August 7, 2019
Industry News
Arizona Beverage Co. reached a licensing deal with cannabis company Dixie Brands Inc.  Under the agreement, Dixie will manufacture vape pens and gummies, followed by a variety of beverages that could include tea, lemonade, soda, coffee or seltzer. Meanwhile, Maryland is proposing a bill to govern the production and sale of cannabis-infused foods.  Food Institute Focus

DuPont is reportedly considering a sale of its nutrition and biosciences unit , according to people familiar with the matter. The unit, which supplies food ingredients, could be worth at least $20 billion as a standalone entity, reported  Reuters Full Story

Ahold Delhaize's U.S. online sales grew 14.4% in second quarter 2019 , and the company expects to achieve over 20% growth in that segment in 2019. Ahold's overall sales were   impacted by the strike at Stop & Shop, only increasing 0.2% in the quarter. The impact was offset by strong performance of other brands, particularly Food Lion, and Ahold does not expect to see any further impact from the strike in the second half of the year.  Full Story
Dippin' Dots will grow its core portfolio of products outside of ice cream  by expanding its operation in Paducah, KY. The company will invest $3.3 million to accommodate demand for its cryogenic technology, which has been found to be instrumental in producing ingredients used in plant-based meat alternatives and other new industries that require high-volume cryogenic freezing. Dippin' Dots plans to purchase a 6,000-sq. ft. building for a new manufacturing floor, freezers, office and storage space, reported  Area Development Full Story

Walgreens Boots Alliance plans to close 200 U.S. stores  in addition to the previously-announced 200 closures in the UK, according to an SEC filing. The company expects its Transformation Cost Management Program will result in savings of at least $1.5 billion by 2022.  Full Story

Latest sales & earnings for food related companies  (Updated Daily - FI Membership Required)

CVS Health will slow the pace of its annual store expansion  by opening about one-third of the locations it usually does and even fewer in 2020. The chain will open about 100 stores in 2019 and about 50 in 2020. It will instead focus on e-commerce and delivery, as well as remodeling stores into HealthHUBs, reported  CNBC Full Story

Majors Management LLC acquired the assets of Bowden Oil Co. Inc. , operator of the Shop "N" Fill convenience store chain. Majors will transition the locations to the Hop-In store brand.  Full Story

Nestle USA Inc. plans to expand its footprint in Rosslyn, VA . It will lease an additional 50,000-sq. ft. for extra conference facilities, meetings and event space for its teams, reported  Washington Business Journal Full Story

IF&P Foods and Get Fresh Produce launched the FreshEdge food distribution platform . FreshEdge operates over 400,000-sq. ft. of distribution and processing facilities, has over 500 trucks and serves over 2,000 locations across 18 states. The platform hosts produce and specialty food distributors, fresh cut operations and a USDA kitchen.  Full Story

Compeat launched Compeat Pay, an automated vendor payment system  for restaurants which includes checks, automated clearing house and virtual credit cards. Compeat Pay is designed to reduce time and cost compared to paying bills manually.  Full Story

FedEx will end its ground-delivery contract with Amazon  "to focus on the broader e-commerce market." Less than 1.3% of FedEx's total revenue was attributable to Amazon during the 12-month period ended Dec. 31, reported  CNBC Full Story

Delivery Developments: Amazon  will begin delivering packages with self-driving robots in Irvine, CA, reported  The Washington Times Full Story  ...  Willy Street Co-op  launched grocery delivery and pickup in the Madison, WI, area, reported  Progressive Grocer Full Story

New Product News: Subway  will test a Beyond Meatball Marinara sub in 685 locations in the U.S. and Canada in September.  Full Story  ...  Sun-Maid Growers of California  launched Sour Raisin Snacks.  Full Story  ...  QDOBA Mexican Eats  added keto, vegan and protein bowls to the menu.  Full Story  ...  Ferrara  launched Trolli Sour Brite Mystery Night Crawlers.  Full Story  ...  Sigma introduced FUD smoked sausage featuring Tapatio hot sauce.  Full Story

Store News: Acme  will close three New Jersey stores and one in Scarsdale, NY, reported  The Jersey Journal Full Story  ...  Church's Chicken  reopened in San Antonio, TX.  Full Story  ...  KrispyKreme  will open in Springfield Township, NJ, reported  Full Story  ...  FAT Brands  opened a Fatburger in Beijing, China.  Full Story  ...  Sears Holding Corp.  will close 26 large-format Sears and Kmart stores in late October.  Full Story
International News
Mondelez plans to reduce the size of snacks  in the UK so they contain 100 calories or fewer by 2020. Products to be revamped include Oreo Mini, Mini Fingers, Animals and Freddo Faces, reported  Metro Full Story

Britain's Food and Drink Federation claims it will experience shortages of some fresh foods  for weeks or even months if a no-deal Brexit occurs. The group estimates the cost of preparing for a no-deal exit, including reserving warehouse space, using alternative distributors and losing orders in congested ports, would cost the industry up to $121 million a week, reported  Reuters Full Story

Meanwhile, Domino's spent $8.5 million to stockpile imported ingredients  that might not be available after Brexit. Domino's imports about a third of its supplies from outside Britain, including tomato sauce, frozen chicken, pineapple and tuna, reported CNN.  Full Story

Diageo took a 20% stake in distilled non-alcoholic spirits brand Seedlip , as it looks to cater to a growing number of consumers abstaining from alcohol. Non-alcoholic consumers in the UK increased to 22% in 2017 from 19% in 2005 for those aged between 16 and 24, according to a report from the Office of National Statistics, reported  Nasdaq Full Story

NIKU Farms will exclusively use Green Cell Foam's insulated coolers . The Toronto-based meat delivery subscription service will be the first in Canada to use the completely biodegradable and compostable packaging.  Full Story
Health News
The keto diet may help control type 2 diabetes , according to a study presented at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry annual meeting. The study found people on a ketogenic diet for three months exhibited improved blood sugar control. However, it was unclear whether the specific diet, lower intake of carbohydrates or diet-related weight loss spurred the better blood control, reported  HealthDay Full Story
Washington News
Bumble Bee Seafood is considering a bankruptcy filing  as one way to ease its financial burden, according to people with familiar with the matter. Bumble Bee is facing a liquidity crunch, according to sources, as class action lawsuits related to an antitrust case increased its potential liability, reported  Bloomberg Full Story

Dover Hospitality Services was ordered to pay Suffolk County Community College  more than $290,000 by a New York State Supreme Court justice for failing to turn over commissions for operating cafeterias and vending machines at the college's campuses. The legal action came after the college conducted an audit of Dover's books, reported  Newsday Full Story

Bai Antioxidant Cocofusion drinks allegedly don't contain real fruit , according to a class action lawsuit filed against Bai Brands LLC and Dr Pepper Snapple Bottling Group. The suit alleges the labels display images of fruit, but the products contain flavored compounds to mimic the advertised fruits' tastes, reported  Legal Newsline Full Story

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians received a $700,000 federal grant  to expand its food distribution program in Manistee, MI. Officials from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which awarded the grant, said the funds will be used for the construction of a food distribution center and warehouse. The program supervisor expects to break ground on the new facility in early spring of 2020.  Full Story

FDA issued warning letters to two food companies  regarding HACCP plan violations. South Korea-based  Sinu Co. Ltd.  allegedly lacked an HACCP plan with critical control limits for botulism. Additionally, FDA alleged Mount Vernon, NY-based  U.F.S. Industries Inc. , d.b.a. Sally Sherman Foods, failed to accurately monitor temperatures in its facilities and some tools and contact surfaces were not designed to facilitate maintenance and sanitary operations.

Meanwhile,  FDA issued a warning letter to Atlantic Bakery Ltd. , d.b.a. Old School Bakery. The agency alleged the Delray Beach, FL-based company did not keep its plant in a clean and sanitary condition or prepare food safety plans and hazard analyses for its products.  Full Story

USDA will collect information regarding reasons for underredemption  of the WIC Cash-Value Benefit. Specifically, the agency is interested in how redemption rates are affected by state agency policies and practices. The agency will accept public comment for 60 days.  Full Notice

USDA established the fee to be charged for licenses issued to dairy importers . USDA will charge $300 for the 2020 tariff-rate quota year for each license issued to a person authorized to import certain dairy articles.  Full Notice

FDA issued a comment request regarding Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards  and burden hours for states associated with the program. The agency will accept public comment for 30 days.  Full Notice

Top Taste Food Warehouse voluntarily recalled an undetermined amount of dumpling products  as they were produced, packed and distributed without the benefit of USDA inspection and used the mark of inspection without authorization. The recall covers branded packages of pork and vegetable dumplings and chicken and vegetable dumplings.  Full Story
Market News
Fresh produce unit growth slowed  compared to other fresh departments and the grocery department in the last quarter, according to United Fresh's FreshFacts on Retail. Value added vegetables continued growth momentum, bolstered by strong gains in meal prep.  Full Story

USDA may have exceeded its authority when deciding to relocate two offices  from the Washington, DC, area, according to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). OIG said although the Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953 provided USDA with the legal authority to relocate the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the General Provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 placed limits on these actions and required congressional approval, which the agency did not obtain.  Full Report

California tomato processors harvested 723,335 tons the week ending Aug. 3 , according to the Processing Tomato Advisory Board. A total of 2.1 million tons have been harvested this year, down from 3 million tons at the same time last year.  Full Story

The Alaska commercial salmon catch was 105.5 million fish as of Aug. 6 , according to Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Deliveries included 53.1 million sockeye, 41 million pink, 10.4 million chum, 822,000 coho and 211,000 chinook salmon.  Full Story

Avocado producers are expected to ship about 44 million-lbs.  the week of Aug. 18, according to the Hass Avocado Board. The board reported shipments totaling 39.6 million-lbs. for the week of Aug. 4.  Full Story

Wisconsin potato growers anticipate a strong season  despite a slightly later start than normal, according to the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association. Most producers in the state expect a mid-August start, although some like Alsum Farms & Produce Inc. began harvesting red and golden potatoes as early as Aug. 1, reported  The Packer Full Story
Sales Leads
USDA purchased  $3.9 million worth of  canned apple products , $22.2 million worth of  fresh apples , $5.7 million worth of  dried fruit , $2.6 million worth of  frozen fruit  and $2.0 million worth of  canned pears .

USDA offered to purchase  136,760 cases of  frozen fruits  and 200,000-lbs. of  frozen catfish .
Member Profile
Pear Bureau Northwest is a non-profit marketing organization established in 1931 to promote the fresh USA Pears grown in Washington and Oregon, home to 88% of the US commercial fresh pear crop. The Bureau represents close to 900 grower families and partners with outlets throughout the world in an effort to increase overall success with the pear category.
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