April 22, 2013



IFDA is pleased to announce that The Chefs' Warehouse, a specialty broadline distributor of gourmet food products has joined the association. Founded in 1985 to meet the specific needs of chefs who own and/or operate independent restaurants, fine dining, country clubs, hotels, caterers, culinary schools, and specialty food stores, the company has grown into one of the largest specialty foods importers and foodservice distributors in the US. Locations include New York City, Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, and Ohio, with the headquarters located in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Led by President & CEO Christopher Pappas, The Chefs' Warehouse has 850 employees and has been in growth-mode, acquiring Queensgate Foodservice late last year, and is planning to add several more locations this year. The company is a member of the F.A.B (Frosty Acres Brand) buying group. To learn more about The Chefs' Warehouse, visit the company's website at www.chefswarehouse.com.

IFDA Suggested Reading: Amazon already dominates the $186 billion-a-year domestic online business-to consumer segment, and now has turned its attention to the U.S. B2B market, which in 2013 will generate $559 billion in sales. This could reshape the industrial distribution landscape for decades to come. Some say "Amazon Supply" will have a leg up over its rivals, especially among younger procurement executives whose use of Amazon in their personal lives could be a marker in driving their business decisions, reported DC Velocity. Full Story

Operator News

Restaurants are seeking to add more extreme, high calorie menu options to their menus to cater to young American males. Some 34% of young men eat fast food several times a week while only 23% of young women do, according to Technomic. Companies like Burger King, Taco Bell, Dunkin' Donuts and Pizza Hut are increasing their "dude food" options to provide to this growing demographic, reported Bloomberg Businessweek. Full Story

Chipotle will begin serving margaritas at its restaurants with liquor licenses, beginning April 29, reported Bloomberg Businessweek. Full Story

McDonald's Japanese business will raise some burger prices by much as 25% next month, the fast food chain's first increase in the country since 2008. Hamburger prices will go up to 120 yen from 100 yen and cheeseburgers will rise to 150 yen from 120 yen in Japan in May. The hikes are part of the company's plan to boost profitability rather than a rise in materials prices, reported The Japan Times. Full Story

Retail News

Safeway raised around $230 million from the sale of shares in its Blackhawk Network gift card subsidiary, reported Supermarket News. Full Story

7-Eleven closed three Central Ohio convenience stores. The company will continue to operate 80 other gas stations and stores in Ohio, reported Columbus Business First. Full Story

A&P will close another Food Emporium in Manhattan. Two other stores are to be shuttered next month, reported Supermarket News. Full Story

Industry News

Nutrisystem is taking a major step to grow its retail presence with a new Walmart partnership. The weight-management marketer plans to sell "5-day Nutrisystem Jumpstart" weight loss kits at nearly 2,000 Walmart stores. Priced at $44.98, the kits include 15 entrees, plus desserts and a meal planner and program guide. Specially designed kits for people battling diabetes will also be available in the pharmacy section in select Walmarts, reported Advertising Age. Full Story (Paid Subscription Required)

Global executives expect merger and acquisition volume to climb this year amid a sunnier economic outlook, while remaining cautious about making deals of their own, according to a survey by Ernst & Young. About 72% of executives polled for the firm's Capital Confidence Barometer expect takeovers to increase over the next 12 months, although only 29% expect to make major deals themselves, reported Bloomberg.com. Full Story

Coffee beans from farms certified as environmentally and socially responsible by Fair Trade USA and Rainforest Alliance reached a record high in 2012. Production of Rainforest Alliance certified coffee reached 4.5% of global output in 2012, or 827 million-lbs., up from 3.3% in 2011 and a slight 1.5% in 2009. Fair Trade certified imports to the U.S. and Canada rose to a record high in 2012 of 163 million-lbs., up 18% from 2011, Oakland, reported Reuters. Full Story

America's top marketers are trying to shift consumers' perception of value from a product that is bargain-priced to one that is convenient, efficacious or high-quality enough to command a premium price. About 40% of the U.S. population is still downtrodden, concerned or otherwise worried about their financial futures, according to IRI research. In addition to convincing consumers, brands may need to perform an even tougher trick: redefining their own definition of value to one that is additive. When not reduced to the question of price, value speaks directly to what benefits a product or service adds to a customer's life, reported Advertising Age. Full Story (Paid Subscription Required)

Companies expected to release sales and earnings this week include: Caterpillar, Brinker International, Packaging Corp. of America, Coca-Cola Femsa, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Panera Bread, Procter & Gamble, Supervalu, Yum! Brands, 3M, Ball, Bayer Ag., Bunge, Cheesecake Factory, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Dow Chemical, Famous Dave's of America, Hershey, Libbey, Nash Finch, Safeway, Unilever, Amazon.com, BJ's Restaurants, Burger King, Colgate-Palmolive, Eastman Chemical and Starbucks.

Latest sales & earnings for food related companies (Updated Daily - FI Membership Required)

Monsanto created a soybean oil that is genetically engineered to produce an omega-3 fatty acid that can be converted into a similar form found in fish oil. The sustainable oil looks to replace omega-3s from cold-water fish and plants, which can contain pollutants and not be converted efficiently, with stearidonic acid, or SDA, reported St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Full Story

Chain store operator CP All is weighing a takeover of wholesaler Siam Makro Pcl, which has a market value of $5.7 billion. Meanwhile, New Zealand fast food operator Restaurant Brands stated it had no intention of acquiring Australia's Competitive Foods Limited, denying speculation that it was planning to purchase the franchise company, reported Reuters. Full Story

Delhaize posted a rise in operating profit, thanks to cost cutting and investment drive, for the first time in six quarters. Delhaize, which operates the Food Lion, Hannaford and Bottom Dollar Food chains in the U.S., cut costs, reduced prices and closed some stores, while revamping others. Underlying operating profit rose 13.7% to 214 million euros ($280 million) in the first quarter, reported Reuters. Full Story

Health News

Drinking a cup of beetroot juice can lower blood pressure, according to researchers. Drinking 8-oz. cut high blood pressure readings by 10mm of mercury in a study of 15 patients, bringing some into the normal range, noted the study in the journal Hypertension, reported BBC News. Full Story

Participants of community gardening programs may have significantly lower body mass index and lower odds of being overweight or obese, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health. Researchers found some 46% of women gardeners were less likely to be overweight or obese, while 62% less for men gardeners, reported Science Daily. Full Story

Washington News

Anheuser-Busch InBev may be forced out of the beer distribution business in Illinois after the state's House of Representatives passed a bill that calls for brewers to divest any ownership they have in any beer distribution company by Jan. 1, 2015. HB 2606, sponsored by Illinois Rep. Frank Mautino, was targeted at Anheuser-Busch InBev and its 30% stake in City Beverage Illinois. The bill heads for a vote to the state Senate, which has introduced similar legislation, reported Crain's Chicago Business. Full Story (Free Registration Required)

Texas Farm agreed to a a consent decree with Iowa after filing a lawsuit against the state over a law that prohibits meat processors from owning livestock. The hog producer must respect its Iowa contract growers' set of identified grower rights, including the right to be a "whistleblower," the right to join an association and review production contracts. In return for Texas Farm's compliance with its commitments under the settlement, Iowa will not pursue enforcement of the ban on packer involvement in swine production with respect to Texas Farm. The agreement expires Sept. 16, 2015. Full Story

A lawsuit filed by Stop & Shop seeks to block Wyckoff, NJ's Township Planning Board's approval of plans to build a ShopRite on an adjacent 7-acre property. In the suit, Stop & Shop's attorney claims the proposed free-standing supermarket does not conform to the current zoning and would cause or exacerbate traffic and drainage problems in the area, reported The Record. Full Story

A bill designed to update New Jersey's decades-old farmland assessment law and prevent "fake farmers" from taking advantage of farmland tax breaks was signed by Gov. Chris Christie. The move updates the state's farmland assessment law enacted in 1964, which allows property tax exemptions of up to 98% for anyone who farms on at least five acres and meets a required income threshold. The revision to the law increases the minimum income for a farm to qualify for the lower assessment from $500 up to $1,000 per year. It also establishes stricter standards for property owners to prove farming is the main use of their land, and sets training requirements for local tax assessors to properly identify farmland, reported NJ.com. Full Story

Denver could join a growing list of U.S. cities that have passed laws to reduce the presence of plastic bags. A Denver City Councilwoman is drafting an ordinance that would impose a 5-cent fee for every plastic or paper bag used in point-of-sale purchases. Her ordinance would use some of the money for an education campaign to promote reusable bags and to provide reusable bags for low-income residents, reported The Denver Post. Full Story

USDA imposed sanctions on four produce businesses for failure to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). The following businesses are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry: Palmareal Produce Corporation, for failing to pay a $14,283 award in favor of a Texas seller; California Produce Procurement, for failing to pay a $51,282 award in favor of a California seller; Glacier Valley Produce, for failing to pay a $6,466 award in favor of an Oregon seller; and Uno Marketing Group, for failing to pay a $15,445 award in favor of a Texas seller. Full Story

Market News

The California pistachio bloom has finished. Growers in Kings County, San Joaquin Valley and Madera County reported trees were finished blooming and harvest will begin between mid-August and the start of September, reported Western Farm Press. Full Story

Keber Distributing is harvesting the last of its crops as it plans to close at the end of May. Two of the principals are heading into retirement and the company plans to lease all of the acres to Grimmway Farms, reported The Produce News. Full Story

Vidalia onion crops were threatened yet again, after unusual amounts of rain and cold temperatures battered the beginning of the harvest season. Onion growth was slowed as fields began showing signs of high amounts of seed stems, reported The Packer Online. Full Story

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) renewed a recordkeeping burden for the information collection for the Export Fruit Acts covering exports of apples and grapes. The information collection burden for this action is primarily in the form of record keeping, including Export Form Certificates, and comments on the collection will be accepted until June 21. Full Notice



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