Category: Uncategorized

Freshly Picked, June 20, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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There is improving volume on mid-sized to small limes. Larger sizes will continue to be short. Favorable weather conditions throughout the growing regions have fueled increased supplies for many commodities helping markets remain steady as we see increased summer demand. Harvest crews continue to wok product in the fields to mitigate quality issues.

Grains

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Gains had a mostly down week with corn and wheat. Volatility on these items will persist. The soybean export season will get underway soon. Soybean oil traded higher last week but finished down sharply. Weather has improved in Canada for Canola, but no real pricing action has taken place.

Dairy

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Spot Cheese prices were mixed but well supported at the end of last week. Butter prices continue to climb up due to tighter cream suppliers. Egg market increased this week with good demand.

Beef

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Packers are trying to hold steady pricing for as long as possible. Chucks and rounds continue to trade steady. Tender supply is out pacing demand while strips show strength but could tail off in the upcoming weeks. Ribs are steady.

Pork

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Hams are starting to decline while pork trimmings continue to increase. Back ribs continue to trend down for the week while loins have started to show some strength but remain relatively flat. Butts continued their upward momentum.

Poultry

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Chicken breast prices are at a historic high. Production levels have not recovered from the pandemic and Avian Flu. The short production cycle will allow chicken to adjust quickly while seasonality shows that lower prices will most likely occur this month.  Avian Flu has had its worst outbreak since 2015. Turkey supply is extremely constrained across the market.

Seafood

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Seafood import prices are due shortly. The US ban on Russian imports will shift our demand to Canada. There has been a strong decline in the snow crab market. Canadian processing companies have stopped producing snow crab clusters. Domestic white shrimp season kicked off in Louisianna.

Freshly Picked, June 13, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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Favorable weather conditions throughout the growing regions have fueled increased supplies for many commodities helping markets remain steady as we see increased summer demand. Harvest crews continue to wok product in the fields to mitigate quality issues.

Grains

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The soybean oil market was very volatile last week, starting the week lower. Canola oil is still finding logistic issues in Canada. Indonesian exports are still not shipping on palm oil.

Dairy

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The cheese markets have continued to slowly drop. Tighter cream supplies are forcing butter prices to climb. The egg market continues to remain down.

Beef

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Ribs and tenders are finding continued demand. A big question is how long will buyers pay current asking prices for middles with such a large harvest? Look for the steady range on chucks and rounds to hold true.  

Pork

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Hams are back up due to exports to Mexico. Bellies are still moving up as demand continues to increase. Loins remain flat while back ribs are slowing down and trending down for next week.

Poultry

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There is continued constraint on whole bird supply. Avian Flu is having its worst outbreak since 2015. 5.5 million Turkeys have been lost so far. The Midwest has been the most affected by the Avian Flu. Portion controlled breasts are still in high demand and difficult to come by. The current market is strong and excess product is nonexistent.

Seafood

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Domestic shrimps’ season had kicked off in Louisiana. Landing on head-on shrimp for peeling continues to be good. This is signaling softening prices. There has been a record low harvest for Gulf Oysters due to mortality rate and fishing areas being shut down. Frozen tuna imports have started to arrive.

Freshly Picked, June 6, 2022

Alerts & What’s Trending

Produce

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There us improving volume on mid-sized limes, though larger sizes will continue to be short throughout June. Tomato volume will be light as the growing season in Florida is coming to an end. Crop production in South Georgia has begun to ramp up. Cucumbers, squash, cabbage and bell peppers show good volume. The green bean market is showing short supply with high prices while corn quality is very nice

Grains

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The grain markets were lower this week. New corn crop export sales have tapered off. Soybean oil future had a dip this week but prices are still very high. Planting corn and beans from several states has been delayed due to weather.

Dairy

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The cheese markets are down slightly, due to softening demand. There has been a slower export demand than usual. Butter prices are up due to tighter cream supplies. Egg continued a downward trend last week due to declines in retail demand and Avian Influenza

Beef

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Live cattle are expected to remain steadily priced this week. The warm weather and Memorial Day weekend is a reminder that grilling weather has arrived. Ribs, strips and tenders have benefited from better demand and a smaller harvest this week.

Pork

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Retail and food service demand is up after the Memorial Day Holiday. The retail sector has been holding loins up which continue to move. Supplies have increased for ribs which are on a slight decline since summer booking have been completed.

Poultry

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The random breast market is historically high but there was a decrease this week. Tender availability is very tight with higher prices. Bird weight has improved, and demand has softened causing additional product availability.

Seafood

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Fishing zones for shrimp have all opened in Louisiana. So far there have been great catches. There has been a record low harvest for Gulf Oysters. Public fishing areas in Texas are all closed. Oyster companies are scrambling to get raw materials to freeze for the half-shell market.

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.