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5@5: General Mills' 301 Inc. invests in probiotics | Cauliflower climbs the ranks of grain replacements

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.

General Mills venture arm invests in GoodBelly Probiotics parent

As GoodBelly looks to expand in categories beyond probiotic juices and shots, it’s bringing on a new investor. CNBC reports that General Mills’ venture arm, 301 Inc., invested in GoodBelly’s parent company, NextFoods, as part of a $12 million funding round. The company has already partnered with General Mills on a line of probiotic bars and, with the investment, GoodBelly will be able to further leverage General Mills’ expertise from growing brands like Nature Valley and Annie’s Homegrown. Other portfolio brands for 301 Inc. include Purely Elizabeth, Kite Hill, Farmhouse Culture, Good Culture and No Cow. Read more at CNBC…

 

The ascension of cauliflower

Is cauliflower on track to become as ubiquitous as kale? The cruciferous veggie is now appearing on menus and in products as a replacement for rice, flour and other simple carbs and checking the boxes for gluten-free, grain-free, low-carb and plant-based diets. According to Nielsen, sales of vegetable-based carb substitutes including cauliflower rice and zucchini noodles reached $47 million this year, with cauliflower sales doubling to $17 million. Caulipower, which makes cauliflower-based pizza crusts, has grown into a multimillion-dollar brand. Green Giant, which markets a number of frozen riced vegetables including cauliflower, says it’s harvesting six times the amount of cauliflower per week as it did when it launched the product in 2016. Read more at The New York Times…

 

Why health nuts are paying $25 for this yogurt

Health food fanatics in New York City and Los Angeles are shelling out big bucks for Coconut Cult, a 16 oz. glass jar decorated with palm trees and a flamingo that contains a thick yogurt with 15 strains of probiotics and 25 billion CFUs. Sold in boutique grocery stores, Coconut Cult “straddles the line between dairy alternative and probiotic supplement,” according to company leader Pancho Gomez, and has acquired quite a following on social media. Read more at New York Post…

 

This natural deodorant made on a Wisconsin family farm sells for $7 a stick at Whole Foods

At an old dairy in Wisconsin, a former schoolteacher melts simple ingredients—coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter, baking soda, arrowroot powder and essential oils—and pours them into plastic deodorant molds. Last year, Kyle LaFond sold some 55,000 sticks in grocery stores and co-ops across the country under the brand name American Provenance. Read more at Journal Sentinel…

 

Startup aims to make allies of human gut’s microbes

Vedanta Biosciences Inc. and the MIT-trained engineer who runs it have collected samples of some 60,000 types of bacteria that live in the human gut. Vedanta is one of several companies looking to make medicines based on the gut microbiome, which research increasingly suggests plays a crucial role in may aspects of human health. Read more at Boston Globe…

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