We hope you are enjoying the Olympics for the Food Week of July 26. We are tracking the impacts of the Delta variant outbreaks, particularly for restaurants, the consolidation and contraction with alcoholic beverages, the rise of QR codes, the fall of Morton salt and the sommelier who moonlighted (hah) as an arsonist. Enjoy
- Food Week July 26 saw Chinese financial markets roiled, with little apparent effect on other markets.
- The Delta variant is not only spreading but appears to be contagious for the vaccinated. Not very dangerous to them but can spread it.
- Farm Tech – Controlled Environment Agriculture and the like – remains hot with investors.
RETAIL AND CONSUMER
- For the second week in a row, there are news stories about how the hard seltzer fad is fading and big brewers are taking a (bubble) bath. The whole category is in flux: Molson Coors is rolling back brand extensions.
- Conversely, it is amazing how marketing transformed drinking beverages into an affirming, life-enhancing act. In theory.
- WalMart bringing back mask requirements for workers in areas with outbreaks of COVID.
- Wegmans enters Manhattan.
RESTAURANTS AND FOODSERVICE
- If I were back in the restaurant business, this is how I would want to handle the current state of affairs: You prove you are vaccinated or you wear a mask. When you can’t find workers you have to protect the ones you have.
- Union Square Hospitality doing similar. However it can lead to one star Yelp reviews.
- He’s a sommelier, He’s an arsonist, He’s both!
- The upside to QR codes in restaurants is cleanliness and cost reduction over printed menus. However restaurateurs are forcing tracking on diners.
FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN
- Frito Lay strike is settled
- The salt business has changed significantly. Morton is restructuring and laying off workers.
- Leaving crops in the field could increase carbon capture by 4X.
- Price fixing cases still having ramifications for big meat producers.
FOOD WEEK JULY 26 LAGNIAPPE
- Coffee comes in many philosophical forms: while there is room for all sorts of sensory pleasures, there is also the crucial role of caffeine delivery. The Dirtbag’s Guide to Iced Coffee.
- Le Creuset cookware: looks great, costs a small fortune, weighs a ton, lasts forever.
- The world’s oldest foods.
- Even in death, Anthony Bourdain is still stirring up the soup. The use of AI voice to imitate his own in documentary is causing controversy,