Kroger Delivery Introduces First Customer Fulfillment Center

Kroger is launching the first Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC), combining vertical integration, machine learning, and robotics with affordable, friendly, and fast delivery service for fresh food.

Located in Monroe, OH – a city north of Cincinnati – and powered by Ocado Group, a world leader in technology for grocery e-commerce, the CFC is the first to open, transforming and supporting the grocer's thriving digital business.

"2020 was a pivotal year for grocery e-commerce, with Kroger's digital business scaling to over $10 billion—and achieving a record digital sales increase of...

 

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U.S. Restaurant Chain Customer Transactions Begin to Recover

In mid-March 2020, U.S. governing authorities, to get the COVID-19 global pandemic under control, restricted on-premises dining at roughly 70% of all U.S. restaurants, a historical defining moment for the industry. By the last week of March 2020, customer transactions at major restaurant chains had fallen by -43% compared to year ago and by -77% at full service chains, which were most impacted by the dine-in restrictions.

In March 2021, with the lifting of restrictions and more consumers vaccinated, customer transactions at major restaurant chains were up +32% compared to the steep declines year ago, although still down -6% compared to two years ago, March 2019. Major chain transactions at full service restaurants were up...

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Apr 16 2:05 PM, General News



March Retail Sales See Strong Rebound Amid Increased Vaccination and Government Stimulus

Retail sales rebounded with huge gains in March as government checks fattened consumers’ bank accounts and more vaccination against COVID-19 made it easier for shoppers to get out of the house and lead the acceleration of the U.S. economy, the National Retail Federation said.

“The dramatic increase of nearly 18 percent in March retail sales over the same period last year confirms that a confident consumer is driving the economic rebound, and that should continue through the remainder of 2021,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “American households are clearly feeling the full effect of additional fiscal stimulus, gains in the job market and the reopening of the economy. Although there have been some recent issues related to vaccines, consumer confidence remains...

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Apr 16 2:23 PM, General News


Kroger Delivery Introduces First Customer Fulfillment Center

Kroger is launching the first Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC), combining vertical integration, machine learning, and robotics with affordable, friendly, and fast delivery service for fresh food.

Located in Monroe, OH – a city north of Cincinnati – and powered by Ocado Group, a world leader in technology for grocery e-commerce, the CFC is the first to open, transforming and supporting the grocer's thriving digital business.

"2020 was a pivotal year for grocery e-commerce, with Kroger's digital business scaling to over $10 billion—and achieving a record digital sales increase of...

 

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Apr 16 9:46 AM, General News


Walmart Invests in Cruise, an All-Electric Self-Driving Company

The following statement was made by John Furner, President and CEO, Walmart U.S.

Over the years we’ve been doing a lot to learn more about the role autonomous vehicles can play in retail, and we’ve seen enough to know it’s no longer a question of if they’ll be scaled, but when.

We’re taking the next step in our work with autonomous vehicles by making an investment in Cruise, the San Francisco-based company enabling a self-driving future through their all-electric fleet of self-driving cars. The investment will aid our work toward developing a last mile delivery ecosystem that’s...

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Apr 16 2:13 PM, General News


Special Spotlight to Take Place on Future-Proofing the Supply Chain, April 26-30th

Available on the COMTELL Platform and brought to you by Urner Barry Insights

If you’re in the food business, you’re probably wondering about future-proofing the supply chain. Given what we’ve seen over the last year—and what we’re still contending with—the task of managing supply chains has become more challenging than ever (and it was no picnic before, we know!). That’s why Urner Barry is bringing together exclusive Insights through original reports, interviews, videos and podcasts in a special April Spotlight dedicated to the biggest supply chain issues the industry is currently facing.

This Spotlight, Future-Proofing the Supply Chain, will take place April 26-30th, 2021, and can be accessed through...

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Apr 15 8:36 AM, Urner Barry


Global Consumer Confidence Hits Record High

Global consumer confidence soared to record heights in the first quarter of 2021, according to The Conference Board® Global Consumer Confidence Survey, as vaccination campaigns broadened, travel restrictions loosened, and governments and central banks continued to provide economic stimulus.

The survey found that overall global consumer confidence shot up from 98 in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 108 in the first quarter of 2021. That figure exceeded the reading of 106 registered in pre-pandemic 2020 Q1 (a figure above 100 is considered positive) and is the highest recorded since...

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Apr 15 8:35 AM, General News


Taco Bell to Continue New York City Expansion this Month 

Taco Bell is making its presence known with a new Cantina in the heart of Times Square. Built with the energy and on-the-go vibrance of New York City in mind, the newest restaurant embraces technology in a whole new way to serve the demands of New Yorkers.

The Cantina opens its doors to New Yorkers on April 14. Below are the unique elements of both the restaurant itself and its new neighborhood...

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Apr 14 8:24 AM, General News


Apr 14 8:24 AM, Urner Barry

VIDEO: Morning Market Roundup April 13

Urner Barry's reporters discuss labor issues in the Pork and Turkey Markets, as well as prices in the Egg Market.

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SpartanNash Announces New Supply Chain Officer

SpartanNash announced that David Petko has joined the company as Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer, effective April 12, 2021. Mr. Petko has 25 years of supply chain and distribution logistics experience in roles of increasing leadership responsibility, including serving as Senior Vice President of Supply Chain for C&S Wholesale Grocers from 2019 to 2021.

As SVP and Chief Supply Chain Officer, Mr. Petko will have full responsibility of all aspects of SpartanNash’s supply chain management, including warehousing, forecasting, planning, sourcing, procurement, inventory control, transportation, logistics, engineering, budgets and business plans. He will work with the SpartanNash executive leadership team in...

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Apr 14 8:23 AM, General News


US Foods Releases 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

US Foods Holding Corp. announced the launch of the company’s 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report. The report highlights progress against the company’s ongoing commitment to caring for people, protecting the environment, and providing responsibly sourced and sustainable products.

“I am proud of how our associates worked together to serve customers, communities and each other during the many challenges of 2020,” said Chairman and CEO Pietro Satriano. “Despite the unprecedented year, we were able to make meaningful progress against...

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Apr 14 8:22 AM, General News


Domino's and Nuro Launch Autonomous Pizza Delivery with On-Road Robot

Domino's and Nuro are launching autonomous pizza delivery in Houston. Beginning this week, select customers who place a prepaid order on dominos.com on certain days and times from Domino's in Woodland Heights, located at 3209 Houston Ave., can choose to have their pizza delivered by Nuro's R2 robot. Nuro's R2 is the first completely autonomous, occupantless on-road delivery vehicle with a regulatory approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

This collaboration between Domino's and Nuro will introduce an entirely new delivery experience to pizza lovers. Here's how it works: select customers who place a prepaid website order from the participating Domino's store can opt to...

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Apr 13 8:25 AM, General News


Red Gold Adresses Reports of a Ketchup Shortage 

Red Gold, the second largest manufacturer of tomato products in the United States, sets the record straight on reports of a pandemic-related ketchup shortage. Red Gold wants to make it clear; there is no shortage of ketchup.

Over the last ten months, the increased demand for ketchup in single-serve packets used for restaurant take-out and delivery exceeded inventory capacity for some suppliers.

As Red Gold prepared for the surge, the company developed two new pre-portioned ketchup items on other manufacturing lines, while continuing to keep the ketchup packet lines running at...

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Apr 12 9:47 AM, General News


Meijer Reveals Unique Shopping Trends One Year into Pandemic Living

As the one-year mark into pandemic living has officially passed, Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer Meijer reveals some of the most surprising shopping trends from the height of the shutdown to the ongoing changes in home and work lifestyles across the Midwest.

While home delivery and pickup services doubled at Meijer stores over the last 12 months, customers used the retailer's Shop & Scan technology more than 100 million times as they shopped and bagged while practicing social distancing to shorten time spent in the store. Additionally, customers also ate more...

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Apr 12 8:19 AM, General News


Latest 7-Eleven Evolution Store Opens in Texas

7-Eleven, Inc. is changing the world of convenience with yet another Evolution Store featuring tacos on handmade tortillas, frozen margaritas on tap, a stocked Wine Cellar and Beer Cooler, fresh-baked croissants and cookies, customized espresso drinks, artisan craft sodas, premium cigars in a cedar-lined humidor and more. Each new generation of 7-Eleven® Evolution Stores set a new benchmark for convenience retailing. The newest location has opened in Prosper, Texas.

7-Eleven and Laredo Taco Company®, the convenience retailer's taqueria, are heading north to Collin County – the first North Texas-area Evolution Store outside of Dallas County. This is 7-Eleven's...

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Apr 12 8:18 AM, General News


BJ’s Wholesale Club Announces the Unexpected Passing of President and CEO Lee Delaney

BJ’s Wholesale Club announced that Lee Delaney, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, passed away unexpectedly yesterday due to presumed natural causes.

Christopher J. Baldwin, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, issued the following statement on behalf of the Board: “We are shocked and profoundly saddened by the passing of Lee Delaney. Lee was a brilliant and humble leader who cared deeply for his colleagues, his family and his community. We extend our most heartfelt condolences and sympathy to his family, especially...

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Apr 9 10:22 AM, General News


Global Food Prices Rise for 10th Month In a Row

Global food commodity prices rose in March, marking their tenth consecutive monthly increase, with quotations for vegetable oils and dairy products leading the rise, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported.

The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly-traded food commodities, averaged 118.5 points in March, 2.1 percent higher than in February and reaching its highest level since June 2014.

Trends varied by commodity types. The March increase was led by the FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index, which rose 8.0 percent from the previous month to hit a nearly 10-year high, with...

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Apr 9 8:29 AM, General News


Retail Import Surge Expected Through Summer

The unprecedented surge of imports at retail container ports that began last summer is expected to continue at least through the end of this summer as retailers work to meet increased consumer demand, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“We’ve never seen imports at this high a level for such an extended period of time,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Records have been broken multiple times and near-record numbers are happening almost every month. Between federal stimulus checks and money saved by staying home for the better part of a year, consumers have money in their pockets and...

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Apr 9 8:27 AM, General News


Study Finds Consumers are Hopeful About Agriculture’s Ability to Positively Impact Climate Change

When it comes to climate change, consumers view agriculture as a part of the solution rather than the problem. Among participants in Cargill’s recent global Feed4Thought survey, those who indicated climate change as important to them also rated livestock and agriculture lowest in negative impact compared with other industries generally regarded as significant contributors. More than one-third of respondents expressed confidence in the industry’s ability to limit its contributions to climate change.

“Farmers are critical to feeding the world sustainably and responsibly,” said Ruth Kimmelshue, who leads Cargill’s animal nutrition & health business. “With a growing population and rising consumer interest in climate change, they are also part of the solution to address...

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Apr 8 10:39 AM, General News


Canada: Dine-In Restaurant Visit Declines Soften in February when Restrictions were Eased
The pent-up demand for indoor dining was evident in February after dine-in restrictions were eased in Canada’s largest provinces. Dine-in restaurant visits increased by 4 percentage points in February compared to January, an increase of 10.5 million visits versus prior month. The downside of this news is the still deep traffic declines in on-premises dining. Dine-in visits declined by -79% in February compared to same month last year and were down -85% in January compared to last year, according to NPD, which continually tracks consumers’ use of Canadian restaurants and other foodservice outlets.

Off-premises dining, like carry-out, delivery, and drive-thru, has been the beneficiary of the indoor dining restrictions. In January off-premises visits, digital or physical, were up...

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Apr 8 10:25 AM, General News


UNFI Launches Innovative E-commerce Solution to Expand Distribution Options for Emerging Suppliers

United Natural Foods announced the launch of Community Marketplace by UNFI, a business-to-business digital e-commerce solution for emerging brands looking to expand distribution with UNFI customers. Community Marketplace modernizes the way brands interact with grocery wholesalers by allowing thousands of emerging products not currently available at UNFI distribution centers to be ordered on UNFI’s Easy Options website and shipped directly to retail customers across the United States.

Through this virtual marketplace, suppliers gain immediate access to UNFI’s digital infrastructure to promote and sell their products to UNFI’s broad customer base. Approved suppliers keep complete control of their inventory, order management, pricing, and shipping charges while attaining trial for...

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Apr 8 8:20 AM, General News


Jimmy Dean Launches New Breakfast Nuggets and Skillets 

Jimmy Dean is helping keep breakfast exciting with new Breakfast Nuggets and Skillets varieties.

"We know it's important to people to have a variety of breakfast options in order to keep mornings delicious and fun," said Scott Glenn, senior director of marketing, Jimmy Dean brand. "We believe breakfast helps people have a great start to their day, whether on-the-go with our bite-sized Breakfast Nuggets, or...

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Apr 8 8:20 AM, General News


Taco Bell Plans for Major Hiring Push in April

Taco Bell is preparing for continued restaurant growth and reopenings by launching its fourth annual Hiring Parties event on Wednesday, April 21. Converting parking lots into job fairs, these one-day events with on-the-spot interview opportunities will take place at almost 2,000 participating company and franchise-owned locations across the U.S. The goal is to hire at least 5,000 new team members from this year’s Hiring Parties.

Adhering to COVID-19 safety precautions, this year’s Hiring Parties will be held outside, in creative locations like patio areas—some candidates may even be able to participate in...

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Apr 7 8:24 AM, General News


Instacart Reveals How the Pandemic has Transformed Consumer Grocery Habits

Instacart released "Beyond the Cart: A Year of Essential Insights," a new report highlighting how the pandemic has transformed 100 years of grocery habits through the lens of trends from the past year that are shaping the future of online grocery shopping. The report combines an in-depth look at data from Instacart along with insights from a new Instacart survey of 2,038 U.S. adults conducted recently online by The Harris Poll.

"More than a year of pandemic living has dramatically reshaped how American households shop for groceries and other household essentials," said Laurentia Romaniuk, Instacart's Trends Expert and Senior Product Manager. "As we analyzed twelve months of data from Instacart, we discovered that...

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Apr 7 8:23 AM, General News


Plant-Based Food Sales Surpass $7 Billion, Sales Up 27% in 2020

According to the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA), U.S. retail sales of plant-based foods continued to increase by double digits in 2020, growing 27% and bringing the total market value to $7 billion. This sales growth was consistent across the country, with more than 25% growth in every U.S. census region.

In the past two years, plant-based food sales have grown 43%, which is nine times faster than total food sales. In 2020, about 57% of all U.S. households purchased plant-based foods, up from 53% in 2019 totaling 71 million households.

PBFA also found that the value of plant-based meat, while the second-largest plant-based category, hit $1.4 billion in 2020. That represents sales growth of 45% from 2019. The plant-based meat category grew twice as fast as...

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Apr 7 8:22 AM, Urner Barry


NRF: One Year Later, Economy 'Has Come a Long Way'

With more vaccines in arms, federal stimulus putting money into pockets and consumers shopping again, the U.S. economy has made dramatic progress since the coronavirus pandemic brought activity to a near-standstill this time last year, National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said.

“The economy has come a long way compared with a year ago,” Kleinhenz said. “Both monetary policy set by the Federal Reserve and fiscal policy set by Congress and the White House have responded with swift and overwhelming force to support the economy. NRF is optimistic that the recovery is...

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Apr 6 8:27 AM, General News


Technomic Reports Top 500 Chain Restaurant Sales Fell by More than 8% in 2020
Technomic just released one of the most highly anticipated reports, the 2021 Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report, which includes expert findings and insights into the sales performance of U.S. chain restaurants from 2020. The report is built using decades of historical data with detailed analysis into the foodservice industry and overarching trends, including the impact of COVID-19 and performance rankings, as well as annual sales and unit counts by chain and segment.

“Disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Top 500 chain restaurants saw sales fall by $27 billion in 2020, decreasing by more than 8% compared to 2019,” explains Kevin Schimpf, senior research manager at Technomic. “As many small chains and independent restaurants struggled to...

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Apr 6 8:26 AM, General News


Walmart is Now Offering COVID-19 Vaccines in 48 States, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout ramps up and vaccine eligibility widens, Walmart is administering vaccines in more than 3,800 stores and clubs across 48 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. Walmart has worked to administer COVID-19 vaccines into the arms of residents in rural and vulnerable areas across the country. More than 80% of shots administered through our pharmacies and 60+ dedicated community events were in what HRSA designates as the most medically underserved areas of the country. For example, in Jackson, Mississippi, we partnered with the Jackson Housing Authority to set up in a community center for a low-income senior housing unit where we administered nearly 2,000 vaccinations to vulnerable seniors.

We remain focused on reaching communities with access issues and vaccine hesitancy, especially those located in medically underserved areas where Walmart has a presence. That continued focus will...

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Apr 5 9:54 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: Easter Demand for Shell Eggs Not All It Was Cracked Up to Be

Since the start of last week, shell-egg prices have plunged 19% thanks to lackluster Easter demand and, in turn, mounting inventories...

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Apr 5 8:28 AM, Urner Barry


US Foodservice: Expect an Even Bigger Lift From the Third Stimulus

Checks under the USD 1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, the third and largest stimulus package since the pandemic outbreak, began rolling out mid-March. The US government expects nearly 85% of all US residents – adults, children, seniors – to receive direct payments of up to USD 1,400 based on household income. The ongoing stimulus is substantially higher than the last two in April and December 2020, which included direct payments of USD 1,200 (plus USD 500 per child) and USD 600 (plus USD 600 per child), respectively.

Recipients Spent 10% to 15% More in Restaurants Following the Last Two Rounds of Stimulus

Credit/debit card transaction data from Earnest Research, a data analytics firm that tracks the US consumer economy through foot traffic, credit/debit card spend, retail pricing, and healthcare data, shows...

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Apr 5 8:26 AM, General News


The Consumer Confidence Index Surged in March

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index surged in March to its highest reading in a year, after a modest increase in February. The Index now stands at 109.7 (1985=100), up from 90.4 in February. The Present Situation Index—based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions—climbed from 89.6 to 110.0. The Expectations Index—based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions—also improved, from 90.9 last month to 109.6 in March.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was March 19.

“Consumer Confidence increased to its highest level since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions and their short-term outlook...

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Apr 5 8:26 AM, General News


American Egg Board Unveils 44th Annual First Lady's Commemorative Egg

The American Egg Board (AEB) has unveiled the 2021 First Lady's Commemorative Egg along with a historic pledge by America's egg farmers to donate more than 90 million eggs this year to food banks across the country. The record-breaking commitment was shared in conjunction with the 44th annual presentation of the First Lady's Commemorative Egg, a symbolic gift for Dr. Jill Biden and an Easter tradition on behalf of America's egg farmers.

"For more than 40 years, the presentation of the First Lady's Commemorative Egg by America's egg farmers has been a cherished springtime tradition celebrating our nation's first ladies. We are honored to continue that tradition with Dr. Biden this year by also pledging to donate more than...

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Apr 1 9:51 AM, General News


Giant Food Announces all 152 Pharmacy Locations Now Offering COVID-19 Vaccine

Giant Food today announces that all 152 of its in-store pharmacies throughout Washington, D.C.MarylandVirginia, and Delaware are offering the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible residents. Since late 2020 Giant has been administering vaccinations and is continuing to work closely with local and federal authorities to receive additional doses on an ongoing basis. Giant's pharmacies are currently utilizing the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, dependent on specific location.

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Apr 1 8:30 AM, General News


20 States Support Meat Institute’s Challenge to the Constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12

Twenty states filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the petition filed by the North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12 (Prop 12).

“The governments of nearly half the states agree,” said Meat Institute President and CEO, Julie Anna Potts, “if California is allowed to apply its laws to conduct in other states, a single state will dictate policies in all others, encouraging a patchwork of regulations and threatening the free flow of interstate commerce...

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Apr 1 8:29 AM, General News


Albertsons Companies and Google Partner to Reinvent the Future of Grocery Shopping

Albertsons Companies and Google announced a multi-year partnership to make shopping easier and more convenient for millions of customers nationwide. The partnership brings together the power of Albertsons Cos.’ broad reach across 2,253 neighborhoods with Google’s capabilities in customer-centric innovation, creating a formidable nexus of retail savvy and trend-setting technology on a massive, omnichannel scale.

Google and Albertsons Cos. have been collaborating behind the scenes for the past year and, as part of the partnership announcement, are debuting several new enhancements that will make the shopping experience easier and more exciting. Albertsons Cos. has engaged with numerous teams at Google, covering a wide range of technologies and...

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Mar 31 10:08 AM, General News


Pizza Hut Launches a Digital Carryout Option

After becoming the first national pizza brand to offer Contactless Curbside Pickup, Pizza Hut is doubling down on safety and convenience and launching The Hut Lane™, a dedicated digital order pick-up window available at over 1,500 locations across the country with more to come.

As customer preferences shifted during the early months of the pandemic, Pizza Hut adapted to offer a way for customers to place digital orders without ever having to leave their vehicles. The Hut Lane represents the next evolution of this breakthrough experience, offering safety, convenience and speed without customers ever having to park their cars.

"We are giving our customers a variety of options to optimize their pizza-eating experience as we build on our business momentum," said Nicolas Burquier, Chief Customer & Operations Officer, Pizza Hut. "Not only do we offer industry-leading, innovative menu items that are only...

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Mar 31 10:03 AM, General News


USDA Announces Oscar Gonzales as Assistant Secretary for Administration

Oscar Gonzales was appointed by President Biden to serve as Assistant Secretary for Administration at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Previously, Gonzales served in the Obama Administration in several senior positions with USDA, including as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration as well as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Senior Advisor on Immigration Reform to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. He also served as the California State Executive Director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), where he oversaw FSA programs across 58 counties in the nation's largest agricultural producing state. His government background includes working for top California leaders, including...

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Mar 31 9:50 AM, General News


Kroger Outlines Strategy to Deliver Strong and Sustainable Total Shareholder Return Through Digital

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) will host a virtual 2021 Investor Day today to provide an update on the company's strategic initiatives and plans to deliver strong and sustainable total shareholder return of 8% – 11%.

"Kroger continues to deliver for customers through our seamless ecosystem and relentless focus on freshness, value and convenience," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "Building upon the foundation established by our Restock Kroger transformation, and leveraging key learnings from operating during the pandemic, our strategy of Leading With Fresh and Accelerating With Digital is designed to convert our industry's near-term tailwinds into long-term competitive advantages...

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Mar 31 9:36 AM, General News


NPD Group: Flexible Routines Help to Boost Visits to Restaurants During Late Afternoon

Although total U.S. restaurant traffic has been down across dayparts for most of last year and through February 2021, late afternoon and after dinner snack visits — what the restaurant industry calls the p.m. snack daypart — have increased, reports The NPD Group. Consumer visits to restaurants during the p.m. snack period, which ranges from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., increased by +1% compared to year ago in February, which was a rough month for the industry with the continuing pandemic...

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Mar 31 8:49 AM, General News


Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. Appoints Darla Morse as Executive VP and Chief Information Officer

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (NASDAQ:RRGB) ("Red Robin" or the "Company"), a full-service restaurant chain serving an innovative selection of high-quality gourmet burgers in a family-friendly atmosphere, today announced the appointment of Darla Morse as Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, effective April 12, 2021. In her new role, she will lead the company’s enterprise technology strategy and implementation at Red Robin, including digital platforms, corporate and restaurant systems, data management, security and infrastructure.

Paul J.B. Murphy III, Red Robin's President and Chief Executive Officer, said...

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Mar 31 8:48 AM, General News


Shake Shack Announces Tara Comonte Stepping Down as President and CFO

Shake Shack Inc. (“Shake Shack” or the “Company”) (NYSE: SHAK) today announced that Tara Comonte, President and Chief Financial Officer for the last four years, will depart the Company to become CEO of a private company outside of the restaurant industry.

Comonte, who joined Shake Shack in 2017, will remain in her current role through May 7, 2021 to oversee the Company's fiscal first quarter 2021 reporting period and ensure a thorough transition of her responsibilities...

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Mar 31 8:39 AM, General News


Mar 31 8:24 AM, Urner Barry

VIDEO: Morning Market Roundup March 30

Watch Urner Barry's reporters give insight into what is happening this week leading up to the Easter holiday with the Egg Markets, Hams & Pork Ribs and Turkey Hens.

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Poultry Quarterly Q2 2021: The Bumpy Road to Recovery

The outlook for the global poultry industry is gradually improving, but big differences remain between countries, and global poultry trade is still very competitive. The industry is facing major challenges due to Covid-19-related market disruption, very high and volatile feed prices, avian influenza (AI) in the northern hemisphere, and volatility coming from a bumpy recovery in countries affected by African swine fever (ASF). Key for producers will be to have a very disciplined supply growth, a focus on cost reduction via procurement, production efficiency, and feed formulation, as well as being prepared for big swings in demand driven by Covid-19-related government decisions.

As countries reopen foodservice, and while their control of Covid-19 improves, the poultry industry will start to recover. On average, 35% of global poultry consumption is via foodservice. “In countries where several of these disruptive factors come together, broiler prices have risen to high levels. Some governments have started to...

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Mar 31 7:53 AM, General News


Dunkin’ Celebrates 1,000th Next Generation Restaurant Opening

Back in 2018, Dunkin' opened its first Next Generation restaurant in Quincy, MA, featuring a new design with a modern atmosphere and innovative features. Now, just three years later, Dunkin' is celebrating the opening of its 1,000th Next Gen restaurant in Woodstock, GA.

For the official ribbon-cutting, franchisee Andy Awale of the Awale Network was joined by Scott Murphy, Head of Inspire Brands Beverage-Snack Category and President of Dunkin’, and Mathias Piercy, Regional Vice President at Dunkin’. Other festivities included merch and free coffee giveaways, a presentation of a $1,000 grant to the Northside Hospital Cherokee NICU – Miracle Babies Fund from the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation, and a donation of 1,000 pounds of Dunkin’ packaged coffee to the Never Alone food pantry.

The Next Generation store concept includes...

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Mar 30 8:46 AM, General News


Cal-Maine Foods Reports Third Quarter Fiscal 2021 Results

Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. reported results for the third quarter of fiscal 2021 (thirteen weeks) and thirty-nine-week period ended February 27, 2021.

Net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2021 were $359.1 million, a 3.9 percent increase compared to $345.6 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2020. The Company reported net income of $13.5 million, or $0.28 per basic and diluted share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2021, compared to net income of $13.7 million, or $0.28 per basic and diluted share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2020.

For the thirty-nine weeks ended February 27, 2021, net sales were $999.2 million, an 11.2 percent increase compared with $898.3 million for the prior-year period. The Company reported net income of...

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Mar 30 8:24 AM, General News


10% of All U.S. Restaurants have Closed Permanently Since the Pandemic Began

Datassential revealed that 10.2 percent of U.S. food establishments have closed permanently since the pandemic began, citing new data from the company's proprietary Firefly database released.

Of the 778,807 food establishments in operation since the onset of COVID-19, 79,438 have closed for good as of Monday, according to the report from Datassential. The figure does include restaurants that have opened during the pandemic.

That includes restaurants at all levels of service: QSR (fast-food), fast-casual, midscale, casual and fine dining as well as food trucks. Food trucks have been affected the most of any segment, with...

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Mar 30 8:23 AM, General News


LIVEKINDLY Collective Raises $335 Million in Latest Funding Round 

LIVEKINDLY Collective, a collection of heritage and start-up brands on track to become one of the world’s largest plant-based food companies, announced a successful capital raise led by The Rise Fund, the global impact investing platform managed by TPG. This round was joined by existing investor Rabo Corporate Investments, the investment arm of Rabobank, S2G Ventures, and other existing and additional mission-aligned investors.

This investment closes a growth funding round of $335 million, including $135 million converted from a prior round, bringing the total funds raised by LIVEKINDLY Collective in its first year to $535 million. With this latest investment, LIVEKINDLY Collective has become one of the top three...

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Mar 30 8:23 AM, General News


Retailers Urge Bipartisan Approach to Modernize U.S. Transportation Infrastructure

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from Senior Vice President of Government Relations David French in response to a House committee hearing on transportation infrastructure. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg provided testimony on behalf of the Biden Administration.

“The retail industry relies on our nation’s transportation infrastructure to move billions of dollars’ worth of merchandise every day to warehouses, distribution centers and stores and ultimately to consumers’ front doors. A healthy and efficient infrastructure system supports economic development and growth in...

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Mar 29 8:19 AM, General News


NRF Says Extension of Paycheck Protection Program Vital to Small Businesses

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay following the Senate’s approval to extend the Paycheck Protection Program.

“Throughout the past year, countless small businesses have been devastated by the pandemic. The Paycheck Protection Program has served as a lifeline for many retailers and other businesses across the country, ensuring they can continue to pay their employees and keep their doors open. As our economy begins to recover, extending the Paycheck Protection Program will give additional small businesses access to...

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Mar 29 8:19 AM, General News


Aramark Welcomes Fans Back to Sporting Events

As pro sports teams begin to welcome fans back, having fans in the stands for this season’s MLB Opening Day will take on added meaning for America’s Pastime. Whether it’s a ballpark, stadium or arena, Aramark, the leading food and beverage partner of major league sports teams, is meeting and exceeding the safety and hygiene standards required in today’s environment, while also improving the overall gameday dining experience, with new and proven solutions.

Innovative Solutions for Frictionless & Contactless Service

To create a safe, efficient and frictionless service experience for fans, Aramark’s continuous pipeline of testing and development of fan-friendly technology and innovative self-service concepts is proving to be a benefit for operating in today’s world and has paved the way for...

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Mar 26 8:36 AM, General News


Chekout, a New Foodservice Delivery Platform, Launches in NYC

Chekout, a new service company specializing in superior food delivery, has officially launched in the New York City area. Through their app, Chekout provides the effective and properly priced delivery service for both the restaurant and consumer. Restaurants benefit from Chekout's promise to never cut into any of their profits, and therefore it is 100% free to use. For diners, the platform guarantees that menu prices will never be inflated, and consumers will never pay more than $2.50 for delivery no matter their distance from the restaurant or their order total. This new service was created to disrupt the third-party food delivery industry, that has been known for increasingly high pricing, and bring a new approach to the way consumers order food.

"Our business model is based on treating our customers and restaurant partners as fairly and with as much respect as possible," says Christopher Bruno, Founder & CEO of Chekout. "We are creating an app/platform that will eliminate the fees customers and restaurants have been paying...

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Mar 26 8:33 AM, General News


Average Easter Spending Expected to be Highest on Record

Consumers plan to spend an average of $179.70 this Easter, the highest figure on record, according to results of the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. A total of 79 percent of Americans will celebrate the holiday and spend a collective $21.6 billion, down slightly from last year's pre-pandemic forecast of $21.7 billion.

“With new stimulus funds from the President’s American Rescue Plan, positive trends in vaccinations and growing consumer confidence, there is a lot of momentum heading into the Spring and holiday events like Easter,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Many have figured out how to...

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Mar 26 8:32 AM, General News


General Mills Reports Fiscal 2021 Third-Quarter Results

General Mills reported results for the third quarter ended February 28, 2021.

“We continued to execute well and delivered profitable growth in the third quarter,” said General Mills Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Harmening. “We’ve made good progress on our fiscal 2021 priorities, including competing effectively, fueling investment in our brands and capabilities, and reducing our leverage. With our balance sheet in a strong position, we have resumed share repurchase activity in the fourth quarter. We’re continuing to advance our Accelerate strategy, including yesterday’s announcement of our proposed divestiture of our European Yoplait business. Looking ahead, we remain focused on strengthening our momentum and emerging from the pandemic a stronger company, even better positioned to drive long-term shareholder value.”

General Mills is executing its Accelerate strategy to drive sustainable, profitable growth and top-tier shareholder returns over the long term. The strategy focuses on four pillars to create...

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Mar 25 9:06 AM, General News


REPORTER: Working From Home Could Signal New Trends in Egg Consumption

This article was originally featured in the Spring 2021 Edition of Urner Barry's Reporter magazine.

2020 is a year that will undoubtedly live forever in the minds of those who endured its many trials, conjuring ruminations of toilet paper shortages, driveby birthday celebrations, and our collective fascination with “Joe Exotic,” a mullet-wearing zookeeper. But as the adage goes, “this too shall pass.” And as we turn the page to 2021...

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Mar 25 8:38 AM, Urner Barry


Eat Just Closes $200 Million in New Funding to Accelerate Growth

Eat Just, Inc., announced that it has secured $200 million in a new funding round led by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar; joined by private investment firm Charlesbank Capital Partners and Vulcan Capital, the investment arm of the estate of Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen.

The industry-leading food tech startup, which has raised more than $650 million since its founding in 2011, will add QIA and Charlesbank to its Board of Directors. BofA Securities, Inc., acted as lead placement agent and ABG, LLC, advised on the investment that will be used to build capacity for...

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Mar 24 9:05 AM, General News


Regulatory and Policy Update: What the Change in Administration Could Mean for the Meat Industry

With the change in administration, participants in the meat industry are closely eyeing what new leadership at USDA and other regulatory bodies could mean for areas including food safety, worker safety, and animal welfare. 

In the virtual 2021 Annual Meat Conference, a panel of leading experts in regulatory and policy issues discussed updates on these factors and what industry participants at all levels might need to be prepared for in 2021. 

Panelists included Casey Gallimore, Director and Scientific Affairs, North American Meat Institue; and Andrew Harig, Vice President, Tax, Trade, Sustainability & Policy Development, FMI.  

Harig kicked off the panel by noting how Washington in March 2021 is drastically different from Washington in March 2020...

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Mar 24 8:27 AM, UB Newswires


Taco Bell is Redefining the Restaurant of The Future with Ambitious Growth Pipeline

Taco Bell® is looking long-term as it reinvents what it means to be a restaurant of the future. On track to have 10,000 restaurants open globally this decade, the brand is leveraging a multitude of design formats to enhance and redefine both the customer and team member QSR experience in a constantly shifting world.

In collaboration with its franchisees, Taco Bell has continued to evolve its restaurants on an ongoing basis. Back in 2015, the brand saw that customers were eager for urban locations without drive-thrus; so, they developed Cantinas. In navigating COVID-19, Taco Bell again adapted with improvements to digital and...

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Mar 24 8:26 AM, General News


How COVID-19 has Changed Eating Out Over the Last 12 Months In the UK

It’s 12 months since the UK’s first COVID-19 lockdown, and one of the sectors that has been most heavily impacted is hospitality. Here, The NPD Group picks out eight eating out/eating in trends from the pandemic’s first year (March 2020 to February 2021) and suggests how they will unfold as lockdown eases. From a surge in home deliveries to the growth of collection, the rise of eating on a deal, the surge of drive-thru, treating to beat boredom, a doubling of choosing vegan and veggie options, the rise of al fresco dining and a laser-like focus on delivering the best customer service, here’s how COVID-19 has changed the way we eat out (and in).

Delivery: In the 12 months of COVID, delivery’s share of out of home eating has more than doubled

Ordering takeaway main meals for home delivery has been a big part of locked down life and, according to The NPD Group’s consumer data, spend increased...

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Mar 24 8:24 AM, General News


Aramark Launches Process to Refinance 2024 Debt Maturity

Aramark, a global leader in food, facilities management and uniforms, announced the launch of a process to refinance the Company’s 2024 Term Loan B credit facility of $833 million that would proactively extend the maturity to 2028. The transaction is intended to be net leverage neutral, while maintaining comparable fixed-to-floating debt levels.

Concurrently, Aramark initiated a process for a 3-year extension of both its Revolving Credit Facility and Term Loan A to 2026, further strengthening the Company’s financial flexibility. These transactions are anticipated to be...

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Mar 23 10:18 AM, General News


USDA Increases SNAP Benefits Up to $100 Per Household with Funding from American Rescue Plan

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today a 15 percent increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits through September 2021, providing an estimated $3.5 billion to households experiencing food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding is made possible by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which invests federal resources to reduce hunger across the country, strengthen the food supply chain, invest in rural America, and provide long awaited support to underserved, socially disadvantaged communities.

The 15 percent increase in SNAP benefits will provide about $28 more per person, per month, or more than $100 more per month for a household of...

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Mar 23 10:14 AM, General News


National Restaurant Association Survey Breaks Down How Consumers Used Restaurants During Pandemic

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the National Restaurant Association began a weekly survey of 1,000 adults to see how they were utilizing restaurants.

Starting in February 2020, the survey “tracks the extent to which U.S. adults participated in restaurant and foodservice on a week-to-week basis.”

The survey is broken down into six periods over the past 12 months and focuses on patronage during breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack/beverage and dinner and both on-premise and off-premise dining...

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Mar 23 8:58 AM, General News


Quicklly Expands Industry-Leading Digital Marketplace to New York-New Jersey Metro Area

On the heels of a remarkable $1.27 million pre-seed funding round, Quicklly, the nation's largest and most comprehensive Indian and South Asian food marketplace, today announced the expansion of their footprint to now serve customers in the New York-New Jersey Metropolitan Area. 

With a delivery range that stretches from Journal Square to ManhattanHobokenEdison, and up to Long Island, Quicklly is now making the savory tastes, smells, and offerings of New Jersey's India Square more accessible to customers within a 20+ mile radius...

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Mar 23 8:15 AM, General News


In France, No More Plastic McDonald's Happy Meal Toys

McDonald’s France this year introduced sustainable toys: offering more environmentally-friendly toys by removing all plastic toys from its Happy Meal menu as of February.

It’s a big move for one of France’s major toy distributors and builds on the company’s continuous steps toward reducing hard-to-recycle plastic in guest packaging, including McDonald’s Happy Meal toys.

In 2014, McDonald’s France removed batteries from toys; in 2018, it developed new paper games such as coloring and trading cards; and in 2020, eliminated...

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Mar 22 2:44 PM, General News


The Great American Takeout Returns for Anniversary Event to Support Struggling Restaurants

On March 24, 2021, The Great American Takeout returns as a one-day event to drive takeout sales and support restaurants devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 110,000 restaurants and bars have closed nationwide, with nearly 2.5 million jobs lost*, and the restaurant industry continues to face an uncertain future.

So, one year (and 16 events) later, The Great American Takeout is still here, and so are millions of restaurants, owners, operators and employees who have defied seemingly insurmountable odds to keep their doors open and their kitchens cooking...

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Mar 22 1:22 PM, General News

ANALYSIS: Brown Shell-Egg Prices Decline for First Time Since Mid-July, as Demand Wanes

For the first time in seven months, brown shell-egg prices have come under pressure amid easing demand levels and mounting inventories. Northeast brown large plunged 6cts yesterday and another nickel today, as sellers – struggling to find an outlet for their surplus – have been forced to offload at a discount. At $2.23/dozen, values are down 4.7% on the week but still 47.0% higher than at this time last year...

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Mar 22 8:38 AM, Urner Barry


Tim Hortons Announces Investment to Support its Back to Basics Plan

Tim Hortons announced an C$80M corporate investment in Canada for 2021 to supercharge advertising expenses, highlight menu improvements in product quality and support continued enhancements in the digital guest experience, including the Tims Rewards program.

Tim Hortons recently launched three new quality upgrades to its menu as part of its Back to Basics plan, including a new dark roast coffee, Craveables lunch sandwiches and freshly cracked Canadian eggs in breakfast sandwiches. Part of the corporate investment will support awareness of these launches and...

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Mar 19 8:32 AM, General News


Three New Sysco Foodie Solutions Toolkits Available for Restaurateurs

Sysco Corporation announced the addition of three new toolkits to its Foodie Solutions platform: Brunch, Protecting Your Business and Turning Your Tables. As more restaurants reopen their dining rooms, these are the latest in a series of carefully curated tools to help customers respond quickly to shifting business requirements and trends resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Brunch toolkit offers innovative ideas and recipes to help make Easter and Mother’s Day a success, including popular brunch and take-out concepts, such as Bloody Mary cocktail kits and a Mother’s Day “Berry Me in Chocolate” strawberry kit. In addition, “Sea-cuterie boards” are a unique play on the...

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Mar 19 8:31 AM, General News


Update on USDA Activities to Contain the COVID-19 Pandemic

In January 2021, President Biden released the National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness. The plan is driven by science, data, and public health to improve the effectiveness of our nation’s fight against COVID-19 and to restore trust, accountability and a sense of common purpose in our response to the pandemic.

The National Strategy provides a roadmap to guide America out of the worst public health crisis in a century. It is organized around seven goals...

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Mar 19 8:30 AM, General News


Hardeman Egg Group Acquires Adriaan Goede B.V.

Both companies have this week announced the acquisition of Adriaan Goede B.V. by Hardeman Egg Group. With this move, Hardeman Egg Group is strengthening its position in the egg market, with Adriaan Goede B.V. boosting its future market position.

Adriaan Goede B.V., a private limited company, has a long history and is one of the oldest egg product companies in the world. In the past 126 years, the company has evolved into an efficient and high-quality egg products company, exporting to more than 30 countries in the world.

Over the past four generations, the world of eggs and egg products has changed dramatically. The demand for many different types of eggs and egg products with higher and...

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Mar 18 11:56 AM, General News


Newly Appointed Members and Alternates for the American Egg Board Commence Two-Year Service Term

Nine newly appointed members and nine alternates representing egg farmers across the country were officially installed at today’s annual meeting of the American Egg Board, starting their service on behalf of America’s egg farmers and the entire egg industry. Appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture earlier this year, the appointees will serve two-year terms ending March 2023. The American Egg Board is comprised of 18 members and 18 alternates and represents the interests of all U.S. egg farmers. Appointments originate through a nominating process from...

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Mar 18 10:04 AM, General News


Mar 18 9:05 AM, Urner Barry

VIDEO: Morning Market Roundup March 16

Watch Urner Barry's reporters give insight into what is happening in the international markets this week in UK Beef, Mexican Beef, Turkey Exports and EU Eggs.

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February Retail Sales Show Strong Year-Over-Year Growth as Vaccine and Stimulus Provide a Boost

Retail sales gained considerable year-over-year traction in February – despite a monthly slowdown from unusually high numbers in January – as increased COVID-19 vaccination, government stimulus and reduced restrictions on businesses continued to impact the pace of spending, the National Retail Federation said.

“February’s retail sales numbers are a minor speed bump on the road to post-pandemic recovery and are not a reflection of consumers’ willingness and ability to spend and drive the economy,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "A number of factors contributed to these results, including major snowstorms in the northeast and unprecedented ice storms in the south, but they do not diminish the stimulus-related growth we saw in January or what we expect to see as additional stimulus relief hits consumer bank accounts in...

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Mar 18 8:15 AM, General News


PODCAST: Rolling with the Punches - Cage-Free Expansions and More Impacting the Egg Market

Egg market guru Brian Moscogiuri fills us in this week on 52-week highs in the egg product market thanks to foodservice recovery, Avian Influenza in Asia affecting the export market, and the cage-free movement’s impact on the shell egg and egg product markets. Hosted by Laura Zinger, the latest episode of Urner Barry’s Market Digest fills us in on the egg market in 2021.

Did you know? Urner Barry's Market Digest Podcast is now available on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Podcast, iHeartRadio, and SoundCloud! More ways to listen to top industry news and analysis.

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Mar 17 10:19 AM, Urner Barry


Jamie Miller Named Cargill’s Chief Financial Officer

Jamie Miller has been named Cargill’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and will serve on the company’s executive team. She will join Cargill on June 1, 2021, at the start of its new fiscal year.

Miller was the senior vice president and CFO at GE from November 2017 until February 2020. She joined GE in 2008, holding various leadership positions, including serving as president and CEO of GE Transportation. She was also Chief Information Officer and led the digital technology function, and she held...

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Mar 17 9:14 AM, General News

Wendy's Celebrates Return of NCAA Tournament as Official Breakfast of March Madness

The biggest stage in college basketball is back. As the Official Breakfast of March Madness®, Wendy's is celebrating its one-year breakfast "Wendy-versary" by fueling athletes and fans across the nation with deals.

In honor of the return of March Madness, Wendy's is giving fans the chance to experience its top-seed breakfast with a free Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit during breakfast hours beginning Thursday, March 18 through Saturday, March 20. Fans can pick up their new favorite breakfast sandwich in-restaurant or via drive-thru at participating locations nationwide and no purchase is necessary. Wendy's is also running point on...

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Mar 17 8:22 AM, General News


Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Nomination of Janie Simms Hipp to Serve as USDA General Counsel

“I am grateful to President Biden for nominating Janie Simms Hipp, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, to serve as General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. I have the utmost confidence and respect for Janie. I know that she will faithfully carry out her duties to enforce the laws and regulations of the USDA, safeguard producers, protect socially disadvantaged communities, make good on USDA’s responsibility to provide nutrition assistance to children and families, and ensure the interests of the American public are served by USDA’s programs and services. She has a decades-long career dedicated to...

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Mar 17 8:22 AM, General News


In a Year of Loss, the National Restaurant Association Secures Major Wins for Restaurant Relief

One year into the pandemic, the National Restaurant Association is celebrating the significant accomplishments that, in the face of enormous loss, supported the industry and built a foundation for rebuilding in 2021. The accomplishments of the last year have been both large and small, providing access to a myriad of resources that restaurants of all types have used to survive and on which they can continue to rely for recovery.

"Restaurants are the backdrop of the most defining moments in our lives, and in the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has stolen that from us," said Tom Bené, President & CEO of the National Restaurant Association and CEO of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. "While local restaurants in every community fought to...

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Mar 16 8:27 AM, General News


Kraft Heinz Announces Nominations of Lori Dickerson Fouché and Miguel Patricio as New Board Members

The Kraft Heinz Company announced that the Board of Directors has nominated Lori Dickerson Fouché and Kraft Heinz CEO Miguel Patricio to be elected as directors at the upcoming Kraft Heinz 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. The Company also announced that George Zoghbi will not seek re-election at the 2021 Annual Meeting. Ms. Fouché has been nominated to fill Mr. Zoghbi’s vacancy and Mr. Patricio has been nominated to fill Jorge Paulo Lemann’s vacancy.

“The Board is delighted to nominate Lori Dickerson Fouché, the former Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Financial Solutions at Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America,” said Alex Behring, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “Her well-regarded leadership at this...

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Mar 16 8:24 AM, General News


American Food and Grocery Shopping Patterns have Changed One Year Into the Covid Pandemic 

Since the emergence of the COVID-19 global health crisis, 96% of Americans say they clean and disinfect their homes as much or more than before; nearly half (47%) are eating healthier and half are cooking more; and almost one in seven are watching more television as a form of self-care and snacking while they do it. These new or increased consumer behaviors have contributed to a 14% increase in American household grocery spending, according to NCSolutions (NCS), a leading company for improving advertising effectiveness for the consumer packaged goods (CPG) ecosystem.

Marking the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, NCSolutions conducted an analysis of 12 months of its consumer purchase data as well as findings from a newly fielded...

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Mar 16 8:23 AM, General News


Ruby Tuesday Announces the Appointment of Two New Managers to Board

Ruby Tuesday announced the appointment of Mitch Lowe and Adam Brotman to its board of managers. Lowe and Brotman will join fellow Ruby Tuesday board members Ryan Carroll, Richard Miller and Shawn Lederman, the chief executive officer of Ruby Tuesday.

“We are pleased to welcome both Mitch and Adam to the Ruby Tuesday board,” said Shawn Lederman, the chief executive officer of Ruby Tuesday. “Both Mitch and Adam have deep experience at the intersection between restaurant operations, digital marketing and data analytics. We believe they will both be invaluable as we look to...

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Mar 15 9:38 AM, General News


Domino's Names Frank Garrido EVP - U.S. Operations

Domino's Pizza announced the promotion of Frank Garrido to executive vice president – U.S. operations and support, effective March 15, 2021.

Garrido replaces Tom Curtis, who is leaving to pursue another opportunity. Garrido will report to Russell Weiner, Domino's chief operating officer and president – Domino's U.S.

"We wish Tom the best of luck in his new role, as he served Domino's well for many years," said Weiner. "Moving forward, we are thrilled to have Frank join...

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Mar 15 9:33 AM, General News


Update on USDA Activities to Contain the COVID-19 Pandemic

In January 2021, President Biden released the National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness. The plan is driven by science, data, and public health to improve the effectiveness of our nation’s fight against COVID-19 and to restore trust, accountability and a sense of common purpose in our response to the pandemic.

The National Strategy provides a roadmap to guide America out of the worst public health crisis in a century. It is organized around seven goals...

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Mar 15 9:27 AM, General News


What’s on the Menu: Global Foodservice Outlook

In many countries, including those in Europe and North America, Covid-19-related disruptions remain the most relevant driver of foodservice performance in the near term, as sales and foot traffic trends remain well-below pre-Covid levels. Notably, China, which is ahead of the curve in terms of both virus outbreak and containment, could be a potential indicator of the likely speed and scope of the foodservice recovery as the virus subsides.

As vaccinations and treatment advance, the focus of attention will shift from near-term recovery to more strategic matters. The most relevant performance drivers over the next 6 to 12 months will be...

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Mar 15 8:55 AM, General News


SpartanNash Announces Finance Team Transitions

SpartanNash announced that the Company has appointed Jason Monaco as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), effective March 22, 2021. Mr. Monaco will assume the CFO position from Mark Shamber who will remain with the Company through the end of April to assist with a transition. As CFO, Mr. Monaco will direct finance, mergers and acquisitions, treasury, internal audit, real estate, and risk management. He will report to SpartanNash’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Tony Sarsam.

“We look forward to having Jason join our team,” notes Mr. Sarsam. “Jason has a proven track record of partnering with cross functional teams and digging deeply into the business to build systems, processes, and teams to develop and drive...

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Mar 15 8:17 AM, General News


Burger King Appoints New Chief Operating Officer

Burger King announced industry veteran Tom Curtis will be appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Burger King Americas, joining the leadership team to oversee field operations, restaurant development and restaurant operations.

Mr. Curtis joins Burger King from industry giant Domino's where he built an impressive 35-year career and most recently served as Executive Vice President, U.S. Operations and Support, overseeing both franchise and company-owned operations. Prior to that role he led U.S. company operations as Executive Vice President of Corporate Operations. Curtis will report to Christopher Finazzo, President of Burger King, Americas.

"We are excited to add another seasoned expert to our leadership team and for our entire system to benefit from his impressive experience and operational expertise," said Chris Finazzo. "Tom will be an important leader and asset in...

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Mar 15 8:16 AM, General News


Cargill Announces Leadership Roles to Accelerate Strategic Growth

Two new members are joining Cargill’s executive team as the company makes leadership changes to implement strategic growth initiatives.

“These leaders are committed to our customer-driven growth strategy and have deep experience in, and a passion for, innovation, disruption and building safe, responsible and sustainable solutions in food and agriculture,” said Dave MacLennan, Cargill chairman and CEO. “As we accelerate our growth strategy into specialties and value-add spaces, I’m confident this is the team to lead Cargill forward.”

Jon Nash is joining the company’s executive team as the leader of the global protein and salt enterprise. He succeeds Brian Sikes, who was recently named...

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Mar 15 8:15 AM, General News


Kroger Health Increases COVID-19 Vaccination Capacity to One Million Doses Per Week

Kroger Health, the healthcare division of The Kroger Co. announced it has significantly increased operational capacity to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, achieving the ability to deliver one million doses per week through in-store pharmacies and clinics, and mass vaccination off-site events.

To vaccinate more Americans more quickly, Kroger Health will use the first hour of pharmacy operations as a focus hour assigned to administering the three FDA-authorized vaccines. Patients will continue to have the ability to schedule appointments for various times, but the morning focus hour will allow for additional COVID-19 vaccines to be administered. To accomplish the administration of one million doses per week, the plan requires...

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Mar 12 8:21 AM, General News


Red Robin Develops Three New Delivery-Only Brands

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews announced the rollout of three new delivery-only brands that build on the company's off-premise business and continue the company's brand promise of making memorable connections with its Guests.

The three new delivery-only brands feature a mix of items from Red Robin as well as offerings not featured on the Red Robin menu. The Wing Dept focuses on a variety of wings and sides; Fresh Set offers a wide array of fresh green salads, wraps and sandwiches with freshly-prepared sauces and dressings; and Chicken Sammy's offers a selection of tasty chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders, homemade kettle chips and...

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Mar 12 8:20 AM, General News


U.S. Restaurant Customer Transaction Declines Steepen in February

Severe weather in many parts of the country in February hampered the softening of customer transaction declines at major U.S. restaurant chains reported in the last few months of 2020 and this January, finds The NPD Group. Major restaurant chain customer transactions declined by -13% versus year ago, compared to a -9% decline in January, according to NPD’s CREST® Performance Alerts which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 75 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains representing 53% of the commercial restaurant traffic in U.S.

Record-shattering cold, snow, and rain affected a large swath of the U.S. in February. Texas, the second most populated state after California, was hit with a winter storm in mid-February that dropped significant amounts of...

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Mar 12 8:19 AM, General News


Statement from Tom Vilsack on Congressional Passage of the American Rescue Plan Act

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement on passage of the American Rescue Plan Act by the U.S. Congress. The bill now goes to President Biden for his signature.

“President Biden wasted no time fulfilling his pledge to the American people to bring substantial financial relief within the first 100 days of his Administration. Thanks to passage of the American Rescue Plan, help is on the way. The American Rescue Plan will jolt our economy back to life, get money into the hands of struggling Americans, get our children back to school safely, get COVID-19 vaccinations out more swiftly, and...

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Mar 12 8:19 AM, General News


Mar 11 2:19 PM, Urner Barry

VIDEO: Morning Market Roundup March 9

Watch Urner Barry's reporters give insight into what is happening in the markets this week in UK Beef, Pork Trimmings, Mechanically Separated Turkey and...

Full Story »

Albertsons Companies Surpasses 1 Million COVID-19 Vaccines Administered

Albertsons Companies today announced that its pharmacies have now administered more than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

“Our pharmacy teams across the country are working diligently in serving our communities during this national effort. We are deeply grateful to our federal partners and local jurisdictions in delivering this important milestone,” said Omer Gajial, SVP of Pharmacy and Health at Albertsons Cos. “We continue to provide equitable vaccination solutions to underserved and rural customers and will...

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Mar 11 8:26 AM, General News


Kroger Expands Partnership with 80 Acres Farms to 316 Stores

The Kroger Co. and 80 Acres Farms bring farm-fresh produce to customers across Ohio. The companies are growing their partnership to reach more shoppers in the Midwest – both in store and online.

"Everyone deserves easy access to fresh, affordable, delicious food," said Dan De La Rosa, Kroger's group vice president of fresh merchandising. "This newly expanded partnership means more communities will have just-picked produce at their fingertips 365 days a year. We're proud to partner with 80 Acres Farms as we work together to create a world with Zero Hunger | Zero Waste."

80 Acres Farms' breakthrough technology means the company can grow pesticide-free produce all year long. With locations closer to customers, the...

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Mar 11 8:25 AM, General News


Retailers Say House Bill to Expand Union Powers Would Harm Both Employers and Employees

The National Retail Federation said legislation passed by the House tonight expanding the power of labor unions would infringe on the rights of both businesses and workers and called on the Senate to vote against the measure.

“The PRO Act would fundamentally redefine labor relations,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “This is a laundry list of extreme labor proposals that are both individually and collectively extremely harmful to employees, employers and the American economy. This massive overhaul of federal labor law would be bad legislation in the best of times and is certainly not...

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Mar 11 8:24 AM, General News


Weis Markets Reports Results For 2020 And Fourth Quarter

Weis Markets reported total sales of over $4.1 billion for the 52-week period ended December 26, 2020, up 16.1 percent compared to the same period a year ago, while annual comparable store sales increased 16.4 percent. Income from operations increased $78.5 million, or 92.8 percent over the same period in 2019 to $163.2 million.

The Company's net income for fiscal year 2020 increased 74.9 percent to $118.9 million compared to $68.0 million in 2019 while earnings per share for the same period increased $1.89 to $4.42 per share.

"The pandemic has been a supreme challenge for our communities and associates who continue to diligently serve our customers," said Jonathan H. Weis, Weis Markets' Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "As previously noted in our third quarter results release, in-home meal consumption...

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Mar 10 10:12 AM, General News


Sysco Announces $1.1 Billion Debt Reduction in Anticipation of Impending Market Recovery

Sysco Corporation, the leading global foodservice distribution company, announced it had reduced its outstanding debt by a total of $1.1 billion.

On March 9, the company repaid the remaining $700 million in outstanding borrowings under its long-term revolving credit facility that expires on June 28, 2024. In addition, on March 10, Sysco’s United Kingdom-based subsidiary, Brake Bros Limited, repaid £300 million of its £600 million in aggregate principal amount of notes outstanding under its commercial paper program, equating to approximately...

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Mar 10 10:09 AM, General News


USDA Extends Free Meals to Children through Summer 2021 Due to Pandemic

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the nationwide extension of several waivers that allow all children to continue to receive nutritious meals this summer when schools are out of session. These flexibilities are now available through Sept. 30, 2021.

USDA is extending these waivers to provide local program operators with clarity and certainty for the summer months ahead, when many children cannot access the school meals they depend on during the academic year. The waivers were previously extended only through June 30, 2021.

“We will do everything we can to make sure children get access to healthy, nutritious meals regardless of their families’ financial circumstances,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Our child nutrition professionals are...

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Mar 10 10:03 AM, General News


Retail Imports Expected to Grow Dramatically During First Half of 2021

Imports at the nation’s largest retail container ports are expected to grow dramatically during the first half of 2021 as increased vaccination and continued in-store safety measures enable additional shopping options, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“NRF is forecasting what could turn out to be record retail sales growth in 2021, and retailers are importing huge amounts of merchandise to meet the demand,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “The supply chain slowdown we usually see after the holiday season never really happened this winter, and imports are already starting to...

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Mar 10 8:22 AM, General News


PODCAST: Hedging Your Bets - Michael Irgang on Risk Management

In this week's episode of Market Digest, Michael Irgang, President of Global Risk Management, joins us to discuss hedging in the beef market and managing risk. Topics include the importance of taking positions (or not when appropriate), and...

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Mar 9 11:48 AM, Urner Barry


Del Taco Restaurants Reports Fiscal Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2020 Financial Results

Del Taco Restaurants reported fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal year 2020 financial results for the 16-week and 52-week periods ending December 29, 2020 and provided a business update.

Management Commentary

John D. Cappasola, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Del Taco, commented, “We delivered a solid fourth quarter performance in terms of comparable restaurant sales growth, restaurant contribution margin and adjusted EBITDA performance. Our great food, great value, and great experiences drove overall satisfaction scores to record levels, while the success of our Crispy Chicken menu and seasonal Tamale promotion enabled us to...

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Mar 9 10:06 AM, General News


CDC Issues First Set of Guidelines on How Fully Vaccinated People Can Visit Safely with Others

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its first set of recommendations on activities that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely resume.

The new guidance—which is based on the latest science — includes recommendations for how and when a fully vaccinated individual can visit with other people who are fully vaccinated and with other people who are not vaccinated. This guidance represents a first step toward returning to everyday activities in our communities. CDC will update these recommendations as more people are vaccinated, rates of COVID-19 in the community change, and...

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Mar 9 9:54 AM, General News




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