February 01, 2018



Stewart Ingredient Systems Inc.

Stewart Ingredient Systems, Inc. of Chicago, IL, is a leading supplier of fillings & toppings servicing the industrial bakery industry as well as dairy & confection producers. As a cutting-edge developer/manufacturer, SIS has earned favored supplier status with domestic & multinational category leaders. Still family-owned & operated, SIS has roots in the food industry going back more than 115 years leading up to today's full array of Low Water Activity fruit-based systems as well as Cheeses, Creams, Chocolates & Yogurt Combinations. SIS works directly with leading R&D & innovation centers to continuously evolve with rapidly changing consumer demands.

To learn more about this Food Institute Member, please visit: www.stewartis.com.


Hostess Brands acquired certain U.S. breakfast assets of Aryzta LLC, including one of its Chicago, IL, Cloverhill bakery facilities and the Big Texas and Cloverhill brands. In addition, the acquisition includes supply partnerships with several key retailers of Hostess. Full Story

Amazon is 22.5% cheaper than Walmart on average for certain food and beverages, according to a study by LendEDU. A basket of items cost $72.03 at Amazon compared to $92.95 at Walmart, with selected products including steak sauce, pasta, soft drinks, ketchup and spring water. Full Story

The Jordan Co. will acquire Carlisle FoodService Products from Carlisle Cos. for $750 million. Carslisle FoodService manufactures and markets professional-grade solutions for the restaurant, hospitality and other industries, including foodservice supplies, catering and transport equipment and meal delivery systems. Full Story

U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average of $143.56 on Valentine's Day, an increase from 2017's $136.57, according to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Those aged 25-34 will be the biggest spenders at an average of $202.76. More consumers plan on purchasing candy in 2018, with 55% expecting to give gifts of candy for a total of $1.8 billion in sales. Full Story

Kroger Co. will introduce its Scan, Bag, Go technology in 18 operating divisions in 2018, making the service available to customers at 400 stores. Customers can use a wireless handheld scanner or the Scan, Bag, Go app on their personal device to scan and bag products as they shop, and will soon have the ability to provide payment directly through the app. Full Story

Latest sales & earnings for food related companies (Updated Daily - FI Membership Required)

Kroger Co.'s Roundy's division unveiled upgrades to three Milwaukee, WI-area stores. One store will include a Starbucks, a beer and wine bar and a gourmet cheese shop, another will feature in-house smoked barbecue items, fresh smoothies and made-to-order heat and eat seafood entrees and the third will offer a larger housewares selection and improved foodservice options, reported Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Full Story

Hotel food and beverage spending increased 4.9% in 2017, totaling $48.7 billion, according to Technomic. Local and regional offerings are more in demand, as well as social and community spaces and upscale casual-dining experiences. Full Story

Target doubled its budget for upgrading its location in Boise, ID. The company plans to spend $2.2 million to update the store, which will include an order pickup and service counter to make it quicker and easier for customers coming to collect orders placed online, reported Idaho Statesman. Full Story

Albertsons Cos. will close a location in Phoenix, AZ. Workers at the store claim the location wasn't profitable, reported Phoenix Business Journal. Full Story

FDA recognized the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board as the first accreditation body under the voluntary Accredited Third-Party Certification Program created under FSMA. The organization is jointly owned by American National Standards Institute and the American Society for Quality based in Milwaukee, WI. Full Story

McDonald's will open a restaurant with both touchscreen kiosks and table service in Chicago, IL. The building will feature solar panels, energy-efficient equipment and a surrounding plaza with 70 trees, which the company hopes will attract younger consumers. Additionally, the restaurant will be designed to work well with mobile ordering and curbside pickup, reported New York Post. Full Story

Aldi's expanding footprint is attracting new shoppers, as 40% of first-time shoppers cited a desire to experience a new store, according to IRI. Aldi's customer satisfaction and repeat buying rates are high, with 80% of shoppers extremely or very satisfied with their experience, and 84% claiming they will definitely shop at Aldi again. Full Story

Food Lion added Shop & Earn to its MVP Customer Rewards Program, providing personalized offers to users of the loyalty program. Shop & Earn is being rolled out to all Food Lion stores following successful pilots in the Raleigh and Greensboro, NC, markets. Full Story

Cold brew coffee maker KonaRed is partnering with beverage incubator L.A. Libations, an innovation partner of The Coca-Cola Co. The partnership will allow KonaRed to acquire the strategic guidance and operational resources of the L.A. Libations team, including the company's connections with retailers and distributors nationwide, reported Pacific Business News. Full Story

Cargill Protein is investing $4.2 million at its Columbia, SC, plant to expand beef grinding capabilities. The precision grinding equipment will expand the plant's production by 15%. Full Story

Dairy-free beverage startup Mooala raised $5 million through a round of funding. Mooala makes plant-based almond and banana milk sold in Whole Foods Market and Albertsons-Safeway. The company expects to use the funding to expand across the Midwest, Southwest and Northeast, reported Dallas Business Journal. Full Story (Dallas Business Journal Subscription Required)

Sales of jackfruit at restaurants rose 131% in 2017, according to Upserve's State of the Restaurant Industry Report. Demand for cauliflower has been growing since 2015 and is expected to continue its upward momentum, while interest in turmeric, sorghum and fermented foods is expected to falter during 2018, reported New York Post. Full Story

Chick-fil-A is looking to open its first location in Hawaii. The company is currently searching for spots around Oahu, and would join Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers in looking to open its first Hawaii location, reported Atlanta Business Chronicle. Full Story

New Product News: Legal Hot Sauce introduced Molho De Pimenta hot sauce. Full Story ... So Delicious Dairy Free launched Organic Almondmilks with Cashew in three varieties. Full Story ... Halo Top Creamery launched seven non-dairy and vegan-friendly flavors. Full Story

New Store News: Costco will open a location in Clovis, CA, reported Fresno Bee. Full Story ... Reid's Fine Foods will open a location in Charlotte, NC, reported The Charlotte Observer. Full Story ... The TA Restaurant Group opened a Fazoli's location in Oklahoma City, OK. Full Story ... Shipley Do-Nuts will open 25 locations in Oklahoma through 2021. Full Story

Executives on the Move: Ronnoco Coffee named Terry McDaniel CEO. Full Story ... AgroFresh Solutions named Paul Nselel vice president and global general manager. Full Story


Canada's Competition Bureau alleges Canada Bread Co. Ltd. and George Weston Ltd. communicated directly to raise prices in lockstep, then met with five retailers, who accepted the hike on the condition that their competitors would as well. The agency stated the wholesalers agreed to boost bread prices in tandem for more than a decade starting in 2001, with the approval of Loblaw Cos., Walmart Canada, Sobeys, Metro and Giant Tiger, reported CBC. Full Story

Metro will test scan-and-go technology and increase the number of self-checkout machines in its grocery stores to offset higher minimum wages in Ontario and Quebec, Canada. The company has automated self-scanning checkouts in 30 Metro stores in Ontario, and plans to add them in seven more stores by the end of summer and at six Food Basics discount banner in the next few months, reported CBC. Full Story

Sainsbury's purchased the Nectar loyalty card business from Canada-based Aimia for $85 million. The acquisition is expected to boost the supermarket group's control of customer data, reported Reuters. Full Story

Unilever agreed to acquire the business of Romania-based Betty Ice SRL, an ice cream producer. Unilever's South Central Europe Ice Cream division and Betty Ice will operate as a standalone unit within Unilever. Full Story

The Coca-Cola Co. plans to close two UK sites by 2019. The company will close a manufacturing site in Milton Keynes and a distribution center in Northampton, and will transfer production and warehousing elsewhere in the country, reported BBC. Full Story

France may ban "buy one, get one free" offers on supermarket food. The country's agriculture minister claimed the change would allow retailers to safely reduce margins on other products and pay producers better, while fighting against food waste, reported Reuters. Full Story


Southeast Asia is a "hotspot" for misuse of antibiotics in food, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. The agency found occurrences of antibiotic resistance among 500,000 people in 22 countries, reported New York Post. Full Story


Sysco Corp. and US Foods are separately suing chicken processors for alleged price fixing. The named companies, including Tyson Foods, Pilgrim's Pride, Sanderson Farms and Perdue Farms, were accused of colluding to limit breeder birds and curb the supply of chickens, reported Reuters. Full Story

Restaurant owners in Richmond, VA, are pushing back against a plan to raise the city's meals tax in order to pay for new school construction. The city wants to increase tax by 1.5 percentage points, which would raise the combined sales and city meals tax to 12.8%, reported The Seattle Times. Full Story (Seattle Times Subscription Required)

USDA denied a petition to remove the line speed limit at poultry slaughterhouses. The National Chicken Council's proposal, which would have increased the line speed for some workers, received over 100,000 comments. Full Story

The Kodiak City, AK, Council approved a ban on some plastic bags, effective April 22. Disposable plastic shopping bags will be banned, with store owners able to offer customers bags from their current inventories for eight months, reported Modesto Bee. Full Story

USDA delivered about $6.8 billion, $313 million and $130 million in payments between January 2008 and September 2016 through the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, Livestock Indemnity Program and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-Raised Fish Program, respectively. USDA noted difference in payments could be traced to regional differences in the frequency and severity of natural disasters. Full Report

USDA requested an extension and revision to an existing information collection regarding mechanically-tenderized beef products. The agency will accept public comment for 60 days. Full Notice


The 2018 California avocado crop was forecast at 374.6 million-lbs., a nearly two-fold increase from 2017, according to the California Avocado Commission. The forecast was issued after an extensive review of California avocado groves following wind and fire damage. Full Story

Meanwhile, avocado producers in California, Mexico and Chile are expected to ship about 50.5 million-lbs. of the product week of Feb. 4, according to the Hass Avocado Board. Producers in the three regions and the Dominican Republic shipped about 47.0 million-lbs. the week of Jan. 28. Full Story

U.S. pork exports are growing at a record pace, valued at $5.9 billion between January and November 2017, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation. However, trade disputes could hamper further growth, including retribution from China over tariffs on solar panels and washing machines, according to a National Pork Producers Council consultant, reported Reuters. Full Story

Total inventory of U.S. cattle and calves was reported at 94.4 million head on Jan. 1, a 1% increase from 2017, according to USDA. Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market totaled 14.0 million head Jan. 1, up 7% when compared to the year-ago period. Full Report

U.S shell eggs broken totaled 189 million dozen during December 2017, a 3% decrease from December 2016, according to USDA. However, the total was slightly higher than the November 2017 total. Full Report

All sheep and lambs inventory in the U.S. totaled about 5.2 million head Jan. 1, down slightly from 2017, according to USDA. All goats and kids inventory in the U.S. totaled about 2.6 million, down 1% from 2017. Full Report

The tanner crab fishery is set to open in the eastern and western districts of Prince William Sound, according to Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials. A maximum of 50 pots may be operated by participating vessels from March 1 to March 31, reported The Cordova Times. Full Story

USDA launched an electronic data platform to deliver market price information to the commodities industry. The web-based platform, dubbed Market Analysis and Reporting Services, presents detailed data-sets to support competitive markets for producers. Full Story

Norway-based Nordic Aquafarms intends to build a land-based salmon farm in Belfast, ME. The company will initially invest $150 million, and signed agreements to purchase 40 acres abutting Little River, reported Press Herald. Full Story

The New England Fishery Management Council expanded the amount of coral habitat preserved in the Atlantic Ocean. The new protections mean 100,000-sq. miles of deep-sea coral habitat would be protected from the Canadian border to Florida, after numerous fishing groups claimed a larger increase would be unfairly punitive to the industry, reported Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Full Story

Cargill made a minority investment in Ireland-based Cainthus, a machine vision company that will bring facial recognition technology to dairy farms. The software uses images to identify individual animals based on hide patterns and facial recognition, and tracks key data such as food and water intake, heat detection and behavior patterns. Full Story


USDA offered its list of items to purchase for the National School Lunch Program and other Federal food nutrition assistance programs. Solicitations will be issued in the near future for deliveries beginning July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 for canned fruit, frozen fruit, dried fruit, bottled and frozen juice and fresh fruit products. Vegetables, Fruits and Tree Nuts


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