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5@5: Meat snacks grab market share | Meanwhile, global opportunities abound for plant-based alternatives

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 is why you're seeing so much beef jerky lately

Meat sticks and jerky aren't your desperate gas station snack pick-up anymore. They sit at the intersection of food trends—namely healthy snacking and protein—and have seen a number of new entrants into the space over the last few years that highlight animal welfare and special-diet claims like grass-fed and gluten-free. Big brands are adapting, too. Hershey acquired Krave in 2015, and Slim Jim parent company ConAgra announced it purchased the Duke's brand of snack sausages last month. Meat-based snacks have shown 7 percent compound growth over the last four years, according to Nielsen. Read more at The Washington Post...

 

Lab-grown meat is about to go global, and one firm is feverishly paving the way

The Good Food Institute, a nonprofit and venture capital firm, has grown its staff from two to 15 people in one year and has begun to make a name for itself helping get more plant-based foods into the marketplace by offering strategic support and lobbying on behalf of clean meat companies. It's working on a bipartisan measure in Congress to reform programs that favor traditional food groups, and is sees particular potential for plant-based meat alternatives in Brazil and China. Read more at Quartz...

 

Reebok will introduce plant-based sustainable shoes this year

The company claims it's working on a Cotton + Corn shoe made from sustainable materials that can be composted after they're worn out. Read more at Engadget...

 

On a quest to transform American agriculture, a startup sells dirt to pot farmers

Waste Farmers is a Denver-based business that started turning compostable food waste back into soil but pivoted to one that supplies rich potting soil to small-scale agriculture—for now, mostly cannabis growers. Read more at Forbes...

 

How retailers are thriving despite the supposed death of their industry

The belief that ecommerce is the reason for brick-and-mortar retail's struggles is overblown, some analysts say. Some big-box retailers who pursue online strategies may actually be taking brick-and-mortar sales away from themselves, not necessarily from others. Meanwhile, small retailers can make the most of their spaces by staying in close contact with customers, creating a dialogue and giving shoppers a one-of-a-kind experience. Read more at Entrepreneur...

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