Despite higher ingredients costs and an uncertain labor situation, fast food companies turned a profit in the second quarter. While McDonald's and Yum Brands posted same-store sales growth of 15% and 19%, even restaurants that benefited most from lockdown conditions thrived during the reopening, reported The Wall Street Journal.
After a few busy and hopeful months, restaurant operators fear the delta variant could force them to close up shop again. As cases of COVID-19 reignite across the country, foodservice operators think the virus could be a lethal blow as they also contend with higher food costs, labor shortages, and debt from 17 months of closures, reported CBS News.
A shortage of truckers across the U.S. has become so severe that companies are trying to bring in drivers from abroad as never before. The U.S. has been grappling with a chronic lack of drivers for years, but the shortage reached crisis levels because of the pandemic, which simultaneously sent demand for shipped goods soaring while touching off a surge in early retirements, reported Bloomberg.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday morning that New York City will require proof of vaccination for people participating in indoor activities, including at restaurants, gyms and performances, his latest attempt to spur more vaccinations. The mandate also applies to workers at those places, reported The New York Times.
Starbucks' cold beverages are massively outselling hot coffee in the US
Call it a cold brew boom.
At Starbucks (SBUX) locations across America, iced coffee drinks are red hot, with cold beverages now massively out-selling hot cups of Joe. During the fiscal third quarter ended June 27, cold beverages accounted for 74% of total domestic beverage sales — a new record and up ten percentage points over the past two years.
"We continue to see strong demand for Starbucks Cold Brew, Nitro Cold Brew, and Starbucks Refresher beverages, while iced shaken espresso alone contributed more than a third of the iced espresso growth in the quarter," CEO Kevin Johnson said
Would you pay $200 for french fries? That's how much they're going for at this restaurant
The restaurant Serendipity 3 already claims world records for the most expensive burger ($295) and ice cream sundae ($1,000), so if the question is, "You want fries with that?" its answer is a resounding yes.
Guinness World Records certified the feat. As of July 13, the fries are officially the most expensive on Earth.
"Serendipity is really a happy place," said creative director and chef Joe Calderone. "People come here to celebrate, to really escape the reality of life sometimes."
The Crème de la Crème Pommes Frites start out as Chipperbec potatoes. They are blanched -- or scalded -- in vinegar and champagne. Then they fry in pure goose fat, not oil, and not once but twice, so they are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
Sprinkled with edible gold and seasoned with truffle salt and truffle oil, they are served on a crystal plate with an orchid, thin-sliced truffles, and a Mornay cheese dip. The sauce, too, is infused with truffles
Why hard seltzer is still America's 'it' drinkHard seltzer sales totaled $4 billion in 2020, up from $500 million in 2018, Creswell reported in The New York Times, citing NielsenIQ data. Why did hard seltzer take off, besides a marketing push from Von Mandl? “If you think about the whole seltzer dynamic, and what’s causing it, it’s the convergence of health and wellness and convenience,” says Nik Modi, an analyst at RBC Capital. The New York Times' Julie Creswell notes, “White Claw’s slim cans (smart, right?) prominently state that the drinks contain only 100 calories, are gluten free and have only two grams each of carbohydrates and sugar.” Growth came during the pandemic and mostly from 21-30 year old demographic.
Dominated by White Claw and Truly
At one point White Claw had over 60% market share of hard seltzer in the U.S., and though exact numbers are tough to come by, it’s slipped a bit reportedly, whereas No. 2 in the category, Truly has gained. Together, it’s said Truly and White Claw command up to 80% of the market now.
Woman loves White Castle so much, she had 100 sliders at her 100th birthday
St. Louis centenarian Lydia Motchan loves White Castle. "The memory of White Castle is part of my heritage," Motchan told TODAY Food. "We grew up around the Great Depression time and so it was hard for my daddy to get a job. White Castle was a treat because we could afford them."
"A hamburger only cost a quarter and if you were lucky enough to cut a coupon out of the newspaper, you could buy six for 25 cents," Motchan, who has lived in the St. Louis area her entire life, recalled. "They were brought home in a brown paper bag and those are the things that I always think about in my memory." Motchan, who was born in July 1921, turned 100 this year. Since her family knew of her deep love for White Castle and that the burger chain was also turning 100 in 2021, they reached out to see if they'd help her celebrate hitting triple digits.
"We thought, ‘What the heck, let’s ask White Castle if they’re interested in participating in her birthday party this year,' Bill Motchan, her only son, told TODAY. "Turns out they were."
In addition to donating 100 White Castle Original Sliders to the festivities, White Castle presented Motchan with a plaque engraved with the message, "In recognition of this momentous milestone, we wish you a very happy 100th birthday! Thank you for being a loyal craver!"
When asked if, as someone who has lived for an entire century, she'd tell people to worry less about healthy eating and just go for the cheeseburger, she responded, "Definitely! What are you, crazy? How could you question such a thing? Yes and yes."
"We used to call them belly bombers," she added. "I guess they bomb some people’s bellies, but they never bombed mine. They always hit my stomach in a welcome way. There's just nothing like it."
Doritos offers a 13-year-old girl $20,000 as a reward for discovering a rare 'puffy' chip and listing it on eBay
A 13-year-old from Queensland, Australia, is set to receive $20,000 a few weeks after finding a peculiar Doritos chip.
9News reported that Rylee Stuart posted a video on TikTok last week showing a chip that was bloated across all three of its points. She had discovered it while eating a packet of the snacks.
The video went viral and has garnered more than 4 million views in the ensuing weeks.
Text on the video says: "I found a puff Dorito. Is this valuable or should I just eat?" Stuart then asked her followers what she should do.
TikTokers online encouraged her to put the Doritos chip up for sale on eBay, and that's exactly what she did.
A few users even joked: "Put it in a museum."
Stuart initially listed it for 99 cents in a post describing it as "puffy dorito one of a kind." It wasn't long until she started receiving bids of several thousand dollars, 9News reported.
The listing was eventually taken down but after the story attracted so much attention, Doritos offered Stuart $20,000. "We've been so impressed with Rylee's boldness and entrepreneurial spirit, so we wanted to make sure the Stuart family were rewarded for their creativity and love for Doritos," Vanita Pandey, PepsiCo's head of marketing for Australia and New Zealand
Rare food-based auctions have attracted huge bids in the past.
Way back in 2004, a grilled-cheese sandwich that appeared to feature the face of Virgin Mary was sold for $28,000, according to the BBC.
More recently, a McDonald's chicken nugget shaped like a character from online game "Among Us" was sold on eBay for $100,000, The Guardian reported.
A California federal magistrate judge ruled that a class action lawsuit against Tootsie Roll Industries over empty space in movie theater candy may proceed. Plaintiffs allege there is too much air in boxes of Sugar Babies and Junior Mints – even though the boxes declare the weight of the food inside, reported Legal Newsline.
In New York, London, and other big cities, a new breed of couriers with names such as Gorillas, Getir, and Gopuff is promising to have basic groceries at your front door in as little as 10 minutes. But questions remain as to whether these companies can sustainably turn a profit, reported Bloomberg. Unlike a delivery service such as Instacart, which sends its couriers into a nearby Walmart or Costco, rapid grocery deliveries come from locations the startups themselves operate—usually small warehouses located away from the high rents of Main Street.
Thorne, who’s done jaunts as an Uber Eats deliverer to understand that business better, counted how many couriers came and went over the course of a week. Just six months after opening in London, Getir was a lot more popular than he’d expected, averaging about 340 orders per day from one site.
California-based Monarch Tractor will begin field tests for its self-driving electric tractor at Oregon-based blueberry farm Hopville Farms. Farm owner Jim Hoffman noted the project could decrease on-site air pollution, reduce noise, save diesel fuel, and reduce employee labor hours, reported Fresh Fruit Portal.
How Pizza Led To A High Speed Police Chase In Ohio
Some people really hate it when their pizza gets cold. Taking the phrase "hot and ready" to another level, one Ohio resident was caught speeding home at a staggering 114 miles per hour on July 19 to keep his pizza at just the right temp after picking it up from a local eatery (via The Takeout). A police chase ensued that took both parties through Ohio's Logan County
Americans love their pizza. In fact, 350 slices of pizza are eaten in the U.S. every second. The average American eats 46 slices of pizza per year, and 300 billion pizzas are sold in the U.S. every single year. That is a lot of cheese and sauce!
The Texas Movie Theater Snack Most Other States Don't Understand
how would you feel if the person next to you had with them not a big bowl of buttery golden popcorn you sneak a handful of when they aren't looking, but rather were gnawing on a big fat pickle right from a paper bag? Shock? Confusion? Normal reactions from some, of course, but if you're from the Lone Star state, you're probably not surprised to see this green gherkin in the seat next to you. According to Southern Living, Texans have apparently been enjoying the humble pickle as a movie concession snack for many years, citing the fact that in 1975, an editorial writer in The News suggested that the act of pickle-eating in the theaters comes from Germany, where eating anything from pickles to bread to knackwurst was encouraged during performances, so perhaps Texas is simply tipping its hat to European cultural standards. Pickles have been so common in Texas, that it is said that whenever a Texan goes anywhere else to watch a movie and orders a crisp pickle to enjoy, they're looked at like "an alien." The same effect goes to others who visit Texas and discover bags of individually wrapped pickles. Pickles promote profits, too, as they have a long shelf life compared to popcorn, and their salty taste encourages sales of drinks from the concession stand. They're also said to be "customizable" — you can get one with or without juice, have one tossed in your popcorn for a super salty snack, or even have a candy cane skewered through it for a sour-and-sweet tang.
Wendy's Quietly Removed a Fan-Favorite Sauce, and People are Going Nuts: 'That Place Is Now Dead to Me'
The fast-food chain announced this week that it would be adding a new super-spicy Ghost Pepper Ranch dipping sauce to locations around the country, but at the seeming expense of another beloved condiment.
However, hungry fans noticed that in stores where the Ghost Pepper Ranch Sauce has been rolled out, the beloved Creamy Siracha Sauce has been removed.
Understandably, people were up in arms about the quiet removal of the fan-favorite.
Philippines approves GMO 'golden rice' for commercial production
The Philippines became the world's first country Friday to approve the commercial production of genetically modified "golden rice" that experts hope will combat childhood blindness and save lives in the developing world.
A biosafety permit issued by government regulators paves the way for the rice -- enriched with the vitamin A precursor beta-carotene to make it more nutritional -- to be grown by farmers across the country, its developers said.
Philippine-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has spent two decades working with the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute to develop golden rice -- named for its bright yellow hue.
It is the first genetically modified rice approved for commercial propagation in South and Southeast Asia, officials said Friday.
Golden rice has faced strong resistance from environmental groups opposed to genetically altered food plants. At least one test field in the Philippines was attacked by activists.
Despite passing the final regulatory hurdle, the rice is still a way off appearing in food bowls.
Ordinary rice, a staple for hundreds of millions of people particularly in Asia, produces beta-carotene in the plant, but it is not found in the grain.
"The only change that we've made is to produce beta-carotene in the grain," Reinke said.
"The farmers will be able to grow them in exactly the same way as ordinary varieties... it doesn't need additional fertiliser or changes in management and it carries with it the benefit of improved nutrition."
Vitamin A is essential for normal growth and development, the proper functioning of the immune system, and vision.
World Health Organization data show vitamin A deficiency causes up to 500,000 cases of childhood blindness every year, with half of those dying within 12 months of losing their sight.
Nearly 17 percent of children under the age of five in the Philippines are deficient in vitamin A, according to IRRI.
"We've always said we will provide 30-50 percent of that estimated average requirement (of vitamin A), and when you add that to what is existing in the diet you push up a whole cohort of the population from insufficiency to sufficiency," Reinke said.
Golden rice was analysed by food safety regulators in Australia, the United States and Canada and was given the thumbs up, he said, but it has not been approved in these countries for commercial production.
Changing Diets Mean More Americans Are Anemic Now
Growing numbers of Americans aren't getting enough iron in their diets most likely due to changes in farming practices and a shift away from red meat, researchers report.
The upshot: Rates of iron-deficiency anemia are on the rise.
"Iron deficiency remains a major public health issue even in a developed country such as the United States," Dr. Ian Griffin and Dr. Marta Rogido wrote in an editorial published along with the new research. They practice at Biomedical Research of New Jersey in Cedar Knolls.
Iron helps make hemoglobin, a component of red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Anemia results from a drop in red blood cells. It can cause fatigue, pale skin, dizziness and/or weakness, and can lead to other health problems, including heart failure, if left untreated, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
More folks are eating chicken instead of red meat for health purposes, and red meat contains much more iron, said study author Connie Weaver, professor emerita of nutrition science at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.
"Fortified grains and cereals increase iron intake, but low-carb diets and switching away from fortified cereal has also decreased iron intake," she added.