Lulie Halstead, CEO of research agency Wine Intelligence, sees four major areas of opportunity for the overall drinks category in 2022, most of them accelerated by the ongoing pandemic. Premiumization, at-home consumption, the rise in e-commerce and consumers' growing interest in no- and low-alcohol beverages all continue to present avenues for growth in the year ahead, according to Halstead, who calls the drinks sector "one of the most crisis-proof consumer goods categories."
Taro, a root vegetable with two prevalent varieties in the US, is poisonous when raw and must be handled with gloves in order to prevent skin irritation. It is safe to eat after cooking and can be roasted, chopped up for use in stews, fried into chips, or used to give a sweet and nutty flavor to baked goods and desserts such as ice cream and cheesecake.
Hopdoddy Burger Bar will buy Grub Burger Bar for an undisclosed amount and will combine both Texas-based brands under a new company called HiBar Hospitality Group. The deal will create a combined company with 51 restaurants across the US.
Chipotle Mexican Grill has debuted its second Team Chipotle Menu, featuring the favorite dishes of high-profile athletes including cross-country skier Jessie Diggins and snowboarders Hailey Langland and Red Gerard. The athletes are promoting the menu in new episodes of Chipotle's Unwrapped video series on social media.
Dutch Bros Coffee credits its drive-thru model and company culture for keeping its more than 500 stores open during a time when many restaurants are struggling with low staffing levels and temporary closures. The drive-thru stores require fewer employees than traditional coffee shops and some of the work is done outdoors, CEO Joth Ricci said.
Walmart has rolled out an online shopping tool from Sifter SP that automatically helps customers purchase products that fit their lifestyle and dietary needs. The Shop by Diet platform is available online and allows consumers to sort through purchases based on parameters that can include diets, allergies, medical conditions and even product sustainability.
Wakefern Food Corp. will deploy Trigo's EasyOut technology in a pilot program to test cashierless checkout that allows customers to pay for purchases online as they shop, then just walk out. The grocer didn't reveal where the test would be conducted, but the feature will be integrated with the retailer's mobile app and Trigo said its platform is designed to be quickly retrofitted and adapted at existing stores.
FMI, which joined 10 other industry groups in suing to stop the Biden administration's vaccine-or-test mandate, is lauding the Supreme Court's decision to block the order for large employers. FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin said the court "recognized the challenges OSHA's rule would have imposed on food retailers and manufacturers, our employees and, ultimately, American consumers," and also said the ruling "will help ensure the food industry is able to continue meeting our customers' needs as efficiently and effectively as possible amid the ongoing supply chain and labor disruptions."
More than 140 products from companies such as Del Monte Foods, GoodSport Nutrition, imPasta Foods, Take Two Foods and Imperfect Foods have earned the Upcycled Certified designation and avoided wasting more than 700 million pounds of food, according to the Upcycled Food Association. The six-month old program subjects food products to an extensive certification process overseen by Where Food Comes From, a third-party group.
H.E. Butt Grocery has revealed the finalists in its annual Excellence in Education honors, which present grand prizes that range from $100,000 for the winning large school district to $25,000 for the top early childhood education center, on top of other awards. The grocer's annual program is marking its 20th year and has so far donated $20 million to support public education in Texas.