Food Industry News Roundup (Feb 11th – Feb 17th)
Big news surfaced in the food industry last Thursday (2/14/2013) when Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway) teamed up with 3G to buy Heinz for $23 billion. Heinz has played a major role in the food industry for roughly 140 years thanks to its Ketchup, Bagel Bites, and agreements to help produce private-labels for other brands. Heinz is currently under a license agreement to produce Retail / CPG products for T.G.I Friday’s and Weight Watchers, which has helped them expand their market share in the food industry. Heinz has a large share of the food industry market, including a 60 percent market share for ketchup in the U.S., with ConAgra’s Hunt’s ketchup being its nearest competitor with less than 20 percent of the market [CNBC]. In addition, Heinz products enjoy #1 or #2 market share in more than 50 countries. The Heinz deal will continue to be a headliner in the business world for weeks and months to come, so please check back in with us frequently as we will work to keep you up to date with the Berkshire / 3G buyout [more on the purchase here (Forbes)].
Heinz Tomato Ketchup (Photo credit: atomicjeep)
Below we have outlined additional news from last week in the food industry.
Many Americans participate in the Lent season. Lent lasts 40 days and during this season people are known to give up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence. In addition, many of those do not eat meat on Friday’s. Because of these practices, many of those in the Restaurant / Foodservice industry made headlines this week as they worked to change their menu for those who participate in the lent season (more “meatless” options).
“We want our guests to know that they can still enjoy many of their McAlister’s favorites during Lent,” said McAlister’s Deli President and CEO Frank Paci. Check out this link to see a complete list of McAlister’s “meatless” menu items.
White Castle, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Arby’s also made headlines last week (in The Columbus Dispatch) as they marketed new menu items or specials during the Lent season. In this article, it was also noted that no promotions or marketing efforts have been seen from Burger King or Taco Bell thus far in the Columbus, OH area.
- White Castle has Mac & Cheese Nibblers and Shrimp Nibblers available for a limited time in conjunction with Lent.
- McDonald’s recently launched Fish McBites to accompany the Filet-O-Fish sandwich on its regular menu. Fish McBites are available in three sizes: snack ($1), regular ($3.49) and shareable ($5.49)
- Wendy’s has brought back its Premium Cod Fillet Sandwich for a limited time. They will be selling the sandwiches for $3.79, and for $5.49 in a combo meal.
- Arby’s is selling its limited-time Reel Big Fillet. Two sandwiches or a combo meal cost $5
Kraft Foodservice also created a marketing promotion around the Lent Season. Last week, they featured a “Lent Special” for a complimentary case of BOCA Burgers.
California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), the authority on California-style pizza and creator of the Original BBQ Chicken Pizza, today announced the launch of two new seasonal menu items that embrace World Flavors – California style. The Brussels + Bacon Pizza and Roasted Beets with Whipped Goat Cheese Salad small plate will be available in all California Pizza Kitchen locations through the end of March [Restaurant News].
* Pizza is found on 28% of menus across the United States & the most popular cheeses featured with Pizza on menus are Mozzarella Ricotta, Peta, and Parmesan
“We know that people love classic, home-style meals, but they don’t always have time to make them, and then they have difficulty finding one that is made quickly and worth eating,” says Jason Marker, chief marketing officer for KFC US. “Freshly baked to golden perfection throughout the day, the Chunky Chicken Pot Pie is quick comfort food at its best.” [QSR Magazine]
* The term “Chunky” Chicken Pot Pie currently appears on less than 3 % of chain menus
When Taco Bell launched Doritos Locos Tacos in 2012, it quickly became the company’s most successful product launch ever, selling more than 350 million in less than a year……and On March 7, 2013, Doritos Cool Ranch fans won’t have to wait any longer. Taco Bell announces it will launch another soon-to-be blockbuster Doritos flavor to the Doritos Locos Tacos line-up: Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos [QSR Magazine].
Applebee’s has expanded its test of fast-casual “express” service options at lunch to 23 company-owned locations, saying that the move — if proven successful — could be offered systemwide later this year….. They take a number and find a seat in the dining room. Their lunch is delivered to the table and they leave when they’re ready — no waiting for a check [National Restaurant News].