[email protected]: Inside the quest for meatless meat | How one entrepreneur funded her socially conscious food startup

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.

How to raise capital when your company does well by doing good

Lisa Curtis, the founder of Kuli Kuli, is an example of the many ways a socially conscious entrepreneur can go about raising funds for a new venture. She got her moringa company off the ground with help from friends and family and a rewards-based crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. “The success of the campaign was the encouragement I needed to quit my day job and work on Kuli Kuli full time,” she said. Later, she took on an interest-free loan through Kiva, raised money on the equity crowdfunding platform Agfunder and won grants. Then, three years into the company’s existence, it raised a $4.25 million Series A. Read more at Forbes…

 

Silicon Valley and the search for meatless meat

It was a big year for the plant-based movement, including for the companies working to make meat substitutes. Memphis Meats, which is trying to make meat in a lab using cellular agriculture, without needing to raise and slaughter livestock, closed a $17 million funding round from big-name tech investors. Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, which has raised $275 million, are trying to bring to market plant-based meat substitutes that look and taste like the real thing. Despite the promise of what they’re trying to achieve, there’s a big hurdle in changing consumer ideas about what “meat” means. Then there’s the cost issue—Memphis Meats created a cultured meatball last year that cost $2,400 per pound to make. Here, Fortune takes an in-depth look at the development of these products. Read more at Fortune…

 

Whole Foods is overtaking Amazon’s brands with $10 million in online sales in just 4 months

After four months, Amazon has sold $10 million worth of Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value brand, making it Amazon’s No. 2-selling private-label brand, according to e-commerce analytics company One Click Retail. Read more at Business Insider…

 

How large food retailers can help solve the food waste crisis

Because of their link to both suppliers and consumers, large retailers are uniquely poised to make a dent in the amount of food waste produced in the U.S. Harvard researchers propose a four-pronged strategy to address waste that involves upgrading inventory systems, partnering with farms, re-evaluating traditional store practices and teaming up with consumers. Read more at Harvard Business Review…

 

U.S. pear growers see opportunity in organic and smaller pouches

The pear crop in the Pacific Northwest was down this year, but organic volume was up. “We’re hitting a time where retailers can really put in place strong programs to develop their organic pear business,” says Steve Lutz of CMI. Read more at Fresh Plaza…

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