People want to eat right, but more often, they want to eat what tastes good. Products that give them the right nutrition – such as the probiotics and prebiotics that aid good digestion and strengthen the immune system – may have the healthy ingredients and functionality nutritionists advocate. But to be consumed regularly, they also have to be something that people not only feel they should eat, but also crave.
“All my products have to pass my test,” insists Gerry Morrison, owner of Wasatch Branding Concepts LLC, which is developing Active D’Lites chocolate bars, individually wrapped bites, ice cream bars and shakes containing probiotics and prebiotics. “I have to make sure these are something that I want to eat. If it’s good enough for me, it’s good enough for a lot of people.”
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Nowadays, consumers who purchase products from mobile devices or on the Web often want their purchases shipped to them, plan to pick it up the same day at the store, or they might just be checking the availability of their product at a competitor’s location. It is MICROS-Retail’s challenge to provide the integrated software and hardware systems that function seamlessly behind the scenes.
“Tourneau is the flagship for us,” says Jane Cannon, chief technology officer for the retail division of MICROS Systems Inc. “They represent a retailer who has really brought it together, somebody who’s created an experience on the Web.”
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It is rare when a business results from the founder’s goal to improve his personal health. But for Chairman Lewis Hendler, that is exactly the story behind MICHAEL TODD true organics, a Port St. Lucie, Fla.-based manufacturer of organic and vegan skin care products.
Hendler, who started his career as an attorney, acquired MICHAEL TODD Cosmetics in December 2008. Previously, he was co-owner of scünci International, the hair accessory company formed in the early 1990s to market the well-known “scrunchy” ponytail holder that went on to become one of the world’s best known hair accessory brands. “We started [scünci] with zero market share and built it in 10 years to be the largest hair accessory company in the world,” he recalls. “[We were] passing companies like Goody Products and Conair.”
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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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