We go all bakery in the first half of the Food Focus, as Flowers Foods and Hostess both release quarterly earnings…we discuss differences between the two, and why one might be on better footing than the other going forward. After discussing Craft Brew Alliance’s recent earnings call, we turn our attention to Whole Foods’ list of projected food trends for 2018, and which may actually have a food industry impact for years to come.
We start with Papa John’s and an earnings call that referenced the NFL over 40 times as an explanation for slower-than-expected growth. Meanwhile, BJ’s slows down their construction of new locations in an effort to focus on their existing restaurants while The Cheesecake Factory hits the throttle on new development in the fourth quarter.
Both Del Taco and Chipotle name one food input that is hurting their margins, and it’s dark green and bumpy. We discuss this and other information from each company’s earnings report before looking at the new proposed value platform from McDonald’s and the complexity behind lease agreements that may hinder Whole Foods unlocking some synergies with Amazon.
After several quarters of closures and shrinking sales, Ruby Tuesday finds a buyer for their concept; we compare this deal to other recent deals for struggling FSRs. Meanwhile, Captain D’s sees white space in seafood, Sonic tries to find reasons for stalling same-restaurant sales, and Muscle Maker Grill seeks funding at a time when their balance sheet is only lifting the bar.
Halo Top launches a line of dairy-free frozen desserts in an effort to stake down even more market share—we frame their expansion through the overall trend of dairy-free products. PepsiCo continues to attempt to straddle the past and the present, and Monsanto sees an increase in seed demand in the midst of a proposed merger. We close with Taco Day promotions in the U.S., and reviews of a new pizza chain and a West Coast beer.
Cracker Barrel releases their most recent earnings report, but beyond that, we look into some signals the company may be sending with their messages during the earnings call. We also look into Farmer Brothers’ increased partnerships as a potential future revenue driver, Walmart’s rollout of EBT payment acceptance in two sample markets, and Albertsons’ acquisition of meal kit delivery service Plated.
We begin with a major story from Brinker International, as they announce cuts to 40% of their current menu in an effort to simplify their offerings. We discuss whether this may actually work to boost sales, and potential hurdles for Starbucks’ latest development in cold-pressed espresso. We round out our show with legal news regarding Kroger & Lidl, and a look at El Pollo Loco’s latest LTO.
Dave & Buster’s earnings were released this week, and we discuss the increasing chasm between entertainment and food in their business model. After a Swiss chocolatier releases the first new natural chocolate color since the 1930s, we look at dynamics of a suddenly struggling chocolate industry. We close with two NBA-related stories, as the owner of Landry’s agrees to buy the Houston Rockets and a former NBA player opens up a QSR inside…Walmart?
Although J.M. Smucker saw increased sales in the pet category, Folgers and other legacy brands are beginning to hold the food manufacturer back. We discuss possible solutions, before discussing Dominos’ short partnership with Ford to explore self-driving delivery vehicles. We wrap up with a look at fall flavor challenges to pumpkin spice and a Hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego.
We lead with Zoe’s Kitchen earnings, and a clearer picture of anticipated openings for 2018 that falls short of analyst expectations. We discuss why Zoe’s may be right to limit growth, and also how a new partnership between Walmart and Kroger may be beneficial for all parties involved. Finally, mushroom sales are on the rise as demand is up and volumes are down: we explore the edible fungus market to close the show.