Industry News

Top 10: Federal COVID-19 vaccine order, Trader Joe's expansion, Hershey holiday candy

This week’s SmartBrief food and beverage Top 10 -- like many other industries -- was dominated by news that President Joe Biden’s new COVID-19 Action Plan includes a mandate that all companies with more than 100 employees must require workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or implement a weekly testing program. The National Restaurant Association expressed its support for vaccination following the news, and the Consumer Brands Association quickly advocated for the Biden administration to release more specific guidelines and clarify the many questions that the industry has about the mandate, which will be overseen by the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

In food retail news, Kroger forecasted that product prices will increase by 3% through 2021, and the grocer retailer advised that customers who would like to save money can purchase from the brand’s private-label line. News about retailer Trader Joe’s business strategy also drew the attention of readers this week The company shared that it is looking to expand its presence in New York, California, Colorado and North Carolina because of growing real estate markets in those states.

From the foodservice industry, the Small Business Administration announced that more loans will be available to restaurants and other businesses as a result of the pandemic through raising the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program’s limit and changing eligibility rules. The other restaurant news on this week’s list is about the growth plans of the Brooklyn Dumpling Shop chain. The business opened its first location this year and intends to add 124 more by 2023. The company said it is able to scale so quickly because of the restaurant’s automated system, small format and need for far fewer employees compared to other foodservice businesses.

Rounding out the list was Hershey’s unveiling of its 2021 holiday collection of candy. New products for the year include a gingerbread cookie flavor of Kit Kat Miniatures, Hershey’s Kisses with Grinch-themed foils and Reese’s Peanut Butter Ugly Sweater candy.

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

  1. Biden administration issues emergency vaccine directive
  2. Consumer Brands: Biden vaccine order needs clarification
  3. Kroger anticipates higher prices as inflation continues
  4. Trader Joe's targets hot markets for store expansion
  5. COVID-19 vaccine requirement rules to come from OSHA
  6. Consumer Brands requests vaccine mandate information from White House
  7. Brooklyn Dumpling Shop maps rapid growth plan
  8. SBA creates another funding option for small eateries
  9. Walmart looks to boost meat, produce performance
  10. Hershey's holiday lineup features Grinch, ugly sweaters

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