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[email protected]: How Bobo's went from scrappy startup to snack sensation | Plated meal kits launch in Albertsons stores

Bobo's Chocolate Chip Oat Bar
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.

How Bobo’s Oat Bars got into stores nationwide without losing its homemade appeal

Fifteen-year-old company Bobo’s Oat Bar still grew 60 percent last year, thanks to nationwide distribution in natural food stores and conventional chains like Kroger, plus new SKUs. The company has benefited from getting in on the gluten-free, artisanal food and snack bar trends in their earliest days, but founder Beryl Stafford, who bootstrapped the company until recently, said she was cautious about growing at a slow pace that she could keep up with. Her best advice for founders? Trust your gut. While buyers wanted her to extend the shelf life of her products, she wasn’t willing to alter her recipe, so instead she explored new routes for packaging. And when others told her to size down the 3 oz. bars, she stuck to her guns because she wanted her product to be unique. Even now, as the bar category has exploded, she’s stuck to her original look and taste. “Our bars are still made by hand, and I’ve insisted on keeping them homemade-looking, what I call perfectly imperfect,” she says. Read more at Forbes…


Albertsons, Plated launch national retail rollout

Seven months after Plated announced that it had been acquired by grocery chain Albertsons, the meal kit company is now selling its products in 40 stores in Chicago and California, with plans for a nationwide rollout by the end of the year. The retail launch gives customers more ways to buy Plated products besides an online subscription—in-store, or through delivery via Instacart—and Albertsons execs say they’re expecting Plated’s revenue to double this year. In-store meal kit options will include beef, chicken, vegetarian and seafood recipes. Read more at Supermarket News…


Why you aren’t paying more for bananas, but retailers are

The wholesale cost of bananas hit a record high in the first quarter of the year as crop yields in Central and South America were impacted by floods, cooler temperatures and mudslides. Long-term, supply is under threat from fungal disease. Retailers, though, don’t seem to be passing along the higher prices to consumers, as bananas drive important trips to the store. The average American consumes 11.4 pounds of bananas each year, according to USDA data. Read more at Wall Street Journal…


The Philly sisters behind Zahav’s favorite tahini are launching a new ingredient

In the next step of their quest to make Middle Eastern foods must-haves in American chef's kitchens, the Zitelman sisters behind Soom Foods are launching a date syrup called silan. Their first product, tahini, is used in restaurants in 18 cities across the country. Read more at Billy Penn…


Bob’s Red Mill recalls organic amaranth flour for Salmonella

A lot of organic amaranth flour distributed by Bob’s Red Mill between June 11, 2014 and August 7, 2014 has been recalled due to Salmonella contamination discovered in recent testing. Read more at Food Safety News…

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