1. New Amazon Fresh Builds Toward Grocery Retail Launch
Amazon has been growing rapidly in the grocery space, as demonstrated by the company's meteoric second quarter earnings release which showed its online grocery sales have tripled year-over-year. Now, the company plans to launch a new, digitally integrated, brick-and-mortar grocery experience with Amazon Fresh, with at least 15 new stores in the works.
Read more on Medium here: Amazon Fresh To Make Nationwide Grocery Retail Debut
2. Proposed Federal Standards Crack Down on Organic Fraud
New federal standards proposed on August 5 look to crack down on organic fraud with added requirements, such as obtaining organic certification, presenting certificates for imported goods, increasing the frequency of unannounced inspections, strengthening prevention measures, requiring additional data reporting, and more. The new rules are open for public comment through October 5.
Read more on Food Dive here: Proposed rules aim to prevent organic fraud and strengthen regulations
3. FMI Study Finds Grocery Shelves Restocking, According to Consumers
In new research published by the Food Industry Association (FMI), grocery stores are becoming better stocked than in earlier phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. In mid-July, 27% of consumers reported that grocery stores are fully stocked, compared with just 13% in late March. Simultaneously, just 18% of consumers now report general unavailability of products in stores, down from a high of 46% earlier in the pandemic. The research further suggests that consumer habits are stabilizing as the pandemic continues.
Read more on Food Dive here: Consumers say grocers' shelves are getting fuller, FMI research shows
4. Survey Finds Restaurant Delivery Customers Prioritize Cleanliness, Safety
The “Guide to the Restaurant Guest During COVID-19,” a recent survey conducted by Toast, found that customers’ preference for cleanliness and safety has grown during the pandemic. Throughout COVID-19, 76% of restaurant guests report placing online restaurant orders multiple times per month, and nearly 50% now rank cleanliness and safety as top concerns.
Read more on Total Food Service here: Nearly 50% of Surveyed Restaurant Guests Prioritize Cleanliness and Safety When Ordering Delivery
5. USDA Projects Slight Dip in 2020 U.S. Apple Crop
According to an August 12 estimate by the USDA, total apple production in 2020 is down 3.4% compared to last season's output. The crop produced 262.3 million cartons in 2019, while 2020 production is estimated to decrease to 253.6 million cartons. Apple production is forecasted to be lower in every state but Oregon, where the USDA is expecting a 20% increase.
Read more on The Packer here: U.S. fresh apple crop down slightly, USDA projects
Interested in more industry news? Check back on the iTrade blog as we publish our takes on the most important stories in the food and beverage industry every week.