upcycling almond shells Thinkstock/studiodr

[email protected]: New uses for almond waste | Competition heating up in meal kit market

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.

This USDA lab is turning billions of pounds of almond waste into beer, plastic and power

With every pound of almonds grown comes at least two pounds of shells and hulls. And when you think about the popularity of almonds as ingredients in healthy products and dairy alternatives—that’s a lot of almonds being produced, and a lot of waste, too. Hulls are often fed to cows, and smaller shells can be used in livestock bedding, but farmers and processors are looking for new, more valuable uses. A USDA research center in Berkeley, California, is exploring using shells to make bio-based plastics or improve postconsumer recycled plastic, and extracting sugar from the hulls to make hard cider and beer, or to feed to bees. The goal is to seed ideas that companies could bring to market. Read more at Fast Company…

 

HelloFresh buys organic rival in bid to overtake Blue Apron

German meal kit company HelloFresh—which ranks second in the U.S. meal kit market—is adding its Colorado-based competitor’s organic and special diet-friendly meals to its arsenal as it looks to turn a profit and surpass Blue Apron this year. Read more at Bloomberg Quint…

 

Starbucks issues a $10M challenge: Design a compostable coffee cup

In partnership with Closed Loop Partners’ Center for the Circular Economy, Starbucks launched the NextGen Cup Challenge initiative to issue grants for potential inventors of a fully recyclable and compostable cup. The challenge isn’t so much the paper in the cup but rather the waterproof lining inside. Read more at USA Today…

 

Whole Foods outlines new Prime loyalty program with its suppliers

The retailer held a meeting Tuesday in Austin to address speculation and concerns around some of the changes it's made with key suppliers. Before the meeting, Whole Foods COO A.C. Gallo told Fortune that selling products to Whole Foods had become complicated and cumbersome because of its decentralized model, so it worked on a “hybrid system” in which large suppliers work just with the global team, and regional buyers scout new items in local markets. It also moved the work that suppliers used to rely on brokerage networks for in-house and added a fee for those services. At the meeting, Whole Foods also planned to discuss its new inventory management system and rewards program. Read more at Fortune…

 

Driven by a green heartbeat: Family’s natural first-aid salve mixes passion with success

Women-owned body care company Green Goo makes what it sounds like it makes—gooey plant-based salves that act as a topical antibiotic and itch relief. Since its bumpy start in 2009, the company has found its way into Walmart, Albertsons and a host of smaller natural products stores. Read more at Inventors Digest…

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