Not all clutter aliment is created equal. Newman O’s are OK. Oreos, comestible kin to the Newman cookie, are not. Blooming Mountain Tortilla Strips get the blooming light. Nacho Cheese Doritos in the ablaze red bag get the red one.
That’s how these candy assemblage up according to Advantageous Living Market & Café. The grocery abundance in South Burlington, with a annex in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., afresh adopted academic artefact standards that behest what it will and will not sell.
Advantageous Living is eliminating from its aliment articles that accommodate one or added of the afterward ingredients: added hormones, antibiotics, bogus fats and auto fats, high-fructose blah syrup, bogus sweeteners, albino or bromated flour, bogus colors, bogus flavors, and bogus preservatives.
Articles with the behind apparatus are actuality phased out of the account and will be gone by January 2019, according to CEO Eli Lesser-Goldsmith, 41. He owns the 300-person aggregation with his sister, arch operating administrator Nina Lesser-Goldsmith, 35; and their mother, Katy Lesser, who founded the business 36 years ago.
Oreos accommodate high-fructose blah syrup; Newman O’s don’t. The 28-ingredient account for Doritos (or more, depending on how you count) includes bogus flavors and bogus colors (Yellow 6, Yellow 5 and Red 40). Blooming Mountain tortilla chips accommodate aloof three ingredients: stone-ground blah flour, non-hydrogenated safflower oil and/or sunflower oil, and salt.
“We are natural-food stores, and we accept consistently been — and we’re appreciative of that heritage,” Eli Lesser-Goldsmith said. “Katy has been a trailblazing baton in the natural-foods industry for over 30 years.”
Advantageous Living isn’t the aboriginal natural-food grocery to ban assertive substances from its shelves; predecessors accommodate Whole Foods Market and Earth Fare, which attach to agnate guidelines, according to their websites. Meeting the new standards requires no abundant changes at the stores, nor will it affect prices, said Lesser-Goldsmith. He estimated that almost one percent of the store’s 33,000 articles — or some 350 of them — accept been or will be removed or replaced to accommodated the new criteria. These accommodate assertive brands of sauces, he said, such as Huy Fong Foods’ sriracha (artificial preservative) and Roland Hoisin Sauce (caramel coloring).
The standards administer to able foods and bounded fare; beer and wine will be exempt. One bounded bakery that aliment Advantageous Living will alter its recipes and capacity to accede with the standards, according to Lesser-Goldsmith, who didn’t name the baker.
Lesser-Goldsmith lives in Burlington with his wife and two adolescent sons. He accelerating from Mount Mansfield Union High School and Brandeis University, breadth he advised economics and philosophy. Seven Canicule talked with him in his appointment at Advantageous Living about the store’s artefact standards, his own snacking pleasures and more.
SEVEN DAYS: Can you briefly explain the artefact changes you are authoritative at Advantageous Living and what it agency for consumers?
ELI LESSER-GOLDSMITH: For years, Advantageous Living has been accepted as a abode to get advantageous food. We’re now acceptable abundant added specific about what that agency in an attack to advance our business, advance our business and abstracted ourselves from the competition.
The changes that we’re authoritative are adopting this absolutely boxy set of artefact standards that we feel the apple is headed toward, our guests accept been allurement for, and that our agents believes in as a mission and a eyes of our company.
SD: What collection the decision?
EL: We’ve been talking about it for years, and it aloof acquainted like the appropriate affair to do accustomed that we already — for years — didn’t accept in these ingredients. It acquainted like now is the time to do it. Our cast is growing. We’ve got new aliment we’re planning, and this is aloof a accustomed progression.
The aliment industry is burst up into two parts: accepted grocery and accustomed grocery. This product-standards account is alike with the natural-foods industry. And that’s who we are. That’s the blazon of artefact our guests appetite and accept been affairs for many, abounding years.
SD: How did you baddest the criteria?
EL: We advised accompany of ours in the industry nationwide, and we anticipation this was a acceptable starting point. And I appetite to accomplish the point that we will be abacus to this account and accretion it, and [we] are activity added into assertive departments such as bloom and beauty, aftermath and meat. This is what consumers are allurement for; they appetite to apperceive what’s in their food. They appetite accuracy aural capacity and brands. This delivers the results.
A bedfellow in a focus accumulation already told me, “I adulation your abundance because I [could] let my kid run about the store, and no amount what they brought aback to the cart, I didn’t accept to say no.” That resonated with us for abounding years. And now I feel alike added assured that the articles that they’re allotment and their kids are attractive at are OK.
SD: How has the accession of new grocery aliment in the greater Burlington breadth — City Market South End, Trader Joe’s, Market 32 and now Target — afflicted business at Advantageous Living?
EL: We are in one of the best aggressive industries in America, and we accept been for over 30 years. And we accept succeeded by a aggregate of actuality scrappy, of actuality innovative, of alert to our guests, afterward trends and consistently blockage one footfall advanced of our competition.
SD: Accept you and your agents been account labels? On a applied level, how did you anticipate the information?
EL: We accept a aggregation of class managers, eight of them, and they hand-select every artefact that’s in the store. We assurance this accumulation of bodies to abbey the articles in all the departments in our store. They’re experts in those departments. They alive and breathe these products. Yes, they go over every artefact and accept for years.
We assurance the class managers, and we’re acute affidavits and affidavit from all the brands that advertise to us. Isn’t that awesome? That builds assurance with our guests. That agency that we’ve vetted those articles for them. We’ve done the work. You see bodies account labels: That’s the allotment of the assignment we’re accomplishing for them. Back you accept addition with a bloom condition, and their doctor is saying, “You absolutely accept to cut bottomward on auto fats or high-fructose blah syrup,” Advantageous Living becomes a abundant easier abode to shop.
SD: What and back was your aboriginal job at Advantageous Living? What did you bite on at assignment in those days?
EL: I started alive at Advantageous Living back I was 8 years old in a 1,000-square-foot abundance in the Blue Mall [in South Burlington]. Bagging raisins, blockage bodies out, sweeping, bagging, acquirements the business. I apparently [ate] lots of aggregate foods. We were absolutely abundant into bulk; that was a big access point into the industry. There were lots of absorbing mixes and granolas and broiled fruits that 8-year-old boys would adulation to bite on.
SD: What’s your admired snack?
EL: My admired bite is this new beef hasty we aloof brought on. It’s a sugar-free jerky, and it is wonderful. I’m aggravating to eat beneath amoroso in my life.
SD: Your mother founded this aggregation in 1986. What was her role in this decision?
EL: Katy has consistently believed in these ethics for food. This puts in autograph what she’s been adage for years. It legitimizes aggregate she’s been saying.
SD: Are there any hormone-laden or high-fructose blah syrup-dosed articles you’re activity to absence on the shelves — that you’ll out and buy achieve else?
EL: We never had those articles to activate with. But I’m a bad boy sometimes aloof like everybody abroad — but aggregate in moderation.
SD: Do you guys accept affairs to body addition abundance in Vermont or elsewhere?
EL: We are developing two added aliment appropriate now. [Lesser-Goldsmith beneath to busy on those affairs but said the approaching aliment will attach to the new artefact standards.] The standards are forever. This is Advantageous Living; this is allotment of our amount ethics activity forward. This is the aing progression for Advantageous Living.
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