Welcome to Food Week for November 29 – December 4. We’ve found arsenic in our herbs, beer in our Tiramisu, vodka in our whipped cream and you-don’t-want-to-know-what in casu marzu cheese. Very soon you may not find seeds in your berries, a seat in fast food restaurants, apples in Washington and bodegas in general. But for now, enjoy!
- Food Week November 29 brought us confusion over the Omicron variant of COVID. It may or may not be more virulent and may or may not be more contagious.
- But the financial markets have decided whatever uncertainty omicron is bringing, it’s bad news.
- Or maybe it was just a weird jobs report.
RETAIL AND CONSUMER
- And just a pinch of arsenic. Deep dive into heavy metals in herbs and spices.
- Health and wellness are the top concern for protein shoppers. This is probably one of the main drivers of interest in alternative sources.
- Bodegas in New York are rightly worried about grocery delivery apps.
RESTAURANTS AND FOODSERVICE
- We are keeping an eye on QSR chains but with many, delivery and drive thru are now the main priorities. We think there is a secular trend away from customers entering the restaurant at all. Burger King announced a menu reduction just to make drive thru faster.
- Even the elites deal with fruit flies; historic Harvard dining hall reopens after an infestation.
- Food Management Companies are slowly returning to pre-COVID levels. Sodexo reports are bullish.
- Just because you are operating a cloud kitchen dosen’t mean that you get to ignore the safety and sanitation laws down here on earth, as Reef is finding out.
FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN
- Supply chain disruptions are particularly hard for highly seasonal and highly perishable crops like mangos.
- Kellogg’s strike appears over.
- The Pacific Northwest is the canary in the coalmine for climate change and agriculture. Apple production will have to change, just like everything else.
- CRISPR technology can be used to amazing and important things. It can also be used to take seeds out of berries.
- In Scotland restaurateurs are emphasizing sustainable halibut.
FOOD WEEK LAGNIAPPE
- If the New York Times tells me it’s cookie season, I guess it is cookie season.
- But if cookies aren’t your jam you can make Tiramisu with beer.
- And you can top that Tiramisu with Cardi B’s new vodka infused whip cream. Sleepovers will never be the same.
- You should read about casu marzu just so you don’t accidentally order it. While we have eaten and even enjoyed insects, this is a bridge too far.
- Normal brain: Chop Suey is Chinese.
- Big brain: Chop Suey is not Chinese.
- Galaxy brain: It’s complicated.