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Cashew foie gras? Big Food jumps on ‘plant-based’ bandwagon
MAY 18, 2019 | Financial Times | by Leila Abboud in Paris and Emiko Terazono in London

* Boom in meat and dairy substitutes sets up ‘battle for the centre of the plate’
* Nestlé recently launched the Garden Gourmet's Incredible burger in Europe and plans to launch it in the US in the autumn in conjunction with McDonald’s.
* Burger King has partnered with a “foodtech” start-up to put meat-free burgers on their menu.
* Pret A Manger is considering a surge in its roll-out of vegetarian outlets as it looks into buying UK sandwich rival Eat.

A change is afoot that is set to sweep through the global food industry as once-niche dietary movements (i.e. vegetarians, then the vegans, followed by a bewildering array of food tribes from veggievores, flexitarians and meat reducers to pescatarians and lacto-vegetarians ) join the mainstream.

At the other end of the supply chain, Big Food is getting in on the act as the emergence of plant-based substitutes opens the door for meat market disruption. Potentially a huge opportunity if the imitation meat matches adoption levels of milk product alternatives such as soy yoghurt and almond milk, which account for 13% of the American dairy market. It is a $35bn opportunity in the US alone, according to newly listed producer Beyond Meat, given the country’s $270bn market for animal-based food. 

Packaged food producers, burdened with anaemic growth in segments from drinks to sweets, have jumped on the plant-based bandwagon. Market leaders including Danone, Nestlé and Unilever are investing heavily in acquisitions and internal product development.

Laggards are dipping their toes. Kraft-Heinz, for example, is investing in start-ups via its corporate venture capital arm and making vegan variants of some of its products. Even traditional meat producers, such as US-based Tyson Foods and Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods, are diversifying into plant-based offerings to remain relevant with consumers.......“Plant-based is not a threat,” said Wayne England, who leads Nestlé’s food strategy. “On the contrary, it’s a great opportunity for us. Many of our existing brands can play much more in this space than they do today, so we’re accelerating that shift, and there is also space for new brands.” .....a plethora of alternative protein products are hitting supermarket shelves... appealing to consumers for different reasons....(1) reducing meat consumption for health reasons... (2) others concerned about animal welfare...(3) concern over agriculture’s contribution to climate change......As Big Food rushes in, it faces stiff competition from a new breed of start-ups that have raced ahead to launch plant-based meats they claim look, taste and feel like the real thing. Flush with venture capital funding, they have turned to technology, analysing the molecular structure of foods and seeking to reverse-engineer versions using plant proteins......Not only are the disrupters innovating on the product side, they are rapidly creating new brands using digital marketing and partnerships with restaurants. Big food companies, which can struggle to create new brands, often rely on acquisitions to bring new ones onboard.....Aside from the quality of the new protein substitutes, how they are marketed will determine whether they become truly mass-market or remain limited to the margins of motivated vegetarians and vegans. The positioning of the product in stores influences sales, with new brands such as Beyond Meat pushing to be placed in the meat section rather than separate chilled cabinets alongside the vegetarian and vegan options.....Elio Leoni Sceti, whose investment company recently backed NotCo, a Chile-based start-up that uses machine learning to create vegetarian replicas of meat and dairy, believes new brands have an edge on the marketing side because they are not held back by old habits. 

“The new consumer looks at the consequences of consumption and believes that health and beauty come from within,” said one industry veteran who used to run Birds Eye owner Iglo. “They’re less convinced by the functional-based arguments that food companies are used to making, like less sugar or fewer calories. This is not the way that consumers used to make decisions so the old guard are flummoxed.”...Dan Curtin, who heads Greenleaf, the Maple Leaf Food's plant-based business, played down the idea that alternative meats will eat into meat sales, saying the substitutes were “additive”. “We don’t see this as a replacement. People want options,” he said. 

 
animal-based  Beyond_Meat  Big_Food  brands  Burger_King  CPG  Danone  diets  digital_strategies  food_tech  hamburgers  Impossible_Foods  Kraft_Heinz  laggards  Maple_Leaf_Foods  McDonald's  meat  Nestlé  new_products  plant-based  rollouts  shifting_tastes  start_ups  tribes  Unilever  vegetarian  vc  venture_capital 
may 2019 by jerryking
Daniel S. Schwartz of Restaurant Brands International on the Value of Hard Work
SEPT. 8, 2017 | The New York Times| By ADAM BRYANT.

When you think about your leadership style today, do you see their[his parent's] influence?

Probably the biggest influence they’ve had is about always being very respectful of other people. Neither of them led teams or organizations, but there was always this emphasis on kindness and manners and just being a good person.

I always have that in the back of my head, regardless of who I’m talking to. The world’s a small place, life’s short, and so you should only be nice to people. I don’t raise my voice at work. I don’t have tantrums.......Alex Behring, who heads up 3G, gave me some great advice early on. He said that you have to manage the people, not the business. .....What were other early lessons for you?

If you want to change something or if you want to really influence or impact someone, you need to be in that person’s market and be with them face to face. You can’t run a multinational business from your desk. You can’t just get on the phone and tell the people that you need to do things differently.

If you make the trip, that’s a big investment of time for you. People appreciate that, and they’re going to be more open to your feedback. You’ll also have more credibility because you’ve seen their business and been in their market......How do you hire?

I like people who are passionate, who have persevered and who are clearly humble and not arrogant. It’s O.K. to be confident, but not arrogant. I like people who genuinely are looking for a project and not a job.
CEOs  hard_work  Tim_Hortons  Popeyes  Burger_King  hiring  leadership  3G_Capital  RBI  Daniel_Schwartz  lessons_learned  humility 
september 2017 by jerryking
An expert at the quick flip cooking up a whopper deal - FT.com
August 29, 2014 | FT | By Neil Munshi.

It did not take long for Mr Schwartz’s confidence to bear fruit. In 2013, when he was only 32 years old, he was put in charge of Burger King by 3G Capital of Brazil, its private equity owners. This week, only 16 days after turning 34, Mr Schwartz unveiled one of the biggest deals in fast-food history – Burger King’s $11.4bn acquisition of Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain...As might be expected for a young man playing in a well-established game, Mr Schwartz’s forte at Burger King has been financial engineering. A native of Long Island, he focused on finance at university before honing his number-crunching skills during stints in the mergers-and-acquisition arm of Credit Suisse First Boston and Altair Capital Management, a Connecticut hedge fund. He joined 3G as an analyst in 2005 and made partner three years later. In 2010, he led 3G’s $4bn leveraged buyout of Burger King and became its chief financial officer. Two years later, he helped 3G sell a roughly 30 per cent stake in the second-largest US burger chain for about $1.5bn. He became chief executive last year.
Burger_King  CEOs  Cornell  alumni  dealmakers  Tim_Hortons  M&A  private_equity  Daniel_Schwartz  3G_Capital  financial_engineering 
august 2014 by jerryking
3G Capital, the latest private equity darling - The Globe and Mail
Aug. 25 2014 | G&M | JACQUELINE NELSON.

“It is something that’s embedded in our culture is that we are going to continuously look for areas to find efficiencies and to operate our business in a smarter way,” said Josh Kobza, Burger King’s chief financial officer, discussing costs on a recent earnings call with analysts. “That’s another area that will continue to be focused on over the next few years, in trying to be the most efficient operator in our sector. And that is really how we think about driving underlying growth in our business and those are the big focuses for our model going forward.”
3G_Capital  cost-cutting  Berkshire_Hathaway  Burger_King  efficiencies  hedge_funds  private_equity  Tim_Hortons 
august 2014 by jerryking
Yes, Healthful Fast Food Is Possible. But Edible?
April 3, 2013 |- NYTimes.com | By MARK BITTMAN

After the success of companies like Whole Foods, and healthful (or theoretically healthful) brands like Annie’s and Kashi, there’s now a market for a fast-food chain that’s not only healthful itself, but vegetarian-friendly, sustainable and even humane. And, this being fast food: cheap. “It is significant, and I do believe it is coming from consumer desire to have choices and more balance,” says Andy Barish, a restaurant analyst at Jefferies LLC, the investment bank. “And it’s not just the coasts anymore.” ...What I’d like is a place that serves only good options, where you don’t have to resist the junk food to order well, and where the food is real — by which I mean dishes that generally contain few ingredients and are recognizable to everyone, not just food technologists....In recent years, the fast-food industry has started to heed these new demands. Billions of dollars have been invested in more healthful fast-food options, and the financial incentives justify these expenditures. About half of all the money spent on food in the United States is for meals eaten outside the home. And last year McDonald’s earned $5.5 billion in profits on $88 billion in sales. If a competitor offered a more healthful option that was able to capture just a single percent of that market share, it would make $55 million. Chipotle, the best newcomer of the last generation, has beaten that 1 percent handily. Last year, sales approached $3 billion. In the fourth quarter, they grew by 17 percent over the same period in the previous year.

Numbers are tricky to pin down for more healthful options because the fast food industry doesn’t yet have a category for “healthful.”...Chipotle combines the best aspects of Nouveau Junk to create a new category that we might call Improved Fast Food. At Chipotle, the food is fresher and tastes much better than traditional fast food. The sourcing, production and cooking is generally of a higher level; and the overall experience is more pleasant. The guacamole really is made on premises, and the chicken (however tasteless) is cooked before your eyes. It’s fairly easy to eat vegan there, but those burritos can pack on the calories. As a competitor told me, “Several brands had a head start on [the Chipotle founder Steve] Ells, but he kicked their [expletive] with culture and quality. It’s not shabby for assembly-line steam-table Mexican food. It might be worth $10 billion right now.” (It is.)

Chipotle no longer stands alone in the Improved Fast Food world: Chop’t, Maoz, Freshii, Zoës Kitchen and several others all have their strong points. And — like Chipotle — they all have their limitations, starting with calories and fat.
...Veggie Grill, Lyfe Kitchen, Tender Greens and others have solved the challenge of bringing formerly upscale, plant-based foods to more of a mass audience. But the industry seems to be focused on a niche group that you might call the health-aware sector of the population. (If you’re reading this article, you’re probably in it.) Whole Foods has proved that you can build a publicly traded business, with $16 billion in market capitalization, by appealing to this niche. But fast food is, at its core, a class issue. Many people rely on that Tendercrisp because they need to, and our country’s fast-food problem won’t be solved — no matter how much innovation in vegan options or high-tech ovens — until the prices come down and this niche sector is no longer niche. ...Soda consumption is down; meat consumption is down; sales of organic foods are up; more people are expressing concern about G.M.O.s, additives, pesticides and animal welfare. The lines out the door — first at Chipotle and now at Maoz, Chop’t, Tender Greens and Veggie Grill — don’t lie. According to a report in Advertising Age, McDonald’s no longer ranks in the top 10 favorite restaurants of Millennials, a group that comprises as many as 80 million people.
Lyfe_Kitchen  Mark_Bittman  fast-food  Burger_King  Chipotle  plant-based  vegetables  fresh_produce  vegan  McDonald's  social_classes  perishables  Whole_Foods  millennials  fast-casual  new_categories 
april 2013 by jerryking
Investors Make Changes at Burger King Ahead of Listing - WSJ.com
April 4, 2012 | WSJ | By PAUL ZIOBRO.
Quick Changes at Burger King
Investors Who Reshaped Restaurant Chain's Menu, Management, Now Plan to List Shares on Market
hedge_funds  Burger_King  William_Ackman  investors  franchising 
april 2012 by jerryking
Cash Cows: Burger Joints Call Them 'Heavy Users' -- but Not to Their Faces
January 12, 2000 | THE WALL STREET JOURNAL | By JENNIFER ORDONEZ

The heavy user accounts for only one of five fast-food patrons -- but about 60% of all
visits to fast-food restaurants. By this definition, the heavy user accounted for roughly $66 billion of the
$110 billion the National Restaurant Association says was spent on fast food last year in the U.S.
Definitions of the heavy user vary, but by any measurement, Mr. Sheridan stands out. He spends as
much as $40 a day at fast-food restaurants. He sometimes visits them more than 20 times a month -- a
qualifying number for heavy-user status, according to a survey done by marketing firm Porter Novelli....Unlike frequent fliers and preferred shoppers, heavy users get little in the way of special treatment or
freebies. At fast-food restaurants, they stand in the same lines as everyone else, indistinguishable from
light users.
fast-food  hamburgers  McDonald's  Burger_King  KFC  customer_segmentation  cash_cows  disproportionality 
october 2011 by jerryking

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