COVID-19 Meat Worker Case Rates More Than 5 Times Lower than General Population

The latest analysis of independent data reveals that COVID-19 infection rates among meat and poultry workers are more than five times lower than in the general U.S. population, 95% lower than peak case rates in the sector from May 2020.

According to data from the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN), the meat and poultry sector was reported to have an average of just 4.81 new reported cases per 100,000 workers per day in February 2021, compared with 26.15 cases per...

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FAO Food Price Index Rises for Ninth Consecutive Month in February

Global food commodity prices rose for the ninth consecutive month in February, with quotations for sugar and vegetable oils increasing the most, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reports.

The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly-traded food commodities, averaged 116.0 points in February, 2.4 percent higher than the previous month and up 26.5 percent from a year ago.

The FAO Sugar Price Index rose by 6.4 percent from January, as production declines in key producing countries together with strong import demand from 

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Mar 4 4:09 PM, General News

SpartanNash Announces Greg Molloy to Fill VP, Environmental Health and Safety Role

SpartanNash announced that Greg Molloy has been named Vice President, Environmental Health and Safety, effective March 1. He will be responsible for developing and leading strategic initiatives in the areas of Health, Safety and Environmental sustainability to ensure companywide compliance with all safety and environmental laws and regulations.

Mr. Molloy will report to Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Yvonne Trupiano.

“One of SpartanNash’s key initiatives in 2021 is improving our associate experience through initiatives related to safety and retention. Mr. Molloy’s leadership will be paramount to achieving these goals,” President and Chief Executive Officer Tony Sarsam said. “As we continue to...

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Mar 4 3:24 PM, General News

NRF Encourages Customers to Continue Wearing Masks in Stores Nationwide

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from Senior Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs Bill Thorne in response to several states lifting mask mandates.

“Retail stores are private entities. If they require you to wear a mask in their stores, and you choose not to, that store can refuse admission or service. Retailers are private businesses, and it is within their right to implement and enforce policies that protect the health and the safety of their employees and their customers...

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Mar 4 3:14 PM, General News

NPPC: Bill Addressing Agriculture Labor 'Step In the Right Direction'

Legislation introduced on Wednesday in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, would reform the H-2A visa program to address the agricultural labor shortage. Among other provisions, it would amend the H-2A program to allow a capped number of visas for farmworkers to work year-round. The following statement is attributable to National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) President Jen Sorenson, communications director for Iowa Select Farms in West Des Moines, Iowa.

“The U.S. pork industry is suffering from a serious labor shortage, negatively impacting farms and processing plants. Unfortunately, the current H-2A visa program is designed for seasonal agriculture, ignoring the needs of...


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Mar 4 2:38 PM, General News

Three Quarters of Brits Would Shop At an Amazon Grocery Store 

With the first Amazon grocery store now open in Britain, latest research from Mintel reveals that three quarters (76%) of Brits say they would shop at one.

When asked what would encourage them to shop at a physical Amazon grocery store, almost two thirds (63%) of consumers said they would be attracted to discounts for Prime membership. Meanwhile, a quarter (24%) would like the opportunity to be able to collect online orders. Overall attraction in shopping at these physical stores was higher among younger shoppers, with...

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Mar 4 2:09 PM, General News

BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings Announces Record Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2020 Results

BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings, Inc. announced its financial results for the thirteen and fifty-two weeks ended January 30, 2021.

"2020 was a remarkable, transformative and challenging year that structurally changed our business for the better. While the unique circumstances brought on by the pandemic provided tailwinds, our industry-leading results and significant market share gains demonstrate the strength of our execution in these challenging times. We made substantial strategic progress including delivering record membership results, optimizing merchandising, expanding...

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Mar 4 10:12 AM, General News

Kroger Delivers Strong Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2020 Results

The Kroger Co. reported its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2020 results.

Comments from Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen

"I am incredibly humbled by the strength of our associates and what we continue to accomplish together. Our customers are at the center of everything we do and we will continue to serve them as we have since the beginning of the pandemic, through our leadership in food and as a health partner, providing COVID-19 testing and vaccines.

"Kroger continued to grow market share during the quarter. Our ability to meet our customers' evolving needs is a testament to our deep competitive moats, disciplined investments in our increasingly robust digital capabilities, as well as our associates' relentless focus on our customers. We finished fiscal year 2020 with...

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Mar 4 9:24 AM, General News

Urner Barry Releases March Pulse Protein Report 

Purchases of North American yellow peas for Chinese pork feed formulations have contributed to yet another consecutive month of increased yellow pea prices. On February 16th, the USDA reported an average increase of $2.30/cwt to $12.30/cwt in whole yellow peas offering producers some of the...

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Mar 4 8:34 AM, Plant Protein

Check Out the Latest UB Market Briefing, Now Available!

Breakdown the poultry, egg, red meat and seafood markets with exclusive analysis from UB Market Reporters

Urner Barry is the leading provider of protein market news and information in the food industry. Through daily canvasses of the trade and an unrivaled historical database, our analysts are uniquely positioned to report on the underlying conditions and significant disruptors to the market. In this Market Briefing, Urner Barry reporters outline the latest action in the commodity protein markets, highlighting...

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Mar 4 8:34 AM, Urner Barry

Nathan’s Famous Continues International Expansion in North America and Beyond

Nathan’s Famous, Inc., announces the expansion of their products to Mexico City, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. The brand will also introduce its new virtual kitchen concept, Wings of New York, in all locations, with the exception of Brazil. Nathan’s Famous and Wings of New York will be available in a multitude of ways, including brick and mortar locations, ghost kitchens or retail, depending on the market.

“This is an exciting time for Nathan’s Famous and Wings of New York,” said James Walker, SVP, Restaurants. “We are embarking on a new chapter in our company as we continue to grow the brand’s presence all across the globe...

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Mar 4 8:33 AM, General News

Popeyes Announces New Quality and Sustainability Commitments

Popeyes has announced new food quality commitments for the next 5 years as part of the Restaurant Brands for Good sustainability plan. The commitments are part of the brand’s work to serve responsibly sourced, high quality and great tasting food every day while continuously working to reduce its environmental footprint.

Real Ingredients - Popeyes® is working on removing colors, flavors and preservatives from artificial sources from fried chicken menu items in the U.S. by the end of 2022, starting with its famous Popeyes® Chicken Sandwich.

Antibiotics - Popeyes® is eliminating antibiotics important to human medicine from their chicken supply chain in the US and Canada by the end of 2021. This new sourcing policy supports...

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Mar 4 8:33 AM, General News

NCBA Welcomes Discussion on Cattle Market Transparency Act

Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) introduced the Cattle Market Transparency Act in the U.S. Senate. If enacted, this legislation would direct the Secretary of Agriculture and the Office of the Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish regional mandatory minimums for negotiated trade of fed cattle. It would also direct USDA to establish a library of cattle formula contracts, amend the definition of “cattle committed” to expand the delivery window from seven to 14 days, and clarify confidentiality rules for administering Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR). Companion legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House by Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO-4).

“Cattle producers continue to face serious obstacles when it comes to increasing profitability and gaining leverage in the marketplace,” said NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane. “Leveling the playing field and putting more of the beef dollar in producer pockets remains...

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Mar 4 8:32 AM, General News

Cracker Barrel Offers New Prime Rib Heat n' Serve and Creative Basket Options

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® announced the launch of its Spring Into the Season campaign, featuring a new, homestyle Prime Rib Heat n' Serve meal and Baskets for Every Occasion gift options to make the most of the Easter holiday and life's most memorable milestones. Plus, Cracker Barrel's popular classic Easter Heat n' Serve meal including spiral-sliced sugar-cured ham will be back in two sizes – Feast and Family Dinner.

"Whether you're craving a country feast, refreshing your home for Spring, or planning to give one-of-a-kind Easter baskets, Cracker Barrel is here to offer convenient and delicious ways to make new traditions at home or celebrate with us around one of our tables," said Cracker Barrel Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Tate. "This year, we're especially excited to offer...

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Mar 4 8:31 AM, General News

COVID-19 Meat Worker Case Rates More Than 5 Times Lower than General Population

The latest analysis of independent data reveals that COVID-19 infection rates among meat and poultry workers are more than five times lower than in the general U.S. population, 95% lower than peak case rates in the sector from May 2020.

According to data from the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN), the meat and poultry sector was reported to have an average of just 4.81 new reported cases per 100,000 workers per day in February 2021, compared with 26.15 cases per...

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Mar 4 8:29 AM, General News

Walmart Drops $35 Minimum for Express Delivery

Walmart is making it easier for customers to get the items they want at the lightning-fast speed they may need them. Beginning today, the retailer is removing the $35 minimum order requirement for Express delivery.

Express delivery allows customers to order items from Walmart’s food, consumables and general merchandise assortment such as produce, pantry staples, everyday essentials, toys and electronics. It relies on the retailer’s team of 170,000 trained personal shoppers who pick customers’ orders. Like Walmart’s pickup and delivery service, there is no markup on items – an item is priced the same as it is on the shelf. Express delivery costs...

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Mar 4 8:27 AM, General News

Mar 3 2:14 PM, Urner Barry

VIDEO: Morning Market Roundup March 2

Watch Urner Barry's reporters give insight into what is happening in the markets this week in Retail Eggs, Bone-In Chicken and Beef Brisket...

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Wendy's Reports Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2020 Results

The Wendy's Company reported results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended January 3, 2021.

"I could not be more proud of our results and the work that was done by the Wendy's® System across the globe in 2020 with all the challenges we faced and overcame during the year. I am confident that we have emerged as a stronger, more unified brand that is poised to deliver outsized growth" President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Penegor said. "We accomplished a lot in 2020, including securing our position as the #2 QSR hamburger restaurant chain* in the U.S., achieving our two highest quarterly Global same restaurant sales results in over...

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Mar 3 10:29 AM, General News

PERSPECTIVES: An Interview with Todd Heimler of Fastener’s Resource, Inc.

Todd Heimler talks shop on how Fastener's Resource serves the industry:

Why did you establish Fastener’s Resource?

Fastener’s Resource began eleven years ago, as a distributor of industrial fasteners. At the time, I was travelling to farms and when speaking with the owners I realized there was an unmet need. Managers had ordered fasteners from their suppliers but when their shipments arrived, there were parts missing or delays. I quickly realized that this was something...

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Mar 3 8:30 AM, Urner Barry

The Day We've All Been Waiting For—Insights is Now LIVE!

It’s finally here. Urner Barry’s new Insights offering is now LIVE on COMTELL!

Insights is a digital offering exclusively available on COMTELL that allows subscribers and, occasionally, outside guests to READ, WATCH, and LISTEN to impactful market content in a way like never before.

Through Insights, our expert editorial team, market reporters, analysts, and curated guest contributors will be generating unique content for the protein industry. This in-depth coverage will be available to COMTELL subscribers 365 days a year...

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Mar 3 8:28 AM, Urner Barry

Shake Shack Announces Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2020 Financial Results

Shake Shack Inc., reported financial results for the fourth quarter and the fiscal year ended December 30, 2020, periods that included 14 and 53 weeks, respectively, as fiscal 2020 contained an additional operating week compared to fiscal 2019.

Randy Garutti, Chief Executive Officer of Shake Shack, stated, “As we close the chapter on 2020, I'm so grateful and proud of the way our Shack family has overcome the obstacles that came our way, and led the continued recovery of our business while supporting each other and our communities. With much of the country still under varying degrees of lockdown, we're pleased to report revenue in the fourth quarter of $157.5 million, with same-Shack sales improving to...

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Mar 3 8:27 AM, General News

Beef Quarterly Q1 2021: New Drivers in Cattle Innovation

Increasing awareness of the need to improve environmental and social outcomes, together with a growing appetite from investors in animal protein, are creating new opportunities and growth in cattle innovation.

“We believe that research and innovation in the beef industry will continue to evolve but we are currently enabled by two main catalysts that will stimulate this further. Firstly, new investors in the space and secondly, the sustainability drive that not only seeks production improvements but also creates...

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Mar 3 8:27 AM, General News

SpartanNash Announces VP, Fresh Merchandising

SpartanNash announced that the Company has promoted Amy McClellan to Vice President, Fresh Merchandising, effective March 8. Ms. McClellan has served as SVP, Retail Operations and Merchandising for Martin’s Super Markets and as Division Vice President, Retail for SpartanNash since the company acquired Martin’s in January of 2019. She recently celebrated her 20-year service anniversary with Martin’s, beginning as a part-time cashier while in high school and advancing to increasing roles of responsibility including Communications Specialist, Market Research Supervisor, Loyalty and Marketing Programs Manager, Director of Marketing and Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

As Vice President, Fresh Merchandising, Ms. McClellan will play a key role in developing the long-term vision of Fresh product categories to ensure success for SpartanNash’s more than...

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Mar 3 8:27 AM, General News

Tyson Foods to Vaccinate Thousands of Iowa Workers

Tyson Foods, Inc. will offer free, onsite COVID-19 vaccinations to thousands of frontline team members at its Iowa plants this week. The vaccines are being provided in conjunction with local health departments across the state of Iowa, where food processing workers are among the priority group now eligible for vaccination.

“We’ve been working with Matrix Medical, Hy-Vee and health department officials across Iowa to prepare for this moment and we’re ready,” said Tom Brower, senior vice president of Health and Safety for Tyson Foods. “We’re pleased to offer our team members convenient access to the vaccine, and we appreciate the state of Iowa recognizing...

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Mar 3 8:26 AM, General News

Mar 2 3:01 PM, Urner Barry Video

VIDEO: State of the Market Episode 10: The Shrimp Market

This week Market Digest host Laura Zinger speaks with market reporter and COO Jim Kenny. Jim walks us through the shrimp complex on COMTELL, updates us on the imports side of the market, and...

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US Foods Spring Scoop Caters to Consumers’ Growing Interest in Well-Being, Sustainability

US Foods Holding Corp. announced the launch of Spring 2021 Scoop™, “Hungry for Better,” which features products that cater to consumers’ growing interest in dining options that support their planet, their communities and themselves. Today’s consumers are more deliberate and conscientious about their dining choices and are seeking products with simple and authentic ingredients that can also satisfy specific dietary needs. At the same time, they are also demanding products with sustainable attributes, and research shows that these consumer behaviors have only intensified since the start of the pandemic. To meet this growing need, US Foods Spring Scoop highlights 21 products that offer a well-being and/or sustainable attribute and are part of the company’s growing portfolio of products under the Hungry for Better initiative.

“With Spring Scoop, we are focusing on products that support our Hungry for Better initiative,” said Stacey Kinkaid, vice president, product development and...

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Mar 2 10:14 AM, General News

Publix Reports Fourth Quarter and Annual Results for 2020

The coronavirus pandemic was declared a national emergency on March 13, 2020 and continues to be a challenge. It remains a top priority of Publix to serve the communities in which it operates in a way that protects the health and safety of its associates and customers.

Publix’s sales for the three months ended Dec. 26, 2020 were $11.2 billion, a 14.8% increase from $9.8 billion in 2019. Comparable store sales for the three months ended Dec. 26, 2020 increased...

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Mar 2 9:56 AM, General News

Dine Brands Global Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2020 Results

Dine Brands Global, Inc., the parent company of Applebee's Neighborhood Grill + Bar® and IHOP® restaurants, today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2020.

“Dine Brands enters 2021 positioned for improved sales and robust off-premise growth. In the face of the unprecedented environment resulting from the pandemic, our franchisees, team members and restaurant teams rose to the challenge. Operationally, the collective system implemented heightened cleanliness standards to enhance the safety and well-being of our teams and guests, for both dine-in and off-premise occasions. In 2020, Dine moved swiftly to right size our business and brands in response to...

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Mar 2 9:50 AM, General News

Milky Way International Trading Corp. Recalls Canned Corned Beef Products

Milky Way International Trading Corp., doing business as MW Polar, a Norwalk, Calif., firm, is recalling approximately 297,715 pounds of ready-to-eat canned corned beef products that were imported and distributed in the United States without the benefit of FSIS import re-inspection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced.

The canned corned beef items were imported on various