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The Food Institute Blog

The Food Institute Blog

Posted on November 15, 2016 by Bryan Wassel

As 2016 comes to an end, producers and retailers are looking at what the future will hold for the food industry. While analysts differ on many fronts, both Mintel and Innova Market Insights had plant-based foods and sustainability among their top ... Read More

Posted in Trends  
Posted on July 01, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

Several trends stood out at the 2015 Summer Fancy Food Show as companies capitalized on consumer demand. Some long-running flavors also made an appearance, whether continuing their existing trajectories or becoming slightly altered as consumers lo ... Read More

Posted in Trends   Retail   Foodservice  
Posted on May 19, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

As sales of staples such as soda decline, contenders are appearing across the beverage industry. Dairy hasn't gone untouched, with plant-based alternatives growing rapidly. Other botanical beverages are trying to ride the same wave that gave rise ... Read More

Posted in Retail   Beverages  
Posted on May 18, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

While Millennials have been shifting the landscape with their unique spending habits, they tend to shift to reflect older generations' after they settle down and start families, according to a study by Goldman Sachs. Younger Millennials' shopping ... Read More

Posted in Millennials   Retail  
Posted on May 13, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

The world is adapting to the rise of online shopping options, including the use of digital options for brick-and-mortar trips. Each region has proven an early adopter of certain technologies over others, and North American shoppers are the most li ... Read More

Posted in Technology   Retail  
Posted on May 08, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

Different fast food chains are finding success in different aspects of social media, according to a study by Unmetric. While all the major chains have a presence, they vary in how they respond to messages, where their fans are located, and how man ... Read More

Posted in Foodservice   Marketing  
Posted on May 06, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

While online grocery is steadily growing, its pace will likely pick up as Millennials and Generation Z continue growing their purchasing power. Both generations grew up with digital technology, and the vast majority of both are either willing to s ... Read More

Posted in Retail   Millennials  
Posted on May 01, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

More and more major companies are turning away from palm oil as a bid to attract consumers concerned about environmental damage. McDonald's made the announcement in April, joining Dunkin' Brands and Yum! Brands Inc. in their pledges to source only ... Read More

Posted in Foodservice  
Posted on April 28, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

Consumer demand for healthier and more transparent products is shaking up the entire supply chain, from producers through retailers and foodservice outlets. Sales of Non-GMO Project Verified products topped $11 billion in 2014, while Chipotle Mexi ... Read More

Posted in GMOs   Antibiotics   Foodservice  
Posted on April 24, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

Even with restaurant chains offering the same meals across the country, certain foods are more popular in some areas than other. Spread Sheet took a look at meal-ordering patterns on GrubHub across the country, analyzing the most common choices fo ... Read More

Posted in Foodservice  
Posted on April 22, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

The continued merging of food and health could lead to an increase in merger activity as both food and drug companies jump on board the trend to take advantage of the booming market. The market is expected to be worth $280 billion in 2018, double ... Read More

Posted in Mergers   Health   Acquisitions  
Posted on April 20, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

Traditional sources of beef and protein such as beef, pork, chicken and turkey are losing ground as consumers more regularly eat meals without them. Sixty-two percent of consumers eat a meatless meal at least once weekly, while 45% of younger cons ... Read More

Posted in Seafood   Produce  
Posted on April 14, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

Last winter's snowfall in the Northeast was bad enough that it could hurt more than regional chains, with Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. expecting its same-store sales down by 1 to 1.6 percentage points thanks to slower sales in major markets such as N ... Read More

Posted in Foodservice  
Posted on April 13, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

Millennials are more likely to spend their money on intangible goods, such as fun experiences, than previous generations. This trend carries over to the food world, where a study by Eventbrite found three out of four Millennials attended three or ... Read More

Posted in Millennials  
Posted on April 07, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

The kinds of venture capital investments that made Silicon Valley into a tech powerhouse are becoming involved with agriculture and food, which saw investments increase by 54% to $486 million last year, according to Dow Jones VentureSource. While ... Read More

Posted in Technology  
Posted on April 03, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

Facing pressure from dollar stores and other deep discounters, Walmart is working to hold onto its title as the country's low-price leader. One of its biggest initiatives is pressuring suppliers to cut costs on their products, which would allow th ... Read More

Posted in Retail   Produce  
Posted on March 31, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

Larger food companies may increase acquisitions of smaller organic producers in the wake of Kraft Foods Group and H.J. Heinz Co.'s merger, according to analysts. The two companies could be busy dealing with the merger for the next one to two years ... Read More

Posted in Kraft-Heinz   Organic   Mergers   Acquisitions  
Posted on March 27, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

The overall liquid refreshment beverage sector grew 2.2% in 2014 even as soda sales declined for the tenth straight year. Overall soda volume fell 0.9%, with Coke as the biggest seller and Pepsi overtaking Diet Coke and reaching second place for t ... Read More

Posted in Beverages  
Posted on March 23, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

While consumer tastes seem to be shifting away from soda and toward healthier beverages, Coca-Cola Co.'s CEO Muhtar Kent believes the company's best course of action is simply selling more cola. The company's plans include earmarking an additional ... Read More

Posted on March 20, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

As the U.S. becomes more multicultural, the tastes and buying habits of younger consumers are reflecting growing ethnic populations. Multicultural consumer purchasing power reached $3.4 trillion in 2014, and has been growing at more than doub ... Read More

Posted on March 16, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

After losing ground to the Greek yogurt market General Mills' Yoplait brand is once again growing, boosted by a reformulation that reduced sugar content by 25% in combination with a new marketing campaign. The result was ... Read More

Posted on March 13, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

Even though the use of newspaper circulars is decreasing, they remain important for attracting customers. When Walmart shifted its marketing funds over to digital advertisements in several markets, reducing spending on newspaper circulars, traffic ... Read More

Posted on March 09, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

McDonald's decision to remove human antibiotics from its U.S. chicken supply will be costly, and analysts believe that price will be passed on to suppliers, not franchisees or consumers. Suppliers, including Tyson Foods Inc., have two years to mak ... Read More

Posted on March 06, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

The attempt to reduce the use of antibiotics on animals is growing, as concerns grow over the possibility of superbugs that are resistant to medicine used on both humans and livestock. Just this week, McDonald's announced plans to source only anti ... Read More

Posted on March 02, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

Dealing with falling consumer interest, Target plans to reignite the spark with a makeover for its grocery department. The offer more organic and natural products, making up for ground lost after it focused too heavily prices and in expanding its ... Read More

Posted on February 27, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

While economic stress has taken its toll on the family restaurant industry, cheaper gas prices and improving employment are improving prospects. For the past several years casual dining has been losing customers to the booming fast casual industry ... Read More

Posted on February 24, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

While 80% of shoppers use lists, 74% still make a combination of planned and unplanned purchases, according to the NPD Group's Bites of Insights: The New Grocery Shopper. Shoppers are more likely to add items to their lists when they fall ... Read More

Posted on February 20, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

While the primary reason active Whole Foods Market customers sometimes shop at other stores is for lower prices, other factors can also drive them to alternatives. Simply following common market trends, such as the increased availability of natura ... Read More

Posted on February 13, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

The Kellogg Co.'s breakfast food sales declined 7.7% in fourth quarter 2014, which CEO John Bryant attributed to changing views among weight watchers hurting its flagship Special K brand. While healthy eaters previously turned to Special K, it was ... Read More

Posted on February 13, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

J.M. Smucker Co.'s performance in its third quarter was hurt by lower volumes in its coffee division, which were down 9.2% in the 12 weeks ending Jan. 28, according to Morgan Stanley Research. The company attributed the declines in Folgers coffee ... Read More

Posted on February 09, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

Consumer demand for health is still strong, and the willingness to pay more for exactly what they want is growing. While AlixPartners found the average consumer would pay 6.2% more for a product that had the specific health benefits they were look ... Read More

Posted in Millennials  
Posted on February 06, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

Technomic's 2015 Center of the Plate: Beef & Pork Consumer Trend Report shows a significant demand for pork and beef products, with the majority  of consumers eat beef and pork either as an entree, entree topping or ingredient at ... Read More

Posted on February 04, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

Earlier expectations that Dollar Tree Inc. would only need to divest 300 stores to gain FTC approval for its merger with Family Dollar Stores Inc. may have proven wrong, and the Federal Trade Commission is now reviewing more than 500 stores, repor ... Read More

Posted on February 03, 2015 by Bryan Wassel

Costco has had some success with its organic options in recent years, and is in a position to overtake WHOLE FOODS MARKETS and TRADER JOE’S as the number one organic retailer in the country. With about $3 billion in U.S. organic retail sales ... Read More