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5@5: $900B packaging industry keeps growing | Chicken industry cheats farmers

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.

The $900B packaging industry is booming

The packaging industry has seen immense growth over the past six years, and a new report shows that the increase in environmentally conscious consumers, companies and initiatives isn’t slowing it down. This is largely because consumers aren’t willing to pay extra for sustainable packaging and companies have yet to find a cost-effective solution. Read more at Fast Company …

 

Is the US chicken industry cheating its farmers?

Anti-trust officials are in the midst of a grand jury investigation into the highly consolidated U.S. broiler chicken industry. While massive poultry companies “have logged record-breaking profits in recent years,” their farmers are being driven to the brink of bankruptcy and consumers are paying inflated prices for poultry products. Read more at The Guardian …

 

Alcohol producers tout wellness benefits. Health experts say don’t swallow claims

A new wave of alcohol brands are targeting millennials using wellness-centric marketing and branding techniques, such as wine that boasts 25% more antioxidants than normal. However, health researchers and scientists are quick to point out that despite health claims or healthy additions to alcoholic drinks, any alcohol content at all in a given product will negatively affect consumers and have the potential to be addictive. Read more at NPR …

 

‘Cheap and exploitable labor’: New report shows food companies use cultural exchange program to recruit foreign workers

The State Department’s J-1 Visa Summer Work Travel Program is the subject of a new report that exposes the way some companies exploit the program to source cheap labor from overseas. A whopping 67 J-1 visa holders between 2015 and 2017 reported themselves as victims of labor trafficking via a hotline, and there has been a recent push for such workers to be protected under U.S. labor laws. Read more at New Food Economy …

 

Nestle competes with Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods on plant-based meat

Nestle’s Sweet Earth brand is launching its Awesome Burger—clear-cut competition for brands such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods—this September. The product is made out of yellow pea protein and is higher in protein, fiber, sodium and calories than Impossible and Beyond’s alt burgers. Read more at Business Insider …

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