Green tea is a Japanese staple and it seems the climate is just right in the United States for the herbal sensation to flourish here, as well. Eastern tastes, such as sushi and soy, have penetrated Western culture and the shift toward a healthier lifestyle has left U.S. consumers with a void ready to be filled with new products. For ITO EN (North America) INC., a company born out of Japan and launched in North America in 2001, it seems the stars have aligned for its inevitable success.
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Tofu is a powerhouse plant-based food that offers a complete protein, essential amino acids and healthy amounts of isoflavones, compounds that have been credited with helping reduce heart disease, breast cancer, osteoporosis and other ailments. Tofu’s health benefits and the introduction of a variety of flavors, textures and applications have made it a favorite for anyone looking for a tasty and healthier protein, rich in minerals and cholesterol-free.
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Over the course of nearly two decades of serving as a style leader for professional and DIY home decorators of all demographics, HGTV has fielded calls and emails from viewers wanting to know the specific hue of a paint, the brand of a piece of furniture or the type of flooring shown on the air. Today, HGTV loyalists can purchase products from the HGTV Home line, which partners HGTV with manufacturers for an official line of offerings inspired by the network’s programming.
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GoGo squeeZ says its goal is to become a household name, and because that status is usually won by products that have been around for decades, that means this five-year-old brand is in it for the long haul. GoGo squeeZ, a line of 100 percent natural squeezable applesauces, launched in the United States in 2008. That was a decade after its sister brand launched in France at the helm of parent company Materne, which has been around since the 1850s. The product is a hit in France, and Materne Managing Director of North America Meena Mansharamani says the U.S. market is even more prime for a product such as GoGo squeeZ.
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Few companies thrive for 100 years as Farmers Brothers has, notes CEO Michael Keown, and he attributes this success to concentrating on the company’s core product – coffee – while continuing to diversify into complementary markets. “As we look to the next 100 years, I think you’ll see us move to re-embrace several core values that have made the Farmer Brothers innovation so successful over time,” Keown says.
The company is returning to some of its basic business values. “We’re spending time now on reinvigorating values that seemingly are a bit old-fashioned, but we believe they are very relevant,” Keown insists. “It may sound clichéd, but serving customers with great products and investing in the future – be it technology, product development or new types of products – is part of our past. We have a legacy of being very innovative in the coffee space, and we plan to maintain that and also invest in our people.
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Companies exist to provide goods to consumers and to turn a profit from that, but that isn’t necessarily what drives them all. For Elevation Brands, the goal is to create lines of healthy, all natural foods in a grocery section that isn’t always know for its wholesome options: the freezer aisle.
In 2010, Ian’s – a line of all-natural, gluten-free and allergy-friendly foods such as chicken nuggets, sweet potato fries, pizza and breakfast options – merged with Blue Horizon Wild – a value-added seafood manufacturer that uses sustainably caught seafood – and formed Elevation Brands LLC. Blue Horizon Wild moved all of its production into Ian’s Framingham, Mass., plant, and the two brands formed one mission.
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When Brad Gruno, founder of Brad’s Raw Foods, decided to adopt a raw food diet six years ago, he started seeing great benefits right away. This type of diet consists of consuming mainly uncooked, unprocessed, organic fruits, raw vegetables and nuts.
Gruno explains that he lost 40 pounds in the first three months, felt better and healthier, had more energy and his complexion cleared. Though he was sold on his new diet, he missed the familiar crunch of chips and other similar snacks.
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The printing business has changed dramatically since Jimmy Sun founded Sunrise Digital in 1988. Rather than let these changes overwhelm the business, Sunrise evolves to respond to technology and retail trends.
“I think we’re very innovative at adopting to change,” Sun says. “Instead of just hanging on to what we’re doing, we change with our customer and develop solutions to satisfy their demands.”
The Chicago-based company began as a neighborhood printer producing business cards and letterheads, changing gears in the early 1990s to become a pre-press company after the introduction of desktop publishing software. The late 1990s found the company making a full transition into digital printing. Sunrise Digital today offers a number of services including indigo printing, CNC cutting, digital color envelopes and direct mail fulfillment.
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