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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

May 2018 Market Conditions

BEEF

Solid year-over-year gains in beef output is expected to persist though there are signs that overall cattle herd growth is at least slowing. Increased retail feature activity could support ground beef prices soon, but larger trim supplies this year should make those seasonal price gains less intense.

The lamb industry is experiencing tight supplies on all sizes of frenched lamb racks, fore and hind shanks, as well as all styles of Australian chucks. This will continue at least until the fall season. The market is firm.

The dairy, formula fed and grain fed veal markets remain steady with no major increases predicted in the near term.

DAIRY

The butter market has found support and is expected stay strong for the next few months.

Milk output expansion could remain slow into the summer which, along with solid export demand, could underpin cheese prices.

Retail egg demand is poor and supplies are ample. The market is weak.

U.S. milk output is slowing putting some pressure on the market.

GRAIN

Prices for U.S. wheat are uncompetitive in world markets. Trading partners as close as Mexico are reportedly purchasing wheat at a better price from distant locations. Improving spring wheat planting progress will hopefully make the U.S. more competitive in the near future. We do expect continuing market price fluctuation as it is still early in the season for both crops.

IMPORTS

The Spanish artichoke season has begun and indications point toward good supply. Peru and Spain are the major sources of quality artichokes exporting into U.S. markets and the harvest looks good.

California is reporting avocados are good quality and supply. Mexico quality is fair to good, as they wind down their season.

Coffee prices have continued to meander at historically low levels. World coffee supplies are adequate, while the value of the Brazilian Real remains depressed. These factors could cause relatively engaging prices to preserve during the next several months.

Weather has been very cooperative, which has led farmers into the fields to plant corn which is good as it needs to be in the ground early. Markets for soy are volatile but will affect little change for commodity soy, commodity mayonnaise or commodity canola. The palm market is lower, as there has been great progress in production.

Thailand’s pineapple crop is expected to have a normal output for the summer harvest. The general expectation points towards supply meeting demand and pineapple raw material prices not increasing during Thailand’s summer crop period. Quality will be excellent and volumes are expected to stay strong for the next several weeks.

The poor U.S. raisin crop is having ramifications worldwide. Earlier this month, strong US demand placed upward pressure on South Africa’s raisin prices. Due to unexpectedly strong demand from the U.S., the Thompson natural raisins sold out quickly. The global shortage of raisins will continue over the next couple of months at least until Turkey’s harvest becomes available.

The tomato market remains steady on all varieties. Will continue to see steady volume and good quality.

Skipjack tuna raw material continues to firm due to smaller catches. The concern is that with the FAD ban period approaching costs could rise further. Albacore tuna remains short and raw material costs are high. The Japanese albacore season has started but it appears the backlog is now too great to turn pricing around. Most believe costs will remain firm as most of the packers are backed up from previous and new orders.

PORK

The USDA is estimating spring pork production to be almost 5% higher than last year which should temper any seasonal price gains in the coming weeks.

POULTRY

The chicken wing markets are at their lowest levels for this time of the year since 2014. The downside risk going forward is likely minimal.

PRODUCE – FRUIT

New cantaloupe crop is coming out of Mexico and quality is being reported as good. The market is steady.

We are now into the late varieties of navel oranges and eating quality is some of the best of the season. The market is steady.

Pineapple volume from the tropics remains very good. The market is steady.

Strawberry supplies are booming and the market is very aggressive. Supplies are expected to remain heavy for the next few weeks and the market steady.

PRODUCE – VEGETABLES

Broccoli supplies will continue to decrease for the next couple of weeks as we see a small supply gap in both Santa Maria and Salinas growing regions. As a result, the market is trending much higher.

Extremely limited supplies of cauliflower are driving the market to much higher levels.

Supplies are tight on eastern and western bell peppers and the market is considerably higher.

The potato market is steady out of all areas as demand remains light to moderate. Look for this trend to continue as we move into June.

SEAFOOD – FRESH

Arctic char fillets are available out of Boston. The market is steady.

Canadian clams are available now, though the price is a little higher compared to last year.

Faroe Island salmon will not be available for the next few weeks. Chilean producers are not able to keep up with the extra demand for their fish and the price is increasing.

Domestic dry scallops prices are starting to decrease as we move in to the warmer weather. It is expected that this summer we will see some of the lowest prices for scallops than we have in years.

SEAFOOD – FROZEN

Cod is tight and prices are expected to increase.

Haddock is tight and prices are expected to increase.

Coldwater Canadian lobster tail supply is tight on all sizes, especially large tails, and the market continues to increase. The new season starts around the end of May. We could see some downward pressure on the prices as more supply become available going through the summer months.

Peeled and deveined shrimp supplies are plentiful and prices remain good.

NO PRICE CHANGES TO ANNOUNCE

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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