Big names make up the bulk of Technomic's list of the fastest-growing restaurant chains of 2020, when pandemic-era shifts toward off-premises dining favored concepts with significant takeout, delivery and drive-thru programs in place. Wingstop led the Top 10 list, which also includes Sonic Drive-In, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Jersey Mike's.
Amazon has confirmed plans to open four brick-and-mortar grocery stores in Washington, D.C.; Franconia, Va.; Chevy Chase, Md.; and Warrington, Pa., which would be its first East Coast sites. Amazon would not confirm whether the new locations would fly the retailer's Fresh banner, but did say it is now hiring "hundreds" of full- and part-time workers.
Jean Batthany, who spent more than four years working to shape the marketing of Walt Disney parks, products and brands, has been named Walmart's first chief creative officer. In a LinkedIn post, Batthany said she will develop "breakthrough and innovative marketing at all consumer touch points" for the retailer, and added she was happy to join "such an impactful brand with huge scope, scale and heart."
Lidl has introduced a new product logo for its own brands of items, such as toothpaste and soap, designed to raise awareness of water use and encourage customers to do more to conserve water every day. The "Save Water" logo, released to mark Earth Day and Water Conservation Month, also will guide shoppers to an online site that offers tips to cut water use and details Lidl's global commitment to the effort.
North Dakota's West Fargo Public Schools has been piloting a program in which leftover food from school lunches is repackaged and given to students who need more meals. Officials said 86% of the repacked servings were given to students -- making the program a success -- but Foodservice Director Dana Rieth said that as the district considers the future of the program, it would need to secure a funding source for the food containers.
Conagra Brands' net sales grew 8.5% for the fiscal third quarter ended Feb. 28 and exceeded analyst expectations thanks to the continued increase in at-home consumption, said CEO Sean Connolly. The growth was buoyed by 11.7% and 10.8% increases in sales for frozen foods, and grocery and snacks, respectively.
Procter & Gamble's Head & Shoulders brand has tapped TV personality Bill Nye the Science Guy to lead a video series featuring science experiments that demonstrate the effectiveness of the shampoo in controlling dandruff. A "100% Bill Nye Approved" seal will also appear on Head & Shoulders products.
Coffee startup Buzz Lite offers a "microdose" roast that aims to provide afternoon energy support without disrupting sleep cycles, said founder Andrew Cooper. The brand's 90% decaffeinated and 10% caffeinated blend maintains the robust taste often diminished in decaffeination by using a sugarcane-based process versus chemical solvents, said Cooper.
Peeps chicks and bunnies are set to star in an animated feature film produced by the Wonder Street film company. The story will follow the adventures they encounter while on a road trip to Peepsfest, the annual event Peeps producer Just Born hosts in Bethlehem, Pa.
With restaurant demand decreasing and few events for many consumers to celebrate, Champagne sales have dropped -- except for the most prestigious, expensive varieties of the sparkling wine, whose prices keep going up, writes James Lawrence. "Three of the top five most traded wines by value in 2020 were newly released Champagnes" and "large formats of champagne also carry one of the largest premiums among fine wines and as a result, are increasingly in demand," said Justin Gibbs, a co-founder of the Liv-ex wine marketplace.
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