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5@5: Highest ever Cyber Monday sales | Tainted romaine lettuce tied to California

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.

 

Cyber Monday sales break a record, with $7.9 billion spent online, Adobe Analytics says

There was a 19.3 percent increase from last year’s online purchases on Cyber Monday, according to data from Adobe Analytics. Additionally, more than half of these purchases were made from consumers’ smartphones. Read to learn more stats, as well as tips for retailers hoping to keep profit margins high in the coming weeks. Read more at CNBC ...

 

Regulators tie tainted romaine lettuce to California

 

The U.S. romaine lettuce market was shut down last week because of an E. coli outbreak, but the FDA and CDC have recently closed in on the region where most of the tainted lettuce originated. Multiple major lettuce producers will now include on their labels when and where the romaine lettuce was harvested. Consumers have been advised to avoid all produce lacking this information. Read more at The Wall Street Journal 

 

US FDA finds traces of heavy metals in kratom products

Some kratom products have tested positive for containing heavy metals such as lead and nickel, according to the FDA. Kratom has already been flagged by the agency for often containing salmonella, and for acting on the brain in the same destructive manner as an opioid would. Read more at Reuters  …

 

Big food companies launch ‘stealth small brands’ to lure consumers

Food giants are beginning to reformulate the feel of some of their brands’ packaging and ingredients in order to resemble startup brands. There is “no visible connection to the big brand behind” these products, leading some experts to contend that food behemoths such as Kellogg and General Mills are taking advantage of customers’ desire to support small sustainable businesses in the natural food and beverage sphere. Read more at Star Tribune …

 

Cargill tests robotic cattle driver as a way to improve worker safety

Cargill has redesigned and begun testing a robot that will hopefully reduce agricultural employee injuries caused by livestock. The robot will facilitate herding and will be equipped with whistling noises and blow dryers to encourage cattle movement, acting much like a human would. Read more at NPR …

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