Industry News

Top 10: Kroger, Starbucks and the post-pandemic future of food

The coronavirus outbreak and how it has been changing companies and industry segments within the food world dominated the list of most-read food-and-beverage stories this week.

Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen’s forecasts for the way the pandemic will shape grocery shopping trends in the coming months topped the Top 10 list. McMullen said he believes a new normal will follow the initial panic buying and the current level of continuing high demand for food and other grocery essentials.

The supermarket operator was also in second place this week, with a story about its blueprint designed to help other companies and industries create safer workplaces.  "We are sharing what we've learned to help businesses begin to reopen safely and in sync with their respective state plans," McMullen said.

Lessons learned in the pandemic-era grocery world were also top-of-mind for Hy-Vee CEO Randy Edeker, who shared insights into his company’s new safety initiatives and the rise of e-commerce.

Starbucks’ still-vague plans to start reopening cafes in parts of the US where new cases seem to have peaked and are on the decline caught readers’ attention. CEO Kevin Johnson said the company would take a "monitor and adapt" approach in consultation with local officials before deciding to reopen cafes that have been closed to all but drive-thru traffic since March 21.

A story about the way the outbreak is likely to reshape the restaurant industry also made the list. About 140,000 US restaurants are on a path to close permanently by the end of this month, according to the National Restaurant Association. Those that do reopen are likely to see a growing shift to mobile ordering and contactless payment, with customers avoiding touchscreens and continuing to opt for take-out and delivery.

The pandemic is driving a resurgence in baking at home, a trend reflected in a couple of the most-popular stories. King Arthur Flour reported on how it has shifted production practices to meet demand after US flour sales surged 2,000% in March over the same month last year. The company is focusing on producing high-demand products and it has also created baking tutorials and shared recipes online.

Read the entire Top 10:

  1. Kroger CEO looks ahead to the new normal
  2. Kroger issues blueprint for safer workspaces
  3. Cadbury reveals logo redesign
  4. Starbucks to reopen US stores in phases
  5. How King Arthur Flour is meeting increased demand
  6. Baking experts weigh in on how to use 3 types of yeast
  7. How will the pandemic reshape US restaurants?
  8. What will grocery stores look like after the pandemic?
  9. Survey: Millennials, Gen Z plan for return to restaurants
  10. Hy-Vee CEO talks pandemic lessons and the new normal

Related stories:

_____________________________________

If you enjoyed this article, sign up for Consumer Brands SmartBrief or Restaurant SmartBrief to get news like this in your inbox, or check out all of SmartBrief’s food and travel newsletters as we offer more than 30 newsletters covering the food and travel industries from restaurants, food retail and food manufacturing to business travel, the airline and hotel industries and gaming.