Broad Street Licensing Group Food News

New Trends in “Natural” Foods

October 20th, 2014

Longtime readers will already know we’re skeptical about the spread of “all natural” foods.

The term has no actual meaning, since it is not regulated by any government agency the way “organic” is.

Maple-flavored wood chips could be sold as “all natural.”

Still, the term is beloved by consumers who lap up anything with an “all natural” label. The trend is here to stay, and so trendlets are blooming all over. Here are some from Food Business News:

  1. New sources of protein, including vegetable-based and vegetable-animal proteins
  2. “Paleo” diet-inspired packaged foods claiming to be free of grains, processed sugars, dairy and legumes
  3. Cause-related foods where companies donate a portion of profits to good causes like research to cure diseases
  4. Dialing it back to “old,” including traditional ingredients
  5. Coconut: as in gluten-free, raw tortillas made with coconut meat, coconut water and Himalayan salt
  6. Probiotics are moving out from yogurt to other things
  7. Vegan in disguise: appealing to the mainstream as better-for-you and environmentally beneficial
  8. Cosmetics from food, such as Shoosha- organic skin care products using green tea, hazelnut crème coffee and coconut cream
  9. Clean label, a trend moving across the Pond from Europe with simple, additive-free labels
  10. Transparency: more products are coming with a “story” about their sourcing
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The Start of the NHL Season: The Black Keys “Lonely Boy”

October 17th, 2014

Here’s our favorite from the HBO Special About the NY Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers (we ARE named for Broad Street in Philadelphia).

 

And live on “Letterman.”

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Troubled Darden Ousts its Own Board

October 16th, 2014

darden logo

This space has been critical of Darden for a long time.

The restaurant chain operator has been in trouble for a long time, with sales slumping and investors demanding change.

Hoping to stem that unrest, the company sold the Red Lobster banner in May of this year.

Now activist investor group Starboard Value L.P. has taken over all the seats of the parent of Olive Garden in a stunning rebuke of the company’s previous management team. Starboard had put Darden shareholders on notice in September of its intentions if it prevailed in the shareholder meeting October 10, publishing a 294 page critique entitled “Transforming Darden Restaurants.” Among the moves the investor group plans are:

  1. Operational improvements
  2. Possible sale or spinoff of Darden’s real estate assets
  3. Separating Olive Garden and the 465-unit Longhorn Steakhouse into a separate company
  4. Launching a domestic and international franchising program

Ops improvements are boiler-plate for any change-makers, so the real improvement in the bottom line may come from the sale of the company’s real estate. Chain restaurants have found it easier to operate without actually owning their doors, and franchising has been a generally successful path for avoiding expenses and transferring risk to franchisees.

The new board identified its first priority will be hiring a “transformative” CEO.

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Still Time to Register For Today’s Grocerant Webinar

October 15th, 2014

Show

The National Restaurant Association will reprise the panel discussion I hosted at the NRA Show in Chicago this past May today at 4PM Eastern time.’

Entitled “The Grocerants Are Eating Your Lunch: How Grocery Stores, C-Stores, Drug Stores and Home Delivery Are Taking Away Market Share,” the discussion focused on how retail and non-traditional food outlets are taking away more and more masket share from traditional restaurants.

The panelists included myself; C-Store guru, Jim Matorin and Mike Sherlock of Wawa.

Jim Matorin, one of my panelists and I will be available online for answering virtual questions.

The webinar is free and you can register here to follow along.

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Don’t Miss Tomorrow’s Free Webinar on Grocerants & Channel Blurring

October 14th, 2014

Show

The National Restaurant Association will reprise the panel discussion I hosted at the NRA Show in Chicago this past May tomorrow, October 15th at 4PM Eastern time.’

Entitled “The Grocerants Are Eating Your Lunch: How Grocery Stores, C-Stores, Drug Stores and Home Delivery Are Taking Away Market Share,” the discussion focused on how retail and non-traditional food outlets are taking away more and more masket share from traditional restaurants.

The panelists included myself; C-Store guru, Jim Matorin and Mike Sherlock of Wawa.

Jim Matorin, one of my panelists and I will be available for answering virtual questions.

The webinar is free and you can register here to follow along.

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Free Webinar on Alternative Food Marketing This Wednesday

October 13th, 2014

Show

The National Restaurant Association will reprise the panel discussion I hosted at the NRA Show in Chicago this past May on this Wednesday, October 15th at 4PM Eastern time. Entitled “The Grocerants Are Eating Your Lunch: How Grocery Stores, C-Stores, Drug Stores and Home Delivery Are Taking Away Market Share,” the discussion focused on how retail and non-traditional food outlets are taking away more and more masket share from traditional restaurants. The panelists included myself; C-Store guru, Jim Matorin and Mike Sherlock of Wawa.

Jim Matorin, one of my panelists and I will be available for answering virtual questions.

The webinar is free and you can register here to follow along.

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The Kings of Leon’s “Molly’s Chambers”

October 10th, 2014

 

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Webinar on Channel Blurring October 15th: Register Now

October 9th, 2014

Show

The National Restaurant Association will reprise the panel discussion I hosted at the NRA Show in Chicago this past May on October 15th at 4PM Eastern time. Entitled “The Grocerants Are Eating Your Lunch: How Grocery Stores, C-Stores, Drug Stores and Home Delivery Are Taking Away Market Share,” the discussion focused on how retail and non-traditional food outlets are taking away more and more masket share from traditional restaurants. The panelists included myself; C-Store guru, Jim Matorin and Mike Sherlock of Wawa.

Jim Matorin, one of my panelists and I will be available for answering virtual questions.

The webinar is free and you can register here to follow along.

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Free Webinar From Our NRA Show Session

October 8th, 2014

Show

The National Restaurant Association will reprise the panel discussion I hosted at the NRA Show in Chicago this past May on October 15th at 4PM Eastern time. Entitled “The Grocerants Are Eating Your Lunch: How Grocery Stores, C-Stores, Drug Stores and Home Delivery Are Taking Away Market Share,” the discussion focused on how retail and non-traditional food outlets are taking away more and more masket share from traditional restaurants. The panelists included myself; C-Store guru, Jim Matorin and Mike Sherlock of Wawa.

Jim Matorin, one of my panelists and I will be available for answering virtual questions.

The webinar is free and you can register here to follow along.

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Is Starbucks Flirting with a Lawsuit from Guinness?

October 7th, 2014

starbucks-new-logo

According to this news item, Starbucks is introducing a new coffee offering that tastes “like Guinness and other dark Irish beers.”

The question here will be: how close does Starbucks plan on getting to the iconic Guinness brand?

The coffee giant calls its new drink “Dark Barrel Latte,” but it’s quite possible that its baristas will tell customers it’s “just like Guinness but without the beer.” After all, who’s going to object?

Well, Guinness for one.

The company has a global licensing presence in the world of brand extensions (Broad Street Licensing Group has done work for the brand, both in the US and Europe, though we no longer represent Guinness). F&B brands are very careful about the products they license, and it would seem that Starbucks is raising the ante here by offering a Guinness-like latte without going through the process of licensing the Guinness brand. Can they do it?

Look-alike and taste-alike products are everywhere in the food & beverage business. But Americans are extremely loyal to their brands, and Guinness may decide at some point that “imitation is NOT the sincerest form of flattery.” Starbucks has run afoul of the law in licensing before when it voided a contract with Kraft for bulk coffee sold in supermarkets (the company had to pay Kraft a hefty settlement).

Stay tuned.

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