Industry News

Top 10: Conagra snack launches, restaurant acquisitions, new ways to eat a Reuben

This week was a big one for restaurant acquisitions, led by Inspire Brands' announcement that it will add Dunkin' Brands to its portfolio. The parent of chains including Arby's and Sonic Drive-In will take Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins private in a deal valued at $11.3 billion. Boston Market owner Pandya Restaurant Growth Brands also made an acquisition this week, buying Chicago-based Corner Bakery Cafe from Roark Capital for an undisclosed amount. Friendly's, whose parent company FIC Restaurants filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, will be acquired by Amici Partners Group for nearly $2 million. The pandemic has drastically reduced sales at the casual dining chain, but almost all of its 130 restaurants are expected to remain open after the sale.

This week's most popular story came from food manufacturer Conagra, which will debut 13 snack products at the Crack The Code Experience, the National Association of Convenience Stores virtual conference taking place through Dec. 4. The new products include brand mashups such as Bigs Takis Fuego sunflower seeds and a Sour Patch Kids line of Snack Pack gels, as well as a plant-based jerky under the Gardein brand.

In retail news, Walmart announced that it will turn four of its stores into test sites to try out new technology and store design features. However, shelf scanning robots will not be among them. The company announced that it has ended the trial of the inventory tracking machines from Bossa Nova Robotics after learning that human workers could do the same jobs as efficiently.

A couple culinary stories also made the most-clicked menu this week. Readers were hungry to know more about a technique for using an egg white coating to achieve crispy roast potatoes, as well as ideas for riffing on the classic Reuben sandwich with other formats including pizza and nachos.

Read the full Top 10:

  1. Conagra reveals slew of new snacks
  2. Add egg whites for crisp, flavorful potatoes
  3. Dividers help Ga. schools expand cafeteria capacity
  4. Why Walmart reversed course on robot shelf scanners
  5. Inspire Brands seals $11.3B deal to buy Dunkin'
  6. Brinker sees a bigger future for It's Just Wings
  7. Friendly's finds a buyer as part of Chapter 11 filing
  8. Roark sells Corner Bakery Cafe to Boston Market parent
  9. Walmart converting 4 stores into tech test centers
  10. Reuben-inspired dishes transform the deli classic

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