April 21, 2021
Produce Industry SmartBrief
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Global Connections
Clamshell packaging is gaining traction with cherries as online shopping becomes more popular and food safety is a priority amid the pandemic, industry experts say. The stand-up pouches, however, are still the dominant type of packaging for the cherry industry, and biodegradable packaging is another cherry packaging trend on the rise.
Full Story: The Packer (Lenexa, Kan.) (4/19) 
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Dole offers retailers ways to celebrate National Banana Day
Although National Banana Day is April 21, Dole is celebrating with a weeklong integrated PR and marketing campaign. Produce managers can participate in a display competition and can download social media content to engage customers with offerings like a find-the-banana contest, banana recipes and thank-you cards for supermarket employees.
Full Story: Supermarket Perimeter (tiered subscription model) (4/20) 
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From showcasing safety and offering outdoor dining options to being aware of increased omnichannel competition from restaurants, a new report from Nestle Professional says the current grocery landscape can provide new foodservice opportunities for agile grocers. The Top 2021 Foodservice Trends: How to Succeed in the New Normal study also reveals that many shoppers are seeking more adventurous food experiences, especially with internationally inspired dishes.
Full Story: Progressive Grocer (4/19) 
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Food Safety
A new UK survey confirms that consumers have become more mindful of food safety and hygiene at eateries during the pandemic, noting patrons were especially concerned about safety protocols at bars, coffee shops and restaurants. Another survey conducted by Kerry revealed consumers in North America are concerned with food safety with meats, as well as plant-based meat and dairy alternatives.
Full Story: Food Safety News (4/19) 
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SmartBrief Originals
Restaurants, meal kit makers and other foodservice operators have found a bright spot in the growing popularity of subscription services for food and drink, a new survey from Datassential shows. Those services, which mimic the model used by Netflix or Amazon, are primed to grow in the future and "clearly spell opportunity for all kinds of foodservice operators," writes Samantha Des Jardins of Datassential.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Food & Travel (4/21) 
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Science & Technology
Amazon is developing computer vision technology to check fruit and vegetables for defects as well as grade and sort the pieces based on ripeness and sweetness. Gradient pack machines could save up to 78% in grading costs compared to manual grading.
Full Story: Business Standard (India) (tiered subscription model) (4/17) 
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Public Affairs
USDA said it will replace the Farmers to Families Food Box program with a produce-only box, but funding for that hasn't been determined and only five items are approved for it -- potatoes, sweet potatoes, apples, pears and oranges -- instead of the hundreds that were included in the farmers food box program. United Fresh plans to work with USDA on the funding issue.
Full Story: Produce Blue Book (4/20) 
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The strike at the Chiquita banana facility in Panama has gone on 15 days, and about 65,000 boxes of fruit aren't being shipped out each day, according to a source, while fruit continues to ripen in the fields. The facility generates about 4,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Bocas del Toro area.
Full Story: Fresh Fruit Portal (Chile) (4/20) 
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Industry Talent
Family-owned businesses should welcome the energy and contributions of outside employees even while being clear about values and culture, writes Julie Charlestein, CEO and president of Premier Dental. "The very reason for bringing them on is to capitalize on the new ideas and fresh perspectives they introduce," Charlestein writes.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (4/20) 
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Urgency and patience overlap in that being patient creates the preparation and skills that are necessary when urgent action is needed, writes Scott Eblin, who relates the concepts to the yin and yang of yoga, a dance floor and a team's playbook. "You can't just keep urgently running the old pre-pandemic plays and expect them to work in a late-stage and post-pandemic world," he writes.
Full Story: Eblin Group (4/20) 
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Editor's Note
About the editor
About the editor
Amy Sung is the director of content for food and travel at SmartBrief, where she manages both editorial content and content marketing spanning the foodservice, food retail and consumer packaged goods industries, as well as the travel and hospitality industries. If you like Produce SmartBrief, hate Produce SmartBrief or want to submit a story, shoot me an email.
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