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COVID-19 Forces Technomic to Revise Foodservice Industry Forecasts

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to leave its mark on the foodservice industry, research firm Technomic announced revisions to its foodservice forecasts for 2020 and 2021.

The data Technomic shared is presented through three scenarios: Best Case, Middle Case and Worst Case. In the “Middle Case” scenario, Technomic predicts foodservice industry will grow by 21% in 2021 following the massive drop-off in sales during 20201, but sales are expected to remain 11% lower from 2019...

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Aug 13 12:14 PM, General News

Smithfield Foods' Adjusted Operating Results Swing to Loss in Second Quarter Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced that it has spent $350 million to protect its team members and the American food supply during the COVID-19 pandemic, causing adjusted operating results to swing to a loss in the second quarter of 2020.

At Smithfield, the first half of 2020 was "a tale of two tapes": pre-pandemic and pandemic. Prior to the onset of COVID-19 in the U.S., Smithfield delivered record results in the first quarter of 2020, which were 190 percent higher than 2019. However, the impact of the pandemic weighed heavily on the company's second quarter, pushing adjusted operating results 140 percent below...

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Aug 12 8:32 AM, General News

NPPC: COVID-19 Impact Demonstrates Need to Enhance Livestock Risk Protection Program

The National Pork Producers Council and 26 state pork associations representing thousands of American hog farmers have asked the USDA’s Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) to implement enhancements to the Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) insurance program. These changes would mitigate the impact of unexpected declines in hog values from unanticipated events like the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 crisis in our farm sector has demonstrated the enormous value of an enhanced LRP,” said NPPC President Howard A.V. Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin...

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Aug 11 9:07 AM, General News

Retail Imports to See Lowest Annual Total in Four Years

Imports at major U.S. retail container ports during 2020 are expected to see their lowest total in four years as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the U.S. economy continues, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“The economy is recovering but retailers are being careful not to import more than they can sell,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Shelves will be stocked, but this is not the year to be left with warehouses full of unsold merchandise. The more Congress does to put spending money in consumers’ pockets and provide businesses with liquidity, the sooner we can get back to normal..."

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Aug 10 10:09 AM, General News

Uber Sees Doubling in UberEats Operations as Ride Hailing Business Stays Low

On August 6, Uber Technologies Incorporated (San Francisco, CAannounced its quarterly earnings results. The company's UberEats unit remains the bright spot for the company, seeing revenue doubled to $1.2 billion as Americans continue to stay at home despite changes in restaurant operation across various states since April. This is in contrast to the ongoing sharp declines in the company's flagship ride-hailing unit as fewer riders and drivers in the US returned to the platform despite improvements in other countries where coronavirus effects are currently more muted...

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Aug 10 9:27 AM, General News

Papa John’s Announces Second Quarter 2020 Results

Papa John’s International, Inc. announced financial results for the three and six months ended June 28, 2020. The company also provided an update on the business impact of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Faced with an unprecedented global challenge but guided by our values and purpose, Papa John’s achieved record sales in the second quarter,” said Rob Lynch, President & CEO. “Across the U.S. and those international markets where delivery-based businesses have remained open, we have safely and successfully met...

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Aug 7 3:38 PM, General News

Cargill Releases Annual Report

Fiscal 2020 was a year like no other. In such a challenging environment, Cargill has anchored to its purpose and values. The company exists to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Despite challenges facing the food and ag system and disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, Cargill’s FY 2020 annual report, Nourishing the World, demonstrates how the team’s resiliency and agility helped to keep supply chains moving to put food on family tables around the globe.

“The last year taught us that we are capable of so much more than we previously thought. We can move faster, with more agility, navigating a crisis while keeping our people’s wellbeing front and center,” said David MacLennan, Cargill’s chairman and CEO. “We are grateful to our employees, customers and...

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Aug 7 3:10 PM, General News

ANALYSIS: Stairs Going Up, Elevator Going Down

While 2020’s chicken market has certainly had its fair share of ups and downs recently, it has also brought with it...

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Aug 7 8:24 AM, Urner Barry

Initial Unemployment Claims Decrease in the Week Ending August 1 

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the figure for initial unemployment claims was 1,186,000 for the week ending August 1. This figure represents a decrease of 249,000 from last week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up slightly from 1,434,000 to 1,435,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,337,750, a decline of 31,000 from the week prior.

For the week ending July 25, the adjusted insured unemployment rate was 11%, a decrease of 0.6 percentage point from the previous week's unrevised rate. The 4-week moving average was...


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Aug 6 9:49 AM, Urner Barry

Aramark Prepared to Welcome College Students Back to Campuses Across the Country

As many college campuses make arrangements to safely open amid COVID-19, Aramark, a leading food and facilities partner with hundreds of colleges and universities across the U.S., is prepared to meet the safety and hygiene standards required in today’s ever-changing environment. This includes introducing a variety of new programs and service offerings to support a safe, enjoyable campus dining experience.

“As with many other aspects of campus life, dining services will look and feel a little different this Fall,” said Jack Donovan, President of Aramark’s Higher Education business. “Knowing health and safety is imperative for returning students and faculty, as well as...

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Aug 6 8:23 AM, General News

Wendy's Reports Second Quarter 2020 Results

The Wendy's Company reported unaudited results for the second quarter ended June 28, 2020 and provided an update on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company's business.

"I continue to be extremely proud of, and humbled by, the tireless efforts and dedication from our employees, franchisees and supplier partners across the globe as we successfully manage through COVID-19," President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Penegor said. "Our business and restaurant economic model continue to show incredible resilience as we build momentum with U.S. same-restaurant sales accelerating to high-single digit growth in July, driven by...

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Aug 6 8:22 AM, General News

Beyond Meat Reports Second Quarter 2020 Financial Results

Beyond Meat, Inc. reported financial results for its second quarter ended June 27, 2020.

Beyond Meat President and CEO Ethan Brown commented, "I am proud of our record net revenues and growth during a very challenging period. As the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic took hold across the foodservice industry, we repurposed assets and repacked and rerouted products to meet increased consumer activity in the retail aisles. Throughout the quarter, our brand experienced an enviable combination of consumer trends – increasing household penetration; increasing buying levels per household; and strong repeat purchase rates of nearly...

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Aug 5 8:28 AM, General News

U.S. Restaurant Chain Customer Transaction Declines Remain Relatively Flat

U.S. major restaurant chain customer transactions were down 11% in the week ending July 26 versus year ago, reports The NPD Group. This is a modest improvement from the 12% decline versus year ago in the prior week, and a continuation of the relatively flat pattern seen over the last several weeks, according to NPD’s CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 75 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains representing 53% of the commercial restaurant traffic in U.S.

Customer transactions at major quick service restaurant chains were down 11% in the week ending July 26 compared to a year ago and were flat from the prior week, week ending July 19. Full service restaurants improved slightly with customer transactions down...

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Aug 5 8:23 AM, General News

Ruth's Hospitality Group Provides Business Update and Financial Results for Q2 2020

Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. provided a business update on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and reported unaudited financial results for its second quarter ended June 28, 2020.

COVID-19 Business Update:

During the second quarter of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact overall sales and traffic. As previously reported, Company-operated Ruth’s Chris dining rooms were closed in all domestic U.S. locations during April, and the Company transitioned its services to take-out and delivery operations in...

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Aug 5 8:22 AM, General News

Under HEALS Act, Over Half of Restaurants Ineligible for PPP Loans

The National Restaurant Association is looking to change a threshold in the Senate HEALS Act which will currently make 55% of restaurants ineligible for another Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.

Via a letter to Congressional leadership, the Association noted that small businesses with less than 300 employees will need to show 50% in quarterly gross receipts to apply for another round of PPP loans. At that level, over half of restaurants will be ineligible for the loans.

In order to get more restaurants the assistance they need, the Association...

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Aug 4 11:17 AM, General News

National Retail Federation: Economic Recovery May Not Be a Steady Climb 

According to the National Retail Federation’s Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz, it is difficult to determine how steady the economic recovery will be following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Optimism about the economy and retail spending is being tested daily with the spread of the coronavirus,” Kleinhenz said. “Big questions are looming, and we are all grappling to discern what incoming data is telling us about the health of the economy and consumers. Depending on the data selected, the answers are not entirely clear.”

Kleinhenz commented in the NRF’s August edition of its Monthly Economic Review...

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Aug 4 10:45 AM, General News

After Steep Declines, U.S. Foodservice Industry Set to Rebound to Pre-Pandemic Levels by 2023

The latest research from Mintel shows that after several years of growth, the foodservice industry is expected to decline by up to 30% from 2019-2020, following nationwide dine-in bans/restrictions, restaurant closures, job losses, and lowered consumer confidence.

Looking ahead though, Mintel predicts total market sales to rebound to pre-pandemic levels by 2023, with limited-service restaurants (LSRs) including fast food and fast casual restaurants, bouncing back more quickly and representing a notably larger share of the market.

While sales declines will be felt across both LSRs and full service restaurants (FSRs), the majority of these declines will be driven by the FSR segment which has been hit the hardest by...

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Aug 4 8:23 AM, General News

U.S. Full Service Restaurants Struggle as Visit and Transaction Declines Stay in the Double-Digits

Full service restaurants (FSRs) were still recovering from the Great Recession, which ended over ten years ago, when the COVID pandemic hit along with shelter-at-home orders and mandated dine-in closures. With most of FSR business being on-premises dining, these sit down, table service restaurants were hit hard.

Visits to FSRs were down 47% in the April, May, and June quarter, the height of the mandated dine-in closures, compared to same quarter year ago, reports The NPD Group. Quick service restaurants (QSRs), which already have developed off-premises operations like carry-out and drive-thru, realized...

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Aug 3 8:24 AM, General News

NTF Supports Efforts to Provide Relief for Turkey Farmers

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) applauds the introduction of S. 4353 by Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), which would ensure independent turkey farmers are eligible to apply for future Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) payments. Joel Brandenberger, NTF president, released the following statement on the bill as well as other pending congressional efforts to provide relief to turkey farmers who have experienced losses related to COVID-19:

“NTF applauds Senator Smith’s introduction of S. 4353 and her ongoing efforts to support turkey farmers in Minnesota and across the country. The effects of COVID-19 have been felt throughout...

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Jul 31 8:21 AM, General News

Tyson Foods Launches New, Nationwide COVID Monitoring Strategy; Expands Health Staff

As part of its commitment to team member safety and continually evolving efforts to protect workers from COVID-19, Tyson Foods, Inc. is launching a new, industry-leading monitoring program and expanding its occupational health staff, including a new chief medical officer position.

The comprehensive COVID monitoring strategy was designed with the assistance of outside medical experts and includes ongoing, data driven COVID testing of workers without symptoms, as well as those who exhibit certain symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has the virus.

“While the protective measures we’ve implemented in our facilities are working well, we remain vigilant about...

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Jul 31 8:20 AM, General News

Technomic Updates Their 2020 Foodservice Trend Predictions For Today's 'New Environment'

Back in October 2019, Technomic, a company that provides research, insights and strategic consulting for the foodservice industry, released their take on trends to watch for in 2020. Their report highlighted predictions on food, flavor, operations and consumer attitudes. But what Technomic — and the rest of the world for that matter — didn’t take into account was that a pandemic would sweep the globe and upend the food industry. 

A lot has changed since the beginning of the year, and now Technomic is taking a look at how their...


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Jul 30 11:46 AM, Urner Barry

How the HEALS Act Aims to Help Restaurants

It’s no secret that the restaurant industry was and remains among the hardest hit sectors during the coronavirus pandemic.

The NPD Group reported on July 29 that the surging COVID-19 cases and rollbacks in the re-opening plans from states across the country have stalled restaurant recovery.

As the Senate works to pass its next round of federal COVID-19 relief, the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act, multiple provisions have been introduced to help assist the struggling industry...

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Jul 30 9:02 AM, General News

Pilgrim's Pride Reports Financial Results for Q2

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation reports second quarter 2020 financial results.

Second Quarter Highlights

  • Net Sales of $2.82 billion.
  • Net GAAP loss of $(6.0) million.
  • Operating Income margins of 2.2% in U.S., -13.3% in Mexico and 3.1% in Europe operations, respectively.
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $112.2 million, or a 4.0% margin.
  • Faced with the global Covid-19 pandemic, we remain guided by our principles of an uncompromising commitment to the safety of our team members, our duty to provide quality food globally, and our responsibility to provide continued...
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Jul 30 8:44 AM, General News

ANALYSIS: Turkey Slaughter Tells a Seasonal Tale, with a COVID-19 Twist

As we approach the end of July, and without any significant changes to what has been a relatively quiet trade environment lately, turkey participants and observers are taking some extra time to...

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Jul 30 8:31 AM, Urner Barry

U.S. Restaurant Industry Recovery Stalls with No Improvement in Transaction Declines in Six Weeks

COVID case surges across the country and the subsequent rollbacks in re-opening plans have stalled the U.S. restaurant industry’s recovery, reports The NPD Group. Major restaurant chain customer transaction declines have been between 11% and 14% versus a year ago since the second week of June compared to the steady improvement in declines from the last week in April through the second week in June.

In the week ending July 19, major restaurant chain total customer transactions are down 12% versus year ago, compared to 14% in the prior week, according to NPD’s CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 75 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains representing...

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Jul 29 8:22 AM, General News

Perdue Farms Provides Statement on Virginia's Workplace Requirements

The state of Virginia has enacted new mandatory requirements for workplaces to keep employees safe during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Perdue Farms employs more than 3,300 associates throughout its Virginia facilities including poultry operations in Accomac and Bridgewater, distribution center in Prince George, and a deepwater port and grain facility in Chesapeake, as well as nearly 70 poultry farm families and more than 800 grain farmers, contributing nearly $930 million in economic impact to the state annually.

Perdue’s poultry facilities fall into Virginia’s “Medium Risk” category. Other types of businesses in this category include...

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Jul 29 8:22 AM, General News

Albertsons Reports First Quarter Results

Albertsons Companies, Inc. reported results for the first quarter of fiscal 2020, which ended June 20, 2020.

First Quarter of Fiscal 2020 Highlights

  • Identical sales growth of 26.5%
  • Digital sales growth of 276%
  • Diluted net income per share of $1.00; Adjusted net income per share of $1.35
  • Net income of $586 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $1.7 billion, an increase of 93% compared to the first quarter last year
  • COVID-19 related investments of approximately...
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Jul 28 9:24 AM, General News

Rabobank Pork Quarterly Q3: More Uncertainties Ahead 

Covid-19 brings many uncertainties to the global pork market. With various disruptions to the supply chain, Rabobank has revised down pork production for 2020 in major producing countries.

“Labor shortages, operational suspensions, soft demand, and channel shifting will force industry players to increase automation, adopt digitalization, improve plant working conditions, streamline processing, and integrate along the supply chain in order to...

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Jul 28 8:31 AM, General News

Papa John’s Looks to Hire 10,000 More Team Members as the Pandemic Continues

Papa John’s International announced the company recently hired 20,000 team members, including many who were displaced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is again stepping up efforts to hire another 10,000 additional team members over the next few months.

Papa John’s is also expanding its best-in-class college tuition benefit program, “Dough & Degrees,” including the addition of two new partners, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) and University of Maryland Global Campus. Those schools join Purdue University Global in offering Papa John’s corporate and franchise team members, as well as...

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Jul 28 8:19 AM, General News

Denny's Announces Free Delivery for the Remainder of 2020 

Denny's announced the opportunity for all Rewards members to receive free delivery for the rest of the year through the Denny's on Demand platform.

Denny's Rewards members just need to place an order between July 27 – August 9 and they will receive a weekly coupon via email to be redeemed for free delivery once a week until the end of 2020. Non-Rewards members can still get in on the free delivery action by signing up for Denny's Rewards and placing an order between July 27 – August 9.

"Over the past several months as in-restaurant dining has been in a state of change due to COVID-19, we have seen...

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Jul 28 8:18 AM, General News

McDonald's Introduces New COVID-19 Safety Precautions in the U.S.

From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mcdonald's has based decisions on its top priority: protecting the health and well-being of its employees and customers. In order to build on that commitment, McDonald's taking three important additional steps:

  • Requiring customer face coverings in the restaurants
  • Adding protective panels to front- and back-of-house
  • Pausing dining room re-openings for an additional...
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Jul 27 8:37 AM, General News

ANALYSIS: Estimated Pork Packer Margins vs The Pork Cutout

Estimated pork packer margins for standard operations, or outside purchasers of hogs, reached record highs in May, following the difficult period when COVID-19 resulted in...

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Jul 27 8:16 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Chicken Cold Storage: A Mid-Year Freeze

Wednesday’s release of the USDA’s Cold Storage Report closely coincides with the current standing of most major chicken lines and also reflects...

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Jul 24 8:22 AM, Urner Barry

Food and Beverage E-Commerce Sales Growing Rapidly but Still Small

Even prior to the coronavirus pandemic, online sales of food and beverages in the U.S. have been growing rapidly and totaled about $17 billion in 2018. They are forecast to increase 32% per year through 2023, according to Packaged Facts in the report U.S. Beverage Market Outlook 2020: Grocery Shopping & Personal Consumption in the Coronavirus Era.

Yet, while e-commerce sales are growing rapidly, they still represent a very small percentage—about 4%—of total food and beverage sales.

The impact of online sales varies by food category, ranging from less than 1% to 3% of sales. Coffee and tea sell the best, while dairy and juices...

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Jul 24 8:21 AM, General News

NCBA and NAMI Respond to USDA Report on Cattle Markets 

The USDA suggested broader reporting requirements for meatpacking companies as it investigates cattle market movements driven by the coronavirus pandemic and a fire at a major beef plant. The USDA stated in a report in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice that it continues to investigate potential regulatory violations and anticompetitive conduct within the industry. However, the report does not detail any wrongdoing by meat processors.

“In its analysis of the effects of the fire and the pandemic, USDA found no wrong-doing and confirms the disruption in the beef markets was due to devastating and unprecedented events,” said North American Meat Institute President and CEO, Julie Anna Potts. “It is difficult to see how the USDA’s recommended legislative proposals would have...

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Jul 24 8:21 AM, Urner Barry

Yelp Report Reveals Increase in Permanent Restaurant Closures

In April, after most of the United States had been in shelter-in-place or under “lockdown” orders for a month, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) reported that sales losses for the restaurant industry could total up to $240 billion by year-end. Their research, which included a survey of more than 6,500 restaurant operators, found that 4 in 10 restaurants in April were closed. Now, four months into the pandemic, a new report released by Yelp reveals that the number of permanent restaurant closures is only increasing...

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Jul 23 1:05 PM, Urner Barry

Unemployment Continues to Increase as COVID-19 Impacts Number of Initial Claims 

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the figure for initial unemployment claims was 1,416,000 for the week ending July 18. This is an increase of 109,000 from the previous week's revised level. Last week's level was revised up by 7,000 to a total of 1,307,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,360,250, a decrease of 16,500 from the previous week's revised average.

For the week ending July 11, the adjusted insured unemployment rate reached 11.1%, a decline of 0.7 percentage points from the week prior. Also, the rate for the previous week was revised down to 11.8%. The 4-week moving average was...

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Jul 23 10:18 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Turkey Exports in May: A Sign of the Times

Closely aligned with the real-world trade experiences of turkey market participants, May not only marks the second consecutive month of...

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Jul 23 8:22 AM, Urner Barry

Rabobank's Poultry Quarterly Q3 2020: Fragile Recovery After COVID-19 Storm

The global poultry industry is recovering from a storm that hit in 1H 2020, and the outlook is gradually improving. Poultry demand will be more bullish in 2H, as Covid-19 containment measurements are eased, lifting demand through foodservice.

Poultry demand is expected to improve in 2H. The biggest market driver will be the economic downturn, making global markets more volatile and price driven. Such conditions are generally positive for poultry, being the cheapest meat protein with a short and flexible production cycle.

Prices will see some recovery after historic lows in 1H. Breast meat should benefit from the reopening of foodservice, although trade will...

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Jul 23 8:21 AM, General News

Foodservice Associations, NFI Praise PLUS Act Aimed at COVID-19 Relief for Distributors

Representatives Darin LaHood (R-IL) and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) introduced the Providing Liquidity for Uncollectible Sales (PLUS) Act. The legislation, which provides a tax credit to offset uncollectable debt incurred due to COVID-19 shutdowns, received support from the United Fresh Produce Association, the International Food Distributors Association (IFDA), and National Fisheries Institute (NFI).

Shutdowns lead to significant losses in the foodservice distribution sector as restaurants and other entities were unable to pay distributors for products...

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Jul 22 11:57 AM, General News

TGI Fridays Expands Butcher Shop Menu As More People Cook From Home

As COVID-19 cases increase across the U.S., some states are taking action by introducing new restrictions for restaurants. With a second wave potentially causing closures in the future, TGI Fridays is banking on their new Butcher Shop concept to keep hungry customers satisfied and safe in the comfort of their own home.

The chain restaurant actually launched their Butcher Shop concept back in April at the peak of the pandemic in the U.S. At that time, with many states banning in-door dining, and...

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Jul 22 11:08 AM, Urner Barry

Rabobank: U.S. Foodservice Packaging Post COVID-19 

U.S. foodservice has been heavily impacted by the Covid-19 lockdowns, with effects also spreading to foodservice packaging suppliers. Despite a temporary sharp reduction in foodservice packaging volumes, Rabobank expects a staged recovery against a broader backdrop of economic recession.

Consumer-facing foodservice packaging volume is expected to expand in both limited-service restaurants and full-service restaurants, albeit at a slower rate. As local economies open up and consumers adopt new ways of dining, foodservice packaging should also adapt and innovate to meet...

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Jul 22 8:24 AM, General News

U.S. Quick Service Restaurant Chains Drive Customer Transaction Declines in Week Ending July 12 

Total customer transactions at major U.S. restaurant chains declined by 14% in the week ending July 12 versus year ago, compared to 11% in the prior week. Quick service restaurant (QSR) chains drove the decline, decelerating 4-points to 13% year-over-year while full service restaurant (FSR) chains improved declines by 3-points to 26% year-over-year.

A reversal from last week when FSRs drove the declines and QSRs fueled the improvement in declines, according to NPD’s CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 75 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains representing...

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Jul 22 8:24 AM, General News

PODCAST: Calling All Pork People - ASF, Retail Demand, Exports, and More

In this week's segment Russell Barton discusses retail demand, slaughter, exports, African Swine Fever, and COVID-19...

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Jul 21 10:04 AM, Urner Barry

Lack of Indoor Dining Continues to Limit Restaurants, Despite Uptick in June Sales

According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurant sales saw a boost in June, marking the second straight month of increased activity. 

June was the best month for eating and drinking places since the pandemic began, with $47.4 billion in sales (on a seasonally-adjusted basis) but it was still about $18 billion below sales posted in January and February.

Based on unadjusted data from the Census Bureau, sales levels at eating and drinking places were down a total of $116 billion from March through...

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Jul 21 8:53 AM, General News

NPPC: Hog Farmers Urgently Need Congressional Action to Weather Crisis 

U.S. hog farmers continue to face an unprecedented emergency as a result of COVID-related challenges, with an estimated two million hogs still backed-up on farms according to an analysis by Dr. Steve Meyer, an economist with Kerns & Associates. At a press briefing, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) described the damage exacted on hog farmers and urged Congress to act swiftly to preserve their livelihoods.

Dr. Meyer said U.S. hog farmers face massive losses due to multiple COVID-19 crisis-related factors, which have turned profit potential for 2020 from robust to disastrous. According to his analysis, based on lean hog futures prices on March 1 and July 10 and actual hog prices in the interim, potential 2020 revenue from hog sales has been reduced by roughly $4.7 billion. Other losses associated with...

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Jul 21 8:30 AM, General News

Taco Bell to Simplify Menu in August  

Beginning August 13, Taco Bell is simplifying its menu. This evolved menu approach comes after months of analyzing the new way Taco Bell is running its restaurants. The company wants to ensure an easy and fast ordering experience for guests and team members, while simultaneously opening up opportunities for even more innovation.

While some old favorites may be retiring, the continued creativity coming from Taco Bell's Food Innovation Team is non-stop. Since the start of COVID, the company has made changes at the restaurant level with the safety of Team Members and guests as the top priority, but Taco Bell didn’t just stop there. The new normal has also transformed the way the company looks at...

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Jul 21 8:29 AM, General News

Foodservice Recovery to Continue Amid Rising COVID-19 Cases

The recent surge in Covid-19 cases in the US and the subsequent expansion of dine-in restrictions in many states and cities appear troubling. While they may weigh on consumer behavior for a short period, Rabobank expects US foodservice recovery to continue as initial hotspots (e.g. New York) show no resurgence, and more importantly, the consumer spending trajectory is largely unchanged in new hotspots (e.g. Florida, Texas, California), likely signaling that the delayed onset in these areas has enabled both businesses and consumers to prepare for the ‘new’ normal.

Another Widespread Shutdown Is Unlikely

Though local and state governments have begun to reimpose restrictions in some hard hit areas, there is little appetite among governments, businesses, or consumers for another...

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Jul 21 8:27 AM, General News

Pork Remains on the Menu in Spain and Italy Even if Tourists Stay Away

Spain and Italy face a miserable summer tourism season. But does this mean a terrible year for pork, too? Remarkably, Rabobank's analysis shows that decreased international tourist activity will have a limited impact on total pork consumption in these countries.

For the full year of 2020, Rabobank expects a decrease in total pork consumption of about 6% in Spain and 2% in Italy due to reduced demand in foodservice and retail. Furthermore, pork exports to Italy from major exporters, such as Germany, Spain and Denmark, are expected to remain largely unaffected by...

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Jul 20 9:45 AM, General News

ANALYSIS: For Chicken Processors, “Normal” Can’t Come Soon Enough

Between the ongoing challenges associated with plant worker absenteeism, fluctuating slaughter figures and the unpredictable pull from both...

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Jul 17 8:21 AM, Urner Barry

National Retail Federation Pushing for all Retailers to Adopt Face Mask Policy

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the United States, the National Retail Federation (NRF) called upon retailers to adopt a nationwide face-covering policy.

The NRF urged business, including grocery stores to implement the policy to protect the health of customers, associates and partners during the pandemic.

“The health and safety of associates and customers is retailers' number one priority and wearing a face covering or mask is scientifically proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” the NRF said in a press release...

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Jul 16 10:21 AM, General News

ANALYSIS: The Sustained Flight of Whole-Body Turkeys

In terms of turkey trade activity, there isn’t a whole lot going on here in Mid-July. Market participants continue to contend with the widespread supply and demand challenges associated with...

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Jul 16 8:23 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Pork 2020 Comparison

The first half of 2020 was highly volatile in the pork market due to a myriad of factors. While cases of ASF continued to be reported across several...

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Jul 16 8:23 AM, Urner Barry

National Restaurant Association Calls for Federal Support for the Restaurant Industry

The National Restaurant Association sent the Blueprint for Restaurant Revival to Congress. The comprehensive policy and legislative plan outlines specific and immediate action the federal government should take to stabilize the industry in the short-term and set the foundation for long-term rebuilding.

"In just the past two weeks, state and local government mandates have shut down almost 100,000 restaurants," said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of Public Affairs for the Association. "Since the restaurant industry was first shuttered, the National Restaurant Association and our State Restaurant Association partners have led the call at the federal, state, and local level for policies that will allow us not to profit, but simply to survive this pandemic. Despite losing more...

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Jul 16 8:23 AM, General News

Global Consumer Confidence Suffers Record Drop in Q2

Deteriorating job prospects and rising anxieties about personal finances drove a record drop in global consumer confidence in the second quarter of 2020, according to The Conference Board Global Consumer Confidence Survey.

Conducted in collaboration with Nielsen, the survey found that overall global consumer confidence fell to 92 in the second quarter from a near-historic high of 106 early in the first quarter, before the pandemic significantly expanded beyond China. A reading below 100 is considered negative, indicating that consumers were slightly more pessimistic than optimistic globally for the first time since...

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Jul 16 8:22 AM, General News

PODCAST: Market Update on Eggs with Brian Moscogiuri

This week, Laura sat down with Brian Moscogiuri to cover price fluctuations since record highs in March, rebounding COVID-19 cases impact on demand, cage-free production and trends, and the European egg market reaction to the pandemic...

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Jul 14 10:45 AM, Urner Barry


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Foodmarket, a specialized media offering from Urner Barry, is the premier source of market news for the food industry.