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Marley Coffee expands retail distribution

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES — Marley Coffee has inked a distribution agreement that will expands its line’s availability on the East Coast, as well as in Hawaii.

The company said Marley Coffee now is available through NGB Distributing to retailers located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. NGB distributes to such retailers as Weis Markets, Giant Food Stores, Wegmans, Genuardi’s, Boyer’s Food Markets, Valley Farm, Ahart, Elias Market and Bottom Dollar, as well as convenience stores. What’s more, Marley Coffee has also increased its presence in Hawaii through a new distribution agreement with Mulvadi Corp.

"We concluded 2011 with new distribution in Northern California and Colorado and are thrilled to begin 2012 with continued momentum as we bring Marley Coffee to more retailers and consumers," Marley Coffee CEO Brent Toevs said. "NGB Distributing and Muldavi Corporation are great partners who will help us expand our footprint with our new Marley Coffee Organic Ground line as well as our whole bean and single-serve pod offerings."

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TABS Group survey notes upswing in organic food sales

BY Allison Cerra

SHELTON, Conn. — Organic food sales are continuing on an upward trend as more shoppers frequented mainstream stores for the products and younger consumers were the most loyal to purchasing such items, a TABS Group survey found.

According to TABS Group’s annual organic product survey, which polled 1,000 consumers ages 18 to 75 years, total organic product sales rose approximately 15% to 20% for the year, while the percentage of consumers that claimed they purchased organic products increased from 39.8% in 2011 to 41.8% in 2012. The survey also found an 11% increase in the number of product types purchased by a typical organic shopper, including such staple items as vegetables, meat, milk and eggs. Meanwhile, chicken, beef, ice cream and hair care products realized gains.

When it comes to where these items are purchased, 62% of consumers said they buy organic products at mainstream retail stores, versus natural food or specialty stores (38%). Younger consumers also were a key demographic, TABS Group said, as 48% of respondents younger than 40 years old reported using organic products, versus 34% of those ages 60 years and older. What’s more, respondents under 30 years of age bought on average 4.6 different organic products, compared with 2.9 different products purchased by people ages 60 years and older.

"Younger consumers, with typically the least disposable income, show the greatest loyalty to organics. This likely will increase organics’ sales and market share over time as their buying power grows and their preference is passed on to their children," TABS Group CEO Kurt Jetta said.

TABS added that people earning less than $30,000 a year and those with children purchased more organic products than higher earners and those without children.

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Wheaties celebrates champions with retro boxes

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS — Wheaties is introducing three new Wheaties boxes that feature retro images of former "Wheaties Champions."

The cereal brand said touting images of Muhammad Ali, Bruce Jenner and Mary Lou Retton on its boxes is designed to call out how these three athletic legends have continued to inspire America’s future athletes.

“Their respective records speak for themselves, but it is their legendary performances that have made each champion an inspiration to so many,” Wheaties marketing manager Betsy Frost said. “Wheaties’ fans have long asked for these icons to be featured on the box again. We’re thrilled to fulfill their requests and once again honor each athlete’s spirit of championship.”

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