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Natural Prophets

From Health Foods to Whole Foods—How the Pioneers of the Industry Changed the Way We Eat and Reshaped American Business

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


The e-book edition includes 46 exclusive photos and expanded content!

From a handful of idealistic farmers and local co-ops in the 1960s to the domination of juggernauts like Whole Foods, the wild success of the natural and organic foods industry proves that principled business is not just possible, but profitable. With nearly unfettered double-digit annual growth, the development of this now-$88 billion industry is one of the most remarkable untold stories in American business history. Trailblazers like Mo Siegel of Celestial Seasonings, Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farms, and John Mackey of Whole Foods openly challenged the interests of Big American Agribusiness, transformed food manufacturing and retailing, and re-wrote the playbook for small entrepreneurs.

Joe Dobrow, a 20-year veteran of the natural foods industry who had a front row seat (and backstage pass) to much of the upheaval and expansion he describes, characterizes the radical vision of these "natural prophets" as one part anti-industrial activism, one part bold opportunism, and one part new-era marketing genius. The triple bottom line--people, planet, profit--emerged as a major new lodestone for successful, values-based business practices.

Natural Prophets is a fascinating narrative account of these upstart Davids--their failures and their unprecedented successes--that distills lessons about management, marketing, and entrepreneurial growth, and offers a lively, urgent profile of an industry that continues to change the way we eat, the way we live, and the way we think about ourselves.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 14, 2014 – Marketing executive Dobrow charts the remarkable growth of the natural food industry over the past 15-plus years in this enlightening volume. Having worked with companies such as Fresh Fields, Whole Foods, Balducci's, and Sprouts, he offers valuable insight on how consumer demands evolve and the ways in which organic food producers work to meet these changes. Dobrow introduces key moments and players, combining history and sociology with "biographical memoir, and corporate profile." He explores the influence of widespread critiques chemical agriculture such as Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and, more recently, Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. The author also profiles the forerunners behind particularly successful natural food brands including Mo Siegel, who started Celestial Seasonings in Colorado, Bob Moore who turned Bob's Red Mill "into a $120 million business selling a wide variety of wholesome stone-ground grains, flours, and cereals," among others. Their stories prove interesting and their continued success reflects the increasing popularity of the industry as a whole.
Natural Prophets
View in iTunes
  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Business & Personal Finance
  • Published: Feb 18, 2014
  • Publisher: Rodale
  • Seller: Rodale Inc.
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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