You made it through another one! Grab your beverage of choice and enjoy a fork pitch collection of articles and commentary on things of  interest in the food business. Among other things this week, we found that large grocery chains are adding hydroponic capacity and drive-in movies,  learned the term hygiene theater and got exposed to Pocari Sweat.

Macro:

  • Markets continue up. unemployment claims down, payrolls up.
  • COVID curve seem to be flattening; time to do some stupid stuff.
  • On top of all the other problems, the blast in Beirut destroyed most of the nation’s surplus grain supply.

Retail and Consumer:

  • Kroger and Publix are adding hydroponic capacity at stores. Managing inventories and the challenge of food safety to be monitored.
  • Vital Farms issues IPO and achieves a market cap of $1.3 billion which is 10X revenue. Hmmm.
  • WalMart moves into the space left empty by closed theaters by using parking lots as drive-in theaters.
  • Prices for groceries, particularly proteins, are up substantially.

Foodservice and Restaurant:

  • Like above, can foodservice operations manage micro-greens on site? Flavor Fields offering custom boxes.
  • Restaurants are spending a lot of time wiping down surfaces. It probably does little.
  • Breakfast was a bright spot for chain restaurants before the pandemic. Short term sales are disastrous; will it change purchase patterns long-term? I know I have upped my coffee making game.

Lagniappe:

  • I’ve had drinks in paper cups and a pint in a paper bag. Now retail liquor will be available in a paper bottle. We’ll let Johnny Walker test it first before we commit.
  • This week I learned about Pocari Sweat, which out gatorades Gatorade in Asia and defies all reason when it comes branding.

 

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