Industry News

Top 10: Texas Roadhouse CEO, free Krispy Kreme for vaccines, Kellogg Cereal Straws

One of the most-clicked items by food and beverage readers of SmartBrief this week was about Krispy Kreme’s latest promotion. The chain is offering free doughnuts to customers who provide proof that they have received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The deal is valid through the end of 2021, and Krispy Kreme is giving workers up to four hours of paid time off to receive vaccinations. 

The rankings also included two cooking features from The New York Times on using salt and smoke to create a delicious ham as well as the seafood stew moqueca.

In consumer packaged goods news, Kellogg rereleased its Froot Loops and Cocoa Krispies Cereal Straws for the first time since 2009. The food manufacturer decided to bring the popular product back to grocery shelves following a consumer petition that amassed more than 81,000 signatures calling for the straws’ return.

And one year after pandemic-related lockdowns spurred pantry loading in the US, news about the Consumer Brands Association's study about what the CPG industry can anticipate moving forward also made this week's list. Manufacturers will need to continue prioritizing e-commerce sales as well as digital supply chain tools, and while sales of CPG products likely won’t reach 2020 levels again, companies can still expect higher sales compared to pre-pandemic years, the report said. 

On the retail side of the industry, readers were drawn in by Dollar General’s planned expansion efforts for 2021. The chain intends to open 1,050 new locations, update 1,750 existing stores as well as launch 50 more of its higher-end Popshelf store concepts this year.

The most-read story this week however, was news that Texas Roadhouse founder and CEO Kent Taylor died by suicide last week. The restaurant company and the executive’s family said Taylor previously had COVID-19, which caused a chronic case of tinnitus and other painful, lasting symptoms.

“He was without a doubt, a people-first leader,” said Greg Moore, Texas Roadhouse’s lead director, in a statement. “His entrepreneurial spirit will live on in the company he built, the projects he supported and the lives he touched.”

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

  1. Texas Roadhouse CEO's suicide related to COVID-19
  2. Dolly Parton, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams partner to support library nonprofit
  3. Krispy Kreme to give doughnuts as vaccination reward
  4. Salt and smoke transform pork into ham
  5. Dollar General shares ambitious growth plans for 2021
  6. Moqueca is a celebratory seafood stew
  7. Consumer Brands: Elevated CPG demand is new normal
  8. Kroger, Ocado opt for small format at Mich. CFC
  9. Kellogg to revive Cereal Straws for 2 brands
  10. CEO: Albertsons will continue riding digital wave

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