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[email protected]: In search of the next big sweetener | The problem with Daiya's acquirer

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.

War on sugar has food giants vying to make stevia tastier

What was once a little-known herb is now a $4 billion industry. As consumers have been slowly turning away from sugar, stevia consumption tripled over the last five years, according to Euromonitor. Even though it represents just 1 percent of sweetener sales, stevia's rise is indicative of the demand for a low-calorie sugar substitute that doesn’t alter the taste of iconic foods. Cargill introduced its stevia-based Truvia sweetener in 2008, and more than 10,000 stevia-sweetened products have hit the market since, according to PureCircle Ltd. But its bitter taste has been a barrier for continued growth. Many companies think improving taste could reboot growth. Cargill plans to debut its next-generation stevia EverSweet in 2018, while ED&F Man is planning a new product this year. Read more at Bloomberg...

 

We regret to inform you that your vegan cheese is now problematic

Daiya, a beloved vegan brand, was recently acquired by the Japanese pharmaceutical brand Otsuka, which, like many pharmaceutical brands, conducts testing on animals. Some vegan grocery stores pulled the company’s products from its shelves, and an online petition urging Daiya to reject the acquisition has garnered more than 6,000 signatures. But other vegans say consumers shouldn’t be boycotting a move that could make plant-based foods cheaper and more widely available. Read more at The Outline…

 

A Burt’s Bees makeup line is coming and it’s their biggest launch to date

Burt’s Bees Beauty, set to hit stores this fall, is a full line of cosmetics featuring foundations, mascara, lipsticks and more formulated without parabens, phthalates, SLS synthetic fragrances, talc or silicones. The company, which has been making lip balms and skin care products for more than 30 years, expanded into functional foods with the launch of protein powder earlier this year. Read more at Bustle...

 

California farms produce a lot of food—but what and how much might surprise you

There are more than 77,000 farms in the state, and they produce two-thirds of the nation’s fruits and nuts. California’s top-valued commodities include milk, almonds, grapes, cattle and berries. Read more at The Mercury News…

 

Swiss supermarket introduces mealworm ‘insect burgers’

Burger patties and “meatballs” made from mealworms will soon be on the menu in seven locations of the Coop grocery chain in Switzerland. The products are manufactured by Essento. Read more at UPI…

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