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[email protected]: Dairy firm Dean Foods takes majority stake in plant-based Good Karma | Kroger to test driverless delivery

Good Karma flaxmilk nondairy yogurt
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.

Dean Foods becomes majority shareholder of Good Karma

The largest dairy company in the U.S. has upped its stake in flaxseed-based dairy alternative brand Good Karma Foods, claiming a majority stake in the company. The partnership started as a minority investment and distribution deal back in May of 2017. Good Karma will continue to operate as an independent company with its own leadership team in Boulder. “We are excited about how this partnership will advance our mission of inspiring goodness by making our plant-based, nondairy beverages and yogurts more accessible across the U.S.,” says CEO Doug Radi. Read more at Markets Insider…


Kroger counters Amazon with self-driving grocery delivery plans

The largest U.S. grocery chain continues to invest in digital as online food sales continue to grow. Now Kroger has partnered with Nuro, an autonomous vehicle startup, to test unmanned grocery delivery starting this fall. It already works with Instacart on traditional delivery services but says it may be able to cut costs and delivery times with driverless cars. Nuro, started by two former Google employees, has delivery pods about half the size of a Toyota Corolla that can drive up to 25 mph. Read more at Bloomberg…


Activist investor Daniel Loeb intensified pressure on Nestle to reorganize

The founder of Third Point, a hedge fund that’s invested more than $3 billion in Nestle, is calling for the company to split into three divisions: beverages, nutrition and groceries. He’s also calling on the board to make “bolder” and “faster” decisions—like to sell its stake in L’Oreal and return to focusing on groceries and beverages, which he has previously pushed for. Read more at The New York Times…


Organic Valley forces ghee into the hands of culinary influencers in cheeky campaign

Working with the agency Humanaut, Organic Valley is launching a humorous new digital campaign to promote its ghee products. Ghee has been gaining favor because it checks boxes for lactose intolerant folks and paleo diet followers, but consumer awareness is still relatively low. According to Humanaut, the main reason people don’t buy it is because they don’t know what to do with it. So Organic Valley recruited several YouTube cooking influencers to hand over some of their video content to get “ghee-lished.” The videos feature cut-out images of Organic Valley ghee products pasted on top of the olive oil or butter being used by influencers in their videos, to show that it can be used in place of nearly any cooking fat. Read more at The Drum…


New era at Amazon’s Whole Foods grates on some suppliers, employees

As Whole Foods Market garners criticism from suppliers for the reported raise in vendor fees and moves toward more centralized purchasing, it’s also facing criticism from employees, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reports that hundreds of layoffs have some employees calling for unionization. This week, “hundreds of in-store marketing employees who filled out chalkboard signs and organized local events” had their last day, the Journal reports. Yet other employees are relieved that the company is no longer subject to pressure from activist investors, and that year-over-year sales are up since the closing of the acquisition. Read more at The Wall Street Journal (subscription)…

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