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CCFB News» August 2021

Family Farm and Food Bytes

08/06/2021 @ 11:35 am

FULL-SERVICE RESTAURANTS BEAT FAST FOOD CHAINS IN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION DURING THE PANDEMIC – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was a year unlike any the restaurant industry has seen before. And yet, for one industry group, it was business as usual: As they do every year, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) released its annual Restaurant Study and found that the pandemic may have helped satisfaction across the industry -- especially for traditional sit-down chains. (Food & Wine)


IFB PRESIDENT: INHERITANCE TAX WOULD BE “ABSOLUTELY DEVASTATING” – The Illinois Farm Bureau does not support a new farm inheritance tax set forth by the Biden Administration. According to IFB President Richard Guebert, some farmers could have to sell off land to make the difference under the new proposal, hurting farmers inheriting the land. (WJBC)


YOUR STEAK IS MORE EXPENSIVE, BUT CATTLE RANCHERS ARE MISSING OUT – In the U.S. cattle industry, the supply chain is dominated by just four meatpacking conglomerates, and their profits are raising tensions. While diners at restaurants and shoppers in grocery stores experience sticker shock from sharply higher prices for ground beef and prime steaks, ranchers say they are barely breaking even or, in some cases, losing money. (New York Times)


CALIFORNIA’S DROUGHT IS SO BAD THAT ALMOND FARMERS ARE RIPPING OUT TREES – The famed farming valleys of California are being swept into what feels like permanent dryness, raising the specter of food inflation. (Bloomberg)


THIS FARMING VIDEO GAME IS SO POPULAR that people PAY TO WATCH GAMERS PLAY IT – One of the joys of video games is the way they let the player experience a new world and do things they would never do in real life — and it turns out that includes the thrill of plowing a soybean field, the excitement of bailing hay and the exhilaration of harvesting wheat. Players of the Farming Simulator game experience these activities virtually. (NPR)


MCDONALD’S CEO SAYS DINE-IN IS HERE TO STAY DESPITE ONLINE AND DRIVE-THRU SALES GROWTH – McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said he expects dining inside the fast-food giant’s restaurants to bounce back. He cites the social aspect of dine-in experiences as one of the main factors that drives demand. (CNBC)


CONSUMERS STILL WANT BEEF DIRECT FROM THE FARM – A lot of consumers learned through the worst of the pandemic that while they might not always be able to count on their local grocery store for the essentials, a direct-to-the-farm connection was a coveted alternative. For many cattle producers, those sales opportunities continue to grow. (DTN)


SUPERMARKETS ARE STOCKPILING INVENTORY AS FOOD COSTS RISE – Supermarkets are stocking up on everything from sugar to frozen meat before they get more pricey, girding for what some executives anticipate will be some of the highest price increases in recent memory. (FOX Business) 


THE PIZZA DELIVERY GUY WILL BE A ROBOT AT MANY CAMPUSES THIS FALL – Delivery company Grubhub Inc. plans to roll out food-delivering robots across U.S. college campuses from this fall, as automation grows in a sector turbocharged by the pandemic. (Wall Street Journal)


ILLINOIS STATE FAIR KICKS OFF AUGUST 12 – Large crowds of family and friends will head to Springfield next month. The Illinois State Fair officially returns August 12-22. Organizers canceled the annual event last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


 TACO BELL, MCDONALD'S, AND DUNKIN ARE RAISING PRICES. HERE'S HOW MUCH MORE YOU'RE PAYING FOR COFFEE AND FOOD – Prices at fast-food chains will continue to rise as ingredients and labor grow more expensive. Analysts looked at 24 restaurant chains over a year and found 17 of them are currently running price increases, and price increases, on the whole, are growing in both size and frequency. (Business Insider)


THE PRICE OF VENDING MACHINE FOOD JUST JUMPED BY A RECORD AMOUNT AS PEPSI, COCA-COLA, AND SNACK BRANDS HIKE PRICES – According to the consumer price index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, snack food sold in these machines in the US was up 2.3% last month, the biggest single-month cost jump on record, Axios reported. The cost of eating out was up 0.7% overall. (Business Insider)


COVID CRACKED THE GLOBAL FLOWER MARKET, AND LOCAL FARMER-FLORISTS ARE BLOOMING – The same eco-conscious clientele that boosted farmers markets and locavore restaurants seems eager to hop on board with supporting local farmer-florists. And Covid-19 may ironically be the ultimate long-term boon to these smaller producers. (Bloomberg)


IT’S SOME OF AMERICA’S RICHEST FARMLAND. BUT WHAT IS IT WITHOUT WATER? – In America’s fruit and nut basket, water is now the most precious crop of all. That’s because farmers in California’s Central Valley, the country’s most lucrative agricultural belt, are confronting an exceptional drought. Across the state, reservoir levels are dropping and electric grids are at risk if hydroelectric dams don’t get enough water to produce power. (New York Times)


AGRICULTURE PRICES TO EASE BUT HUNGER AND CLIMATE GOALS ARE FAR OFF – Food commodities are likely to become cheaper in the coming decade as productivity grows, but global targets on reducing hunger and emissions are unlikely to be met under current policies, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation and the OECD said on Monday. (Reuters)


About Family Farm and Food Bytes: This is a collection of articles gathered from both mainstream and agriculture media and is designed to keep you informed as a member and leader within the Cook County Farm Bureau® organization. The articles summarized above are not intended to represent Cook County Farm Bureau policy or positions, but rather to provide members an idea of what is being reported regionally, nationally, and globally.

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