Broad Street Licensing Group Food News

Trick or Treat: a “K-Cup” for Beer?

October 31st, 2014

K cup for beer

Ever want a fresh glass of beer but didn’t have any in the fridge and didn’t feel like going out to the store or the local watering hole?

Enter SYNEK. The company is using a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a K cup-style device that would let consumers have their favorite beers at home.

So far, the campaign has raised over a half-million dollars.

Much like the Keurig system, vacuum-sealed cartridges would put the brews at the fingertips of thirsty owners. The machine can regulate temperature to insure the beer is served the way the user likes.

The device will sell for $349 (unless you pre-order one for $299), and each cartridge will sell for a buck. SYNEK plans to ship sometime in 2015. Below is their promotional video:

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Chiquita Sold to Brazilian Firms

October 30th, 2014

ChiquitaSmoothies

Even as Chiquita extends its brand into the chilled aisle with licensed fruit smoothies, the parent company is being sold to Brazilian investment firm Safra Group and juice producer Cutrale Group for an estimated $1.3bn.

Shareholders of Chiquita had earlier rejected a merger with Ireland’s Fyffes, a fruit importer in what would have been a stock swap. The new company had planned to reincorporate in Dublin to take advantage of tax reductions from so-called inversion. Inversions involve an established company moving offshore to reduce its future US tax obligations, a scheme that has attracted negative scrutiny, both in the media and in Washington (where as expected, opinion is split along party lines).

Since Chiquita sells produce and some added-value produce products under both the Chiquita and Fresh Express brands, this could signal a shift to more branding in a part of the store that traditionally is more about commodity prices and the supply chain. Consumer preferences for “healthier” eating could enure to the benefit of Chiquita and its new corporate owners.

Chiquita will retain its brand names and become a subsidiary of the new Cutrale-Safra Group.

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Global Sales of Scotch Whisky Drop

October 29th, 2014

Global Scotch whisky sales fell in 2012 (the last year for complete figures) by 0.8% to 96MM cases. (1.)

Fourteen of the category’s top 25 markets declined.

In Europe, France, Spain and the UK led the fall with Spain losing up to 60% of its sales volume as the economy there continued its torpor. Fears of Europe slipping into another recession undoubtedly put a damper on festivities and partying.

Asia is no longer a “slam dunk” for spirits sellers with sales off in China, Thailand and South Korea.

However, analysts think Scotch’s overall growth potential is rosy with sales up 3% in the US market to 8.5MM cases in 2012. Emerging markets like Russia and Brazil also showed strength, though the rates of increase declined (Brazil was up 7%). Beyond the usual suspects, including India, emerging Scotch markets now number Burma, Indonesia, Colombia and Mexico.

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1. Souce: Just-drinks.com

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Will Remy (and Cognac) Have a “Dead Cat Bounce”?

October 28th, 2014

Remy_Cointreau_logo

According to Just-Drinks.com, Remy Cointreau‘s Remy Martin cognac has been hit particularly hard by efforts in China to combat corruption from excessive gifts.

Chinese government officials and businessmen helped drive enormous growth in the cognac market by using the spirit as an expensive gift (sometimes as a bribe).

Strict regulations put in place by the Chinese government have seen Remy’s operating profits fall from 40% generated by its China unit to 10% of overall profits.

Now analysts are thinking that the brand is due for a “dead cat bounce.”

As in “if dropped from sufficiently high, even a dead cat will bounce.”

The problem with this thinking is that the cat at the end of the bounce is still dead.

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Do You Know Your Food Safety History?

October 27th, 2014

While some elements in our political circus are against most or all government regulation, those who know the history of America’s food chain know that government regulation of food has taken us from a “Wild West” of dangerous practices to a much-safer world today. There’s still a lot more that can be done, but these two articles (Part One and Part Two) tell the story of America’s food safety.

Humans have been getting sick (and dying) from food-borne pathogens for as long as we have been eating & drinking. The first reported case of it was when Alexander the Great died in 323 BC from typhoid fever, which is spread by contaminated food & water. A fungus that contaminated the bread eaten in Salem, MA led to accusations of witchcraft and the Salem Witch Trials in the late 1600s.

Despite recurring incidents of food-borne illness, the collection of data about the problem is relatively new. When Upton Sinclair published The Jungle in 1906 (his much-raking fictionalized expose of the meat industry), president Theodore Roosevelt pressed Congress to pass the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Federal Meat Inspection Act the same year. Most Americans are unaware the focus of the acts were on “adulteration,” that is, the mislabeling of food & beverages and their ingredients. The laws were no small achievement at a time when harmful additives, dangerous drugs and unsanitary ingredients were common. Out of these laws came US Department of Agriculture meat inspection and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Still, progress was slow. An outbreak of typhoid fever from contaminated oysters in 1924-25 killed 150 and sickened another 1,350, yet it wasn’t until 1969 that the FDA began a screening program for shellfish, milk and foodservice establishments. The next year, the Centers for Disease Control began keeping detailed records of food pathogen outbreaks for the first time.

The next increase in food safety efforts was not until the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) which stresses prevention of food diseases by focusing the FDA on regulating the way foods are grown, harvested and processed.

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Imagine Dragons: “It’s Time” Music Video

October 24th, 2014

More “Friday Funnies.”

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CPG Houses Facing Changing Marketplace

October 22nd, 2014

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Where will tomorrow’s growth come from in packaged foods?

Experts abound, and some predict that smaller, more-nimble manufacturers will dominate the marketplace.

This report by the consulting firm Strategy& (formerly Booz Allen) insists that Whole Foods, club stores and dollar stores will take more and more market share away from conventional grocery stores.

Of course, pundits have been predicting the demise of the grocery store for decades, yet that model soldiers on. Grocery stores tend to become complacent because EVERYBODY EATS. During the Great Recession, food retailers were the only ones that made money (though not all conventional grocery stores were profitable, since consumers shifted their shopping patterns to value, discount and other retail options). We recall the huge kick in the *** that Walmart gave conventional grocery stores when it entered the food category years ago.

And quite frankly, many grocery retailers need that kick, as their stores had become dark, dirty and old-fashioned.

Today, the top-performing retailers continue to innovate and thrive, while those who don’t like A&P have shuffled from one crisis to another.

There is no “one size fits all” way for conventional grocery chains to take on the challenges of alternative channels of distribution, online shopping or specialty retailers. For example, Wegman’s and Publix consistently score among the top retailers in the nation based on attractive stores,  appealing merchandising and product mixes that delight their customers.

And there’s a real danger in projecting how things are now into the future. Several years ago, it looked as though Walgreen’s and other drug stores would take a big bite out of the food marketplace, but that simply hasn’t happened. Whether that’s because Americans aren’t ready to swap shopping at the grocery store for picking up dinner and a prescription remains to be seen.

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Infographic on Consumer Protein Preferences

October 21st, 2014

NPDProteinPerceptions

Thanks to the NPD Group and Food Business News.

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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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