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5@5: Conagra's Pinnacle buy shows faith in frozen | Hawaii bans sunscreen chemicals with entrepreneur's help

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.

Conagra to buy Pinnacle for $8.1 billion, creating frozen food powerhouse

Conagra Brands Inc., which owns brands including Blake’s All Natural Foods, Healthy Choice, Hunt’s, Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop, Alexia and Swiss Miss, will make a push further into snacks and frozen foods with its $8.1 million acquisition of Pinnacle. The parent company of Boulder Brands, Pinnacle counts Gardein, Evol, Glutino and Udi’s as part of its portfolio. Once complete, the deal would make Conagra the second-biggest frozen food maker, behind Nestle. Conagra CEO Sean Connolly says the deal will also improve the company’s relationship with retailers and reduce its supply chain costs. Read more at Reuters…

 

Longmont-based business lobbies to ban chemical sunscreens

Nova Covington founded natural sunscreen and cosmetics company Goddess Garden with her husband, Paul Halter, out of concern for their daughter, who was allergic to some of the chemical ingredients in conventional skin care products. Now the company is becoming a leader in the movement to do away with sunscreen chemicals—like octinoxate and oxybenzone—thought to harm coral reefs. Covington played a crucial role in the success of a bill recently passed in Hawaii that bans sunscreens with these ingredients. She petitioned the Hawaii governor to sign the bill and got more than 50,000 signatures of support, and sent letters to Hawaiian senators. Read more at Denver Post…

 

Finless Foods secures $3.5M seed round led by Draper Associates

Investors continue to put money behind alternative protein and meat replacements. This time it’s lab-grown seafood company Finless Foods, which uses cellular biology to grow fish in bioreactors. The year-old company, founded by two biochemists and accelerated at IndieBio, says it’s already “dramatically lowered cost and secured precious cellular material that will push us into rapid commercialization within years.” The round brings the company to the end of its initial R&D phase and will allow it to move into production. Read more at Medium…

 

Danone considers selling organic produce company

Interest from potential buyers has prompted Danone to consider divesting Earthbound Farm, say sources cited by Reuters, as the company looks to revamp its North American fresh foods business. Earthbound Farm, which markets packaged greens, fruits and vegetables, was acquired by WhiteWave Foods in 2014 and became part of Danone in 2017 when it bought Earthbound Farm. Though Danone may still opt to Keep the brand and turn the fresh foods unit around, the sources say, a deal could fetch up to $500 million. Read more at Bloomberg…

 

Red meat allergies caused by tick bites are on the rise

Over the last 10 years, more people have been diagnosed with alpha-gal meat allergies due to Lone Star tick bites. By one physician’s estimate, there are more than 5,000 diagnosed cases in the U.S. alone. It’s likely that ticks get alpha gal, a sugar that occurs in animals, from feeding off of wild animals and inject humans with it when they bite, stimulating an immune response that produces antibodies to a particular sugar in red meat. Read more at NPR…

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