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5@5: Packaging lessons in the age of social media | Building the case for industrial hemp

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.

A Brooklyn ice cream brand increased sales by 50% after it redesigned its packaging

A high-end ice cream brand in New York is finding that new packaging is helping it reach a wider audience, thanks to the power of social media. Van Leeuwen worked with design firm Pentagram to create simple but "very Instagrammable" packaging. The result? Sales have risen 50 percent since last fall, the company says. What makes the packaging so 'grammable, according to the design firm, is pastel colors that match what's inside, charming typography and a one-line nod to the company's heritage. Read more at Quartz...


On-the-farm research making the case for industrial hemp

Research in 15 states is helping farmers better understand how to grow industrial hemp—everything from when to plant it to what fertilizers to use—and that it has viability as a commercial crop in the U.S. Currently, it can only be grown as part of university and state-sponsored research. Programs are running in Kentucky, North Dakota, Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia. Read more at U.S. News & World Report...


When gluten is the villain, could a common virus be the trigger?

Scientists estimate that about 30 percent of Americans are genetically predisposed to celiac disease, yet only one percent actually have it. One theory suggested by a new study published in Science is that a viral infection can trigger it. Reovirus is a common but not dangerous virus that often infects children, but when it was introduced to mice at the same time as gluten, they developed an immunological response. In a follow-up study, researchers discovered that people with celiac disease have two to five times high levels of reovirus-specific antibodies than those who don't have it. Read more at NPR...


This new startup wants to deliver healthy baby food to your doorstep

Yumi is an organic baby food company founded by journalist Evelyn Rusli and investment executive Angela Sutherland. It's based on a subscription model, so each week parents get delivered to them jars of baby food that include fruit and vegetable purees with other ingredients like ground flax seed, quinoa, chia seeds, dates and spices. When Yumi ships its first batches, they will be delivered only to homes in California, but the company hopes to expand. Read more at Fortune...


Sunflower Natural Foods shop has doubled in size

Thirteen years after its opening, the Vermont natural food store has moved into a 1,200-square-foot space so that it can offer more choices to its loyal customers. Read more at Waterbury Record...

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