Demand for natural products is as strong as ever, according to data collected in the 36th Annual WholeFoods Retailer Survey. Independent stores that participated in this year’s survey had a strong showing in 2013, selling a combined $741 million throughout their more than 1.24 million ft2 of total retail space. Most stores reported gains this year, and businesses are optimistic about the outlook for 2014, all excellent news for those who value the expertise and unique flavor that independent stores contribute to the natural and organic supplements, grocery, HABA and home products industries.

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Inflammation is the way your body responds to a problem. Whether battling an infection or cancer, or healing from a bone fracture, the body needs to deliver powerful immune and repair cells to the impaired location through the bloodstream to fight and fix the problem.

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Vitamin C. Echinacea. Zinc. These supplements are some of the hottest tickets on the Immune Health Express. What was once perhaps rightfully regarded as a seasonal buy has recently shot into the fast lane of year-round hot sellers for several reasons that we’ll discuss down the road.

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Here’s a riddle for you: I can help you digest foods that are nutritionally incomplete, which helps the pancreas and immune system function to give the body more energy. Taking me with meals is a great way to help your insides function as a well-oiled machine and even control metabolism. What am I?

I’m a supplemental enzyme.

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Whether they’re running their first 5K or making a career out of sports, athletes of all levels know there are no shortcuts to achieving success. But there are some important early lessons learned while building a foundation for ideal performance.

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Everybody needs omega fatty acids, so luckily, today’s market has something to suit all lifestyles and preferences. “It is clear that, for non-fish-eating meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans, vegetable sources of omega-3 are the best option,” says Carolina Chica, manager of nutrition research and regulatory issues for Proprietary Nutritionals, Inc., Kearny, NJ.

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The running joke is that women are natural-born shoppers, obsessed with malls and fearless in the face of a crowded sale or 10-person-deep checkout line. According to a new Facts, Figures & the Future e-newsletter, there’s some truth to this.

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Garlic is common in many foods, but what some shoppers may not know is that garlic can benefit the body in multiple ways, beyond tickling our taste buds—and we don’t mean warding off vampires.

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A child’s school-age years are a special time, and not just because she/he moves from taking stroller rides to pedaling without training wheels to begging for your car keys! From ages four through 13, a child goes through a period of immense growth and development that’s topped off during the teen years.

Your store can help parents make sure their kids are getting everything from supplements to skincare to healthy foods and drinks to support this important growth period.

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The market for fish and other marine oils is a nutrition industry behemoth. It has even surpassed multivitamins in terms of the percentage of consumers that use them, at 72% for fish/marine oils to 65% for multivitamins, according to one survey from early 2013 (1). However, that same survey did not place marine oils among the fastest growing segments of the supplements market. This indicates a saturation point has been reached, or at least is rapidly approaching.

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