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5@5: Lab-grown meat–in space | Wellness brands train influencers

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.

This company just grew meat in space for the first time

While lab-grown meat has been a slow-moving category, an Israeli food company recently announced it had successfully grown meat from cow cells on the International Space Station. Aleph Farms used Russian bioprinting technology to produce the steak, and it hopes the technology can be used to feed astronauts during long-term space missions in addition to addressing food insecurity. Read more at CNN

Many wellness brands are failing to train the influencers they hire

Companies in search of influencers tend to focus on whether their online personas are “on-brand” as opposed to genuinely being knowledgeable about the product—and this hasn’t been working out too well. As a result, wellness brands such as Care/of are now taking initiative to educate influencers and asking questions to ensure they’re on board with brands’ philosophies and goals. Read more at Bon Appetit

McDonald’s and Mondelez say taste, not health, will drive food sales

Yes, consumers are searching for healthy and eco-friendly alternatives to their favorite food products than ever before—but taste is still the most important factor driving sales. Some of the biggest food companies in the world are struggling to compete with startups that deliver on both tastiness and health, and as a result they’re questioning whether product reformulations or new launches are worth the effort. Read more at The Wall Street Journal

Red meat study caused a stir—here’s what wasn’t discussed

A widely reported study that claimed there is no need to reduce one’s intake of red meat generated much discussion—but critics and supporters of the study alike largely missed one crucial aspect. Specifically, the study didn’t differentiate those high-risk individuals within a low-risk population, which produces skewed results. For example, overweight people and those with (often unknown) pre-cancers are more susceptible to the health risks linked to red meat and other notoriously unhealthy food products. Read more at The Conversation

Can grocery stores survive the age of Big Tech?

Because of the grocery sector’s low profit margin, there is less room for retailers to experiment with new technology that could boost their virtual presence and consumer offerings (e.g. grocery pick-up, blockchain tracking). But times are changing, and now traditional grocery stores must alter the role they play and the experience they deliver to consumers in order to coexist with online-only marketplaces. Read more at Food 52

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