Welcome to Food Week April 18 – 24. In addition to Earth Day, this week we have a couple of stories how transportation is driving up food costs as much as anything else. Also PETA gets in bed with McDonald’s, dollar stores make food deserts worse, using cottage cheese to clean up toxic spills and other anomalies. Enjoy!
- Unemployment falls to 52 year low.
- No more masks on planes. But what about buses and trains where the filtration is not as robust?. Color us concerned.
- Crazy bad weather out West
RETAIL AND CONSUMER
- There is no guarantee that alt-proteins will fix our broken food system.
- The role of dollar stores in food desserts. They replace traditional grocery stores but without fresh food, exacerbating the problem.
- While egg prices have come back down from their peak, the loss of 24M layers to Avian Influenza means prices will stay high.
- JOKR – grocery delivery – claims to be ‘gross profit positive on a group level’. I’d like to hear what an auditor says about that claim.
- The hard seltzer moment is truly over.
RESTAURANTS AND FOODSERVICE
- White Castle brings back the 1921 version of the slider.
- A list of companies that pay less than $15/hr. is full of QSR chains. They shouldn’t be surprised when they lose workers.
- Bob Chinn – whose eponymous restaurant was once the highest grossing independent restaurant in the US – died at 99. It was there I pioneered the 3 mai tai lunch.
- A bulk buy by PETA boosted sales of the McPlant. I suppose the giveaway is get people to try the sandwich but I am not sure how this boosts long term demand. PETS is extremely well-funded and they have to spend the cash somewhere.
- Digital Gastronomy? AI invents dishes that look like they come from Michelin starred restaurants.
FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN
- It’s the price of the food but also the price of the transportation that will cause hunger in light of the Russian invasion.
- Relatedly, the lack of transportation capacity allows shippers to choose those will pay the most. Commodities – like food – lose. This is a driver of food inflation.
- Antitrust suit against big poultry ends in a $104 million settlement, which is chicken feed to these companies.
- Conservationists rightful angry this Earth Day that government conservation funds are being use to fund Centralized Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) which are not even remotely sustainable.
FOOD WEEK LAGNIAPPE
- A 1909 movie about cornering the wheat market by D.W. Griffith.
- A global review of vending food.
- Using cottage cheese to clean up a toxic environment. To my taste buds, this is the most appropriate use.
- A fun love letter to garlic. I have on many occasions started dinner by browning onions and garlic, then, as the aroma filled the kitchen, started figuring out what I was actually going to cook. Then there’s the health benefits.