Food & Beverage
Top stories summarized by our editors

The opposite of micromanagement is a leadership approach in which trusted workers are given training, expectations and the authority to find solutions and make decisions on their own, says John Baldoni in this blog post and video. That gives bosses the space to focus on big-picture thinking and also helps get the best out of their newly empowered employees. "Let the direct reports share what they've experienced and how they would do things differently, if at all, the next time," Baldoni says.

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John Baldoni

Pinterest's innovative visual format makes it the highest performer among social sites in terms of spurring purchases, which, along with its 200 million monthly users makes it an essential platform for marketers, writes Abby Katz. Pinterest content should be created with longevity in mind and span the entire buying journey, and marketers should leverage its Analytics advanced reporting feature, she advises.

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Fruits and vegetables are feeding consumers' cravings for healthy snacks, and branded versions of produce snacks promise greater quality, said Laurie Demeritt, CEO of The Hartman Group. Consumers in a recent survey said snacks comprise half their eating occasions and fruit was the top snack choice.

About 32% of all eating and drinking in the U.S. happens in the morning, and restaurants and food retailers are increasingly focused on breakfast, writes Laurie Demeritt, CEO of The Hartman Group. Consumers are increasingly seeking out protein and filling breakfast offerings that make them feel ready to face whatever the day brings, she writes.

Growth in online grocery sales is forecast to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 21.1% between 2013 and 2018, reaching nearly $18 billion, according to Business Insider Intelligence. Consumer demand for flexible shopping options and personalization are major drivers of the trend, according to Unata CEO Chris Bryson. "The shopping experience of the future is allowing shoppers to shop any way they want," he said.

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Unata

Millennials on a mission to find new local, authentic and artisan products are fueling annual increases in craft beer sales and encouraging the rise of indie distillers and wine makers, said NPD Group's Warren Solochek. "If you ask me if I think it's a trend or a fad, I think it's a trend. I do think it will continue into the foreseeable future, because people love to try something new," he said.

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NPD Group

Repetition, vision and fully engaging the audience are part of developing musicianship -- and also part of running a successful business, writes Donatos Pizza CEO Tom Krouse. "If we could bottle music’s ability to connect to its audience on a deeper level and leverage that in our business strategies, we would have all the raving fans and fully engaged associates we could handle," he writes.

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Tom Krouse

Consumers are cutting back on bread, but they have been spending more for healthier whole grain and artisan offerings, research shows. Restaurants have upgraded the bread basket with gourmet and house-made whole-grain options, and bakeries and big food brands are following suit.

Target is developing its own mobile wallet to take on rivals such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, insiders report. The initiative raises questions about the joint mobile wallet, CurrentC, that the brand and other retailers such as Wal-Mart already have developed.

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Target, Samsung Pay, Wal-Mart, Apple

Food and beverage subscription services are gaining ground with time-crunched consumers, budget-conscious shoppers and foodies eager to learn more about the sources of their artisan ingredients. "There will always be a place for restaurants and local grocers…but if companies like these can consistently deliver quality food and groceries at affordable rates, they can take a portion of revenue away from brick-and-mortar grocers and restaurants," said Tom Caporaso, CEO of Clarus Commerce.

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Clarus Commerce