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5@5: Grocery retailers feel impact of protests | Meal kits shine during lockdown

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.

June 3, 2020

2 Min Read
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Grocery retailers feel impact as nationwide protests escalate

Food retailers across the country are feeling the effects of protests and curfews in the form of forced closings, damaged stores, vandalism and curtailed hours. Whole Foods Market, for example, has temporarily closed some of its locations and suspended online delivery orders at its store across from Bryant Park in Manhattan. But Minneapolis-based Target has largely stuck out in the media for its proximity to the ongoing protests; the retail chain is closing upwards of 20 stores indefinitely. Read more at Supermarket News...


Meal kits thrive during coronavirus lockdown

Consumers are cooking more and avoiding grocery stores, so it's no surprise that meal kits are making a comeback. To retain subscriptions post-pandemic, some companies are offering more flexible menu options and boosting marketing efforts via text, email and social media. Notably, some restaurants have also been getting into the meal kit market; Panera Bread is set to offer make-your-own salad and sandwich kits along with its usual menu, and Chick Fil A is launching chicken dinner kits for delivery or pickup. Read more at The Wall Street Journal...


Tyson reinstates policy that penalizes absentee workers

Although the meatpacking giant recently confirmed 591 positive COVID-19 cases at its Storm Lake, Iowa, plant, Tyson Foods will once again begin penalizing workers for missing work due to illness. The company has stated that employees who test positive for the virus or have clear symptoms should stay at home, but experts and unions remain hesitant that meatpacking plants should reopen at all. Read more at Bloomberg...


How fostering empathy for the people who feed us could change our food system

Minorities largely make our food system happen, and yet they face an unacceptably high level of systemic inequality, poverty and discrimination. COVID-19, however, has led to an unprecedented growing interest in local food systems, which often leave big companies with problematic policies out of the picture. One expert also argues that we also need to "reconsider the value of food and the labor behind it," as the current system holds maximizing the productivity of food workers' labor above all else, and all this cheap food comes at a very human price. Read more at Civil Eats...


Vegan seafood: The next plant-based meat trend?

Faux seafood represents a very small part of the food supply chain, making up just 1% of all retail sales of plant-based meat in 2019 in the U.S. The problem is two-fold: these brands typically focus on one particular type of alternative seafood, and most products don't come close nutrition-wise to the real thing. But the high demand for seafood and dwindling natural supply has driven innovation in this space that investors would do well to keep tabs on. Read more at BBC...

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