It's the week after Thanksgiving, and people across the nation are starting to think about the upcoming holidays. After enjoying a calorie-loaded feast Nov. 24, and anticipating more food opportunities as the end of the year approaches, I know I can't be the only...read more
U.S. consumers enjoy bananas just as much as anyone, but I was surprised to see that Japan is also one of the biggest banana-devouring nations in the world. The country relies upon imports for over 99% of its banana consumption due to its climate, and every year, the Japanese import some 1 million tons from the Philippines and other tropical countries.read more
In a few days, the vast majority of Americans will sit down for a meal with their loved ones and give thanks for a nearly-completed year. However, how those Americans will celebrate varies greatly by region and background. It would be impossible to fully articulate all of the differences, but luckily, a few recent news reports shed some light on the subject.read more
Eat your vegetables. Who didn't hear this phrase as a kid? I know I certainly did, and the chorus has been immortalized in television shows and advertising campaigns for years. And you know what? It just may have worked.read more
We've kept a close eye on McDonald's in the Food Institute Blog since CEO Steve Easterbrook took the helm. Under his leadership, the company has made a number of successful changes to the company, including the McPick2 deals, All-Day Breakfast, healthier ingredients and an effort to refocus the customer experience within its stores. However, it doesn't look like the fast food giant is slowing down any time soon.read more
It's November 9th, and America has elected a new president. Donald Trump will assume the office of the chief executive on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, and it is certain things will be changing in the business landscape after he takes office. But that wasn't the only thing American voters decided on that will have an impact for food retailers and producers.read more
The darling of specialty food buyers and producers everywhere, Whole Foods Market seems to be making some shifts to better serve the customers and shareholders. From loyalty programs to CEO streamlining, the company is attempting to better position itself for the future.read more
For the better part of the year, avocados have been hard to come by. Despite high volumes and great prices for consumers in 2015, 2016 hasn't been kind to the popular super-fruit. Weather and labor disputes decreased production significantly in 2016, and prices rose in response. But is the end to the avocado shortage in sight?
Regarding the labor shortage, picking resumed in Mexican avocado groves between Oct. 15 and Oct. 17, with between 900 and 1,000 crews at work. The crews were expected to harvest millions of pounds of the fruit, which was to be exported...
While Black Friday shopping is focused more on 4K TVs and PlayStation 4s than it is on food, it is still an important day for food retailers and restaurants. Not only because of the increasing interest in food gifts for the holidays, but also because of the role foodservice outlets play in Black Friday shopping. I myself purchased several food gifts and visited two restaurants with family and friends on Black Friday, and judging...read more
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact has been a topic of much contention, not just in the recent U.S. presidential election, but basically since its inception. The U.S. has been largely torn on whether it will help or hurt the country's economy, but leaders of the other 11 countries involved in the deal see it as a vital part of their countries' advancement.read more
Sometimes bigger isn't better, as more companies are looking at smaller store formats to grow its business. Three grocery operators, Sendik's Food Markets, WinCo and Raley's, recently revealed plans to open smaller format stores, while Dollar General Corp. is moving forward with a new convenience concept store.read more
As 2016 comes to an end, producers and retailers are looking at what the future will hold for the food industry. While analysts differ on many fronts, both Mintel and Innova Market Insights had plant-based foods and sustainability among their top trends. These trends show how modern consumer desires are evolving, with familiar aspects such as health showing up in new ways while some older trends, such as spiciness, fade.read more
Two days after the U.S. Presidential Election, the world is starting to make predictions about what President Elect Donald J. Trump will accomplish in office, and how that will impact the economy, businesses, and the country as a whole. While many other officials were elected on Nov. 8, and many ballot questions were decided, it is...read more
With less than two months left in 2016, we are beginning to get a clearer picture of what the status of the M&A market was like for the year, and we can start to see what may be coming in 2017. In the first nine months of 2016, The Food Institute recorded about 400 mergers, just shy of 2015's full year total of 410.read more
Snacking has been rapidly gaining traction in the U.S. as a way to supplement or even replace regular meals. Americans have always been known to snack throughout the day, but as more people become busier and look for on-the-go meal options, snacks have found a larger place in the food industry.read more
USDA approved commercial planting of two types of GMO potatoes which resist late blight resistance. The approval covers J.R. Simplot Co.’s Ranger Russet and Atlantic varieties of the company’s second generation of Innate potatoes. The new version will also reduce bruising and black spots, enhance storage capacity, and reduce the amount of a potential carcinogen created when cooked...read more
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