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Budget grocer has perfect answer to beloved (but discontinued) Trader Joe’s item

The consumer-friendly store, with locations worldwide, for years has been delighting customers with inventive finds.



One of the many delights about shopping at a Trader Joe's is the deep-discount savings it affords its customers. 

The privately held grocery chain offers budget-friendly pricing and a shopping list full of cult-favorite items. 

Customers have access to staples you'd find at most stores, like fresh flower bouquets and prepackaged meats, as well as more inventive offerings, like frozen mochi ice cream treats, crunchy chili spread, spicy Charki Indian snack mix, and an extensive wine aisle. 

Related: 146 fall items are coming to Trader Joe's, and here are insiders' picks for the best ones

The chain, which operates more than 500 stores across the U.S., is able to keep prices low because it sources excess inventory from other retailers, repackages the items, and offers them at tight-budget prices. 

And it doesn't do this alone. Trader Joe's is owned by the German megagrocer Aldi, which operates a similar model, albeit on a much bigger scale. Aldi operates more than 12,000 stores across Europe, the U.S., Australia and China. 

It may not offer some of the more niche products found at Trader Joe's, but given their symbiotic relationship, every once in a while TJs devotees find exactly what they're looking for tucked inside Aldi's aisles. 

Aldi customers source a key Trader Joe's item

Trader Joe's also offers an extensive variety of mixed nuts for reasonable prices. A 16-ounce bag of of raw almonds is $4.99, for example. It offers more inventive flavors, too, such as Thai lime and chili cashews and sweet and spicy pecans. 

Customers shop at the Trader Joe's Upper East Side Bridgemarket grocery store in New York on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021. Photographer: Jeenah Moon.

Bloomberg/Getty Images

Every now and then, however, some items mysteriously disappear from Trader Joe's shelves. Eagle-eyed customers notice the absence and search furiously for a replacement. 

One such item has been TJ's coconut cashews. An August Reddit discussion on the store's subreddit confirms that the store had indeed discontinued the items sometime this summer. 

"Went to TJs and the Coconut Cashews were not in stock. They checked the computer and they have been discontinued. Totally bummed out as they are one of my favorite TJs nuts. Any suggestions on alternatives?" one Redditor posted.

View the original article to see embedded media.

Now, it seems a welcome answer has popped up in one of the most likely of places: Trader Joe's' parent. 

Some customers have noticed similar-looking nuts, called Aldi’s Southern Grove Coconut Cashews, at Aldi in recent days. Many swear they're similar or an exact duplicate, and they cost $5.99 for a 10-ounce bag.

"These nuts are essentially exactly what they sound like: roasted cashews topped with tiny coconut flakes for some added sweetness," She Finds writes

Other Redditors suggested Costco  (COST) - Get Free Report carries similar nuts under the Edward Marc brand and calls them "addictive." 

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Bankrupt, liquidated retailer making a massive comeback

A big name has come back from the dead and its new owner has huge plans to reintroduce the brand.



When a big-name brand goes bankrupt and has its intellectual property sold at auction, the buyer usually uses the name to leverage the recognition factor. 

That's what happened with Sharper Image, a retailer known for high-end items like expensive massage chairs, drones, and other technology-forward items.

The new owner of the brand has not tried to bring the company back as it was. Instead, the company that purchased the Sharper Image name has splashed it on low-end toys designed for adults. 

Related: Popular retail chain begins bankruptcy liquidation sales

The product line features things like putting greens for your office and other items that vaguely evoke what the company used to sell. 

The new owner has no interest in bringing the brand back. It's just leveraging a name people of a certain age know to get attention for novelty products sold on Target's shelves.

That's usually what happens when a big brand name goes out of business and sort of comes back. At best, you get Toys "R" Us, which has returned looking nothing like the big-box retailer it once was but has had its name revived on the new toy sections at Macy's.

Real comebacks are rare. The former however, has bet its future on the Bed Bath & Beyond brand. The company has not only purchased the IP of the retailer after it declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it has rebranded under its name.

That's not just a name change; it's a huge pivot for Overstock. The company's chief executive, Jonathan Johnson, laid out why his company made the purchase and what it plans for the future during its third-quarter-earnings call.

Bed Bath & Beyond's retail stores were all closed.

Image source: TheStreet

Overstock wants to bring back Bed Bath & Beyond

"Over the last three months, we have accelerated our efforts to build the company with a bigger, brighter, bolder future," Johnson said.

"On June 28, we acquired the Bed Bath & Beyond brand and IP, a brand ranked in the top five most recognizable home brands in the United States, alongside titans like Target, Walmart, and Home Depot.

"Within hours of closing the deal, we revived the brand in Canada, and in just 33 days we launched the brand in the U.S. under our unique asset-light operational model."

Asset light means digital without stores. Johnson explained that Overstock (OSTK) - Get Free Report had actually considered buying Bed Bath & Beyond "just a few years ago." That purchase would have cost roughly $2 billion. 

Even after passing, Johnson remained interested for a number of reasons.

"We saw four valuable assets in the business if the right opportunity presented itself," he said. 

"First, the No. 5 most recognizable brand in the home space and as an aside in that same ranking Overstock was No. 25; second an over 100 million person customer file; third, vendor relationships with some of the biggest home category brands in the world; and fourth, valuable intellectual property."

Johnson believes that the purchase decision was obvious.

Here's what's planned for Bed Bath & Beyond

Johnson says his brand has a better chance to succeed under the Bed Bath & Beyond name.

"We were thrilled when that opportunity presented itself and we pounced on it. To strengthen the clarity of the economics of this deal we break down this opportunity into two buckets totaling up to approximately $175 million. First, the approximately $25 million paid to the bankruptcy state for the brand and related IP and acquisition-related fees," he said.

The big opportunity, however, comes with the remaining investment the company plans to make. Johnson's company plans to spend $150 million to leverage the customer names it has acquired. That will include moving into Bed Bath & Beyond's traditional categories, which is an expansion beyond Overstock's roots. 

In addition, the company has again tweaked its corporate identity.

"Earlier this week, we announced our new corporate name Beyond. This new corporate identity builds on the value of our iconic consumer brand. It also recognizes our ability to transform into more than just a single-brand e-commerce retailer," he said.

"Our goal is over time to transform the company into a house of brands, providing a mix of products and services across categories."

Johnson outlined what that will look like going forward.

"Think of this as a bigger, better, bolder Beyond," he said. "Today, we provide a broad selection of on-trend furniture and home furnishing products through a single e-commerce website, Bed Bath & Beyond. 

"In due time, we plan to reimagine the Overstock brand with a standalone website that offers what the brand originally was: a site selling a broad array of clearance products at remarkable prices."

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Successful development of Pauson–Khand reaction with atropisomeric substrates

The rich diversity of organic compounds is a result of the remarkable ability of carbon atoms to connect and form bonds with different molecules. Variations…



The rich diversity of organic compounds is a result of the remarkable ability of carbon atoms to connect and form bonds with different molecules. Variations in these bonding arrangements, as well as the types of atoms and functional groups involved, result in the formation of isomers. They are a type of compounds that share the same molecular formula but exhibit distinct three-dimensional shapes and properties.

Credit: Osamu Kitagawa from Shibaura Institute of Technology (SIT), Japan

The rich diversity of organic compounds is a result of the remarkable ability of carbon atoms to connect and form bonds with different molecules. Variations in these bonding arrangements, as well as the types of atoms and functional groups involved, result in the formation of isomers. They are a type of compounds that share the same molecular formula but exhibit distinct three-dimensional shapes and properties.

Atropisomers are a type of isomers that are formed when bulky substituents or functional groups get attached to a single bond and experience restricted rotation about the bond. This restriction leads to molecules with a distinct spatial arrangement of atoms and functional groups. Atropisomers are often encountered in compounds containing aromatic rings. Notably, compounds formed as a result of restricted rotation around an N−C single bond between the aromatic ring and the functional group are used as chiral ligands and chiral building blocks to create specific stereoisomers with chiral carbon centers. They often find use in various chemical and pharmaceutical applications. However, maintaining axial chirality around the N−C bond is challenging to attain, and this results in a limited number of synthesizable N−C axially chiral compounds.

In a recent study, researchers have now demonstrated that the Pauson–Khand reaction—a chemical reaction for synthesizing molecules containing cyclopentenones—when applied to atropisomeric substrates, can produce new derivatives containing a chiral carbon. The study was made available online on 2 October 2023 and published in the journal Organic Letters on 13 October 2023. It was led by Professor Osamu Kitagawa from the Department of Applied Chemistry at Shibaura Institute of Technology, Japan along with graduate students Ryohei Kasahara and Tatsuya Toyoda. Possibly the first demonstration of this kind, this breakthrough significantly expands the scope of synthesizing such compounds.

Although Pauson–Khand reaction is a widely used reaction for the synthesis of many organic compounds, the reaction with atropisomeric substrates had not been explored yet. Out of academic curiosity, we decided to explore the Pauson–Khand reaction with atropisomeric substrates,” says Prof. Kitagawa, while talking about the study.

To this end, the researchers applied an intramolecular version of the reaction to enantioenriched atropisomeric sulfonamides for synthesizing chiral nitrogen-containing tricyclic compounds. They observed that conducting Pauson–Khand reactions on enantioenriched atropisomeric sulfonamides (78–89% ee) containing various substituents in the presence of a Co2(CO)8 complex led to the formation of products with enantiomeric excesses ranging from 78% to 89%. These findings suggest that the Pauson–Khand reaction can effectively transfer chirality from the starting materials to the reaction products with a high degree of selectivity.

The reaction with enantioenriched N–C axially chiral sulfonamide derivatives proceeded with complete chirality transfer from axial chirality (P configuration) to central chirality (R configuration), affording chiral nitrogen-containing tricyclic compounds,” explains Prof. Kitagawa.

Further, a wide range of substrates were compatible with the reaction, including sulfonamides with methyl-, chloro-, and bromo- substituents, as well as aromatic groups. A crucial factor for the success of this approach was the presence of the Co2(CO)8 complex, which forms an intermediate with the substrate. The specific arrangement of carbon and cobalt atoms within this intermediate controls how alkenes attach to it, promoting the formation of specific enantiomers.

In summary, this level of control over chirality is of significant importance in chemical synthesis and has practical applications in various fields, particularly for the synthesis of pharmaceutical compounds. “With the reaction products possessing a nitrogen-containing tricyclic structure, the reaction can be used for novel applications, such as for the synthesis of natural products and bioactive compounds,” concludes Prof. Kitagawa.







About Shibaura Institute of Technology (SIT), Japan

Shibaura Institute of Technology (SIT) is a private university with campuses in Tokyo and Saitama. Since the establishment of its predecessor, Tokyo Higher School of Industry and Commerce, in 1927, it has maintained “learning through practice” as its philosophy in the education of engineers. SIT was the only private science and engineering university selected for the Top Global University Project sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and will receive support from the ministry for 10 years starting from the 2014 academic year. Its motto, “Nurturing engineers who learn from society and contribute to society,” reflects its mission of fostering scientists and engineers who can contribute to the sustainable growth of the world by exposing their over 8,000 students to culturally diverse environments, where they learn to cope, collaborate, and relate with fellow students from around the world.



About Professor Osamu Kitagawa from SIT, Japan

Dr. Osamu Kitagawa is a Professor at the Shibaura Institute of Technology in Japan. He received his BS and PhD from the Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Science (then called the Tokyo College of Pharmacy) in 1984 and 1989, respectively. Dr. Kitagawa was working as an Assistant, Lecturer, and Associate Professor there before moving to Shibaura Institute of Technology in 2008. His research interests include the chemistry of novel stereoisomeric molecules and development of novel synthetic organic reactions. He has authored around 100 research articles, which have received more than 4,100 citations.

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The genetic heritage of the Denisovans may have left its mark on our mental health

Modern humans left Africa some 60,000 years ago in the event known as “Out-of-Africa”. In Asia, they coincided with the Denisovans, and that encounter…



Modern humans left Africa some 60,000 years ago in the event known as “Out-of-Africa”. In Asia, they coincided with the Denisovans, and that encounter may have led to confrontations and collaborations, but also various crossbreeding. In fact, even today modern humans retain genetic variants of Denisovan origin in our genome, which are testimony to those initial interactions.

Credit: Jorge Garcia and Elena Bosch. Licensed under Creative Commons 4.0. Created in mapchart.

Modern humans left Africa some 60,000 years ago in the event known as “Out-of-Africa”. In Asia, they coincided with the Denisovans, and that encounter may have led to confrontations and collaborations, but also various crossbreeding. In fact, even today modern humans retain genetic variants of Denisovan origin in our genome, which are testimony to those initial interactions.

Now, a team led by the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE), a joint centre of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), and by the UPF Department of Medicine and Life Sciences (MELIS), has identified one of the most widespread traces of the genetic heritage of the extinct Denisovans in modern humans. The teams of Elena Bosch, IBE principal investigator, and of Rubén Vicente, MELIS-UPF principal investigator, have discovered that this genetic adaptation helped ancestral populations of sapiens to adapt to the cold.

The variant observed, involved in zinc regulation and with a role in cellular metabolism, could also have predisposed modern humans to psychiatric disorders such as depression or schizophrenia.


Genetic variation in zinc regulation may have meant an evolutionary advantage

How adaptation has shaped current genetic diversity in human populations is a matter of great interest in evolutionary genetics.

Arising from this question, Elena Bosch’s team identified an adaptive variant among current human populations in a region of our genome that bears great similarity to the genome of an extinct ancestral population: the Denisovans.

“Through genomic analysis, we noted that the genetic variant observed came from our interbreeding with archaic humans in the past, possibly the Denisovans”, says Ana Roca-Umbert, co-first author of the study. The team has ruled out Neanderthal heritage, since these populations do not have this mutation.

“Apparently, the change was beneficial and proved a selective advantage for humans. As a consequence, this variation in the SLC30A9 gene was selected and has reached current populations”, adds Jorge Garcia-Calleja, co-first author of the study.

The Evolutionary Population Genetics Laboratory, directed by Bosch, wished to find out what changes are brought about by this genetic variation of Denisovan origin at the cellular level. “We discovered that this mutation surely had implications for the transport of zinc within the cell, and so we contacted Vicente’s team”, recalls Elena Bosch, IBE principal investigator and co-leader of the study.


Zinc regulation: key to adapting to the cold

“Elena contacted me because her team had observed a change in an amino acid in a zinc transporter, which was very different between the populations of Africa and Asia today. From there, we started asking ourselves questions and looking for answers”, Rubén Vicente comments. His team, in the Biophysics of the Immune System group at the Laboratory of Molecular Physiology, undertook the technical challenge of studying the movement of intracellular zinc. 

Zinc, an essential trace element for human health, is an important messenger that transfers both information from the outside to the inside of cells and between different cellular compartments. A lack of zinc causes growth, neurological and immune disorders, although “its regulation is still poorly studied due to the lack of molecular tools to follow the flow of zinc”.

Vicente’s laboratory identified that the observed variant causes a new zinc balance within the cell, promoting a change in metabolism. By altering the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria of the cells, this variation causes a possible metabolic advantage to cope with a hostile climate. “The observed phenotype leads us to think of a possible adaptation to the cold”, Vicente asserts.


The Denisovan genetic heritage could affect the mental health of European and Asian populations

Zinc transport is also involved in nervous system excitability, and plays a role in people’s mental equilibrium and health.

The team points out that the variant found in this zinc transporter, which is expressed in all tissues of the body, is associated with a greater predisposition to suffering from some psychiatric diseases. These include anorexia nervosa, hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia.


“In the future, expanding this study to animal models could shed light on this predisposition to suffering from mental illnesses”, Vicente notes.


The genetic variant has left a global mark, except in Africa

Although the variant was established in Asia as a result of interbreeding between Denisovans and sapiens, it also spread to European and native American populations. In fact, it is found in populations all over the planet, although, in the case of African populations, it is much less frequent. 

The team points out that it is probably the Denisovan genetic adaptation to have the greatest geographical scope discovered to date. “For example, a variant in the EPAS1 gene inherited from the Denisovans allows adapting to life at altitude, but is found only in Tibetans. However, in our case, the impact extends to all populations outside Africa”, Bosch concludes.

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