Oser Communications Group

Gourmet News June 2014

Issue link: http://osercommunicationsgroup.uberflip.com/i/317601

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 27

BY LUCAS WITMAN The United States and Europe are currently in the midst of what could be the most significant trade negotiations in history, and the specialty food industry is in danger of getting caught in the crossfire. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a proposed free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union, would es- tablish a series of regulatory stan- dards bringing into agreement many corporate and economic laws on the two continents. This could be a particular challenge when it comes to laws regulating the production and marketing of As many agricultural growing regions around the world are experiencing ongoing drought, and other weather extremes, prices for some food staples have recently reached record highs. Restaurants, food pro- ducers and consumers alike are being forced to grapple with high prices on everything from corn to coffee to cocoa. And with no end in sight to the on- going global weather woes, food prices are expected only to climb higher. In April, beef prices in the United States hit an all-time high, with USDA choice-grade Food Industry Reacts as Food Staple Prices Hit All-Time High Continued on PAGE 6 UPDATE: SFF Preview SEE PAGE 17 SPECIAL FEATURE: Condiments SEE PAGE 22 HOT PRODUCTS: Rubschlager SEE PAGE 24 Continued on PAGE 10 Continued on PAGE 8 beef selling for $5.28 per pound, an increase of 37 cents over the 2013 price. With American cat- tle farmers forced to dramati- cally thin their herds due to the high cost of feed (a result of drought), there is simply less beef available on the market. The result is higher prices and thinner profit margins for those who make a living off red meat. Another grocery staple that has seen a particularly steep price in- crease in recent months is limes. The vast majority of the limes for sale in this country come from Mexico, where flooding and a bacterial infection of trees have seriously impacted production. The result is that the average gro- cery store lime purchase has shot up over 100 percent in recent months. Those who purchase 40- pound cases of limes are now pay- ing upwards of $100 per case, where a year ago, buyers were paying as little as $15. The industry that has perhaps been hit hardest by the lime shortage is the bar industry, where lime juice is a key ingredient in dozens of classic cocktails from the mojito to the margarita. Un- fortunately, bars have also been forced to grapple with shortages of another cocktail staple: olives. Olive harvests in Spain and Greece, two of the world's most important olive producing re- gions have been hit hard in recent years by drought. As a result, prices for both imported olives and olive oils are on the rise. The food price hikes have not stopped at these three products, however. Grocery store shoppers and restaurant buyers this sum- mer are likely to be paying higher prices for milk, coffee, pork, grains, sugar and fresh fruits and vegetables. Overall, experts pre- dict that food prices in this coun- try will increase by 2.5-3.5 percent in 2014. Craft Beer Brings Global Influence to Local Culture EU Fights to Restrict U.S. Cheese, Charcuterie Producers from Using European Product Names certain specialty foods. In particular, during negotia- tions over this U.S.-European free trade agreement, the EU has re- quested that specialty food pro- ducers outside of Europe be banned from labeling their prod- ucts with certain names that are historically tied to the Old World. This means that U.S. cheesemak- ers that bring Asiago, brie, feta, havarti, Gruyere, Gorgonzola, Muenster and Parmesan to mar- ket, as well as specialty meat pro- ducers responsible for Black Forest ham, bologna, bratwurst and prosciutto could be restricted by law from using these names for their products. The European specialty food industry has a long history of gov- ernment protection when it comes to food labeling, and Euro- pean producers argue that this oversight protects the quality and authenticity of foods that have a deep heritage and have become synonymous with a specific re- gion. Governments in Europe have created a number of food and beverage designation sys- tems, including the EU's PDO, France's AOC, Italy's DOP and Spain's DO, among others, that operate to ensure a food is pro- duced in its original region and BY LUCAS WITMAN With the recent announcement that Safeway and Albertsons, two of the largest supermarket chains in the United States, are merging into what is sure to be a grocery store goliath, it seems that there are destined to be but a small handful of major players on the national grocery store landscape. However, despite this coales- cence at the top within the gro- cery industry, many shoppers are Finding Your Niche: Specialty Retailers Seek Success with Smaller, More Focused Stores now moving away from the mega- grocers and gravitating toward smaller stores with more focused product selections. Harvey Hartman, Founder and Chairman of consumer culture experts and market research firm The Hartman Group worries that a combined Safeway/Albertsons chain may fall short of satisfying modern consumer needs. "The mass market is dying to a certain extent if not dead. It's hard for large companies to understand the specialization that consumers are really looking for," he said. "People are becoming more liter- ate about the kinds of food. All of this plays against a large for- mat store that tries to be every- thing for everybody and is viewed by the consumer as somewhat schizophrenic." Chris Cornyn, branding guru BY LUCAS WITMAN According to the Brewers Associ- ation, a national organization of craft beer brewers, 2013 was a banner year for the American craft beer industry, as the overall volume of craft beer produced in this country climbed 18 percent over the previous year, and the re- tail value of craft beer sales jumped 20 percent. Craft beer now accounts for 7.8 percent of the total volume of beer sold in the United States and 14.3 per- cent of beer sales as a dollar value. As craft beer sales have continued to rise steadily over at least the last five years, experts argue that there is no end in sight for what has truly become a national phe- nomenon. In the words of Julia Herz, Craft Beer Program Director for the Brewers Association, "This is a slow and steady strong trend. This is not just a fad. It is a cul- tural shift." The Brewers Association de- fines a craft brewer as a beer pro- ducer that fulfills three specific qualifications: It must be small, producing no more than 6 mil- lion barrels of product a year. It must be independent, with no more than 25 percent of the busi- ness controlled by a company VOLUME 79, NUMBER 6 JUNE 2014 n $7.00 TRADE SHOW BUZZ n IDDBA's Dairy-Deli-Bake Show Comes to Denver June 1-3 PAGE 10 GIFTWARE n Le Parfait Jars Perfect for Jams, Jellies and So Much More PAGE 11 SUPPLIER BUSINESS n Australian Olive Oils from Cobram Estate Win Accolades at New York Competition PAGE 13 RETAILER NEWS n Modern Oakville Grocery Brings Napa Valley Visitors Back to a Bygone Era PAGE 14 SPECIALTY DISTRIBUTORS & BROKERS n B&G Foods Announces Agreement to Acquire Specialty Brands of America PAGE 16 News ..............................................4 Ad Index .......................................27 Smorgasbord ................................27 www.gourmetnews.com G OURMET N EWS T H E B U S I N E S S N E W S P A P E R F O R T H E G O U R M E T I N D U S T R Y ®

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Oser Communications Group - Gourmet News June 2014