When Jason Sebeslav took ownership of The Peanut Mill Natural Foods Market from his mother Antje Wirth in 2009, things were already in good shape. Established in 1976 by Antje, the St. Catharines, ON store was one of the longest serving and most successful in the Niagara region.
If you were at CHFA East, you were probably hearing a lot of buzz on the show floor about #NHPsAreNotDrugs, our latest campaign in support of the natural health product industry. If you weren’t in attendance, this is a critical issue for our entire industry and we need everyone to help.
During its 40 years of business, Foodsmiths has been through a few things.
There was the devastating Tay River flood in the third year of business that wiped out most of the store’s stock, almost dealing the young business a deathblow.
When interest rates climbed above 20 per cent in the early 80s, Foodsmiths founders/owners Claire and Don Smith saw their store perched on the brink of demise. This happened just after they had purchasing their building.
Sangster’s Franchise has started the year off with a bang and the announcement that three new stores are scheduled to open before July. “We’re excited to be going into some new markets for us, where the choice of a good selection of natural remedies and organics has been lacking,” explained Wanda Wilson, vice-president of Sangster’s Franchise head office. One store is opening in Alberta in April, while the other two stores open in Ontario: one in May, and the other tentatively set for June.
Sangster’s 45th anniversary celebration started off in January and continues with great sales and prizes given away throughout the year. sangsters.com
La Boîte à Grains, serving the people of Gatineau, QC for 36 years, has opened its third location in the city. The newest store – located in Gatineau’s Le Plateau district – measures 10,500 sq. ft., making it the largest of the three. The second store (opened a few years ago) measures 8,500 sq. ft., while the original store has a 5,000 sq. ft. sales floor, and fully functional 5,000 sq. ft. basement which houses administration, marketing, accounting, prep and online orders.
La Boîte à Grains owner and founder Pierre Menard says it took just over four months (including the two weeks over Christmas holidays) to get the store up and running. “We took over the building September 15. Previously, it was a sporting goods retailer. One of the downsides of taking over an existing retail space is changing it over for your own needs, and that’s what we ran into. We had to go in and tear down their backroom and re-build it to suit our needs. One thing we had to do was build an insulated room to house our rack multi-pack compressor, which was custom-built for us. It holds eight compressors, so that if one fails, the others compensate.”
Besides being bigger than its other two locations, Pierre says the new store also has a stronger focus on health and beauty products and it offers a more elaborate food selection. “While we do offer food in our other locations – sandwiches, soup, wraps, etc. – our new store is set up to prepare and offer full meals-to-go. We want to do more of this in the new store.”
Also new is an exclusive consultation room for the store’s naturopathic staff to have one-on-one sessions. “We want to give more service, more than just consulting in the aisle,” explained Pierre. “The room is for those customers who want to go deeper in improving their health. They can book a meeting with one of our professionals on staff.” •
Grocery Headquarters Magazine has again selected Eden Foods as a winner of the magazine’s Selling Wellness Trailblazer Award for 2016.
The awards recognize innovation within the wellness category and are designed to honour those companies and organizations that have had the most impact on the industry. Grocery Headquarters’ editorial team used a number of criteria in reviewing candidates by selecting companies that value and exhibit a strong commitment to innovation, creativity, transparency and sustainability.
This is the sixth time Eden Foods has been awarded a Trailblazer Award by Grocery Headquarters.
Although the annual CHFA West conference and trade show is being held a bit later in the spring this year, the industry can be assured of one thing; it will be well worth the wait. The tagline – Showcasing Innovation, Inspiring Retailers – sets the stage for what you can expect. And with the show floor already more than 90 per cent sold, retailers can be assured that there will be lots of new and exciting products to explore. The conference portion runs May 12 and 13, while the trade show floor is open May 14 and 15.
New this year, CHFA has partnered with the Rising Stars Leadership Group to bring an executive education forum to the conference program. This forum will feature content developed specifically for retail managers in the natural foods industry and will be an exclusive offering for CHFA members. In addition to the forum, which will run on May 12, the conference program on May 13 has incorporated a robust line-up of speakers and topics that will help retailers to excel in a very competitive marketplace. Topics will include customer service, merchandising, employee performance management and so much more.
Watch for more details in the CHFA West show issue coming in the May-June issue of CNHR. Until then, regular updates on the conference and trade show are available at chfa.ca and, if you are not already receiving the show email promotions, send your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the list of subscribers.
For the past two years, Organika has supported Fundamentals for Change (FFC) with donations of supplements, school supplies and clothing. Most recently, the village of Riverton, Jamaica was the beneficiary of FCC’s efforts to make a difference.
Print lives! For those of you who are always looking for the most effective methods of marketing your message to customers, check this out: a recent Canadian study indicates print media is still more effective than digital media.
Vicinity Rewards is a POS based customer loyalty software product designed to bring your customers back more often. Keep your customers informed about what is happening in your store and give them rewards they truly value, so they shop with you, not the competition. Learn more at www.vicinityrewards.ca or call 844/284 2464.
NEURAPAS balance can help to promote a healthy and balanced mood, which makes the long winter season more joyful for everyone. Through its unique combination and triple action, NEURAPAS balance is an effective and safe natural solution you can trust. Its benefits include: fast acting, no known addiction potential and excellent tolerability (side effect rate <0.01%). www.pascoe.ca
Natural Factors Garcinia Cambogia helps you lose weight safely and naturally. It is guaranteed to contain 60 per cent hydroxycitric acid (HCA), shown in clinical studies to inhibit the conversion of carbohydrates into fat. This causes the body to use existing fat stores. HCA may also increase serotonin levels, which helps control appetite and food cravings. www.naturalfactors.com
United Biopharmaceuticals Inc. (UBI) has introduced coldQ enhancement, an all-natural oral spray, free of pesticides, heavy metals and preservatives. This unique herbal formula was used by hospitals in China to save the lives of many people during the SARS epidemic of 2003, and was registered for sale in Canada by UBI, a wholly owned Canadian company. coldQ is available in a small countertop six pack bilingual display. Available through Purity Life. www.coldq.com •
Liver MD is a comprehensive liver support formula to help in the processing and elimination of environmental toxins including heavy metals and pesticides. The specific combination of ingredients provide powerful antioxidants and key nutrients for detoxification including broken cell wall Chlorella, one of the most powerful detoxification tools to eliminate accumulated toxins, including heavy metals and pesticides in your body. PNO.CA 888-826-9625
Many people see Toronto as a big, cold city. The truth is it is actually a collection of fascinating and interesting neighbourhoods, hundreds of them, stretching from Lake Ontario to the northern boundary, and in the west from the airport to the Rouge Valley in the east. Some of these neighbourhoods were originally small villages and towns – places like Weston, Mount Dennis, Thistletown, Parkdale, Yorkville, Forest Hill, Swansea and Mimico – that were eventually swallowed up during a series of amalgamations, starting in 1883.
In the world of retail marketing, there is a huge choice of media, strategies and techniques that a retailer has at his or her disposal to promote their store. Whether the objective is to create traffic with point-of-sale promotions, build the store brand or promote specific events… no matter the type of promotion, the tools available to reach the desired audience are collectively known as “the advertising mix.”
The concept of the advertising mix was developed in the early 1950’s. It is essentially a toolbox of different media and promotional techniques that a retailer chooses to fit the needs of their specific marketing objectives. For example, a retailer that has identified that their clientele are highly mobile, may decide to invest a portion of their marketing dollars into radio. It’s a great way to reach travellers – particularly to and from work – and it is an ideal media for high frequency and saturation. It is a very good fit for reaching this demographic.
Conversely, retailers drawing from a large geographic area may choose television for its vast coverage and multi-demographic reach. Retailers focused on specific age-groups or demographics may choose media or promotional techniques that are particular to those potential customers. Trying to reach seniors? Sponsor the weekly bingo or perhaps place ads in the senior’s newsletter. Promoting all-natural acne cream for teenagers? Try social media or on-line promotions. Over-stocked on protein powders and L-glutamine? Try a coupon campaign in conjunction with your local fitness club. Melatonin sales plateauing? Why not run ads after midnight on the local radio station? Trying to boost your cold and flu remedy sales? Perhaps a few well-placed ads on the Weather Channel will do the trick.
Each of these examples utilizes a specific advertising technique (or media) that is best suited to reach the desired audience. And each offers the optimum chance of capturing the attention of that market.
Since its inception, the advertising mix has evolved as the sophistication of the markets has intensified and as the number of promotional ‘tools’ has increased. For many years, newspaper, radio and television advertising were the stalwarts of the mix. Nowadays, a retailer can also utilize direct mail, couponing (with instant gratification via UPC scanning), live and video in-store marketing concepts, outdoor advertising, transit advertising, google ads, facebook, instagram, twitter and the whole realm of social media, websites, web sales and webinars, guerrilla marketing (flashmobs to promote your new location?), product placements, email campaigns, public relations (a column in your local newspaper is unbeatable), community outreach programs, award, team and event sponsorships, QR codes, branded store promotional items, free samples, and so on and so on.
Your ability to reach your market(s) – those groups of customers that make up the largest percentage of potential customers – will ultimately determine the techniques that will give you the best return on your investment. Choose wisely. But take note, everything you do to promote your store is a really good thing. Just do it, do it well and do it often. • by Doug Muldoon
The 35th Annual Guelph Organic Conference & Trade Show (Jan. 28-31, 2016) will connect hundreds of like-minded individuals again this year.
“It’s a wonderful showcase of organic foods – many Ontario based,” says Almut Pfenning of Pfenning’s Organic & More in St. Agatha, Ontario. “It’s so awesome, it gives me goose bumps.” For over 18 years, Almut, her husband Wolfgang and their children have had a booth at the event. “We are educators in food. We want to convey the message that it is possible to heal yourself with food and to use food as medicine. It can be possible to lose touch with food when you are also selling creams, supplements and other items,” says Almut.
“The people at the conference understand the value of good food. You look at them and their faces have colour and rosy cheeks. They know how to cook and appreciate the vegetables that we sell at our booth,” notes Almut.
Not only does the conference draw hundreds of consumers, like those shopping with Almut, it also attracts many other key players in the organic category such as retailers, growers, market garden producers, suppliers, advocates and others.
“We see a lot of our own growers and get a chance to talk with them in person,” says Almut. “We have also made connections for our store.” For example, “we have found suppliers of meat and apples through the conference.”
“It’s a real cross section of people who come to the conference,” notes Tomas Nimmo, Conference Manager. “From government representatives to certifiers to growers, to movers and shakers – we’ve got them all attending. That’s a lot of knowledge and resources gathered in one spot.”
“Organics is in an upswing right now, but it’s important the sector really solidifies its position,” says Tomas. “Like any expanding business model, there are challenges. By having strong connections, the sector will be better prepared to deal with whatever comes its way,” he emphasizes.
“What always strikes me about the conference, and the organic sector, is the willingness of people to give information and share,” notes Tomas. “I always say ‘never stop promoting.’ I’ll rest a little easier when organic is more than 10% of market share. That’s when it will be really big,” says Tomas.
This year’s conference will feature over 150 exhibitors including Pfenning’s Organic (both the farm distributor and Almut’s store), Ontario Natural Food Co-op, Nature’s Path, Crofters, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods, Sunshine Pickles, Organics Live and dozens more. The workshop schedule is jam packed with 42 program offerings covering a diverse range of topics including certification, pollination, urban gardening, organic crop & livestock production, biodynamics and much more.
The Guelph Organic Conference takes place January 28 to 31, 2016. Registration, maps & details can be found at www.guelphorganicconf.ca. For those interested in exhibiting in 2017, contact Tomas Nimmo at 705-444-0923 or email@example.com to be added to the waiting list. •
News, Views and Happenings in the world of Canadian Natural Health.