiary in Australia

Enzymotec establishes subsidiary in Australia

Enzymotec Ltd. (Nasdaq: ENZY) announced the establishment of its Australian subsidiary Enzymotec Australia Pty Ltd., and the hiring of Ms. Claudette Cross as the manager that will head the Company's operations in Australia and New Zealand, a newly created position. In this sales role, Ms. Cross will be responsible for the growth and development of Enzymotec's operations and cultivating the Company’s valued partners in Australia and New Zealand.

Dr. Ariel Katz, president and chief executive officer of Enzymotec Ltd., stated, “We are excited to have Claudette join our team to support our future global growth and manage our operations in Australia. We look forward to leveraging her extensive sales experience within the nutrition market to further expand our business in the south pacific region.”

Prior to joining Enzymotec, Ms. Cross held the position of sales and marketing manager, health and personal care for Bronson & Jacobs, a leading specialty ingredients supplier. She has more than 10 years' experience in sales and product management in the health, pharmaceutical and nutritional sectors working with Australian and International companies in these fields. Ms. Cross received her M.B.A. from the Australian Graduate School of Management and her Bachelor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Sydney.


Natural Foods Merchandiser

Checkout: Chris Kysar diligently fights for the best organic options

Checkout: Chris Kysar diligently fights for the best organic options

In the early 1980s, when Chris Kysar was all of 21, he owned an automotive body shop. One day he was painting a Porsche, which produced a giant, toxic red cloud. “Right then I had an epiphany,” he says. “I realized I had created this red cloud, and I no longer wanted to do something that was harmful to myself, my staff or my planet. I finished all of the jobs on my docket and closed the shop.”

Next, Kysar pulled a 180 and got a job at Mrs. Gooch’s Natural Foods Market. Working at this pioneering natural products store schooled Kysar on how food is made, and he became increasingly disturbed by all of the artificial ingredients and scary processing methods that had permeated the food system. He became a champion of organic, and in 2001, he opened his own store, California Organics Market and Café in Nevada City, Calif. To this day, Kysar stocks only the highest-quality products, holds his suppliers to Gooch-esque standards and educates his customers about organic and GMOs.

NFM: Because organic is in your store’s name, it must be important.

Chris Kysar: Organic is the pinnacle for me. That is the standard; everything else is secondary. Our produce department is 100 percent organic—with one exception: coconuts, because I haven’t found a reliable source. However, I can’t have a store that doesn’t carry cereal, sodas, etc., so we have many packaged goods that are not organic. If we have a choice between organic corn flakes or corn flakes made with organic corn, I have to take our customers into consideration. If the organic cereal is three times the price, I can’t ask them to pay that. But all of our meat is organic. So is everything we use in our deli—milk, cheese (except for one vegan cheese), even mayo and spices.

NFM: Free range and antibiotic free don’t make the cut?

CK: When I put in the meat case and deli back in 2001, I was vegan, and I decided I’d carry only organically raised beef, bison and chicken. That meant I’d be walking away from a lot of sales because, even today, many people think natural and free range are equivalent to organic. They are not. Poultry are still given antibiotics, and there’s no real distinction other than that animals aren’t raised in high-production facilities. I make these choices for me, for my customers and for the planet but also so other retailers can see that you can commit to organic and be successful.

NFM: What’s your stance on GMOs and GMO labeling?

CK: When a product is certified organic, that means a producer can’t use GMOs. Where GMO labeling becomes critical is when something is called natural. The problem with GMOs is the unknown consequences. If GMOs are so good for us, why do companies spend millions to keep us in the dark? My guess is they suspect there are repercussions. I don’t think it’s some altruistic thing about feeding the planet, or else they’d stamp This is GMO! on every package.

NFM: Do you worry that the non-GMO movement is diluting the organic message?

CK: The non-GMO movement has become much more vocal, and people are paying attention. But there’s a lot of confusion out there. Shoppers have come in saying, “I only buy Non-GMO Project Verified and that’s more important than organic.” That’s a big misunderstanding. The label is a verification of ingredients or processing; it is not above and beyond organic. Organic excludes GMOs already. However, I think what the project is doing is critical—especially for nonorganic products.

NFM: How do you handle GMOs in your store?

CK: We contact every manufacturer to ask its position on GMOs. I want this in writing. More than a few times we’ve gotten lukewarm or ambiguous responses that use marketing terms and loopholes [to dodge the issue]. You can tell that some attorney wrote it up. We’ve taken top-selling chips, yogurts and cereals off of our shelves because the company’s statement wasn’t strong enough. But for everything we do carry, we have strong letters of commitment from those companies.


Make a bold in-store statement - follow Chris Kysar's lead

Commit to organic. Really commit. Having an organic-only produce department isn’t easy—but it’s doable. Kysar encourages natural retailers to step it up a notch and really make it happen. “Many independent retailers say things like ‘we use organic whenever possible,’” he says. “No, they don’t. I know this because I do it.”

Don’t fret lost sales. “By stocking only organic meat, I’m missing out on sales of all those ‘natural’ meats,” Kysar says. “But I’m OK with that.” For Kysar, it’s more important to set strict meat standards that help protect the earth and consumers’ health. Stick to your guns on one issue, such as stocking only organic meat, and you’ll find plenty of other places within your store to recoup sales.

Own who you are. “A penny shopper won’t shop here, and we can’t compete with another store having closeouts—and that is fine,” Kysar says. “People come for our sustainably caught salmon, vegan options and more. We’re not trying to be everything to everybody. But we want to be something to most people most of the time.”

Tate & Lyle launches CLARIA clean-label starches

Tate & Lyle, a leading global provider of food ingredients and solutions, launched CLARIA® Functional Clean-Label Starches. The new CLARIA line provides manufacturers similar functionality to modified food starch plus the added benefits of a clean taste and clean label. 

CLARIA Functional Clean-Label Starches enable manufacturers to meet increasing consumer demand for simpler ingredient lists. This trend is supported by the fact that nearly 25 percent of new product launches globally were positioned as label-friendly in 2013 (Innova Market Insights). 

“Tate & Lyle recognised the need for a high-performing starch with similar functionality to a modified starch with all the benefits of a clean label,” said Esther Van Onselen, global marketing category director of Texturants and Convenience Foods at Tate & Lyle. “Although consumers demand simpler ingredient labels, taste and product experience are still primary drivers. The CLARIA line helps provide a solution to address both of these needs.”

CLARIA Functional Clean-Label Starches outperform other clean-label starches when it comes to meeting consumer expectations for taste, texture and appearance. Internal colorimetric and sensory testing demonstrated that the CLARIA line has a very neutral flavor profile and color that is comparable to modified starches. This facilitates their incorporation in food categories that have historically had limited options with functional clean-label starches. 

In addition to meeting high sensory standards, CLARIA Functional Clean-Label Starches enable manufacturers to formulate with similar functionality of a modified food starch. The patent-pending technology of the CLARIA line enables tolerance to shear, heat and acid, even under extreme conditions like ultra-high-temperatures (UHT) and homogenization. It also demonstrates high thickening efficiency and texture consistency over time.

“Tate & Lyle’s technology is unique in the marketplace because it enables the use of a simple ‘starch’ label and similar performance to modified starches, with a clean taste and neutral color,” said Werner Barbosa, platform leader, Texturants at Tate & Lyle. “The technical and scientific advancement lies in Tate & Lyle’s proprietary processing, which allows the CLARIA starch granules to remain intact throughout different processing conditions.”

CLARIA Functional Clean-Label Starches are versatile across a broad range of applications and sophisticated processes including soups, sauces, dressings, prepared meals and yoghurt. The full line includes three products that have different levels of process tolerance: CLARIA Essential, CLARIA Plus and CLARIA Elite. 

Food and beverage manufacturers in North America, Europe, China, Australasia and Latin America can now partner with Tate & Lyle to formulate with the CLARIA line. “We have a world-class team of applications experts eager to co-create with manufacturers to bring the next generation of cleaner-label products to market with CLARIA Functional Clean-Label Starches,” said Jim Carr, director of food applications, Tate & Lyle. “With our extensive expertise in ingredient formulation, we can help customers solve their texture challenges across a wide range of applications.” 

With the introduction of CLARIA Functional Clean-Label Starches, Tate & Lyle offers manufacturers more choice to develop label-friendly new products. The CLARIA line forms part of a full portfolio of label-friendly solutions including SODA-LO Salt Microspheres, TASTEVA Stevia Sweetener, PUREFRUIT™ Monk Fruit Extract, PROMITOR Soluble Gluco Fibre and PromOat Beta Glucan. 

For more information on CLARIA Functional Clean-Label Starches, visit 


InSea2 now Non-GMO Project Verified

InSea2 now Non-GMO Project Verified

innoVactiv, a Canadian company dedicated to developing science-based specialty ingredients, announces that its nutraceutical ingredient InSea2® has been granted the Non-GMO Project Verified status, a label assuring consumers that a product has been produced according to consensus-based best practices for GMO (genetically modified organism) avoidance.

The Non-GMO Project offers North America’s only third-party verification and labeling for non-GMO food and products. The organization is dedicated to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices.

“Consumers are increasingly seeking out non-GMO products. With the certification of InSea2, it gives our customer base the opportunity to meet those consumer demands. Additionally, this further affirms innoVactiv’s commitment to offer natural and eco-conscious ingredients to the market.” said Blake Kraemer, director of sales and nutrition at innoVactiv.

This endorsement adds to an already impressive technical file, making InSea2 a premier ingredient for those seeking formulations for responsible carbohydrate control or a superior control over blood sugar responses elicited by excessive starch and sugar intake.


Women in Naturals a powerful force at Natural Products Expo East (gallery)

The Women in Naturals event at Natural Products Expo East 2014 brought together men and women alike to network and swap ideas. Celebrated author, chef, educator and endearing healthy food advocate Ann Cooper lit up the stage with her passion for making healthy food more affordable and accessible to kids.


DSHEA needs to keep up with consumer demand

DSHEA needs to keep up with consumer demand

On Oct. 25, 1994, President Clinton signed into law, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. DSHEA, as it has been adopted into the every day language of the health and wellness industry, changed the face of a cottage industry and added legitimacy to a whole new generation of consumers seeking alternative health solutions. On Oct. 25th of this year, DSHEA will celebrate its 20th anniversary. The landmark legislation that led the way to one of the most meteoric growth spurts seen in modern consumer history remains unchanged, even though the industry it supports today bears little resemblance to the industry it validated in 1994.

The debate today, among many of the leaders in our burgeoning $35 billion industry, is simply … does the legislation of 1994, which did so much to bring credibility to our industry, serve us appropriately in today’s market? And, as it is in most debates, consensus is hard to come by.

The fact is, DSHEA was a beginning, a start; it is not a conclusion. The legislation that brought the definition of an industry from nothing to something was never intended to be everything. Consider the rollercoaster ride our industry has experienced since DSHEA was enacted.

The industry of 1994, roughly $8 billion in sales, has experienced compounded double-digit growth every year since DSHEA became law. The 1990s was the decade of discovery. DSHEA opened the door to growth, innovation, new science, new discovery and a nation of wanting consumers enchanted with the thought that there are natural solutions to their individual health needs. There was a new miracle herb being touted in the media every month (see “Herbal Healing,” Time magazine, Nov. 23,1998), science focused on the possibility of positive results (see “E is for Eluding heart disease,” Time magazine, May 31, 1993) and hundreds more in thousands of media formats brought the positive benefits of dietary supplementation to millions of new customers and by the turn of the century our industry had almost doubled in size.

The turn of the century brought the decade of question. Sales continued to climb at record paces, but the bloom of discovery was wilting in the face of an industry with a low barrier to entry, and a glut of new products were rushed to market in an effort to capture a piece of the supplement dream. The miracle herbs and key discoveries of the '90s were replaced with a litany of ephedra-laced weight loss products, sales growth in letter vitamins were replaced with a warped definition of a dietary supplements--androstenediol, HGH and nitrox oxide. The 2000s ushered in the era of meta-study: the health benefits of vitamin E, so clearly defined just 10 years earlier were brought crashing to the ground with a John Hopkins meta-study in November 2004. Ephedra was banned, designer steroid precursors were classified as drugs, and the positive press of discovery (see Time magazine cover April 6, 1992) was replaced with the negative press of disbelief (see “Health Supplements, the Dirty Dozen,” Time magazine, April 12, 2004).

Today we approach the middle of a new decade, and although the negative press of disbelief lingers in the form of creative license disguised as meta-study, this decade will be defined by the consumer. In the end, that’s who we serve, and the trends of the day--non-GMO, magnesium stearate free, vegan, gluten free, organic, clean--begin to define an industry returning to its roots. And with consumers today demanding more from their dietary supplements, they are turning to demanding more, and they will grow to demand even more from us.

Yes, DSHEA brought a new era to our industry, opened the door to great growth, and for those in our industry that worked tirelessly to get it enacted, you are applauded daily. However, 20 years later, it's time to take a hard look at what DSHEA doesn’t provide to the industry today. The barrier to entry into this industry continues to have no hurdles; DSHEA does not define the boundaries of consumer trust, and most importantly, DSHEA will not meet the expectations of the dietary supplement consumer today. The core customer of 1994 was age 40 to 55, today she/he is 25 to 65. The generations of today, and the generations of tomorrow will demand transparency, they will demand efficacy, and they will demand quality and safety from all of us.

The foundation of DSHEA served us well, it defined us, it validated us, it gave us great life. It brought to our industry what we needed in 1994, and it gave the consumer what they wanted at the same time. Today, DSHEA needs to continue to provide the foundation it has provided for 20 years and also respond quickly to the current consumer--before we lose them, lose them to the fog of uncertainty fueled by those who test the boundaries of DSHEA and open the doors to the harbingers of meta-study who hold desperately to the archaic idea that the science of drugs will unlock the mystery of life. We know otherwise.

With respect, with perspective and to elicit debate.

NutriFusion names VP of business development

NutriFusion names VP of business development

NutriFusion, a provider of diverse and complex natural nutrition and phytonutrient products for food manufacturers, announced the appointment of Myra Mackey to vice president of business development. Mackey will be responsible for accelerating food industry adoption of NutriFusion’s flagship ingredient-based product GrandFusion™, with her deep experience and strong business management acumen working with domestic and international food manufacturing customers.

GrandFusion allows food processors to add natural nutrients to a wide variety of finished food products. It is an all-natural, patented blend of fruits and/or vegetables that can significantly increase the nutritional profile, and therefore the marketability of food, beverage and supplement products. Rich in antioxidants and an excellent source of vitamins A, C, D, E, B1, B2, GrandFusion supplies the complex nutrients and phytonutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables and adds the nutrients from as much as two servings of vegetables to every food product, without affecting taste or functionality of foods.

Mackey’s industry experience comes from top food companies. She most recently served as national sales manager for ConAgra Foods Inc./Ralcorp Inc., where she was responsible for sales of its private label and corporate brands in the frozen breakfast category, selling products to an array of U.S. and Canadian retailers including Kroger, Loblaw, Publix Sobeys, Wal-Mart and Wegmans representing approximately $72 million in sales. She has also served in strategic planning roles for Canadian breakfast food brands English Bay Batter and Western Waffles Ltd.

“I am delighted to welcome Myra Mackey to the NutriFusion team at the helm of our business development programs,” said William Grand, CEO and president of NutriFusion. “Myra’s track record of success in strategic planning and sales growth while working with domestic and international brands is a tremendous advantage that will help NutriFusion grow its customer base in the global food processing and manufacturing industries.”

Mackey holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business economics from the University of Western Ontario (Canada) and did post-graduate work in accounting and finance at the University of Windsor (Canada), before joining a large accounting firm in Toronto.

4 food bloggers' favorite bites from Natural Products Expo East 2014

So many great new products, so little time to try them all. That's why we called in the We.Blog team to scour the Natural Products Expo East show floor and report back on what surprised and excited them most. Four foodies whose diets range from vegan to paleo picked out these favorites.