January 16, 2020

Earlier this week, we took a look at how the nation’s two largest milk processors filed for bankruptcy due to declining demand and volatile pricing. But fluid milk isn’t the only sector of the dairy market that’s currently struggling. In 2019 U.S. yogurt sales dropped by more than three percent, continuing a downward slide that’s been happening since 2014. The introduction of Greek yogurt gave many hope that this protein-packed snack would save the industry. Unfortunately, though, Greek yogurt’s popularity Continue reading

Continue reading...

January 14, 2020

Although milk was a staple of the American diet throughout the 20th century, today’s consumers don’t drink nearly as much of it as they did in the past. In 2018 Americans each drank an average of 146 pounds of fluid milk, a category that includes everything from skim milk to heavy cream. While that’s still quite a lot of dairy, it also represents a 26 percent decrease in consumption since 2000. Along with this declining demand, milk companies have also Continue reading

Continue reading...

December 12, 2019

Although only 6 percent of the U.S. identifies as vegan, animal-free foods like meatless burgers and veggie-based snacks have exploded in popularity recently. This video looks at why the animal alternative market could grow into a $140 billion industry as consumers include more vegan foods in their diets. 

Questions:

  1. Why are more American consumers starting to supplement their regular diets with vegan foods?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of synthetic meat like the Impossible Burger?
Continue reading...

November 14, 2019

Earlier this year, McDonald’s spent $300 million acquiring a data analysis and artificial intelligence startup called Dynamic Yield. Along with providing the fast food chain with tons of information about its operations, this new technology will also help the company upgrade its growing fleet of self-ordering kiosks. Customers can place orders on these large touchscreens rather than wait in line, which the company claims improves efficiency and increases sales. As a result, McDonald’s wants to place these machines in as Continue reading

Continue reading...

October 17, 2019

With nearly 2 million employees on the payroll, McDonald’s is constantly hiring new people to work at its thousands of locations across the globe. So in recent years the fast food giant has streamlined its hiring process to accommodate online applicants, who tend to be younger and applying for their first jobs. Then last month, McDonald’s took this concept to the next level by announcing that people can now apply for jobs using voice commands through Amazon’s Alexa or Google Continue reading

Continue reading...

October 4, 2019

In recent years food delivery startups like Postmates and Doordash have grown into multi-billion dollar operations by bringing takeout from all sorts of places directly to customers’ doors. But these companies don’t just service restaurants: people can also order everyday items from Walgreens or 7-Eleven and receive them hours later. Of course, consumers are more familiar with Postmates and Doordash as takeout services, not grocery delivery companies. 

As a result, both startups are brokering deals with retailers and supermarkets Continue reading

Continue reading...

September 27, 2019

Baking bread is a difficult enterprise under the best circumstances, but baking on an industrial scale is so complicated that only a few long-standing companies have truly mastered it. At the same time, the products made by brands like Wonder Bread are often packed with chemicals that many health-conscious consumers want to avoid. That’s where La Boulange comes in, a San Francisco bakery that runs 24 hours a day and operates like a factory. The video below shows how La Continue reading

Continue reading...

August 30, 2019

For decades Lacroix sparkling water sat on the bottom shelves of countless grocery stores next to high class competitors like Perrier and S.Pellegrino. Too niche for regular consumers and too cheap for mineral water drinkers, LaCroix struggled for relevance until a company called National Beverage acquired it in the 1990s. Along with developing new flavors and adding more carbonation, the company also redesigned LaCroix’s cans and increased distribution around the country. By the mid-2000s many consumers began to turn away Continue reading

Continue reading...

August 29, 2019

On August 12, Popeyes announced that it was adding a new chicken sandwich to menus across the nation. The first of its kind at the fast food chain, Popeyes said this was its biggest product launch in more than 30 years. The sandwich soon became a hot topic on social media and grabbed the attention of more than just hungry customers. In the days following the launch, Chick-fil-A started a social media feud with Popeyes over which chain had the Continue reading

Continue reading...

August 15, 2019

In 2017 Ricky Lopez opened a Top Round franchise in San Francisco’s Mission District. With all sorts of well-established competition in the area already, the chef and entrepreneur says that his roast beef business lost tens of thousands of dollars in its first eight months. Then last year a representative from Uber Eats informed Lopez that his area had a high demand for burgers and ice cream that was going unmet. To take advantage of this opportunity, the food delivery Continue reading

Continue reading...