Industry News

Top 10: Taco Bell to open drive-thru-only concept, Wegmans names brand president, Chicago restaurants reintroduce mask mandate

Food retail news dominated this week’s list of most-clicked stories by SmartBrief food and beverage readers. The top two items on the rankings were Wegmans Food Markets’ appointment of Nicole Wegman as the retailer’s brand president and a Q&A with Ahold Delhaize CFO Natalie Knight about lessons learned during her time in leadership since taking the position last year. 

In a crossover of food retail and foodservice business news, fast-food chain Wendy’s plans to open restaurant concepts inside of Walmart locations. Two developments --  hamburger Stand and a Wendy's Snack Shop -- have already debuted in Ohio with more to come in the next five years, according to Todd Penegor, Wendy’s CEO and president.

Taco Bell is also introducing a new dining concept called Taco Bell Defy that caters to mobile order and delivery customers with three out of four drive-thru lanes being devoted to these order types. Construction on the first prototype is set to begin soon in Minnesota with the location expected to open next summer. In other restaurant news, the city of Chicago is reintroducing a mask mandate for all employees and indoor customers of dining establishments. The rule will stay until daily COVID-19 cases reach less than 400, according to the city's Department of Public Health.

Stories from the consumer packaged goods industry to make this week’s Top 10 included a roundup of CPG product releases, such as new seasonal flavors of PepsiCo’s bubly sparkling water brand and a new variety of Unilever’s Talenti Gelato Layers collection created during a segment of Bravo’s “Top Chef” cooking competition show.

Check out the complete list of this week’s top 10 most-clicked stories in SmartBrief's food and beverage briefs:

  1. Wegmans names Nicole Wegman president of its brand
  2. Ahold Delhaize CFO discusses challenges, opportunities
  3. Retro candy is making a comeback
  4. New CPG offerings from PepsiCo, Unilever on shelves
  5. Dunkin' blazes a nontraditional path for sibling brands
  6. Wakefern opts for reusable plastic produce containers
  7. Wendy's turns to Walmart stores for continued expansion
  8. New Taco Bell design doubles up on the double drive-thru
  9. Five Guys employee gets 19M views on TikTok
  10. Chicago tells restaurant staff, patrons to mask back up

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