Food Week March 7 -13, 2022

Food Week March 7 was highlighted by a trip to the Natural Food Expo in Anaheim. Saw a lot of old friends and new brands. Only at that show will you run into a company touting a plant based energy drink which is a change from the bacon based ones we usually drink (!?) I need the energy drink because I am now an hour behind schedule with the time change. Enjoy the update.


  • Invasion of Ukraine means high gas prices and likely going higher. US doesn’t use much Russian gas but any move to take supply off the table means an increase. EU, which uses much more. is looking to restrict further Russian exports.
  • Financial markets down but then again so are COVID counts. You can’t have everything.


  • Many brands are going to smaller formats but keeping the same retail price – a hidden price increase.
  • The price difference between organic and non-organic foods has shrunk. There is just a lot more supply.
  • While Grass fed meat continues to grow in popularity. In addition to being more flavorful, grazing cattle produce far less methane. See below why this trend may continue to grow through environmental claims.


  • Burger King joins McDonald’s, Starbuck’s. Papa Johns, etc. in suspending operations in Russia.
  • These decision were made harder as Russia has been a a growth market for many chains.
  • Will higher gas prices hurt drive-thru business? Drive thru wasn’t a thing in the 70s so we don’t have history. But QSR has increasingly committed to drive thru versus dine in.
  • Chefs in restaurants don’t go for induction burners until they can change temperature faster. But for home cooking they are slowly gaining traction.


  • Regenerative agriculture continues to gain interest. (I saw several claims at the Natural Product Expo.) However quantifying how much carbon is returned to the soil isn’t easy.
  • Despite higher prices, meat consumption increased throughout the pandemic. However is this peak meat?
  • Isolating Russia over the invasion of the Ukraine has caused logistical nightmares for foodstuffs that were headed there.
  • The battles over Black Sea ports already causing grain shortages in Middle East.


  • Speaking of Ukrainian grain production, it is ancient. In fact the first antimonopoly case in history was about the trade of grain in Athens in 386 BC.
  • Food Week March 7 means prepping for Saint Patrick’s Day. Put down the green beer and try some Irish cocktails.
  • It may be more effective to get carnivores to reduce meat consumption by talking about climate rather than animal ethics.

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