Industry News

Top 10: Popular summer candies, reimagined croissant shape, Chili’s new chicken sandwich

The 10 most-popular items by SmartBrief food-and-beverage readers included stories from across the industry, but news about sweet treats generated the most clicks this week. The top story on the list was news that Francois Perret, the head pastry chef at the Ritz Paris, has redesigned the croissant into a new shape. The updated version of the classic pastry is much thinner and longer, which means that it is denser and generates fewer crumbs, according to Perret. To celebrate June as National Candy Month, the National Confectioners Association has issued a list of the top candies for summer, which was the No. 2 story on the ranking. Chocolate, gummies and hard candies are likely to be favored, and strawberry, watermelon and cherry are predicted to be trendy flavors.

In consumer packaged goods news, Kellogg has launched the Bowl Bot, which is a cereal-dispensing machine, on two college campuses to create personalized bowls of cereal. The pilot program was launched in partnership with DoorDash’s Chowbotics. PepsiCo chief data and analytics officer Vikram Somaya’s insights on how to effectively use data to cater to changes in consumer behavior was another CPG story that proved popular. Somaya emphasized the importance of predicting these behaviors instead of simply responding to them.

Another fast-casual chain has introduced a chicken sandwich on its menu. Chili’s debuted the limited-time offering this week, but only rewards program members can purchase the sandwich this month. In other restaurant industry news, sandwich restaurant chain Jimmy John’s has turned to social media platform TikTok to help its hiring efforts. The company is seeking to hire 10,000 new workers and decided to use TikTok to reach a new demographic of potential employees.

A major food retail news of the week was Walmart’s launch of its own line of beef products: McClaren Farms. The private-label collection was created in partnership with Texas rancher Bob McClaren and includes Angus filet mignon, T-bone, porterhouse and ribeye steaks.

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

  1. Paris pastry chef gives classic croissant a new shape
  2. NCA ranks summer candies for National Candy Month
  3. Kellogg pilots cereal-dispensing robots at colleges
  4. Chili's flies into chicken sandwich fray
  5. PepsiCo exec: Why it's time to take data to next level
  6. Save A Lot continues shift with sale of 5 Md. stores
  7. Jimmy John's courts new recruits on TikTok
  8. Walmart debuts private-label beef line
  9. Ferrero campaign puts kids' art on packaging
  10. Cargill to sell masks to block cow burps

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