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[email protected]: Kimbal Musk's school garden initiative expands | Qualities of high-performing grocery retailers

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.

K. Musk's nonprofit rebrands, continues to expand

Kimbal Musk is renaming and scaling up a nonprofit program that he launched back in 2011 to bring spaces where kids can learn about the science of growing fruits and vegetables to U.S. public schools. Under the new name Big Green, Musk’s team will bring so-called learning gardens to 100 schools in Detroit, plus additional schools in Colorado, Kentucky, California and Texas. It’s a multi-million dollar effort aimed at getting kids outside, connecting them to nature, educating them and giving them a chance to run their own small food operations. Read more at BizWest…

 

Trader Joe’s, Costco and Amazon top list of shoppers’ preferred grocers

Combining a survey of 11,000 U.S. households with retailers’ financial performance, data science company Dunnhumby named Trader Joe’s, Costco, Amazon H-E-B, Walmart, Wegmans, Aldi, Sam's Club, Sprouts Farmers Market and Whole Foods Market shoppers’ most preferred grocers. Dunnhumby's report notes that the top-ranking grocers shared a few effective strategies: a focus on price, quality, value and digital execution. Read more at The Shelby Report…

 

Albertsons’ private label organic brand reaches $1 billion in sales

O Organics may be emerging as a favorite private label grocery brand. Albertsons reported that it has generated $1 billion in sales of O Organics products and plans to introduce some 500 new SKUs this year. The brand already encompasses more than 1,000 SKUs including milk, meats, snacks and baby food. Albertsons, which owns Safeway, Jewel-Osco, Acme and meal kit company Plated, operates stores in 35 states. Read more at Organic Authority…

 

Mexico and Hungary tried junk food taxes—and they seem to be working

Researchers from New York University and Tufts suggest that a sugar tax—like the ones that have been implemented in Hungary, Mexico and eight U.S. municipalities and cities—could work in the U.S. In a review of scientific literature published in the American Journal of Public Health, the researchers make a case for an excise tax on junk food manufacturers—though their suggestions are unlikely to go anywhere with the current administration. Both Mexico and Hungary have seen a reduction in junk food purchases since the taxes were imposed. Read more at Vox…

 

Natural foods co-op celebrates expansion

Vermont’s Middlebury Co-op has been a pillar for local students and residents for more than four decades. It recently unveiled a renovation that added 4,000 square feet of space for more seating, prepared foods and better flow in the store. Read more at The Middlebury Campus…

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