Weekly Food Industry Report: May 31, 2013

Weekly Food Industry Report: May 31, 2013

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Every week, we take a look into the biggest financial news to emerge from the world of food. Here is this week’s:

Sanderson Farms, Inc: Sanderson Farms, Inc. Their net sales increased by 4.4 percent, with demand for chicken products remaining strong, especially regarding frozen whole chickens and boneless breasts, but bulk legs and wing prices remained flat.

AFC Enterprises, Inc: AFC Enterprises, Inc., who operates Popeyes restaurants, released their first quarter fiscal results. Overall, AFC’s net income grew to $9.6 million, compared to $8.3 million last year. Additionally, total sales increased by 10.2 percent, with global restaurant sales increasing by 11.9 percent in two years, and domestic store sales jumping 12.6 percent in two years.

Dole Food Company: Dole Food Company and Giant Food Stores joined to celebrate their donations of two salad bars in the Parkland School District. Both companies have a long-standing desire and commitment to eradicating hunger and promoting childhood nutrition.

Good Times & Bad Daddy’s: Good Times Restaurants and Bad Daddy’s Franchise will open three new Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar restaurants in the Carolinas. Good Times owns 48 percent of the Bad Daddy’s Franchise.

David’s Cookies and Annie’s Euro Bakery: David’s Cookies/Annie’s Euro Bakery increased their baked goods sales by landing a multi-million dollar contract with a major casino and entertainment company by joining Ariba Discovery, a company that raise a company’s visibility among buyers. Thanks to Ariba, David’s Cookies is now playing on the same level as larger competitors and has become relevant in the market.

United Natural Foods, Inc: United Natural Foods released their third fiscal quarter results on May 28. Overall, their total net sales increased by 12.8 percent, as well as their operating income by 13.8 percent and their net income by 8.9 percent.

Jack in the Box, Inc: Jack in the Box recently disclosed details of a refranchising process completed in February that featured the company’s second quarter operating results. Ameen Poonja, an expert franchisee of Popeyes and Dunkin Donuts, acquired four Jack in the Box restaurants in Indianapolis. Additionally, Jack in the Box sold 18 restaurants in the Texas area.

31 Foods You're Eating That Contain Sawdust

If you're buying grated cheese, you're eating sawdust&mdashgasp! At least that's what countless news outlets have reported recently. All the hype and outrage comes on the heels of an FDA investigation, which found that certain brands of Parmesan contain up to 8.8% cellulose&mdashaka wood pulp&mdasheven if they're advertised as 100% cheese.

That's right: There's wood pulp in your cheese. Scandalous, huh? Well, not really. Not only has cellulose been a safe, FDA-approved food additive since 1973, it's also a component of the plant foods we eat every day.

"It's a basic building block in plants' cell walls," says Sharon Palmer, RD, author of The Plant Powered Diet. "It comes from various sources, and wood pulp is just one of them." It's totally safe, too: "I'm not aware of any research that points to health risks related to cellulose in foods," says Palmer. (For the record, the FDA, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and the Environmental Working Group all agree.)

No matter where it comes from, though, the body reacts to cellulose in the same way: by not digesting it. Cellulose is a fiber, so by definition, our bodies can't break it down, Palmer explains. Instead, it gets passed right on out. And in this regard, it can actually be a health boon: Many packaged foods like cereals and granola bars use cellulose as a way to bump up a product's fiber content, which can help keep you full and quell subsequent cravings. (Here are 3 cravings that are a sign you have a health problem.)

So, is it fair to be pissed that almost 10% of your "100%" Parmesan cheese is actually made of plant fiber? Of course! But should we be shunning cellulose as an unsafe additive? Definitely not. Plus, it would be nearly impossible to avoid it altogether. We dove into Food Scores&mdashthe Environmental Working Group's database of more than 80,000 grocery store products&mdashand found thousands of foods that contain cellulose. Here's just a sampling of places it popped up.

Tomato sauce
Salad dressing
Ice cream bars
Whole wheat bread
Granola bars
Packaged cookies
Frozen breakfast sandwiches
Frozen diet entrées
Breakfast cereal
Veggie burgers
Salad dressings
Boxed cake mix
Worcestershire sauce
Hot sauce
Frozen filled pasta (like ravioli)
Packaged fruit cups
Corn tortillas
Flour tortillas
Vegetarian soy-based "meats"
Frozen pizza
Sour cream
Flavored coffee syrups
Cheese spreads and dips
Dried soup mixes
Packaged cupcakes
Frozen breaded fish
Frozen pie crusts/potpies
Coffee creamer

Bottom line: Don't sweat a little cellulose. But if you're intent on finding foods that don't use it (hey, nobody wants to get scammed on expensive Parmesan!), Food Scores is a great place to start your search. And remember, you can always grate your own cheese&mdasha little elbow grease never hurt anyone.

Blockchain and the food industry

Blockchain is regarded as the next disruption in the technology world and is being studied in several applications, business sectors and processes. This includes the secure handling and storing of administrative records and digital authentication to strengthen intellectual property rights and patent systems, as well as bring transparency throughout the supply chain, reduce food frauds and enhance food safety.

Blockchain has established its unparalleled authority in the financial sector and now the food industry is looking at where it can be applied. We should also keep in mind that this technology is at its nascent stage and it may take more research and time before it becomes parts and parcel of the food industry.

The objective of this article is to introduce blockchain technology in common language and share some examples from the world where its application in the food industry is under study.

How to Plan Weekly Meals

This article was co-authored by Adrienne Youdim, MD. Dr. Adrienne Youdim is a Board Certified Internist specializing in medical weight loss and nutrition and founder and creator of Dehl Nutrition - a line of functional nutritional bars and supplements. With 10+ years of experience, Dr. Youdim uses a holistic approach to nutrition that blends lifestyle changes and evidence-based medicine. Dr. Youdim holds a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and an MD from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She completed her residency training and fellowship at Cedars-Sinai. Dr. Youdim holds multiple board certifications awarded by the American Board of Internal Medicine, the National Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists, and the American Board of Obesity Medicine. She is also a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Youdim is an Associate Professor of Medicine at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She has been featured on CBS News, Fox News, Dr. Oz, National Public Radio, W Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times.

There are 19 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

This article has been viewed 9,801 times.

Planning out your meals for the week can save you time at the grocery store and get you and your family eating more home-cooked meals each week. Meal planning takes some organization, but it’s not hard once you get into a weekly rhythm. Start by choosing recipes for the upcoming week and making a grocery list based on those dishes. Then, strategize in the grocery store to get the most out of your trip. Finally, do some prep at the beginning of the week to make cooking each night a little easier, and don’t forget about the wonder of leftovers!

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