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5@5: Pet food a bright spot for CPG brands | How HelloFresh is dominating the meal kit market

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.

Nestle in talks to buy pet-food maker for $2 billion

J.M. Smucker and General Mills have both added to their pet food portfolios over the last six months, acquiring Ainsworth Pet Nutrition and Blue Buffalo, respectively. Now Nestle is said to be looking at natural pet food maker Champion Petfoods of Canada in a deal that could be worth $2 billion. Nestle’s pet care brands, which include Purina, grew 3 percent last year—more than all of its other divisions except for coffee. Read more at The Wall Street Journal…

 

The world’s most ruthless food startup: The inside story of how HelloFresh clawed its way to the top

The German company led by Dominik Richter has flown past competitors to become the world’s top meal kit company. And it was all started to copycat a Swedish startup called Linas Matkasse. HelloFresh launched in October 2011—just a few months before rivals Blue Apron and Plated emerged, and over the next several years, investors would pour more than $1 billion in funding into meal kit startups that delivered premeasured groceries to consumers’ door steps. But then, recently, something changed. VCs abandoned the category, and Blue Apron saw its stock fall 70 percent from its 2017 IPO. Meanwhile, HelloFresh grew sales more than 50 percent last year, went public in German in 2017, tallied up $1.3 billion in global revenue and recently bought a smaller rival, Green Chef. How did it pull ahead? A mix of aggressive selling and customer acquisition tactics, recruiting high-profile social media influencers and  hundreds of millions of investment dollars. Read more at Inc…

 

Amazon’s Prime Day: Deals at Whole Foods are on the menu

Amazon Prime members who shop at Whole Foods Market are getting another perk—Prime Day deals. According to Amazon, hundreds of items will be marked down, and Prime members will get additional deep discounts. The deals will last for 36 hours—3 p.m. on July 16 through 3 a.m. on July 18. Read more at CBS News…

 

Is it too early for fake meat?

Food technology is chugging along, but is safety research keeping up with it? Environmental group Friends of the Earth cautions that it isn’t, and that “venture capitalist hype” could lead the food industry down the wrong path. In a new report, the group raises alarms about long-term health concerns around heme, a protein used in the Impossible Burger that’s derived from genetically engineered yeast. The lab-made meat industry should also focus on environmental impact research. “We need real data,” said Dana Perls, a senior food and agriculture campaigner for Friends of the Earth. Read more at Bloomberg…

 

Chef Tien Ho left Whole Foods Market

Former Momofuku chef Tien Ho joined Whole Foods Market as its global vice president of culinary and hospitality in January 2016. He left his post there in May, but says it wasn’t related to the company’s acquisition by Amazon, and says he’s looking to “reconnect with Austin and cook again.” Read more at Eater Austin… 

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