A new report entitled “Moms as Food Shoppers” shows that the number of moms who report looking for organic or natural foods when grocery shopping jumped from 7 million to 9.2 million, or 31%! The study also found that moms are most likely to seek out organic foods when their children are ages five and under.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there and we hope you can take this weekend off from grocery shopping.
We asked Expo Veteran Jessica Farlow, Event Marketing Manager for WhiteWave Foods, to let us know her thoughts on Expo West 2013. Expo West is the largest trade show and conference for the natural, organic and healthy lifestyle. Held at the Anaheim Convention Center, more than 60,000 industry members attended the show earlier this month.
Q: How would you sum up the experience at Expo West?
A: Expo is always an incredibly exciting experience! I was really surprised how many new companies and products there were this year. The show has grown tremendously and you can see the growth trajectory of the entire industry through all of the new items on the show floor. The show is literally busting at the seams in Anaheim. It is amazing to think that this was a one-hall show back in the day and now the natural products industry seems to take over the entire city. I’m thrilled to have been a part of this movement for so long and to have attended my eleventh Expo.
Q: What was the most valuable part of Expo for you?
A: I love reconnecting with old friends. It is a really special time to connect with all these people I’ve encountered in my career and meet the industry leaders I’ve admired over the years. I’m proud to be part of this community because of the friendships that are forged here. These are people I will know for the rest of my life and I love Expo West for keeping me in contact with everyone.
Q: What wowed you the most about Expo or what was new this year at Expo?
A: I noticed so many new companies at Expo this year! It’s so much fun to see the innovation on the show floor and hear all the stories about the small companies that are making their splash at Expo West. It’s a huge commitment to attend the show, and I think everyone in the community really wants to see the new, small companies become successful. New success and ideas mean our industry is growing, and that’s a good thing for everyone.
Q: What was your biggest takeaway from Expo?
A: It was so exciting to see this resurgence of the industry. I really noticed so many more people, many more companies and all sorts of new products at Expo this year. The natural products community is so passionate about what we do and I’m proud to be a part of it.
New Hope 360 recently asked a handful of natural and organic industry leaders for their take on the state of the economy. Really good perspectives from each of them (including our own President, Blaine McPeak). Check it out here.
This month, two new products from Silk will begin showing up on your grocery store shelves — Silk Fruit & Protein and a new Silk Pure Almond Unsweetened Vanilla flavor.
Silk Fruit & Protein is a really tasty beverage that blends juice with a boost of protein, in the form of soymilk. Not only does it taste great (don’t just trust us, try it yourselves!), it has more protein, calcium and vitamin D than organic juice, and it’s only 150 calories per serving. Like all Silk products, it also does not contain any dairy, lactose or cholesterol. So check it out next time you’re at the store and let us know what you think. It comes in a quart size in three flavors – Mixed Berry, Mango Peach and Strawberry Banana. What’s your fave?
Silk’s also launching Pure Almond Unsweetened Vanilla- a great option for anyone who wants a delicious dairy alternative beverage — without added sugar. Silk PureAlmond Unsweetened is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin E and is lactose-free and dairy-free. AND, it has 50 percent more calcium than dairy milk. So there.
Both new products are examples of the innovation we pride ourselves on and are made with soybeans sourced only from North American farmers and are produced without GMO ingredients. In fact, they’ve already been certified by The Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program.
Excited to join about 10 other Boulder area companies at the Natural Products Expo in Baltimore starting today. It’s one of the rare occasions where natural food companies big and small come together in one place to share stories, ideas and (most importantly) food samples. Seriously, if you plan on attending the show, don’t eat anything before you go.
Check out this article in The Daily Camera for more info on the event. And if you’re in the area, stop by the WhiteWave booth (#1025) to wish our Horizon Organic brand a happy 20th anniversary, and sample our Silk brand’s newest product – Fruit and Protein.
(BONUS: Check out the video below to see how our booth came together for the show)
Had an awesome time at the Naturally Boulder Autumn Awards and Pitch Slam Wednesday night.
The annual event brings together some of the Natural Food industry’s best and brightest to celebrate successes, and meet some of the new up and comers.
The Pitch Slam portion of the show was definitely the highlight of the evening, bringing natural products entrepreneurs on stage to pitch their business and ideas to a panel of industry experts. This year’s winner was Bamboobies; a great product that helps nursing mothers.
After the Pitch Slam we moved to the award portion of the night, where the very well deserved Company of the Year award went to Evol Foods. An amazing new local company, that makes a mighty tasty burrito (among other delicious things), with the help of “humanely and sustainably raised meats and proteins, hormone-free cheese, delicious fresh produce, and traditionally made tortillas.”
The award show also recognized Chef Ann Cooper for her work with Boulder School District to improve school lunches; and Hass Hassan who received the Lifetime Achievement award for his work in the natural food industry. Both awards were very well deserved.
Congrats to all the winners… can’t wait until next year.
Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend my first LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) Forum in Boulder. It was an informative, inspirational and action-packed couple of days, reminding me why I’m so passionate about this industry. A few highlights:
- Steve French and Gwynne Rogers from the Natural Marketing Institute gave an informative talk on the latest consumer trends. A key takeaway was that while recent economic challenges have increased most consumers’ price sensitivity, committment to healthy lifestyles and healthy foods hasn’t changed.
- An all-star panel discussed GMO Awareness in our food, including UNFI founder Michael Funk, Whole Foods SVP Michael Besancon, and Silk GM Craig Shiesley. This lively discussion was highlighted by Shiesley’s announcement that all Silk beverage products have been officially verified by the Non-GMO Project.
- Author Dan Millman gave an inspirational talk regarding his latest book, The Four Purposes of Life, in which he shared some valuable life lessons. These included: (1) failure is a stepping stone towards learning, (2) breakthroughs come after our most difficult periods, and (3) lessons tend to repeat themselves until we learn them.
LOHAS Forum leader Ted Ning does an excellent job pulling together a varied panel of mind-opening presenters, and playing emcee. I left LOHAS inspired to continue working to make a difference, proud to be a part of WhiteWave, and looking forward to next year’s conference.
The nation’s largest Natural Products Expo is set to kick things off in Anaheim tomorrow with an expected 50,000+ attendees and 2,000+ exhibiting companies. That means over a three day period (March 11-13), there’s going to be a whole lot of people eating, drinking and collecting all the free samples and tchotchkes handed out by those 2000+ booths. And while every exhibitor probably feels like their tchotchke is worth keeping, it’s unfortunately not the case… which means there’s also going to be a whole lot of trash. But, with the help of our friends at New Hope Natural Media, we’ve got a number of green initiatives lined up to hopefully help offset all that waste, and reduce energy use as well. Check out a few of the highlights:
• Waste reduction: We’re providing reusable water bottles for retailer attendees in lieu of disposable plastic bottles, and will also sponsor water stations throughout the convention center for water bottle refills.
• Sponsoring recycling stations: Attendees will find recycling stations throughout the venue in an effort to mitigate the amount of waste produced at the show.
• Offsetting energy use: All of the energy used at the show, and at the two host hotels will be offset by the purchase of carbon credits and renewable energy certificates from Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF – we’ve mentioned them before on this blog).
There’s also going to be a good contingent of WhiteWavers in Anaheim, so if you’re planning on going to the show be sure to stop by our booth #2136. And if you’re in the mood for cake, swing by on Friday afternoon to help our Horizon brand celebrate its 20th anniversary.
If you’re not attending the show, keep an eye on our twitter feed for live updates and images from the floor. And as always, feel free to share your own thoughts or pictures via the comments below, or on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Last week, the Dr. Oz show featured a segment discussing Soy, and how it fits into a health diet. Following the show I got to sit down with our resident nutritionist, Andrea Carrothers to dive in a little deeper and address some of the questions I had following the segment…
TGM: During the Dr. Oz segment, he mentioned that people should eat “Whole Soy” as part of a healthy diet. What does Whole Soy mean?
AC: Whole soy foods are minimally processed to preserve the naturally occurring nutrients found in the soybean, including high quality protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Some examples of whole soy foods are edamame, tempeh, soymilk, and tofu. Eating foods made with whole soybeans ensures that you are getting all of the benefits of the soybean, rather than just individual components that may be found in soy supplements or more processed soy products.
TGM: Is Silk a Whole Soy Product?
AC: Yes. Silk soymilk is made with whole, natural, non-GMO soybeans grown in North America. Whole bean soymilk, like Silk, is made by crushing the beans and removing some of the indigestible fiber, then blending with water, flavoring, and nutritious fortifications such as calcium and Vitamin D. Making soymilk from whole beans preserves not only the protein, but also other important components like isoflavones, omega-3 fats, and some fiber. Some other soymilks are made with isolated soy protein, which is more highly and chemically processed.
TGM: What’s the difference as it relates to Whole Soy and the Processed Soy Dr. Oz suggested should be avoided?
AC: Soybeans are a unique natural source of high-quality nutrition. In addition to complete protein, soybeans also provide fiber, minerals like iron and potassium, and naturally occurring ALA omega-3 fatty acids. They are low in saturated fat and, like all plant foods, cholesterol-free. Although soy supplements and more processed soyfoods may offer specific health benefits for particular conditions, for overall nutrition, soy supplements and foods made from isolated soy protein may not offer the same well-rounded balance of nutrients as foods made from whole soy. In order to reap maximum benefit from soy in the diet, select minimally processed soyfoods that preserve as much of the soy plant’s inherent nutrition as possible. Tofu, tempeh, edamame and soymilk made from whole soybeans are all good choices.
TGM: The Dr. Oz segment also mentioned that people should only have one serving of Whole Soy a day, can people feel safe having more than one serving?
AC: Yes. Experts agree that soy foods can play a valuable role in a healthy balanced diet for men, women, and children alike. There is no evidence to suggest that intake of multiple servings of whole soy foods has detrimental health effects. In fact, soy foods have been shown to have many health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and potentially reducing the risk for certain cancers. The American Cancer Society concurs, stating that breast cancer patients can consume soyfoods like soymilk, edamame, and tofu regularly, suggesting that moderate amounts of soy (up to three servings per day) can be a part of a healthy diet. Most nutrition experts agree that replacing some of the animal protein in your diet with plant-based protein such as soy, beans or nuts may have significant health benefits. In fact, a high consumption of plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes (including soybeans) is associated with lower rates of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Soyfoods including tofu, tempeh, edamame and whole-bean soymilk all offer versatile and appealing ways for people to bring more plant-based foods into their everyday diets.
Big thanks to Andrea for her time. If you have any other questions about Soy or any of our other brands, feel free to add them in the comments below and we’ll make sure they get answered…
A few weeks ago, we talked about Silk’s decision to add some natural products to its portfolio. The post led to a lively discussion on our Facebook page, which generated a few additional questions and concerns that we’d like to address here.
So first off, what does “Natural” really mean?
There is no unified definition or regulation of what “natural” means in the food industry, so we created our own strict definition for our products. To Silk, The term “natural” means all the soybeans used in our products aren not genetically modified in any way. From seed to carton, our beans are put through four testing procedures to ensure they are GMO-free. And just yesterday we announced that Silk is officially part of the Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program. The Non-GMO Project is the nation’s first system designed to test whether a product has met defined standards for the presence of GMOs, providing third party verification that the best practices of GMO avoidance are in use. - you’ll start seeing their logo on our packaging soon. And again, we still offer organic options in three of our most popular flavors – original, vanilla and unsweetened.
Great, but why can’t I find your organic options at my grocery store?
If you can’t find Silk Organic at your usual haunt (or any other product for that matter), you have a few options. 1. Talk to the store manager, and ask them to start carrying the products you want. We unfortunately can’t control who carries what, but you (the one spending money at the store) can. 2. Check out our product locater. We sell three times as much organic soymilk as all of our competitors combined, so chances are, there’s a store nearby that has what you’re looking for.
How can I be sure that your beans are sourced from farms in the U.S.
Currently, you have to take our word for it. Not good enough? We absolutely agree. By the end of this year, we will provide you with complete traceability regarding the source of our soybeans. You’ll be able to take your Silk cartons, enter a number into our website and track where the beans were grown and harvested.
Stay tuned to The Grazing Mind for updates on all our products.