Summer may be melting away fast, but thanks to a new protein, your ice cream will soon stay frozen longer, Business-Standard.com reports. The protein, BslA, binds together the air, fat, and water in ice cream to create a super-smooth consistency that resists quick melting. The new protein, discovered by researchers at the University of Edinburgh and University of Dundee, also allows for the use of less saturated fat in foods, resulting in fewer calories. Restaurants, meanwhile, will benefit from a better product that no longer requires deep freezing, which should save money.
New York Weighing Soda Ban
New York legislators are about to weigh in on a new proposal to ban the sale of jumbo sodas to children 16 and under. According to the bill, it is meant to help protect kids from the ill effects of the sugary drinks. Attempting to regulate sugary drinks in New York is not new. The Bloomberg administration attempted unsuccessfully to prohibit the sales of jumbo-sized soft drinks a few years ago, The Houston Chronicle reports.
LA Restaurants Sued For Price Fixing
A number of Los Angeles restaurants are involved in a class action suit that charges the eateries with price fixing, Nation’s Restaurant News reports. The suit is based on an email one owner circulated to fellow restauranteurs encouraging them to follow his lead in charging an additional 3% surcharge to help defray benefits costs for workers. A number of restaurant owners then apparently met and agreed to follow, which constitutes collusion to fix prices meant to specifically offset the benefits costs of the Affordable Health Care Act. Bottom line: It is legal to institute such a charge on your own, but to do so as part of a pact is not. As with anything in your business, check with your attorney before acting.
Time To Feature Pork
With beef prices still soaring and pork prices down nearly 7% from last year, serving pork is the way to go, Omaha.com says. Restaurant customers are ordering more pork and poultry this summer, Tony Wald, chief executive officer of Grand Island-based food distributor Thompson Co., tells Omaha.com. “Pulled pork is quite popular, as are pork chops,” he says, adding that restaurants can command a higher profit margin on pork and poultry. But he also acknowledges that total sales will be lower, since those entrees still are typically less expensive than beef.
Meat Substitutes Market Is Growing
Looking for something new to offer your patrons in the way of entrees? Apparently so are your competitors, as the meat substitute industry is growing by more than 6% a year, Business Journal reports. If you think it is a fringe market, think again. Totaling nearly $6 billion in annual sales, the vegetarian sector has some big players, including Amy's Kitchen (U.S.), Beyond Meat (U.S.), Sonic Biochem Extractions Limited (India), MGP Ingredients (U.S.), and Garden Protein International Inc.
McDonald’s Dumps Chicken Supplier
After an animal rights group released secret videos of a Tennessee chicken farm employee abusing the birds, both McDonald’s and Tyson Foods, which processed the chickens into McNuggets, severed ties with the chicken producer, QSRWeb reports. Already struggling with sinking sales, McDonald’s is working diligently to reinvent itself as a family favorite, so the last thing the giant chain needs is an association with animal cruelty.
Sales Up In July
The NRA reports that restaurant sales were up at 73% of establishments surveyed in July, the National Restaurant Brief reports. Restaurant traffic was also up at nearly 65% of the restaurants. Long term, some 88% of restauranteurs believe the outlook will continue to improve as the year progresses.
Chipotle Sued For Lying About GMO Products
National restaurant chain Chipotle is being sued for alleged false claims that its menu is GMO-free. The lawsuit claims many menu items actually contain GMOs, The Food Institute reports. Of particular note, the lawsuit cites the company’s “Food with Integrity” marketing campaign is deceptive, since it alludes to a green environment theme and use of healthy non-HMO food. The case is now pending in the U.S. District Court for Northern California.
For those of you who remember Horn and Hardart’s Automat restaurants in New York City, a modern-day concept just opened in San Francisco, The San Francisco Chronicle reports. The fully automated restaurant Eatsa features iPad ordering stations and vegetarian selections that appear in a glass-window carousel system. Food selections are prepared by a staff of six unseen workers, loaded into the automatic system, which also displays the customer’s name on the front of the kiosk.
Egg Production Still Down
The latest figures on egg production show a decline of 10% over last year’s supply availability. United States egg production totaled 7.67 billion during July 2015, down 10 percent. Production included 6.53 billion table eggs, and 1.14 billion hatching eggs, of which 1.06 billion were broiler-type and 83 million were egg- type. Future egg-laying chicks are also down 3% for July, which is not good news for what lays ahead.
Italian Cuisine Tops The Menu
In a recent survey of customers, more than 60% say they eat Italian food at least once a month, while 29% say they enjoy Italian fare more than twice a month, Nation’s Restaurant News reports. The next two ethnic favorites are Mexican and Chinese food. Not surprisingly, when surveying diners in the Northeast, 71% said Italian food was their favorite, and 43% noted that the foods they like the best are tired to their ancestry or heritage.