business news in context, analysis with attitude

•  From Axios:

"Customers and investors alike are sticking a fork in fake meat … Plant-based meat was sold as a healthier, sustainable high-protein substitute for real meat. But after years of hype, the tide is turning against the first generation of plant-based protein makers."

The question is whether inflation has limited the category's ability to grow, or whether there was a natural ceiling on the growth prospects for fake meat.

Either way, "sales are collapsing … Impossible Foods plans to lay off roughly 20% of its workforce amid falling sales … Beyond Meat also cut roughly 20% of its workers, and lost several executives, amid its own stock slump."

•  From the Washington Post:

"The Biden administration on Friday announced more stringent nutrition standards for school meals, reviving efforts to improve the health of millions of public school students in the face of a staggering rise in childhood obesity and other diet-related diseases.

"The new rules, which will be rolled out gradually over the next few years, will limit added sugars, including in flavored milks. Previously, there was no federal standard for how much sugar could be included in school meals. The rules will also further reduce the allowable amounts of sodium, and emphasize whole grains.

"The new guidelines are part of a broader campaign by the U.S. Agriculture Department to address the persistent and worsening problem of childhood obesity. The agency is responsible for administering nutritional programs that in recent years have fed around 30 million students at nearly 100,000 schools nationally."

According to the story, "The new guidelines will be rolled out gradually. In the fall of 2024, school offerings will have to include primarily whole-grain foods, with only occasional products containing less healthy refined grains such as those used in white pasta and white breads.  In the fall of 2025, there will be a limit imposed on high-sugar products like sweetened yogurts and cereals, a reduction of weekly sodium limits by 10 percent for school breakfasts and lunches, and limits on added sugars for flavored milks such as chocolate milk. Further reductions in added sugar and sodium are slated for following years."