Industry News

Top 10: Revamped school lunch, McDonald’s menus and Costco samples

Stories of post-pandemic change and recovery plans populated this week’s list of most-popular food and beverage stories, starting with perspectives from school nutritionists planning meal programs that incorporate social distancing. Changes at some schools will include serving meals from carts and using touchless technology to scan student IDs.

In the restaurant arena, McDonald’s operators are pushing to keep the streamlined menus they’ve been offering since the coronavirus outbreak forced the closure of their dining rooms and shifted them to takeout, delivery and drive-thru only.  Changes included suspending the all-day breakfast menu, and the revamped menu has helped eateries speed service, said Black Casper, chairman of the National Owners Association.

Starbucks is also making some downsizing moves as it prepares for slower sales this summer. The coffee giant has offered many store employees a choice of working fewer hours or taking unpaid leave until September.

Grocery retailers are also preparing for recovery, including Costco which is making plans to restart free food sampling programs, with precautions in place to ensure shopper safety. Sprouts Farmers Market is also making changes in the wake of the pandemic, with plans to grow in the future with smaller store formats focused on selling healthful foods.

CPG brands also made news this week, starting with Impossible Foods which has begun testing direct-to-consumer sales of its plant-based burgers with delivery service Cheetah.

Kraft Heinz’s local focus on new product development and tech-driven innovation also proved popular with readers. Tech is influencing development of both packaging and the nutritional profiles of the company’s products, research executive Miriam Ueberall said.

Read the entire Top 10:

  1. How school meal services are likely to change
  2. McDonald's operators approve of pared-down menu
  3. Survey: H-E-B has had best pandemic response
  4. Costco to start offering food samples again
  5. Starbucks to cut staff schedules through the summer
  6. Impossible Foods appears set to enter DTC market
  7. Sprouts opts for smaller stores in return to roots
  8. R&D exec: Kraft Heinz takes local approach to innovation
  9. Ferrero set to open new US distribution center
  10. Wegmans weighs shopper safety, in-store experience

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