Author: Jordan Wiklund

Korean Food is Ascendant

Zooming out, Korean cuisine has found a niche in today’s restaurant, retail, and grocery foodscape, whether standing alone as a global cultural beacon of cuisine or being reimagined with some of today’s food trends.

Top 3 Spring/Summer Trends in Retail

In a few short years, retail will be a totally immersive and data-driven experience highlighted by personalized AI recommendations for health and home, smart carts to increase efficiency (and solve the traveling salesman’s dilemma in-store), and much more.

The Endless Promise of Pizza

Served as an LTO, in a restaurant, or at a ball game, fired in a brick oven at 800 degrees or reheated Sunday morning in a battered collegiate microwave after a late night, pizza is a tough business that can yield great rewards, revenue, and satisfaction.

The Cost of Loyalty – How Trader Joe’s & Costco Do It

So prevalent and all-consuming is the cultural agency of the Costco Kirkland Signature All-Beef Hot Dog that it’s propelling a crypto “memecoin” on the Solana crypto exchange. That is a real sentence. “Hot dogs are in control,” writes one commentator on TikTok. “The buns stay on,” adds @Jan crypto trader in the same thread amid a rising swell of crypto brokers.

The Future of Retail, Part 3: The Immersive Retail Environment

“Customers will step into a retail environment where every interaction is personalized, guided by AI algorithms that efficiently navigate shoppers through aisles and offer tailored product suggestions in real time,” fostering brand loyalty and elevating the consumer experience to “unprecedented satisfaction levels.”

The Future of Retail, Part 2- Tomorrow’s Tech

To further understand how inventory and supply chain will change, Jarvis said the end of data silos must be achieved “to create a holistic understanding of each shopper, their interactions, and the stream of information being shared with them.

America is Poised to Embrace Tofu

In today’s alternative protein space, the possibilities tofu offers are turning heads. More flavorful than most plant-based products, more rewarding than a perfect burger alternative, and much more affordable than a meat-based option, tofu checks a lot of boxes as a middle-of-the-road protein alternative that doesn’t necessarily have to market itself as a one-size-fits-all plant-based option.

The Future of Retail – The 10,000-ft. View

“By 2030, visiting a Target, Walmart, or Costco won’t just be about shopping,” said Diana Zheng, head of marketing at Stallion Express, a leading e-commerce shipping company from Canada, “It will be an experience. An immersive experience. A personalized experience, even a social experience.”

Rated C for Candy – AMC Theatres Launches Private-Label Brand

The current line of Cinema Sweets launched in December and sales have been brisk. “We’re quite pleased,” he said, brandishing an R2-D2 popcorn holder from a Star Wars release years ago, “and it’s definitely been a good launch for us across more than 550 domestic theaters.”

How Hormel and JM Smucker Are Beating the Market

It’s not hard to understand why these companies have found success in a challenging environment. These are comfort food manufacturers (among other things!) whose identities, infrastructure, and revenue are built upon foods people reach for when they’re feeling down, feeling squeezed, or both.

Feel This Moment – Walmart Teams Up with Pitbull, Again

The Pitbull-launched intra-store restaurant is part of a larger, $9 billion plan to make “upscale changes” to stores and bring in more recognizable and coveted brands and influencers. For Walmart, pairing with the king of collaborations is a natural choice.

Report Reveals Scarcity of Retail Innovation

From number-crunching untold volumes of data to helping streamline inventory, supply chain, and predictive market trends, there is no digital limit to what AI can help operators achieve.

Consumers Award Better-for-You in New Product Survey

Despite some titans of the pantry and cookie jar winning in their categories (Keebler’s Chips Deluxe Fudgy in the Cookie category; Dr. Pepper Strawberries & Cream in Soft Drink), better-for-you offerings not only abounded but won several snacking categories.

Taking Stock of Wellness: Target Launches Wellness Initiative

The least expensive products will start at just $1.99 and range from apparel to supplements, vitamins to technology, and more. Many of the offerings will be exclusive to Target and complement its dedicated online wellness destination that features ideas, meal inspiration, and more.

Ketching Love: Understanding #TheKetchupChallenge

For ketchup manufacturers, #TheKetchupChallenge is a welcome crimson blip on the mid-winter radar. Ketchup sales are up 7.6% in the 12 weeks ending February 2, 2024, outpacing mustard, jams, honey – even mayonnaise – as unit sales are also up 2.0% during the same period.

Do Ultra-Processed Foods (UPFs) Cause Anxiety?

What came first – the Cheeto or the existential crisis? That’s the question a recent story in The New York Times hoped to answer. Though a definitive answer remains elusive, many scientists, nutritionists, and more …

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How Meijer Saved 10 Millions Pounds of Food

Through its partnership with Flashfood, an app which offers steep discounts on groceries nearing their sell-by dates, Meijer has become the first American retailer to save 10 million pounds of potentially wasted food. To put …

Poultry Power Meets Global Flavor

Chicken listings on restaurant menus have grown 6.4% in the past five years, outpacing the 4.7% of burgers and other beef-based items.

Adapting to Ashwagandha

The Indian herbal supplement Ashwagandha gaining ground in the West these days as a dietary supplement for a variety of uses.

The Food as Medicine Conundrum

Like many diets, indulgences, and vices, “everything in moderation” is a good rubric by which to evaluate one’s actions if implementing a food-as-medicine nutritional plan.

What’s Old is New Again: Harvesting Ancient Grains in F&B

“Consumers can expect to see ancient grains used as an alternative base for many products, ranging from cereal, to bread, to pancake batter. Expect to see them regularly on the menu in restaurants, especially in dishes with other healthy items such as salmon, vegetables, or tofu.”

Can Ghost Kitchens Be Resurrected?

Has the would-be darling of the pandemic-era – ghost kitchens – been resurrected by a partnership between Denny’s and Franklin Junction?

2023: The Year of Private Label Sets the Stage for 2024

Millennials grew up with store brands and they see them for what they are – a brand. Without a doubt, there is a transformation taking place in the private brand mainstream tier where products are moving away from strict equivalency to national brands and becoming true national brand alternatives.

Alcohol and No/Low Trends in 2024

Dozens of brands are experimenting in the nonalcoholic (NA) and low-alcohol space, offering consumers the opportunity to not so much choose sides but merely choose wisely according to their preferences, dietary needs, and personal goals. 

More Cheese, Please: 2024 Cheese Insights

People eat cheese for all sorts of reasons; this year, however, taste and health were the primary ones as 33% of consumers around the world considered it a necessary staple in their diets.