A lawmaker has introduced a bill in Congress that would increase the reimbursement rate for school lunches. The Level Up Nutrition for Children in Every School (LUNCHES) Act would increase the reimbursement rate to 59.5 cents per meal.
Earlier this year, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) raised the reimbursement rate to provide schools with an additional 25 cents per lunch to help combat rising food costs. Click here to read the full article.
Restaurant guest check growth reaches record high in January while traffic slows
A restaurant sales downturn that began in December continued into January. The industry posted negative sales growth for the first month since February of 2021. Sales growth was –0.9% in January, a drop of 2.9 percentage points compared to the December growth rate. Despite the disappointing results, the industry is better positioned from a sales perspective compared to over a year ago. Click here to read the full article from Nation's Restaurant News.
Global food prices were already near a 10-year high. Now, the Russia-Ukraine conflict could make matters worse. Russia is the world's top exporter of wheat, while Ukraine is a significant exporter of both wheat and corn. They also export vegetable oils. Read the full article here.
Potato sales continue to perform well at retail compared with pre-pandemic conditions, says Kayla Dome, global marketing manager for retail at Potatoes USA.
“If we are looking at over the last five years, (potato sales) are still higher than they were prior to the pandemic,” she said. Read the full article from the Packer here.
January marked the second month in a row that restaurant sales dropped from the previous month. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, total eating and drinking place sales were $72 billion in January, down from $72.5 billion in December and the November peak of $73.1 billion. Read the full article here.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced today that its avocado inspection program in Michoacan, Mexico has restarted and avocado exports to the United States have resumed. Read the full story here.
Avian Influenza Update
Avian Influenza has been detected in the US - Sparboe will keep you informed on this dynamic situation. For the last several weeks, HPAI has been detected in wild birds throughout the Atlantic Flyway. On Tuesday February 8th, the USDA confirmed a case of High Path Avian Influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Indiana. This is the first confirmed case in a commercial flock in the US since 2020. On Monday February 14th, a commercial broiler chicken flock in Kentucky was also confirmed to have HPAI.
Mexico has acknowledged that the U.S. government has suspended all imports of Mexican avocados after a U.S. plant safety inspector in Mexico received a threat. The surprise, temporary suspension was confirmed late Saturday on the eve of the Super Bowl, the biggest sales opportunity of the year for Mexican avocado growers — though it would not affect game-day consumption since those avocados had already been shipped. Click here to read more from AP News.
Indiana reported an additional case of avian influenza Tuesday night, half a mile from the initial case reported February 8. Another commercial turkey operation tested positive during the state’s routine quarantine procedures enacted because of the February 8 case. Read the full story from Successful Farming here.
A specific species of wild duck may pose the greatest risk of the spread of avian influenza among U.S. birds, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Agency scientists identified the migration patterns of the blue-winged teal, one of 11 dabbling duck species known to breed in North America and a common carrier of bird flu viruses, Diann Prosser of the U.S. Geological Survey reported. It is the first-ever study to examine the movements of a waterfowl species likely to carry the virus and their relative proximity to domestic poultry facilities.
Red meat and poultry in cold storage fell to lower levels in December 2021 than a year earlier, indicating strong demand. Red meat fell 6% to a total of 928.456 million pounds, as beef decreased 6% to 503.792 million and pork declined 4% to 398.947 million, USDA said in its latest Cold Storage report.
Poultry dropped 16%, with chicken down 14% to 741.756 million pounds and turkey falling 23% to 171.051 million pounds. “The latest cold storage data remains supportive for meat prices, pointing to overall tight freezer supplies and the need on the part of end users to improve inventory positions ahead of the seasonal rebound in demand in the spring,” analysts wrote in the Daily Livestock Report.
Putting upward pressure on delivered produce prices, refrigerated truck rates have soared to nearly $5 per mile in early February, according to a survey by the USDA. Per-mile rates for refrigerated trucks are up 52%. To read the full article from The Packer, click here.
The nation's egg producers are in the midst of a multibillion-dollar shift to cage-free eggs, one of the animal welfare movement's biggest successes after years of battles with the food industry. Click here to read the full article from The Associated Press.
Inflation surges 7.5% on an annual basis, even more than expected and highest since 1982
Consumer prices surged more than expected over the past 12 months, indicating a worsening outlook for inflation and cementing the likelihood of substantial interest rate hikes this year.
The consumer price index for January, which measures the costs of dozens of everyday consumer goods, rose 7.5% compared with a year ago, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Click here to read the article from CNBC.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian flu in an Indiana turkey flock on Wednesday, the nation's first case in a commercial poultry operation since 2020. Click here to read the full article.
A study by the World Resources Institute has found that simple changes to the language of restaurant menus can help consumers make the change from animal- to plant-based proteins, according to a blog post that explains the research.
The United Nation’s FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) increased 1.1% (1.5 percentage points) in January over the month earlier, averaging 135.7 points for the month, the Food & Agriculture Organization said in a release.
Restaurant Industry Sales Expected To Hit $898 Billion This Year, Up From $864 Billion In 2019
Who could have predicted we’d be going into year three of a global pandemic that has gutted much of the restaurant industry, creating a debilitating environment of labor, supply chain and inflationary pressures in its wake?
To say this confluence of unprecedented challenges has been devastating is an understatement. But crises always yield lessons and for the restaurant industry, some of those lessons are illustrated in the National Restaurant Association’s newly released State of the Industry report. To read the full article from Forbes click here.
A restaurant considering replacing its paper menus with QR codes, launching alcohol delivery or using a robot to make pizza would do well to consider one key variable: the age of their target customer. The younger generation is far more likely to use modern innovations like alcohol delivery and digital ordering. Their habits point the way to future growth. Click here to read the full article from Restaurant Business.
As with other food products, demand for poultry has soared amid the pandemic and as Super Bowl Sunday -- a day dedicated to chicken wing consumption -- approaches, restaurants and supermarkets are planning ahead. Click here to read the full article from Good Morning America.
Port congestion is spreading across the country, threatening to extend shipping delays and drive up costs for importers seeking to get around the bottlenecks at Southern California’s big gateway complex. Read more from The Wall Street Journal here.
Persistently high inflation will haunt the world economy this year, according to a Reuters poll of economists who trimmed their global growth outlook on worries of slowing demand and the risk interest rates would rise faster than assumed so far. Click here to read the full article from Reuters.
5 Trends to Watch in 2022
Ventura Foods shared five foodservice tends to watch for 2022! Click here to view the trends.
According to Cetera Investment Management CIO Gene Goldman, the easing of supply-chain woes can be expected to come around summertime. Click here to read the full article from Yahoo Finance.
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