Imagine if you collected all the protein powder containers you’ve sold in the past 20 years. You and your staff could likely erect a wall to rival the one built by the ancient Chinese. Your average consumer may most closely associate sports nutrition with protein powder, but today’s market is completely different.

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Sprouting up in neighborhoods across eight different states and counting, a relatively young chain of grocery stores trades on a decidedly old-time look and feel. “When you walk into a Sprouts Farmers Market, it’s supposed to feel a little bit different than your everyday grocery store,” says communications manager Lauren Rosenblum. With fresh produce and wholesome grains sold from wooden crates and barrels, and spacious aisles all brightly lit to evoke the feel of a sunny afternoon outdoors, the store makes quite the impression on first-time shoppers. There are a lot of those lately, as the chain expands rapidly and grand openings generate excitement in new markets.

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The gift of life comes with the curse of aging. Some embrace their lines and wrinkles as badges of honor, while others try to fight off the beast as long as naturally possible. Those who want to keep their youthful glow may have their favorite creams, serums and lotions to ward off the look of old age, but may come to you wondering, “Is there anything else I can do?” Guide their soft-skinned hands to the supplement section and introduce them to cosmeceuticals, an internal anti-aging option that won’t involve any rubbing. Anti-aging supplements come in many different forms, some that your customers may not realize could benefit their skin from within, but all have the potential to keep your customers looking fresh and youthful for years to come.

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As the weather heats up, many of your customers will be ramping up their physical activity levels. Accordingly, WholeFoods has decided to provide you with five months of education on Sports Nutrition. The subjects we’ll cover within this fast-growing natural products segment include Foods and Drinks for Athletes, Energy and Endurance, Muscle Support, Respiratory Support and this month’s topic, Weight Management.

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What’s going on in that head of yours? A lot! Neurons are firing, blood is pulsing, hormones are being secreted and other players in the symphony of brain activity are working in harmony. But this accord can be disrupted, sometimes by aging, diet, genetic makeup or other factors. In the end, one’s memory and mood could suffer. Luckily, a smart nutritional regimen can support brain health today and many years down the road.

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As an independent natural products retailer looking to improve your store, how do you tackle the world’s largest natural products industry trade show, Natural Products Expo West?

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You hear it almost every day, be it government health agencies or private organizations, the unanimous directive is for Americans to eat more fruits and vegetables. Despite constant media publicity, the majority of Americans do not ingest enough fruits and vegetables each day. Yet, scientists are increasingly telling Americans they must consume more to avoid a myriad of age-related problems. However, one plant is not considered enough by the experts: cocoa.

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Free radicals from the environment, our diets and normal bodily functions are constantly causing mischief in our systems. These unstable molecules develop from weak cellular bonds and are different from healthy cells because they’re missing an electron, which love to live in pairs. Not to be outdone, free radicals scurry around our bodies, looking to scavenge an electron from an innocent and unsuspecting healthy cell (How rude!).

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For the past 10 years, WholeFoods Magazine has honored outstanding natural products industry companies with our Natural Choice Awards.

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It’s that time of the year again! Natural Products Expo West, hosted by New Hope Natural Media, is once again coming to the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA from Thursday, March 7th to Sunday, March 10th. On Friday and Saturday, the show floor is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Co-located with several other events (Engredea; Nutracon; Fresh Ideas Organic Marketplace; and Beer, Wine, and Spirits Marketplace), Expo West provides invaluable knowledge for those looking to improve their stores and products.

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