Consumers are cutting back on bread, but they have been spending more for healthier whole grain and artisan offerings, research shows. Restaurants have upgraded the bread basket with gourmet and house-made whole-grain options, and bakeries and big food brands are following suit.
Dollar Tree said it's on track for a 100-day plan to convert 150 Family Dollar stores to Dollar Tree locations and integrate Family Dollar stores into the business by the end of October. The retailer, which grew to about 13,800 stores with the July acquisition of Family Dollar's 8,274 locations, will also install freezers and coolers at 159 stores as it expands its frozen and refrigerated offerings. Dollar Tree plans to divest 330 stores by the end of the year.
Consumer willingness to try store-brand products is down 8% compared to a year ago, according to a study by Deloitte, which also found that eight in 10 US consumers believe "thriftiness and challenging economic conditions are the new normal." However, consumers also said they would be willing to pay more for healthier products, including items with fewer ingredients or no preservatives or chemicals, the study found.
Some schools in Rhode Island are considering starting the school day later to allow students more time to sleep. Officials at one school that has made the change said more students ate hot breakfasts and fewer students were tardy for class.
UK-based retailer Tesco has reportedly chosen private-equity firm MBK Partners LP as the buyer for its South Korean retail operations. The division could sell for as much as $7 billion, sources said, and Tesco would use the proceeds to fund turnaround efforts at home.
There is a direct connection between student fitness, health and math ability, according to a study published in the online journal PLOS ONE. The report recommends students get an hour of physical activity daily during the school day.
Craft soda is taking off in a big way, with bottles from small, regional producers finding a place on more grocery store shelves and restaurants concocting their own house-made syrups. Major soft drink companies are also embracing the trend. The Coca-Cola Company's craft beverage division bought the Blue Sky and Hansen's Natural brands in June, and PepsiCo launched its Stubborn line of craft sodas.
Alcohol delivery startups are watching the launch of Amazon's one-hour Prime Now delivery in Seattle very closely, as the e-commerce giant has a significant amount of capital to invest in the venture and a vast network of distribution infrastructure. Small companies, however, are moving to specialize their services to stay competitive, with Drizly offering direct purchase over social media of higher-end liquor. Startups say the retailer's growth in the category will be stalled by varying state regulations for liquor sales.
The wine industry in Virginia is booming, as tourists and recognition boost production, but grape supply is lagging behind demand, industry experts say. Gov. Terry McAuliffe is working to gather support for state agriculture grants that would attract growers to start or expand vineyards in the fifth-largest wine industry in the US.
Foodies across the globe prefer Facebook for sharing recipes and other culinary-related content, with 81% saying they use the platform compared to Pinterest's 18%, according to agency Sopexa. Twitter drew 20% of respondents, and Instagram 17%. However, Instagram is more popular with American food lovers, 73% of whom peruse the site.
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