The restaurant industry is roaring back to life as vaccination distribution spreads and dine-in restrictions ease, but it still faces many challenges, according to Technomic. The industry is short 1.5 million workers from its pre-pandemic employment base and is facing headwinds finding new hires as the cost of labor increases and other industries compete for workers.
“Value-added” flavored and seasoned meats have seen sales surge over the past few years. According to the 2021 Power of Meat report, 68% of meat shoppers purchased value-added meat and poultry “sometimes or frequently,” marking a 31% increase since 2016, reported Meat + Poultry.
Fungi-based protein is one of the newest meat alternatives that companies are pursuing. Unlike traditional vegetarian recipes, this protein is cultivated in a lab using fungal tissues to mimic the taste and texture of real meat, and it is not meant to look or taste like mushrooms, reported Forbes.
Pork producers sued California officials over the state's animal confinement law which applies to out-of-state pork products. The suit, filed against Attorney General Rob Bonta and others by the Iowa Pork Producers Association, argues the requirements could cost Iowa producers tens of millions of dollars annually, reported Legal Newsline.
myLAB Box is launching its at-home Food Sensitivity test. The test offers helpful information about how a customer's body will react to 96 common foods.
Dunkin’ Donuts has pulled the Beyond Sausage breakfast sandwich off its U.S. menu and no longer has it listed among the food items posted on the company’s website. Dunkin’ says it will continue to work with Beyond to explore other plant-based options, reported Seeking Alpha.
Pacific Northwest cherry growers are concerned for their crop amid scorching hot weather during the harvest. Some growers are preparing for predawn harvests while others start at sunrise, but the 100-plus degree temperatures could damage crops despite these efforts, reported Fresh Fruit Portal.
A new study of postmenopausal women has found that eating a concentrated amount of chocolate during a narrow window of time in the morning may help the body burn fat and decrease blood sugar levels, reported MedicalXPress.
A New York Times investigation claims Subway tuna sandwiches do not contain real tuna, further complicating the situation for the company as it faces a lawsuit on the same front, reported MarketWatch.
President Joe Biden nominated Cindy McCain to be the U.S. representative to the U.N. Agencies for Food and Agriculture. McCain, the widow of former Arizona Sen. John McCain, is also the chair and director of the Hensley Beverage Co., a Phoenix-based distributor of alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, reported MarketWatch.
West Coast farmers contending with drought conditions now face another threat: grasshoppers. Federal agriculture officials are gearing up for one of the largest grasshopper-killing campaigns since the 1980s as the drought-loving creatures could strip already-taxed rangelands bare, reported The Associated Press.
Four hydroelectric dams near the California-Oregon border could be razed in order to save migratory salmon. The proposal was rejected in summer 2020, but a recent ruling will allow the dams to be removed starting in 2023 if an additional regulatory approval comes to pass, reported CBS News.
The high levels of omega-6 fats in the typical Western diet pose a “significant risk factor” for both inflammatory and neuropathic pain, according to a study published in Nature Metabolism., reported Charlotte Observer.
U.S. restaurants, faced with higher food and labor costs, are raising menu prices at a much faster pace than historical rates, insistent on preserving profits after an arduous year. From local restaurants to national chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill, owners have boosted prices by as much as 5% in the past few weeks alone, reported Bloomberg.
Supply constraints are expected to last into the new year as orders and backlogs grow and production and hiring slow, according to economists and business executives. Meanwhile, a report from the Institute of International Finance said inflation could be fueled by supplier delays that are expected to last into 2022, reported The Wall Street Journal.
At the same time, crop shipments are being delayed due to the backlogs at U.S. ports. Paramount Export Co. said agricultural exporters are "living in a world of uncertainty," and fresh fruits and vegetables are at risk of decay if port slowdowns don't improve, reported AgAlert
Agricultural commodities are at the start of a “mini-supercycle” with prices expected to rise for for several years on demand from China and for biofuels, according to top traders. Executives from Cargill, Cofco, Viterra and Scoular said recently that the markets for corn, soybeans and wheat will remain strong over the next two to four years, reported Financial Times.
McDonald’s will introduce its first-ever loyalty program nationwide on July 8 as fast-food chains look to rewards programs to maintain the digital customers they gained during the pandemic. McDonald’s also indicated it wants to use the loyalty program to add a personal touch to the customer experience, reported CNBC.
Restaurant chains including McDonald’s and KFC are paring back $5-and-under “value” items in favor of more expensive $10-to-$30 combination meals, a strategy employed to lift sales and profits and offset rising food costs as the U.S. economy reopens, reported Reuters.
Amazon has placed an order for 1,000 autonomous driving systems from self-driving truck technology startup Plus and is in talks to buy a stake of as much as 20%, according to a person familiar with the matter, reported Bloomberg.
With chicken wings in short supply and prices rising, Wingstop said it is “hacking” its own brand by launching Thighstop, a virtual restaurant that will serve up crispy chicken thighs. The new brand will be available for delivery or carryout in 1,400 locations nationwide via DoorDash or on Thighstop.com, reported CNBC.
Roughly 39%, or about two out of every five, restaurants couldn’t pay their full June rents on time, according to a new survey by Alignable, reported Restaurant Business.
Food suppliers are turning to out-of-state workers and recruiters to fill job openings. Some New York food suppliers are hiring Alabama-based truckers as they can't find local workers, while others are turning to middlemen to recruit. Chef's Warehouse CEO Christopher Pappas noted his company lost 40% of its truckers and warehouse workers during the pandemic, which is fueling the need for alternative workers, reported New York Post.
California-based chicken chain El Pollo Loco is launching drone delivery tests with Tel Aviv-based drone startup Flytrex. The tests, which will start in Southern California, come on the heels of the company's 250% increase in delivery in 2020, reported Forbes.
The U.S. ended tariffs on Scotch whisky after the EU and U.S. resolved their trade dispute over subsidies provided to Boeing and Airbus. The Scotch Whisky Association estimated the 25% tariff contributed to a 30% fall in total exports to the U.S., reported CBS News.
Adults who skip breakfast are likely to miss out on key nutrients that are most abundant in the foods that make up morning meals, a new study suggests. An analysis of data on more than 30,000 American adults showed that skipping breakfast—and missing out on the calcium in milk, vitamin C in fruit, and the fiber, vitamins and minerals found in fortified cereals—likely left adults low on those nutrients for the entire day.
Sysco partners with UnbelievaBuns. The Charlotte-based company spent seven years perfecting the recipe for a low-carb, high-protein sandwich bun. The product is currently sold in health food stores and UnbelievaBuns’ founder believes the partnership with Sysco will help move his product into restaurants nationwide.
Two-thirds of Americans plan to return to normal celebrations for Independence Day, with 71% expecting the same by Labor Day, according to Numerator. Twenty-two percent of consumers plan for the Fourth of July to be their first "normal" celebration in 2021.