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5@5: Kroger ups COVID-19 vaccination capacity to 1M doses weekly | Why Delta-8 THC is saving the CBD business

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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.

Kroger set to double COVID-19 vaccination capacity to 1M doses weekly

The Kroger Co. plans to to double its operational capacity to administer COVID-19 vaccines, growing from 500,000 to 1 million doses per week. To expedite the COVID-19 immunizations, Kroger Health said it will focus the first hour of its pharmacies’ operations on administering the three Food and Drug Adminstration-authorized vaccines. Supermarket News reports. 

Delta-8 THC is saving the sagging CBD business

Hemp CBD companies whose sales flattened during COVID-19 have found a potential goldmine in the form of delta-8 THC, which can be sold in CBD-only shops, online, gas stations, kratom stores and even natural food retailers. The U.S. Hemp Roundtable, however, is opposed to delta-8 THC despite its (precarious) legality; it says delta-8 is too close in nature to marijuana for comfort—and unduly invites the DEA to poke its nose into the hemp business. Get the full picture at Natural Products Insider.

Why small grocery stores are (still) out of toilet paper

Major suppliers of consumer products are facing limited supply and high demand, and as a result they are prioritizing bigger retail customers like Walmart and Amazon, according to the National Grocers Association. This is a huge problem, for one because independent grocery stores are more likely to be found in lower-income communities and rural areas than chain stores are. NGA is now calling on Congress and federal antitrust agencies to determine whether large retailers are violating the Robinson-Patman Act, a 1936 law that "requires that a seller treat all competing customers in a proportionately equal manner." Dive into the details at CNN.

Who knew high-tech farming of high-priced Japanese strawberries could be worth $50M to investors?

Strawberries grown by vertical farming startup Oishii are priced at anywhere between $15 to $50, which you'd think would hamper its success. Nope. Instead, the company is taking the so-called Tesla approach and entering the highest end of the market in New York City—and has sold out of all its crop for the forseeable future as a result. "The problem the industry is facing is the commercial viability of the business model,” Hiroki Koga, co-founder of Oishii, said to Tech Crunch. “We have to start with a crop that is profitable and when i thought about what could that be, I thought Japanese strawberries are a truly unique product that people will pay a premium for.”

As mushrooms grow in popularity, a radical mycology movement is growing

Once neglected, mushrooms are beginning to receive long-overdue acclaim for their ability to heal landscapes and waterways and foster food security and medicinal sovereignty. But some ardent mycologists worry that fungi's newly mainstream status will strip the movement of both its values and social appeal by forcing members to prioritize wealth accumulation above "fellowship and resilience." Civil Eats interviewed specialist Doug Bierend about this red-hot topic.

TAGS: General 5at5
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