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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Wed. Apr 14, 2021

COMTELL: Pork Situation



















Fri. Apr 9, 2021

COMTELL: Hog Situation



















Wed. Apr 7, 2021

COMTELL: Pork Situation








































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



NCBA Delivers Introduction of House Companion HAULS Act

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) endorsed the Haulers of Agriculture and Livestock Safety (HAULS) Act of 2021. Introduced in the House by Rep. Rose (R-TN-06) and Rep. Soto (D-FL-09), the bipartisan bill would deliver much-needed flexibility for livestock haulers. The House bill introduced this week is a companion to S.792, which NCBA worked to get introduced in the Senate last month.

“In times of crisis and in times of normalcy, livestock haulers are a critical part of the supply chain keeping grocery stores stocked with beef. The full year of disruption due to COVID-19 has only underscored the need for further flexibility in livestock hauling regulations,” said NCBA President Jerry Bohn. “NCBA is encouraged by...

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Apr 16 8:29 AM, 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...

 

Full Story »
Apr 16 9:46 AM, General News


Canada: PepsiCo Foods and Maple Leaf Foods Sign Distribution Agreement for Schneiders Meat Snacks

PepsiCo Foods Canada and Maple Leaf Foods announced that the companies have entered into an exclusive alliance for PepsiCo Foods Canada to distribute Schneiders® Pepperettes® snack size premium meat sticks in Canada. As of October 3, 2021, PepsiCo Foods Canada will sell, distribute and merchandise Schneiders® Pepperettes® snack size premium meat sticks in grocery, convenience and gas, and foodservice outlets across Canada. This will broaden the distribution of Schneiders® Pepperettes® premium meat snacks and accelerate the brand's growth.

"We are thrilled about this new partnership with PepsiCo Foods Canada", said Curtis Frank, President and COO, Maple Leaf Foods. "Their extensive Canadian direct-to-store delivery system, strong selling capabilities and...

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Apr 16 2:39 PM, 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


Atlast Raises $40M to Expand Production of Whole Cut Plant-Based Meat

Atlast Food Co., the mycelium food company growing the future of plant-based meats, announced a $40M Series A round to develop and supply whole cut plant-based meat to partners around the globe, including directly to consumers through its own brand MyEats. Viking Global Investors led the round with participation from 40 North, AiiM Partners, Senator Investment Group, Stray Dog Capital, Footprint Coalition Ventures, and others. Also joining were the leaders and founders of food and CPG companies, including Applegate, Stonyfield, and Whole Foods. This funding will support the further development and scaling of this technology and team.

"This investment will allow us to meet the incredible demand we've felt for our product," said Stephen Lomnes, President of Atlast Food Co. "We are building the largest mycelium production facility in the U.S. to...

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Apr 16 8:29 AM, General News


Chipotle Releases 2020 Sustainability Report, Achieves 50% Waste Diversion Goal

Chipotle Mexican Grill announced the publication of its 2020 Sustainability Report. The report covers Chipotle's impact, progress and goals across a variety of areas that play a critical role in its mission to Cultivate a Better World.

Chipotle achieved a 51% waste diversion rate through recycling, composting, and waste-to-energy programs, reaching a key goal outlined in its 2018 Sustainability Report. The company continues to expand its innovative methods of diverting waste, including its Glove to Bags program, an initiative that transforms...

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Apr 16 8:28 AM, General News


Olymel Recalls Ready-to-Eat Ham Products Due to Possible Salmonella Enteritidis Contamination

Olymel S.E.C./L.P., a Quebec, Canada establishment, is recalling approximately 6,804 pounds of ready-to-eat (RTE) ham products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced.

The ham items were packaged on November 5, 2020. The following products are subject to recall...

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Apr 16 9:15 AM, General News


Carl's Jr. and Beyond Meat Partner for Plant-based Meat Menu Takeover on Earth Day 

Carl’s Jr. is inspiring fans to Go Beyond this Earth Day by hosting a one-of-a-kind, one day plant-based meat menu takeover at a local restaurant in Los Angeles. The store will Go Beyond for customers to stop by and try a complimentary eco-friendly Beyond Meat® item. Fans of Carl’s Jr. and Beyond Meat who are not able to join the celebration in Los Angeles can enjoy any Beyond Burger for five dollars via an email offer at participating Carl’s Jr. locations throughout the U.S.

“We are excited to give our fans a fun, delicious way to celebrate Earth Day this year with a full plant-based meat experience at Carl’s Jr.,” said Patty Trevino, senior vice president of brand marketing at CKE Restaurants. “With nearly one-third of consumers identifying as flexitarian, we continue to...

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Apr 16 8:29 AM, General News


Quaker Steak & Lube Introduces New, Limited-Time Menu Items

With the weather heating up and the days getting longer, it can only mean one thing: a much-needed summer is right around the corner. To celebrate, Quaker Steak & Lube is introducing a brand-new "All-American Summer" menu complete with its twists on classic BBQ favorites and seasonal-inspired cocktails.

Here is the food lineup Quaker Steak & Lube will feature on its All-American Summer menu...

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Apr 16 2:33 PM, General News


Apr 15 11:14 AM, Urner Barry Video

VIDEO: State of the Market Episode 14: The Imported Beef Market

This week on State of the Market, Market Digest host Laura Zinger and Urner Barry CEO and Market Reporter Joe Muldowney discuss the imported beef market. Joe details the cause of low volumes of imported boneless trimmings, the rise of daily beef pricing as foodservice reopens, and how the pork market is affecting imported beef prices.

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PODAST: All Good On the Western Front: Alaska Sausage and Seafood

This week on Market Digest we're joined by Martin Eckmann of The Alaska Sausage and Seafood Company. Martin and Laura discuss running a business in Alaska during the pandemic, how shipping times and logistics have been affected, and reindeer sausages.

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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Apr 15 11:12 AM, Urner Barry


Montana Passes Landmark Bill Advancing Hemp as Animal Feed

Governor Greg Gianforte signs HB 396, a bill authorizing hemp food ingredients as commercial animal feed. This bill is a major step forward for the developing U.S. hemp grain industry, opening additional markets for farmers and again establishing Montana as a key leader in production and opportunities for industrial hemp grain. Features of this bill include:

  • Clarifying hemp seed food ingredients and substances derived from hemp are included in the definition of commercial feed.
  • Providing authority for hemp for use as commercial feed for pets, specialty pets, and horses.
  • For other livestock, effectiveness contingent upon...
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Apr 15 9:17 AM, General News


Urner Barry Releases April Soy & Wheat Protein Report

In February, farmers experienced another consecutive month of increased prices for their soybean and all-wheat crops. Average all wheat prices rose $0.35/bu from January while average soybean prices rose $1.80/bu. April front month futures are mixed, with a reduction for CBOT wheat from February rates. CBOT wheat front month futures reached $6.15/bu in April, a decline of $0.21/bu from March. Meanwhile, CBOT soybeans remained steady from February rates, totaling...

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Apr 15 8:38 AM, Plant Protein


ANALYSIS: Bellies Travel Upward into PEDv Levels

Bellies have done little but march higher since the beginning of 2021. Currently, rekindled interest at foodservice locations as some states relax COVID-19 restrictions, along with...

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Apr 15 8:37 AM, Urner Barry


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


Dr. Praeger’s Launches New Cauliflower Veggie Burger

Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods has announced the latest addition to their famous line of veggie burgers – the Cauliflower Veggie Burger.

The Cauliflower Veggie Burger contains six different vegetables including cauliflower, zucchini and peas, and offers 9g of protein per serving. The new burgers are non-GMO, certified gluten-free, vegan, kosher and soy free.

In their continued mission to support local and sustainable agriculture, Dr. Praeger’s is donating a percentage of sales of the Cauliflower Burger to Farmers Against Hunger. Since 1996, Farmers Against Hunger has been...

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Apr 15 8:36 AM, General News


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


Consumers Take Grilling and Outdoor Cooking to the Next Level

Eager for a change of pace during the pandemic, cooking outside has become a go-to activity for many consumers, and it extends beyond traditional grilling, or even the traditional grilling season. Consumers spent more than $4.9 billion on grills, smokers, camping stoves, accessories, and fuel in 2020, according to new Enhanced Retail Tracking Service information on the home improvement industry from The NPD Group, which blends retailer point-of-sale data with insight from NPD’s receipt-based Checkout information and additional data assets combined with advanced modeling.

“The need to cook more meals at home combined with the desire to experiment with new ways to create those meals helped fuel growth for almost all types of grills,” said Joe Derochowski, home industry advisor at NPD. “Layer on our cravings to be less...

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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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IHOP Unveils New Steakhouse Premium Bacon

IHOP introduced the brand’s new Steakhouse Premium Bacon, its latest menu innovation on the new Bacon Obsession menu. Steakhouse Premium Bacon is a thick-cut piece of bacon that is five times thicker than IHOP’s regular bacon, fried and finished with a maple glaze.

In addition to the new Steakhouse Premium Bacon, which can be added to any breakfast combo for $1.49 for a limited time, IHOP is introducing a Bacon Obsession menu that offers an array of options including everything from a Steakhouse Premium Bacon Burger to a Maple Bacon Milkshake.

“As guests begin to return to restaurants, we know they’re looking for broadly appealing and familiar comfort foods, as well as new ways to enjoy classic favorites, and bacon is the perfect option that...

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Apr 14 8:23 AM, General News


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


PODCAST: UK Beef Chats Episode 12

This week on UK Beef Chats, Beef Market Reporters Mike Nesbitt and Bill Smith update us on the UK beef market. Topics include the uncertainty of future demand as UK foodservice slowly reopens, updates on farmgate pricing, and more!

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Apr 13 12:28 PM, Urner Barry


Beyond Meat Announces Major Retail Expansions Throughout Europe 

Beyond Meat announced significant product distribution expansion within thousands of European retail locations this spring. As Beyond Meat has grown its retail presence in the region, the European plant-based foods market has seen aggressive growth with sales increasing by 49% over the last two years. Beyond Meat’s commitment to making products utilizing simple, plant-based ingredients without GMOs has enabled the brand to rapidly expand product distribution throughout the continent.

Beyond Meat products are available at approximately 122,000 retail and foodservice outlets in over 80 countries worldwide. The new product distribution in Europe includes...

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Apr 13 8:26 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


Nathan’s Famous Launches Value Menu Featuring Old Favorites and New Items

Nathan’s Famous announced the launch of its new value menu, featuring items from the current menu, as well as new recipes, all between $4 and $7. The launch of the Nathan’s Famous value menu provides expanded premium menu options for value conscious customers, making Nathan’s Famous more accessible for any occasion and any budget.

"For more than 100 years, Nathan’s Famous has been one of America’s top destinations for great food fast, and our goal with this new value menu launch is to make it accessible too,” states James Walker, Senior Vice President, Restaurants. “We’ve spent the past two years evolving the menu to focus on premium offerings that are memorable, craveable and Instagrammable. These new value menu items offer that same level of appeal, but...

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Apr 13 8:25 AM, General News


CHART: Industry Expectations for Weekly Cattle Slaughter

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Apr 12 2:22 PM, Urner Barry


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


Impossible Foods Hires Steve Turner In the All-new Role of Chief Experience Officer

Impossible Foods announced today the hiring of former Apple creative leader Steve Turner as Chief Experience Officer.

In this newly created role, Turner will be in charge of building brand awareness and accelerating the global consumer movement to a sustainable food system. He’s a key member of the company’s senior executive team and reports directly to CEO and Founder Dr. Pat Brown.

In 2017, Steve founded Sublime, a strategic creative consulting firm that advises CEOs, CMOs and other executives. Before that, he spent 11 years at Apple, where he rose to global Executive Creative Director for Apple’s Media Arts Lab. He worked with...

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Apr 12 9:39 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


February Red Meat Exports Below Last Year, but 2021 Outlook Remains Strong

February exports of U.S. beef and pork remained below the rapid pace established in early 2020, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). However, exports were consistent with USMEF’s February projections and the federation still expects 2021 beef exports to increase substantially year-over-year, while pork exports are projected to narrowly surpass the 2020 record. ​

Beef exports totaled 103,493 metric tons (mt) in February, down 8% from a year ago, valued at $669.5 million (down 2%). This was due mainly to a decline in variety meat exports, as beef muscle cuts were steady with last year in value at $597.9 million on a volume of 82,530 mt (down 3%). Through February, beef exports were...

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Apr 12 8:18 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


ANALYSIS: Boxed Beef Cutout Surges at Record Pace to Start Year

Boxed beef prices have remained elevated to the start the year. In fact, demand has been...

 

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Apr 9 8:33 AM, Urner Barry


ANALYSIS: Cash Cattle Slow to Rise Despite Soaring Beef Prices

Around this time last year, the pandemic drastically altered consumer buying behavior due to dining restrictions and...

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Apr 9 8:30 AM, UB Newswires


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


Beyond Meat Expands U.S. Retail Distribution within Multiple National and Regional Grocery Chains

Beyond Meat announced several major product expansions within its existing footprint at retailers nationwide. As demand for plant-based meat continues to rise, this increased distribution strengthens the company’s expansive retail presence at approximately 28,000 retail outlets across the U.S. in which consumers have made their preference for Beyond Meat clear: Beyond Meat was the #1 selling plant-based meat brand in the refrigerated category at grocery stores and across foodservice.

The expanded retail product availability includes...

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Apr 9 8:29 AM, General News


NCBA Delivers Preserving Family Farms Act: A Permanent Solution to a Generational Issue

The Preserving Family Farms Act of 2021 was introduced by U.S. Representatives Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) and Jackie Walorski (IN-2). NCBA has long supported efforts to reduce undue tax burden on farmers and ranchers. This bipartisan legislation to expand IRS Code Section 2032A would allow cattle producers to take advantage of the Special Use Valuation and protect family-owned businesses from the devastating impact of the federal estate tax, commonly referred to as the Death Tax.

“We thank Representatives Panetta and Walorski for their leadership and dedication to protecting future generations of agricultural producers through the introduction of the...

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Apr 9 8:28 AM, General News


Australian Beef Seasonal Outlook: Green Grass and Empty Pens

With breeding cattle inventory recovering from the lowest levels in over 30 years, there’s a unique opportunity to assess and then act on the future for the Australian beef industry. A number of challenges currently confront the Australian beef industry, including high cattle prices, low supplies, and China trade access. Australia’s position in the global protein world needs to be considered in rebuilding the herd.

Is Australia to be a supplier to high-quality niche markets, commodity supplier (of lean beef) to global trade, exporter of live cattle, or exporter of value-added beef to trade markets? “Any or all of these options may apply, but choosing one sets a path for the future. Decisions taken this year are not just about...

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Apr 9 8:28 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


NPPC Applauds the Philippines' Decision to Import More Pork

To combat rising pork prices and stabilize supplies, the Philippine government announced it will provide more market access for pork imports. Securing better access to the Philippines market has been a top, long-term trade priority for the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

“Since 2019, the Philippines has been battling African swine fever (ASF), and as a result, domestic production has declined, supplies have tightened, and pork prices have spiked,” said NPPC President Jen Sorenson, communications director for Iowa Select Farms in West Des Moines, Iowa. “While we are saddened by the spread of...

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Apr 8 10:32 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


Apr 8 9:51 AM, Urner Barry

VIDEO: Morning Market Roundup March 30

Urner Barry's reporters discuss Cash Cattle, UB Beef Index, and Turkey Thighs and Breasts.

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Urner Barry Releases April Pulse Protein Report 

On March 31, the USDA reported an average $28.00/cwt for U.S. #1 garbanzo beans compared to $21.50/cwt in early February. This represents a month-over-month increase of $6.50/cwt. North American green peas also experienced price increases from February rates. U.S. whole green peas averaged $10.25/cwt as of the end of March, a slight increase of $0.75/cwt from February rates. Purchases of North American yellow peas for animal feed in China have contributed to another consecutive month of increased yellow pea prices. The USDA reported an increase of...

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Apr 8 8:21 AM, Plant Protein


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


Tyson Foods' Ball Park Introduces Fully Loaded Nacho Cheese Franks

The weather is warming, sounds of the ballpark are back in swing, and there’s a new frank on the team. Introducing the new Ball Park® Fully Loaded Nacho Cheese Franks, a summer flavor mashup in one frank that fans can enjoy at home.

A recent survey found hot dogs are the most-loved foods at stadiums and arenas, with nearly half of American adults indicating that hot dogs are among their favorite foods to eat when visiting a large sports or event space. The next-most popular foods at stadiums and arenas include nachos and popcorn.

With the new Fully Loaded Nacho Cheese Franks, consumers don’t have to choose between their favorites. Available starting this month, the franks are made with...

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Apr 8 8:19 AM, General News


Beyond Meat Opens Manufacturing Facility in China 

Beyond Meat announced the grand opening of its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the Jiaxing Economic & Technological Development Zone (JXEDZ) near Shanghai. As Beyond Meat’s first end-to-end manufacturing facility outside the U.S., the cutting-edge plant in Jiaxing is expected to significantly increase the speed and scale in which the company can produce and distribute its products within the region while also improving Beyond Meat’s cost structure and sustainability of operations.

Designed to serve China’s growing plant-based meat market, the facility will produce Beyond Meat’s innovative range of plant-based pork, beef and poultry products, including Beyond Pork™, the company’s first innovation created specifically for the Chinese market. By producing closer to the consumer and...

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Apr 8 8:19 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: Pork Ribs Soar into April

Pork ribs traditionally witness a rally starting in April which extends into the summer months as increased demand for grilling reaches its peak. This year however...

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Apr 7 8:25 AM, Urner Barry


Study Confirms U.S. Beef Industry is the Most Sustainable in the World

A research paper released confirmed U.S. beef production is the most sustainable production system in the world, a fact long understood by America’s cattle producers, who between the 1960s and 2018, reduced the carbon footprint of the industry by 40 percent while producing 66 percent more beef.

“We already know a growing global population will require and demand high-quality food, which means we need ruminant animals, like beef cattle, to help make more protein with fewer resources,” said NCBA president and Kansas cattleman, Jerry Bohn. “Cattle generate more protein for the human food supply than would exist without them because...

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Apr 7 8:24 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


Greenleaf Foods Expands Field Roast and Lightlife Plant-Based Products at Whole Foods Market Stores

Greenleaf Foods, SPC, owner of leading plant-based brands Lightlife and Field Roast, announced that it is significantly expanding its distribution at Whole Foods Market stores to meet increasing consumer demand for plant-based protein. Whole Foods Market will be the first retailer to sell the Field Roast Signature Stadium Dog and will expand its Lightlife offerings to include Lightlife Plant-Based Italian Sausages and Plant-Based Breakfast Patties in all regions nationwide.

“Whole Foods is known for its commitment to quality, wellness and sustainability, which closely aligns with our portfolio, so we’re incredibly excited and proud to...

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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


PODCAST: UK Beef Chats Episode 11

This week on UK Beef Chats, Market Reporter Mike Nesbitt explains the uptick in seasonal demand for the summer months, touches on the reopening of dining across the UK, and more!

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Apr 6 11:47 AM, Urner Barry


Impossible Foods Launches First National Advertising Campaign, "We Are Meat"

Impossible Foods is launching its first national advertising campaign as the leading food tech startup accelerates growth and takes advantage of mounting economies of scale.

The campaign, titled “We Are Meat,” features TV spots with the meaty images and sizzle of the company’s award-winning burgers. Produced by Portland, Ore.-based Wieden+Kennedy, the advertisements claim that Impossible Burger, which contains no animal ingredients, is meat for meat lovers — made from plants.

The first national integrated campaign for Impossible Foods kicks off today with...

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Apr 6 10:30 AM, General News


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


Blue Apron Partners with Chef Roy Yamaguchi to Create a Hawaii-Inspired Menu

Blue Apron is partnering with James Beard award-winning Chef Roy Yamaguchi to bring his culinary expertise to kitchens around the country. Available to order starting today, the Blue Apron x Chef Roy Yamaguchi menu features Hawaii-inspired recipes, representing a blend of French and Japanese cooking traditions using fresh ingredients typically found in Hawaii cuisine.

"I am thrilled to partner with Blue Apron to shine a spotlight on Hawaii-inspired cuisine and its roots," said Chef Roy Yamaguchi. "In collaboration with their culinary team, we created recipes that highlight...

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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


CHART: Industry Expectations for Weekly Cattle Slaughter

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Apr 5 2:15 PM, Urner Barry


Checkers & Rally's Joins the Chicken Sandwich Wars with the Candied Bacon Mother Cruncher

Checkers & Rally's is taking the QSR chicken sandwich wars to the next level. From April 5 through May 16, 2021, the brand is serving up a new version of their Mother Cruncher Chicken Sandwich, now topped with candied bacon.

Checkers & Rally's Classic Mother Cruncher chicken sandwich made its debut last summer and quickly became one of the brand's best-selling sandwiches. The Mother Cruncher's "mega crunch" breading and creamy, signature Squawk Sauce raised the bar in the QSR space.

Now, the Candied Bacon Mother Cruncher takes the Mother Cruncher's extra-crispy, all-white-meat fried chicken breast and tops it with...

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Apr 5 10:01 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


Wendy's Bacon Double Stack is Back in the Biggie Bag

Wendy's is giving consumers a chance to #SecureTheBag with the return of the Bacon Double Stack in one of its best deals - the $5 Biggie Bag. The Bacon Double Stack – featuring two beef patties, Applewood smoked bacon, cheese, ketchup, mustard, pickle and onion – is back in this ultimate meal deal. With the Bacon Double Stack, customers will get 4-piece chicken nuggets (Spicy or Crispy), small fries and a small drink for just $5.

The $5 Biggie Bag is available now at participating Wendy's restaurants nationwide. Wendy's is always customer-first when it comes to value. From introducing...

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Apr 5 9:47 AM, General News


FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Raw Ground Chorizo Sausage Products

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert for for approximately 39 pounds of raw ground chorizo sausage products due to concerns that the products may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically hard pieces of crystalline material. FSIS is issuing this public health alert out of the utmost of caution to ensure that consumers are aware that these products should not be consumed. A recall was not requested because it is believed that the products are no longer available for consumers to purchase.

The fresh and frozen raw ground chorizo sausage items were produced on March 8, 2021 by Century Oak Packing Company, an establishment in Mt. Angel, Ore. The following product is subject to the public health alert...

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Apr 5 9:00 AM, General News


Rong Shing Trading Recalls Ineligible Beef Products Imported from China

Rong Shing Trading Inc., a Brooklyn, N.Y. firm, doing business as Double R Trading Inc., is recalling approximately 3,365 pounds of Chinese style hot pot base products containing beef tallow. The products were imported from the People’s Republic of China, a country ineligible to export beef to the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The Chinese style hot pot base products were imported on or around February 14, 2020. The following products are subject to recall...

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Apr 5 8:56 AM, General News


Washington Man Pleads Guilty to $244 Million Ghost-Cattle Scam

A Washington man pleaded guilty to defrauding Tyson Foods Inc. (Tyson) and another company (Company 1) out of more than $244 million by charging them under various agreements for the purported costs of purchasing and feeding hundreds of thousands of cattle that did not actually exist.

According to court documents, Cody Allen Easterday, 49, of Mesa, used his company, Easterday Ranches Inc., to enter into a series of agreements with Tyson and Company 1 under which Easterday Ranches agreed to purchase and feed cattle on behalf of Tyson and Company 1. Per the agreements, Tyson and Company 1 would advance Easterday Ranches the costs of buying and raising the cattle. Once the cattle were slaughtered and sold at market price, Easterday Ranches would...

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Apr 5 8:27 AM, General News


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


CME Grain Markets Surge Following Friendly USDA Reports

Grain markets on the CME surged Wednesday following a wave of bullish USDA data in the latest Prospective Plantings and Grain Stocks reports. 

The annual Prospective Plantings report estimated corn planted area for all purposes in 2021 at 91.1 million acres, up less than 1 percent from 2020 and below the average of analysts’ expectations. Meanwhile, soybean planted area for 2021 was estimated at 87.6 million acres, up 5% from last year but below the average trade estimate at around 90.1 million acres. 

The quarterly Grain Stocks Report showed corn stocks at 7.70 billion bushels, down 3% from last year. Soybeans stored in all positions on March 1, 2021 totaled 1.56 billion bushels...

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Apr 1 9:12 AM, UB Newswires


Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s Introduce Godzilla vs. Kong-Inspired Limited Time Offers Globally

CKE Restaurants announced today its partnership with Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment to promote the premiere of the highly-anticipated cinematic actioner Godzilla vs. Kong timed to the film’s release, with special edition menu offerings at Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants around the world. Godzilla vs. Kong is in theaters internationally and, as of today, March 31, in U.S. theaters and on HBO Max for 31 days from theatrical release.

Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s will now offer a special edition Godzilla Burger, Kong Burger and Kong Chicken Sandwich, each inspired by the epic battle for the ages between the two Titans, in more than 20 countries and regions around the globe, including Mexico, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East...

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Apr 1 8:32 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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A Look at the Role of Automation and A.I. in Protein Processing

A recent report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) highlights why agribusiness companies should implement automation and artificial intelligence (AI) into their businesses as COVID-19, labor costs and other challenges impact the sector.

Authors from BCG, Decker Walker, head of agribusiness at Boston Consulting Group, Jonathan Van Wyck, member of the Industrial Goods practice at Boston Consulting Group, Helena Nannes, Project Leader and David Pérez, Stockholm make the case for an increase in digital operations.

The report notes labor costs, labor turnover, food loss and waste and workplace safety as reasons to implement more automation in agriculture..

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Mar 31 7:42 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


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


PODCAST: UK Beef Chats Episode 10

This week on UK Beef Chats, UK Beef Market reporter Mike Nesbitt speaks about the squeeze on processor margins and the expectation for trimmings leading up to grilling season...

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Mar 29 3:17 PM, Urner Barry


Canada’s Sofina Foods Buys Eight Fifty Food Group, Owner of Young’s Seafood

Eight Fifty Food Group, the owner of Young’s Seafood, is being sold to Sofina Foods, a leading Canadian multi-protein producer. The sale has been agreed upon by CapVest partners, an international private equity firm. The amount of the sale has not been disclosed.

CapVest acquired leading UK pork processor Karro Food Group in 2017. Two years later CapVest acquired the UK’s iconic seafood business, Young’s Seafood, creating Eight Fifty Food Group. Eight Fifty Food Group later consolidated five other protein businesses from across Europe to become a...

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Mar 29 10:54 AM, SeafoodNews


Sonic Introduces New Bacon Jam Cheeseburger for a Limited Time 

SONIC® Drive-In introduces a complete bacon experience with the new Bacon Jam Cheeseburger.

The Bacon Jam Cheeseburger starts with a quarter-pound, 100% pure beef patty, layered with American cheese, crispy bacon and a sweet and savory bacon onion jam, topped with mayo and mustard, all on a toasted brioche bun.

“As the star of the show, our new bacon onion jam is a magical culmination of flavors with bacon, brown sugar and caramelized onions,” said Scott Uehlein, vice president of product innovation and development for SONIC. “Topped with...

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Mar 29 8:20 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


Pilgrim’s Becomes First Global Meat and Poultry Company to Offer Sustainability-Linked Bond

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation announced it is offering a $1 billion sustainability-linked bond tied to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emission intensity across its global operations. The bond is the first of its kind to be issued by a global meat and poultry company, and aligns with Pilgrim’s vision to be the best and most respected company in its industry.

“Since the release of our inaugural corporate responsibility report nearly a decade ago, Pilgrim’s has set ambitious environmental improvement targets and publicly reported our progress to the market,” said Fabio Sandri, Pilgrim’s global chief executive officer. “Earlier this week, we announced our commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 and today we offer our first sustainability-linked bond. These actions reinforce our company’s long-standing commitment to...

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Mar 29 8:18 AM, General News


Cargill Initiative Aims to Conserve Canadian Prairies through Collaboration with Ranchers

Beef farmers and ranchers play an important role in providing quality food, but few people know they also play an essential role in protecting Canada’s land, water and wildlife. With the urgency of unprecedented environmental challenges, like climate change, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) has teamed up with McDonald’s Canada and Cargill to support rancher-led work through a $5-million CAD Forage Program. The program will work to return 125,000 acres (50,585 hectares) of cropland to grass and pasture by 2025.

In response to growing climate concerns, returning less productive annual cropland to perennial grass helps remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Collectively, the impact of this program is comparable to removing...

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Mar 29 8:18 AM, General News


What’s Next in Labor and Employment Law for the Meat and Retail Industries

Labor and employment issues including healthcare and immigration have immediate effects on the meat and retail industries. In a virtual panel titled ‘What’s Next in Labor and Employment Law’ during the final day of the American Meat Conference, two speakers shared their expertise in labor law and policy.

Panelists John Linker, Partner, Labor and Employment, Akerman LLP; and Frederick Miner, Shareholder, Littler, explored the goals of the Biden Administration and the potential impacts on business. 

Miner began the panel by talking about the current labor landscape. We are entering a significant period of change in the world of labor employment, in which President Biden has promised to be the strongest labor President in our nation’s history. Under the new Administration, the current National Labor Relations Board consists of...

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Mar 26 8:36 AM, UB Newswires


APHIS Adds India to List of Regions Affected with African Swine Fever

The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) added India to the list of regions we consider to be affected with African Swine Fever (ASF.) We took this action on May 13, 2020 when the disease was confirmed and are now publishing notice in the regulations. Pork and pork products from India, including casings, are subject to APHIS import restrictions designed to mitigate the risk of ASF introduction into the United States.

ASF is a devastating, deadly disease of pigs that is not currently found in the United States. USDA's actions will...

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Mar 26 8:36 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


NCBA: Grassley Bill Not Solution Industry Needs

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) issued a response to the introduction of legislation commonly referred to as “50/14,” led by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in the U.S. Senate.

“NCBA has and will continue to work alongside our affiliates, Congress, and USDA to increase price discovery and improve the business climate for producers across the country. However, simply put, Senator Grassley’s bill misses the mark. The industry – from leading livestock economists to NCBA state affiliates – agrees that any legislative solution to increased price discovery must account for the unique dynamics within...

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Mar 25 10:13 AM, General News




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