Seven Lessons Foodservice Can Learn from a Pandemic 

As states begin to reopen, restaurants are adapting to a new normal to welcome diners back. These adaptions include providing outdoor seating, incorporating stricter sanitary procedures, and paperless menus. According to a recent report by Datassential, there are seven lessons foodservice operators can learn from the COVID-19 pandemic that will benefit their business going forward. 

The first lesson is goodbye fear, hello caution. As more places begin to ease coronavirus restrictions, consumers are feeling more comfortable returning to public spaces if certain safety measures are met. After restrictions are lifted, about 63% of those surveyed feel safe eating at a restaurant with outdoor dining. Around 54% feel safe returning to a convenience store, and the same percentage feel comfortable with...

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After Two Months of Steady Improvements, Restaurant Recovery Hits a Bump as COVID-19 Cases Surge

Customer transactions at major U.S. restaurant chains declined by 13% in the week ending June 21 versus the same week a year ago, which is slightly softer than the 12% decline in the previous week, reports The NPD Group. This is the first time since the week ending April 12 there has not been an improvement in the year-over-year trend. COVID-19 case surges in a number of states contributed to the backtrack in decline improvements. The current period also included Father’s Day, which unlike Mother’s Day, is more of a backyard BBQ occasion than a restaurant dining event.

With new COVID-19 cases suddenly surging across multiple states, some of the states that have been reporting the highest number of new cases experienced steeper declines in major restaurant chain customer transactions in week ending June 21. Arizona, with a well-publicized surge in cases, saw a 5-point decline in...

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Jul 2 8:21 AM, General News



Urner Barry Announces Enhancements to Imported Beef Reporting

July 2, 2020, Toms River, NJ – Urner Barry, the leading provider of protein market news and information in the food industry, is announcing changes to the reporting methodologies for the imported beef market.

Urner Barry initiated imported beef market coverage in 1962. We are continuously soliciting feedback from participants to ensure that our coverage reflects current trading conditions and practices. To improve market transparency and to provide stakeholders meaningful information, Urner Barry will make the following changes to its imported beef reporting methodologies...

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Jul 2 8:20 AM, Urner Barry


Seven Lessons Foodservice Can Learn from a Pandemic 

As states begin to reopen, restaurants are adapting to a new normal to welcome diners back. These adaptions include providing outdoor seating, incorporating stricter sanitary procedures, and paperless menus. According to a recent report by Datassential, there are seven lessons foodservice operators can learn from the COVID-19 pandemic that will benefit their business going forward. 

The first lesson is goodbye fear, hello caution. As more places begin to ease coronavirus restrictions, consumers are feeling more comfortable returning to public spaces if certain safety measures are met. After restrictions are lifted, about 63% of those surveyed feel safe eating at a restaurant with outdoor dining. Around 54% feel safe returning to a convenience store, and the same percentage feel comfortable with...

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Jul 2 8:20 AM, Urner Barry


Global Food Commodity Prices Rebound in June

In June, global food commodity prices rose for the first time since the beginning of the year driven by a rebound in vegetable oils, sugar and dairy quotations. However, in the cereals and meat markets, most prices remained under downward pressure amid market uncertainties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks international prices of the most traded food commodities, averaged 93.2 points in June, some 2.4 percent higher than the previous month.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index gained 11.3 percent in June, after declining for four consecutive months. The rebound mainly reflects a sharp rise in palm oil prices due to recovering global import demand, following...

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Jul 2 1:23 PM, General News


Industry Reacts to Implementation of USMCA 

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement has officially entered into force, replacing NAFTA. The USDA stated that this improved agreement is a better deal for America's farmers, consumers, and workers that will set them up for success for decades to come.

Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, said, "USMCA creates more market access for farmers from across our nation to sell their wholesome and nutritious products to our closest neighbors. This is a better deal for America that will grow our economy and put more money in the pockets of American families.”

Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative, stated, "This marks the beginning of a new and better chapter for trade between the United States, Mexico and Canada, just as President Trump promised he would deliver for the American people." Lighthizer added that the USMCA contains significant improvements and...

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Jul 2 10:50 AM, Urner Barry


NRF Chief Economist Says Pandemic Recession Could Already be Easing but 'No One Has a Crystal Ball'

The economic downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has officially been declared a recession, but National Retail Federation Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said today the key question is how long it will last.

“Will this recession be briefer than earlier recessions?” Kleinhenz said. “No one has a crystal ball. And just as it can take months to be certain a recession has begun, it can take time to declare when one is over.”

“While it would be unusual for a recession to last less than six months, it is possible that the current one could have already ended with May’s rebound,” Kleinhenz said. “The good news is that the recession may have...

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Jul 2 11:26 AM, General News


Denny's Corporation and its Franchisees Hiring 10,000 Restaurant Employees Nationwide

Denny's announced its plans to hire 10,000 restaurant-level employees at both company and franchise operated restaurants across the United States by the end of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unemployment to rise, impacting countless Americans, and Denny's is committed to helping people get back to work. Denny's Corporation and its franchisees are helping to jumpstart hiring across the U.S., by providing job opportunities to future employees.

With dine-in restrictions lifting and guests returning to restaurants as well as taking advantage of takeout and delivery options, Denny's is encouraging people, especially those in the severely impacted restaurant industry, to apply for a position at one of its franchises or company-owned restaurants around the country. As demand for dine-in service grows, Denny's hopes to employ jobseekers from a variety of diverse backgrounds, boost morale in local communities and play a part in the nationwide effort to...

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Jul 2 12:50 PM, General News


NCBA Applauds Introduction of DIRECT Act

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) applauded the introduction of the bipartisan legislation to create new direct-to-consumer options for beef producers, processors and small meat markets without compromising federal food safety standards or market access under existing trade agreements.

Introduced by U.S. Representatives Dusty Johnson (R - At-Large, SD) and Henry Cuellar (D - 28th Dist., TX), the Direct Interstate Retail Exemption for Certain Transactions (DIRECT) Act of 2020 would amend retail exemptions under current law to allow meat processed under state-inspected establishments to be sold across state lines through e-commerce, providing beef producers and local processors alike with...

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Jul 2 8:22 AM, General News


More Food Delivery Consolidation? Uber in Talks to Buy Postmates

Another major acquisition in the food delivery world could potentially be in the works. Uber is reportedly in talks to buy Postmates after their deal with Grubhub fell apart a few weeks ago.

While Uber and Postmates have declined to comment, The New York Times reported on Monday that Uber made an offer to acquire Postmates for about $2.6 billion. However, their offer comes at the same time that Postmates has reportedly decided to revive their plan for an initial public offering. Postmates, which is considered the fourth largest...

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Jul 2 8:19 AM, Urner Barry


Bloomin’ Brands Announces Board of Directors Changes

Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. and JANA Partners LLC announced the addition of John P. Gainor, Jr. and Lawrence V. Jackson to the Bloomin’ Brands Board of Directors. In April, the two companies announced an agreement that included an increase to the size of the Board to ten members. The new positions filled by Gainor and Jackson became effective July 1, 2020.

Gainor served as the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of International Dairy Queen, a franchisor of quick service restaurants, and a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway from 2008 until he retired in 2017. He joined Dairy Queen in 2003 and served as the Chief Supply Chain Officer prior to his role as CEO. Gainor is also a member of the Board of Directors for Jack in the Box, Inc. and Saia, Inc.

Jackson served as President and CEO of Global Procurement and Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer at Walmart, and in various executive roles at...

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Jul 2 1:16 PM, General News


General Mills Reports Results for Fiscal 2020 and Outlines Fiscal 2021 Priorities

General Mills reported results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended May 31, 2020. Fiscal 2020 was a 53-week year, with the extra week falling in the fourth quarter.

“I’m proud of the way our organization has remained focused on serving the needs of our consumers and communities while protecting the health and safety of our employees throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said General Mills Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Harmening. “Amid significant challenge and change in the world around us, General Mills adapted and executed in fiscal 2020 to deliver outstanding financial results while fulfilling our purpose of making food the world loves. We’ve demonstrated extraordinary agility to meet the unprecedented increase in demand for food at home and to win across our categories.

“As we turn to fiscal 2021, we’ll maintain a sharp focus on the near-term opportunity to meet continued elevated demand while continuing to advance our long-term strategies by...

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Jul 2 8:21 AM, General News


Taco Bell Unveils Grilled Cheese Burrito

Taco Bell is now introducing grilled cheese, thanks to the all-new Grilled Cheese Burrito. The burrito draws inspiration from the classic grilled cheese sandwich. It features fan favorite fillings like seasoned beef, seasoned rice, a three-cheese blend, crunchy red strips, chipotle sauce and reduced fat sour cream, all wrapped with a warm flour tortilla hugged by a warm layer of grilled cheese. Guests can also enjoy a vegetarian version by simply asking to swap beans for meat.

Available for a limited time and while supplies last, the Grilled Cheese Burrito is served at participating U.S locations a la carte for $2.99, or part of a $5 Box and comes with a Crunchy Taco, Cinnamon Twists and a medium soda drink. It was first tested in...

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Jul 2 11:47 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: U.S. Protein Inventories Drawn Down During Plant Closures

U.S. cold storage stocks declined across the beef, pork, chicken, and egg categories in May as product was needed to...

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Jul 1 8:26 AM, Urner Barry


Taco Bell Amps Up Digital Experience with New Loyalty Program

Taco Bell is now expanding its digital experience for customers to make it even more rewarding.

“We’re excited to elevate our digital ecosystem and bring our biggest fans an even more convenient, safe, and rewarding experience at Taco Bell,” said Taco Bell’s Vice President of Digital, Zipporah Allen. “Exclusive experiences in our app - like a free Chalupa Cravings Box and earning points towards free food with Taco Bell Rewards - are just the start of the many digital initiatives that we plan to bring fans throughout the year.”

The brand is also launching a beta version of Taco Bell Rewards, a way for fans to earn free tacos (and more) for eating tacos. The loyalty program begins to rollout via the Taco Bell app nationwide in...

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Jul 1 8:26 AM, General News


The Consumer Confidence Index Increased in June

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased in June, after virtually no change in May. The Index now stands at 98.1 (1985=100), up from 85.9 in May. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – improved from 68.4 to 86.2. The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions – increased from 97.6 in May to 106.0 this month.

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...

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Jul 1 8:25 AM, General News


Papa John’s Provides Business Update on Ongoing Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic

Papa John’s International, Inc. provided an additional update on the ongoing business impact of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including preliminary estimated comparable sales information for the June month and second quarter fiscal periods. In light of the uncertainty and volatility related to the pandemic, the company has continued to provide this information on a monthly basis.

Rob Lynch, President & CEO said, “In June Papa John’s delivered a third consecutive month of double-digit sales growth in North America and strong growth internationally. Continued strong results reflect both the hard work of our team members and local franchisees, as well as the trust that we have earned from millions of customers who have...

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Jul 1 8:25 AM, General News


Shake Shack Plans to Expand in China

Shake Shack Inc. and licensee Maxim’s Caterers Limited announced an expanded partnership, with plans to open a minimum of 15 Shacks in South China by 2030, including locations in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Fuzhou and Xiamen.

Together, Shake Shack and Maxim's Caterers Limited plan to operate 55 Shacks in mainland China by 2030. Maxim’s currently operates Shake Shack locations in Shanghai and Hong Kong, with Beijing and Macau in development with goals to open later in 2020. As a well-respected and proven operator in Asia, Maxim's has more than 60 years of experience in the food, beverage and retail sectors, and its diversified operations include...

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Jul 1 8:24 AM, General News


NPPC, NCBA Lead Coalition Warning Congress of Agriculture Inspection Funding Shortfall

A coalition of more than 150 agriculture and trade groups led by the National Pork Producers Council and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association sent a letter to Congress warning of a major funding shortfall that could severely weaken agricultural inspections at U.S. borders. The letter urged lawmakers to protect agriculture by appropriating funding to address what may be a $630 million COVID-19 related shortfall through fiscal year 2021.

In the letter, the coalition highlighted a funding shortfall for Agricultural Quarantine Inspection, which plays a critical role in protecting U.S. agriculture from plant and animal pests and diseases. APHIS collects user fees that pay for U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture inspections. Due to the recent economic downturn and travel restrictions as a result of...

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Jul 1 8:23 AM, Urner Barry


Charoen Pokphand Foods Maintains Strict Preventive Measures Against ASF and COVID-19

Charoen Pokphand Foods PLC (CPF) will keep in place its strict preventive measures against African Swine Flu (ASF) in pigs and novel coronavirus (COVID-19) despite a low level of domestic transmission. Having been organized is employee training on New Normal farming that will concurrently protect both pigs and human and sustainably assure food safety for consumers.

Dr. Damnoen Chaturavittawong (D.V.M), Senior Vice President of Swine Veterinary Service Department at CPF, said that strict animal and human disease control measures have been continually practiced at the Company for both livestock and aquaculture businesses, as required by international standards. In the outbreak of ASF epidemic and COVID-19 pandemic, additional stringent measures and guidelines have been...

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Jul 1 8:23 AM, General News


Redefine Meat Unveils Alt-Steak

Redefine Meat unveils Alt-Steak plant-based products, with market testing at select high-end restaurants to start later this year. Created using Redefine Meat's patent-pending 3D meat printing technology, the company's Alt-Steak products have the texture, flavor and appearance of beef steak and can be produced in the volume and cost to enable large-scale market launch.

Working with leading butchers, chefs, food technologists and the close collaboration of taste expert, Givaudan, Redefine Meat has digitally mapped more than 70 sensorial parameters into its Alt-Steak products, including premium beef cuts' texture, juiciness, fat distribution and mouthfeel. Layer by layer, the company's proprietary industrial-scale 3D food printers create...

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Jul 1 8:23 AM, General News


PODCAST: A Triumphant Return - UB Consulting with Angel Rubio

Former Market Reporter Angel Rubio returns to Urner Barry to start our new venture, Urner Barry Consulting. Providing custom white papers, presentations, targeted research reports, and much more, Urner Barry Consulting is here to provide unique solutions for your business...

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Jun 30 10:53 AM, Urner Barry


Restaurant Brands International Provides Business Update 

The following letter was provided by Jose Cil, Chief Executive Officer of Restaurant Brands International:

"This week marked 100 days since COVID-19 turned business in our home markets upside down.

In March, April and May, we shared an update on how we've been managing the crisis and driving substantial change at Restaurant Brands International . As we finish the last week of our second quarter, I wanted to share one more update on the recovery of our business, a return to growth in certain parts of our business and some reflection on long-term priorities; including...

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Jun 30 8:09 AM, General News


Papa John’s and Shaquille O’Neal Launch New Shaq-a-Roni Pizza

Papa John’s announced today the launch of the new Shaq-a-Roni pizza in collaboration with board member and restaurant owner Shaquille O’Neal. Designed to deliver a bigger pizza experience, Papa John’s will donate one dollar from every Shaq-a-Roni sold through August 23, 2020 to The Papa John’s Foundation for Building Community, which supports communities as they work together for equality, fairness, respect and opportunity for all.

“It was important to me for the Shaq-a-Roni to be bigger than just pizza. By giving my new pie a try, one dollar will be donated to The Papa John’s Foundation for Building Community to support COVID-19 relief...

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Jun 30 8:08 AM, General News


Domino's Introduces Carside Delivery 

Domino's Pizza is offering customers of the brand yet another way to carry out their favorite pizza: via Domino's Carside Delivery. Domino's Carside Delivery is a new contactless carryout option that customers can choose when placing a prepaid online order, and it is now available in stores across the U.S.

"Domino's is all about providing a delicious, hot meal, the way customers want it – whether via carryout or delivery," said Dennis Maloney, Domino's senior vice president-chief innovation officer. "Domino's Carside Delivery gives customers the option to stay in their vehicle while...

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Jun 30 8:08 AM, General News


Lloyd's Barbeque Introduces Pulled Pork and Chicken Products 

The makers of Lloyd’s barbeque products announced its pecanwood smoked pulled pork and hardwood smoked chicken made with 2-time world barbeque sauce champion Pig Beach Mustard BBQ Sauce.

Winner of the 2014 and 2016 Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, Pig Beach Mustard BBQ Sauce is a perfect match for Lloyd’s lightly seasoned hardwood smoked pulled meats. Recognized by USA Today as the “Most Prestigious Barbecue Contest,” the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is a four-day competition held in Memphis, Tenn., that draws nearly 250 teams competing from around the world.

“Barbeque is all about bringing families and friends together,” said Eric Jacobson, Lloyd’s barbeque brand manager. “Our new hardwood smoked pulled meats made with...

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Jun 30 8:07 AM, General News


Chipotle Announces Partnership with Grubhub to Expand Delivery Footprint

Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it is partnering with Grubhub, the nation's leading pickup and delivery marketplace with the largest network of restaurant partners, to expand its delivery footprint in the U.S. Chipotle and Grubhub have established a fully-integrated partnership to provide efficient operations and a seamless diner experience, ensuring food arrives as fresh and fast as possible. Available now, customers can order from Chipotle locations through the Grubhub app or Grubhub.com.

Digital orders from Chipotle are customized via the brand's Digital Kitchens, which are comprised of a dedicated ingredient station and operated by a special team in nearly all Chipotle locations. Chipotle deliveries also feature a tamper evident packaging seal to help ensure food is untouched during delivery. Grubhub users will also...

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Jun 30 8:07 AM, General News


New Jersey Postpones Indoor Dining Indefinitely as Other States Pause Reopening

Just days before New Jersey restaurants were set to reopen indoor dining at 25% capacity, Governor Phil Murphy announced that the state would be postponing indoor dining indefinitely. 

“UPDATE: INDOOR DINING WILL NO LONGER RESUME ON THURSDAY,” Murphy posted in a series of messages on social media Monday afternoon. “We had planned to loosen restrictions this week. However, after COVID19 spikes in other states driven by, in part, the return of indoor dining, we have decided to postpone indoor dining indefinitely...

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Jun 30 8:06 AM, SeafoodNews


Urner Barry's Coronavirus Special Report - Volume III

The global COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted consumer behavior, distribution, production, and market prices in a way we have never seen before. From stay-at-home directives that spurred a run on retail while foodservice operations were limited or halted all-together, to production cutbacks caused by labor shortages at the plant level, the industry has had much to contend with over the past several months.

Now, as many states have begun reopening phases, the industry is making strides in returning to a more “normal” business environment—however the face of this new normal will likely look a bit different...

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Jun 30 8:06 AM, Urner Barry


CHART:Industry Expectations for Weekly Cattle Slaughter

 

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Jun 29 3:18 PM, Urner Barry


USDA, FDA Says Food Export Restrictions Not Consistent with COVID-19 Science

In a joint statement, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., said that countries currently restricting global food exports over worries related to COVID-19 transmission are not consistent with science.

“The United States understands the concerns of consumers here domestically and around the world who want to know that producers, processors and regulators are taking every necessary precaution to prioritize food safety especially during these challenging times. However, efforts by some countries to restrict global food exports related to..."

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Jun 26 12:03 PM, General News


Darden Restaurants Reports Financial Results and Provides 2021 First Quarter Outlook

Darden Restaurants, Inc., reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended May 31, 2020, which included a 53rd week of operations compared to 52 weeks last year.

Statement from Gene Lee, CEO:

"The strategy we put in place five years ago helped us successfully navigate one of the most challenging periods in our Company's history. When our dining rooms closed, our operators did an amazing job of reimagining the guest experience by staying true to our back-to-basics operating philosophy.

We benefited greatly from our competitive advantages that form the foundation of our strategy, especially our scale and our culture. Our scale allowed us to quickly react to...

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Jun 26 8:12 AM, General News


Joint Statement from USDA and FDA on Food Export Restrictions Pertaining to COVID-19

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., issued the following statement regarding food export restrictions pertaining to COVID-19:

“The United States understands the concerns of consumers here domestically and around the world who want to know that producers, processors and regulators are taking every necessary precaution to prioritize food safety especially during these challenging times. However, efforts by some countries to restrict global food exports related to COVID-19 transmission are not consistent with the known science of transmission.”

“There is no evidence that people can contract COVID-19 from...

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Jun 25 8:42 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: Retail Beef and Broiler Prices At Highs, Pork Close

There was a change in leadership in food spend during the COVID-19, and it probably wasn’t unexpected given what transpired globally...

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Jun 25 8:24 AM, Urner Barry


Dine Brands Global Announces International President; Chief Information Officer Appointments

Dine Brands, the parent company of Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP restaurants, announces the appointment of Tony Moralejo as President, International and Global Development; and Justin Skelton, Chief Information Officer. Moralejo and Skelton are both experienced leaders who will make an immediate impact in the recovery and acceleration of the business post crisis. They will report to Thomas Song, Chief Financial Officer, and join the Dine Brands Executive Team.

Moralejo joins Dine from Church's/Texas Chicken, an international quick service restaurant company. Moralejo’s prior experience spans over two decades, leading global teams in various operations, franchise development and...

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Jun 25 8:23 AM, General News


Reopening Regulations Lead to New Formats and Menu Innovations

China has put several parts of Beijing under lockdown following a spike in recent virus infections. The second wave prevention measures include the closure of some bars and the sanitization of restaurants.

South Africa is now allowing restaurants to offer dine-in service after having been under one of the world’s tightest lockdowns since late March.

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court ruled that prohibitions on business reopenings are unconstitutional, opening the door for restaurant dining rooms and bars to welcome guests again.

Governors in both Texas and Florida announced that restaurant dining rooms can reopen at 25% capacity. However, in Florida, stay-at-home orders remain in place for the more...

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Jun 25 8:22 AM, General News


Tyson Foods Names Johanna Söderström Chief Human Resources Officer

Tyson Foods, Inc. named Johanna Söderström as Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, effective July 6, 2020. Söderström will report to Chief Executive Officer Noel White and will lead all aspects of the company’s global people strategy to enable its overall growth, innovation and transformation agenda. Söderström also will focus on continuing to build the company’s culture, talent and capabilities for the future. She succeeds Mary Oleksiuk, who is retiring after a 35-year career.

Söderström, who will join the Enterprise Leadership Team at Tyson Foods, brings more than two decades of experience in global people solutions, employee engagement and talent development to her new role. She most recently served as Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer at The Dow Chemical Company and oversaw the company’s cultural and organizational transformation through the DowDuPont merger and...

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Jun 25 8:22 AM, General News


WFA Webcast: How Have Different Food and Agribusiness Leaders Addressed COVID-19 Challenges?

AgriBriefing's series of videos and webcasts give you the chance to get views and insight from leading voices from the sector discussing hot topics impacting the Women in Food and Agriculture community.

AgriBriefing will host its webcast about how food and agribusiness leaders have addressed COVID-19 challenges on Thursday June 25th, at 9:00 CT. Themes addressed will include: What have been the biggest challenges for businesses and wider value chains during this time? – How do we think supply chains will change following the pandemic? – What will businesses do...

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Jun 24 11:25 AM, Urner Barry


U.S.-China Trade Deal Remains Intact Despite Recent Comments from Trump Administration

Recent comments from both President Trump and officials in his administration led to volatile markets on Tuesday as industries reacted to White House trade adviser Peter Navarro’s comments during a recent Fox News interview.

During the interview, Fox News host Martha MacCallum, asked Navarro, “"Do you think that the president -- he obviously really wanted to hang on to this trade deal as much as possible and he wanted them [China] to make good on the promises because there had been progress made on that trade deal," MacCallum told Navarro. "But given everything that's happened ... is that over?"

"It's over," Navarro responded...

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Jun 24 10:39 AM, General News


Spikes in COVID-19 Cases in Open States are Not Yet Impacting Restaurant Recovery

The spikes in COVID-19 cases in states that have reopened restaurant dine-in services haven’t yet impacted the continuing improvement in major restaurant chain transaction declines as more states reopen, reports The NPD Group. Arizona, California, and Florida, three states that reported an uptick in COVID-19 cases, showed several points of improvement in restaurant chain customer transaction declines at full service restaurants — the restaurant segment most affected by dine-in closures — in week ending June 14 compared to the previous week, according to...

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Jun 24 8:19 AM, General News


Albertsons Companies Announces Launch of Initial Public Offering

Albertsons Companies, Inc. announced the commencement of an initial public offering of 65,800,000 shares of its common stock to be sold by certain of its stockholders, at an anticipated initial public offering price between $18 and $20 per share, pursuant to a registration statement on Form S-1 previously filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC").

The Company is not selling any shares pursuant to the common stock offering. In connection with the offering, certain of the selling stockholders expect to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase an aggregate of...

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Jun 23 8:14 AM, General News


Subway Restaurants to Add 50,000 Jobs

With record unemployment levels across the country, Subway Restaurants announced its local Franchise Owners seek to hire approximately 50,000 jobs in North American restaurants. This effort further deepens the brand's community connections as Subway can be found in almost every community across the U.S. and Canada, and directly addresses some of the devastating effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

Subway recognizes the importance of supporting its communities and providing safe, reliable job opportunities to those seeking employment – now more than ever. Starting this summer at participating North America restaurants, thousands of job opportunities will be available ranging from entry-level to management.

"As our business continues to see a growing demand for our value offerings, curbside pick-up and delivery, we are happy to support such a large-scale employment opportunity to meet...

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Jun 23 8:13 AM, General News


CHART: Industry Expectations for Weekly Cattle Slaughter

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Jun 22 2:08 PM, Urner Barry


McDonald's Restaurants Anticipate Hiring Approximately 260,000 this Summer

As states and communities continue to re-open their economies, McDonald’s restaurants are expecting to hire approximately 260,000 restaurant employees in the U.S. this summer. This comes as McDonald’s restaurants begin to welcome customers back into dining rooms with extra precautions in place.

McDonald’s has implemented nearly 50 new safety procedures to protect crew and customers. These include wellness and temperature checks, social distancing floor stickers, protective barriers at order points, masks and gloves for employees with the addition of new procedures, and training for the opening of dining rooms.

“We are excited to welcome new employees to our McFamily, and we want candidates and their families to know we have one goal – to keep our people safe. We’ve put new minimum national standards and nearly 50 new processes in place in our restaurants as they continue to...

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Jun 22 8:16 AM, General News


Plant-Based Protein Brand OZO Brings New Option to Retail and E-Commerce

Colorado-based Planterra Foods is making its debut this month in retail outlets and direct-to-consumer e-commerce with its introductory line of OZO. Consumers looking for a new plant-based protein can take a bite of OZO Burgers (two-4 oz patties), Ground (12 oz), and Mexican-Seasoned Ground (12 oz) just in time for summer grilling and new recipe ideas.

Powered by an exclusive proprietary blend of pea and rice protein fermented by shiitake mushrooms, all of the new OZO products are an excellent source of protein with up to 22 grams per serving. OZO features a high-quality pea protein that is a great source of iron. The Planterra team is also passionate about...

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Jun 22 8:15 AM, General News


CBP Intercepts Nearly 20,000 Pounds of Smuggled Animal Products from China at LA/LB Seaport

In just a few weeks, from April 6 to June 6, U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists assigned to the LA/Long Beach Seaport, intercepted 19,555 pounds of prohibited pork, chicken, beef and duck products arriving from China.

Most of the unmanifiested animal products were commingled in boxes of headphones, door locks, kitchenware, LCD tablets, trash bags, swim fins, cell phone covers, plastic cases and household goods in a clear attempt to smuggle the prohibited meats.

CBP agriculture specialists identified, examined and seized 12 shipments containing a total of 834 cartons which lacked the required...

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Jun 22 8:15 AM, General News


New Legislation Introduced to Help Independent Restaurants Recover from COVID-19 Challenges

The Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed to Survive (RESTAURANTS) Act of 2020 was introduced on June 18 calling for $120 billion to help independent restaurants recover from the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Introduced by a bipartisan coalition of politicians including U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Representatives Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa, the legislation will create a fund to deal with the impacts of the coronavirus and help reemploy...

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Jun 19 11:54 AM, General News


COVID-19 Overshadows African Swine Fever, but ASF’s Influence Prevails

African swine fever remains the dominant issue in global animal protein – as it has been since 2018. But COVID-19 further distorts the outlook, constraining production, consumption, and trade.

ASF is still the major influence on global pork markets, and it continues to impact pig herds and restrict pork production in China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and parts of eastern Europe. As Rabobank does not anticipate an effective vaccine against ASF to be commercially available in 2020, biosecurity measures remain the most effective defense.

Herd recovery is underway in China, and has been proceeding faster than expected, but a further significant drop in...

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Jun 19 9:05 AM, General News


Tyson Foods Appoints Dan Turton As Senior Vice President, Global Government Affairs

Tyson Foods, Inc. named Dan Turton as Senior Vice President, Global Government Affairs, effective June 29, 2020. Turton will be based in Washington, D.C. and will lead the worldwide government relations activities for the Company. He will report to Amy Tu, Executive Vice President and General Counsel.

“Dan is well-respected across the political spectrum,” Tu said. “He brings nearly three decades of experience in government affairs and public policy to this role, including time spent working in corporate and government positions on Capitol Hill, in the White House, and with General Motors. I am confident that he will...

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Jun 19 8:58 AM, General News


ANALYSIS: Labor Issues Create Record Spread Between Bone-in and Boneless Hams

Despite the nation’s gradual recovery and reopening, labor issues continue to plague some areas of the pork industry. We have seen this most often...

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Jun 19 8:18 AM, Urner Barry


USDA Trade Mitigation Purchases to Feed People in Need and Aid American Farmers Surpass $2B

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it has purchased more than $2.2 billion of meat, fruits, vegetables, specialty crops and dairy products in fiscal years 2019 and 2020 in its ongoing efforts to feed people in need and assist American farmers and ranchers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations.

USDA is on target to reach its fiscal year goal of about $1.4 billion of trade mitigation purchases in the next phase of fiscal year purchasing, which ends Sept. 30. The purchases were made through...

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Jun 19 8:17 AM, General News


Six Flags Announces New Mobile Food Ordering

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation announced the biggest planned rollout of Mobile Food Ordering in the regional theme park space. As more Six Flags parks open with new safety guidelines in place, the program offers a minimal to no-contact process with the use of the Six Flags App.

“Social distancing is a key component of our operations. By utilizing Mobile Food Ordering, guests will spend significantly less time in food lines and more time enjoying their visit. More than 75% of our dining locations now offer...

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Jun 19 8:17 AM, General News


COVID-19 Continues to Impact Initial Unemployment Claims 

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims reached 1,508,000 in the week ending June 13. This is a decrease of 58,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 24,000 from 1,542,000 to 1,566,000. The four-week moving average was 1,773,500, a decrease of 234,500 from the previous week's revised average. The average from the week prior was revised up by 6,000 to 2,008,000.

For the week ending June 6, the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 14.1%, unchanged from the prior week's revised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured employment was 20,544,000, a decrease of 62,000 from the week before. The four-week moving average was...

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Jun 19 8:16 AM, Urner Barry


Urner Barry’s Executive Conference and Global Protein Summit to be One Epic Online Experience

June 19, 2020, Toms River, NJ – Urner Barry, the leading provider of protein market news and information in the food industry, is excited to announce its two biggest events of the year will be merged into one online experience in 2020.

During this unprecedented time, our industry has been impacted like never before. We know you were looking forward to attending Urner Barry's Executive Conference and Global Protein Summit this year, but the safety of our customers and employees is the main priority. As Urner Barry is uniquely placed to provide you with vital information on the protein markets during this time of vast uncertainty, we remain committed to delivering the insights that you need to best navigate your business – and because of this, for 2020 only, we are combining our two events into one epic, online experience.

The wellbeing of our community and colleagues remains our number one priority so, while this decision has not been taken lightly, we feel that taking the event online this year provides...

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Jun 19 8:15 AM, Urner Barry


Chefs Battle for Best Beefshi

Today, on International Sushi Day, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, and the New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) are joining forces to celebrate America's love of beef and sushi with the final showdown of the 2020 Beefshi Battle.

The 2020 Beefshi Battle is a campaign and online contest created to promote and popularize Beefshi, an innovative concept that takes its inspiration from sushi and features prepared beef products like bologna, summer sausage, corned beef, pastrami, roast beef and beef jerky as central ingredients in sushi. Creativity is essential for any great chef, and this contest has encouraged professional cooks and chefs to...

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Jun 18 10:19 AM, General News


Kroger Reports First Quarter 2020 Results and Provides Update on COVID-19 Response

The Kroger Co. reported its first quarter 2020 results, provided a Restock Kroger progress update on the three-year transformation plan and an update to the COVID-19 response.

Comments from Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen

"The COVID-19 pandemic and the most recent instances of racial injustice have changed our country in unmistakable ways, not the least of which is the devastating loss of life and livelihood that has affected so many Americans. Kroger remains guided by our purpose and our values. I am proud of our associates who stepped up when we were called to be there for our customers, communities and each other. Our company is proud to...

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Jun 18 9:13 AM, General News


La Bodega Meat Recalls Beef Products Distributed Without Benefit of Import Re-Inspection

La Bodega Meat LLC, a Farmers Branch, Texas establishment, is recalling approximately 83,038 pounds of raw beef products that were not presented for import re-inspection into the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The various raw beef items were imported on June 2 and June 3, 2020. The following products are subject to recall...

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Jun 18 9:04 AM, General News


Beyond Meat Introduces Limited Edition Burger Pack

Beyond Meat is making plant-based burgers more accessible and affordable this summer with the introduction of Cookout Classic, a limited edition burger 10-pack available at a majority of Walmart and Target stores nationwide and select retailers across the U.S. beginning the week of June 22. Sold in the frozen meat aisle with a suggested retail price of $15.99 ($1.60 per patty), the new offering will be available through mid-August, or until supplies last, and is intended to narrow the price gap between plant-based meat and animal protein.

With growing consumer interest in plant-based protein, the Cookout Classic value pack is designed to inspire a plant-based meat option at barbecues and summer gatherings. The burgers are made with...

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Jun 18 8:19 AM, General News


While COVID-19 Remains a Focus, Consumers’ Interests have Started to Shift Beyond the Pandemic

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the world has been focused on coronavirus. With the virus impacting just about every aspect of consumers’ lives, stepping away from the news is not always enough to escape the fatigue.

For the first time in three months, the virus is no longer front and center amid recent events surrounding protests. In some ways, Datassential found that this has caused some households of younger generations to relax COVID-19 precautions and take on more risk to get out and reclaim their lives.

More than others, younger generations and households with children are partaking in socializing in larger groups and heading back to dining rooms. While Americans are not ready to completely turn off virus-related news, they are ready to...

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Jun 18 8:19 AM, Urner Barry


Chipotle Expands Digital Platform with Canadian App Launch and U.S. Ordering Enhancements

Chipotle Mexican Grill announced a series of innovations to its digital platform to increase access and convenience for guests, including the introduction of the Chipotle app in Canada. Now guests in Canada can order their favorite Chipotle meals via Chipotle.ca or the Chipotle app, as well as through DoorDash and Uber Eats.

"Investing in our digital ecosystem in Canada will enhance the guest experience and position us well for future growth," said Anat Davidzon, Managing Director – Canada, Chipotle.

Chipotle is also introducing a series of enhancements to its mobile ordering capabilities including Pepper, its Concierge Bot on Facebook Messenger. Beginning June 22, customers can...

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Jun 18 8:18 AM, General News


May Retail Sales Improve Dramatically Over April but Still Below Last Year

Retail sales rose dramatically in May as retailers and other businesses closed by the coronavirus pandemic began to reopen, but remained well below spending levels seen during the same period a year ago, the National Retail Federation said.

“This sales report is very encouraging news at a time when we need to focus on what will happen as retail doors open once again,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said during a live interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box program. “For a sick economy, there is no better medicine than retailers responding to consumers who are ready to safely return to stores. These sales numbers do not reflect the same strength we had going into the pandemic, but they certainly reflect the trajectory we need coming out of it. The most important thing now is...

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Jun 18 8:18 AM, General News


Mintel: A Quarter of British Millennials Say COVID-19 has Made a Vegan Diet More Appealing 

The prospect of a diet packed with chickpeas, lentils, and quinoa appears to be more tempting as of late, as new research from Mintel reveals that a quarter (25%) of young British Millennials (aged 21-30) say that the COVID-19 pandemic has made a vegan diet more appealing.

These plant-loving Millennials are not alone, as the research reveals that a vegan diet is proving more attractive to over one in ten (12%) of all Brits, rising to almost a quarter (22%) of Londoners, since the start of the pandemic.

This comes as Mintel research indicates there is a strong belief in the healing power of plants, as half of Brits (51%) believe plant/botanical ingredients (eg herbs, spices) can have...

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Jun 18 8:17 AM, General News


NAMI to President Trump: China Must Meet Phase One Obligations

The North American Meat Institute joined a broad coalition of agribusinesses and agriculture organizations calling on President Trump to ensure continued implementation of the U.S. China Phase One Trade Agreement due to the significance of China’s market for U.S. food and agricultural exports, particularly U.S. meat and poultry products, which now enjoy expanded market access under the Agreement. The organizations emphasize the Agreement’s benefits for the U.S. rural economy, and underscore its importance to the overall growth and vitality of the U.S. agriculture sector.

The letter, sent June 16, 2020, was signed by 192 groups representing all parts of the food value chain and rural economies. The following is the text of the letter...

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Jun 17 9:58 AM, General News


Hard Rock Cafe to Reopen Restaurant Locations Under New Health and Safety Plan 

Hard Rock International announced plans to reopen company-owned Hard Rock Cafe locations in the United States and Europe, in compliance with recommendations from national and local health officials. To help keep guests and team members safe and healthy, Hard Rock Cafes have implemented "SAFE + SOUND," a new program featuring stringent guidelines developed in collaboration with leading worldwide health and sanitization partners like ECOSURE and the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF).

The "SAFE + SOUND" program implements the highest of level of safety, sanitation, food handling and employee training. As part of the new protocol, all guests and team members will be required to...

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Jun 17 8:22 AM, General News


Denny's Reintroduces Popular Value Menu

Denny's is re-introducing its famed $2 $4 $6 $8 Value Menu in celebration of its 10th anniversary, offering guests breakfast and dinner favorites alongside new and exciting items, all at a great price. The limited-time value menu will be available for dine-in, takeout or delivery via Dennys.com, while supplies last at participating locations. Denny's is also offering free delivery through Denny's on Demand from now until June 22, 2020.

Denny's $2 $4 $6 $8 Value Menu features options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, including...

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Jun 17 8:21 AM, General News


Smithfield Foods Releases 2019 Sustainability Impact Report

Smithfield Foods, Inc. today released its 2019 Sustainability Impact Report, demonstrating significant progress in reaching major milestones and continuing efforts to feed the world’s population in a responsible way. Smithfield’s industry-leading sustainability program operates across five key pillars, representing areas of strategic focus that are important to its business, communities and society-at-large. These include the humane treatment of animals, stewardship of the environment, production of safe and high-quality food, contributions to strengthen its local communities and safety and well-being of its people.

“2020 has presented the world with an unprecedented crisis that is impacting the health, well-being and sustainability of people, communities and businesses everywhere. In turn, we have seen an increased reliance upon critical industries and companies to provide essential products and services at...

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Jun 17 8:21 AM, General News


As Restaurants Begin to Reopen, Operators Expect a Long Road Ahead

According to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant industry has lost $120 billion in sales over the last three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

The Association said stay-at-home policies led to losses of $30 billion in March, $50 billion in April, and another $40 billion in May.

Most of the country is beginning to reopen dining at some capacity. States are allowing limited capacity while others are set to allow outdoor dining and there is hope that restaurants...

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Jun 16 11:57 AM, General News


Sweet Earth Foods Debuts Eight New Plant-Based Products

Sweet Earth Foods announced the national launch of a selection of eight new burritos and entrée bowls. As the latest additions to Sweet Earth's best-selling product lines, these two new burritos and six new entrée bowls are available now in the frozen aisle of grocery stores, with distribution increasing in the following weeks.

The new burritos and bowls all incorporate plant-based Awesome Grounds or Mindful Chik'n, satisfying cravings for the meaty, juicy taste of traditional meats, and making them a good source of protein. Created with wholesome ingredients like veggies and globally inspired spices, the burritos and bowls are...

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Jun 16 10:05 AM, General News


Family, Friends and Colleagues Saddened At the Passing of Food Industry Leader Dilio Di Pasquale

Long-time Fancy Foods Associate Dilio Di Pasquale passed away on May 28th after battling an illness for the past few years. Besides being a loving father and husband of 68 years to his wife, Pat, he was an Uncle, Grandfather, and extraordinary mentor.

Dilio emigrated from Italy at the age of 5, growing up in New York and New Jersey. He later served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper. Dilio's business skills led him to become a highly respected and trusted food industry professional and icon. Dilio owned the Bergen Pork Store in North Bergen before transitioning into the wholesale meat business where he spent the rest of his career as...

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Jun 16 9:57 AM, General News

McDonald's Reports April and May 2020 Comparable Sales and Provides COVID-19 Business Update

McDonald's is providing comparable sales results and an update on the COVID-19 impact to the Company's operations ahead of the second quarter earnings announcement.

Highlights:

  • 95% of McDonald's restaurants around the world are open to serve customers.
  • Comparable sales have improved sequentially from late March through May.
  • The Company is investing in the System to accelerate recovery.

"Our strong foundation and the unique advantages of the McDonald's System, including...

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Jun 16 9:48 AM, General News


Hormel Foods Announces Retirement

Hormel Foods Corporation announced the upcoming retirement of Jim Splinter, group vice president, corporate strategy. Splinter's long tenure with the company includes leading the company's successful Grocery Products division and holding executive positions with the Refrigerated Foods and Jennie-O Turkey Store divisions.

Most recently, Splinter led corporate strategy for Hormel Foods, including corporate innovation, digital experience, communications and corporate development, including leading the M&A pipeline, which resulted in several important acquisitions over the last few years.

Under his leadership, Hormel Foods formed its digital and e-commerce center of excellence and its agile and incubator centers, resulting in the successful introduction of...

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Jun 16 9:40 AM, General News


U.S. Restaurant Chain Transaction Declines Continue to Soften, Down 14% in Week Ending June 7

U.S. major restaurant chain transactions were down 14% in the week ending June 7 versus the same week a year ago, a 29 point gain from the steepest decline during the COVID-19 pandemic of  43% in week ending April 12, reports The NPD Group.  Sixty-nine percent of restaurant units are now in geographies that permit some level of on-premise dining and the number should increase to 74% in week ending June 14.

Major full service restaurant (FSRs) chains are still seeing the most improvement of restaurant segments as more dining rooms open and those already open increase capacity...

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Jun 16 8:12 AM, General News


CHART: Industry Expectations for Weekly Cattle Slaughter

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Jun 15 3:06 PM, Urner Barry


Tyson Foods, Inc. Releases Results From Covid-19 Testing At Berry Street Facility In Springdale, AR

Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) announced today the results of facility-wide testing for COVID-19 at its Berry Street poultry facility in Springdale, Arkansas. 

Of the 1,102 team members who work at the facility and were tested onsite from June 4 to June 6, 199 tested positive, only one of whom showed symptoms. The other 198 individuals who tested positive did not show any symptoms and otherwise would not have been identified. 

This is in addition to 48 positive cases identified at Berry Street by the Department of Health or when seeking care through their own health care providers...

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Jun 15 11:34 AM, General News


Lakeside Refrigerated Services Recalls Beef Products due to Possible E.coli O157:H7 Contamination

Lakeside Refrigerated Services, a Swedesboro, N.J. establishment, is recalling approximately 42,922 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The raw ground beef items were produced on June 1, 2020. The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF Only)]  

- 1-lb. vacuum packages containing “MARKETSIDE BUTCHER ORGANIC GRASS-FED GROUND BEEF” and a use or freeze by date of 07/01/20 and lot code P-53298-82.

- 1-lb. vacuum packages containing four ¼ lb. pieces of “MARKETSIDE BUTCHER ORGANIC GRASS-FED GROUND BEEF PATTIES” and a use or freeze by date of June 27, 2020 and lot code P-53934-28.

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Jun 15 8:56 AM, General News


Burger King Restaurants Launch the Impossible Croissan’wich

Burger King today announced it is lauurger nching the new Impossible Croissan’wich sandwich nationwide. After a successful test earlier this year in select U.S. markets, BK guests across the country can now get the same Croissan’wich sandwich they know and love with a delicious Impossible breakfast plant-based patty. This new menu item makes Burger King the first national restaurant to offer an Impossible breakfast plant-based patty on a breakfast sandwich. The all-new, limited-time-only Impossible Croissan’wich features a toasted flaky croissant, fluffy eggs, melted American cheese and a seasoned breakfast plant-based patty from Impossible Foods...

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Jun 15 8:51 AM, General News


Sysco Launches New Interactive Virtual ‘Restaurant Readiness Tool’ for Operators

Today, Sysco announced the launch of its Restaurant Readiness Tool, a first-of-its kind simulation that intuitively provides a comprehensive view of best practices, key considerations and essential supplies for operators re-opening their restaurants as COVID-19 stay-at-home orders continue to ease.

The Restaurant Readiness Tool enables operators to tour a virtual restaurant where they experience an immersive, 360-degree view of the establishment. Users can navigate through the restaurant, clicking various icons for each area and foodservice role to learn about best practices for ensuring the health and safety of both guests and employees...

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Jun 15 8:46 AM, General News


Smithfield Foods Details Ongoing COVID-19 Testing at Its Facilities

Smithfield Foods, Inc. today said that it is continuing to prioritize employee health and safety by providing free, on-demand COVID-19 testing to all its employees at its more than 40 U.S. facilities. The company offered the following details about the ongoing COVID-19 testing:

- Last month, Smithfield completed a testing phase in which private healthcare providers administered mass testing on a voluntary basis to all its employees.  

- At the conclusion of that phase, beginning last month, the company hired four private healthcare providers, Matrix Medical NetworkEurofins ScientificMako 

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Jun 15 8:42 AM, General News


Taco Bell Owner Sues Grubhub, Claiming it Violated Distribution Agreement

Taco Bell owner Yum Brands is suing Grubhub, claiming that it violated its distribution agreement.

Yum bought a 3% stake in the third-party delivery app in 2018 as more national chains looked to lift sales by offering delivery. As part of the deal, the two signed a contract that required the delivery app to give Yum favorable pricing and service levels for thousands of Taco Bell and KFC restaurants, which are largely operated by franchisees...

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Jun 12 8:39 AM, Urner Barry


Instacart Announces $225 Million In New Funding Led By DST Global, General Catalyst And D1 Capital

Instacart, the North American leader in online grocery, today announced it has raised $225 million as part of a new financing round led by DST Global and General Catalyst, with existing investor D1 Capital Partners participating. The investment comes as Instacart continues to experience an unprecedented surge in customer demand for grocery delivery and pickup. Today's announcement increases the company's valuation to $13.7 billion...

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Jun 12 8:07 AM, General News


A Quarter of Young Millennials Say COVID-19 Has Made A Vegan Diet More Appealing

The prospect of a diet packed with chickpeas, lentils, and quinoa appears to be more tempting as of late, as new research from Mintel reveals that a quarter (25%) of young British Millennials (aged 21-30) say that the COVID-19 pandemic has made a vegan diet more appealing.

These plant-loving Millennials are not alone, as the research reveals that a vegan diet is proving more attractive to over one in ten (12%) of all Brits, rising to almost a quarter (22%) of Londoners, since the start of the pandemic...

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Jun 12 7:39 AM, General News


Consumers to Take Cautious Approach as Restaurants Reopen

With the United States beginning to reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurant operators are eagerly awaiting consumers to walk back through their doors. 

Americans have been stuck in their houses for months and with many ready to spend time out of the house, the foodservice industry hopes they are craving not only a good meal but a night out as well.

However, a recent survey from the restaurant discovery platform Zagat indicates that most consumers are still unwilling to sit down in a restaurant for an extended period of time...

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Jun 12 7:38 AM, Urner Barry


Who Bought Grubhub? A look at Just Eat Takeaway.com

On Wednesday news broke that Grubhub was being acquired by Just Eat Takeaway.com in a $7.3 billion deal. The acquisition news came as a shock as Uber had reportedly been in negotiations with the food delivery company. 

So, who is Just Eat Takeaway.com?

Takeaway.com was founded in 2000 by its CEO, Jitse Groen. The site, Thuisbezorgd.nl, was initially launched in the Netherlands and was one of the world’s first online food delivery marketplaces. By 2011 the name was changed to Takeaway.com, and since then they’ve been...

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Jun 11 12:05 PM, SeafoodNews


Coronavirus Spreads Among Fruit and Vegetable Packers, Worrying U.S. Officials

From apple packing houses in Washington state to farm workers in Florida and a California county known as "the world's salad bowl," outbreaks of the novel coronavirus are emerging at U.S. fruit and vegetable farms and packing plants.

A rising number of sick farm and packing house workers comes after thousands of meat plant employees contracted the virus and could lead to more labor shortages and a fresh wave of disruption to U.S. food production.

The Trump administration said last month it may extend an executive order to keep meat plants operating to fruit and vegetable producers as well, a sign it is concerned fresh produce could be the next sector hit...

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Jun 11 9:48 AM, Urner Barry


Bloomin’ Brands Provides Business Update Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLMN) today announced a business update related to COVID-19 as well as recent sales results and details on cash utilization and liquidity.

Statement from David Deno, Chief Executive Officer

The priorities for Bloomin’ Brands remain unchanged as we navigate these challenging times. We are focused on taking care of our people and serving food in a safe environment that protects both our Team Members and customers.

Since the onset of the pandemic, we have been nimble in adapting our business. This included a pivot to an off-premises model as dining rooms were forced to close...

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Jun 11 9:20 AM, General News


Beyond Meat Expands Local Production Capabilities in Europe

Beyond Meat, Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND), a leader in plant-based meat, today announced the company’s first co-manufacturing capabilities in Europe with the official opening of the Zandbergen co-manufacturing facility in Zoeterwoude, the Netherlands. The new state-of-the-art facility owned and operated by Zandbergen will produce the Beyond Burger® and Beyond Sausage® and is intended to allow for more efficient distribution of Beyond Meat’s products across EMEA.

Production at the new Zandbergen co-manufacturing facility will also include the upcoming debut of new packaging for...

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Jun 11 8:45 AM, General News


Dunkin' Franchisees Plan to Hire Approximately 25,000 Restaurant Employees Nationwide

At a time of record unemployment, Dunkin' has been an essential, trusted part of the communities it serves, with approximately 90% of Dunkin' restaurants open to help keep Americans running and provide some sense of normalcy for loyal guests. Now, as more of America opens up, Dunkin' franchisees are seeking to hire up to 25,000 new restaurant employees at Dunkin' locations, from front-counter to restaurant management, creating immediate jobs that offer long-term education benefits and key career skills for people all across the U.S.

To support its franchisees, who are independent business owners, in hiring and retaining employees who embody the brand's core values, Dunkin' is taking several steps to welcome new restaurant employees and...

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Jun 11 8:25 AM, General News


Technomic: Recent Protests Resulted in Restaurant Foot Traffic Declines 

Major cities where protests were held, including Minneapolis, experienced declines in QSR and overall restaurant foot traffic that overindex national levels.

There is significant concern that the virus will reappear

Driven by the New England region (88%) and consumers ages 55-64 (85%), the vast majority (77%) express concern that the virus will be back before the end of year. On the flip side, 32% of West North Central and 31% of consumers ages 18-24 report that they are not concerned or very concerned.

Employees’ safety and health are top of mind for operators

Healthcare operators are more likely to be concerned with...

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Jun 11 8:23 AM, General News


70% of Grocery Shoppers Can Find Foods They Want, While 30% Are Still Experiencing Out of Stocks

The grocery cases and shelves that were left barren in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, for the most part, are back to their pre-COVID states. In the week ending May 28, 68% of U.S. grocery shoppers reported to The NPD Group that they hadn’t encountered any out of stocks of the foods and beverages they were shopping for during the week. This wasn’t the case for 32% of shoppers who did experience out of stocks when they shopped for foods and beverages during the week ending May 28, according to the findings of NPD’s NET® COVID-19 Pantry & Food Strategy Tracker...

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Jun 11 8:18 AM, General News


United Natural Foods Reports Third Quarter Fiscal 2020 Results

United Natural Foods, Inc. reported financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2020 (13 weeks) ended May 2, 2020.

Third Quarter Fiscal 2020 Highlights

  • Net Sales increased 12% to $6.67 billion compared to $5.96 billion in last year's fiscal third quarter
  • Net income increased 54% to $88 million; Adjusted EBITDA increased 32% to $222 million
  • Earnings per diluted share (EPS) of $1.60; Adjusted EPS increased 130% to $1.40
  • Net debt reduced by $302 million compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2020
  • Updates fiscal 2020 guidance, which includes the impact of Retail included...
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Jun 10 9:24 AM, General News


America’s Meatpacking Facilities Operating More than 95% of Capacity Compared to 2019

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today applauded the safe reopening of critical infrastructure meatpacking facilities across the United States. As of this morning, across the cattle, swine, and broiler sectors, processing facilities are operating more than 95% of their average capacity compared to this time last year. In fact, beef facilities are operating at 98%, pork facilities are operating at 95%, and poultry facilities are operating at 98% of their capacity compared to the same time last year.

America’s meatpacking facilities are safely resuming operations following President Trump’s Executive Order directing the facilities to implement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines specifically created for...

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Jun 10 8:37 AM, General News


Pandemic's Impact on Imports Easing, but Numbers are Still Below Last Year

The impact of COVID-19 at major U.S. retail container ports appears to be easing slightly, with projected imports remaining below last year’s levels but not as much as previously forecast, according to the Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“The numbers we’re seeing are still below last year, but are better than what we expected a month ago,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “It may still be too soon to say but we’ll take that as a sign that the situation could be slowly starting to improve. Consumers want to get back to shopping, and as more people get back to work, retailers want to be sure...

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Jun 10 8:19 AM, General News


Wendy's Provides Business Update on COVID-19

Wendy's announced an update on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company's business.

COVID-19 Updates

Global same-restaurant sales have improved each week throughout the fiscal month of May after being impacted by the previously disclosed disruption in beef supply at the beginning of the month. Global same-restaurant sales for the last week of May turned positive in the low single digit range.

Breakfast in the U.S. continued to perform very strongly in...

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Jun 10 8:19 AM, General News


Restaurant Transaction Declines Continued to Improve in Week Ending May 31

Nearly three months have passed since most U.S. restaurant dine-in operations were ordered to close to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and this week more than 68% of all restaurant units are in states, counties, or municipalities where they are permitted to reopen their on-premise dining service. This does not mean all restaurants in those areas have reopened, but it is an indicator of loosening regulations.

With a growing number of restaurant dine-in services reopening, major restaurant chain customer transactions have been improving, reports The NPD Group. In the week ending May 31, U.S. restaurant chain transactions declined by 18% compared to same period year ago, a 3%...

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Jun 10 8:18 AM, General News


April Red Meat Exports Weather Production Challenges, Economic Headwinds

April proved to be a solid month for U.S. beef and pork exports despite COVID-19 related interruptions in production and declining purchasing power of some key trading partners, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports were below last April’s large totals but still topped $600 million in value. Pork exports remained well above year-ago levels but slowed from the record pace established in the first quarter.

“Considering all the challenges the U.S. red meat industry faced in April, export results were encouraging,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Exporters lost several days of slaughter and processing due to COVID-19, and shipments to Mexico and some other Latin American markets declined due to...

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Jun 9 8:17 AM, General News


COVID-19 Is Reshaping the $4 Trillion Global Foodservice Industry

COVID-19 is reshaping the nearly $4 trillion global foodservice industry, with a number of permanent effects expected. Not only is the pandemic accelerating growth of existing trends like online food delivery and curbside pickup, it is giving rise to new ones, such as expanded sanitation protocols and social-distancing dining.

While creative fads are unlikely to go mainstream, foodservice establishments must find ways to adapt to market challenges such as limited-capacity seating and quell consumer concerns about contagion in order stay competitive.

A new Freedonia Group analysis examines the short- and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on global foodservice revenues, which are forecast to rise...

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Jun 9 8:17 AM, General News


CHART: Industry Expectations for Weekly Cattle Slaughter

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Jun 8 3:15 PM, Urner Barry


Kroger and Ocado Announce Three Additional Regions for Customer Fulfillment Centers

Kroger and Ocado announced the continued expansion of their partnership with plans to construct three new Customer Fulfillment Centers (CFC) in the Great Lakes, Pacific Northwest and West regions.

"Kroger is incredibly excited to construct three additional industry-leading Customer Fulfillment Centers across the country in relationship with Ocado to bring fresh food to our customers more conveniently than ever before," said Robert Clark, Kroger's senior vice president of supply chain, manufacturing and sourcing. "Through our strategic partnership, we are...

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Jun 8 9:13 AM, General News


NCBA Applauds Introduction Of Emergency Grazing Legislation

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) today applauded the introduction of the bipartisan, bicameral PASTURE (Pandemic Authority Suitable To Utilize Reserve Easements) Act of 2020 by U.S. Representatives Roger Marshall (R - 1st Dist., Kansas) and Angie Craig (D - 2nd Dist., MN). Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate by Sens. John Thune (R-SD) and Tina Smith (D-MN).

“Introduction of the bipartisan, bicameral PASTURE Act is a welcome step toward providing grazing flexibility to livestock producers during the COVID-19 pandemic," said NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane. "As farmers and ranchers are keeping and feeding livestock for longer periods of time, Congress must ensure that...

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Jun 8 9:09 AM, General News


National Retail Federation Announces New Board Members

The National Retail Federation elected two new members to the NRF Board of Directors during its virtual summer board meeting.

The NRF board welcomed Hal Lawton, president and CEO of Tractor Supply Company, and Anish Melwani, chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Inc. They will both serve a two-year term until June 2022.

“Hal Lawton and Anish Melwani have shown exceptional leadership during the past few months as our country and the retail industry have faced the coronavirus pandemic and...

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Jun 5 2:19 PM, General News


ANALYSIS: April Shrimp Imports Increase 6.2 Percent

April imports were released today and showed another increase over the same month last year, continuing the trend set in the first three months. The data showed a 6.2 percent increase over last April to 113.822 million pounds. Urner Barry Consulting expectations were in-line with actual figures against some others that believed imports would fall because of shutdowns across the globe.

Of our top five trade partners, gains from the consensus top two, India (+25.2%) and Indonesia (+44.6%) overpowered less shipments from Ecuador (-30.9%), Vietnam (-10.5%), and Thailand (-5.9%)...

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Jun 5 10:32 AM, SeafoodNews




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