The "indulgence gap" is likely to affect wine sales as Baby Boomers hit retirement age and many millennials begin their careers, causing spending habits to change, per Rob McMillan, founder of Silicon Valley Bank's wine division. To prepare for changes in the market, he suggests that growers sell to wine producers with good brand strength and growing sales, as well as rising star brands "trying to engage and differentiate themselves in the market."
Wine Australia has suspended Dalefold Wine's export license after the company sold a Penfolds look-alike wine in China. Wine Australia said Dalefold had "engaged in activity that aims to leverage from the reputation of another wine brand in China through causing consumer confusion."
Idaho's Potandon teamed up last year with Oregon's Baker & Murakami to automate the onion-packing process in a new facility. The new system handles grading and precision weighing to ensure top-quality onions, said Baker & Murakami executive Cameron Skeen.
Temperatures topping 115 degrees earlier this month took a toll on avocado crops in parts of California, growers said. The heat scorched fruit, which could lead to shortages and higher prices next month, and it also damaged trees in some areas, which could mean lower volumes next year.
Arcadia Biosciences and Shriram Bioseed have developed a hybrid tomato with an extended shelf life. The fruit is in the testing stage and expected to hit the market next year.
Manipulating a group of genetic controls dubbed MYB transcription could create healthier, tastier and prettier produce, according to researchers in New Zealand. "It could significantly increase the content of pigments per fruit serving, resulting in a possible step change in health benefits," said researcher Andrew Allan.
Dairy product launches saw growth of 44% in China last year over 2016, according to Innova Market Insights. Cheese, spoonable yogurt and drinkable yogurt are among the products seeing fast growth in the market.
Navigating trucker shortages and other freight challenges can be difficult for the food industry, but Land O'Lakes has put several strategies in place to offset shipping issues, said Chief Supply Chain Officer Yone Dewberry. The company is increasing its use of technology to better track shipments, partnering with private fleets and collaborating with industry associations such as GMA and FMI to find solutions.
Taco Bell has begun hosting hiring parties to recruit employees in a tight labor market and fulfill its goal of adding 100,000 staffers by 2022. Applicants play games, get free food, participate in on-site interviews and have the opportunity to win gift cards as signing bonuses.
Meal-kit maker Chef'd has ceased operations and informed employees of layoffs, reportedly running through capital it had raised in recent months. "One company's financial woes are not necessarily indicative of a trend, but it brings to light the challenges in supporting the meal kit financial model," according to Rick Stein, FMI's vice president of fresh foods.