“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
Consider the Broader Context for Holiday Forecasting
Unemployment levels are low, stock values are rising, and the economy is doing well. This all should add up to a robust holiday season, right? Well, maybe not. Supply Chain Matter argues that supply chain managers should consider the broader context of what’s been happening. Hurricanes devastated Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Wildfires consumed California, and earthquakes hurt Mexico. Consumers may have other expenses to worry about this holiday season, even if it looks like the stats are projecting a good season. As a word of advice, supply chain matters suggests keeping current events in mind before relying too much on the numbers.
Goodbye Sweet, Hello Savory
Bakeries are excited to report that the gluten-free phase is finally winding down. While many businesses are continuing to offer some gluten-free options, they are focusing more of their attention on the next few crazes. One of the most noticeable is the switch from sweet to savory pastries and snacks. Many bakeries are using these savory cravings to test more ethnic and unique flavors as well as colorful and fresh ingredients (some of the other current fads). While many of your customers still have a sweet tooth, pushing those items to the side for something mouthwatering, gooey, spicy, and completely different might be the right move. Now, are you as hungry as we are?
Look out Fast-casual Restaurants, They’re Comin’ for Ya
Have you noticed that a lot of the major fast-casual restaurants and food service business have been merging like schools of fish? That’s how QSR Magazine describes the current M&A trend. Pizza, fro yo, and other successful restaurants are receiving offers they can’t refuse from angel investors, investment firms, and even their competitors. For large firms aiming to diversify their portfolios, food service is a pretty safe bet because even when the economy is hurting, people still want to eat out. And unlike the fast sales of the ‘80s and ‘90s, investors are putting resources and time into these acquisitions to make sure they’re successful. Even though this M&A trend is likely to slow down in the near future (there are only so many innovative ideas), successful businesses might want to keep an eye out for M&A threats and opportunities alike.
Work-in-progress Items Using Recyclable Plastics is a Work in Progress
The Association of Plastic Recyclers has come up with the next new thing in the plastics world: the APR Recycling Demand Champions Challenge. This challenge encourages businesses that use work-in-progress items, such as pallets and tote bags to make them out of post-consumer recycled plastics. While many big names have already signed up to take on this challenge, the work-in-progress recyclables are still a work in progress. It could be a major shift for PCR products, so our fingers are crossed.
The Food Service Industry Steps up Again for California
The sudden, devastating fires in California’s wine country killed 42 people and left 100,000 people as evacuees, 8,000 destroyed buildings, and a community that looks and feels like a war zone, according to Restaurant News. While many food service businesses were affected in the area, many more are once again stepping up to make donations, provide food to shelters, and help any way they can. For example, Boca Tavern provided firefighters with free meals and evacuation centers with sandwiches. SF Fights Fire has served more than 12,000 meals, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association hopes to raise $1 million for housing costs, and many restaurant-specific organizations are helping those in need. The food service industry has been generous and supportive through a wide variety of natural disasters, and this is no exception.