Industry News

Top 10: Pizza at Panera, panic shopping at Walmart

The pandemic colored much of the most-read CPG, grocery and foodservice news this week as the number of new US COVID-19 cases grew. 

Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon reported that consumers are stocking up again on staples amid the rising tide of new cases, news that shot to the top of this week’s list of most-clicked food-and-beverage stories. McMillon’s comments were supported by recent surveys revealing that consumers are concerned that the growing number of cases could bring another round of lockdowns and product shortages. 

In other pandemic-related news, General Mills announced that the 4,000 employees based at its corporate headquarters will continue to work remotely until May 2021. "In the future, we expect the majority of our employees will return to the workplace and many of us are likely to blend time in the office with personal work time at home,” spokesperson Kelsey Roemhildt said. 

The COVID-19 outbreak has also spurred Coca-Cola to review its product portfolio and make a plan to drop underperforming products to free up resources to invest in better-selling beverages.

In the restaurant world, surging demand for off-premises dining drove Panera Bread to create new flatbread pizzas designed to travel well for takeout and delivery. The pizzas debuted this week in three versions: cheese, margherita and chicken and bacon. 

The pandemic has also fueled an increase in outdoor dining, and in the Windy City eateries seeking a way to keep diners warm in the cold winter months could turn to heated tables called kotatsu that originated in Japan. The concept was selected from among 600 entries in a contest held by the city of Chicago.

Read the entire Top 10:

  1. Walmart CEO says shoppers are stocking up again
  2. Panera debuts pizzas created with delivery in mind
  3. Behind Ferrara's Keebler brand update
  4. General Mills HQ employees to work remotely until May
  5. Heated tables from Japan could warm Chicago diners
  6. B&G to acquire J.M. Smucker's Crisco brand for $550M
  7. Coca-Cola CEO: Pandemic calls for bold decisions
  8. CPG product launches include new seasonal items
  9. 2021 Sweets & Snacks Expo heading to Indianapolis
  10. BJ's Restaurants maps short- and long-term growth plans

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