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5@5: Tilray acquires Manitoba Harvest | Millennials, Gen Z favor organic food products

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.

Tilray to acquire hemp food company Manitoba Harvest for up $419M

Cannabis producer Tilray Inc. is looking to launch CBD-infused tinctures, sprays and soft gels wherever permissible in the U.S. after signing a $419 million deal to acquire 1998-founded hemp food company, Manitoba Harvest. Manitoba Harvest is most well-known for its Hemp Hearts, Hemp Oil and granola products, but is excited at the prospect of expanding its portfolio to include the super popular hemp-derived ingredient. Tilray chief executive Brendan Kennedy expects “the hazy CBD landscape in the U.S. will clear up by the summer,” and the company is in discussions with U.S. growers both stateside and in Canada for sourcing purposes. Read more at Financial Post …

 

Millennials, Gen Z favor organic products

 

While only 30 percent of boomers choose organic over conventionally farmed food products, a new survey shows that upwards of 50 percent of the younger generations opt for organic. These consumers cite health as the main reason for doing so (75 percent), with 45 percent purchasing organic because they believe it is of higher quality. Pet owners and parents are more likely to buy organic as well, with 71 percent of household shoppers with children saying it would be somewhat or very important to “feed their child’s classmates or teammates an organic snack if they were on snack duty.” Read more at Media Post 

 

How the label ‘plant based’ rebranded vegan eating for the mainstream

Restaurants and CPG manufacturers alike are shirking the label “vegan” in favor of the more mainstream-friendly “plant-based” moniker. While “vegan” tends to read as an exclusionary term for many consumers, “plant-based” has a friendlier ring to it. And as the article points out, most consumers have had experience with some kind of plant-based food (even if it’s only french fries). One documentarian familiar with the issue sees the move toward plant-based options as generally good, but notes that it’s currently missing a lot of what makes plant-heavy diets so healthy—namely, whole fruits and vegetables as opposed to a bag of salt-laden beet chips. Read more at The Cape Cod Times …

 

Fake milk is real news, as synthetic alternatives threaten traditional dairy farms

Perfect Day Foods uses “genetically engineered yeast programmed with DNA to produce the same proteins found in cow’s milk,” giving consumers the option of real-tasting milk without the corresponding environmental impact. The news is greatly upsetting to dairy farmers, who worry that this “fake” milk will put them out of business amidst already sinking sales. Perfect Day Foods announced this week that it had raised $34.75 million for a total of $60 million in funding, making its synthetic milk one of the most-backed early-stage food startups ever. Read more at CNBC …

 

Massive loss of thousands of hives afflicts orchard growers and beekeepers

American beekeepers are in crisis mode—over the winter, many major beekeeping operations lost half their hives to various stressors such as chemicals, loss of local flora, climate change, nutrition and viruses. However, one problem in particular appears to be the culprit: the varroa mite, which had ample time to breed and multiply during the unusually early and warm spring weather last year. Now, almond producers who haven’t lined up contracts with beekeeping operations are scrambling as this year’s harvest hangs precariously in the balance. Read more at NPR 

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