Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural Products Industry Grocery & Produce Bites

Inventor bags shopping sacks' pain and hassle
Customers who opt for plastic over paper to save a tree may wish they'd made a different choice when they get home and find their groceries strewn about the trunk of their car. Mark Eichenbaum, a Maine entrepreneur who was frus?trated with plastic bags' inability to close securely, invented The Baggler, a cushioned plastic handle with three hooks and a small clip on each that holds the bags closed.Each hook can support up to 18 pounds, so customers can carry several bags at once while sprinting up the stairs to their apartments—without the bags cutting grooves into the flesh of their palms. Eichenbaum is selling the device nationwide, with a suggested retail price of $4.49. For more information on carrying The Baggler in your store, visit

Natural and organic meat gaining more fans
More than one in five American shoppers has purchased natural or organic meat in the past three months, according to a recent survey by the Food Marketing Institute. The survey found 21.2 percent of shoppers bought these products, although most (48.9 percent) bought them in supermarkets, and only 22.8 percent bought them in natural products stores. People who purchased natural and organic meats were most likely to buy chicken (73.2 percent) or beef (50.7 percent). Those who bought natural or organic meat cited humane concerns as their primary motivation (44 percent). Other factors they considered were better nutritional value (43 percent), better taste (42 percent), positive long-term health effects (41.9 percent) and freshness (41.9 percent). Sixty-three percent of shoppers said they'd buy natural and organic meat more often if prices were closer to those for conventional meat.

Women show signs of diabetes early
Diabetes risk factors show up earlier in women than men, according to a study of 1,455 people conducted from 1996 to 2001 at the University at Buffalo (N.Y.). Epidemiologists there discovered that markers for diabetes, such as subacute inflammation and blood-clotting factors, are present early on in women who eventually progress from normal blood-sugar levels to pre?diabetes. Those markers weren't associated with such a progression in men. "Current findings that these novel risk factors are elevated among women even earlier than previously recognized does suggest that the 'diabetes clock' starts ticking sooner for women than for men," said lead author Richard Donahue, Ph.D. The study was published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.


Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 4/p. 22

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