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Food Week January 16 – 22, 2023

Welcome to Food Week January 16 – 22. Eggs, onions and green chartreuse are scarce. So much for my signature cocktail. Alt-proteins have attracted lots of money but not many consumers. And with the Western drought, there can be too much of a good thing. That and more. Enjoy!

MACRO

  • Record low unemployment and 2.6 million missing workers
  • The deficit fell considerably in the last year.

RETAIL AND CONSUMER

  • Alt-proteins are at the crossroads. While they seemed inevitable just 2 years ago, the growth just hasn’t happened. Part of the problem is that they haven’t expanded beyond the core consumer. But it seems to us that they have not addressed the ‘frankenfood’ problem. Consumers are leery and have been burned by food innovations like Olestra before. And none of these brands are health food.
  • On the other hand, dairy substitutes have done better but some are pretty unhealthy because of additives.
  • Attended the Fancy Food show last week for the first time in a few years. It is smaller but shows more diverse array of foods. A solid B.
  • Consumers still need their comfort food and ice cream is at the top of the list. Mars Wrigley triples down for the future.
  • Dollar stores are the fast growing food retailers. This is not necessarily a good thing, even in poorer areas as they often have less nutritious and fewer fresh foods offerings.

RESTAURANTS AND FOODSERVICE

  • The NRA (restaurant) uses fees charged to workers for mandatory food safety training for lobbying efforts to supress worker’s wages.
  • Onion rings and French fries are not just staples for fast food. They are key to store margins. So shortages and rising prices make operators nervous.

FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN

  • Outrage over egg prices grows. Prices up over 40% from last year while AI killed about 8%. Prices are over $6/dozen in many places. Meanwhile at Costco…

  • 400 to 600% higher rainfall that usual in parts of California. As a result, there will be shortages of crops like lemons. But one rainfall does not solve the drought.

FOOD WEEK JANUARY 16 LAGNIAPPE

  • Thinking of getting some hens to have cheaper supply of eggs? Read this first. Campylobacter and Salmonella and just general filth.
  • There has been an ongoing shortage of Green Chartreuse. (very different from yellow version.) If you need to make a Last Word, here are some substitutes.
  • However, the role of alcohol in cocktails is not binary – between traditional and non-alcoholic there is a lot of space.

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