Inspire Brands will pay $450 million to acquire Wendy's interest in Inspire-owned chains Arby's and Buffalo Wild Wings. Wendy's, which owned a 12.3% interest in Inspire, will invest the funds in its namesake brand and spend about $100 million to buy back Wendy's shares.
Whole Foods Market ranked first on a list of grocers for the sustainability of its seafood offerings in a list released by environmental group Greenpeace. A notable change was the downgrading of Trader Joe's, which the group said was less transparent about the sources of some of its fish.
Customers expect sushi from a grocery store counter to be as high-quality and fancy in presentation as that from a restaurant, according to Josh Onishi, CEO and president of supplier Peace Dining Corp. "Creating theater -- food preparation in front of customers -- is a consistent trend driving traffic within grocerants," Onishi said.
Kroger is launching a home grocery delivery test via self-guided vehicles at a Scottsdale, Ariz., Fry's location. The pilot test will use autonomous Toyota Prius cars, which will initially have a human inside to monitor performance, for same-day and next-day delivery.
Students at the School District of Palm Beach County will have more fruit and vegetable options at lunchtime because the district is implementing the national Smarter Lunchrooms program. "It's really making sure that we have a nutritious menu and encouraging kids to try those fruits and vegetables," said Allison Monbleau, food service director.
Unilever-owned ice cream brand Ben & Jerry's has tapped Matthew McCarthy as its new CEO, along with plans to create new vegan and low-calorie frozen desserts while continuing the company's tradition of social activism. McCarthy replaces Jostein Solheim, who will move up to oversee Unilever's North American food businesses.
Nestle says its strength in coffees is part of its overall strategy for future growth, even as consumers' food and beverage needs are changing. Chief Strategy Officer Rui Barbas points to the company's leveraging of its Coffee-mate brand to develop a line of RTD coffee drinks as one of the ways it is forgoing old-fashioned thinking on heritage brands, and instead shifting the focus of well-known labels to stay relevant to today's shoppers.
Slingshot Coffee has unveiled two new flavors in its line of canned coffee sodas. The North Carolina-based company, which recently moved into a new 13,000-square-foot facility, said its black cherry cola and citrus vanilla cream soda flavors are sweetened with fruit juice and cane sugar and have 60 calories per serving.
McDonald's has begun testing a new version of its McGriddles breakfast sandwich at around 200 restaurants in Minnesota, in a push to boost morning sales. The McGriddles French Toast features egg, cheese, bacon and sausage on a brioche French toast bun.
New York-based restaurant operator Craveable Hospitality Group will turn a former Borders book store at Minnesota's Rosedale Mall into a two-story food hall with 13 different concepts under one roof. Food halls are growing increasingly popular in urban areas and the project, dubbed Revolution Hall, will bring the concept to the suburbs.
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