Enso Beauty, a 100% USDA certified organic skincare line, launches

Enso Beauty skincare

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. –  The new Enso Beauty skincare line just hit the market bearing the USDA Organic logo certifying that its ingredients are 100 percent natural and organic.

Adria Andrews, who started the company with her husband Phillip, says the products were developed due to her skin sensitivity. According to the company’s website, Adria recognizes her husband’s knowledge of plants and herbs as the root of the new line: “Passionate about organic ingredients for home cooking and his vegetable gardening projects, he had amassed knowledge on botanical specimens and extensively studied Earth-grown ingredients. I parlayed Philip’s wisdom, and together we created Enso Beauty.”

Enso Beauty is free from GMOs, parabens, palm oil, hydrogenation, potassium sorbate, potassium benzoate and toxic preservatives, the company says, and uses Indian Gooseberry, an anti-aging extract, as its first ingredient in the following products:
• Amla Antioxidant C Serum
• Amla Repair C Balm
• Amla Revitalizing C Eye Cream
• Amla Sensitive Skin Cleanser
• The Amla Antioxidant C Mist contains rose flower water, witch hazel extract then Amla extract.

Visit ensobeautyco.com for more information.

Organic Coconut Product Launched

organic coconut oil

organic coconut oil

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.

Organic Baby Food Maker Takes On Equity Partner

Sprout organic baby food
Sprout organic baby food
Photo: Sprout Organic Foods

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.

Nevada Organic Farmers Consider Private Certification Programs

organic-farming

NEVADA — With the Nevada Department of Agriculture board of directors voting to end the state’s organic certification program on June 30, 2016, local organic farmers are reviewing their options.

According to the Nevada Appeal:

On June 16, a gathering of growers, producers and sellers discussed the feasibility of a private certification program and whether it could be up and running before the program officially closes June 30, 2016. State organic certifications, however, will expire in March 2016, and growers and producers will have a three-month grace period before getting certified with a new organization.

Their options are complicated by the fact that there are no private certification firms located in the state, the paper says, and the expense of using out-of-state firms could drive up costs impacting the ability of small farms to remain competitive.

Driscoll’s Expands Organic Strawberry Nursery Plant Production

Driscoll's, organic berries, organic farming, strawberries
Driscoll's, organic berries, organic farming, strawberries
Photo: Driscoll’s

WATSONVILLE, CA — On the heels of news of recent investments in organic farming by companies like Clif Bar & Co. and General Mills, premium berry cooperative Driscoll’s, says it plans to expand production of organic strawberry nursery plants for its independent, USDA certified organic farmers.

“Since our first sales of organic berries in the late 1980’s, we’ve seen tremendous growth in our organic business due to increasing consumer market demand,” said Soren Bjorn, executive vice president.  “We are committed to fully deliver on the spirit of the organic program across all our berries and see this process as a journey to an exciting future.”

According to Driscoll’s, its organic strawberry nursery began seven years ago, and is the only one certified by the CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers). With nearly 10 percent of organic strawberry production at its Watsonville and Salinas farms coming from certified plants, the company says it plans to expand the program to other berries in the coming years.

Amy’s Kitchen Shakes Up Fast Food Market with New Drive-thru

Amy's Drive Thru, Amy's Kitchen, organic food, vegan drive-thru
Amy's Drive Thru, Amy's Kitchen, organic food, vegan drive-thru
Photo: Amy’s Kitchen

ROHNERT PARK, CA — Amy’s Kitchen, maker of frozen vegetarian and vegan meals, is set to open its first fast food spot — Amy’s Drive Thru — in July. The new restaurant will be located in Rohnert Park, CA.

According to the company, the menu will feature fast food classics, served vegetarian style. Typical fare will include: veggie burgers, shakes, and fries made with organic and non-GMO ingredients.

But it’s not just the food that will be different from the typical drive-thru. The restaurant will also have solar panels, a living roof, and workers will wear fair trade, organic cotton uniforms.

Organic Burger Joint Adds Chicken to Menu

Elevation burgers, organic chicken
Photo credit: Elevation Burgers

FALLS CHURCH, VA – Elevation Burger, known for its organic, grass-fed, free-range burgers, also offers organic chicken.

In partnership with Sterling,VA-based Cuisine Solutions, provider of vacuum sealed and slow-cooked products, the burger chain introduced organic chicken to its national and international restaurant locations earlier this year. Aided by Elevation, Cuisine Solutions went through the certification process to ensure its chicken products would meet USDA Organic Certification.

“Research makes it very clear that more and more people are becoming conscious of the food they feed themselves and their families,” said Stanislas Vilgrain, Cuisine Solutions CEO. “We have always strived to provide the finest quality, best-tasting and healthiest products, and gaining USDA Organic Certification allows us to help ensure there is an adequate supply to meet the demand of these health-conscious consumers.”

Founded in 2005 on the concept of offering consumers healthier burger options, Elevation’s additional menu items include veggie and vegan burgers, fresh fries made in olive oil and hand-scooped milkshakes. Its organic chicken menu consists of grilled chicken sandwiches, grilled chicken breast tenderloins with a salad option, plus seasonal offerings.

Elevation began opening franchises in 2008 and has over 50 locations worldwide.

Organic Ancient Grain Profiled on “Modern Living”

Freekeh Foods, organic, ancient grains
Photo credit: Freekeh Foods

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Organic ancient grains are all the rage in the U.S. with quinoa perhaps the most well known. But on the rise is freekeh, a roasted green wheat, that is low in sodium and high in protein and fiber.

One company generating a bit of buzz is Minneapolis, MN-based Freekeh Foods whose president, Troy De Smet, recently sat down with former model Kathy Ireland on her lifestyle show “Modern Living.”

Smet not only discussed Freekeh but the issues facing the organic farming industry including the challenge of meeting higher consumer demand, as the industry is trending mainstream, with the small number of organic farmers in the U.S. today.

The interview aired on E! Entertainment Network last Thursday and will air again on Bloomberg International  June 14th at 10:00am CST.

General Mills Invests In Organics

General Mill, organic, Annie's
General Mills acquired the organic Annie’s brand in 2014.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN  – General Mills is betting on the organics market to go from niche to mainstream in the food industry and is making moves to position itself accordingly.

According to Ad Age, the foods giant is looking to grow its natural and organic food division to $1 billion by 2020: It is currently making $600 million in revenue. Earlier this year it announced that several varieties of its Cheerios brand would go gluten-free this summer.

A recent $50,000 investment in the Canadian-based Prairie Organic Grain Initiative (POGI) is another example of General Mills’ commitment to growing its organic sales. POGI is a multi-year program designed to build and stabilize the organic field crop sector and increase the number and quality of organic field crops in Canada.

“We’re excited to join the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative. We believe this program represents a significant opportunity for General Mills to further build our capabilities and pave the way for General Mills to become an industry leader in natural and organic,” said Beth Robertson Martin, senior manager of natural and organic sourcing at General Mills.

Robertson-Martin also notes that the company’s investment in the program is aimed at increasing the number of organic farmers in North America. “POGI is one way we’re ensuring the long-term sustainable supply of these ingredients,” she says.

General Mills says it is the fourth-largest U.S. natural and organic food producer and among the top five organic ingredient purchasers in the North American packaged foods sector. Its organic brands include: Annie’s, Cascadian Farm, Food Should Taste Good, Immaculate_Baking, Lärabar, and Muir Glen.