Technomic: Operators Must Showcase Value and Innovation to Gain Share of Pasta and Noodle Occasions

Consumption of pasta and noodle dishes in Canada is high but skews significantly toward at-home occasions, according to Technomic’s new 2019 Canadian Pasta Consumer Trend Report. In order to drive sales, operators should offer a unique draw for consumers that they won’t be able to find elsewhere.

“Operators need to convey that their pasta and noodle dishes are worth the price of dining out and offer a meal that simply can’t be replicated at home,” explains Charles Winship, manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “Authentic preparations, high-quality ingredients and innovative flavour profiles can all help elevate dishes, improving value perceptions.”

Key takeaways from the report include...

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Cracker Barrel Reports Strong Fourth Quarter And Full Year Fiscal 2019 Results

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc., today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 ended August 2, 2019.

Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2019 Highlights

  • Comparable store restaurant sales growth of 3.8% and traffic growth of 0.2% outperformed the casual dining industry.
  • Earnings per diluted share were $2.70 compared to prior year fourth quarter GAAP earnings per diluted share of $2.55, or $2.19 per share when adjusting for the impact of the prior year 53rd week.
  • As previously announced, the Company entered into a strategic relationship with Punch Bowl Social ("PBS") on July 18, 2019 by acquiring a...
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Sep 18 8:53 AM, General News



Perdue Foods Recalls Simply Smart Organics Frozen Chicken Ready-to-Eat Products

Perdue Foods, LLC, a Perry, Ga. establishment, is recalling approximately 495 pounds of frozen ready-to-eat chicken products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The product contains wheat, a known allergen, which is not declared on the product label.

The frozen ready-to-eat chicken products are labeled as gluten free chicken breast tenders but contain chicken nugget products. The items were produced on August 30, 2019. The following products are subject to recall...

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Sep 18 8:48 AM, General News


Sep 18 8:21 AM, Urner Barry Video

Cattle on Feed and Cold Storage Pre-Report Estimates;
Chipotle Launches Carne Asada Nationwide;
Sponsored by Obsono’s Market Insight Report
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Technomic: Operators Must Showcase Value and Innovation to Gain Share of Pasta and Noodle Occasions

Consumption of pasta and noodle dishes in Canada is high but skews significantly toward at-home occasions, according to Technomic’s new 2019 Canadian Pasta Consumer Trend Report. In order to drive sales, operators should offer a unique draw for consumers that they won’t be able to find elsewhere.

“Operators need to convey that their pasta and noodle dishes are worth the price of dining out and offer a meal that simply can’t be replicated at home,” explains Charles Winship, manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “Authentic preparations, high-quality ingredients and innovative flavour profiles can all help elevate dishes, improving value perceptions.”

Key takeaways from the report include...

Full Story »
Sep 18 8:18 AM, General News


USDA Modernizes Swine Slaughter Inspection for the First Time in Over 50 Years

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a final rule to modernize swine slaughter inspection and bring it into the 21st century. For the first time in more than five decades, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is modernizing inspection at market hog slaughter establishments with a goal of protecting public health while allowing for food safety innovations.

“This regulatory change allows us to ensure food safety while eliminating outdated rules and allowing for companies to innovate,” Secretary Sonny Perdue said. “The final rule is the culmination of a science-based and data-driven rule making...

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Sep 18 8:18 AM, General News


Chipotle Launches Carne Asada Nationwide

Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it's introducing a brand-new steak option, Carne Asada, nationally on September 19, 2019. CHIPOTLE REWARDS members were the first to learn of the new menu item today. To showcase the importance of its Rewards members and the exclusive access the program provides, Chipotle invited its top steak lovers in New York and Los Angeles to attend early VIP tasting events.

This premium protein is cut into tender slices, seasoned with fresh squeezed lime and finished with hand-chopped cilantro and a blend of signature spices. Chipotle's Carne Asada has been officially approved for the Whole30® program, and is compliant with a Paleo diet.

Additionally, Chipotle teamed up with...

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Sep 17 10:27 AM, General News


Fresh and Focused: The U.S. Retailer Path to Winning Brick and Mortar

Despite the explosion in online shopping in the U.S., physical stores haven’t gone by the wayside. Why? In a word: fresh.

Although e-commerce represents just 4% of grocery sales today, it accounts for nearly one-third of total growth. And Americans are increasingly heading online to shop for nonperishables, household items and pet products, making the concept of stock up grocery trips a thing of the past for many shoppers.

Yet the fresh departments (bakery, deli, meat, produce and seafood) still lure people into physical stores; in fact, online grocery shoppers spend 1.5% more in-store on fresh food than the average consumer does. As more category sales continue to...

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Sep 17 9:26 AM, General News


Sep 17 8:50 AM, Urner Barry Video

National Pork Producers Council Responds to China Market Access;
Chinese Catfish Stays Domestic Due to African Swine Flu;
Sponsored by The Meat Buyer's Guide Online
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August Retail Sales Grew 4.1 Percent Over Last Year but New Tariffs Present 'Downside Risk'

Retail sales were up 0.4 percent in August seasonally adjusted from July and up 4.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year, the National Retail Federation said today. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants.

“While consumer attitudes about the economy indicate some retreating optimism, the bottom line is that consumer spending remained resilient in August and continued to be a key contributor to U.S. economic growth,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Trends remain strong, but August grew somewhat slower than July, which could reflect consumers’ concerns about the unpredictability of trade policy. It is too early to assess the impact of the new tariffs that took effect at the beginning of this month, but...

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Sep 17 8:20 AM, General News


NPPC Statement on China Market Access 

Chinese media reported that it was suspending the imposition of punitive tariffs on U.S. pork imports. The following is a statement from National Pork Producers Council President David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, N.C.:

“If media reports are accurate, this is a most welcome development. The Chinese have placed punitive tariffs of 60% on most U.S. pork products, bringing the effective tariff rate on most U.S. pork to 72%.

“According to Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes, the Chinese retaliation on U.S. pork has shaved $8 off the price of every hog sold in the United States for well over a year. Most of our competitors face only a...

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Sep 17 8:19 AM, General News


CHART: Industry Expectations for Weekly Hog Slaughter

The Urner Barry hog slaughter poll for the week ending 9/21/19 resulted in an average industry participant response of 2,588,000 head...

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Sep 16 4:07 PM, Urner Barry


CHART: Industry Expectations for Weekly Cattle Slaughter 

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Sep 16 2:12 PM, Urner Barry


US Foods Delivers a World of Authentic, Global Flavors with Fall Scoop 2019

US Foods Holding Corp. announced today the launch of Fall Scoop 2019, which focuses on “Global Discovery Made Easy” and showcases products with Latin American, Asian and Middle Eastern influences. With 54 percent of consumers saying they have gone out of their way to try a novel global food, today’s diners are hungry to explore new flavors from all over the world.1

To help restaurant operators stay competitive and meet this growing demand, US Foods collaborated with nationally recognized chefs, Chef Diana Dávila, Chef Thai Dang and Chef Sameh Wadi to advise on many of the...

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Sep 16 10:33 AM, General News


Starbucks Announces Three New Appointments to Board of Directors

Starbucks Corporation announced today the appointment of Richard (Ritch) E. Allison, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of Domino’s; Andrew (Andy) Campion, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of NIKE; and Isabel Ge Mahe, Apple’s Vice President and Managing Director of Greater China, to the Starbucks Board of Directors. These appointments increase Starbucks Board of Directors to 13.

“As we pursue our goal of building an enduring company, I couldn’t be more excited to have Ritch, Andy and Isabel join our world-class board of directors,” said Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and chief executive officer. “Their expertise across global technology, retail and customer experience at scale will accelerate our drive to innovate in a way that’s relevant to our customers and inspiring to our partners.”

All three joined the Starbucks Board of Directors effective Sept. 11, 2019. Other members of the Starbucks Board of Directors include...

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Sep 16 10:15 AM, General News


Kroger and Ocado Name Dallas Location of Fifth High-Tech Customer Fulfillment Center

The Kroger Co., America's largest grocery retailer, and Ocado, one of the world's largest dedicated online grocery retailers, today announced Dallas, Texas, as the fifth location for a Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC).

"Kroger is incredibly excited to construct one of our industry-leading Customer Fulfillment Centers in Dallas, Texas — one of the largest cities in America — in relationship with Ocado to bring fresh food to our customers faster than ever before," said Robert Clark, Kroger's senior vice president of supply chain, manufacturing and sourcing. "Through our strategic partnership, we are engineering a model for the region, leveraging advanced robotics technology and creative solutions to redefine the customer experience for...

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Sep 16 8:51 AM, General News


Sep 16 8:30 AM, Urner Barry Video

Foodservice Sectors Initiating Sustainability Efforts
Supported by Consumer Interests;
Movers of the Week from the HRI Buyers Guide;
Sponsored by Obsono's Market Insight
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China to Exempt U.S. Pork, Soybeans from Additional Tariffs -Xinhua

China will exempt some agricultural products from additional tariffs on U.S. goods, including pork and soybeans, China's official Xinhua News Agency said Friday, in the latest sign of easing Sino-U.S. tensions before a new round of talks aimed at curbing a bruising trade war.

The United States and China have both made conciliatory gestures, with China renewing purchases of U.S. farm goods and U.S. President Donald Trump delaying a tariff increase on certain Chinese goods.

China had imposed three rounds of additional tariffs on U.S. pork, including 25% increases in April and July 2018 and a 10% bump this month, raising the total duty from...

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Sep 13 2:40 PM, Urner Barry


Sep 13 10:26 AM, Urner Barry Video

VIDEO: Alternative Protein Popularity Rises; Chicken Export Analysis

Flexitarian Diets and consumer demands;
Another Day Another Chicken;
Sponsored by Urner Barry's Prospector
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NPPC Applauds EPA's Actions to Finalize New WOTUS Rule

The National Pork Producers Council applauded today’s action by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), repealing the previous Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule and laying the groundwork for a new final rule.

The previous WOTUS rule was issued by the Obama administration in August 2015, giving EPA broad jurisdiction over U.S. waters to include other water bodies, upstream waters and intermittent and ephemeral streams that farmers use for drainage and irrigation. Most importantly, it also covered lands adjacent to waters such as farm fields. Prior to the 2015 rule, EPA’s jurisdiction over waterways – based on several U.S. Supreme Court decisions – included “navigable” waters and waters with a significant hydrologic connection to navigable waters.

“We’re pleased the EPA is moving towards a common sense WOTUS rule that works with—not against—farmers to protect our nation’s waterways,” said NPPC President David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, N.C. “The previous WOTUS rule was a dramatic government overreach and an unprecedented expansion of federal authority over private lands. Today’s action will remove the threat...

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Sep 13 9:26 AM, General News


NPD Group: Consumers Consider the Environment when Making Food and Beverage Decisions

Sustainability, which by definition is the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance, is a much talked about topic today and is used in a broader sense to mean environmental consciousness or earth-friendly. In the food and beverage and foodservice sectors, many grocers, food manufacturers, and restaurant operators are initiating sustainability efforts as socially responsible corporate citizens and to support consumer interests. Nine percent of adults consider the environment as a top factor when making food and beverage purchase decisions, and it’s young adults, ages 18-44 years old, who are most likely to feel this way, finds The NPD Group.

When making food and beverage purchase decisions based on the environment, packaging is most visible to consumers. One in ten U.S. adults, or roughly 20 million consumers, said that they have switched to a different food or beverage brand because...

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Sep 13 9:10 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: Chicken Exports: A Strong Start to Q3

July’s export figures bring some much-needed clarity to a market which has been riddled with political trade tension and cross-protein competition, mostly in the form of increased outbound shipments of chicken...

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Sep 13 8:15 AM, Urner Barry


Pork Producers Urge Congress to Ratify USMCA and Support Measures to Prevent Foreign Animal Disease

Congressional ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA), allowing the U.S. pork industry to maintain zero-duty market access to two of its largest export markets, remains a top priority for the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC). More than 120 pork producers from across the country helped spread this and other messages on Capitol Hill this week during NPPC’s Fall Legislative Action Conference (LAC).

“Last year, Canada and Mexico took over 40 percent of the pork that was exported from the U.S. and they are expected to be a large percentage this year as well,” said NPPC President David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, N.C. “USMCA will strengthen...

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Sep 13 8:11 AM, General News


Packaged Facts: Alternative Proteins Budding with Organic and Clean Label Food Shoppers

Though the majority of Americans eat meat, trends throughout 2019—from the launch of Burger King's Impossible Whopper to skyrocketing shares of Beyond Meat's blockbuster IPO—hint at the multi-billion dollar potential impact of plant-based products on the nation's food and beverage market.

According to The Organic and Clean Label Food Shopper, 2nd Edition, a brand new report by market research firm Packaged Facts, consumers are increasingly more adventurous with what they eat and more consider themselves flexitarian than in the past. Packaged Facts reveals that only 6% of Baby Boomers claim to eat flexitarian diets, while 13% of Generation Z considers themselves flexitarian, showing the trend is...

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Sep 12 11:51 AM, General News


Chick-fil-A Now Serving "No Antibiotics Ever" Chicken at All Restaurants in the U.S.

Chick-fil-A announced today it has reached its goal to serve No Antibiotics Ever (also known as "NAE") chicken in its 2,400+ Chick-fil-A restaurants in the United States. In 2014, Chick-fil-A announced it was pursuing a bold commitment to serve only chicken raised with No Antibiotics Ever nationwide by the end of 2019. Along with supply partners, Chick-fil-A met the milestone early, serving only No Antibiotics Ever chicken at every Chick-fil-A restaurant in the United States since May 2019. Beginning in October, packaging in restaurants will reflect this achievement.

The No Antibiotics Ever commitment made by Chick-fil-A allows no antibiotics of any kind to be administered to the chicken within its supply, starting from the egg. The United States Department of Agriculture audits and verifies that suppliers are...

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Sep 12 9:30 AM, General News


Sep 12 9:12 AM, Urner Barry Video

Consumers Purchased More at U.S. Restaurants in August than Year Prior; Beefing Up Turkey Exports;
Sponsored by COMTELL's Phone App
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Kroger Reports Second Quarter 2019 Results

The Kroger Co. today reported its second quarter 2019 results and provided a Restock Kroger progress update on the company's three-year transformation plan.

Comments from Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen

"The Restock Kroger framework is designed to reposition our core business by 2020 while continuing to deliver for shareholders.

We are pleased with the improvement of trends in our supermarket business in the second quarter. Guided by our customer obsession, Kroger delivered our best identical sales, without fuel, result since the launch of our transformation plan. FIFO gross margin, without fuel and pharmacy, was stable in our supermarket business. Gross margin headwinds in pharmacy were offset by strong fuel performance during...

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Sep 12 8:54 AM, General News


Walmart to Roll Out Delivery Unlimited to Stores Across the Country

Walmart has plans to expand the reach of Delivery Unlimited – a Grocery Delivery membership option for customers – to 1,400 stores later this fall. The program gives customers the option to pay a yearly $98 fee or a monthly $12.95 fee to receive unlimited Walmart Grocery Delivery orders. Customers will continue to have the option to pay a per-delivery fee, without a membership.

“Grocery Delivery takes convenience to a new level, and our customers love it. With Delivery Unlimited, we’re providing incredible value for our customers and leveraging our unique assets to save them both time and money,” said Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer, Walmart.

The retailer began piloting Delivery Unlimited in four markets – Houston, Miami, Salt Lake City and Tampa – earlier this year. Based on the positive response of customers, Walmart is expanding the program to all 200 metro areas where...

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Sep 12 8:45 AM, General News


NPD Group: U.S. Restaurant Cash Registers Rang More in August

Amidst a chicken sandwich war, taking advantage of the last remaining days of summer vacation, and the want of having someone else do the cooking, consumers made more purchases at U.S. restaurants in August than they did the year before, reports The NPD Group. Quick service restaurants (QSRs) were the primary beneficiaries of this consumer demand with same-store dollars up by 4.4 percent.

Restaurant transactions were positive for QSR chains throughout the month of August, according to NPD’s CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 73 quick service, fast casual, midscale chains, and casual dining chains. The full service segment of casual and midscale/family chains continued to be soft compared to...

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Sep 12 8:31 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: Beefing Up Turkey Exports

Despite positive performance in the latest turkey export figures, they still fell short of the buoyed expectations fueled by the Japan trade agreement back in...

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Sep 12 8:14 AM, Urner Barry


Taco Bell Rolls Out New Vegetarian Menu Nationwide

For years, Taco Bell's delicious vegetarian menu items have been one of the best kept secrets for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Beginning Thursday, the brand that has proudly offered great tasting vegetarian options for some time, will launch a not-so-new "new" vegetarian menu nationwide for the first time ever. With 13 great tasting menu items available at more than 7,000 participating restaurants, Taco Bell continues to lead the way with a meaningful vegetarian menu and remains committed to making the items more accessible by including them on a permanent menu board.

The "new" menu will feature some exciting items that are all American Vegetarian Association (AVA)-certified, including the Black Bean Crunchwrap Supreme and Black Bean Quesarito as well as the classic 7-Layer Burrito and Bean Burrito. In addition to these four items, fans can find another nine bold, flavorful vegetarian items sprinkled throughout the larger menu, all indicated by...

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Sep 11 10:18 AM, General News


Hy-Vee Fresh Commissary Recalls Ready-To-Eat Beef and Chicken Products

Hy-Vee Fresh Commissary, an Ankeny, Iowa establishment, is recalling approximately 6,233 pounds of ready-to-eat (RTE) beef and chicken products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The products contain milk, a known allergen, which is not declared on the product label.

The RTE beef and chicken products were produced on Sept. 7-8, 2019. The following products are subject to recall...

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Sep 11 9:00 AM, General News


Del Taco Partners with Postmates for Delivery

Del Taco Restaurants, Inc., the nation's second largest Mexican quick service restaurant, today announced it has partnered with Postmates, the leader in enabling anything to be delivered on demand, to provide fast delivery from its participating corporate and franchise restaurants to wherever the customer may be. To launch the partnership, from September 16th through September 22nd guests can save $5 off any Del Taco delivery order of $20 or more, from Postmates.

"We know how important convenience is to our guests, and are thrilled to be able to continue expanding our delivery services through a partnership with Postmates," said Barry Westrum, Del Taco's Chief Marketing Officer. "With Postmates' popularity and reach throughout key Del Taco markets, such as Southern California, we know even more fans will be able to enjoy their Del Taco favorites delivered...

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Sep 11 8:25 AM, General News


Sep 11 8:17 AM, Urner Barry Video

Imports Reached High Numbers Before New Tariffs Took Effect;
July 2019 Blue Swimming Crab Imports Increased;
Sponsored by Obsono’s Market Insight Report
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