October 20, 2017 



Today's News Summary:

Leading the headlines today is a focus on Blue Apron whose brief life as a public company just got a bit more tumultuous. The meal-kit-delivery company disclosed Wednesday in a regulatory filing that it would lay off 6% of its workforce. The company said earlier this year that it had a little over 5,000 employees, so a 6% cut would equate to roughly 300 employees.

In other news, a Brazilian federal appeals court on Thursday granted an injunction releasing assets belonging to the Batista brothers, owners of the world's largest meatpacker JBS SA, Ticiano Figueiredo, a lawyer representing the defendants, said. A spokeswoman at the appeals court did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Elsewhere, Denny's Corporation announced its expansion into Europe through a franchise agreement with Denny’s Magic Diners U.K., led by seasoned franchise executive Leon Esfahani. The agreement will bring 10 locations to the United Kingdom over the next several years, with the first expected to open in Wales by the end of the year.

Del Taco Restaurants on Thursday lowered its expectations for restaurant margins this year, citing cost pressures in its fiscal third quarter due to food inflation. The Lake Forest, Calif.-based Mexican chain said its same-store sales increased 4.1 percent in the period ended Sept. 12 — the 16th straight quarter of same-store sales growth.

Impossible Foods announced it is expanding beyond restaurants, launching sales of its award-winning Impossible Burger to universities, companies and other institutions. The Impossible Burger will make its nationwide campus debut at the University of Chicago’s Quantum Café. Later this year, it will debut at the Tiffin Café at the University of Chicago’s International House. Both restaurants are operated by Bon Appétit Management Company, the acclaimed sustainable foodservice pioneer that runs more than 1,000 cafés for universities, corporations, and museums in 33 states.

Finally today, our weekly retail column looks at how the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.5% in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The food index rose 0.1%, the same increase as in August. The index for food away from home rose 0.3%, while the index for food at home was unchanged in September after declining in August. Over the last 12 months, the index for food at home has risen 0.4%, while the index for food away from home rose 2.4%. As the rise in cost to dine out increases at a faster rate than retail grocery prices, the number of consumers opting for that cost-savings may swell, especially as holiday budget planning comes into play.


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By Linda Lindner

llindner@foodmarket.com


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