Happy weekend for Food Week August 2 – 8, 2021. The Delta variant has brought COVID consciousness back into our lives as diners, workers and travelers are increasingly facing restrictions if they aren’t vaccinated. Panera consolidated while Pepsi disaggregated. Plant based meat disappointed at retail but not in foodservice. We learned about how to grow Citrus indoors and how Galatories does Oysters Rockefeller. Enjoy.
- Food week August 2 saw a huge jobs report – almost 1 million added.
- United joins Delta and others on the list of companies requiring vaccinations.
- Crosstown baseball in Chicago this weekend – Go Sox!
RETAIL AND CONSUMER
- There remains a lingering perception that Whole Foods sales depend upon a hippie, granola eating customer base. However, the typical customer is a 25 -34 year old woman with a graduate degree.
- Pepsi is going to sell Tropicana, Naked and other brands. I wish I could promise there’d be a reverse of consolidation in beverage but I doubt it will happen.
- Chip on your shoulder or monkey on your back? Dissatisfied snackers hunting for lost loves. Inside the desperate world of discontinued snack obsessives.
- Drinking coffee from plastic pods may could expose you to estrogenic compounds. That doesn’t sound good. It isn’t.
- “Hey. Buddy, I got some good deals on stuff that fell off the back of a cow.” My sense is you shouldn’t buy steaks from an unrefrigerated discount meat van. But that’s just me.
RESTAURANTS AND FOODSERVICE
- Panera rolls up other fast casual brands into a behemoth but is this the outcome of lagging growth throughout the sector?
- Vaccine passports will become a must have for NYC dining. I believe this will be a trend, at least across the blue states. Disturbing, however, is the picture from McSorley’s with stools at the bar. When did that happen?
- Galatoire’s is one of the great restaurant institutions in this country. For 115 years they have anchored Bourbon Street. Here is how they do one of their signature dishes: Oysters Rockefeller.
- The momentum for meat alternative pauses as plant-based results disappoint. But while retail sales lag Beyond Meat is offsetting with food service sales.
- The fastest growing restaurant chain for 2020 sells cookies.
FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN
- If you buy, say, shrimp from SE Asia (most of it) there is a really good chance you are getting it from forced labor that is pretty much the equivalent of slavery. Because of this use of forced labor, the U.S. blocked a fishing boat from Fiji
- Pork industry on edge as African swine flu has been found in the Caribbean. It poses little threat to humans but is virulent and lethal for pigs.
- Tyson is requiring its workers to get the vaccine; this may challenge the mandatory vaccine bans in several states. But if you have a business to run, this only makes sense.
- Just in time for the fall harvest, low vaccination rates in U.S. South will renew supply chain problems.
FOOD WEEK AUGUST 2 LAGNIAPPE
- Rum is like gin in that is a wonderful base for flavors that can go in many directions. But unlike gin, there are many cask finished options which expands the palette as well as the finish.
- I have been growing a Panamanian Orange for a number of years with good, if not great results. (Fantastic tasting, mediocre yield) But I move it out with the warm weather and back in the winter. Here are tips for growing citrus indoors year round.
- We cover the entire, um, supply chain. The mystery of IBS prevents many people from enjoying foods they love. Doctors and researchers investigating the condition are starting to make some headway.
- A gluten free pizza crust recipe that supposedly doesn’t suck. But I’ve burned before…