Category: Uncategorized

Freshly Picked, October 2, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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Weather issues (heat and rainfall_ continue to linger across several growing regions, leading to tightened supplies and quality issues, resulting in overall higher markets. Vegetable production out of the Salinas Valley continues to see a decrease in supply due to the virus. Additionally, the commodities still continue to see increased heat-related issues such as lighter weights, fringe burn, tip burn, internal burn, discoloration and lower shelf life.

Grains

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Grain market took a hit with this weeks Russian annexations in eastern Ukraine. This is casting doubt over the Black Sea deal. Last week, soybean oil fluctuated in both directions but finished well. The main cause of the increased market was the USDA reports. As a result, corn and wheat prices increased as well. A decrease in the anticipated production of that crop helped canola climb higher. Due to weak demand and rising supplies, Palm was unchanged. 

Dairy

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With concerns about having enough supply to fulfill demand, both the block and barrel cheese markets increased. Another record price for butter has been reached due to strong exports and inadequate production. Bird flu and high demand drastically reduced egg inventories, driving up egg prices. 

Beef

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With the availability and price disparity being wider for premium grade boxes, the industry is moving in two different directions. Overall, the rib market is still stable, with some inventory providing purchasers time to consider their options for choosing between Choice, Sel, and No Roll. Strips keep getting softer, but there is still a shortage of CAB and higher product. Chucks are still holding the line, and inside round cuts are still steady. 

Pork

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Retail provided some support for butts past week, driving the market higher because it is a value pick. Although the market for boneless loins is currently quite static, overseas markets may show some interest in the product. Demand and supply for ribs both stayed the same. Fresh bellies did not experience much activity, but once secondary processing picks up, it may begin to increase. 

Poultry

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Although there is seasonal wing demand, prices are stable. Prices are down and there are more tenders available. The market for random breasts is declining. Breasts with portion control are available. Prices for boneless thigh meat decreased once more this week. Leg meat without bones is widely accessible. The price of whole birds is rising.

Seafood

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Optimal harvest sizes for catfish production improves. Walleye and Whitefish is having better harvest do to the cooling of the warm water in the Great Lakes.

Freshly Picked, September 26, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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Weather issues (heat and rainfall_ continue to linger across several growing regions, leading to tightened supplies and quality issues, resulting in overall higher markets. Vegetable production out of the Salinas Valley continues to see a decrease in supply due to the virus. Additionally, the commodities still continue to see increased heat-related issues such as lighter weights, fringe burn, tip burn, internal burn, discoloration and lower shelf life.

Grains

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Tuesday was a tremendously optimistic day for the wheat complex as big gains were seen everywhere but particularly in Chicago wheat, where the December contract saw a day-to-day increase of about 8%, wiping out all of last week’s losses. The surge could be attributable to a number of things, but the most likely cause is fresh concerns over the Black Sea grain trade. Even Putin himself was somewhat taken aback by how effective the export agreement has been thus far. We might witness a return to a very bullish price environment for maize and the wheat complex if the agreement isn’t renewed and grain exports from the Black Sea stop once more. 

Dairy

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Cheese block manufacturing in the US has grown in recent year and cheese cold storage inventories have been adequate. Demand both globally and domestically has been strong. Exports for 2022 are on record pace. With concerns about having enough supply to fulfill demand, both the block and barrel cheese markets increased. Another record price for butter has been reached due to strong exports and inadequate production. Bird flu and high demand drastically reduced egg inventories, driving up egg prices.

Beef

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With the availability and price disparity being wider for premium grade boxes, the industry is moving in two different directions. Overall, the rib market is still stable, with some inventory providing purchasers time to consider their options for choosing between Choice, Sel, and No Roll. Strips keep getting softer, but there is still a shortage of CAB and higher product. Chucks are still holding the line, and inside round cuts are still steady. 

Pork

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The USDA pork belly primal price has been trending lower this week and is now down 35.4 percent from its peak in August ($2.170/lb). According to the USDA, this fall’s (Q4) U.S. pork output will be 1.5% lower than last year’s level, which might restrain the growth of pork belly (bacon) inventories in the coming months. Although bacon is a popular breakfast and sandwich item addition among Americans, its demand may be in doubt. This is because consumers may be choosing more robust meat proteins as a result of their limited budgets.

Poultry

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Egg supply remains tight due to the current impact of the Avian Flu. Demand on wings and prices continue to be steady. Tenders are dropping and availability is increasing. Boneless leg meat is readily available with prices down again this week. Whole birds are trending higher.    

Seafood

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Seafood import prices were released by the USDA last week. Snow crab is down almost 15%. This is the 8th consecutive month that snow crab has fallen. The frozen cod market strengthened. The Great Lakes’ warm water gradually cooled, allowing for better Walleye and Whitefish harvesting (perch remain elusive). As fish grow to the right size for harvest, catfish production increases.

Freshly Picked, September 19, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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Weather issues in may growing regions will cause markets to increase over the next few weeks. Avocado supplies have continued to increase on the larger sizes.

Grains

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The market moved lower for the majority of previous week due to technical trading, but by Friday the market had recovered. Scores for soybeans moved very little. Farmers are selling canola as it approaches a two-year low. Large oil inventories and weak Chinese demand are pushing palm prices lower.

Dairy

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Despite flat demand and weaker exports, cheese prices rose last week on both the block and barrel markets. Butter reached a record-high price while anticipating a pullback. With strong retail and foodservice demand, as well as the effects of resurgent avian influenza, egg markets are higher.

Beef

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In particular for CAB or higher product, ribs continue to benefit from close in sales and the front-end demand; Sel and No Roll present prospects. While strips continue to get softer, CAB or higher product is still scarce. Chucks are still holding the line, but clods and inner round cuts are getting stronger. The grinding is constant. 

Pork

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More demand is causing bellies to trend up. Loins moved up slightly due to short supplier. Ribs continue to remain flat. Support from retail and a short harvest week are moving butts up for next week.

Poultry

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Wing demand for the season is here. Prices are dropping and availability is increasing for tenders. The random breast market is dropping. Thigh meat prices were down again this week. Whole birds are higher while boneless leg meat is more available than its dark meat counterpart.  

Seafood

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The Great Lakes’ warm water makes fishing difficult and delays harvest until late September. As fish grow to the right size for harvest, catfish production increases. Farmers don’t let the fish stay in the water longer than necessary, so the majority of the tilapia collected is small. There are not enough 7-9 ounce fillets available. 

Freshly Picked, September 12, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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Weather issues in may growing regions will cause markets to increase over the next few weeks. Avocado supplies have continued to increase on the larger sizes.

Grains

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There is weak demand and large stocks of palm oil causing it to move lower. Good Canadian crops for canola. Soybean oil market traded down last week.   

Dairy

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Avian Flu has resurged causing shell eggs to move higher. The butter market has moved higher as cream has softened.

Beef

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Summer holidays are behind us causing buyers to look for product on a shortened production week. Demand and sales for ribs continue.  

Pork

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Butts have found their floor and levels off. Supplies for ribs are in good demand. Bellies have seen a slight dip and will continue the trend for the next few weeks.

Poultry

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Avian Influenza outbreaks have started to return. Whole birds market is trending up. Boneless thighs were down this week. Seasonal wing demand is back. Increasing availability on tenders and portion-controlled breasts.

Seafood

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There is good market value on frozen tuna. Tilapia harvests have been small since farmers are not letting fish stay in the water longer than is necessary. There is a shortage on 7oz-9oz filets. 

Freshly Picked, September 5, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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Weather issues across many regions are causing markets to trend upwards and will likely remain for several weeks. Many of the mixed vegetables out of the Salinas Valley see volatility due to increased INSV pressure combined with warmer temperatures.

Grains

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Last week, the soybean oil market increased as a result of recent private crop appraisals that expressed concerns about crop production. Canola and palm oil prices increased as a result, albeit palm oil only moved very slightly because demand has decreased and supply is plenty.

Dairy

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Despite good production, cheese sales declined once more. The demand is rising. Supply of butter is becoming increasingly scarce, driving this market upward. The market is rising as a result of the restricted cream market. Shell egg prices increased as a result of strong foodservice demand and steady retail demand.

Beef

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Strips continue to show firm demand. Markets continue to hold flat with buyers and packers both trying to gain leverage. Ribs are steady.

Pork

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Expect more concessions this coming week as butts continue to deteriorate. For the time being, ribs are trading sideways and are marginally lower. Because of retail demand, loin prices remain comparatively flat. Bellies fell below markets from the previous year. Ham sales are also declining as export demand declines.

Poultry

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Football season is almost approaching, and supply has already started to become scarce. The number of available tenders is rising. Due to Labor Day demand, the market for random breasts has leveled off. Breasts with portion control are available. Prices for boneless thigh meat decreased once more this week. It’s easier to find leg meat without bones.

Seafood

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The availability of domestic and imported catfish is continuing to increase. The supply of frozen tuna has increased and has a high market value. Due to manpower shortages, a lack of containers, and FDA holds, some tilapia shipments are currently experiencing delays.

Freshly Picked, August 29, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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Weather issues across many regions are causing markets to trend upwards and will likely remain for several weeks. Many of the mixed vegetables out of the Salinas Valley see volatility due to increased INSV pressure combined with warmer temperatures.

Grains

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Canola has improved to a point where we will see much more seed availability. Improved weather conditions caused the soybean oil market to trade down last week.

Dairy

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Retails are increasing egg buying pushing eggs higher. Increased exports have pushed butter prices higher. Markets were higher this week for block and barrel cheese markets. 

Beef

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Strips continue to show firm demand. Markets continue to hold flat with buyers and packers both trying to gain leverage. Ribs are steady.

Pork

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Good supply and steady demand brought trimmings down this week. Demand for bacon is decreasing causing bellies to decline. There has been a big demand on retail loins causing supplies to tighten and driving the market up. The market is holding flat on ribs as the market is stable.

Poultry

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Pricing for thigh meat was down again this week. Labor Day demand has evened out the random breast market. Supply on wings has begun to constrict has football season nears.

Seafood

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Importers brought in excess inventories of Whites and Tigers saturating the market. Prices are declining on specific sizes of shrimp. There is a good market value on frozen tuna as supply has improved. Shipping delays are facing the tilapia market.  

Freshly Picked, August 22, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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Situation on potato supply continues to be dire. Demand is exceeding supplies in all regions.

Grains

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Canadian weather is good for canola crop. Canola and palm moved higher, keeping pace with soybean oil. Dry weather is the cause for higher markets. Most grain based commodities rose last week.

Dairy

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Eggs continue to move lower with a well supplied demand. Cream supplies are tight forcing butter markets higher. Demand for cheese is softening though the market moved higher.  

Beef

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Strips continue to show firm demand. Markets continue to hold flat with buyers and packers both trying to gain leverage. Ribs are steady.

Pork

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Trimmings are trending up. The belly market is searching for a correction. Demand for loins in retail are rising and driving the market up daily. Ribs are stable with a relatively flat market. The butt market continues to decline

Poultry

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Breast market is down with good supply. Prices remain high for tenders. Wing season is approaching, and supply has begun to constrict. Jumbo sizes are tight. Medium and small wings have availability.

Seafood

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There is an excess shrimp inventory for both Wats an Tigers. Demand has softened due to slow retail sales. Prices are declining. Labor shortages are forcing delays in Tilapia shipments. Inflationary pressures and a heavy supply of low-cost imports is causing the domestic shrimp market to face downward pressure.

Freshly Picked, August 15, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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Potato supply continues to be dire. All regions are seeing demand outpacing supply.

Grains

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Canola Oil looks good with great weather in Canada. The EPA has recently announced biofuel rebates and renewable manufacturers are stepping up to buy. Soybean has continued higher, with continue hot weather. The crop has been downgraded for the next 6 weeks.

Dairy

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Canola Oil looks good with great weather in Canada. The EPA has recently announced biofuel rebates and renewable manufacturers are stepping up to buy. Soybean has continued higher, with continue hot weather. The crop has been downgraded for the next 6 weeks.

Beef

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Ribs continue to be steady. Strips continue to show strong demand. End cuts continue to be steady.

Pork

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Bellies are high but expected to ease. Tight supplies and labor are causing an upwind spin on loins. Ribs are trending upwards as Labor Day approaches. Spareribs dropped sharply as demand has decreased. The high but prices from the summer are starting to come down.

Poultry

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Chicken wings are approaching a 10-year low for pricing. Large wings are being constricted as we head into football season. The random breast market has dropped this week. Prices remain high for tenders.

Seafood

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IQF tilapia are seeing shortages due to shipping delays, labor issues and lack of containers.

Freshly Picked, August 8, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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The main country of origin for avocados continues to be Mexico. California is seeing decreased volume. Lemons are seeing tighter supply on good quality. Fingerling potatoes are seeing a limited supply for the next 4-5 weeks. Limited supplies on cilantro and parsley are being reported due to high heat in growing regions.

Grains

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Both canola and soybean are moving higher. Palm prices are moving higher as Chinese demand increases. The very hot and dry weather is causing soybean oil futures to move higher. Adding demand to the market are biodiesel and rebates which the EPA has recently announced.

Dairy

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Cream prices have moved up along with the butter market. There is good demand and flat supply causing egg market to move down. Tight stocks are causing the butter market to move higher. Cheese markets have moved lower with an increase of supply.

Beef

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Consumers are searching for lower price points by searching out end cuts. Costs are being pushed down for tenders which are in good supply. Strips are holding a firm demand and price. Overall markets are steady going into the month of August.  

Pork

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Increased demand for bellies are moving them back up. Supply and demand for ribs are leveled off. They are down slightly. Retail demand has caused loins to rise. Unusual highs has caused the butt market to decline.

Poultry

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Prices and availability are tight and high for tenders. The random breast market is expected to drop this week. Supplies are ample for wings hitting a 10 year low on pricing. Wings of all sizes are readily available. Overall excess supply has hit the market.

Seafood

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Domestic gulf shrimp is in season. Compared to last year, supply has drastically improved. There is great value in promoting for summer specials.

Should Your Restaurant Chain Add a Drive-Thru Window?

When consumers are in a rush and looking for something to eat quickly on-the-go, their options are limited. If only their favorite restaurant had a drive-thru window… all of that hunger could be quickly satisfied.

If you’re looking for ways to upgrade your restaurant and increase your bottom line, consider adding a drive-thru window. Maybe this has been a long-awaited goal of yours and you just need that extra push.

More and more restaurant chains are adding drive-thru’s models to their operations. Schlotzsky’s and Tim Horton’s have both hopped on the drive-thru trend and debuted new location designs.

Our restaurant experts at Consolidated Concepts say it’s time to invest in another profitable revenue stream.

Here are four benefits to adding a drive-thru window to each of your restaurant locations:

Supports Off-Premise Dining

Not everybody has the time to sit down and enjoy a meal at a restaurant. Sometimes they’re just looking for a quick bite during their lunch break, while traveling, or running a handful of errands. Whatever the reasoning may be, adding a drive-thru window to your restaurant chain will not only benefit the consumer but you the operator as well.

Off-premise dining is slowly making its debut again, especially with the cold weather ahead. Consumers aren’t always going to want to leave their house or dine-in. Sometimes it’s just easier to sit in your car and head through the drive-thru.

Less Contact for Those Worried about COVID

With cases on the rise once again, there may be consumers who are hesitant to dine-in at their favorite establishments. They may be immunocompromised, caring for an elderly, or just being extra cautious. Having the option of going to a drive-thru to enjoy a delicious meal from their desired restaurant will give them one less thing to worry about. This will even help boost brand awareness and loyalty.

Increases Your Bottom Line

Drive-thru sales are booming. There’s no doubt that adding a drive-thru window to your restaurant establishment is a worthy investment. The pandemic has helped increase the popularity of drive-thrus’, but even before COVID, these windows have always been revenue boosting machines.

When you have a drive-thru window, you can take more orders at once, which means profits are always coming in. This doesn’t mean you won’t have consumers who dine-in, it just means you’ll now have a wave of both, which is beneficial for you.

Training Your Staff & Properly Packing Your Meals

One key point to mention, if you are considering adding a drive-thru window to your restaurant chain, is to be sure to create a strategy and identify the best way to incorporate the new design into your operation without taking away from what you already have. According to QSR Magazine’s Drive-Thru Study, 89% of survey-takers say that order “accuracy” was “somewhat” or “most” important with their experience. Followed up by “speed” at 88%.

Consumers are looking for something quick and easy, whether they’re eating their meal in the car or taking it back home with them, their food should be served fast and stored properly to eat on-the-go.

While we all know that mistakes can happen, as stated above, accuracy is what’s most important to consumers when utilizing the drive-thru window. This is why it’s crucial to train your staff to ensure their efforts are both efficient and effective.

Don’t forget, you need to make sure you have enough staff to cover each station because your drive-thru will be busy and may get hectic at times.

In addition to staffing efforts, you want to make sure meals are properly packaged in a way that makes it easy for the consumer to enjoy their food without making a huge mess. Whether this means extra napkins, cutlery, or containers that will keep their food fresh, warm, and well-put together – going above and beyond in your packaging will make consumers want to buy from your establishment again.

Join Consolidated Concepts

Fortunately, for Consolidated Concepts members, we help with everything you’ll need to make sure your drive-thru window is well-equipped to increase your bottom line and bring repeat customers.

Become a member today to help steer your drive-thru window to success!