Broad Street Licensing Group Food News

Brazilians Buy Margaritaville Chain

April 22nd, 2014

margaritaville_logo

In one of the more bizarre developments in the restaurant biz, a Brazilian franchisee of the Margaritaville casual dining concept, is buying the company.

International Meal Co. Holdings will purchase the 10-unit chain (plus the two-unit Land Shark Bar & Gill sub-brand).

The Margaritaville concept grew out of the famous Jimmy Buffet song, and while it would seem to be an odd marriage, the singer has had a close personal relationship with IMC’s CEO, Juan Carlos Torres. The company operates 386 units in airports, shopping malls and highway rest stops in Brazil, Mexico and the Caribbean under the Frango Assado and Viena brands. Margaritaville premier location is in Las Vegas’s Flamingo hotel casino, but IMC will expand the concept to Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Viracopos this year.

The move seems doubly bizarre given Brazil’s tanking economy, but IMC has the backing of Advent International, a $24bn private-equity firm.

Besides the restaurants, the Margaritaville empire includes hotels, casinos, retail shops and even a line of frozen foods.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter


One Month Left Before Our Seminar at National Restaurant Show

April 21st, 2014

NRA logo

There is just one month before our seminar at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago on Sunday May 18th entitled The Grocerants Are Eating Your Lunch: How Grocery Stores, C-Stores, Drug Stores and Home Delivery Are Taking Away Market Share. If you’re planning on attending the Show, be sure to attend the seminar from 11-12. And if you’re not planning on attending, please call us at Broad Street Licensing Group about how we can help you tackle the retail marketplace.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter


Broadway Revival of “Cabaret”

April 18th, 2014

This has nothing to do with food & beverage, and it’s not at all funny (for our series of “Friday Funnies”), but I was lucky enough to see the new revival of “Cabaret” starring Alan Cumming and Michelle Williams last night. Here is the ending of the original production in 1998:

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter


Euromonitor: The Future of Whiskey Globally

April 17th, 2014

Euromonitor-logo

You might not know it, but a lot of scotch whiskey is plain fake.

At least, that’s the assertion of this article from Euromonitor.

The global demand for whiskey has tempted scalawags and con artists to counterfeit aged scotch and other high-value whiskeys, especially in emerging markets like China where sophistication about drinks not native to the region leaves some consumers likely to get skinned. The rise in prices has made opening shuttered distilleries or adding capacity once again attractive to producers, and new methods are coming online for verifying the quality of products sold.

The success of scotch means that Irish whiskey should not be far behind. With a milder taste than the “peat” of Scottish whiskey, Irish blends and single-malts are gaining in popularity. But the clear short term winner would appear to be American whiskeys like bourbon. Maker’s Mark‘s erroneous and quickly-reversed decision to cut its alcoholic content is a case study of what NOT to do, evidenced by Diageo’s decision to raise the ABV of its Bullet brand (called “over-proofing“). The trend was started by small, boutique American whiskeys who have taken over the allure that craft beers had.

Other trends include the emergence of Japanese whiskey and the rise of Canadian whiskey, long appreciated for its sensible price, though stodgy flavors (that’s now changing).

Thanks to our good friend, Liesbeth Buffels at Dirafrost in Belgium for this story on whiskey trends globally.

Be sure to join us at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago on Sunday May 18th for our seminar The Grocerants Are Eating Your Lunch: How Grocery Stores, C-Stores, Drug Stores and Home Delivery Are Taking Away Market Share.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter


You Want Fries With Your Bacon?

April 17th, 2014
bacon wiki

By Made20rder555 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

While the number of new products with bacon dropped in 2013, bacon’s influence in food is stronger than ever.

Two trends underscore this:

  1. The rise of bacon-flavored pet foods (human & pet food are strangely linked)
  2. The repositioning of bacon-flavored foods by some CPG houses as “premium” offerings.

For example, Mondelez (the snacks portion of the old Kraft Foods) has released bacon-flavored Ritz crackers. Additionally, Kraft (the grocery left-overs from the split) has released Oscar Mayer Butcher Thick-Cut bacon and Hormel is countering the sea of applewood-smoked bacon items with cherrywood and pecanwood varieties.

Be sure to join us at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago on Sunday May 18th for our seminar The Grocerants Are Eating Your Lunch: How Grocery Stores, C-Stores, Drug Stores and Home Delivery Are Taking Away Market Share.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter


Top Scotch Drinking Countries

April 16th, 2014

The Scotch Whiskey Association has released its report about which countries drink the most of the spirit based on Pounds Sterling (per million) with columns for 2013/2102 and percentage changed:

USA 818.7 758 8
France 434 434 0
Singapore 329.7 339.2 -3
Spain 180 195.3 -8
Germany 172 168.8 1.8
South Africa 163.5 161.6 1
Taiwan 144.6 165.4 -12.5
South Korea 115.4 135.7 -15
Mexico 109.8 91.8 19.5
Brazil 99.1 83.6 18.5
United Arab Emirates 91.5 80.4 14
Australia 84 78.6 7
Latvia 80 79.1 1
India 68.7 61.6 11.5
Venezuela 67.2 102.2 -34
Canada 65.7 63.4 3.6
Poland 60 43.3 38
Japan 60 70.1 -15
Panama 57.9 52.6 10
Netherlands 55.8 49.3 13

The same results by volume of 70cl bottles:

France 177.8 million 153.9m 15.5
USA 127.3m 127.5m -0.17
Singapore 66.8m 64.2m 4
India 61.1m 58.6m 4
Brazil 58m 46.1m 26
Spain 57.5m 60m -4
South Africa 57.3m 53.2m 8
Germany 52.3m 52.5m -0.55
Mexico 40.6m 35.3m 15
Australia 30.2m 26.5m 14
Poland 26.7m 19.2m 39
South Korea 23.5m 26.8m -12
Thailand 23.3m 33.6m -30
Venezuela 21.5m 31.7m -32
UAE 21.4m 19.2m 12
Taiwan 19.5m 22.3m -12
Latvia 18.2m 14m 30
Netherlands 17.4m 15.7m 11
China 16.7m 22.9m -27
Italy 15.6m 16m -3

Be sure to join us at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago on Sunday May 18th for our seminar The Grocerants Are Eating Your Lunch: How Grocery Stores, C-Stores, Drug Stores and Home Delivery Are Taking Away Market Share.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter


Florida Grocery Stores Still Liquor-Free

April 15th, 2014

While consumers in California and 34 other states are used to purchasing all sorts of wine & spirits at their local grocery stores, those in other parts of the country can only dream.

And Florida won’t be joining California anytime soon after lobbyists for the state’s liquor stores succeeded in blocking a bill that would have allowed sales of hard booze in food stores.

State Sen. Bill Galvano has thrown in the towel and withdrawn his bill (SB 804) that would have repealed the rule that supermarkets, drugstores and even Walmart could not sell hard liquor alongside groceries. Florida’s law was enacted in 1935 shortly after the repeal of Prohibition, but before the rise of today’s retail giants. Supermarkets can sell beer & wine, but hard booze must be under a separate roof.

ABC, the largest distributor of spirits, made the usual argument that repealing the regulation would put alcohol in the hands of teenagers (as if they can’t get it already), when most observers said this was about the competitive advantage liquor stores have over grocery chains. Target and Walmart were backing the repeal, and cited evidence that sales to minors have actually declined in states where the separation of hard booze and food have been lifted.

Be sure to join us at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago on Sunday May 18th for our seminar The Grocerants Are Eating Your Lunch: How Grocery Stores, C-Stores, Drug Stores and Home Delivery Are Taking Away Market Share.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter


More Restaurant Breakfast Wars: Taco Bell vs. Mickey D’s

April 14th, 2014

In a move that has raised hackles with the Golden Arches, Taco Bell is taking on the Egg McMuffin in a series of commercials featuring Ronald McDonald.

No, not the fake spokes-clown for McDonald’s, but real people who are named, well, Ronald McDonald. See the commercial below:

Breakfast has always belonged to McDonald’s. When other chains hawk their breakfast on TV, sales of Egg McMuffins rise. The challenge has been luring customers away from the Golden Arches. While TB’s product may be superior, one realm that restaurant pundits are overlooking is coffee: McDonald’s has lapped its competition by having among the best fast food coffee in the business. Unless Taco Bell can convince diners to drink their morning Joe, the chances of really putting a dent in Ronald McDonald’s clown suit seem slim.

Be sure to join us at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago on Sunday May 18th for our seminar The Grocerants Are Eating Your Lunch: How Grocery Stores, C-Stores, Drug Stores and Home Delivery Are Taking Away Market Share.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter


Why Restaurants Continue to Think Inside the Box

April 10th, 2014

Nation’s Restaurant News is the undisputed leader in communicating with the US restaurant industry.

But their articles continue to ignore anything outside the restaurant business. As a result, restaurants are still thinking about how to solve their problems using the old-think of the past.

This article on the new standards for restaurant success by Jim Sullivan is a good example. Jim’s a savvy guy and an industry insider, but his advice is the usual bromides about improving service (“speed, accuracy, cleanliness, no complaints and hospitality”), or making your best practices “industry best practices” and not “company best practices.”

What restaurant leader would advocate dirty, sloppy service that leads to complaints?

Now you can argue that good service is a sine qua non for any restaurant chain, and making sure your stores are clean should be a “duh” moment. But the ticking bomb in his article is that nowhere does he mention retail.

Restaurant chains continue to ignore or hold back from licensing their products to retail. We invite them to rectify this by attending our seminar at the upcoming NRA Show in Chicago May 18th called The Grocerants Are Eating Your Lunch: How Grocery Stores, C-Stores, Drug Stores and Home Delivery Are Taking Away Market Share.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter


Explorers Club Goes Hunting Johnny Walker in Court

April 9th, 2014

explorers club

The tweedy Explorers Club is going hunting and the target is Johnny Walker‘s new Explorers’ Club (note the apostrophe) limited edition scotch in a court action citing an obscure law protecting non-profits from commercial exploitation.

US president, naturalist and big game hunter Teddy Roosevelt, underwater pioneer Jacques Cousteau and Arctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton have all graced the New York institution’s club house, and now the non-profit is invoking a 100 year-old+ law to block the Diageo mega-brand from selling its sound-alike scotch in duty-free stores here and abroad.

This article in Fortune reports that club members from around the world (there are 26 chapters) are shocked that the scotch bears the club’s name. While protected with a US trademark, the Explorers Club’s mark is not protected from Diageo using the sound-alike name overseas as part of what the brand describes as “the biggest spirits roll-out in history.” Diageo owns and/or distributes some of the world’s largest alcohol brands, including Bushmills Irish whiskey, Captain Morgan rum, Smirnoff vodka, Tanqueray gin, and of course, Broad Street Licensing Group client, Guinness beer.

According to the article, Diageo assumed that it was in negotiations with the club to secure a commercial endorsement when the club hired a big-time law firm which promptly filed two lawsuits: a standard trademark infringement brief in Federal Court, as well as one invoking Section 135 of New York’s General Business Law in State Court. The former would likely play out over time and involve an expensive and complex round of claims and counter-claims about whether consumers would be confused by Johnny Walker’s use of the name. The suit in NY State Court invokes a statute meant to prevent fake charities from scamming the public for contributions. The standard of proof is lower, and only requires that the club prove there would be confusion without the long, complicated (and expensive) trial customary in Federal Court trademark cases.

Apparently if the club wins the case in NY State Court, a permanent injunction would bar Diageo from selling their Explorers’ Club scotch domestically. Legal sources referenced in the article think it’s unlikely the State Court case will go forward, sending the dispute to the higher Federal Court.

In either case, expect the lawyers for both sides to stock up on scotch for a lucrative payday.

NOTE: This post was prepared from materials in the public media and in no way was prepared with any information supplied by Diageo.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter