Freshly Picked, May 23, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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There is more availability on small limes this week. Larger sizes will continue to be short. Volumes on tomato are tight. Avocadoes are expected to stay at or above current market pricing. 

Grains

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Last week was very volatile for the grains market. Soy and corn so the most activity. Farmers in the midwest are making some progress with planting and getting back to normal levels. Favorable weather is expected in the corn belt.

Dairy

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Soft demand caused the butter markets to be down. Eggs move higher due to Avian Influenza concerns. The cheese market has appeared to level out.

Beef

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Cattle are expected to remain steady. Overall beef demand seems to be modest this spring. There are less retail sales because wholesale beef markets are historically high. Consumers have been moving from higher end cuts to chuck, rounds and ground products for lower costs.

Pork

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US pork output is expected to be down due to unfavorable hog supplies. As Memorial Day approaches, butts are trending up along with loins. Bellies saw a slight uptick for the next week.

Poultry

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Breast and tender market are expected to increase. Boneless breasts are nearing a record high. Labor issues, high feed costs and ingredient shortages are hampering production. 

Seafood

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the 2021/22 catches aren’t looking good and are below average, resulting in higher raw material costs. Canadian crab season has begun with 75% of the quota already being caught.

Freshly Picked, May 16, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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Avocadoes are expected to stay at or above current market pricing. Hot peppers are transitioning from winter production to summer production. There is more volume on limes. Tomato and squash markets are stable.

Grains

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Palm oil continues to trend upwards. Weather outlooks in the corn belt look favorable for planting. Canola is moving higher as Canada does not plant as much crop. Indonesia increased their export mandates causing soybean oil market to trade higher.

Dairy

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Butter Markets are down due to low demand. Eggs continue to move higher with Avian Flu concerns. The cheese markets have level out for the time being.

Beef

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Retail was steady last week with a favorable Mother’s Day. Ribs, Strips and tenders should soften until consumer demand picks up. The hope is that chucks and rounds do not lose more ground. Beef demand seems to be modest though retail is stagnant since wholesale is costly. 

Pork

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Wholesale pork markets are the third most expensive for this time of year. Bellies are coming down moving with seasonal trends. Retail demand has slowed causing a dip. Short supplies are moving spareribs up.

Poultry

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Expect to see shortages in the next week do to Avian Flu. Tender availability is very tight though wings are mostly steady. Overall production has been constrained by overall birds weights and lower bird placements. 

Seafood

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Canadian crab season has begin. 50% of the quota has already been caught in the Gulf. New Shrimp season just opened in Louisianne. 

Freshly Picked, May 9, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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Avocadoes are expected to stay at or above current market pricing. Hot peppers are transitioning from winter production to summer production. There is more volume on limes. Tomato and squash markets are stable.

Grains

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Canola is moving higher as Canada does not plant as much crop. Indonesia increased their export mandates causing soybean oil market to trade higher.

Dairy

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Eggs are up because of the Avian Flu. Butter is down as demand falls for the week.

Beef

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Demand from consumers has been underwhelming. Packers have enticed buyers with lower prices. Ribs, strips and tenders should soften after the Mothers Day weekend.

Pork

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Ham exports are up showing large gains. Packers are moving to St. Louis ribs as spareribs are in short supply. Butts shifted down but demand is expected to climb as the market moves up. Belly market fell sharply.

Poultry

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Tender availability is tight. There is a big demand for breasts but tight supplies due to labor constraints. Wings are lower but readily available. 

Seafood

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The domestic shrimp season is over. Asia is experiencing supply chain concerns leading to extended lead time. Scallop season has begun and the landings are increasing.  

Freshly Picked, May 1, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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Avocadoes are expected to stay at or above current market pricing. Hot peppers are transitioning from winter production to summer production. There is more volume on limes. Tomato and squash markets are stable.

Grains

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The grains market is having another strong week. All vegetable oil varieties have moved up. Indonesia has shut off exports of palm oil sending futures into record territory.  

Dairy

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Eggs are up for the week due to the continued effect of Avian Influenza. Cheese imports are up but exports are causing a decline. Higher butter demand has caused a drop in the market.  

Beef

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Consumer spending power is fading with already expensive wholesale beef prices. Supply continues to be tight to fill cases that require several heads, causing prices to climb.

Pork

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Hams are relatively flat for the next week. Ribs are moving higher as suppliers prepare for Memorial Day.

Poultry

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The Midwest has been most affected by the Avian Influenza which is having its worst outbreak since 2015. Portion controlled breast and random still have a very strong market. Tenders are tight while wings are lower and readily available. Production is expected to improve but has been constrained from lighter bird weights.

Seafood

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There has been a record low harvest for Gulf Oysters due to mortality rate and fishing areas being shut down. There is expected to be a tight supply until November. Mother’s Day and Cinco de Mayo are opportunities to feature popular items like shrimp and salmon.  

Freshly Picked, April 25, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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Soybeans have been trading at all-time highs. Many markets are rebounding after last weeks religious holidays and the border crisis, which caused considerable supply loss. Quality of product is good with minor quality issues. Mothers Day is a few weeks away and national demand typically increases.

Grains

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There have been global vegetable oil shortages for a variety of reasons. High crude oil, the war in Ukraine, and South American poor crops quality. These factors have pushed the soy-bean oil market to an all time high.

Dairy

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Avian Influenza continues to take its toll on the egg market. Cheese markets are up due to exports while butter inventories remain in good shape for next week.

Beef

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Current cattle numbers and expected output should meet the usual spring demand. Beef production increased 5% last week and was up for the year. 

Pork

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Exports on hams are showing a significant jump. Normal seasonal trends are continuing to move spareribs higher while loins, and butts are flat for next week. 

Poultry

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The Midwest has been most affected by the Avian Influenza which is having its worst outbreak since 2015. Portion controlled breast and random still have a very strong market. Tenders are tight while wings are lower and readily available. Production is expected to improve but has been constrained from lighter bird weights.

Seafood

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There has been a record low harvest for Gulf Oysters due to mortality rate and fishing areas being shut down. There is expected to be a tight supply until November. Mother’s Day and Cinco de Mayo are opportunities to feature popular items like shrimp and salmon.  

Artificial Intelligence – the Future of Foodservice and Supply Chain

Back-of-House restaurant operations have never been just easy. Especially now, post-pandemic, when many operators are struggling with staffing and labor shortages, supply chain shortages, inflation…the list goes on.

As a restaurant operator, you want to make sure you’re leveraging technology to help save you both time and money. At Consolidated Concepts, we can help you do this by using a little something called Artificial Intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence

AI

The future of Foodservice and Supply Chain lies in the hands of Artificial Intelligence.

What is Artificial Intelligence you ask? It is the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions.

It may seem like you’re completely unfamiliar with AI, but rest assured, you see it every day—even when you don’t know it.

Did you know that every time your Google Maps reroutes you as you’re driving to your destination, it uses AI? It monitors your phone as you drive to make better decisions for you based on where you are and where you’re going.

Or have you noticed that every time you type a letter on your touch screen keyboard, the area in which you’re clicking in expands a bit and the letters become bigger? That’s because your phone knows what you’re about to type based on the sensitive area your fingers are clicking in! That’s AI too.

As humans, we are always looking for ways to solve problems in a more efficient and timely manner. Whether it’s transporting from one place to another or beating your partner in a game of chess.

With Artificial Intelligence in the foodservice industry, you can make better business decisions. In short, a lot of it is classical optimization. This means, by looking at either past or present data, you can determine what the best possible solution is to the problem you’re facing right now.

Back of House Technology

Back of House

The truth is, you’re most likely already using AI in the front-of-house tablets on tables for order taking and payment of checks. You’re probably even using it for reservations, restaurant seating and digital QR codes for menus.

If you’re doing marketing or serving any Instagram ADS, that’s also AI. If you have an online ordering engine or displaying product recommendations, or maybe your HR department is screening candidate resumes. What about your finance department forecasting? That’s all Artificial Intelligence!

The problem is, technology has been slower to be adopted in the back-of-house.

In the front-of-house, AI helps you control variables such as menu costs, table numbers, hours of operation, etc. It’s a lot easier to control.

Although you should be taking control of your back-of-house, too! That starts by utilizing the purchasing data your operation generates. Unfortunately, the amount of data your restaurant produces is so complex and time-consuming for the human mind to manage, this is where AI and technology come into play.

In the back-of-house, your variables are constantly changing. Pricing, inventory levels, quality. It’s hard to manage and keep track of every single situation, whereas in the front-of-house, your variables are limited—making it a lot easier to handle. Plus, almost everything is in your control.

The current challenges within the supply chain makes it extremely difficult for operators like you to manage a successful restaurant. You’re facing roadblocks left and right, and almost every day has become unpredictable.

Now, imagine if there was a way to identify new savings opportunities, optimize pricing, handle product substitutions, and do much more with little to no effort. Because there’s only so much we as humans can do, Artificial Intelligence is the future of our industry.

You as an operator need to focus on what you are good at and the real reason you opened a restaurant in the first place to create great food and memorable experiences for your customers.

Leave the time-consuming, laborious part to technology…

How Can AI Help Me?

Artificial Intelligence can solve all your problems. How do you adapt to the supply chain? AI. How do you deal with product shortages? AI. How do you deal with things like price fluctuations and inventory levels? AI.

For instance, artificial intelligence can identify thousands of substitutions for items you’re already buying within a matter of minutes. Humans don’t work as fast as technology.

How many analysts would you have to hire to identify over 1,000 similar items in two minutes? A lot. That’s why it’s important to embrace technology and AI.

But that’s only one of many things Artificial Intelligence is capable of.

Forget about your spreadsheets and long nights spent in the office. Our technology analyzes, normalizes, and cleans your data for you.

An AI engine (if you ask it to do so), can help you find similar or the same products at a lower price. It can also uncover what products are in stock or out of stock.

AI analyzes high volumes of data, provides visibility into purchasing, and helps you improve your partnerships. When you have a better understanding of your operation, you save money, time, and labor. AI provides consistency, stabilizes your pricing, and alleviates the supply chain strain.

How Can I Get Started?

If you’re ready to embrace technology and implement AI into your operations, you first need to work with a data partner that leverages AI, such as Consolidated Concepts.

Our cutting-edge technology was designed to identify areas where emerging, growing, and established restaurants may unlock additional opportunities to save money and increase profitability.

Start leveraging AI to streamline operations and put money back into your bottom line, by becoming a member today!

 

 

 

Freshly Picked, April 18, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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Weather issues continue to cause yield loss across many growing regions and commodities, causing added market pressure.

Grains

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Palm oil lowered again this week as production began to increase. The canola and soybean oil market was higher as there was a strong demand for both food and fuel.

Dairy

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The cheese block and barrel markets were the highest since November 2020. The egg market declined for the week due to higher pricing which curbed demand leading into the holidays.

Beef

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USDA data suggests that adequate cattle supplies will support all production to meet springtime demand. Warmer weather means more grilling which supports tenderloins and steak cuts. Beef packers will most likely face smaller cattle numbers later this year into 2023.

Pork

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Bellies continue to show a sign for weakness while retail demand has driven caused loins to trend upwards. The market is expected to level off as butts come down.

Poultry

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Though the prices for chicken breast are historically high, there is still a great demand from retail and foodservice. Chicken output is said to be larger by 2021 by the USDA. Boneless, skinless breast hit a premium over wings this week. The jumbo wing market has dropped and supplies are readily available. .

Seafood

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Gulf Oysters have suffered a record low harvest due to mortality rate. Oyster companies are scrambling to get raw freezing materials.  

Freshly Picked, April 11, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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Weather issues continue to cause yield loss across many growing regions and commodities, causing added market pressure.

Grains

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The soybean oil market was flat but still in record high territory. Lack of sunflower oil has caused other varieties to be sought after. Corn oil is extremely hard to find.

Dairy

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Avian Influenza concerns are pushing the egg market up. Tightening cream markets are pushing the butter market down. Global demand has pushed the cheese markets up for the week.

Beef

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The market is strong leading into Easter and preparing for Mother’s Day. Inflation is weighing heavily on consumer’s mind. Ribs, strips and tenders are all in good shape showing subtle increase.

Pork

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April is a traditional slow month for pork bellies which are showing signs of weakness. Increased supply in ribs has allowed them to stay flat.

Poultry

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The random breast market is very strong. Portion control breast have a strong demand but tight supplies due to labor constraints. Supply is readily available for the jumbo wing market which has been dropping. Lighter bird weights is constraining production.

Seafood

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The domestic shrimp season is over. The new season will start in May for Whites and July for Browns. Supplies are getting tight on umbo headless shell-on shrimp. 2022 Canadian snow crab quota was 35 million tons, a 34% increase from last year.

Freshly Picked, April 4, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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Weather issues continue to cause yield loss across many growing regions and commodities, causing added market pressure.

Grains

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The soybean oil market was flat but still in record high territory. Lack of sunflower oil has caused other varieties to be sought after. Corn oil is extremely hard to find.

Dairy

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The egg market remain high due to Avian Influenza concerns. The butter market is up for the week. The bloc and barrel markets are up for the week due to global demand.

Beef

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Ribs, strips and tenders continue to climb. Inflation is causing buyers to monitor consumer spending.

Pork

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Hams are sliding down for the week. Pork belly remains high with demand strong. Strong demand has caused butts to move upwards.

Poultry

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Portioned breasts have tight supplies due to labor but a strong demand. Availability on tenders is tightening. Jumbo wing market is dropping.

Seafood

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Russian crab is unsellable due to the conflict with Ukraine and Russia. A suggested substitute item is Canadian snow crab. 2022 Canadian snow crab quota is 70,000 lbs, a significant increase from last year. Domestic sea scallop season starts April 1st. Domestic shrimp is now off season until May.

Freshly Picked, March 28, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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The market is being supplied by Mexico then California, there is a very limited number of Colombian avocados coming in. The supply of avocados will be good, and prices will be a bit weaker as the market looks to find a balance between the supply and demand. 60’s are the dominate size followed by 48’s and then 70’s then 84’s then the jumbo sizes.

Grains

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As crude oil fell last week, so did soybean oil. Palm oil also decreased last week. Corn, wheat and soybeans were all lower as well. Slight reduction last week for soybean and palm oils. Lack of sunflower oil has caused other varieties to be sought after. Corn oil is extremely hard to find.

Dairy

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The block and barrel markets are down for the week due to milk production. The butter market is down as well. The egg markets remain up for the week due to Avian Influenza concerns.

Beef

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Reduction in harvest has helped reduce supply levels. Ribs continue sideways. Strips and tenders continue to reflect steady for the weeks ahead.

Pork

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Hams are sliding down for the next week. Demand for trimmings has weakened. Fresh bellies moved up slightly. Loins are flat for next week as demand and supplies are unchanged. Butts continue to move upwards with strong demand.

Poultry

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Jumbo wing market has been dropping and supply is available. Tender availability is tightening. Random breast market is very strong. Boneless thigh meat price is stable but supply is tightening.

Seafood

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A large part of the Russian crab is unsellable due to the conflict with Ukraine and Russia. A suggested substitute item for Russian snow crab is Canadian snow crab. Domestic scallop season starts April 1st and will begin to replenish inventories.