The Week in Food: January 3 – 9, 2021

Welcome to a New Year, we hope without the craziness of last… oh, never mind. This week we’re focused on acquisitions and finance with Mondelez and Oatly, watching supermarkets handling vaccines, more PPP loans, Farmers to Families, Dude Food and elderberries. Enjoy!


  • Employment declines as restaurants, among others, lay off workers.
  • The US breaks the 4k barrier in deaths per day. It will get worse – maybe much worse – before it gets better.
  • Vaccines approved, available but poorly distributed.


  • Consumers stocking up again.
  • Oatly IPO reckoned to be $1 billion. The movement to non-dairy milk continues.
  • This is an interesting way to silo delivery: different artisanal bakeries combining to create a delivery service for this high end niche.
  • Mondelez buys HU; after a quiet year in acquisitions, look for a lot of activity in 2021.
  • Supermarkets in the vaccine business.


  • More PPP loans for restaurants on the way.
  • A nice story from Tennessee about how communities and restaurants are working together to weather the COVID storm. It has caused a reassessment of the relationship between food supply and community. An important player in the movement is Rethink.
  • The restructuring, and likely consolidation, in the franchise community has begun. The well financed and less leveraged groups will acquire the weaker ones. Chain restaurants have become very sensitive to the composition of their franchise communities and one of the things the corporations have tried to avoid is too much leverage in the hands of a few large franchisees. The current economy will challenge those strategies.
  • My love for pastrami from Katz’s Deli is unseemly. A description about what makes theirs different.


  • New $1.5 billion into Farmers to Families Food Box program.
  • Looks like the Girl Scouts are on top of the Palm oil problem. Good on them.
  • By some estimates, 2/3rds of Nebraska’s meat plant workers are immigrants. He isn’t making a choice for public safety, he is demagoguing the issue. COVID will move from community to community.


  • Follow the recipe exactly? It is not my tendency and I suspect improvisation contributed to my love of cooking. On one hand, baking and certain dishes require a discipline to get the right results and small variations will mess it up. However, even with baking, variables on ingredients (quality, condition, manufacturer, etc.) , tools and techniques and variables with ovens can lead to less than stellar results. The actual quality, accuracy and clarity of the recipes themselves fall short as well. The original Joy of Cooking was full of recipes that had never been tested; online stuff is all over the board.
  • Dude Food? A new movement? Awesome!
  • Your Father was a hamster and your mother smelled like powerful bioflavonoids: elderberries theoretically boost immunity.
  • Microwaving tips. I am skeptical of several of these but I will be stuck inside for a few more months so I might as well put them to the test.

Leave a Reply