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5@5: An urban farming uptick | How Now Foods grew a healthy business to $400M in sales

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 farm grows in the city

More than half of the world's population lives in urban areas, and that percentage continues to grow. So, in old warehouses and on rooftops, startups are finding ways to grow food closer to home, all in the name of better utilizing resources and cutting down on food miles. But it's neither easy nor cheap—a few companies have already failed, while others are still working to turn a profit. Some cities are also trying to propagate more urban farms. Read more at The Wall Street Journal...


Made in Nevada: Now Foods

Thirty-three years of consecutive growth were sparked by a customer complaint at a health food store in 1968, according to Now Foods' CEO. When a customer called then-retailer Elwood Richard a "dirty robber" for pricing a particular item higher than a nearby competitor, he decided to create his own line of products that were affordably priced. Today, Now Foods does annual sales of about $400 million. Read more at Kolo 8 News Now...


The rice industry is furious at the existence of 'cauliflower rice'

Is mayonnaise really mayonnaise if it doesn't contain eggs? What about milk that's made from almonds or cashews or soy? There may be yet another food identity crisis in the works over a trendy vegetable—cauliflower rice. Now that a handful of companies have created frozen packaged products that contain so-called riced vegetables, the rice lobby is fighting back. "Calling ‘riced vegetables’ ‘rice,’ is misleading and confusing to consumers," according to Betsy Ward, president of USA Rice. "We may be asking the Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory agencies to look at this." Read more at Quartz...


Five startups win accelerator backing to fight food insecurity, waste and unsustainable food systems

Launched last year, an accelerator program called The Good Kitchen helps social startups addressing food insecurity and poverty issues grow their businesses. Its first cohort includes a company using upcycled food waste to grow insects to be used as feed, a tech company developing a food freshness checker and more. Read more at Ag Funder News...


Walmart's online sales soar as retail giant pursues Amazon

E-commerce sales saw their fastest growth in five years as Walmart makes ambitious efforts to grow its online business. Read more at Bloomberg...

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