Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen's new partnership with Megan Thee Stallion includes approval for the rap star to become a franchisee in the Restaurant Brands International-owned chain. The deal also includes a hot sauce -- Megan Thee Stallion Hottie Sauce -- and related merchandise that's set to roll out next week.
Walmart has started trials of a new service called Walmart Text to Shop, which would ultimately allow customers to voice-text their shopping lists directly to the retailer. Walmart also announced the planned launch of Luminate, a system created with dunnhumby which will give the company's suppliers access to real-time data to monitor the performance of products and promotions, while also letting them do customer surveys.
The Sprouts Farmers Market Healthy Communities Foundation is supporting local food sources through $3 million in grants that will help 115 nonprofit groups boost nutrition education and give students a chance to learn by tending their own gardens. The grants, which now total $15 million since they were inaugurated in 2015, have enabled 1.5 million young people to grow their own food under a program that also is "strengthening local food systems by providing our communities with access to fresh, nutritious food," said Sprouts CEO Jack Sinclair.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam celebrated National School Lunch Week by thanking school nutrition professionals during a visit to Louisa County High School. Demand for school meals has increased during the pandemic, and Randy Herman, director of school nutrition services for Louisa County Public Schools, said staffers are on their way to serving another 1 million meals by this school year's end.
McCormick & Co.'s third-quarter sales increased 8% year-over-year and 17% compared to the same period in 2019. "Our Consumer segment results reflect the sustained shift to consumer at-home consumption, higher than pre-pandemic levels, as well as lapping the year-ago elevated demand in the lockdown days of the pandemic," said CEO Lawrence Kurzius.
Walmart is ramping up its efforts to appeal to more beauty consumers by rolling out more than 40 brands, seeking partnerships with "on-trend" startups and offering "prices Walmart customers expect," said Paula Ryan, senior merchandising director for beauty. Customer feedback has spurred the addition of several more inclusive brands, such as UOMA by Sharon C., which caters to a wide range of foundation-shade needs, added Ryan.
A 5.5% decline in beverage calories consumed per person last year in the US has contributed to an 11.8% drop since 2014, according to a reporting organization tracking the progress of an American Beverage-led initiative to lower per person beverage calorie consumption by 20% by 2024. "America's beverage companies are introducing more choices with less sugar and smaller portion sizes than ever before -- and today nearly 60% of all beverages purchased by consumers are zero or low sugar," said Katherine Lugar, ABA president and CEO.
Monster Energy is rolling out the Monster Reserve premium range nationwide. The set offers two flavors -- watermelon and white pineapple -- which represent "delicious standouts from our pre-existing flavors," said Dan McHugh, chief marketing officer for Monster Energy.
Stonyfield Organic has agreed to purchase milk from some of the 89 organic dairy farms in the Northeast that are being dropped by Horizon Organic owner Danone. "[W]e're committed to making sure not a single one of these farmers goes under," said Gary Hirshberg, co-founder of New Hampshire-based Stonyfield, who declined to say how many of the producers would be given contracts initially.
For some winemakers, selecting the perfect aging barrels is as crucial as picking the right grapes, and factors such as the species and age of the oak used, the tightness of the wood grain and the expertise of the coopers -- all of which can affect the expression of a wine -- must be taken into consideration, writes Rich Manning. "There's a certain type of romance to a barrel, and everyone wants to learn more about it," said Justin Seidenfeld, director of winemaking at Rodney Strong Vineyards in California's Sonoma County.
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