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Brothers Marketplace Brand Wins 2014 International Visual Identity Award

The store brand identity design for Brothers Marketplace in Medfield, Massachusetts, a new concept from Roche Bros., has won the 2014 International Visual Identity Award (IVIA) in the Retail category. This smaller neighborhood market experience inspired by European-style food markets, an original vision of Pat and Bud Roche, was brought to life by Boston-based Marquis and opened in summer 2014.

Brothers Marketplace, with locations in Medfield and Weston, Massachusetts, brings an innovative approach to food, with a nod to the legacy of small neighborhood markets from long ago. Shoppers who visit will see an emphasis on unique offerings in prepared foods, baked goods, seasonal and exotic produce, meats, cheeses and packaged foods from local producers. Brothers Marketplace provides busy customers the ability to purchase grab-and-go items quickly while also offering an experiential culinary setting for lingering and savoring an array of seasonal foods.

“We worked hard to create a special retail atmosphere for Brothers Marketplace, and are thrilled to see that the store has been recognized for its innovative brand,” said Roche Bros. Operations Director, Aimee Morgida. “In working with Marquis, we harnessed today’s passion and enthusiasm for local farmer’s market-like flair to create a new, aesthetic store design and identity. It is our goal for Brothers Marketplace to offer customers inspiration, surprise and delight each time they walk into the store.”

Marquis was engaged by Roche Bros. to develop a comprehensive brand for the new store from the ground up and complement the architectural design by BHDP. The IVIA recognizes the full visual brand identity program Marquis created. This includes brand strategy and messaging, brand identity and logo design, interior decor elements such as signage, displays, packaging, labels, shopping bags, uniforms, menus and more, as well a suite of marketing collateral. Marquis also created a comprehensive brand book that allowed for the tight execution of the brand across all marketing channels and in-store materials for opening the new store.

“Developing the brand and visual identity for Brothers Marketplace was a very in-depth experience,” said Marquis Principal, Julie Vail. “We created an identity that satisfied the vision of what this store concept should reflect: a gathering place with an inviting atmosphere filled with little experiences for customers and conveniences for the modern shopper. We are honored to have partnered with Roche Bros. on this project and are proud of the work we’ve done and the success of these new stores.”

The IVIA is the first independent international design competition dedicated to visual identity. Its mission is to give good, visual identity design the exposure it deserves and formally recognize and celebrate the world’s most outstanding brand work. IVIA provides a global forum for large multinational corporations, design agencies, freelancers or students still at design school to present their visual identity work.

Roche Bros. Supermarkets was founded by brothers Pat and Bud Roche in 1952. Brothers Marketplace in Medfield is located at 446 Main Street and Brothers Marketplace in Weston is located at 41 Center Street.

Ancient Harvest Taps the Power of Protein with New Bean & Lentil Supergrain Pastas

Ancient Harvest, the first brand to bring quinoa to the U.S. in the 1980s, is debuting its new lines of protein-packed Bean & Lentil Supergrain Pastas and Lentil & Quinoa Supergrain Mac & Cheese™.

AHQ-Lentil-Lineup“Research shows that a majority of consumers want to add more protein into their diets, and many are looking to plant-based sources of protein,” said Constance Roark, MS, RDN and Director of Marketing at Ancient Harvest. “The brand’s focus remains on protein-rich ancient grains, like quinoa, but we’re continuously cooking up ideas to meet new consumer demands. Now, we’ve incorporated other high-protein and gluten-free superfoods, like lentils and beans, into our product lines. A pasta dish that tastes great and adds nutritional value to your plate is pretty hard to beat.”

These naturally gluten-free pasta varieties are made with a hearty blend of quinoa and nutritious legumes. The pastas look and act like traditional pasta in every way, from taste to texture, but have two times the protein and a healthy helping of fiber in every serving. The five new pasta varieties include Black Bean & Quinoa Elbows and Spaghetti, Red Lentil & Quinoa Rotelle and Linguine and Green Lentil & Quinoa Penne, each with a suggested retail price of $3.39.

With 16 grams of protein per serving, the new Lentil & Quinoa Mac & Cheese varieties will join Ancient Harvest’s existing line of mac & cheeses. A combination of the high-protein, fiber and nutrition of red lentils and quinoa, the Lentil & Quinoa Mac & Cheese will be available in three creamy varieties, Mild Cheddar with Elbows, Sharp Cheddar with Shells and White Cheddar with Shells, each with a suggested retail price of $2.99.

Ancient Harvest bean and lentil pastas and new lentil macaroni and cheese varieties will arrive at retailers nationwide this spring. All other Ancient Harvest products are available in natural food stores and conventional supermarkets nationwide.

For more information, visit or connect on Facebook at

Organic Powerhouse Grains Bistro Bowl Salad from Ready Pac

Ready Pac has just brought out its new Organic Powerhouse Grains Bistro® Bowl —a completely vegan, superfood-filled salad with ingredients that reap ‘super’ nutritional benefits.

Broad access to nutritional information has helped superfoods sky rocket in popularity. These nutrient-dense foods have been popular with consumers seeking alternative options that meet their nutrition needs. Research also shows that that ‘superfoods’ like quinoa and wheat berries are capable of boosting protein intake, improving energy, preventing disease, and aiding in weight loss.

“More consumers are looking for foods that provide an array of nutritional benefits” says Tristan Simpson, Chief Communications Officer at Ready Pac. “The Organic Powerhouse Grains Bistro Bowl has soluble fiber, nutrients, and health-boosting phytochemicals. It’s also low in calories, sugar and sodium, which makes it ideal to incorporate into an active lifestyle and also tastes great!”

The Organic Powerhouse Grains Bistro Bowl salad is part of a growing line of products for the health conscious, on-the-go consumer. The salad contains several nutrient-dense ingredients, including:

  • 100 percent vegan ingredients and certified organic
  • 6g plant-based protein
  • Alternative grains (quinoa and wheat berry)
  • Spring mix greens, carrots, red cabbage, raisins, sliced almonds

The Organic Powerhouse Grains Bistro Bowl salad is only 260 calories and has a suggested retail price of $4.99. The new salad bowl is currently available nationally at Safeway locations and its affiliated banners.

For more information about Ready Pac’s Bistro Bowl Salads and fresh food offerings, visit

Emergency Ban on Powdered Alcohol Requested in California

Alcohol Justice, an alcohol industry watchdog organization, is asking for an emergency ban in California on the sale of powdered and crystalline alcohol products, such as Palcohol, to prevent additional alcohol-related harm to young people.

“California is the largest alcohol market in the U.S. and suffers the most alcohol-related harm,” stated Michael Scippa, Director of Public Affairs at Alcohol Justice. “Every year we lose nearly 10,000 lives and over $22 billion dollars to alcohol-related harm. Palcohol and other powdered or crystalline alcohol products will bring huge dangers to young people in California.”

A letter from the organization delivered to California legislators provides a litany of the organization’s health and safety concerns associated with powdered or crystalline alcohol: low cost; easy youth access to the packets; similar size and shape of packets to nonalcoholic children’s drink packets; potential mixing with a small amount of water to make a single very potent drink; mixing powdered alcohol with beer or alcopops; mixing powdered alcohol with energy drinks or other youth-oriented products; concealment by underage drinkers attending events/locations where alcohol is prohibited; ingestion of the product by snorting or eating, and easy theft.

The Alcohol Justice request for emergency legislative action is a response to news late last week that the U.S. Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB) approved labels for the powdered alcohol product, Palcohol. The TTB approval gives a green light to begin marketing it wherever it’s legal. The letter states that five states have already passed legislation to ban powdered and crystalline alcohol products, another has a regulatory prohibition in place, and at least 14 other states are considering bills to ban these dangerous products. But California is currently not yet one of those states considering a bill.

The letter asks for new emergency legislation in 2015, to amend Title 18 of the California Code of Regulations, Article 6, Classification of Particular Beverages, Regulation 2557, concerning Powdered Distilled Spirits. The amendment sought would ban powdered or crystalline distilled spirits in California.

“We agree with New York Senator Chuck Schumer who said Palcohol “will become the ‘Kool-Aid’ of teenage binge drinking’ and it will lead to acute alcohol poisoning and death,” said Bruce Lee Livingston, Executive Director / CEO of Alcohol Justice. “The sense of urgency is real, we need our elected state leaders to take action this year to keep this public health and safety threat out of California.”

Organic Food Shoppers Look Like America, Shows New Survey

Today’s organic tent looks a lot different than yesterday’s. It’s bigger, younger, and significantly more diverse than just a few years ago. In fact, inside that tent, it looks pretty much like most places in America, a new study by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) shows.

As the availability of organic has become more mainstream and the offerings of organic more varied, there’s more diversity in those choosing organic. There no longer is a typical organic consumer. Organic is meeting the needs of a wide and multi-faceted culture, and the faces of organic-buying families now mirror the demographics of the U.S. population in terms of ethnic background, according to OTA’s “U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs 2015 Tracking Study,” a survey of more than 1,200 households throughout the country.

Today, seven in ten families who purchase organic describe themselves as “white,” after hovering consistently around eight in ten from the survey’s first year in 2009 through 2013. In contrast, African American and Hispanic families have been steadily increasing among the ranks of organic-buying households. The percentage of African American families buying organic on a regular basis has doubled from just 7 percent six years ago, to now 14 percent. Hispanic households choosing organic is even higher at 16 percent, a huge jump from 7 percent just four years ago, when the survey started tracking Hispanic buying patterns.

“Our survey shows that organic has turned a corner,” said Laura Batcha, OTA’s executive director and CEO. “Organic hasn’t been a niche for some time, and today it is the face of America. The demographics of the organic consumer are not any different than the demographics of America.”

A side-by-side comparison of the figures: Percentage of organic buyers who are white: 73 percent; percentage of the U.S. population that is white, according to the latest U.S. Census: 72.4 percent; percentage of Hispanic organic buyers: 16 percent; percentage of U.S. population that’s Hispanic: 16.4 percent; and percentage of African American organic buyers: 14 percent; percentage of U.S. population: 12.6 percent.

The OTA survey also looks at the incomes, education and ages of organic buyers, and compares the buying habits of the new organic purchaser to the more experienced organic consumer.

Like most of us who buy the bulk of our food from our local supermarket, organic shoppers generally also are turning to the convenient supermarket for their organic purchases. A whopping 78 percent of organic buyers say they typically buy their organic foods at conventional food stores/supermarkets. Over half also shop organic at the “big box” stores, an increase of almost 10 percentage points from just a year ago, and some 30 percent also report that it’s not unusual to buy organic at one of the warehouse clubs in the country, again up almost 10 points from the previous year.

The similarities don’t end there. Forty-three percent of the parents surveyed said they’re making more of an effort to use coupons, discounts and other money-saving tactics when making general food purchases, very close to the 36 percent watching their budget when buying organic. Choosing store brands, either conventional or organic, to save money has become popular among penny-pinching families. Nine in ten families says they are choosing store brand products rather than brand names for conventional products, and eight in ten say they choose store brand organic items over organic brand names.

This was the sixth year OTA has partnered with KIWI Magazine to conduct the study. The primary objectives of the tracking study are to identify any changes in the degree to which families are incorporating organic into their lifestyle, parents’ knowledge about organic products and benefits, the importance and use of labels when shopping for and choosing organic products, and the household shopping budget and retail channel preferences.

This year the study looked more closely at the importance of the private label, digging down into the various factors that go into play when making the decision to buy the store brand private label over the more well-known brand label.

The target audience for the study consisted of more than 1,200 households, including a national online panel of U.S. households supplemented with KIWI Magazine’s Parents’ Advisory Board. All respondents had at least one child under the age of 18 in the household, and had sole or shared responsibility for household grocery purchases. The survey was conducted online January 16 – 23, 2015.

North American Tea Championship Winners Named

The North American Tea Championship  – the only independent and professionally-judged tea competition in North America – named the 16 best, premium hot teas from the fall 2014 harvest. The evaluation was held Feb. 26-27 in Las Vegas, Nevada, and all of the high-quality winning teas are commercially available in the marketplace.

Companies that took home an esteemed first-place award include: The Tea Kings; Glenburn Tea Direct; Mountain Tea Company; Garden to Cup Organics; Nepali Tea Traders; Chico Chai; Florapharm Tea-USA LP; and La Creme Coffee & Tea.

A complete list of first, second and third-place winners of the North American Tea Championship is available at

North American Tea Championship first-place winners include:
(Company/Website, Name of the Winning Tea, Category)

Honorees will be featured at the North American Tea Championship Winners Tasting Circle at World Tea Expo (,May 6 – 8, 2015 at the Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, California.

The next North American Tea Championship will be held in June 2015 for an evaluation of iced teas. To inquire about entering the competition, e-mail

Natural Products Expo West and Engredea Shatter Attendance Record

The 35th annual Natural Products Expo West, the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event, took place March 4-8 at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. The event grew 7.2 percent, bringing together an inspired community of over 71,000 industry members, with more than 2,700 exhibiting companies, including 634 first-time exhibitors. The event is produced by New Hope Natural Media.

Co-located with Natural Products Expo West was Engredea, the event to source new ingredients, packaging, technologies, equipment, and services for cutting-edge products; and the Fresh Ideas Organic Marketplace, an innovative outdoor event that combines a traditional farmers’ market feel with the business-building power of a trade show.NPEW Photo 1

Due to demand, New Hope expanded the event’s exhibit space to encompass the entire Anaheim Convention Center campus. In addition to traditional Exhibit Halls, new exhibitors showcased new products at the Hilton Hotel Anaheim, which also offered an extra day of exhibits on March 5. NEXT Forecast estimates the natural and organic products industry is expected to grow to $252 billion by 2019.

First time exhibitor, Keith Mullin, Founder of Zippy’s based in La Jolla, California said, “We launched a new product at Natural Products Expo up in the new products area at the Hilton. We had some really high-quality conversations with retailers and received great feedback about how they perceived our product and how we can expand and grow with their companies.”

“Thanks so much for having us; we had a really great time at Expo West. We love the new changes this year! Loved the Thursday hot products at the Hilton, loved seeing all of the new things coming out and are excited to come back next year! See you in September for Expo East!,” added Beth and Amy Soergel of Naturally Soergel’s, a natural foods and products store based in Wexford, Pennsylvania.

Matt Stearn, Project & Social Media Manager of Derma E based in Simi Valley, California commented, “As a company that has been coming for over 30 years, we have to say that this is our best Expo West ever! Everybody has been so awesome and we are ecstatic about the audience that we saw this year.”

This year the conference program was extended to four days of robust education. The program offered a full docket of education topics as well as keynote presentations from Mark Bittman, food journalist at The New York Times, regular guest on the Today Show and author of How to Cook Everything series and VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 and Dr. David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, ABIHM, board-certified Neurologist, fellow of the American College of Nutrition and New York Times bestselling author of Grain Brain.

Many companies were recognized with awards at Natural Products Expo West.

The official Natural Products Expo West “Best of West: Press Award” went to Justin’s Mini Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. Runners up include: Noosa Yoghurt, LLC’s Vanilla Yoghurt and Brandstorm Inc.’s Dark Chocolate Covered Chia Seeds

The winner of the NEXT Accelerator Natural Products Business School Pitch Slam was Loliware, which produces exquisitely designed and delicious edible cups.

New Hope’s team of editors and analysts identified the five macro trends influencing the marketplace. They include:

Transparency advancements: Consumers are increasingly demanding to know what is in their food, and brands are responding by using technology and other innovations to provide greater transparency and traceability for their products.

Ancient Wisdom Gets Wiser: Brands continue to innovate by producing simple, delicious products that take minimal processing to new levels and contain short lists of nutrient-dense ingredients.

Paleo 2.0: Paleo-positioned products were even more prevalent. The newest Paleo offerings are popping up in every product category, from English muffins to chocolate.

Packaging Innovated: From edible cups to packages featuring famous cookbook authors, the packaging innovations made advancements in sustainability, consumer education and shelf stability.

Protein Invasion: Responding to consumers’ insatiable hunger for protein, natural and organic brands are packing new offerings with protein in every conceivable form.

“Advancements in transparency, clean product development and sustainable packaging created a rich environment of inspiring product innovation at this year’s Expo West,” said Carlotta Mast, Executive Director of Content and Insights, New Hope Natural Media.

Expo West and eTown hosted a sold out benefit for Just Label It to help fight for federal mandatory GMO labeling. The evening of musical entertainment and interviews included performances by Ziggy Marley and Aimee Mann.

Natural Products Expo East 2015 will return to the Baltimore Convention Center, September 16-19, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Natural Products Expo West 2016 is scheduled to take place March 11-13, 2016 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.

Unified Grocers Relaunches Springfield Brand With $10,000 Kitchen Makeover Sweepstakes


Unified Grocers introduced its redesigned Springfield logo and packaging to shoppers with the kickoff of a multifaceted 10-week consumer campaign featuring a $10,000 Kitchen Makeover Sweepstakes.

The relaunch of one of Unified’s flagship brands celebrates Springfield’s award-winning modern look and features a new tagline — “Right Quality, Right Price, Right at Home” — in point-of-sale materials, billboards, radio, print and digital advertising. The campaign also features a new Springfield website, a dedicated Facebook page and other social media.

In addition, shoppers are introduced to the Springfield Makeover Team through a series of fun YouTube videos. “The Springfield Makeover Team’s mission is to help bring the great value and amazing quality of Springfield to shoppers’ homes,” says Executive Director of Corporate Marketing JoAnn Murdock.

The team’s work includes visiting nearly 100 different member stores over the next eight weeks to sample Springfield products, hand out coupons and giveaways, and generate buzz around the brand.

“We designed the campaign so all our retailers — regardless of size — can participate in some fashion. In addition to extensive retailer ad/display activity and Makeover Team visits, we have do-it-yourself Springfield demo kits, coupons, mailer and website artwork, point-of-sale materials, and more,” said Murdock. “Even the single store operators that won’t have visits from the Makeover Team can promote the sweepstakes and benefit from all of the mass media and POS.”

The Kitchen Makeover Sweepstakes will give away a $10,000 grand prize and a number of other cash prizes.

Unified’s Springfield brand originated in 1947 in Southern California and has grown to include more than 1,100 SKUs. Springfield products can be found at independent grocery stores in central and Southern California, Arizona, Nevada and Mexico. In addition to Spingfield, Unified’s private label brands include: Cottage Hearth, Golden Creme, IGA, Natural Directions, Special Value, and Western Family.

Unified teamed up with San Francisco-based Murray Brand Communications to redesign and refresh the Springfield packaging, make it relevant to today’s consumers and to attract new shoppers to the brand. Earlier this month, Graphic Design USA magazine named the new Springfield logo and packaging a winner in the 2015 American Package Design Awards.


Domino Debuts Born Sweet Zing Stevia Sweetener


Victory is here for sugar substitute users seeking perfectly sweet, real product solutions for their daily sweetening needs. The launch of Born Sweet™ Zing™ Stevia Sweetener makes it easy for shoppers to avoid unwanted calories when sweetening beverages and foods.

Zing LaunchZing Zero Calorie stevia sweetener will delight consumers with its delicious, clean, sweet taste. It provides a great tasting, zero calorie sweetener, made with only real ingredients of high quality stevia leaf extract and dextrose – nothing artificial. Available in packets and in an easy-spoon jar, Zing Zero Calorie stevia sweetener is perfect for mixing into and sprinkling onto favorite beverages and foods every day.

For those consumers who choose to bake with a sugar substitute made from real ingredients, Zing Baking Blend provides a delicious option. At only five calories per serving, Zing Baking Blend, a stevia and pure cane sugar blend, is for calorie-conscious baking enthusiasts looking for a sweetening alternative. A convenient, easy-pour canister makes for quick measuring and will delight bakers with its exceptional performance, baking and browning just like sugar and with pure sweet taste.

“We are certain that these new stevia sweeteners will appeal to the youthful, calorie-concerned, and wellness-informed consumer who demands great tasting food and beverages. Both the Zing Zero Calorie stevia sweetener and the Zing Baking Blend are for those who want to cut back on calories when sweetening, without sacrificing delicious taste,” said Brian O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer and President of Domino Foods, Inc. “Domino Foods, Inc. has a long tradition of providing outstanding products in the sweetener category and we believe Zing Stevia Sweeteners are no exception. Our expectations are that the new sweeteners will become an essential part of daily routines as well as holiday baking experiences for years to come,” O’Malley added.


United Fresh Seeking a Few Great Produce Managers

If you know an outstanding retail produce manager, nominate them for the 2015 United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Awards. This program pays special recognition to produce managers on the front line, working everyday to increase sales and consumption of fresh produce.

This year, 25 produce managers will be honored for their commitment to:
  • Innovative Merchandising
  • Produce-Related Community Service
  • Company Recognition
  • Commitment to Customer Satisfaction
The winners and their Corporate Produce Directors will receive FREE travel and registration to United Fresh 2015 in Chicago and be recognized at the Retail-Foodservice Celebration Dinner.
“The impact of this program goes well beyond the award.  We have seen first-hand the pride and confidence that our Produce Managers gain through this achievement for their hard work – it helps make them stronger produce professionals,” said Mike Tipton, Director of Produce/Floral Operations, Food City.
Click here for more information about the program contact Jessica Mosley, Director of Education, at 202.303.3417.

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