Vegetable dishes, global flavors are driving new menu items | PMA names market researcher Steve Lutz to executive post | Kroger to pay up to $700M for meal-kit company Home Chef
May 24, 2018
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Vegetable dishes, global flavors are driving new menu items
Dishes that highlight vegetables and take inspiration from global cuisines are top trends that can help restaurants lure diners, The Kruse Co. President Nancy Kruse said at the National Restaurant Association Show. In addition to taking a starring role in foods, Kruse predicted that vegetables will also show up in more cocktails and mocktails.
Food Business News (free registration) (5/22) 
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PMA names market researcher Steve Lutz to executive post
PMA has named Steve Lutz its new regional vice president for the western US and Canada. Lutz, a market researcher who founded Perishables Group, will work with members to educate them on PMA resources available to help them expand their businesses.
The Packer (Lenexa, Kan.) (5/23) 
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Kroger to pay up to $700M for meal-kit company Home Chef
Kroger to pay up to $700M for meal-kit company Home Chef
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Kroger will buy top-selling private meal-kit company Home Chef for at least $200 million, plus up to $500 million more in business incentives, the company said. Home Chef would become a subsidiary that would sell its meal kits in Kroger stores.
USA Today (5/24),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (5/23) 
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Kenya's livestock farmers turn their hands to chili peppers
More than 100 livestock farmers in a drought-stricken region of Kenya are growing hot chili peppers as a way to shore up their incomes as climate change brings weather swings. The peppers can be grown with relatively little water, and a one-acre field can produce around two tons of peppers weekly during the six-month season.
Reuters (5/23) 
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Top London eateries have new composting options
A UK company called Indie Ecology is working with high-end London restaurants to make "Michelin-starred" compost from their donated food waste. The restaurants can opt to rent a plot on founder Igor Vaintraub's 10-acre property, where farmers use the compost to grow crops for the restaurants.
The Drinks Business online (U.K.) (5/23) 
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SmartBrief Originals
Read the latest food and beverage coverage in SmartBrief Originals:
Science & Technology
Is CRISPR the answer to plant diseases?
Genome editing using CRISPR technology could provide solutions to citrus greening and other threats to food production, writes plant geneticist Yi Li. Unlike genetic modification practices that alter plants in ways that wouldn't have happened through evolution, CRISPR rewrites the plant's genetic code to introduce new traits, he notes.
The Conversation (UK) (5/22) 
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Scan-and-pay offers surprising benefits for stores
Scan-and-pay systems offer numerous benefits to grocers, including the likelihood that basket sizes will increase as shoppers enjoy the convenience, Randy Hofbauer writes. The systems also might be a deterrent to theft as customers are identified when logging into the store's payment app, he writes.
Progressive Grocer (5/22) 
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Public Affairs
Mexico moves to expand agricultural exports to China
Mexican trade officials visited China to finalize discussions to expand Mexico's exports of pork, bananas and sorghum to the country, a move one official says is unrelated to stalled negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement. "Regardless of trade uncertainties with other trading partners, Mexico has embarked in a market diversification process," said Raul Urteaga, the head of international trade for Mexico's agriculture ministry.
Reuters (5/23) 
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Industry Talent – Center for Growing Talent
How to help staff bridge generational divides
Employees may retreat into age-based tribalism by believing stereotypes about other generations, says Phyllis Weiss Haserot. Leaders can break down barriers by modeling respectful behavior, being clear about the organizational mission and creating comfortable settings for staff to get to know each other, she says.
Skip Prichard Leadership Insights (5/21) 
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How to avoid a toxic workplace
How to avoid a toxic workplace
(YouTube/S. Chris Edmonds)
Employers will have happier employees if they remember the three P's of culture: purposeful, positive and productive, says S. Chris Edmonds in this blog post and video. Leadership needs to make clear that "values are as important as results," define expected behaviors and hold people accountable for how they treat others, he says.
SmartBrief/Leadership (5/21) 
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PMA News
Innovative N.Y. restaurateur to inspire at PMA Foodservice Conference
Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group and founder of Shake Shack, lives his business life on the edge. His willingness to take strategic risks, embrace change, and welcome disruption has propelled his companies to grow and evolve. What momentum can you incite at your company by questioning (as Meyer puts it), "Whoever wrote the rule?" Attending PMA's Foodservice Conference & Expo July 28-29 is the only way to find out!
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Floral community to connect July 12 in Miami
Confirmed buyers for Fresh Connections: Floral Miami July 12 include Ahold USA Inc.; Albertsons Companies; Associated Wholesale Grocers; Giant Eagle Inc.; Harris-Teeter Super Markets; The Kroger Co.; Sam's Wholesale Club; Topco Associates, LLC; UrbanStems; Wal-Mart Stores Inc.; and Whole Foods Markets, Florida. Join us to get insights and ideas for growth, including big-picture ideas and specifics to make them happen. Register by June 1 to save.
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You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view -- until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.
Harper Lee,
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