Natural Grocers recalls organic soybeans

Natural Grocers recalls organic soybeans
Natural Grocers recalls organic soybeans.

WASHINGTON – Organic grocery retailer Natural Grocers issued a recall on its 2-pound bags of organic soybeans. According to the company, the packages have the potential to contain mold.

The company discovered the contamination risk, and the product was suspended pending investigations by Natural Grocers and the Food and Drug Administration.

The organic soybeans were distributed to 154 Natural Grocers’ stores located in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Consumers should discontinue the use of bags bearing 19-168 and 19-205 as the packed-on dates. The packed-on date is on the bottom left-hand corner of the label.

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage has flexible and smaller footprint neighborhood stores in 20 states. And it also has approximately 3,500 employees.

According to its recent financial report, Natural Grocers signed leases for five new stores. They acquired the property for two additional new stores, which will open during 2020 and beyond.

Organic ground beef recall

NATURES RANCHER

WASHINGTON –  Approximately  130,464 pounds of raw ground, organic beef from Nature’s Rancher brand was recalled due to potential contamination with plastic, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The products in question were produced from Oct. 3, 2019, through Oct. 15, 2019, and are labeled as follows: “Nature’s Rancher 100% Grass Fed Organic Ground Beef 85% Lean, 15% Fat” and “Nature’s Rancher 100% Grass Fed Organic Ground Beef 93% Lean, 7% Fat.”

NaturesRancher93The USDA says the items were shipped to distribution centers and then to retail locations in Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, and Maryland.

The recall was prompted by consumer complaints received through the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline and directly by the company that produces Nature’s Rancher, Rastelli Bros., Inc., doing business as Rastelli Foods Group, located in Swedesboro, N.J.

“When the complaints were identified by USDA, we immediately initiated an investigation into the source of the alleged object, monitoring the entire manufacturing process and examining every piece of equipment, and modes of transportation to determine the root cause of these complaints,” said Carl Zerr, director of food safety and quality assurance for Rastelli’s Food Group. “Additionally, we independently purchased the products from various retail locations to inspect the quality of the consumer-facing packages. After said inquiries, we have yet to find additional foreign material in any of the products nor have we determined an explanation of how these alleged plastics could have materialized.”

Although there have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products, the USDA urges consumers who purchased the products in question to throw them away or return them to the place of purchase.

 

 

 

Simple Mills CEO on a mission to promote clean eating

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Simple Mills creates natural and gluten-free baking mixes. Photo: Michaelle Bradford

Simple. Clean. Whole. Three words that characterize current healthy lifestyle trends centered around clean eating, non-processed, simple foods and low carb, gluten-free, non-inflammatory diets.

From Whole30 to Paleo, these popular diets encourage a focus on clean eating and healthy meals made from scratch with whole and nutrient-dense foods.

As a result, entrepreneurs like Katlin Smith, founder and CEO of Simple Mills, have created successful niche businesses based on the demand for clean, natural and non-artificial products.

How Simple Mills started

Simple Mills, which Smith launched six years ago, began as a natural baking mix company. It has grown tremendously in those six years and nearly tripled brand growth and revenue in 2018.

Its expanded product line now includes crackers, cookies, and frostings. Its footprint encompasses 16,000 grocery stores, up from 1,600 just 3 years ago.

In an interview on NBC’s Today Show, Smith said her company is the largest natural baking mix brand, second largest natural cracker brand and third largest natural cookie brand in the United States. And, Simple Mills has more than doubled in size every year it’s been in business.

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Katlin Smith, CEO and founder of Simple Mills, spoke at Startup Grind Chicago. Photo: Michaelle Bradford

Not bad for someone who didn’t plan on starting her own company. Smith told entrepreneurs at Startup Grind Chicago’s May meeting that although she didn’t envision starting on this path, “I think you kind of end up in the place you’re supposed to end up.”

Employed as a consultant for approximately three years, Smith said she worked long hours and traveled a lot. “I was eating a lot of processed food, and a lot of things I probably shouldn’t have been eating,” she added.

“I really wasn’t feeling my best, and I wasn’t feeling like myself. And I was talking to my friend about it, and he suggested to me that I might clean up my diet, and that might change my health. It really didn’t occur to me at the time that food impacts more than your waistline.”

So, Smith decided to experiment with clean eating alternatives. She replaced the processed food and sugar in her diet with simple, wholesome ingredients.

“[The results] shocked me,” she said. “Everything changed. And I just couldn’t believe that food could impact all these aspects of our mental and physical well-being. And once I realized that I was like, ‘I have to do something about this.’”

Smith decided to start her own food company because that was the best way to change what people eat.

“I think business drives a lot of what happens in the world,” she explained. “It’s much easier to change the world through business than it is through other things. So, I kind of realized that if I could make a company that made a product out of very simple, whole food ingredients, things that were more nutrient dense and worked harder for you, but also kept it really simple and tasted really good, then eating well would be a lot more personal for people. And the more personal for people, the more people are going to do it. That’s the easiest way to change how people are eating.”

Smith used her spare time on the weekends developing recipes, baking and doing product demos at Whole Foods.

Within three months of launching in stores, Simple Mills became the best-selling launch of mixes on Amazon, she said.

When asked what’s next for Simple Mills, Smith said “… we in general really just believe in taking all of these places in the grocery store where you see a lot of processed ingredients, a lot of ingredients you can’t pronounce, and also a lot of empty food. Food that has a lot of carbs and sugar and isn’t working very hard for you. We have a lot of ideas. Certainly, in the categories where we play and in other categories as well. And I just think there’s a lot of places in the grocery store where we can help make things easier and tastier.”

Natural Grocers celebrates 1 million customer loyalty members

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Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage is a specialty retailer of organic and natural groceries, body care products and dietary supplements.

DENVER – Organic and specialty retailer Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage recently announced a sweepstakes contest to celebrate its customer loyalty program {N}power, which is expected to surpass one million members this summer. The grand-prize winner of Natural Grocers’ 1 Millionth {N}power Member Sweepstakes will receive one year of free groceries.

{N}power launched in May 2015 offering Natural Grocers’ customers digital coupons, personalized offers, rewards, and other benefits. According to the company, the program has seen more than 50 percent growth in its membership in the last year alone.

“The program has grown steadily for two reasons,” said Natural Grocers Co-President Kemper Isely. “First, more people than ever are learning how to better take care of their bodies by eating organic and natural foods. Second, the {N}power program makes embracing a healthy lifestyle more affordable than ever with personalized offers, digital coupons, and rewards for purchases made.”

Additional 1 Millionth {N}power Member Sweepstakes prizes include:

  • Five second-place winners will win free groceries for six months.
  • 150 third-place winners will win a $50 Natural Grocers gift card.

Founded in Colorado in 1955, Natural Grocers has more than 3,500 employees and operates 152 stores in 19 states.

For more information, visit www.naturalgrocers.com/millionth.

Korean firm acquires $29.29 million stake in online organic grocer Thrive Market

Thrive Market
Photo: Thrive Market

LOS ANGELES – Online organic and natural foods grocer Thrive Market, based in Los Angeles, California, sold a $29.29 (US) million stake in its firm to Seoul, Korea-based GS Retail, according to The Korea Herald.

The Korean firm, parent company of GS25 convenience stores and GS Supermarket, is looking to not only learn from Thrive’s unique business model, which saw exponential growth since its start in 2014 but feature several of Thrive’s more popular items in its own retail operations.

Thrive Market
Photo: Thrive Market

Earlier this year, Thrive co-founder Gunnar Lovelace told FoodNavigator-USA that the company has experienced such a growth spurt over the past few years that it “had to stop marketing because the business was growing so fast we couldn’t handle the scale. This year alone we’ll grow well over 50 percent,” he said.

Lovelace also told FoodNavigator that the company had identified more than $250 million in potential capital from interested aligned investors.

How it works

Thrive has streamlined the retail model offering its more than 400,000 members access to a curated list of organic and non-GMO products including food and health and beauty products at a wholesale cost. All items are shipped to its customers in 100 percent recyclable packaging and its shipping facilities are zero waste.

Memberships cost approximately $59.95 for a year. According to the company, each new membership sponsors a free membership for a low-income family.

For more information, visit thrivemarket.com.

 

 

 

FoodChain ID expands into organic certification

FoodChain ID

FAIRFIELD, Iowa – Organic certification options were recently added to FoodChain ID’s portfolio of services based on client requests for the ability to consolidate the certification process into a one-stop approach.

FoodChain ID, formerly known as Global ID Group, is one of the largest global entities in food safety, testing, and verification and it said that nearly half of its non-GMO clients simultaneously certify as organic, making it a significant growth area for the company.

“We’re excited to add more integrated solutions to our portfolio of services,” said David Carter general manager, FoodChain ID. “Growing consumer and regulatory pressure to clearly identify what is, and isn’t, in the foods we eat has many of our clients rapidly seeking providers that can streamline certification and verification services in a way that reduces overhead and speeds their time to market.”

The company acquired two companies to aid in its ability to offer global certification services including Bioagricert, a global company that was among the first to market in the certification of organic foods, in December 2017 and more recently Quality Partner, a premier food safety testing, inspections and certification company serving France and the Benelux regions of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The Benelux region is a priority growth market for Global ID with more than USD 42Bn in revenue in the food market. QP has over 3,000 clients in Europe and is a recognized market leader.

With more than 33 years of expertise in the organic sector, Bioagricert is one of the top, global, NOP-certifying bodies, having certified over 900 operations, the company said.

“As an organic certification pioneer, Bioagricert’s expertise in organic certification, combined with FoodChain ID’s Non-GMO verification expertise and SupplyTrak mapping and label verification system, further strengthens FoodChain ID’s leadership position in providing independent, third-party labeling claims,” Carter added.

QP carries out quality control activities in the agriculture, food processing, retail and catering sectors with a portfolio of testing, inspection, certification, and technical services. QP’s testing business focuses on food microbiology testing, metagenomics, and biomarker testing; its certification offerings include Organic, FSSC 22000, ISO22000, GlobalGAP and Belgian standards. QP also offers technical and training services to retailers and manufacturers.

“The addition of Quality Partner further expands FoodChain ID’s international footprint and leadership position,” said Brad Riemenapp, CEO of Global ID. “QP brings us access to its broad and attractive client base and 18 years of expertise in food safety testing, inspections, and certification. This acquisition is a further step in developing Global ID’s presence in organic certification, following the acquisition of Bioagricert in December 2017. We are excited to enter the Benelux region with the completion of this acquisition.”

FoodChain ID, which serves over 30,000 clients in more than 100 countries, is a portfolio company of Paine Schwartz Partners, a private equity firm engaging in sustainable food chain investing.

How long does it really take you to decide what to eat?

refrigerator-1809344_1920While it may feel like deciding what’s for dinner while standing in front of the fridge with the door open takes forever, a new national survey of 1,000 men and women by market researchers OnePoll and commissioned by Orgain, says Americans actually spend more time deciding what to watch on Netflix.

The research looked at the amount of time Americans spend making various decisions. It revealed that while they spend an average of more than 23 minutes deciding what to watch on Netflix, more than half (55 percent) choose their food almost instantly and almost a quarter (24 percent) do so without reading ingredient labels at all, uncovering opportunities to improve food choices and overall health.

The survey asked respondents to rate how much consideration they give to decisions – both large and small – and found that 31 percent of people take time to carefully consider the pros and cons of both big purchasing decisions (such as buying a car) and small ones (such as a kitchen gadget). They spend more than an hour researching their next vacation (34.2 percent), TV (49.9 percent) or phone (24.8 percent.) However, most people said they spend less than 5 minutes when deciding on a new food brand to eat (55.7 percent) and almost three quarters spend less than three minutes reading food labels or checking the ingredients of what they’re eating.

Findings revealed that people considered decisions around finances (84.1 percent), relationships (55.5 percent), careers (58.8 percent) and even what to wear (60.5 percent) and how to decorate their homes (79.5) worthy of long consideration. Yet, when it comes to food choices, Americans don’t take the time to consider what they are eating.

The Orgain research found that when it comes to food:

  • Fifty-five percent say they pick their food almost instantly
  • Almost 3 out of 4 people spend less than 3 minutes reading food labels while grocery shopping
  • Just four percent say they carefully plan or think about what they’re eating
  • Two-thirds said they aren’t picky about their choices when it comes to food
  • Twenty percent said they aren’t at all picky when it comes to their diet

Airline food study gives Virgin America top marks in healthy eating options

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A new study from NYC Food Policy Center at Hunter College and DietDetective.com ranks Virgin America as one of the top airlines offering healthy food options.

“This year Virgin America wins the top spot again with the “healthiest” food choices in the sky with Delta and Air Canada tied for second,” said Charles Platkin, PhD, JD, MPH, the executive director of the NYC Food Policy Center at Hunter College and editor of DietDetective.com.

Twelve airlines were rated based on 10 criteria including health and calorie levels of meals, snack boxes and individual snacks, improvement and maintenance of healthy offerings, menu innovation and cooperation in providing nutritional information. The survey includes health ratings, average calories per airline, cost, comments, best bets, food offerings, calories, and exercise equivalents.

Summary of Health Ratings (5 stars = highest rating): Virgin America 4.25 stars, Delta 4 stars, Air Canada 4 stars, Alaska Air 3.75 stars, JetBlue 3.5 stars, United Airlines 3.25 stars, American 3 stars, Southwest Airlines 2 stars, Allegiant Air 1.75 stars, Hawaii 1.75 stars, Spirit Airlines 1 star, Frontier Air 1 star

The study noted that overall there was an 8 calorie decrease in the food offered this year over last year. Since 2012 the calories in airline food had been increasing slightly: The average number of calories per food item was 360 in 2012; in 2013 it was 388; in 2014 it was 397, 2015 it was 400, and this year it was 392. The survey also looked at the nutrients in the foods when they are provided, as well as innovations moving towards healthy, tasty, inexpensive, sustainable foods.

See the full study at http://www. dietdetective.com/ airline-food-investigation/.

Organic food demand expected to grow global market over 14% annually for next 5 years

organic-veggie-1538668-1600x1200The global organic food market is poised for dramatic growth over the next five years, according to the “Global Organic Food Market – Forecast and Opportunities, 2011-2021” report from Research and Markets.

The global market for organic food is projected to grow at an annual rate of over 14% during 2016-2021, due largely to the high demand for organic food from restaurants, educational institutions as well as retail outlets. Also, lifestyle changes due to health concerns, are another significant impact on organic food demand.

Additional factors contributing to rising demand include the easy availability of organic food products and infrastructural developments in supply chain and distribution network.