With the June 2013 expansion of Amazon.com, Inc.’s AmazonFresh program to the Los Angeles market, the resurgent business model of home grocery delivery now seems to be a force with which the food retail world must contend. After fits and starts of success for the idea earlier in the Internet era, many more consumers appear to be interested in having at least some groceries, including organic produce, delivered to their doorstep by Web-based services.
Monrovia, CA—Naked Juice Co., owned by PepsiCo, will be removing the term “all natural” from its fruit and vegetable juice smoothie products, after it chose to settle a class-action lawsuit for $9 million. By claiming its products are all natural and free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the lawsuit alleged, the brand was engaged in false advertising.
A federal judge put the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the spot recently, asking the agency to decide whether genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be present in food products labeled “natural.” The request from U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers put on hold a class action suit against Gruma Corp., which markets tortillas and other products under the Mission brand name.
Phoenix, AZ—Sprouts Farmers Market, which operates over 150 stores and was the 2013 WholeFoods Retailer of the Year, officially set the terms of its initial public offering on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The company seeks to pay down $247.6 million in debt and other costs through the sale of 18.5 million shares, at prices ranging from $14–$16. The fully diluted market capitalization of the company at the midpoint of this price range would be $2.3 billion, according to the NASDAQ Web site.
Washington, D.C.—The Non-GMO Project Verified label, which has become more pervasive in recent months, has been approved for meat and liquid egg products by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It becomes the first non-genetically modified organism (non-GMO) label claim to be approved by USDA.
Minneapolis, MN—Furthering the trend of big-box retailers entering the rapidly growing natural and organic foods market, Target Corp. has begun to roll out a store brand of organic and natural foods called Simply Balanced. The first products in the line include drinks and snacks, but the retailer has plans to expand it to more than 250 products over the next several months.
Patna, India—The deaths of at least 22 schoolchildren in a rural Indian village were found by autopsies to be caused by toxic pesticide residue on a midday meal they were served, the Associated Press reported.