Resources

It’s Hard to Be Green — But Important

Are you worried about your energy costs?

Here are some tips & tricks to help get those down. Hint: It’s not all its fryed up to be.

“One single electric fryer can use significantly more electricity this year than the average U.S. home, but with some simple steps, you can save significant money and resources.”

Click here to find out ways to cut your costs

Are you wasting food?

Avoiding food waste is a critical component to cutting your overall cost.

“Tracking and efficiently using the food you purchase for your restaurant is key to running a successful, efficient business.”

The National Restaurant Association has both back and front-of-house recommendations for keeping your costs low.

Check out their video below for tracking inventory and your food waste.

Learn more about this topic by visiting; conserve.restaurant.org/Best-Practices/Reducing-Food-Waste

August 2018 Market Conditions

BEEF

Beef output for the second half of 2018 is expected to be 3.5% more than last year. Seasonal beef price gains this fall should be modest.

The lamb market is steady but we still expect to see some price increases coming due to tighter supplies and stronger demand.

The veal market is steady on dairy, grain fed and formula fed veal. An increase in formula fed is expected in the near future due to tighter supplies..

DAIRY

Butter export demand and seasonally fading output could support butter prices for the next several weeks.

U.S. cheese supplies are ample which could temper any further seasonal price increase for the rest of the summer.

The egg market is steady with supplies meeting demand.

U.S. milk production continues to trend above year ago levels and the market has come down.

GRAIN

Wheat prices continue to climb, increasing about 4% in the past week. Prices right now are at a three-year high. Weather challenges globally have put in question some pending wheat production forecasts. Wheat prices may drop in the near term but could have more upside potential before September.

IMPORTS

Cocoa futures have fallen notably, recently pricing at the lowest level since February. West Africa has been under pressure which is a sign that current supplies are abundant.

Coffee prices continue to track at appealing levels. World coffee supplies are adequate, and the deflated Brazilian dollar continues to weigh heavy on the coffee market.

The mandarin orange 2017/18 crop has still shown no signs of improvement. With the conclusion of this crop, there is no relief in sight until the new season begins at the end of the year. Don’t expect big improvements as there is no carryover overseas.

Peach crop projections have turned for the worse. A quick weather change from rain to extreme humidity has caused brown rot disease for a section of the peach harvest in Greece. Production in China is expected to decrease compared to last year due in large part to frost conditions in April. California’s crop is expected to see a 13% decrease in volume, this is due to the closing of Seneca Foods and questions about crop quality have led to a significantly lower output this year. Between Greece & California crop issues and duties in China, the market is firm.

This year’s pineapple crop has shown significant improvement. The Thailand winter pineapple crop which begins in October, is expected to come in slightly smaller than last year’s harvest. Despite the smaller harvest, no raw material shortages are expected.

The sugar markets continue to trade at relatively engaging levels. World sugar supplies are sufficient. This and the firmer value of the U.S. dollar are weighing on sugar prices. History suggests that the downside price risk in the sugar markets from here is likely only modest.

Global tomatoes production is expected to decrease by 5%. Spain’s production for tomatoes is decreasing due to poor weather conditions. The market is firm as of now.

Skipjack tuna raw material prices have fallen, possibly to their lowest levels in this cycle. Skipjack market has softened due in large part to lower demand and congestion of frozen space in Thailand’s cold storage. Albacore remains extremely short while raw material costs continue to increase. Packers are backed up on orders and shortages are expected until at least the end of the year.

PORK

Lower pork prices are expected through the Labor Day week due to heavy pork output.

POULTRY

The chicken wing markets are the cheapest for this time of year since 2011. Wing prices are projected to firm into September as demand seasonally grows. Demand for chicken breasts may put some upward pressure on the market but history suggests that lower prices may return after the Labor Day holiday.

PRODUCE – FRUIT

Blueberries supplies have been lighter as production has passed its peak in the Pacific Northwest. The market is moving higher.

California Valencia orange harvest is moving at a steady pace. Fruit quality and color are good, with current sizing peaking 88s/72s/113s. Demand is strong, keeping the market firm.

Pineapple volume coming from the tropics remains good, though we are beginning to see a small seasonal decline for the summer and fall. The market is steady.

Watermelon volume has increased throughout Central California though demand remains steady. The price has come down slightly.

PRODUCE – VEGETABLES

Broccoli supplies are getting tighter and the market is active.

Brussel sprout supplies from the Salinas continue to improve and the market is coming down.

The cauliflower market has leveled with good supplies coming from Salinas and Santa Maria. Quality has been good.

SEAFOOD – FRESH

Extremely wet weather has caused some problems with harvesting clams, though they are available. The market is firm.

Halibut fillet supplies have been good and prices are very reasonable.

Snapper fillet market is steady with good supplies available.

SEAFOOD – FROZEN

Cod supplies are tight and the market is still increasing.

Crawfish meat is available but prices are extremely high.

Haddock supplies are tight and the market is still increasing.

King & Snow Crab are available but the prices remain high.

Both cold and warm weather lobster tails are now available. The market is firm.

PRICE CHANGES TO ANNOUNCE

Duro – 7% increase on all item effective 9/3/18

Gordon Paper – 5% increase on butcher paper effective 8/31/18

National Checking – 5-10% on all items effective 9/1/18

A Changing Facebook Landscape

Facebook in early 2018 announced a major shift in the way it will display content in user News Feeds that could have a profound impact on any company or organization trying to attract users to its Facebook page.

In a blog post on the company’s website in early January, Facebook said that it would show more posts from friends and family and “show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.”

Soon after the announcement, much of the media coverage centered on what that would mean for content publishers that rely on Facebook’s News Feed to drive traffic to their websites. But small companies will also likely take a significant hit.

By focusing more on content from friends and family, it will be harder for companies to grab the attention of Facebook users. That could mean less engagement with company pages and fewer opportunities to effectively promote businesses to local users.

Facebook has said that it will still surface content that drives engagement among its users. But if a company’s content isn’t engaging, the chances of having someone else see it will drop significantly.

So, what can companies do to address this problem? Here’s a brief look at some ideas:

Rethink Your Social Strategy

If you’ve been putting off a discussion about your social media strategy, now’s the time to have it.

Facebook is a major driver to company websites and company patronage. Think seriously about the kind of content you want to deliver and how people interact with it. Consult your Facebook Insights information to get a sense of what people liked, commented on, and engaged with most. That’s the kind of content you’ll want to deliver more often.

Think Seriously About Content

Now’s as good a time as any to take a hard look at the content you put out in the world. Is it compelling? Do people care? Is it resonating with your intended audience?

Facebook’s News Feed change is about more than Facebook—it’s a reflection on what people are looking for wherever they go. Your content needs to be better and more appealing than your competitors. And it needs to be more compelling not only on Facebook but anywhere you deliver it.

Messaging today is critical.

Focus on Instagram

Facebook owns Instagram. But at least so far, it’s not placing the same restrictions on that service. Moreover, many companies are seeing increased engagement on Instagram.

If you’re not already on Instagram, get there now. If you are, evaluate your strategy and develop a gameplan that dramatically enhances your engagement on the social platform.

Double Down on Public Relations

In a subsequent News Feed change in January, Facebook announced that it would start to surface more local news content in News Feeds. The decision was roundly celebrated by local media outlets, but it could also been a boon for your business.

If you see your engagement dropping on Facebook, attracting media outlets to interesting stories or announcements you’re making can fix that. Stories written about you in local media will take up more space in local News Feeds, driving more people to your page and your website.

If you don’t have a public relations strategy, now’s the time to develop one. It could be critical to improving engagement with your company across social media and other platforms.

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