nina | September 20th, 2013 - 9:00 am

The good news for peanut growers this year is exports the first four months of the year have already reached 80 percent of what was expected for the year and demand for peanut products remains high.

The bad news — nobody knows how big the crop will be this fall.

Speaking at the Southern Peanut Growers Association meeting in Panama City Beach, Fla., the head of the USDA Peanut Research Lab in Dawson, Ga., said the key numbers to watch out for are final acreage totals.

The USDA recently extended the deadline for reporting peanut acreage, which further clouds the picture in terms of the size of this year’s crop.

Despite record rainfall in some areas of the Southeast and Virginia-Carolina peanut belts, this year’s crop appears to be on track to be a good one. It may not be as big as the record 4,200 pounds per acre produced last year, but it is on track to be a high yielding, high quality crop.

If the acreage reduction is as much as 40 percent, as has been projected by some industry sources, and yields approach 4,000 pounds per acre the carry out will still be too high, but could be manageable.

If the final acreage total is more in the 27-28 percent ranges, as was projected earlier in the growing season, and the yield is comparable to last year’s record yield, the carryover would be much too high and could really cause problems that would trickle down to growers.

The current uncertainties of this year’s crop are still being magnified by the 2012 crop, which produced the record yield per acre and was produced on a high acreage total that topped 1.6 million acres.

The subsequent 1.260 million ton carryout has created a historic over-supply that make the outcome of this year’s crop more critical.

Revival of export trading that characterized the first four months of the current peanut season is critical to managing the over-supply problems that are being faced by U.S. growers. China was on track to import something close to 300,000 metric tons of U.S. grown peanuts, but it now seems unlikely that the country will buy that many peanuts this year.

New customers, like the Ukraine, Indonesia and Algeria are buying small quantities of peanuts, but combined with other non-traditional peanut buyers, could be important players in reviving the early rise in the export market.

The world’s largest peanut butter consumers on a per capita basis, Canada needs to remain a good customer for U.S. grown peanuts. Currently, about 80 percent of the Canadian peanut butter market comes from U.S. peanuts.

The fastest growing customer for U.S. peanuts is Mexico. So, taking care of our trading partners in North America is another key to a successful export year for U.S. grown peanuts,” the USDA economist pointed out.

At the end of the day, U.S. peanut growers need to produce about a 1.5 to 1.6 million ton crop. Again, how likely that is to happen is still very much unknown — some depends on weather and some depends on how many peanuts were actually planted.

If U.S. growers do come in with a 1.5 million ton crop, it would be a huge drop from the 3.4 million ton farmer stock peanut crop produced last year.

Source:  southeastfarmpress.com, 7.19.2013


nina | September 19th, 2013 - 9:00 am
The second half of 2013 looks good for chicken processors, with more production and better margins. Lower prices for turkey, however, is expected to hold that sector’s production back, USDA concluded in its latest Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook report.

Broiler meat production in second-quarter 2013 totaled 9.47 billion pounds, slightly higher than in the same period in 2012 and the third consecutive quarter of year-over-year increases. The sector is expected to continue to expand in the second half of 2013. Starting in the third quarter, corn prices are expected to decline, as well, and with anticipated declines in feed costs and relatively strong growth in the domestic economy, there are signs that the broiler industry has begun to expand the numbers of chicks being placed for growout.The number of chicks being placed weekly for growout has averaged about 167 million during the five-week period July 6 to August 3, about 2.3 percent higher than during the same period the previous year.

Broiler meat production in the second half of 2013 is expected to total 19.1 billion pounds, an increase of 3 percent from the same period in 2012. Over the first half of 2013, 4.2 billion broilers were slaughtered, a decrease of 0.3 percent from a year earlier, a decline that’s been offset by higher average liveweights at slaughter.

Broiler stocks in cold storage at the end of June 2013 were up 5 percent from a year earlier, but cold storage holdings of broiler products are expected to be below the previous year at the end of the third and fourth quarters of 2013 as falling prices for many broiler products promotes their consumption. Broiler products are expected to experience downward price pressure in the second half of the year as production increases in response to anticipated lower feed costs.

The forecast for turkey meat production in the second half of 2013 was reduced by 20 million pounds to 3.0 billion, a decline of 2.1 percent from the same period in the previous year. The decrease is expected to come chiefly from a lower number of birds slaughtered. Turkey producers are expected to reduce production in response to lower prices for whole birds, even though feed prices also are expected to decline. Turkey poult placements have turned sharply lower over the last several months, and cumulative placements during the first 6 months of 2013 were 10 percent lower than in the same period in 2012.

Turkey meat production, meanwhile, was about the same in the first half as it was a year ago.

Turkey stocks at the end of June were higher, largely due to larger cold storage holdings of whole turkeys, which has placed downward pressure on prices. Whole hen prices are expected to remain below their year-earlier levels.

source:  meatingplace.com, 8-21-13


nina | September 18th, 2013 - 9:00 am

Manfluence : How men are changing meat shopping … or are they?


New research shows more men are doing the grocery (and meat) shopping, but it also found there are fewer difference between male and female shoppers than you might think.

forty-seven percent of men surveyed were responsible for at least half of the grocery shopping and meal preparation for their household. Of those, 58 percent said they were responsible for all the grocery shopping.  To identify the impact for the meat industry, only meat and poultry consumers were surveyed.

It was learned that there weren’t major differences between the two genders when it came to shopping for and consuming fresh meat and poultry. This was especially true when it came to behaviors that are traditionally thought to be done solely by women, like coupon clipping and preplanning.

Of these “manfluencers,” 77 percent make the grocery list, 74 percent clip or print coupons, 72 percent price compare between stores and 59 percent check store websites for sales.

Manfluencers are also pretty tech savvy when it comes to shopping; 65 percent own a smart phone, of whom 30 percent use an app to make their grocery list, 36 percent use a coupon app and 31 percent price compare on their phone while shopping.

Meat shopping
When shopping for meat, 66 percent of these male shoppers said they are always on the lookout for the best deal when shopping for beef, pork and chicken; 58 percent said they are conscious of what they spend on beef, pork and chicken and 48 percent said they spend 5 to 10 minutes shopping for fresh meat.

Grilling still reigns: 88 percent of these men said they do the grilling for their household and 45 percent said that they always or sometimes use a meat thermometer.

These findings reveal that male consumers have changed, and it’s time for the meat industry to reevaluate its target shopper.

There are opportunities to educate both men and women on the characteristics and benefits of different grades of beef, definitions for specialty meats like natural and organic, meal suggestions and cooking tips.

Manfluencers say they eat, and therefore purchase, more beef and pork more often than women say they do. There’s an opportunity to promote directly to these guys when developing sales information and educating them on new cuts and their uses to increase meat purchases.

The survey also suggested male shoppers are more likely to find grocery shopping exciting and therefore probably more open to marketing when they are in the store. Make shopping more fun and educational by engaging them at the meat case.

A third of both male and female shoppers believe branded products are better than generic/store/private label brands and think they are worth paying more for.

There is an opportunity for both branded and private label meat to learn from this and adjust their marketing plans.  Manfluencers are more likely than women to be interested in purchasing certain value-added meats offered in the full service meat case. Be sure to promote their availability to these guys.

Source:  meatingplace.com; 8-2013

Social media strategy: Chefs and restaurants

nina | September 3rd, 2013 - 9:00 am

To be truly social, you need to get all departments involved in your social media strategy.

In conversations with fellow industry professionals, the question frequently asked: “How do I get my hotel’s social media platforms more engaged?” The answer.  You get engagement by being social and involving all your property’s departments in your social media efforts.

GMs usually don’t have difficulties understanding how sales and marketing or front office can contribute to social media engagement, but other departments seem to be trickier. What about engineering or housekeeping, for example? Lets start off in the heart of the house: the kitchen.

Today’s social chefs don’t just own their whites and knifes, but increasingly, also Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.

It’s a win-win for all sides: Chef gets to showcase his work, the hotel gets to pick up engaging content for its own Facebook page, and the hotel’s fans get great looking, up-to-date content they’re happy to share.

Don’t like Facebook? Why not get your chef to create a portfolio of their work on Dunk.com.  Then you can integrated with your LinkedIn company profile, chef’s personal LinkedIn profile, or your hotel’s Facebook page.

Did you know that food photography and recipes are amongst the most popular content on Pinterest? Your hotel should have a “foodie board” on Pinterest

Instagram is another worthwhile platform to engage on. This social photo sharing app forces hotels to involve their employees in the process as it is only available as a mobile app and does not offer a web-based dashboard, which can be administrated centrally. IG account growth service is a very powerful tool as well.

Make sure your chef has a smartphone with a good camera and get him or her onto Instagram.

Make the chef a film star.

Naturally, you could also turn to YouTube to showcase your Chef’s creativity with “on the fly”-type videos shot quickly with a smartphone or with more professionally produced videos, If you don’t want to spend a lot of money getting a professional video shot — ask your suppliers for help!

Source:  hoteliermiddleeast.com, 8/12/13.

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