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5@5: Brandless fails to disrupt CPG industry | Uploading beehives to the 'cloud'

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.

Brandless wants to create the next great consumer packaged goods brand — but it hasn’t built customer loyalty yet

Brandless’ appeal lies in the extremely low price point of the roughly 350 products it sells, coupled with its high-quality standards and transparent production process. About a year ago, Brandless was forecast to disrupt the $760 billion US CPG industry. Thus far, however, the company lacks customer retention; not to mention, an absence of bricks-and-mortar stores has strongly hindered the company’s potential growth. Read more at Recode ...

 

Can connecting beehives to the cloud save pollinators?

Connecting beehives to technology that can record humidity, honey production and overall hive health could give these important beings a shot at survival as climate change and pollution wreak havoc on environmental norms. Beekeepers can learn from their own and collective data how to best care for their hives, and how to detect and prevent hive illness or collapse early on. Read more at Fast Company 

 

Mad cow disease found in the UK for the first time since 2015

A small farm in Aberdeenshire, eastern Scotland is the site of the first instance of mad cow disease, or "BSE," since 2015. The Scottish press have released a statement emphasizing that the animal did not enter the food supply, and Scotland's red meat industry is safe to be exported. Should more cases of BSE be detected, however, it is likely that countries will cease all importation of British beef. The additional cost of the industry for taking pains to ensure no other cows are infected is projected to be around $5 million pounds per year. Read more at Bloomberg  …

 

Israeli plant-based protein company Equinom raises $4M

Equinom is a computational breeding company that was founded in 2012. It specializes in strains of non-GMO legumes containing 50 percent more protein than the breeds currently in circulation. The multi-year agreement the company has entered into with Roquette and Fortissimo Capital will allow for the full commercialization of Equinom’s high-protein pea varieties, as well as give Equinom the chance to use its software-based breeding program to safely enhance other crops. Read more at Globes …

 

Beauty industry-funded study suggests microplastics are not causing harm to the environment

Microplastics have been a hot topic for years now, with several countries including the US, UK and Japan banning those small plastic beads once found in cosmetic products. Now, a new meta-analysis of 320 microplastic studies argues that these conclusions neglect to acknowledge the damaging effect of the same kinds of microplastics that come from, for example, car tires. Keep in mind, however, that the meta-analysis was funded by the Personal Care Products Council—a trade group representing the cosmetics industry. Read more at Motherboard …

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