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

July 2018 Market Conditions

BEEF

Beef demand usually weakens after the Fourth of July holiday. Most of the beef markets have seasonally peaked by now, and history suggests that further downside potential is possible in the next few weeks.

The lamb market is steady but we may see some increases over the summer due to less lambs harvested and stronger demand.

The veal market is steady with the exception of formula fed rib chops, which have increased.

DAIRY

U.S. butter is subject to various new tariffs but continues to trade well below European price levels. Fairly solid exports could persist which should temper any downside in the butter market this summer.

The cheese markets have struggled in recent weeks with cheese barrels declining to multi-year lows. Recently implemented tariffs by Mexico could temper any seasonal upward move for the next several weeks.

Larger sizes of eggs are in short supply and the market is trending upwards.

Milk off the farms in the Northeast has been fairly heavy but is expected to drop off a bit as the warm weather impacts current cow comfort. Even so, the market is stable.

GRAIN

The spring wheat crop is currently rated 77% good to excellent. The crop will exceed the size of last year’s by roughly one third. Flour prices continue to be attractive.

IMPORTS

For now the supplies on artichokes are down due to very heavy rain in the growing areas, limiting harvesting so prices on all sizes are firming up.

Mexico avocado supplies getting lighter and not being helped by recent rains that are impacting harvest. California volume is up and harvest is going strong. Crop volume is looking good for summer demand.

Chinese peach canneries started processing a week ago but the industry is being cautious on offering prices yet.

The pear crop is tracking to be a budget crop in the northwest with harvest projected to begin in mid to late August. Pears continue to mature and quality is looking good. Cannery harvest is estimated to begin mid-late August and there are no significant crop concerns at this time.

The pineapple market is expected to have lower supplies in the next 2-3 weeks as Mexico will be in their low production season.

Seeing very light oil trading over the last few weeks. The holiday week combined with the falling market have kept buyers sidelined. Right now the oil market is unsure. Eventually buyers will need to jump back in and cover their needs.

The tomato processing inventory was 9.9% larger than the previous year despite last fall’s harvest that was nearly 17% less than 2016. This could weigh on the canned tomato markets in the near future.

Higher supply into Bangkok and full inventory have caused a recent drop in Skipjack tuna prices. While supply into Bangkok has improved, cold storages are still full, this is preventing canners from buying large supplies of tuna. As availability of storage improves and the July-September fish aggregating device ban comes into effect, prices are predicted to increase.

PORK

Pork production levels are expected to increase through the summer which should put downward pressure on the markets. The pork belly markets usually peak in late July.

POULTRY

Chicken producer margins have improved which should encourage chicken output gains in the coming weeks. This could put downward pressure on the markets. The chicken wing market has likely found a seasonal bottom and the lower prices should boost demand.

PRODUCE – FRUIT

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.

Strawberry supplies have become limited until sometime around mid-July. The market is increasing.

Watermelon demand continues to be strong and production is not expected to increase until mid-July. Prices remain high.

PRODUCE – VEGETABLES

Broccoli supplies are abundant from all growing areas and the market is competitive.

Brussel sprout supplies have been extremely limited and the market is high. No change is expected until the end of the month when the Salinas Valley starts harvesting.

The cauliflower market is steady though we may see an increase due to tightening supplies in the near future.

Eggplant supplies are plentiful and prices are less expensive. The growing area is expected to shift in the next week or so and we expect the prices to start increasing as supplies tighten.

SEAFOOD – FRESH

There are good supplies of Canadian clams available. The market is steady.

Crab meat prices are increasing due to lighter supplies.

Mahi-Mahi prices have been good and supplies are plentiful.

Canadian salmon supplies have been good and the price is coming down.

SEAFOOD – FROZEN

Cod supplies are tight and the market is still increasing.

New crawfish meat product should be available towards the end of July. Prices should be reasonable.

Haddock supplies are tight and the market is still increasing.

Cold water lobster tail supplies are available and warm water supplies should be available sometime this month. The market is firm.

The swai fillet market prices remain at record high levels and product is extremely tight.

PRICE CHANGES TO ANNOUNCE

Anchor – 7% increase on all PET items effective 7/15/18

Dart – 8% increase on polypropylene effective 8/1/18

Fabri-Kal – 1-3% increase on all plastics effective 8/1/18

HFA – 12% increase on aluminum and 8%on  plastic items effective 7/1/18

Hoffmaster – impending increase on all items, specifics amounts not known yet, effective 8/1/18

Mullinex/Sabert 8% increase on polypropylene products effective 8/1/18

Rubbermaid – 8-10% increase on all items effective 8/1/18

3M – 5% increase all items effective 8/1/18

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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