May 17, 2012

 IGA CEO Perspective

Stay Connected with
The Independent View

A message from...
Mark Batenic


Welcome to your first edition of IGA's E-Newsletter, The Independent View. This concise digest of breaking industry news, compelling IGA-related commentary, and timely IGA-specific news will quickly become your daily "must read" source for information. In five minutes or less you'll get everything you need to stay connected, both with IGA and the industry as a whole.

We look forward to reaching out to you and ask that you do the same. Should you have any suggestions regarding The Independent View please share them with us by clicking on the "Send Feedback" link at the top of the page.

Thanks and enjoy your reading.

Mark Batenic


Retail News

Most fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods cost less than foods high in fat, sugar and salt, according to a USDA study based on national average prices from Nielsen Homescan data. The study found that when comparing the cost of foods by weight or portion size, grains, vegetables, fruit and dairy foods are cheaper than most meats or foods high in saturated fat, added sugars or salt. The USDA study also criticized a 2010 report from the University of Washington that found calorie-for-calorie junk food is more cost-effective for low-income people than eating healthy, reported The Associated Press. Full Story, Study

Edible Arrangements processed more than 700,000 orders the week of Mother's Day for arrangements filled with 5.6 million strawberries and 1.5 million pineapple hearts. Full Story

Kroger Co. is experimenting with building larger convenience stores with more fresh food offerings to ward off competition from smaller grocery formats. The company is building such stores in markets where it already operates full-service supermarkets in an attempt to replicate the success it has had integrating supermarket and convenience offerings in markets like Wichita, KS where Kroger has long operated the Dillon's supermarket and Kwik Shop convenience brands, reported Supermarket News. Full Story

Busken Bakery and United Dairy Farmers are expanding their partnership, putting fresh-baked goods into UDF stores outside Greater Cincinnati for the first time. Busken Bakery donuts will be available in 134 UDF stores, up from 116. Some of the additional stores are in Dayton, which will start carrying Busken products on May 28, reported The Cincinnati Enquirer. Full Story

New Store News: Pagano Development Co., Inc. acquired a 17-acre site in Marlboro Township, NJ for a Whole Foods-anchored retail property. Full Story

Safeway found its next chef, Davie Histed, who will develop foods to give shoppers affordable meal options. He was selected through the company's "Search for Our Next Chef" competition. Full Story

Manufacturer News

"Accelerate, innovate, cultivate" is Tyson Foods' strategy to grow its business, according to its CEO at the BMO Capital Markets 2012 Farm to Market Conference. The company will speed growth through its international businesses in China, Brazil, Mexico and India, and will grow its value-added product sales domestically. Full Story

Men are generally more reluctant to try vegetarian products, according to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research. Consumers are influenced by a strong association of meat with masculinity, especially in Western cultures. In a number of experiments that looked at metaphors and certain foods, like meat and milk, the authors found that people rated meat as more masculine than vegetables, reported Science Daily. Full Story

Goya Foods Inc.'s Florida operations distributes 1,500 products to retailers from 16 warehouses and distribution centers. The company also recently introduced frozen foods and soft drinks such as malt soda, coconut water and nectars, reported Tampa Bay Online. Full Story

New Product News: Guayaki's Yerba Mate tea is now available in a sparkling beverage. Full Story

Foodservice News

More than three in five U.S. adults (63%) dined at a fast food restaurant chain in the past month and about half dined at a local casual dining establishment (53%) and a casual dining restaurant chain (50%), according to the results of The Harris Poll. Seven in 10 Americans (71%) claim they find themselves cooking more instead of going out in order to save more money. Full Story

Fast-casual chains strengthened their gains on the overall restaurant industry, with the top 150 fast-casual chains growing 8.4% to $21.5 billion in 2011, a faster rate than in 2010, according to Technomic's Fast-Casual Top 150 report. Fast-Casual segment leaders included Panera Bread (Bakery Cafe), Chipotle Mexican Grill (Mexican), Zaxby's (Chicken) and Panda Express (Asian/Noodle). Full Story

More than half of consumers would use an electronic payment system if available, and 55% of restaurants claim electronic paying systems will soon become more popular. Some 39% of consumers would use electronic ordering systems, including Ipad menus and wine lists if available, reported the National Restaurant Association. Full Story

Companies are using social networks to share information better among their employees and bring customer ideas for new product designs to market earlier. Red Robin Gourmet Burgers uses an internal social network that resembles Facebook to teach its managers. The chain introduced its new Tavern Double burger line last month, and is already kitchen-testing recipe tweaks based on customer feedback, reported USA Today. Full Story

Restaurant Roundup: Hurricane Grill & Wings signed five development agreements, adding 28 locations in four new states. Full Story

Executives on the Move: Starbucks named several leadership changes, including appointing Lucy Lee Helm EVP, general counsel and secretary and Arthur Rubinfeld chief creative officer and president, Global Development and Evolution Fresh Retail. Full Story

Health News

Coffee drinkers are a little more likely to live longer, regardless of whether they consume regular or decaf, according to a study of 400,000 people published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study found men who had two or three cups a day were 10% less likely to die at any age compared with those who drank no coffee, while for women it was 13%, reported The Associated Press. Full Story, Study Abstract

Some 96% of main entrees sold at top U.S. chain eateries exceed daily limits for calories, sodium, fat and saturated fat recommended by USDA, according to an 18-month study conducted by the Rand Corp. and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Entrees at family-style restaurants on average have more calories, fat and sodium than fast-food restaurants, reported USA Today. Full Story

Washington News

USDA cited Suncoast Distribution Inc. of St. Petersburg, FL, for failure to pay for produce. The company did not pay $307,080.94 to seven sellers for 53 lots of produce. This is in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). As a result, Suncoast Distribution Inc. cannot operate in the produce industry until May 9, 2014, at which time it may reapply for a PACA license. Full Story

FDA is providing an opportunity for public comment on an extension of a proposed collection of information, Irradiation in the Production, Processing, and Handling of Food, until July 16. To ensure safe use of a radiation source, the FD&C Act requires the label of x-ray tube sources bear appropriate and accurate information identifying the source of radiation and the maximum energy of radiation emitted. The inspection of records is the only way to determine compliance with the regulations for treatment of foods with ionizing radiation, according to FDA. Full Notice

Bakery El Monte Sinai Corp. initiated a voluntary recall of rainbow cake because it may contain undeclared eggs. Full Story

Raj Foods LLC. initiated a voluntary recall of approximately 3,300-lbs. of Halal beef samosa products because a meat ingredient used in the product may have been produced in a facility that is not federally inspected. Full Story

Global News

Starbucks opened its first store in Finland at Helsinki Airport. Full Story

A World Trade Organization appellate panel claimed U.S. "dolphin safe" tuna labeling rules unfairly discriminate against Mexico, raising the possibility of sanctions on U.S. goods if the rules are not modified or dropped, reported Reuters. Full Story

Clayton Dubilier & Rice and Bain Capital did not advance to the second round of the auction for Permira's frozen-food company Iglo Group. There may be four bidders remaining in the process, including private equity firms Blackstone Group LP, BC Partners and PAI Partners, and potentially Thai company Charoen Pokphand PCL, reported The Wall Street Journal. Full Story (WSJ Subscription Required)

A two and a half month fishing ban began in most parts of the South China Sea as part of ongoing efforts to rehabilitate the area's marine resources. The fishing ban was adopted to promote the sustainable development of the fishing industry and protect the fundamental interested of fishermen, reported China Daily. Full Story

Market News

Northwest cherry growers are optimistic about the looming cherry harvest. The five states, including Washington, which make up the regional group are forecasting a crop of 20.3 million boxes for sale on the fresh market, up from 18.3 million boxes last year. Washington is the largest producing cherry state by far with an estimated crop this year of 16.7 million boxes, reported Yakima Herald. Full Story

More than half of Michigan's apple crop could be lost due to late-April freezes, and the state's southwestern fruit production is a near-total loss. The damage to that part of the state applies to apples, peaches, plums and cherries. "Essentially, there is no tree fruit in southwest Michigan," stated the general manager of Greg Orchards & Produce Inc. Grower-shippers in the Fruit Ridge region of Michigan, where the majority of the state's apples are grown, stated they should have a much better handle on the extent of damage in June, reported The Packer Online. Full Story

Kudzu bugs are spreading rapidly from south to north, although heavy populations apparently have decided to stay in South Carolina. The bugs are being found on early-planted soybeans, and similar observations are being made in other states, reported Southeast Farm Press. Full Story

A looming grape shortage and growing demand for California wines have driven grape prices higher, with some grape prices doubling in the span of a year. Wineries hit hard by the recession are exploring alternative ways to maintain lower prices for consumers, even while their production costs are rising, reported Western Farm Press. Full Story

APHIS submitted information collection requests to OMB for review and clearance, including collections related to the quarantine for Hawaii and U.S. territories. APHIS will collect information from individuals involved in growing, packing, handling and transporting plants and plant products, and the information collected will be used to determine compliance with regulations and for issuance of forms, permits, certificates and other required documents. Another request was for information collection activities related to the importation of peppers from certain Central American countries. Full Notice

An AMS final rule revised and amended the regulation used to administer the Market Access Program (MAP) by updating and merging application requirements and activity plan requirements to reflect the Unified Export Strategy system currently in place. The revisions also clarify the eligibility of activities designed to address international market access issues; modify the list of eligible and ineligible contributions; eliminate the Export Incentive Program/MAP as a separate subcomponent; and make other administrative changes for clarity and program integrity. Full Notice

Penn Cove Shellfish must wait at least two weeks before resuming operations after the Washington Department of Health shut down shellfish harvests May 15 because of a diesel fuel leak from a derelict crabber that caught fire and sank days earlier. Reportedly the country's oldest and largest mussel farm, Penn Cove Shellfish is concerned that next year's crop of larvae may be exposed, and a little over a million lbs. Of this year's mussel harvest may be contaminated, reported The Seattle Times. Full Story (Free Registration Required)

Almost every Florida Department of Citrus program will be reduced in its new fiscal year under a proposed budget 10.3% smaller than the current spending plan. The Florida Citrus Commission reviewed a proposed $50.4 million budget for the Florida Department of Citrus' 2012-13 fiscal year beginning July 1, down $5.8 million, reported The Lakeland Ledger. Full Story (Free Registration Required)

Damage from a hail storm on Apr. 11 totaled $79.3 million in California's central San Joaquin Valley. Among the crops damaged were nectarines, peaches, plums, cherries, pistachios, raisin grapes, lettuce and almonds. In Kings County, one of the region's hardest hit, agricultural officials requested a disaster declaration from the state and USDA, reported The Fresno Bee. Full Story (Free Registration Required)

Dongwon applied to become a participating company with the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF). ISSF is an international coalition designed to improve global tuna fisheries. Full Story




First Time Viewer?

Click here to see a message from IGA CEO Mark Batenic.

About The
Independent View

The Independent View is published daily in conjunction with The Food Institute. If you are interested in advertising in The Independent View, click here to find out more.

The Lempert Report

New! Click here to view the Lempert Report, featuring Phil Lempert.

Why IGA?

For more information about becoming a member or partner
of IGA, click here.