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5@5: Co-ops on the rise | A private equity firm finds success investing in natural

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 rise of the modern food cooperative

Cooperatives, as a whole, have flared up and died down in cycles throughout U.S. history. Today they're on the upswing. The National Co-op Grocers, an association of food cooperatives that buy collectively, has seen its membership rise from 106 to 151 over the last 10 years. The local food movement is just one part of it. Read more at San Francisco Chronicle...


Brand boys: How an upstart private-equity firm makes 40% a year on gourmet jerky and vegan makeup

Alliance Consumer Growth, a private equity firm based dually in New York and Los Angeles, has funded 15 entrepreneurs since it was started in 2011, including Evol, Krave and Honest Kitchen. Six of the companies it’s funded have sold to larger corporations or gone public. How do they do it? The founders say with good old-fashioned research, including walking retail aisles and turning to their networks for investment prospects. Read more at Forbes…


How a German-Jewish mystic created an American soap company determined to clean up the planet

Emmanuel Bronner came to America to spread his vision of a unified mankind, and started selling his family recipe peppermint soap to fund his sermonizing, which he also printed on the label of his soaps. Fast-forward almost seven decades, and his words are still printed on the labels of Dr. Bronner’s products today—and CEO David Bronner (Emmanuel’s grandson) says they will always be there. The Certified B Corp, which is also committed to fair trade and organic farming, has amassed a huge following because of its message, simple ingredients and social commitments. Read more at Ad Week…


Oregon bills take aim at GMO crops

Lawmakers in the state are weighing a bill that would let farmers sue companies that hold patents on genetically engineered seeds if crops grown from those seeds contaminate other crops. Some farmers say cross-contamination can make their organic or non-GMO crops worthless. Read more at KGW…


Supermarket customers decide the price of food that is less than perfect

The Good Food store in Cologne, Germany, is allowing customers to pay what they want for imperfect fruits and vegetables, or those whose sell-by dates have passed. Read more at PSFK...

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