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[email protected]: How Ritual grew its vitamin business online | Hospitals—the next frontier for local food?

Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top food and supplement headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

Katerina Schneider wants to change women’s health with Ritual, an Instagrammable vitamin company

Meet Katerina Schneider, the founder and CEO of subscription vitamin company Ritual. She started the company when she was pregnant and began removing questionable ingredients from her house and diet. She spent a year working with a certified nutrition specialist to identify nine essential nutrients that women weren’t getting enough of, and packaged those nutrients in a gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO pill that’s delivered in monthly doses to customers. During her research, she also learned about how nutrients come in different forms and became obsessed with ingredient sourcing; as a result, the company lists the sources of all of its ingredients online. Ritual has raised $15 million to grow the company, which Schneider says has invested heavily into R&D and brand identity. The company’s bread and butter, she says, is the merging of design and science. “Because old-school legacy brands have been focused mainly on selling their products on the shelves, they have no clue how to authentically interact with customers online,” she says. The company packages its vitamins in an Instagram-friendly yellow box and connects with customers through social media. It’s even made a few changes to products because of feedback provided through social media. Read more at Forbes…

 

Not a fan of hospital food? Hospitals are working to change that by growing their own produce

Boston Medical Center is one of an increasing number of hospitals that has set up farms on its property, hired farm managers and invited the community to help harvest produce, with the goal of reducing its environmental footprint and providing local food to patients. On-site gardens and farms are also serving as a gateway for providers to have  deeper conversations with patients about the role of nutrition in health. Read more at USA Today…

 

A look inside 'The Hatchery' food incubator headed to East Garfield Park

The Hatchery broke ground last week on its 67,000-square-foot facility that will feature 56 private kitchens, additional shared kitchens and co-working space for new food-oriented businesses. The project received sponsorship from Kellogg and Conagra, as well as funding from the City of Chicago, and was co-developed by two nonprofits, the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago and Accion Chicago. It's set to open by the end of next year. Read more at Curbed Chicago...

 

49ers invest in America’s first certified organic fast food chicken chain

The Organic Coup, founded by two former Costco executives, has hopes to be in every stadium and ballpark in America. The California fast food chain has a location in AT&T Park and won favor with the 49ers’ leadership team, which has made an investment in the brand as it begins its expansion outside of the state. Read more at Eater San Francisco…

 

Food access advocates walk the long walk…to the nearest grocery store

Nearly 500 people participated in the Grocery Walk in D.C., where they walked two miles carrying signs in an effort to bring awareness to the problem of food deserts and the notion that poor people don’t want healthy food. Organizers hoped that retailers and city officials would take note. In D.C., two-thirds of the district’s supermarkets are concentrated in its wealthiest neighborhoods. Read more at NPR…

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