Welcome to Food Week July 17 – 23, 2023. A lot of debunking this week. No, you aren’t lacking in protein in your diet, people still want to eat at (the right) restaurants, Avian Influenza isn’t dead, Lidl isn’t taking over, diet sodas don’t work, most of your spice cabinet is expired but not useless and that whole ‘nobody wants to work’ excuse for a tight labor market is at least 60 years old. Enjoy.
- The financial markets continue to confound the pessimists.
- 80 million people in the US will experience heat indexes over 105F this weekend.
- A RETAIL AND CONSUMER
- Millennials want products high in protein. Marketers are happily providing them products high in protein. This is fine except American consumers, except seniors, already have plenty of protein in their diets without adding more.
- Lidl is not figuring out the US market.
- Grocery sale revenues have settled into a more historic pattern.
- Alaska had a 57% error rate in processing food stamps. Not so hot. In the meantime, Missouri turns down $40m in food aid because…
- Consolidation still okay with courts, even if the Justice Department thinks otherwise. Here, a mega-merger in sugar.
RESTAURANTS AND FOODSERVICE
- McDonald’s resurrects the Grimace.
- Groceries are generally falling, or at least stopped inflating. Will this hurt restaurants?
- In n out bans employee mask wearing. Quote: ‘the importance of customer service and the ability to show our Associates’ smiles and other facial features while considering the health and well-being of all individuals.’”
- On of the tricky things looking at a segment as diverse as restaurants is that you compare apples and oranges. People say they prefer take out to dining in. But a deeper dive shows that people really don’t like dining in at fast food restaurants anymore. Atmosphere and experience determine.
- During the strike in Hollywood, a writer spends his time trying to find the restaurant named for the FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN
- Russia breaks grain deal and begins bombing warehouses and ships. It will have a global effect on prices and hunger.
- A combination of climate change and incompetence is making Sriracha hard to find.
- Cottage Cheese – anything with milk solids – requires cows to produce and those cows give off lots of greenhouse gasses. We wrote about this recently. A company that can create milk solids at scale without cows could help slow global warming.
- A quiet year thus far with Avian Influenza. But it never really goes away.
FOOD WEEK LAGNIAPPE
- Masa, in history and in context.
- You probably have a lot of spices that are old and out of date. In fact I’d bet on it. Here’s a few ideas about what to do with them.
- I really hate to get the second choice of meals on my first class flights but I don’t have such a fit that that they have to land the plane.
- Making baguettes your own self.