Organic companies drop ‘anti-establishment tilt,’ partner with global corporations to meet surging ‘natural’ food demand

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Big Food and the organics industry are gaining an appetite for each other.

With sales of conventional packaged staples lagging, food giants like Minnesota’s General Mills are on the hunt to acquire or learn from much smaller companies in the fast-growing organic and natural foods space. And many of the entrepreneurs behind those startups are getting increasingly comfortable with the idea of taking money and other help from global corporations.

It is a striking contrast to the early days of the organic movement, which started out with an anti-establishment tilt that scorned companies that mass-produced heavily processed food.

Large food manufacturers like Conagra, Danone and General Mills look….see an opportunity to jump-start their languishing sales growth. In the past decade, Golden Valley-based General Mills has made a series of acquisitions of organic food makers, headlined by the $820 million purchase of Annie’s Homegrown in 2014.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen list highlights 'meaningless distinctions' between organic and conventional foods

The newfound warmth between big food companies and the natural foods movement was on full view [in March 2019] at Natural Products Expo West, a 39-year-old gathering of the natural and organics industry that now swarms with venture capital-backed, grow-fast-sell-quick startup companies.

Read full, original article: Food corporations hunt organic, natural startups

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