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The most convenient way for manufacturers to communicate with health-food-industry retailers is through the trade magazines Health Products Business (formerly Health Foods Business), Health Supplement Retailer, Natural Foods Merchandiser, Vitamin Retailer, and Whole Foods. Published monthly, all convey information about industry trends, economic and political developments, marketing techniques, the health-food industry's interpretation of nutrition research, and the alleged uses of various types of products. They also contain reader service cards that can be used to request information from any advertiser simply by circling the numbers corresponding to the ads that interest them. The magazines send computer-generated mailing labels to the manufacturers, who then send information to the stores, either directly or through regional distributors. Manufacturers who wish their ads to appear in issues containing articles promoting the ingredients of their products can easily arrange to do so. Each issue of Whole Foods includes a one-page "Consumer Bulletin," which, according to the magazine's publisher, is designed to stimulate sales. These are intended for reproduction and contain space for the store's name and location.
New Hope Natural Media, which publishes Natural Food Merchandiser, is by far the most prolific source of industry information. Its other activities include:
Nutrition Business Journal addresses how dietary supplements, herbs, natural foods, and natural personal care products impact the larger food, pharmaceutical and health care industries. It covers business activities, market size/growth, trends, company profiles, case studies of industry leaders, and revenue data on leading companies.
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This article was updated on July 27, 2000.