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5@5: Amazon expands Whole Foods locations | Will Farm Bill prevent dairy industry decline?

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.

Amazon plans to add Whole Foods stores

In order to expand the consumer base for its increasingly popular two-hour Prime Now delivery service, Amazon is preparing to build Whole Foods stores to more suburbs and other yet unknown territory. While Prime discounts have allegedly hurt Whole Foods’ margins, Amazon is investing to boost presence and plans on reaping a greater payoff once product selection and growth is increased at Whole Foods. Read more at The Wall Street Journal …

 

Can Farm Bill help fight dairy industry decline?

 

The U.S. dairy industry—mostly the country’s small, organic dairy farms—is facing its lowest year-on-year growth since 2013. The 2018 Farm Bill however, may offer some help in the form of expanding “some subsidies for larger dairy farmers and [offering] lower premiums to participate in a federal program that provides compensation when milk prices drop below a certain level.” The funding that this most recent Farm Bill provided for organic practices and research should also have a beneficial effect on the U.S.’s organic dairy industry. Read more at Forbes 

 

Nestle plans vegan push with no-meat burger, purple walnut milk

Nestle is sowing the seeds for its vegan business to grow to $1 billion within the next ten years. The Swiss company is competing against rivals such as Unilever, companies that are rushing to occupy the plant-based sphere in the face of lagging sales among an increasingly vegan-curious consumer base. The company’s research team is also planning on releasing a blue-tinged soy milk alternative made from walnuts and blueberries, among other plant-based innovations. Read more at Bloomberg …

 

Voice shopping grew threefold during the holidays

Three times as many consumers used Amazon’s voice-based Alexa shopping service this past holiday season relative to the previous year. Now that 55 percent of Americans are using smart speakers for various purposes, it is unsurprising that voice commerce is growing fast, even though it is still a niche way to shop. Smart speaker services must keep in mind the statistics showing that payment habits are hard to change, and they need to offer customers alluring cost-based incentives to keep them interested.  Read more at Business Insider  ...

 

American farmers brace for more pain as Pacific trade deal kicks in without the US

A major Pacific trade deal has come into effect that will negatively impact America’s already financially burdened farmers. According to the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the U.S. would have seen a $131 billion increase in income had President Trump chosen to stay in TPP, but will now endure losses of $2 billion in income. And as the CTPP increases in members, “the pressure on U.S. goods overseas would likely keep rising." Read more at CNBC  

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