Portland, Ore.-based Salt & Straw has raised $4.2 million in a new funding round led by the Oregon Venture Fund. The 19-unit ice cream shop chain will use the funds to invest in new technology to build its delivery and direct-to-consumer efforts, CEO Kim Malek said.
BJ's Wholesale Club is making strides toward simplifying its offerings, adding new products and enhancing presentation, according to executives. "We continue to invest in our digital products, properties, adding new capabilities and improving features rolled out over the last year," says CEO Christopher Baldwin.
A school district in Arkansas has expanded its summer-meal program this year, adding three additional locations, says Kathy Platt, the district's child nutrition director. The district offers free breakfast and lunch to anyone under age 18 and lets adults buy those meals for around $5 per day.
Executives from Keurig Dr Pepper have officially broken ground on the company's new headquarters in Frisco, Texas. Keurig Dr Pepper's new facility will be 350,000 square feet and is expected to open in 2021.
New frozen bars from KIND Healthy Snacks and General Mills' new Drumstick cereal caught the attention of SmartBrief's food-and-beverage readers this week. A convenience store concept from Whole Foods Market and Ferrero's new products also resonated with readers.
Fast-casual chain Sweetgreen will now offer five months of paid leave for parents who add children to their families through birth, fostering or adoption. The perk will be offered to full- and part-time employees who have been with the company for at least six months.
McDonald's is keeping an eye on the rise of plant-based meat alternatives but isn't ready to add a meatless burger to the menu, Global Chief Marketing Officer Silvia Lagnado told investors at the chain's annual shareholder meeting. Consumers have urged the addition of a plant-based option, but the company is still working to gauge consumer interest.
Restaurants looking to cut waste and trim their produce bills can join with local farmers, farmers markets and other food sellers to source imperfect fruits and vegetables, culinary arts professor Jonathan Deutsch writes. Overripe tomatoes can make a better sauce than firmer versions of the fruit, and consumers never see the whole veggies that go into soups and chopped salads.
A study by advertising technology company Viant looked at restaurant visits by nearly 1.9 million consumers over six months and identified five different segments to help restaurants target their marketing efforts. "With a better understanding of their customer base, [quick-serves] can build cohesive marketing strategies and drive traffic to their restaurants," Viant Chief Marketing Officer Jon Schulz said.
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