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Sysco Launches Campaign to Connect Foodservice Operators to Its Fresh Products 

Sysco Corporation announced that it has launched a new “Sysco Knows Fresh” multi-channel campaign designed to promote both the company’s high quality, fresh product offering and its widespread availability to customers, consumers and the industry.

“Sysco continues to lead our industry in providing an expansive fresh product assortment – including fresh meats and seafood, produce, dairy and refrigerated specialty items. Especially during these challenging times, we want our customers to know they can count on Sysco to help them succeed with...

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Apr 9 2:39 PM, General News

Technomic: Decrease in Consumer Spending Levels Off Slightly

Within the past week, it became clear that the timing and scope of the pandemic will be highly localized because of fragmented government actions and variable social distancing practices by location. This will likely lead to a geography-dependent economic recovery timeline, with early adopter states experiencing a potentially quicker return to normal compared to later adopters. This COVID-19 update from Technomic’s Foodservice Impact Monitor explores the continued effect on the industry, including consumer spending leveling off and some innovative initiatives from operators.

Industry Impact

Unemployment claims have grown from 3 million the previous week to over 6 million in the last report. It remains to be seen if the government stimulus will be enough to counteract that...

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Apr 9 2:32 PM, General News

Consumer Concerns Increase After Two-Week Stabilization  

The coronavirus crisis continues to explode and dominate headlines. Nearly one-third of the world is now living under COVID-19 restrictions. Most of the United States is under stay at home orders, but few states remain holdouts and some people are still not following social distance guidelines. While health is a major concern, the potential economic impact from the virus is as well.

With social distancing forcing non-essential businesses to close their doors until further notice, over 6 million initial unemployment claims were filed in the past week. That is double from the week prior. Layoffs are likely to continue, but as an initial step...

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Apr 9 8:21 AM, Urner Barry

Coronavirus Crisis From the Foodservice Operator Perspective 

According to a recent report by Datassential, fears of irreparable harm are building more significantly among restaurant operators, particularly those leading full-service locations. Not all on-site segments are carrying on seamlessly, as lodging has a huge vacancy problem and many college campuses are closed.

However, other operators have kept moving along, even if dine-in options can no longer be offered until further notice. All foodservice operators are focused on remaining open as much as possible and serve customers via the few options left. During this time, suppliers and manufacturers need to be flexible, as operators need to be...

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Apr 9 8:19 AM, Urner Barry

Survey: Coronavirus Transforms Americans' Grocery & Cooking Habits

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on Americans' grocery shopping and cooking habits, according to a March 23 survey of more than 3,000 consumers by meal planning service eMeals. Shoppers were unable to find 40% of the grocery items on their shopping list as the gravity of the COVID-19 outbreak sent them flocking to grocery stores to stock up on food from March 18-23. Respondents also reported a 55% increase in weekly shopping spend, cooking dinner at home six nights a week, and surging online grocery use that has caused fulfillment delays because of the high demand.

"Shopping and cooking habits have clearly been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. Short supplies at grocery stores, restaurant closings, and the need to...

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Apr 8 8:18 AM, General News

Restaurant Customer Transactions Declined by 42% in Week Ending March 29

The majority of U.S. restaurants are now impacted by mandated dine-in closures, reports The NPD Group. Restaurant customer transactions dropped by 42% in the week ending March 29 compared to same week year ago, according to NPD’s CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 70 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains.

While steep transaction declines are being seen industry-wide, some restaurant models are better suited than others to retain existing off-premise business, like drive-thru, carry-out, and delivery. Quick service restaurants, which historically have more off-premise business, realized transaction declines of...

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Apr 8 8:18 AM, General News

ANALYSIS: A Bird’s Eye Perspective of Price Volatility

Following an historic, if not overwhelming, upward surge in retail-oriented demand patterns, chicken marketers have now found themselves contending with...

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Apr 6 8:17 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Shell Egg Prices Coming Under Pressure as Foodservice Demand Slows, Frees Supply

After a more than three-week rally that saw prices surge to record-high levels, the shell egg market has come under pressure amid shifting demand patterns. Just as retail demand...

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Apr 6 8:16 AM, Urner Barry

ANALYSIS: Fresh 50s Trend Sharply Lower

The market for fresh 50s closed sharply lower for the second day in a row. The weighted average moved about 21% lower on Tuesday and another...

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Apr 3 8:26 AM, Urner Barry

Shake Shack Provides Business Update

Shake Shack provided a business update today on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and steps the Company has taken to conserve cash and increase available liquidity to maximize financial flexibility until current market conditions stabilize.

“We are navigating through an unprecedented time that continues to evolve rapidly. Our message across the company has been to lead with hope, while acting on reality, and to make the necessary choices today to ensure our strength and growth continues for many years to come. We are taking the crucial steps to safeguard the health of our teams and communities, while we work to serve our guests to the best of our ability. In addition to our focus on the pre-ordering convenience of our Shack app and web channels, we are taking this moment to...

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Apr 3 8:25 AM, General News

ANALYSIS: Briskets, Outside Skirts, and Tenders...Oh My!

We have been following the impact of COVID-19 on protein prices closely as the situation started unfolding. Most of the discussions we have been having is regarding...

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Apr 3 8:25 AM, Urner Barry

IFA Announces New Initiative to Ensure Truck Drivers have Access to Food on the Road

The International Franchise Association (IFA) today announced that it is working with the Owner–Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and The American Trucking Associations (ATA) on a new project aimed at helping truck drivers to navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

Truck drivers are playing a unique and essential role keeping the economy functioning during this period of social distancing and quarantine. However, because increased restrictions on dine-in options, truck drivers are struggling to eat on the road and facing new challenges as they do their jobs. In short, their trucks are too big to fit in a drive-thru, it’s largely prohibited for..

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Apr 3 8:25 AM, General News

Technomic: Potential Economic Shock from Coronavirus Pandemic is Unprecedented 

There is wide disagreement about whether COVID-19 will be an economic shock with a sharp recovery or if it will pull the economy into a sluggish recession. The previous worst quarter in U.S. history for GDP was Q2 2009, immediately after the economic crash. That quarter, the GDP dove by 3.9%, a fraction of the projections we are seeing as a result of COVID-19. The economic shock from this event is unprecedented.

Consumer spending on foodservice continues to drop. For the average consumer, Technomic research suggests that spending has declined by an estimated 45% from a typical week in February, with further planned reductions expected to come. Consumer demand is still present in the marketplace, but as the pandemic has heightened and concerns have grown, a new normal is setting in. Shelter-in-place and social distancing actions have resulted in...

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Apr 3 8:22 AM, General News

Canada's Food Price Report: Food Prices Expected to Rise 4% in 2020

Both Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph are issuing an update on Agri-food Analytics Lab's forecast for Canada's food prices for 2020. In December of last year, it was forecasted that food prices would increase between 2 and 4 percent, with meat increasing between 4 and 6 percent.

Considering the coronavirus pandemic, the analytics lab does not believe the overall forecast for food prices in 2020 will change. According to the update, food prices are expected to increase by no more than 4 percent, as predicted in December 2019. However, retail and processing sectors are under pressure to change food safety practices, to make customers feel safer. These new protocols will require...

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Apr 3 8:22 AM, General News

ANALYSIS: Pork Bellies Collapse to 1999 Levels

The last time pork bellies were trading at this level, you were probably more concerned with Y2K than what to do with excess bellies. We’re forced to turn the history books back to 1999 to see...

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Apr 2 8:19 AM, Urner Barry

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Provides Business and Operational Update Related to COVID-19

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. announced several measures it is taking in response to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic.

Paul J.B. Murphy III, Red Robin’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are navigating an unprecedented time for our business, industry and country as we collectively work to combat the global COVID-19 crisis. With the health, safety, and well-being of Red Robin’s Team Members, Guests and communities as our top priority, we have shifted our restaurants to an off-premise model and are strictly adhering to CDC, state and local guidelines.”

Murphy added, “We are encouraged by our continuing off-premise sales momentum, which has more than doubled over the past two weeks compared to our trends before the impact of COVID-19. This will help mitigate the decline in comparable restaurant revenues due to the closure of dine-in services at substantially all Red Robin-operated restaurants and enable us to...

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Apr 2 8:18 AM, General News

Boston Market Puts Easter Dinner On the Table with Convenient Options

Boston Market is making it easier to put a home-style dinner on the table this Easter with free delivery, curbside pickup and numerous complete meal options now available. With selections that can be preordered and picked up (or available curbside) at restaurants across the country or shipped directly to your front door for free, Boston Market hopes to make family time the focus this Easter with simple meal solutions for all.

"With all that is happening around the world right now, we know that Easter celebrations will be different, and smaller, this year," said Boston Market Chief Executive Officer Eric Wyatt. "Our team at Boston Market would like to help with any type of Easter meal you might be planning, with numerous convenient options available for pickup, home delivery or...

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Apr 2 8:17 AM, General News

Performance Food Group Announces Partnerships and Corporate Actions

Performance Food Group Company announced several new partnerships and corporate actions to strengthen its business during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“As we all adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, our company is in a crucial position to keep our country’s food supply chain strong,” said George Holm, PFG Chairman, President & CEO. “We are proud of the tremendous effort and dedication shown by our talented associates who are working tirelessly to keep people fed during this time. In addition to working with our existing customers, we have formed several new partnerships, brought in new business and shared many of our associates with organizations that are experiencing labor shortages. PFG is also diligently assessing and managing how we spend our capital so that we are in the best financial position possible. With our new partnerships and...

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Apr 1 2:39 PM, General News

U.S. Restaurant Chain Transactions Drop by 36% as Mandated Restaurant Dine-In Closures Take Effect

The mandated restaurant dine-in closures that took effect in most states beginning the week ending March 22 took a toll on U.S. restaurant transactions, reports The NPD Group. Total restaurant customer transactions declined by 36% in the week ending March 22 compared to same week year ago, according to NPD’s CREST Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 70 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains.

Customer transactions at quick service restaurants, which represent the bulk of restaurant industry transactions and have more off-premise business than full service restaurants, decreased by...

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Apr 1 8:17 AM, General News

Ruth's Hospitality Group Provides Update on COVID-19 Response

Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. announced steps that the Company has taken to implement conservative cash management strategies designed to increase available liquidity and maximize financial flexibility until the COVID-19 pandemic abates and market conditions stabilize.

“The safety and well-being of our team members and guests is our priority in these challenging times. Our brand has a rich history of rising to the occasion and I am proud of our team’s response to this unprecedented situation,” said Cheryl Henry, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. “Our management team and Board of Directors have...

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Apr 1 8:16 AM, General News

Restaurants Offer Deals to Boost Traffic During the Coronavirus Pandemic 

Now that President Trump has extended social distancing guidelines until April 30th, consumers should expect to get food delivered, takeout, or from the drive-thru for the next month when they want to dine out. Restaurants are offering incentives to get consumers to eat away from home to generate income during these unprecedented times.

Taco Bell announced that the chain wants to give back to Americans this Tuesday, with a free Doritos Locos Taco for drive-thru guests. The restaurant is also offering free delivery through GrubHub on all orders more than $12.00. The chain will also be transforming its Taco Bell Trucks to...

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Mar 31 8:17 AM, Urner Barry

Retail Fresh Produce Demand Soars, but Landmines Remain During Coronavirus Pandemic 

The COVID-19 situation has created a surge in fresh produce demand in retail grocery, but challenges around foodservice, logistics, macroeconomics, and labor availability pose ongoing threats. While fresh produce sales through foodservice channels have largely dried up, consumers continue to stock up on grocery items, including fresh produce.

Logistics have been strained, both globally and domestically, but the industry is adapting rapidly. The imminent global recession and rapid climb in the value of the US dollar will continue to threaten global demand, even after the virus is contained. Labor availability constraints and increases in...

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Mar 31 8:16 AM, General News

ANALYSIS: Assessing COVID-19’s Initial Impact on the Chicken Market

Although COVID-19 is a relatively new challenge here in the US, its acute and unparalleled impact on spot market dynamics cannot be overstated...

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Mar 27 8:34 AM, Urner Barry

Wendy's Provides Coronavirus Update and Actions Taken

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

"This is an unprecedented time, and we are focused on the actions where we can make a positive difference. To that end, we have taken several precautionary steps to advance public health goals, maintain essential access to high quality food, support our franchisees, and safeguard our team members and customers from the spread of COVID-19," said President and CEO Todd Penegor. "As we navigate any challenges we face, we'll do it...

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Mar 27 8:21 AM, General News

FSIS Loosens Labeling Enforcement, Allows Foodservice Items Easier Access to Retail

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced labeling flexibilities for products that were initially intended to head to the foodservice sector but have been rerouted for retail establishments.

FSIS broke down three situations which describe how product can move to retail with certain labeling deviations. These new allowances only apply to product that has already undergone production.

Product that is being produced is expected to meet all requirements.

Labeling at a Federal Establishment

Products made at a Federal establishment intended for HRI...

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Mar 27 8:20 AM, SeafoodNews

An Updated List of Every State That Has Closed Restaurants Due to the Coronavirus 

Editor's note: This story was updated at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 26.

With cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the U.S. continuing to grow, a number of states are taking action to stop the spread. Lawmakers across the country have implemented bans on restaurants and bars, as well as large gatherings. Some states have yet to take such action, but restaurants on an individual level are choosing to shutter for the time being.

Meanwhile, President Trump recommended on Monday afternoon that people avoid... 

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Mar 26 8:26 AM, SeafoodNews

ANALYSIS: Heightened Buyer Urgency Contributing to Reduced Turkey Stocks

Despite the pre-occupation with COVID-19 and its impact on the global protein markets as a whole, turkey freezer stocks are providing...

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Mar 26 8:26 AM, Urner Barry

Yum Brands Closing 7,000 Stores Globally Due to COVID-19

Yum Brands is closing 1,000 Pizza Hut Express outlets and at least 900 U.K. KFC stores in a group of 7,000 restaurant outlets the Louisville, Kentucky-based company said it is closing globally, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing and the Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper.

As the parent company of those two brands, as well as the Mexican-American QSR, Taco Bell, and the fast casual brand it just closed the sale on this month, The Habit Burger Grill, Yum has approximately 50,000 outlets globally.

The SEC filing relayed that the cause for the closings was the current COVID-19 pandemic and...

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Mar 26 8:22 AM, Urner Barry

Restaurants in America Offer Contactless Delivery Similar to China's Model

During the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in China, the country began taking extraordinary steps to prevent the spread of the virus by introducing contactless delivery services to keep customers and employees safe. As part of the process, customers order remotely via mobile phones or computers, and workers seal the meals in bags and place them in a pre-determined location without any human contact.

Some reports stated that these contactless delivery options also come with a card that provides the name and temperature of the person who made the food, as well as the person who delivered it. Quick service chains taking these precautions in China include McDonald's, Starbucks, and...

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Mar 26 8:20 AM, Urner Barry

Coronavirus Cases Continue to Impact Foodservice and Retail 

Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to surface as the virus spreads and more tests become available. States across the country are still enforcing restrictions and guidelines, encouraging people to social distance.

Retailers have gone from limiting hours to closing completely until further notice. Grocery stores are struggling to keep shelves stocked as consumers continue to panic buy and stockpile essentials. Amid all the hysteria, restaurants are creatively finding new ways to serve guests and generate income.

As of March 18th, the National Restaurant Association predicts that the foodservice industry could lose up to $225 billion and 7 million jobs. Mandatory restaurant closures have caused...

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Mar 26 8:20 AM, Urner Barry

Technomic: Foodservice Growth Projected to Decline 11-27% in 2020 Due to Coronavirus

COVID-19 continues to disrupt the entire foodservice industry and will only continue to have significant consequences. Using our current understanding of the crisis, we modeled out numerous scenarios to understand the scope of its impact. Presently, the expected foodservice impact ranges from a decline of 11% to 27% in year-over-year growth for 2020.

But while most of the changes seem grim, there are also signs of hope, specifically from the operators who are adapting their service model in response to the new environment.

It’s no surprise that travel and leisure will take the biggest hit. The business and industry sector is being severely impacted by office closures and...

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Mar 25 8:23 AM, General News

U.S. Restaurant Customer Transactions Decline by 8% in Week Ending March 15

With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading throughout the country, more people working from home, and social distancing guidance in place, U.S. restaurant customer transactions declined by 8% in the week ending March 15 compared to year ago, reports The NPD Group.

In the prior week ending March 8, the quick service restaurant chain “breakfast wars” helped to drive a 4% increase in total U.S. restaurant customer transactions compared to year ago, according to NPD’s CREST Performance Alerts, which provides...

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Mar 25 8:21 AM, General News

Rabobank: Coronavirus' Impact on the U.S. Beverage Landscape by Channel

Rabobank breaks down how coronavirus so far has impacted the US beverage landscape by channel: off-premise and on-premise.

Off-Premise: The Storm Before the Quiet?

The most up-to-date IRI data (through March 8) shows that consumers started to boost food and beverage spending as early as mid-February. Rabobank's sources, however, indicate that there was a drastic shift in consumer behavior starting on March 11 and March 12, at which time consumers really started stocking up on essentials (in fact, the CDC recommends having at least a two-week supply of “essentials”). Reportedly, one major supermarket chain saw record, single-day sales on...

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Mar 24 8:18 AM, General News

Papa John’s to Hire 20,000 New Team Members Immediately

Papa John’s announced the company is hiring up to 20,000 new restaurant team members.

“For anyone looking for immediate ways to earn an income, we’re making it quick and simple to apply, interview and be hired at Papa John’s,” said Marvin Boakye, Papa John’s chief people and diversity officer. “We want to add talented team members to our Papa John’s family across the country to deliver food safely to our customers’ doorsteps. We are in the unique position – as a restaurant that specializes in...

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Mar 24 8:18 AM, General News

Yum China Provides Business Update 

Yum China Holdings, Inc. updated stakeholders on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

The current COVID-19 situation is one of unprecedented scale and impact, and first and foremost we want to give thanks and appreciation to all the medical personnel, government workers, volunteers and other frontline workers who have put public health and safety above their own in fighting this global pandemic. At Yum China, our commitment has been to safety above all else -- safety for our employees, as they operate in this difficult environment; and safety for our customers, as they...

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Mar 23 9:33 AM, General News

States are Enacting Shelter-in-Place Policies—What Does it Mean for the Food Industry?

On Thursday, California issued what’s known as a “shelter-in-place” policy, putting further restrictions on residents in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. The measure has been echoed in other states like Pennsylvania and New York, with many other states anticipated to follow suit. The new rules come after the death toll surpasses 200 in the U.S.

But what does it mean exactly?

The directive essentially mandates that people stay home and practice social distancing, while all non-essential businesses are closed. Residents can still go outside and may travel to procure essentials like food and seek medical care.

“Everyone is required to stay home except to get food...

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Mar 23 8:17 AM, Urner Barry

Sysco Gives Update on Covid-19 Related Business; Donating 2.5 Million Meals Over Next 4 Weeks

Global foodservice distribution company Sysco has released an update on their finances related to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. According to the company, their “strong balance sheet provides meaningful financial flexibility for the company to navigate current challenges in the ‘food-away-from-home’ market resulting from the spread of Covid-19 and subsequent actions taken across the country to increase social distancing.”

Sysco reports that they have approximately $2 billion cash on hand as of March 20, including a recent...

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Mar 20 12:24 PM, SeafoodNews

Protein Distributors Pivot to Direct to Consumer Model as Coronavirus Impacts Foodservice Sector

Outside of the box thinking from protein producers and distributors have led companies to pivot to a direct to consumer business model as the coronavirus halts the foodservice sector.

One company making headlines is Premier Meats. Located just outside of Los Angeles, California, Premier Meats has opened up its doors to the public for the first time. The company is selling its products which typically head to restaurants in the city, straight to local consumers.

Urner Barry market participants have reported following similar paths as Premier Meats to try and find a home for product. From providing pick up points at their facilities to offering...

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Mar 20 12:17 PM, Urner Barry

Coronavirus Outbreak Leads to Rise in Concerns Among Consumers 

Datassential has released its latest wave of coronavirus research, and as the virus continues to dominate headlines, consumers' concerns have grown. Retail shelves have been wiped clean of food and supplies, gatherings have been discouraged or cancelled, and restaurants are facing mandatory closures.

In just the past four days, concerns have risen significantly among consumers. With the acceleration of the coronavirus news cycle, about 71% of Americans now consider themselves “very familiar” with the situation, which is a jump of 13 points in half a week. Americans' personal concern for exposure is up by 8 points. As of this past weekend, 49% of consumers are “very concerned” about the risk and expressed huge concern for...

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Mar 20 8:22 AM, Urner Barry

National Restaurant Association Calls on Congress for Relief Amid Coronavirus Outbreak 

The National Restaurant Association called on President Trump and congressional leaders to provide immediate relief in the wake of government-mandated operational changes. The large-scale closures and restrictions on gatherings have created an economic hardship that will ripple through every community in this country.

Early economic forecasts reveal the industry will sustain at least a $225 billion loss and be forced to eliminate between 5 to 7 million jobs over the next three-months; however, the White House and others are projecting a potentially longer period for reduced operations. In a letter to the Administration and Congress, the National Restaurant Association outlined several options that can provide...

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Mar 20 8:22 AM, General News

Darden Restaurants Reports Fiscal 2020 Third Quarter Results

Darden Restaurants, Inc., reported its financial results for the third quarter ended February 23, 2020.

Third Quarter 2020 Financial Highlights, Comparisons Versus Same Fiscal Quarter Last Year

Total sales increased 4.5% to $2.35 billion driven by the addition of 40 net new restaurants and a blended same-restaurant sales increase of 2.3%

Same-restaurant sales by brand:

  • +2.1% for Olive Garden
  • -1.6% for Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen
  • +3.9% for LongHorn Steakhouse...
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Mar 20 8:21 AM, General News

Coronavirus: 3,000 U.S. Jobs Already Publicly Cut, 9 Million More Threatened as Restaurants Close

Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. reported that coronavirus-related job cuts reached 3,634, with an additional 9 million jobs threatened in the leisure and hospitality sector.

In Challenger’s Job Cuts Report, which tracks publicly announced job cuts through company announcements, media reports, and SEC filings, did not include layoffs from bars and restaurants that were shut down across 13 states.

"We are certainly beginning to see the cracks in the foundation. Slowing demand, brought on by the need for Americans to practice social distancing..."

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Mar 19 11:26 AM, SeafoodNews

ANALYSIS: COVID-19 and the Pork Market

Analyzing a situation at the beginning or in the middle of a market-moving event is never an easy task, and with Coronavirus, this fact rings truer than ever. In truth, it has not been that long since...

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Mar 19 8:35 AM, Urner Barry

Chipotle Announces Partnership with Uber Eats to Expand Delivery Service 

Chipotle Mexican Grill and Uber Eats have announced a national delivery partnership. For the first time, consumers can get the Chipotle delivered through the Uber Eats app and This month, the Delivery Fee will be waived on any Chipotle order of $10 or more on the Uber Eats app and

Given recent world events, Chipotle and Uber Eats are working together to make the delivery experience easier for guests. Uber Eats users can leave a note in the app for "no-contact" deliveries, which involve a driver leaving the food at the doorstep rather than an in-person exchange. Digital orders from Chipotle are customized via the brand's Delivery Kitchens, which are comprised of a dedicated ingredient station and operated by...

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Mar 19 8:25 AM, General News

JUST Expands Partnerships Globally, Raises Capital & Adds Former Coca-Cola Executive

JUST announced a host of partnerships to manufacture and distribute its JUST Egg across North America, Latin America, Europe, and East Asia. This global infrastructure, which includes millions of additional points of potential distribution and access to production facilities on multiple continents, will provide the scale needed to meet the increasing worldwide demand for the product.

Included in this partnership announcement are South Korea’s food company, SPC Samlip; one of Southeast Asia’s largest food companies, Betagro Group; bakery company, Grupo Bimbo; one of Latin America’s largest edible oil and fat producers, Alianza Team; and local delivery platform, Delivery Hero. This infrastructure builds on a previously announced manufacturing and distribution partnership with...

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Mar 19 8:23 AM, General News

Yum! Brands Completes Acquisition of The Habit Restaurants

Yum! Brands, Inc. announced the completion of its acquisition of The Habit Restaurants, Inc., following the approval by The Habit Burger Grill stockholders. The transaction marks the addition of the first fast-casual concept to Yum! Brands’ portfolio of iconic global restaurant brands.

Yum! Brands acquired all of the issued and outstanding common shares of The Habit Burger Grill for $14 per share in cash or a total of approximately $375 million. Yum! Brands funded the transaction using cash on hand and available...

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Mar 19 8:19 AM, General News

Coronavirus to Impact Eating Behaviors Across Multiple Sectors

According to recent research from Datassential, the coronavirus will impact consumers' eating behaviors across multiple sectors. While it is impossible to predict precisely how the virus will spread, insights can be shared as to how consumers will react.

Restaurants are vulnerable to dramatic traffic declines. Coronavirus has led to nearly 60% of consumers expressing concern about eating out, with one in five "definitely" avoiding doing so. The fear is most significant among parents, urban dwellers, and higher earners. Datassential predicts that if the situation worsens, family dining and kids meals will be the most impacted, particularly for restaurant brands located in city centers. About 20% of those surveyed would...

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Mar 18 8:28 AM, Urner Barry

Quick Service Breakfast Wars Help Drive Transactions Up Despite Coronavirus

The 24/7 news cycle around the coronavirus (COVID-19) didn’t deter consumers from sampling an array of breakfast promotions offered by quick service restaurant (QSR) chains last week. The QSR chain “breakfast wars” helped to drive a 4% increase in total U.S. restaurant customer transactions for the week ending March 8 compared to same period year ago, reports The NPD Group.

QSR chains, which represent the bulk of U.S. restaurant customer transactions, also grew transactions by 4% in the week ending March 8, the highest gain in...

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Mar 17 8:58 AM, General News

Restaurants Limit Business to Prevent Spread of Coronavirus 

Due to the spread of the coronavirus in the United States, restaurants and bars are closing or limiting business to prevent further contamination. Governors in states including California, Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington have closed restaurants, bars, and wineries. Meanwhile, mayors of major cities throughout the country have ordered similar restrictions. These decisions come amid growing pressure for state and city governments to act as the number of coronavirus cases in the United States is rising. At the time of this publication, there are over 3,800 cases throughout the country.

Several restaurant chains announced that they will be closing their dining rooms, switching to take out or delivery models until further notice. Chick-fil-A announced...

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Mar 16 10:23 AM, Urner Barry

The Impact of Disney World's Closure on Foodservice

On Thursday the Walt Disney Company announced that they would not only close their California Disneyland Resort, but their theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, and the Disneyland Paris Resort. The closures, which begin at the end of business on March 15, were put in place due to the growing concerns over the coronavirus. The parks are expected to remain closed through the end of March.

The decision is a big blow for Disney, who had previously decided to close their Shanghai and Hong Kong parks earlier this year...

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Mar 13 11:38 AM, SeafoodNews

ANALYSIS: Keeping Tabs on YoY Chicken Prices

With Q2 just around the corner, we thought it would be a good opportunity to gain some perspective on the YoY performance of some key items within the chicken complex...

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Mar 13 10:21 AM, Urner Barry

Restaurant Chains Grappling with Coronavirus as Consumer Fear Grows

Restaurant chains across America are already preparing for what could be one of the industry’s biggest challenges in recent memory, COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Consumer concern surrounding the virus is growing daily and with news of professional sports leagues suspending play and celebrities coming down with the virus, the panic will only grow.

As the Wall Street Journal’s Charley Grant explained, skipping a night out when times are tough financially is natural, but when consumers fear picking up a deadly pathogen when going out to eat, it could mean even more empty...

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Mar 13 10:01 AM, SeafoodNews

Chipotle Offers Free Delivery Through March

Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it will offer Free Delivery starting March 15 through March 31 to make life easier for guests. Delivery orders are customized via Chipotle's Delivery Kitchen, which is comprised of a dedicated ingredient line operated by a special team. The Delivery Kitchen provides guests with the same great Chipotle experience whether they choose to dine in, order ahead and pick up, or have it delivered.

Chipotle has also introduced a new delivery tracker to provide step-by-step real-time updates, so you can follow your meal from the restaurant to your location. Prior to placing their orders, Chipotle customers can leave special instructions for delivery drivers in the Chipotle app and to limit direct contact...

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Mar 13 9:27 AM, General News

Rabobank: Impact of Coronavirus on European Foodservice

Coronavirus is rapidly spreading across Europe. The travel & tourism (T&T) industry, including domestic and international visitors and business travel, is one of the most affected by the situation. Since travelers represent a significant portion of foodservice demand, revenues for restaurants and bars will decline. The magnitude of this decline will depend on the duration of the crisis, the weight of travel-related demand on total foodservice revenue, and the impact of coronavirus on economic growth.

Travel-Related Demand Under Pressure

Although disruptions to daily life outside Italy (under quarantine) are limited, event cancellations, corporate policies banning business trips, and changes in consumer behavior are...

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Mar 13 8:27 AM, General News

Coronavirus Impacts Meat Consumption in China 

One of the many effects from the coronavirus outbreak in China is the impacts it has had on food consumption and the demand for meat.

At the height of the outbreak, nearly all foodservice establishments were closed, with some attempting to resume business now. However, restaurants that have managed to remain open are facing a sharp decline as consumers are staying indoors. A few restaurants switched to a delivery-only model during this time to help cash flow, but consumers are still hesitant of ordering and interacting with delivery drivers.

According to Darin Friedrichs, Senior Asia Commodity Analyst at INTL FCStone, consumer sentiment has been improving as China continues to...

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Mar 12 9:26 AM, Urner Barry

Alternative Proteins See Impressive Growth on Menus 

According to a recent webinar by Datassential, trending dishes are driven by a variety of factors, including global influences, mash ups, and plant based. Among these factors, plant based is especially driving several growing dishes. The research found that 44% of consumers are trying to increase their intake of vegetable-based protein. Meanwhile, vegan items have seen an increase of 621% in menu penetration over the past decade. However, consumers stated that plant-based or vegetarian diets are loved the most, while vegan diets are hated the most.

Products that attempt to mimic the texture and taste of meat are growing on menus as alternative proteins. The research found that 69% of consumers would at least occasionally order a plant-based meat if available. In the past four years, the plant-based burger’s menu penetration has increased by...

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Mar 10 8:22 AM, Urner Barry

Chipotle Announces Changes to Its Board Composition

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Mar 9 9:58 AM, General News

US Foods to Acquire Smart Foodservice Warehouse Stores

US Foods announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Smart Foodservice Warehouse Stores from funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management for $970 million in cash.

Smart Foodservice operates 70 small-format cash and carry stores across California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Montana that serve small and mid-sized restaurants and other food business customers with a broad assortment of products. Founded in 1955 and headquartered in the greater Portland, Oregon area, Smart Foodservice employs approximately 900 associates. Smart Foodservice had 2019 revenues of...

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Mar 6 9:45 AM, General News

Sysco Announces Leadership Promotions

Sysco Corporation announced two senior leadership promotions. Eve McFadden has been promoted to senior vice president of legal, general counsel and corporate secretary, after being promoted to vice president and general counsel in 2019. Since joining Sysco in 2008, Eve has provided effective leadership in the areas of employment law, antitrust compliance, and ethics and compliance. In addition, her skills in building strong partnerships within the business has contributed to the company’s success.

In her new role, Eve will continue to act as general counsel, adding responsibility for Sysco’s Enterprise Risk Management function, under which she recently established a new team focused on developing a global framework for Sysco’s environment, health and...

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Mar 6 8:23 AM, General News

U.S. Demand for Single-Use Foodservice Products to Rise

According to a new Freedonia Group analysis, the US market for single-use foodservice products is forecast to see healthy annual growth of 3.4% through 2023, when demand is expected to near $25 billion. The best opportunities exist for products with features that support use in fast-growing applications – such as tamper-evidence and improved insulation for meal delivery – as well as those sourced from sustainable materials that reflect growing consumer and government concerns about the environmental impact of single-use plastics.

Containers and cups/lids to account for two-thirds of market gains through 2023

Containers and cups (along with their respective lids) are by far the most commonly used types of foodservice disposables and will together account for two-thirds of all new demand through 2023. Highlights include...

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Mar 6 8:22 AM, General News

Taco Bell Unveils Plans For New, More Experiential Cantina Restaurant Concepts

After redefining the quick service restaurant (QSR) experience in 2015 with its urban Cantina concept, Taco Bell today announced plans to test new “fast social” restaurants that will once again push the boundaries of both the industry and the guest experience. The development plans—including new Cantinas and conversions of traditional Taco Bell restaurants—are one of the brand’s key growth strategies to becoming a $20 billion brand with 10,000 restaurants globally in this decade.

Initially known for being a staple in suburban communities, Taco Bell successfully made its way into metropolitan cities with the introduction of its urban-inline restaurants. With this new wave of growth came a more simplified and modern restaurant experience, bringing forward an atmosphere as unique as...

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Mar 5 9:57 AM, General News

Technomic’s Take: COVID-19, The Foodservice View

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has become a familiar part of our lexicon in a very short period of time. Since its appearance in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, world and government agencies are fearful that the COVID-19 outbreak could turn into the world’s most severe pandemic since the H1N1 influenza of 1918. As of March 4, more than 93,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed, resulting in over 3,000 deaths.

China represents more than 85% of the cases and about 95% of the fatalities, however, the virus has spread to over 73 countries and territories and the number of cases outside of China is growing at concerning rates. The outbreak is expected to have a major impact on an already tenuous worldwide economy, with economists recently downgrading global GDP expectations anywhere from...

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Mar 5 8:54 AM, General News

Solo Diners Represent the Largest Share of U.S. Restaurant Visits Among Party Sizes

Over the last five years, solo diners, or parties of 1, have increased their share of restaurant visits while other party sizes have declined, reports The NPD Group. Last year solo diners represented 35% of restaurant visits whereas parties of two represented 27% of visits, parties of three, 14%, parties of four, 12%, and parties of 5 or more, 13%. Solo diners made 15.4B restaurant visits in the year ending December 2019, an increase of 1% compared to year ago, with the exception of parties of 4, visits from all other party sizes declined, according to NPD’s ongoing foodservice market research, CREST.

Quick service restaurants (QSRs) get the bulk, 89%, of solo diners’ visits and 10% of their visits go to full service restaurants. Their use of QSRs is about 10% higher than...

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Mar 5 8:21 AM, General News

Rabobank Beef Quarterly Q1: China in the Front Seat for Beef Imports in 2020

We are yet again experiencing a major disruption to one of the world’s largest beef importers, China. “The outbreak of the coronavirus in China has had a major impact on foodservice and trade. With foodservice as the main channel for sales, beef is expected to feel the impact more than others. Indications from the 2003 SARS outbreak suggest that once the virus is contained, sales and trade should rebound quickly. However, the timeframe for control remains uncertain,” according to senior animal protein analyst Angus Gidley-Baird.

In other developments:

US trade deals

Progress was made on the USMCA, and the Japan/US trade deal was approved in December. These were closely followed by the signing of the phase-one US-China trade agreement in January. Although questions remain on...

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Mar 4 8:21 AM, General News

Taco Bell Introduces Veggie Mode 

On March 12, Taco Bell officially activates Veggie Mode, a single-swipe feature that instantly transforms the menu to show only vegetarian items on self-service ordering kiosks nationwide. While most of the industry is celebrating plant-based with one single offering on their menus, Veggie Mode makes it easier than ever for consumers to gain instant access to Taco Bell's nearly 50 American Vegetarian Association (AVA)-certified items.

Taco Bell has also expanded its amount of AVA-certified vegetarian ingredients, now including fan favorites like Potato Bites, Chalupa shells and Hash Browns. As always, customers can further customize their orders while in Veggie Mode, with a total of over...

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Mar 3 9:55 AM, General News

Impossible Foods Partners with The Halal Shack to Serve Halal Certified Cuisine 

Impossible Foods has announced its latest national restaurant partner: The Halal Shack. With 8 locations in New York, California and Texas and 25 more locations in development nationally, The Halal Shack combines the best of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors with a classic American spin for a delicious and unique dining experience. Impossible Burger meat will be available as a filling for any menu item, and can be added to Bowls, gyros, Wraps and Salads.

The Impossible Burger first became halal certified in 2018, and Halal Shack is the latest to benefit from this certification. The word “halal” derives from the Arabic word meaning lawful or permitted, as opposed to “haram” or prohibited. Halal meats are sourced and prepared in accordance with...

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Mar 2 10:15 AM, General News

US Foods Announces Launch of Spring Scoop 

US Foods announced the launch of Spring Scoop, “Raising the Bar: The Classics – Celebrated and Elevated.” The 25th edition of Scoop features products designed to help bar-and-grill operators easily get creative and innovate with their menus, with elevated, upsell-worthy versions of their traditional bar-and-grill fare.

As modern diners seek bolder flavors, new menu experiences and flexible dietary substitutions, adding new items to the menu and elevating the classics with on-trend ingredients is critical to maintaining a competitive advantage. In fact, 54% of diners consider new menu items important to their decision when...

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Mar 2 10:03 AM, General News

Rabobank: Slower Growth Prospects as Coronavirus Hits Foodservice in Southeast Asia

In a previous note on the impact of the novel coronavirus (since named Covid-19) on foodservice, Rabobank highlighted how plummeting tourist numbers will necessitate a review of 2020’s foodservice growth prospects for Southeast Asia. Since the publication of that note, some of the tourism authorities in the region have revised their tourist arrival projections for 2020. While the evolving nature of the situation and the indirect impact that tourism has on the overall economy makes projections challenging, with these estimates now available, we can provide a preliminary view of how foodservice growth is likely to be impacted in 2020.

The Importance of Tourism to Foodservice in SEA

Domestic consumers and tourists contribute differently to foodservice consumption and growth in Southeast Asia (SEA). While an increase in per capita occasions and...

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Mar 2 9:13 AM, General News

McDonald's to Celebrate National Egg McMuffin Day, As Breakfast Wars Heat Up

With Wendy's launching a nationwide breakfast menu on Monday, McDonald's is heading into the breakfast battle by declaring Monday, March 2, National Egg McMuffin Day. McDonald's is inviting guests to celebrate by getting a free Egg McMuffin from 6-10:30 AM. To redeem the offer, customers need to download the McDonald's mobile app. “While we’re giving the Egg McMuffin its moment, we’re really honoring our breakfast fans who have woken up with McDonald’s breakfast for nearly 50 years. And we just thought, ‘hey, why not declare March 2 as National Egg McMuffin Day?’,” said David Tovar, Vice President of U.S. Communications. McDonald's also released 5 crave-worthy reasons why consumers will want to start their day with an Egg McMuffin.

The declaration of National Egg McMuffin Day could potentially disrupt Wendy's launch of their new breakfast menu, also being released on March 2nd. Wendy's breakfast menu brings a fresh twist to familiar flavors and pays homage to Wendy's fan favorites. The menu features items like...

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Feb 28 10:25 AM, Urner Barry

Papa John’s Announces Fourth Quarter 2019 Results

Papa John’s International, Inc. today announced financial results for the three months and full year ended December 29, 2019.


  • Fourth quarter 2019 loss per diluted share of ($0.18) and adjusted earnings per diluted share, excluding the impact of Special items, of $0.37 versus fourth quarter 2018 loss per diluted share of ($0.41) and adjusted earnings per diluted share of $0.18
  • Full Year 2019 loss per diluted share of ($0.24) and adjusted earnings per diluted share, excluding the impact of Special items, of $1.17 versus full year 2018 earnings per diluted share of $0.08 and...
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Feb 26 12:07 PM, General News

Dunkin' Features Bacon, Eggs, and Sausage Items in New Spring Menu

With the spring season fast approaching, the temps are heating up and so are Dunkin's menu offerings. From a sizzling, new snack bound to delight, to returning fan-favorites Irish Creme flavored coffee, breakfast bowls and more, Dunkin' is delivering the sunshine this season.

New Snackin' Bacon

For anyone who's seeking a satisfying snack but is stuck with a sad selection at their desk, office kitchen or vending machine, Dunkin' is adding some extra sizzle to its menu. Dunkin' today unveiled new Snackin' Bacon with Sweet Black Pepper seasoning to help on-the-go customers conquer their cravings without settling for tired and typical snacking choices.

Available at participating Dunkin' restaurants nationwide beginning...


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Feb 26 10:12 AM, General News

Wendy's Reports Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2019 Results

The Wendy's Company reported results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 29, 2019.

"We delivered a very strong year of sales growth and have laid the foundation in 2019 to set the Wendy's brand up for future success," President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Penegor said. "We have momentum in our business as evidenced by our accelerating sales growth in the second half of the year, which sets us up well going into 2020. Our focus remains on efficient, accelerated growth behind our three major growth pillars: entering the breakfast daypart, growing our digital business, and expanding...

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Feb 26 9:55 AM, General News

Shake Shack Announces Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2019 Financial Results

Shake Shack Inc. reported financial results for the fourth quarter and the fiscal year ended December 25, 2019, periods that included 13 and 52 weeks, respectively.

Financial Highlights for the Fourth Quarter 2019:

  • Total revenue increased 21.9% to $151.4 million.
  • Shack sales increased 20.8% to $145.8 million.
  • Same-Shack sales decreased 3.6%.
  • Licensed revenue increased 58.6% to $5.6 million.
  • Shack system-wide sales increased 31.4% to...
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Feb 25 11:55 AM, General News

Nielsen: It's Time to Think Omnichannel Shopper, Not Just Omnichannel 

There’s no shortage of omnichannel chatter across the retail landscape, and that chatter has been building for quite some time. But now that 44% of American households are actively buying food both on- and offline, the industry needs to focus more on the consumer and less on the physical channel.

As online capabilities have grown, the industry has largely concentrated on developing capabilities to facilitate shopping from all angles. The companies that now have those infrastructures in place are well-poised for success. That’s because at the end of 2019, more than 54 million U.S. households had transitioned to true omnichannel shoppers. That’s up 14% from just two years earlier, and it means that it’s time to put the consumer—not the channel—at the center of the equation.

It’s possible that some market observers might have—not too long ago—believed that shopping would largely migrate online. Today, that mindset would most certainly be...

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Feb 25 9:58 AM, General News


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