Top 10: Bar Louie sale plans, Everything But the Bagel Seasoning and a N.D. high school’s espresso machine

SmartBrief food and beverage readers were captivated this week by Bar Louie’s possible sale to one of three interested parties, following the bar and restaurant chain’s filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and closing of 38 locations. In other foodservice news, Popeyes debuted its own line of maroon and orange apparel to capitalize on the social media buzz that the fashion collaboration between Beyonce’s Ivy Park and Adidas resembled the chicken chain’s employee uniforms. Proceeds from the clothing line will go to Popeyes’ nonprofit arm.

The No. 1 spot on this week’s most-clicked list was taken by Trader Joe’s own ranking of the grocer’s best-performing products. The top customer-favorite was the Everything But the Bagel Seasoning and cauliflower gnocchi came in as the second-most-popular item at Trader Joe’s. Readers were also drawn to Kraft Heinz CEO Miguel Patricio discussing the importance of focusing the company’s attention on its high-performing brands, even saying Kraft Heinz would eliminate products or brands that weren’t successful to concentrate on developing those stronger brands. Other CPG news included an advertisement for the Reese’s Take 5 candy bar with the tagline "The best bar you've never heard of," which will be Hershey’s first ad for the Super Bowl for the first time since 2008.

Stories about schools’ food and beverage services also piqued the interest of SmartBrief readers this week. Williston High School in North Dakota has begun offering an espresso machine in the school’s coffee shop, resulting in much higher milk consumption by students -- 500 to 600 more gallons, according to Lynelle Johnson, the school’s food service director. Several public schools participating in the National School Lunch Program are receiving grant money from the USDA to purchase new equipment such as stoves, refrigerators and dishwashers for the cafeterias.

Check out the complete list of this week’s top 10 most-clicked stories in SmartBrief's food and beverage briefs:

  1. Trader Joe's reveals customers' favorite products
  2. Kraft Heinz CEO seeks to focus on high performers
  3. Hershey debuts 1st Super Bowl ad for Reese's brand
  4. Popeyes takes a cue from Beyonce with new fashion line
  5. Bar Louie files for Chapter 11 with plans to sell
  6. High-school coffee shop helps students get milk
  7. Caraflex: Cabbage's sweeter, cone-shaped cousin
  8. Sour Patch Kids conversation hearts debut at Walmart
  9. Grants to fund new school cafeteria equipment
  10. Key takeaways from FMI's Midwinter Executive Conference

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