Top 10: Holiday themes, Sonic acquisition, Walmart’s robotics

SmartBrief’s food-and-beverage readers warmed to holiday-themed stories this week, with a tale of Pillsbury’s run on ugly Christmas sweaters topping the top 10 list. The tacky togs bearing the image of the brand’s iconic Doughboy sold out in a few hours, but fans got a second chance to win one by entering an online contest. The trends of fancy buche de Noel cakes in France also proved popular.

Restaurant acquisition stories also resonated, including the $2.3 billion purchase of Sonic by Inspire Brands, the parent of Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Rusty Taco. U.S. Beef Corp.’s sale of 368 Arby’s restaurants to franchisee Flynn Restaurant Group landed on the most-clicked list as well.

Walmart’s test of Flippy the robot for food-preparation tasks and possible future use in in-store delis caught readers’ attention, as did a story of innovation for the future at Smithfield Foods.

Read the entire Top 10 list:

  1. General Mills quickly sells out of Pillsbury Ugly Christmas Sweaters
  2. USDA to scale back school nutrition requirements
  3. Breathtaking buche de Noel cakes on display in France
  4. Mondelez's SnackFutures team already creating innovations
  5. Walmart testing robot for prepared food tasks
  6. Ky. cafeteria manager wins SNA contest
  7. Sonic is now under Inspire Brands umbrella
  8. Krave Jerky founder: This is a heyday for food startups
  9. Flynn Restaurant Group grows with Arby's deal
  10. How Smithfield Foods innovates for the future

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