You made it through the work week, although it was only 4 days. (You can do better.) Grab your beverage of choice and enjoy a fork pitch collection of developments and articles of interest in the food business. Among other things, prices are up because promotions are down, egg inspections are out and tipping may follow and honey is eternal.
- Jobless claims the same but more job openings.
- One in ten Americans is suffering with food insecurity
- The CDC says dining out raises the chances for COVID more than other activities.
Retail and consumer
- Nestle is innovating its way to sustainability and away from plastic packaging.
- At the beginning of the year I thought that the home meal kit business was in stuck in neutral. It’s an ill wind….Hello Fresh is opening new distribution centers.
- Grocery demand remains high so manufacturers don’t feel the need to run promotions. This has effectively increased the overall price for groceries.
- Chef Jose Andres will sell sell you paella, including pan, to go.
Restaurants and Food Service
- Chik Fil A patrons shocked to discover that the lemonade is full of sugar. I was shocked to discover there was anything other than sugar in their lemonade.
- Many restaurants are hanging on thru the warm weather with outdoor dining. Cities have help with traffic and space adaptations As the weather turns cold, the option will become constrained and even tents and heaters won’t be enough.
- On one level this is a confirmation of the growth of investment in Ghost Kitchens; on the other, it is a bit of a soap opera as former Uber execs now have competing ghost kitchen delivery services.
- The movement to move away from tipping seems to be gaining steam. I am conflicted. Restaurant workers deserve living wages and the tipping system as currently constructed can make that arbitrary. Tipping is leveraged against workers wages and benefits, which isn’t fair and creates some really lousy conditions. . On the other hand, service in American restaurants is the best in the world. Tipping factors into that and I not only enjoy getting great service, I literally enjoy tipping for it. Yes this is reflective of privilege but I have worked as a server and a bartender, so I hope I retain some level of perspective.
- A fun map showing where meat comes from; I assume light blue is turkey but the black is really a mystery to me. Seafood on the coast but Kentucky? West Virginia?
- Egg inspectors will no longer be on-site full time. It was just 10 years ago that half a billion eggs were recalled due to salmonella and I’ve seen little evidence that industry pracitices are all that different. Article also states protein producers are suffering from ‘tanking demand’ but the egg industry folks I talk to say the industry is having a record year in terms of profits.
- Smithfield has been fined for not protecting workers adequately from COVID 19. I bet the $14k fine from the Department of Labor will be the most painful rounding error they’ve ever experienced,.