5@5: Supermarkets prioritize big-name brands | Farm-to-door CSAs soar in popularity

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.

May 11, 2020

2 Min Read
supermarket shelves shopping cart groceries

Disruptive food brands get a taste of their own medicine

Better-for-you challenger companies that were stealing the limelight from America's oldest brands up until coronavirus made its way stateside are finding themselves elbowed out of supermarkets as chains reduce the range of products they offer. This is bad news for health-focused startups, as many lack the funding to survive the crisis; new data show that venture-capital investments in consumer brands fell 26% in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019. Read more at The Wall Street Journal


As food supply chain breaks down, farm-to-door CSAs take off

The benefits of local food supply chains have only become more pronounced in recent weeks, and consumers are flocking to community supported agriculture programs for their produce needs as a result. Of course, the boom in CSAs hasn't made up for the lack of business from both farmers markets and restaurants, but it indicates a possible way forward for struggling farmers who have yet to implement online delivery programs. Read more at NPR


Food inspections, citations and recalls slashed amid coronavirus

Food safety advocates are troubled by the current record low number of food recalls as foodborne illness investigations slow down or cease altogether. A USDA spokesperson stated that the agency is relying on the food industry to be accountable for providing safe products until social distancing measures become less stringent. Read more at USA Today


Pork chops vs. People: Battling coronavirus in an Iowa meat plant

Satiating Americans' desire for meat in the next few months will come at a high cost; namely, the lives of thousands of low-wage workers and their communities. Meat processing is a tough, demanding line of work that often requires workers to be in close quarters with each other. Even plants that have reopened under the guise of adding new safety measures are now being called out by employees for lacking protective gear and not following COVID-19 prevention protocols. Read more at The New York Times


Coronavirus is exacerbating America's hunger crisis

America's social safety net is tenuous at best, and the COVID-19 epidemic has unveiled some serious problems related to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in particular. Nearly a third of families receiving SNAP benefits also visit a food bank each month, and the program also recently tightened its guidelines on who is eligible to receive them. With food banks completely overwhelmed at present, some politicians are pushing to make SNAP flexibility and expansion a key part of the next stimulus package. Read more at Vox… 

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