A growing number of restaurants are going completely cashless as credit cards and mobile payment technology become increasingly dominant. Processing digital payments is cleaner, faster and more efficient, both for customers and restaurant staff, said Thomas Nguyen, co-founder of five-unit, Houston-based Peli Peli Restaurant Group, which operates three of its locations with a cashless model.
Kindergarten teacher Sonja Murray and her colleagues at a prekindergarten-through-grade-12 Title I school in Mississippi take steps to educate parents and caregivers about how children can be successful in kindergarten. In this commentary, she notes that outreach includes giving parents and day care centers lists of top skills.
Mondelez's Vea snack line is now hitting store shelves in three different formats: Seed Crackers, World Crisps and Mini Crunch Bars. The new line includes ingredients like sweet potato, quinoa and butternut squash, and will be supported with an advertising campaign that uses the tagline "Find Your Way to Real."
DanoneWave, Hain Celestial and Noosa are among the yogurt brands bringing a plethora of new offerings to store shelves to appeal to consumers seeking better-for-you snacks. Additional new product debuts include Welch's Fruit Rolls and Smithfield Yuengling Traditional Lager Bratwursts, marking a collaboration between Smithfield Foods and beer brand Yuengling & Son.
General Mills has released new data about regional differences in consumer snacking choices, noting that Southern snackers prefer chips, popcorn, pretzels and crackers. While consumers located in Midwest and West Coast states reach for fruits and vegetables when snacking, granola and nutrition bars reign in the Northeastern states.
Jerky brand Krave is premiering a national television campaign to appeal to health-conscious snackers. "The campaign, featuring our first-ever television ads, is designed to capture the 'Krave Better' spirit to reach consumers with a message about the brand's culinary roots and premium ingredients that provide a high-quality source of protein," said Krave's Michelle Villarroel.
Less than half of CPG brands report significant ROI from their omnichannel endeavors, KPMG data indicates, but many companies still lack the capabilities to deepen the omnichannel experience for consumers. Brands should identify their target consumers and then use various methods to drive loyalty with those shoppers, such as strengthening connections via social media, says Bobby Marhamat of omnichannel platform firm Revel Systems.
The US Department of Labor has announced plans to overturn regulations created by the Obama administration in 2011 banning the practice of tip-pooling between waitstaff and back-of-house staff in restaurants that don't use a tip credit. The NRA was pleased with the decision but still hopes to bring the issue before the Supreme Court to prevent the rules from being reinstated in the future, according to Angelo Amador, executive director of the NRA's Restaurant Law Center.
Chicago-based East Balt Bakeries, which supplies buns to chains including McDonald's and Wendy's, has been sold to Mexico's Grupo Bimbo for $650 million, pending regulatory approval. "This acquisition continues to fulfill our vision of expanding our global reach to better serve more consumers, with entry to eight new countries," said Bimbo CEO Daniel Servitje.
Food truck and mobile catering operations have grown at a rate of 10.2% over the past decade, while traditional quick-serve establishments have seen growth of 1.7%, according to NRA data. Some top food truck operators have brought in millions of dollars and used their success to grow their brands into brick-and-mortar stores and retail grocery sales.
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