person holding a bowl full of barbecue

The Week in Food: August 17 – 22, 2020

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 read about monopoly pricing in the Tuna industry, consumer attention to sustainability, the development of the chicken industry and Hemmingway’s hamburgers.

Macro

  • The S&P set a record high, though it is driven by a handful of tech companies. Long term, this consolidation not great for the economy as a whole.
  • For instance, e-commerce sails were up 31% vs. same quarter last year.
  • COVID case surpassed 5 million in US.

Retail

  • Continuing with the theme of consolidation, canned tuna has had only 3 players for decades. An expected outcome is price fixing.
  • WalMart claims it has surpassed Amazon. Amazon says nuh-uh. Regardless they are experiencing steady growth whereas smaller platforms have only about 16% of the market.
  • Club stores like BJs have benefited form both stocking up and digital ordering.
  • Is sustainability secondary for consumers now?

Restaurants and Foodservice

  • Ghost kitchens are seen as a lifeline for the restaurant industry as the dining scene evolves with the pandemic. US Foods is adapting its distribution capabilities to meet the need.
  • A restaurant chain in China apologized for telling people what they should order based on their weight. The more you weighed, the more you got. No incentive problems I can see.

Food Supply

  • How the chicken took over America.
  • How that really hasn’t been that great for the chickens

Lagniappe

  • As a fan of both Hemmingway and Hamburgers, this was a fun read!
  • Soon it seems, we’ll be able to drink a little drink and not have to worry about mosquitoes or ticks.

 

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