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[email protected]: MatchaBar gets $8M to bring matcha to the people | Hint water opens retail store

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.

These under 30s just raised $8M from Diplo and celebs to make matcha energy drink competitive with Red Bull

It’s an $8 million series A for MatchaBar, the New York business that’s helped bring the green tea leaf powder mainstream with cafes and bottled products. Founded by a pair of brothers, MatchaBar is on a mission to conquer the $43 billion energy drink market with a natural option. “We never pretend that we invented matcha. We put it into a context where people can use it in their daily lives,” says co-founder Max Fortang. Read more at Forbes…

 

Hint bottled water just opened a retail store, and this is why

The new San Francisco store is equipped with brand swag, tabletops for people to charge their electronics and study, Instagram-worthy photo booth and a water bar for people to sample Hint products. The brand said it opened the store to provide another touchpoint with consumers, so it can ask for feedback and test new ideas. "We wanted to create an experiential storefront that would allow customers and visitors to come experience each of the flavors, immerse themselves in the culture of Hint, and get educated on what they're really putting in or on their body," says CEO and founder Kara Goldin. Read more at FoodBeast…

 

How companies change packaging without alienating customers

How can companies avoid consumer backlash to new eco-friendly packaging, like the kind Pepsi received when it started putting SunChips in biodegradable plastic that consumers complained was too noisy? Experts say they must take into account pressure from community groups and be sure that new packaging doesn’t seem too unfamiliar to customers. Incremental changes, they say, like Kroger’s quietly redesigned milk jug that uses 10 percent less plastic, may be the way to go. Read more at CNN Money…

 

Monster settles lawsuit disputing ‘natural’ label

A class-action lawsuit accusing the beverage company of falsely advertising some of its juice and smoothie products as “natural” even though they contain artificial ingredients has been settled. Read more at L.A. Biz…

 

Disability rights groups question Starbucks straw ban

Several groups representing people with disabilities have criticized Starbucks’ decision earlier this month to implement a strawless lid for iced drinks, and a compostable plastic straw for Frappuccinos. They say that sturdy, bendable plastic straws are necessary for many people with disabilities such as cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis who rely on the strength and flexibility of plastic straws to hydrate. Read more at New York Post… 

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