Welcome to Food Week November 10, 2023. Happy Diwali. Things aren’t always clear. If inflation has slowed why are prices still high? A grocer can partner with Amazon but will it help them make money? If people aren’t eating meals at meal time, is that an opportunity? Is it bad to have pickle juice already in the ketchup? And if Lucky Charms is gluten free, does that make it good for you? (Hint: no). Enjoy!
- Productivity is up, crazy up.
- Just because inflation is over doesn’t mean prices come down.
- Ukraine agricultural commodities still suffering from Russian missiles. Nestle facilities there muddle through.
RETAIL AND CONSUMER
- You don’t want your celiac messing with your diabetes. Lucky Charms marketing itself as gluten free.
- Grocery chain in Britain gives up on self checkout.
- Related retailers have serious inventory problems. Partially caused supply chain breakdowns but also because shoppers have changed their shopping patterns. But it is easier to blame theft.
- Spartan Nash can’t make money because of it’s partnership with Amazon.
- Kroger gets in the auction business, raffling off Pappy Van Winkle and other rare bourbons in Kentucky.
- Among other things, Costco is really good at real estate.
- New nutritional guidelines may have warnings against ultra-processed foods.
RESTAURANTS AND FOODSERVICE
- Famous – a Bourdain favorite and Beard award winner – and unique seafood spot Calumet Fisheries is closed for rodent issues.
- Meal times, shmeal times. 10% of Americans no longer observant of traditional times. Chains try to address as there is smoothing benefit for them to attract off hours diners.
- Chain in DC sued over junk restaurant fees.
- Turkey wins 7 Michelin stars mostly in the tourist region on the Aegean coast.
- Delivery apps catering (literally) to the Chinese population.
FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN
- The next Farm Bill is very important, not just for the agriculture industry but to address climate change.
- Drought has led to smaller cattle herds in the US which has led to more imports and higher prices. At the same time the FDA is struggling with tracking antibiotic use in herds.
- The salmon vacuum seems like a reach. But populations are plummeting and dams are preventing the spawn from reaching the ocean.
- A story on how the gas industry promoted Julia Child’s use of the gas stove. Yes, the industry was self interested and, yes, they leaned into her use. But what the article misses is that until relatively recently, say after Julia Child was dead, there were only very poor alternatives to gas stove available.
- Agricultural equipment has gotten increasingly smart and increasingly expensive. Some farmers have had to move to retro-fitting older equipment.
FOOD WEEK LAGNIAPPE
- Indian Single Malts.
- Kratom is a drink made from kava. Kava contains mitragynine which can be addictive and dangerous in large doses. Like in Kratom. But legislation protect processors not consumers.
- Pickles already in the ketchup. Okay Heinz, I’m game.
- Functional foods to help with menopause.
- The pointlessness of the gravy boat.