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Food Week April 26 – May 1, 2021

Please enjoy our round-up of food week April 26 2021. Our update includes Publix Chicken Tender Subs controversy, a plant based hot dog at Nathans, sesame as an allergen, labor shortages in Oregon, COVID in Canadian meat plants and, for Derby Day, tips on the Mint Julep. Enjoy!


  • Q1 saw a huge jump in GDP of 6.4%. Jobless claims continued to fall.
  • Consumer confidence is high but new mortgages are falling as rates tick up.
  • But what else is falling is vaccination rates as a significant portion of the population is still resistant to getting the shot.


  • A guy let people know when Publix chicken tender subs were available at the deli. You’d think that the chain would be happy about it. Nope. They served him with a cease and desist order. Concerns about unauthorized use of trademarks and potential loss of control led to the filing. This will be an ongoing concern for companies regarding social media accounts.
  • Delivery apps have pretty much focused on the delivery part of the offering. But Green Choice is a solution that disaggregates the bricks and mortar further by focusing on the values of the consumer. Users can choose foods based on environment, social values, allergens, vegan choices, etc.
  • Amazon is about to be bigger than WalMart in retail sales.
  • Expansion in WIC for fruits and vegetables is also subsidy for growers. It’s for only 4 months but should be expanded.
  • Smartfood – the low calorie snack brand does a mash-up with Krispy Kreme. Sometimes the Venn diagram looks like binoculars.


  • The disruptors in the food delivery app industry are having their post-pandemic disruption. The result are changes in fee structure and pick up and go strategies but the ill will over the way they services shafted independent restaurants will linger.
  • Chik-Fil-A workers average $11.92 per hour but are not allowed to take tips.
  • McDonalds is back to pre-pandemic sales levels. It has increased chicken sandwich sales with its new concept.
  •  This was a really weak article about pandemic trends that have no market or even behavioral basis. People won’t be nicer or more hygienic or interested in dining in the cold. Most restaurant conditions will go back to before with marginal adjustment for cost and comfort
  • Keeping a skeptical eye, the absence of turkey on menus is probably not about cross utilization but rather a lack of engagement in product development. I think turkey is bland and uninteresting but it is fairly blank slate that can take flavors really well.


  • Food Week April 26 saw unseasonably cold weather in Italy You wouldn’t think that the way to save your apple crop would be to cover the trees in ice. But that is exactly what Italian growers did.
  • A produce company had to throw away about $160,000 worth of asparagus because the labor they needed couldn’t get across the border. So they… made a TikTok about it that got almost 3 million views in a week’s time.
  •  South America’s protracted drought is beginning to threaten Argentina and Paraguay’s ability to move soybeans and grains through their rivers. As a result, there is more upward pressure on commodity prices.


  •  There is no mystery to the Mint Julep. The technique is everything. My recommendation: one teaspoon castor sugar, 5 – 8 mint leaves. 1/4 cup water, 1.5 shots of the sweetest, mellow bourbon available. (I think Maker’s Mark is really mediocre but for a Julep it kind of works) Take the the mint and sugar and just enough of the water to wet the leaves. This allows the muddling to be efficient; too much water and you get weak mint extraction. Don’t nobody want that. Once the mint leaves are pulverized, add the ice then the water and bourbon. Shake or toss. Sorry but you have to make one at a time. Don’t bother until next year.
  • Generationally, the big winners in the growth of the American wine industry are aging out. A new wave of European vintners are seeking toeholds in the U.S. just as some of America’s oldest wineries are ready to cash in.
  • The Biden administration has added sesame as the 9th major allergen. This has been generally recognized throughout the world, so the US is kind of late the to the game

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