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Small food makers pave own way to big stores

New York

SMALL food manufacturers in the US once toiled for decades to develop a critical mass of fans for their products. Now, an increasing number of privately-held players are going from garage to grocery store in fewer than five years thanks to an erosion of barriers to entry in the food industry.

The trend is visible from gluten-free and organic foods to more traditional fare, according to interviews with half a dozen startups, as well as retailers and industry consultants.

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