[email protected]: Private label brands aren't just about price anymore | Industry coalition promotes CRISPR

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.

Retail’s secret weapon is the private label

Except it’s not so secret, really. The recent announcement that Jet.com—an e-commerce site owned by Walmart—would launch a private brand is just one example. Kroger is also leaning on its store brands for sales growth, and Amazon has taken Whole Foods Market’s 365 brand online. Surprisingly, private labels' market share hasn’t grown much over the last year; in fact, it dropped slightly in 2016. But what’s making them exciting now is that, instead of trying to be a lower-priced version of national brands’ products, private brands are developing their own identities. With them, retailers are trying to build beloved consumer brands. And in an era where consumers can do price comparisons on national brands on their phones in an instant, that could be a boon to retailers. Read more at Bloomberg…

 

Amid GMO strife, food industry vies for public trust in CRISPR technology

The food and agriculture industry-backed Coalition for Responsible Gene Editing in Agriculture is on the offensive, hoping to keep the word “CRISPR” from developing the same negative connotation that the words “GMO” and “genetically engineered” have taken on with consumers. CRISPR—Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats—is a specific gene editing technique that allows scientists to change the way genes are expressed, and it’s being used to develop new crops that don't brown, for example, or are resistant to certain diseases. Charlie Arnot, who leads the coalition, says companies using CRISPR have to be more transparent and engaged in public conversation than in the past, and they need to build consumer trust by explaining exactly what it is. But food and environmental groups already raising concerns about regulatory oversight and safety. Read more at NPR…

 

At Plated, the future of meal kit services is at grocery stores

Five-year-old meal kit company Plated was acquired by Albertsons last month, which will give it access to a network of more than 2,000 retail stores, plus suppliers, delivery services and—most importantly—active shoppers. Perhaps the biggest challenge for the meal kit industry thus far has been customer acquisition and retention, so the Plated founders have long known that retailer would be part of their story. The company's meal kits are expected to begin appearing in stores by year’s end. Read more at Fast Company…

 

Canada bans Soylent meal replacement over nutrition claims

The powdered drink apparently doesn’t meet the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s standards for “meal replacement,” CEO Rob Rhinehart said on the product’s website. Read more at BBC News…

 

Suja Juice cofounder launches liquid lipstick line

Lawless Beauty, founded by Suja cofounder Annie Lawless, features eight SKUs free of petroleums, parabens, sulfates and more. Read more at Food & Wine…

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