The Rise of Mediterranean Flavor
April 1, 2019
3 Easy Glove Strategies to Stop Cross-Contamination
April 3, 2019


Today’s IFDA Daily Update brought to you by…





Hurry – Early bird rate for IFDA’s SMart Conference ends Friday. SMart provides the insights foodservice distribution sales and marketing professionals need to deliver results in a fast-paced environment. Get actionable advice on the trends, tools and techniques you need to master your craft with historic Philadelphia as your backdrop. This conference packs a wallop in a short amount of time. In just 1.5 days, you’ll get over 9 hours of learning and more than 5 hours of high-level networking. Learn more.



Distributor News


Saval Foodservice named Brian Saval as vice president. Mr. Saval, a fourth generation member of the family business, started his career in 2009 as a sales rep resentative in Baltimore City, MD. Full Story


Operator News


Burger King will rollout the plant-based Impossible Whopper at 59 locations around St. Louis. If the burger is offered nationwide, it will more than double Impossible Foods’ restaurant footprint, according to the company’s CEO, reported ReutersFull Story


Earl Enterprises notified guests of a data security breach at its restaurants from May 23, 2018 to March 18, 2019. According to the company’s investigation, unauthorized individuals installed malicious software on some point-of-sale systems at a certain number of Earl Enterprises’ restaurants. Potentially affected restaurants include Buca di Beppo, Earl of Sandwich, Planet Hollywood, Chicken Guy!, Mixology and Tequila Taqueria. Full Story


FAT Brands Inc. will not rebrand to Skinnyburger as it claimed, revealing that it was just an April Fools joke. All delivery and online platforms will return to the classic Fatburger theme. Full Story


Government News


New York’s plans to impose congestion pricing may drive up the cost of food in New York City. Trucks delivering food and other goods into Manhattan south of 61st Street will be charged a fee of about $25, on top of existing bridge and tunnel tolls. Organic farm Pickens claims the fee will cost the company about $1,520 a year or 1.7% of its annual revenues, reported New York PostFull Story


FDA plans to release a new definition for the term “healthy” in summer 2019, according to the agency’s commissioner. The organization received over a thousand submissions during the extended comment period for the definition, reported BloombergFull Story


Conagra Brands, Kraft Heinz and other major packaged food companies filed a lawsuit in Chicago federal court alleging that meat processors conspired to inflate the price of chicken. The suit names Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, Perdue Farms and more than a dozen other chicken suppliers as defendants. It alleges that the chicken suppliers coordinated to destroy breeder hens to reduce the supply of chicken and drive up prices. It also alleges they manipulated a wholesale price index, reported The Chicago TribuneFull Story


A class action lawsuit alleged Welch Foods’ fruit snacks have deceptive and misleading labels regarding nutritional content. The suit contends the company prints misleading claims on product labels, including “with fiber,” “real fruit” and “good source.” The plaintiff argues the mislabeling constitutes a violation of the New York General Business Law and consumer protection statutes in all 50 states, among other charges, reported Legal NewslineFull Story


The New York legislature reached a deal to ban single-use plastic grocery bags. The law would prohibit grocery stores from providing plastic bags for most purchases, with exceptions for plastic carryout bags, dry cleaning and plastic bags for fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. The ban, which becomes effective March 2020, allows local governments to impose a 5-cent fee on paper bags, reported CNNFull Story


A coalition of 47 Senators petitioned USDA to withdraw changes to SNAP, alleging the agency’s desire to change SNAP work rules or states’ ability to waive work requirements is contrary to congressional intent due to the passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. The group reported both the House and Senate rejected similar changes to SNAP when passing the bill, reported Western Farm PressFull Story


Fifty-one California cities sales tax increase started April 1. Most of the sales tax hikes are between 0.5% and 1%, reported The Sacramento BeeFull Story


A Montana district judge overturned a state permit allowing the Montana Artesian Water Co. water-bottling facility to begin production. The judge ruled that the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation erred when it granted a permit that would allow the company to produce more than 1 billion, 20-oz. bottles per year, reported Idaho Statesman. Full Story


President Trump nominated Scott Soles to be USDA CFO. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue commended the announcement, highlighting the candidate’s 30 years of experience. Full Story


USDA issued a final rule regarding the federal milk marketing order. The final rules include two clarifying corrections to the final rule and explains the May 1 effective date. Full Notice


USDA is intending to revise the approved information collection regarding the importation of undenatured inedible meat and egg products into the U.S. The agency will accept public comment for 60 days. Full Notice



Retail News


Walmart is closing 11 stores across eight states. The stores include one Walmart Supercenter in Lafayette, LA, and Walmart Neighborhood Market stores in Arizona, California, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington. The closing date for most of the affected stores is April 19, reported Business InsiderFull Story


Amazon’s 855,000-sq.-ft. New York City facility is 20% smaller than its usual fulfillment centers, with twice as many robots as human workers and able to handle 50% more inventory than traditional warehouses. These smaller format sites are the latest example of how online sales are reshaping logistics networks. As retailers move inventory closer to big population centers, they’re squeezing big distribution operations into smaller buildings that use automation, reported The Wall Street Journal (WSJ Subscription Required). Full Story


Lawson Inc. will introduce self-checkout systems in all 14,000 of its convenience stores by October to cope with Japan’s labor shortage. In addition, it will experiment with operating two unmanned stores from midnight to 5 a.m. beginning summer 2019, reported The Japan TimesFull Story


Industry News


The Ferrero Group will acquire Kellogg Co.’s cookie, fruit and fruit-flavored snack, ice cream cone and pie crust businesses for $1.3 billion. In addition, Ferrero will acquire six U.S. food manufacturing facilities in Allyn, WA; Augusta, GA; Florence and Louisville, KY; Chicago; and Baltimore. Full Story


Restaurant and grocery sales growth slowed slightly in February 2019, finishing below the 2018 growth rate. The growth rate for online sales rebounded after a disappointing December 2018, returning to a rapid growth rate of over 12%, according to Food Institute analysis of just-released government data. Full Story (FI Subscription Required)


The online food delivery services market was valued at $81.6 billion in 2017 and will grow at a CAGR of 9.8% during the forecast period from 2018 to 2026, according to Research and Markets. Funding and investments in this market space have been one of the most prominent factors aiding market growth. The Asia Pacific is expected to register the fastest growth during the forecast period due to higher disposable income, a greater number of people with access to the internet and smartphones. Full Story


Toast raised $250 million in Series E funding at a $2.7 billion valuation led by TCV and Tiger Global Management along with participation from existing investors. Toast will invest over $1 billion in research and development, over the next five years, to continue building software and hardware designed specifically for the restaurant industry. Full Story


KCoe Isom introduced its Spark accelerator program to identify and promote innovations and young companies that have proven potential to change and advance food and agriculture operations. Spark program members will receive access to the expertise of food and agriculture advisors, brand promotion, and strategic opportunities to accelerate their company. Full Story


Fortune International will acquire Morey’s Seafood International’s Kansas City and St. Louis operations. The acquisition is expected to bring additional processing and distribution facilities to Fortune. Morey’s Missouri operations will be rebranded as Fortune Fish & Gourmet, and Fortune International will implement a state-of-the-art inventory system to drive efficiency, reported Kansas City Business JournalFull Story


Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. launched Chuck Knows Beef, a beef virtual assistant. Powered by Google Artificial Intelligence and developed in partnership with VMLY&R, Chuck provides instant access to recipes, cuts, nutrition information and cooking tips. Full Story


Daimler Trucks acquired a majority stake in Torc Robotics, an automated trucks developer. The companies plan to develop highly automated trucks, with Daimler currently working on a truck chassis suited for the technology. Full Story


Three in five Indian consumers eat snacks at least twice a day, while 15% of Indians snack four or more times per day, according to Mintel. Almost two in five snackers do so to relieve stress. Meanwhile, other emotional reasons such as the desire to treat oneself and taking a break are encouraging consumers to indulge in snacking. Full Story


Market News


Cal-Maine Foods will invest $148 million to expand cage-free capacity at its facilities in Delta, UT, Pittsburg, TX, and Zephyrhills, FL. The Utah expansion includes new facilities for 2 million cage-free hens, a processing plant, additional pullet capacity, and renovation of existing capacity to cage-free for another 1.4 million hens. It will add pullets and cage-free capacity for 1 million hens in Texas and build cage-free pullet housing in Florida. Full Story


Lobsterman fear a looming bait crisis could disrupt the industry. Federal regulators are imposing a steep cut in the herring fishery this year to about 40 million-lbs., forcing lobstermen to scrambling for new bait sources, reported The StateFull Story


U.S. corn planted area for all purposes in 2019 was estimated at 92.8 million-acres, a 4% increase from 2018, according to USDA. Soybean and wheat planted area for the year was estimated at 84.6 million-acres and 45.8 million-acres, representing decreases of 5% and 4%, respectively. Full Report


Meanwhile, U.S. corn stocks in all positions dropped 3% to about 8.6 billion-bushels March 1, according to USDA. Soybeans stored in all positions increased 29% to about 2.7 billion-bushels on the date. Stored wheat increased 6% to about 1.6 billion-bushels. Full Report


U.S. rough rice stocks in all positions on March 1 totaled 104 million-cwt, up 24% from the total on March 1, 2018, according to USDA. Stocks held on farms totaled 23.3 million-cwt, and off-farm stocks totaled 80.5 million-cwt. Full Report


New water standards for leafy greens growers could be ready in as little as four- to six-weeks, according to the Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) and the Western Growers Association. California LGMA CEO Scott Horsfall noted industry representatives are finalizing new safety metrics, but once the draft is completed, a final vetting process will occur before official adoption of the rules, reported The Produce NewsFull Story


USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) does not expect to purchase and sell sugar under the Feedstock Flexibility Program for crop year 2018, which runs from Oct. 1, 2018, to Sept. 30, 2019. The agency will monitor domestic sugar stocks, consumption, imports and other market variables for the next quarterly estimate scheduled for July 1. Full Story


Mango producers in Peru, Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua exported about 2.4 million boxes the week ended March 23, up from the 2.3 million boxes reported a year ago, according to the National Mango Board. Overall mango volumes are expected to increase 12% through the week ending May 18. Full Story


About 26 million cases of Chilean grapes were shipped to the U.S. through March 17, according to the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association. Promotable volumes are expected through April, with an emphasis on Crimson, Flame and Thompson Seedless varieties, reported The Produce NewsFull Story


There aren’t enough qualified pest control professionals to help eradicate weevil, according to New Mexico pecan growers. Eddy, Chaves, Lea and Curry counties were quarantined since November 2018 as the weevil was found in pecan orchards in multiple southeastern New Mexico counties, reported The Wichita EagleFull Story


Farmland value in Minnesota rose 4.5% in 2018, according to data compiled at the University of Minnesota. Land prices are helping farmers who face lower commodity prices due to trade tariffs and a wet spring that threatens to delay planting, reported Minneapolis Star TribuneFull Story


Canadian canola producers are exploring other markets while hoping for a quick resolution to the dispute with China. The Canadian government is considering subsidizing farmers hit by China’s ban on Canadian canola imports, reported CBCFull Story


Cooke Aquaculture wants to produce more salmon in Nova Scotia, according to its CEO. The company is proposing to build a processing plant, which would include the first new open-pen salmon farm since a moratorium was lifted in 2016, reported CBCFull Story




Health News


The New York City Council voted to make low-sugar drinks the default beverage in children’s meals at restaurants citywide. If signed into law by the mayor, chain restaurants must offer water, low-fat milk or 100% fruit or vegetable juice as the standard option rather than sodas or other drinks with added sugar, reported Crain’s New York BusinessFull Story


Upcoming Events


IFDA’s Washington Insight Conference

May 8-9, 2019

Liaison Hotel Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.


IFDA Share Group Program (IT, OPS, FIN, HR)

Meeting #1, June 9-13, 2019

Waldorf Astoria, Las Vegas, NV


Executive Development Program

Module #2, July 21-24, 2019

University of Virginia, Darden School of Business

Charlottesville, VA


IFDA SMart Conference

July 28-30, 2019

Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Philadelphia, PA


IFDA Truck Driving Championship

September 13-15, 2019

Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort, Orlando, FL

IFDA Share Group Program (IT, OPS, FIN, HR)

Meeting #2, October 27, 2019 (co-located with DSC)

Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL


IFDA Executive Leadership Summit

October 28, 2019 (co-located with DSC)

Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL


IFDA Distribution Solutions Conference

October 27-29, 2019

Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL


IFMA/IFDA/NRA President’s Conference

November 3-5, 2019

The Phoenician, Scottsdale, AZ





1660 International Drive, Suite 550

McLean, VA 22102

(703) 532-9400

? ? ? ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.