Vegan Probiotics: Beyond the Health Benefits

Companies in the functional foods market niche are leveraging consumer trends to gain brand traction, particularly the demand for nondairy probiotics.


Natural and organic foods and beverages full steam ahead

Natural and organic foods and beverages full steam ahead

The marketplace for natural and organic foods and beverages is undergoing tremendous expansion and change. At the retail level, while Whole Foods Market remains the dominant natural foods supermarket chain, it is being challenged by Trader Joe’s and by No. 1 supermarket operator Kroger Co.


First school district with 100% organic, non-GMO meals makes the grade

First school district with 100% organic, non-GMO meals makes the grade

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“What’s quinoa?” It’s a question that’s conceivably crossed the mind of just about any American consumer who has either shopped at Whole Foods in the past few years or who has adopted a healthier lifestyle comp...


Local foods: A sales boom on par with “organic”?

Local foods:  A sales boom on par with “organic”?

Will local foods overtake organic foods in popularity? Some members of the industry think so based in part on consumer demand now at an all-time high. Data from a November 2014 proprietary Packaged Facts National Consumer Survey published in Shopping for Local Foods in the U.S. found that 53% of the 2,271 adult respondents specially seek out locally grown or locally produced foods. Among the primary reasons for purchasing locally grown or locally produced foods, 60% of consumers who purchase loc...


A case of “natural” survival in the frozen food aisle

A case of “natural” survival in the frozen food aisle

The last few years have not been kind to frozen foods. Overall sales have for the most part been flat or shrinking. Any increases have been minimal and short-lived. The recent damage to this once essential grocery segment can largely be traced to a growing consumer taste for fresh, natural, and organic foods.

Like most food trends, the strength of this trend may be overstated but it is real and it is growing as can be seen from the double-digit sales increases for organic foods reported by the...


Annie’s GMO conundrum

Annie’s GMO conundrum

In September 2014, cereal king General Mills Inc. (GM) announced it was acquiring Annie’s Homegrown Inc. for approximately $820 million. Known for its macaroni and cheese and its bunny logo, Annie’s is a well-known natural and organic food producer, and very much conveys the feeling of a small environmentally-oriented company even with $204 million in sales reported for fiscal year 2013, according to Natural and Organic Foods and Beverages in Canada by Packaged Facts.

The deal saw General Mill...


More than mere supermarkets, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are health food meccas

More than mere supermarkets, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are health food meccas

Unlike conventional supermarkets, Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s are destinations: places consumers seek out and travel to over long distances. The two chains’ retail strengths echo similar market strategies as they seek to capitalize on growing consumer interest in natural and organic products. In many ways, they also have very similar-and actually often the same-customers. Yet, the striking differences between the two chains are what keep the same consumers shopping at both. At Whole Food...