PORT WASHINGTON, NY — Consumer market research firm NPD Group has made a few predictions about eating trends over the next five years. Healthy eating comes in at Number 4 on the list with a prediction that the category will overtake sweet snacks by 2018. Also, fresh end dishes and fresh ingredients play a key role in trends Number 1 and 2.
SCARSDALE, NY — Skinny Buddha Organic Kitchen opened a new sit-down cafe in Scarsdale, NY. Expanding from a simple take-out window in nearby Mount Kisco, New York, the new restaurant seats up to 12 people in a convenient location directly across from the city’s commuter rail.
“We have had much such success with our organic, wholesome food in our current location,” said co-owner Elyce Jacobson. “We know that food and fitness go together. Being that Scarsdale is a fitness-oriented community, we are excited to open our new café.”
The original Organic Kitchen was opened by Skinny Buddha Fitness Center in 2013 in response to personal training clients who wanted prepared organic meals to take home. The menu at both locations consists of organic and local products. And all ingredients are fresh, hormone-free, non-GMO and certified organic; fats are used sparingly and selectively, and all dairy ingredients are made with pasteurized, hormone-free milk, the company says.
PORTLAND, OR — The health benefits of organic coconut oil and similar products have been making the news lately and that exposure is driving up demand. Capitalizing on the growing market, Portland, OR-based Trailblazer Foods, a manufacturer of private label and branded grocery items, introduced a line of certified organic products on July 1.
“There is a strong and growing demand in the U.S. for better-for-you foods,” said Rob Miller, CEO of Trailblazer Foods, “and coconut fits in with this trend: it’s a clean ingredient, natural and organic, and with no added sugar. By offering a complete line to our customers, grocers will be able to meet the needs of every type of consumer seeking coconut products, eliminating the reason to shop elsewhere.”
The West Coast company will manufacture a complete line of certified organic coconut products, including oil, virgin oil, milk, light milk, flour, sugar and unsweetened flakes, drawing on its relationship with coconut processors in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam.
DULUTH, GA — Organic baby food maker Sprout Organic Foods recently sold controlling interest in its firm to Greenwich, CT-based investment firm North Castle Partners, according to published reports.
Alison Minter, North Castle managing director, who was quoted in BakingBusiness.com, pointed to the potential growth opportunities in the organic baby food market as one reason for the investment:
“The organic baby food category is an attractive market with strong underlying fundamentals. Sprout is a strong brand that resonates with retailers and consumers, with a product portfolio that has meaningful competitive differentiation.”
Founded in 2008, Sprout manufactures and distributes organic baby food products created with certified organic ingredients and no preservatives, artificial colors, flavors or other additives, the company says.
DENVER, CO — Consumer foods giant WhiteWave Foods Co. has agreed to buy Vega, maker of plant-based natural health and performance nutrition products, for approximately $550 million.
“Vega’s plant-based nutrition products complement our plant-based foods and beverages portfolio. With its strong brand, high-quality products, and commitment to innovation and sustainability, Vega is a perfect fit for WhiteWave,” said Gregg Engles, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of WhiteWave.
The acquisition is part of the company’s strategy to expand certain niche and growing categories like its plant-based nutrition products.
Vega’s plant-based, gluten-free nutrition products – primarily nutritional shakes and bars – contain nutrient-dense, whole food ingredients, the company says.
The deal is expected to close later this year, and Vega’s headquarters will remain in Vancouver.