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REPORTER: Acute Shortage of HGV Drivers Leads to Major Supply Issues in the UK
This article was originally featured in the Fall 2021 Edition of Urner Barry's Reporter magazine.
Critical supply chains are nearing a breaking point in the United Kingdom with the Road Haulage Association (RHA) reporting a shortage of 100,000 drivers in July.
The shortage of drivers has been a key factor in recent inflationary pressure. Delayed deliveries are mounting, and rising driver wages have led to retailers absorbing higher operating costs.
A leading retailer in the UK is offering...
REPORTER: Growing Hope Among U.S. Farmers
As the pandemic continues into 2021, the economic impact on the U.S. agricultural system has been well documented. News outlets— this one included—have covered everything from demand shocks, to labor shortages, to trade disruptions. But one of the lesser discussed consequences of COVID-19 is the toll it has taken on the mental well-being of U.S. farmers and farmworkers—a population already prone to heightened levels of depression and suicide...
REPORTER: Here's What's Happening with Urner Barry's COMTELL
Urner Barry is continually pushing limits and exceeding expectations when it comes to providing the highest quality of service to customers. The team has been making some exciting headway on some powerful new tools coming soon to COMTELL.
As far as progress on the COMTELL product roadmap goes, one of the main focuses throughout the last few months has been the development of an Excel Add-In. The Add-In will allow access to the COMTELL historical...
REPORTER: Urner Barry to Host Global Protein Summit In-Person This November
Urner Barry’s Global Protein Summit is making its return this November.
Urner Barry’s Global Protein Summit will be held in Chicago on November 1-3, 2021. Specifically designed for those in the beef, pork, and poultry industry, this three-day agenda is packed with intel from the foremost experts on economics and agribusiness.
As the last 18 months have proven—over and over, again and again—producers, processors, wholesalers, retailers and the foodservice...
REPORTER: Sugar Prices on the Rise Despite Consumption Normalizing and No Projected Demand Growth
Historically, sugar consumption has been resilient through economic disasters, and we’ve seen the same through the COVID-19 global pandemic. While overall consumption levels were maintained, however, we did see changes in consumption patterns: As foodservice, beverage, and even confectionery consumption fell immediately following shelter-in-place policies, increased retail demand offset much of the declines as consumers took up new hobbies such as cooking and baking...
REPORTER: Sustainability in Focus
Sustainability within the food supply chain has been one of the biggest themes of 2021. It comes as no surprise given the persistent supply chain challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and growing consumer interest in their food. The term sustainability has popped up everywhere in the past several years and consumers’ definition of the term is anything but uniform. However, it’s not just a buzzword, and sustainability is certainly not a new concept...
REPORTER: Plant Protein Manufacturers Attempt to Get the Next Generation to Jump Aboard
Can you remember sitting at the dinner table staring at those vegetables growing up—perhaps hoping they would just disappear?
Well, those vegetables now come in the form of every child’s favorite: chicken nuggets or a hamburger patty.
Plant protein continues to make headlines with new product launches and partnerships with major restaurant and retail brands. Among them are products geared towards kids...
REPORTER: Disease Issues, Higher Feed Costs Curb Hog Supplies
While the world continues to strive towards “normalcy,” conditions for hog producers in the United States are anything but in 2021.
Starting in April last year, producers were plagued with an overwhelming bottleneck of hog supplies due to pandemic-induced processing slowdowns. Euthanasia of heavy hogs or piglets in addition to herd contraction efforts helped tighten front-end hog supplies heading into 2021.
Thinner slaughter supplies coincided with robust domestic and export demand for U.S. pork...
REPORTER: The Massive Chinese Market Attracts Plant-Based Innovators
As Chinese consumers seek more protein in their diets and plant-based foods become readily available, alternatives to meat are gaining acceptance in China. Although plantbased protein currently has a small serving share compared to traditional meat in China, The NPD Group reports that awareness has reached 90%. The retention rate for plant-based proteins is on the rise, increasing from 53% in October 2020 to 68% in January 2021...
REPORTER: Poultry Industry Labor Woes Birth Automation Initiatives
If there is one resounding and almost universal challenge that poultry processors, deboners, and further processors all have in common, it is the lack of sufficient labor on hand. Although the national unemployment rate continues to descend back down to earth following its COVIDfueled spike to 14.8% experienced back in April 2020, the fact of the matter is that workers are simply not returning to the factory setting...
REPORTER: Beef Grocery Prices Higher as Inflation Spills Into Food Costs
If you have filled up your grocery cart at any point during the year, you may have experienced some sticker shock along the way. While retail beef prices are down from 2020 pandemic highs, when the second run on the supermarkets coincided with reduced slaughter from COVID-19 plant shutdowns, the USDA All-Fresh Beef Retail in June was the second highest on record. And the average through...
REPORTER: AEB, UEP Join Forces to Develop a Unified Strategy for the Egg Industry
In October 2022, UEP and the AEB will cohost our Executive Conferences and annual board meetings in Charleston, SC. Over the past 12 months, we’ve vigorously sought opportunities to drive efficiencies and exponential value from collaboration wherever possible and appropriate, and to extend those collaborations to additional partners. For example, we were pleased to announce recently that UEP and the AEB have jointly undertaken an industry-wide Lifecycle Assessment (LCA)...
REPORTER: Turkey Market is Soaring, Supply Indicators Leave Little Doubt Why
Day-to-day market dialogue, along with the upward appreciation of items such as consumer packed whole birds and breasts, breast meat and parts, continue to underscore this year’s strained supply-side scenario within the turkey complex. While ancillary factors such as plant labor complications, some of the steepest seasonal feed costs realized in the past seven years, and robust, pipelinefilling demand patterns, are all playing a contributing role in the current market environment...
REPORTER: Taking a Look Back at the Development of the USDA’s National School Lunch Program
The USDA’s National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted initiative where participating schools provide free or reduced-price nutritious lunches to children in low-income households.
NSLP was created under the Richard B. Russell National School Act. In 1946, it was signed into law under President Harry Truman. This program has become the Nation’s second largest food and nutrition assistance program...
REPORTER: A Summer of Extreme Volatility for Pork
The pork market continues to contend with a confluence of significant variables that have made for price extremes and unparalleled volatility.
The labor shortages that began early on during the COVID-19 outbreak have persisted, and in some areas grown worse as time has gone on. In addition, tight hog supplies, which are partially a result of culling actions taken last year, as well as potentially from more recent PRRS outbreaks, have lifted hog prices to lofty...
REPORTER: Quick Bites: What’s New and Interesting in Foodservice
THE VEGAN TREND CONTINUES
Grubhub released their third annual “State of the Plate” report, a mid-year report that analyzes what Grubhub users ordered from the platform between January and June 2021. It should come as no surprise that vegan options continue to be a hot trend for diners. According to the global online food delivery marketplace, so far this year vegan orders have increased by 17%, with plant-based burgers specifically increasing by 28%...
REPORTER: U.S. Cattle Ranchers Battle Drought, Higher Feed Costs
The nation’s cattle feeders continue to navigate an uncertain and challenging environment in 2021. Ranchers are grappling with large supplies, persistent drought in the western half of the U.S., higher feed costs, and a sluggish cash cattle market.
Through July 20, USDA’s drought monitor reported that about 32% of the nation’s cattle inventory was located within an area experiencing drought. Due to poor pasture conditions and limited forage availability in areas of cattle country, some...
REPORTER: With Commodity Prices Surging Higher, is this the Next Supercycle?
Inflationary pressures have been discussed ad nauseam in 2021 as a reviving U.S. economy and a cash infusion by the government pushed many items higher. But as the effects have spilled over to reach Main Street, there has been growing concern. Many CEOs of the largest companies have discussed the impact inflation has had on their business as it is top of mind for many...
REPORTER: British Farmers Resist Controversial Trade Agreement
Brexiteers have long argued that negotiating trade deals without the oversight of Brussels was a key advantage to leaving the EU. Even so, opinions remain divided about the advantages of a new agreement with Australia.
Published on June 17, an “agreement in principle” will allow Australia to send a set quota of agricultural goods to the UK without tariffs. According to the agreement, quotas will steadily increase over a 15-year period until which point there will be...
REPORTER: ASF in the Dominican Republic: What Does it Mean for Pork?
On July 29th, the USDA confirmed that African Swine Fever was discovered in samples from pigs in the Dominican Republic. Since the outbreak that began in China during the summer of 2018, this is the first set of cases that have hit the western hemisphere and the closest the virus has been to the United States. The initial reaction to this news was fear, and hog futures tumbled as a result...
REPORTER: Lackluster Cattle Slaughter and Tight Supplies Help Lift Boxed Beef Prices
For those monitoring cattle slaughter levels, there is a common takeaway that processing capacity has not yet recovered to prepandemic levels. Production and distribution challenges due to ongoing labor shortages may continue to impact chain speeds for months to come.
Inadequate slaughter levels for the current level of demand are helping fuel a renewed rally in boxed beef prices. Following a demand-driven...
REPORTER: Egg Retailers Shift Focus as They Adjust Through Effects of the Pandemic
The retail landscape has changed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only are consumers shopping more online for groceries than ever before, but issues relating to higher costs, labor shortages, and resurgent foodservice demand appear to be impacting the way retailers operate and what they feature. Eggs have long been used as a loss-leader—an item that is promoted close to or below cost in order to get people into a store. Not only do eggs have over a 90% market penetration...
REPORTER: Transportation Faces an Ongoing Struggle with No End in Sight
Players have had their fair share of obstacles and sleepless nights when it comes to anything transportation-related this year.
In the early days of the pandemic, all of the attention was on the plants themselves and the struggles happening within their walls—and rightly so. But as time has gone on and adjustments were made, the bigger problem that many were facing came after the plants were done and the product needed...
Urner Barry's Fall 2021 Reporter Issue Released; Read It Online For Free Now
Check out a brand new issue of Urner Barry's Reporter! The Fall edition takes a deep dive into soaring farm to fork costs that have triggered global price shocks. In our latest issue you can find market insights from our talented team of market reporters, as well as stories on plant-based trends, labor issues, sustainability, and much more!
Read Volume 16, Numer 4 of Urner Barry's Reporter for free here.
Not a subscriber? Sign up for free! Click here to subscribe to Urner Barry’s Reporter, the quarterly newsmagazine for the food industry professional. The Reporter delivers interesting and informative articles for the poultry, egg, red meat and seafood industries...
REPORTER: FOODSERVICE: The Main Driver For Rising Prices
This article was originally featured in the Summer 2021 Edition of Urner Barry's Reporter magazine.
Foodservice is undoubtedly recovering faster than anticipated. Rapid price increases at the wholesale level are possibly the best indicator to help identify the recovery trend. The “pent-up” demand from foodservice operators as restaurants and bars reopen across the U.S. has been one of the main drivers for such price acceleration from late February and early March to early June. However, price trends during the previous months were still somewhat supportive for many animal proteins.
Urner Barry's Reporter Summer 2021 Issue Released; Read It Online For Free Now
REPORTER: Manufacturing Holds Egg Products Market Together as Foodservice Demand Returns
COVID-19 had various impacts on the egg market since Q1 of 2020. Most of the attention was on the record breaking prices of shell eggs during the early stage of the national lockdown, but perhaps the most impactful change surrounded the demand for egg products. As consumers packed their refrigerators and cooked more at home, demand for egg products associated with the foodservice and institutional sector was slashed. This channel absorbs...
REPORTER: As Plant-Based Demand Skyrockets, Innovators Think Beyond the Burger
There is no doubt that burgers and sandwiches are the most popular items ordered by consumers when dining out. In fact, according to the NPD Group, burgers were included in 13.5% of all restaurant orders in the year ending 2020, which translates into 7 billion servings of burgers. Chicken sandwiches were included in 6.7% of all restaurant orders in the U.S., which amounts to 3.5 billion servings. With that in mind, it comes as...
REPORTER: Protein Markets Continue to Battle Container Shortages, Logistical Hiccups
This article was originally featured in the Summer 2021 Edition of Urner Barry's Reporter magazine.
"It's really bad. There is no other way to characterize it."
CNBC editor and author Lori Ann LaRocco provided a bleak but accurate representation of the shipping container issues impacting businesses over the past year in her latest interview on Urner Barry’s Market Digest Podcast.
The shortage of shipping containers has been well-documented during the pandemic, and weather incidents and the massive Suez Canal jam...
Urner Barry's Reporter Spring 2021 Issue Released; Read It Online For Free Now
Urner Barry Releases October Emerging Plant Protein Report
Urner Barry Releases October Soy & Wheat Report
Urner Barry Releases October Pulse Protein Report
Urner Barry Releases September Emerging Plant Protein Report
Urner Barry’s Consulting Division to Launch Egg Market Forecasting Report