[email protected]: Hain adapts for an omnichannel grocery world | How Vital Farms built a winning egg brand

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.

Hain Celestial’s ‘natural’ niche has gone mainstream. Now what does it do?

For years Hain Celestial enjoyed healthy growth with its extensive portfolio of natural and organic brands like MaraNatha, Earth’s Best and Terra chips. But recently, as competition in the natural space has increased and retailers have consolidated, its story has shifted to one of smaller margins and falling U.S. sales. To get back on track, it’s investing in e-commerce (founder and CEO Irwin Simon said the company spent more than $50 million this year on marketing), diversifying distribution and honing its brand strategy. “We are focusing on our top 11 brands, which make up about 93 percent of our sales,” says founder and CEO Irwin Simon, while looking to divest its Hain Pure Protein business and potentially other brands as well. “Putting our focus on our biggest brands with the highest margins makes more sense than dabbling with some of our smaller brands.” Read more at The Wall Street Journal…

 

How Whole Foods favorite Vital Farms made pasture-raised eggs mainstream

Vital Farms has cornered nearly three-fourths of the pasture-raised egg market, with $100 million in sales last year. And founder Matt O’Hayer says he’s done it by building good relationships with the 120 farms that produce its eggs, and sticking to his guns by turning down potential partners who don’t meet all of the brand's desired specifications. He’s built the brand by focusing on marketing to millennials with initiatives like dinners for social media influencers and bold YouTube series. But he continues to try to reduce costs and expand the company’s consumer base. "We started out as 100 percent organic, but as we grew, we realized that to reach more lower-income and price-conscious consumers, we'd have to take some cost out,” he says. “The market has proven this to be the right decision." Read more at Forbes…

 

USDA unveils prototypes for GMO food labels, and they’re … confusing

We need to talk about the labels that the USDA has proposed to meet requirements for a GMO labeling standard that was mandated by legislation that passed in 2016. These are the labels that would tell consumers that they’re buying something with ingredients that have been genetically modified. The proposed labels are brightly colored, depicting sunshine and smiley faces, with the letters, B-E—for bioengineered—rather than GMO. Critics, like George Kimbrell from the Center for Food Safety, say they’re pro-biotech and use a term that isn’t broadly familiar to U.S. consumers. "It's misleading and confusing to consumers to now switch that up and use a totally different term, bioengineered, that has not been the standard commonplace nomenclature for all of this time," he says. Read more at NPR…

 

Arla teams up with Sig to offer 100% plant-based, renewable packaging

German company Arla has adopted new plant-based packaging made from renewable materials for its organic dairy products. Read more at Bio-Based World News…

 

Popular vegan milk brand Oatly announces 5 new plant-based ice creams

It’s taken the world of coffee shops by storm, and now Oatly is taking on the frozen aisle with a line of five oat milk-based ice creams. Read more at Live Kindly…

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