Rodale Ventures into Online Retailing

Rodale Inc.—the company that launched the American organic movement and the leading authority on healthy, eco-friendly living—is launching the first online shopping destination specializing in handpicked luxury and sustainably sourced goods.

Rodale’s (www.rodales.com) combines 70+ years of the company’s unmatched heritage in organic lifestyle and environmental stewardship, as well as the expertise of its healthy, active living brands that include Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Prevention, Bicycling, Runner’s World and Organic Gardening, to bring together beautiful, sophisticated, responsibly sourced products in one place.

Designed for an effortless and enjoyable shopping experience, Rodale’s will offer stylish, well-made and consciously curated items across most retail categories that include apparel; accessories and beauty; kitchen and garden; fitness; bed and bath; gifts and books; and general care. All products at Rodale’s are carefully vetted in a rigorous process to ensure quality, performance and compliance with health-minded environmental standards, including certifications such as USDA Organic, NATRUE, Natural Products Association, GOTS, Oeko-Tex®, Fair Trade Certified™ and more.

Select artisanal vendors featured at launch include Stewart+Brown apparel, Vapour Organic Beauty, Gabrielle Sanchez jewelry, Riess enamelware, Eileen Fisher apparel, and Intelligent Nutrients beauty, among many others. These brands and others will also offer exclusive and original products that aim to set a new standard for an evolved shopping experience based on their innovative and earth-conscious designs.

“It’s time for an online store to offer one place to discover stylish, sophisticated products that also provide peace of mind,” said Maria Rodale, chairman and CEO of Rodale Inc. “In a world crowded with so many choices—and often-misleading information—we no longer have to compromise our health and environmental values, and that’s truly wonderful.

Rodale’s is the next step in our company’s ongoing mission to make the world a healthier and happier place. We want to help shape the future of conscious consumerism by embedding a new standard for responsibly created merchandise.”

The site’s navigation tools will allow shoppers to discover products by searching via rooms or collection: NOURISH for Kitchen & Garden; INHABIT for Bed & Bath. Style and personal care categories will be experienced as: TEND for Skin & Body; WEAR for Apparel; ADORN for Accessories & Beauty; MOVE for Fitness. Original editorial content designed to encourage vibrant, healthy living will include a mix of video, engaging product stories and healthy lifestyle stories.

Rodale is in a strong position to diversify into e-commerce and has recently posted healthy advertising gains across its portfolio of brands, which contributed to a record revenue-generating first half period for the company. Rodale’s is the first stand-alone e-commerce initiative to come directly from a publisher without the involvement of outside partners. The site is led by a team of experienced digital marketers, buyers and merchandisers and is led by Rodale Senior VP/General Manager Anthony Astarita, who previously led the team at Barnes & Noble that created the NOOK. Reporting to Astarita is Executive Director of Merchandising Michele Barbone, formerly of Saks Fifth Avenue and Anthropologie.

Tempur-Pedic Announces Name Change To Tempur Sealy International, Inc.

Tempur-Pedic International Inc. has announced that stockholders approved the change of the company’s name to Tempur Sealy International, Inc. at the company’s annual meeting of stockholders on May 22, 2013.

The corporate name Tempur Sealy International, Inc. recognizes the transformational nature of the recent combination of Tempur-Pedic and Sealy. Tempur-Pedic completed the acquisition of Sealy Corporation on March 18, 2013. The company’s portfolio of iconic brands and consumer-facing marketing will not be affected by the corporate name change and thus will continue to be represented in the market as they are today. The company’s global corporate headquarters will be in Lexington, Ky. and its subsidiaries will continue with their existing names.

Mark Sarvary, president and chief executive officer commented, “While the Tempur Sealy International name is new, our well recognized industry leading global brands remain distinct. I am very optimistic about the future growth potential for our company.”

The company also is launching a new corporate website: www.tempursealy.com. The site features information on the company, including its brands, history, and leadership, as well as links to relevant investor and press materials.

Salad Zinger Heightens Healthy Eating, Culinary Creativity

Zing Anything has come up with a way to change your reliance on bottled salad dressings that may include ingredients like hydrogenated oils, colorings, sugar and other things that you’re trying to avoid. The Salad Zinger is a tool that is easy to use, eco-friendly, and gives you an edge in creating delicious, healthy dressings and oils that bring a whole new appeal to their food.

“Salad Zinger allows people to easily infuse their healthy oils and vinegars with flavors from the all-natural ingredients of their choice, resulting in dressings that are fresh, wholesome and more delicious than anything pre-made,” says Zing Anything CEO Joshua Lefkovitz. “It’s been our experience that once someone begins to see the potential of the Salad Zinger, their creativity in the kitchen goes to a whole new level, and their satisfaction with their food goes through the roof.”

Salaz ZingerThrough a bottom-mounted grinder, the Salad Zinger extracts all-natural flavors and instantly infuses them into oils and vinegars via a stainless steel screen, creating a silky, smooth, delicious dressing. You just need to add fresh ingredients, reattach the bottom cup with a twist, add some liquid, and shake. The product is made from BPA/EA-free Tritan plastics, 18/8 stainless steel blades, and is easy to clean. Best of all, the possibilities above and beyond salad dressings are endless: flavored oils and vinegars for dipping, marinating, and sauteing; delicious additions to dishes such as pastas, rice and potatoes; drizzling oils for topping favorite grilled meats.

Zing Anything’s Salad Zinger is available for purchase at Brookstone, www.zinganything.com. and other fine retailers, with a suggested retail price of $24.95. For more information, visit www.zinganything.com..

White Vegetables Redeemed!

White vegetables can provide key nutrients lacking in the diets of many Americans, and they can help increase overall vegetable consumption,  according to the authors of a special scientific supplement published last week in the peer-reviewed journal, Advances in Nutrition.

In fact, a key finding was that color does not necessarily predict nutritive value of a vegetable. White vegetables, including nutrient-dense potatoes, contribute important amounts of essential shortfall nutrients to the American diet across all age groups.  This includes potassium—a nutrient essential to healthy blood pressure, of which only 3 percent of American adults consume the recommended daily amount.

“It’s recommended that the variety of fruits and vegetables consumed daily should include dark green and orange vegetables, but no such recommendation exists for white vegetables, even though they are rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin C and magnesium,” says the supplement’s editor Connie Weaver, PhD, distinguished professor of nutrition science at Purdue University. “Overall, Americans are not eating enough vegetables. Promoting white vegetables, some of which are common and affordable, may be a pathway to increasing vegetable consumption in general.”

The Advances in Nutrition supplement, “White Vegetables: A Forgotten Source of Nutrients,” published by the American Society for Nutrition, features ten papers by leading nutrition scientists that explore the state of the science on white vegetables (potatoes, cauliflower, onions, mushrooms, turnips and kohlrabi) in supporting a healthy diet. The supplement authors identify a substantial body of evidence demonstrating  that white vegetables, such as potatoes, can help increase intake of shortfall nutrients, notably fiber, potassium and magnesium, as well as help increase overall vegetable consumption among children, teens and adults in the U.S.

Why Nutrients Found in Potatoes are Important to Your Good Health

There is good reason potatoes are a staple food of choice for cultures throughout the world. In addition to their flavor and versatility, potatoes, especially with skin, are an important source of the following nutrients, which play a vital role in your good health.  Just read the label:

Potassium: Diets rich in potassium and low in sodium reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke.  Accumulating evidence also suggests that increasing dietary potassium and lowering sodium can provide greater heart health than intervention alone.

Vitamin C: This nutrient acts as an antioxidant, which helps prevent cellular damage.  Vitamin C also aids in collagen production, a process that helps maintain healthy gums and is important in healing wounds.  It also assists with the absorption of iron and may help support the body’s immune system.

Vitamin B6: This nutrient helps the body make non-essential amino acids needed to make various body proteins.  It is a cofactor for several enzymes involved in energy metabolism and it is required for the synthesis of hemoglobin—an essential component of red blood cells.

Magnesium: This essential mineral is involved in more than 300 metabolic reactions including the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, the conduction of nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm. In addition, magnesium plays a structural role in bone and cell membranes and is required for a number of steps during nucleic acid (DNA and RNA) and protein synthesis.

Dietary fiber: Dietary fiber is a complex carbohydrate. It has been shown to improve blood lipid levels, regulating blood glucose and increasing satiety, which may help with weight loss.

Resistant starch: the consumption of resistant starch may help regulate blood glucose levels and favorably alter bacteria in the colon.  Emerging research in animals has linked resistant starch to satiety.

The journal supplement is the outcome of a June 2012 Purdue University roundtable on white vegetable nutrition. The forum was supported by an unrestricted grant by the Alliance for Potato Research and Education, a non-for-profit organization dedicated to expanding and translating the latest scientific research and information on potato nutrition, consumption and affordability.

The executive summary for “White Vegetables: A Forgotten Source of Nutrients,” is available at http://advances.nutrition.org/content/4/3/318S.full.pdf+html. All papers are available at http://advances.nutrition.org/content/4/3#content-block.

For more nutrition information or a vast collection of healthy potato recipes, visit www.potatogoodness.com.

Be Berry Aware Website Offers Nutritional Information about Cranberries

Fast facts on how and why to select high-content cranberry juice or visit BeBerryAware.com.  (PRNewsFoto/United Cranberry Growers Cooperative)

A newly launched consumer education campaign called Be Berry Aware is helping consumers identify high quality cranberry juices that pack the nutritional benefits they have come to expect from the beverage. Most people know that cranberries have health benefits, but many consumers don’t know which cranberry juices actually have a significant amount of cranberry content. Cranberry growers want you to know which cranberry juice products offer the highest content of cranberry juice.
The growers enlisted the help of cranberry researchers to develop innovative techniques for analyzing the chemical components of cranberry juice. Up until a couple of years ago it was difficult to characterize the components that make cranberries unique. All fruits contain compounds that are generally referred to as ‘polyphenols.’ In the case of cranberry, this general group of polyphenols can be broken down into more specific sub-classes; a type of tannin called proanthocyanidin (PAC), flavonols, anthocyanins and hydroxycinnamic acids. It is the PAC that contributes many of the health benefits associated with cranberry consumption. Now, these cutting-edge techniques allow researchers to differentiate a cranberry PAC from a grape PAC, apple PAC, etc.
“Collectively, polyphenols represent a ‘fingerprint’ of the cranberry fruit. Our innovative techniques provide information both quantitatively (how much of the compound is present) and qualitatively (what is the shape and complexity of the compound). This information is used for authenticity, standardization and efficacy evaluation of cranberry products,” says Christian Krueger, a research scientist and CEO of Complete Phytochemical Solutions, LLC, which performed the testing on the juice products.

Armed with these new techniques, researches set out to analyze a wide variety of cranberry juices with the goal of identifying juices that contain at least 27 percent cranberry juice. The end result was a list of 10 cranberry juices that consumers can purchase with confidence knowing they are high in cranberry content. Cranberry juice lovers can visit www.BeBerryAware.com for a list of these cranberry juice products along with information on the specific nutritional benefits of cranberries and a link to the actual supporting research.

In addition to the Be Berry Aware website, there is also information available to food and nutrition professionals that will help spread the word about the health benefits of cranberries.  A new informational “tool kit” has been developed that will make it easy for registered dieticians to pass along key at-a-glance messages communicating the importance of cranberry juice content and the associated health benefits. A flash drive is available upon request that includes a PowerPoint deck with updated cranberry juice facts and information, and a new InfoGraphic which gives an easy-to-understand summary of why this small fruit packs such big health benefits.

Familiar JC Penney Private Labels Will Return

Home Textiles Today magazine is reporting that returning JC Penney President Mike Ullman will be making a sharp right turn with respect to many of the changes brought in by former CEO Ron Johnson. According to the article, we’re going to see the return of some of the private label brands that had been well identified with JC Penney, including St. John’s Bay and Arizona apparel. We can apparently also expect to see a re-emphasis on JC Penney’s home goods departments.

Thomasville Cabinetry Receives Top Honors In Kitchen Cabinet Satisfaction Study

U.S. homeowners recently ranked Thomasville Cabinetry highest in customer satisfaction among all cabinetry manufacturers, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 U.S. Kitchen Cabinet Satisfaction StudySM. With a score of 800 on a 1,000-point scale, the study results rank Thomasville nearly 30 points above competing cabinetry manufacturers.

Now in its sixth year, the J.D. Power and Associates Kitchen Cabinet Satisfaction Study measures customer satisfaction by measuring five factors: ordering and delivery, price, design features, operational performance and warranty. Thomasville Cabinetry, manufactured by MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc., performs well in all of the categories.

“As a company, our goal is to provide fashionable products at competitive prices that meet or exceed the expectations of today’s homeowners, and being recognized by J.D. Power and Associates is a great honor,” said Brian Eckman, executive vice president of product/brand, MasterBrand Cabinets. “We are both thrilled and humbled to receive this time-honored recognition for our exceptional quality, design features and service.”

The 2013 U.S. Kitchen Cabinet Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 1,800 customers who purchased kitchen cabinets within the previous 12 months. The study was fielded in January and February 2013. All Power Circle Ratings are based on the opinions of a sample of consumers who have used or owned the product or service being rated and are therefore indicative of a typical buying experience.

Together with Thomasville, MasterBrand Cabinets continues to build a reputation as a leading cabinetmaker by committing to four basic principles: quality construction, fashionable products, on-time delivery and complete delivery. Whether moving into a new home or improving a current one, Thomasville Cabinetry experts make dreaming, designing and remodeling ideal living spaces less stressful and overwhelming.

Thomasville Cabinetry is available exclusively at The Home Depot stores nationwide under license by Thomasville Home Furnishings, Inc. For more information on the complete Thomasville Cabinetry product line, visit www.thomasvillecabinetry.com.

KitchenAid Appliances to be Featured in Martha Stewart’s Studio Kitchen

KitchenAid appliances will be showing up in “Martha Bakes,” the new PBS series that just launched, as well as in episodes of “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School” under a deal that’s part of a new overall marketing strategy for the company. KitchenAid has announced that it’s spending an undisclosed amount of money for various product placements and a welter of advertisements and events to promote the idea that, “There’s So Much More to Make.” Also, there will be recipes and cooking demonstrations, just in case you need more than mere inspiration to teach you how to make the most use of your KitchenAid equipment.

Creatively, the campaign’s print and digital advertising mark a departure from more conventional, product-focused appliance advertising. Headlines challenge cooks to “Bring the Whole Fish Home” or “Make Cassoulet on a Tuesday” as a way to test and build their skills. Accompanying copy and images highlight product benefits and show cooks in motion as they rise to the challenge.

“And we’re not stopping at simply issuing these challenges,” notes Cynthia Soledad, KitchenAid’s senior marketing director. “By offering expert tips and techniques via culinary events, the web, cooking shows and social media channels, we’re providing information and inspiration to help meet them.”

Core print media partnerships include Bon Appetit and Food & Wine, both combining major and small appliance advertising with advertorial and video content built around co-sponsored culinary events, including Feast Portland and the Classic in Aspen.

“Knowing that not everyone can attend these events, we’re working with the magazines to capture and share the techniques and recipes offered by celebrity chefs appearing on our own KitchenAid culinary demonstration stages,” said Soledad.

See Video from Bedding Conference

Furniture Today magazine has posted videos from its Furniture Today Bedding Conference at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Arizona. Among the topics is an interview with Dr. Lisa Shives, who specializes in sleep issues, and a conversation with Jodi Allen, chief marketing officer at Sealy, about the growth of Sealy’s specialty sleep sector.

Half of Americans are Sleep Deprived

Blogger Karen Flynn reports on a recent Better Sleep Council survey that found that almost half of Americans could really use more sleep. The Centers for Disease Control called our national insomnia a public health epidemic. The CDC noted that, “Persons experiencing sleep insufficiency are also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.”

On the other hand, some researchers have found that getting too much sleep can also put you at risk for serious health problems, according to the National Sleep Foundation, although it clearly doesn’t want us to worry too much about that possibility, since it’s much likelier that you’re going to have bigger problems if you worry yourself sleepless about how you’ve getting plenty of sleep lately.

The National Sleep Foundation article quotes says Kristen L. Knutson, PhD, Department of Health Studies, University of Chicago: “Currently, there is no strong evidence that sleeping too much has detrimental health consequences, or even evidence that our bodies will allow us to sleep much beyond what is required.”

If summer weren’t coming on and bringing with it long days and shorter nights, I might be willing to try that experiment. As it is, though, the birds outside my window start their singing at dawn, and really, I would hate to miss that most beautiful hour of the day.