Food Week May 31 – June 5, 2021

Happy belated weekend update for Food Week May 31. This week we saw JBS get hit with a cyber-attack and read about cyber food brands that don’t actually have locations. We learned about Bingsu, Caked Alaska and almonds don’t need tons of water. And we appreciated a Pimm’s Cup shout out even if we can’t get it on planes. Enjoy

MACRO

  • 300 million vaccine doses achieved in USA during the Food Week May 31.
  • The unemployment rate fell to 5.8% and jobless claims fell 20k for the week, though actual employment figures were a disappointment.
  • Restaurants are filling up.

RETAIL AND CONSUMER

  • A really gooey melty cheese from non-animal sources is an elusive (non) beast .
  • New start-up Hungryroot builds your shopping cart via AI.
  • A nutritional comparison on corn versus flour tortillas.
  • Nestle struggling with the fact that they a lot of their product lines are pretty unhealthy.

RESTAURANTS AND FOODSERVICE

  • Fascinating article on the proliferation of virtual brands. On-line orders from apps like GrubHub are filled by the available production capacity in ghost kitchens or COVID-shuttered restaurants and orders brought to the consumer thru delivery apps. Some brands – Tendies, Wings of Fire, Chef Burger – exist only digitally and on the packaging. Others, like Pasqually’s Pizza & WIngs, are owned by a chain like Chuck E. Cheese. But these have no bricks and mortar existence.
  • Popeyes may have captured the hearts of food critics but Chik-Fil-A still owns the consumer.
  • Diego Munoz of Astrid y Gaston and an icon of Lima’s food scene will be involved in opening restaurants in New York.

FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN

  • Almonds were traditionally ‘dry’ farmed. But the California almond industry found it easier to use a lot of water. Reality has set it and farmers are going back to the old ways. Now to solve the pollinator issues…
  • Plant based food (animal substitutes) grew 43% regardless in the last two years. Non-dairy milk is by far the biggest share of the market.
  • Fruit commodity producers pretty sanguine about the short term supply, drought and global warming aside.
  • Food week May 31 saw JBS, world largest meat processor, hit by cyber-attack.

LAGNIAPPE

  • The argument for banning alcohol on planes. As an experienced traveler and a dedicated airport drinker, the problem isn’t alcohol on planes. If you want to get drunk by drinking on the plane, you would have to pound at a rate that is unsustainable in economy and difficult in first class. (The exception could be longer flights.) Furthermore, I have seen (not experienced) flight attendants cutting people off. Drunks on planes are the result of airport drinking.
  • Caked Alaska is a variation on baked Alaska that is a local favorite in… Pakistan.
  • Pimm’s Cup is more than a one drink ingredient. I like to use it as a secondary alcohol with white liquors. For instance, mix blanco tequila, lime juice and Pimm’s Cup for a lovely and refreshingly drink.
  • I learned about Bingsu this week. A cool Korean tradition using shaved ice, red bean paste, nuts, ice cream and a lot of other stuff. I will try soon.

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