Specialty Food Magazine

Fall 2020

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1287173

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Page 18 of 74

$75,300,000,000 U.S. food and beverage sales in May 2020, a 14.3 percent increase year over year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. PHOTO MAMA GAIA SPECIALTY FOOD SPECIALTYFOOD.COM TRENDS & HAPPENINGS 40 Acres and a Mule Project Wisconsin chef Adrian Lipscombe has launched the 40 Acres and a Mule Project as a way to preserve Black foodways. Supported by a robust GoFundMe campaign that, as of press-time, raised $117,340 of its $250,000 goal from 1,500 donors, Lipscombe plans to use the funds to purchase land to guarantee farm-to- table resources for the food industry, provide an outlet for Black foodways, and establish a safe haven to secure the legacy of Black foodways. The term "40 acres and a mule" was derived from Union General William T. Sherman's Special Field Order No. 15. in 1865. The reparations movement, which continues to the current day, cites "40 acres and a mule" as the U.S. government's promise to make restitution to African-Americans for enslavement. Any additional contributions will be offered to Black organizations that concentrate on preserving Black foodways and support Black farmers. Dark Kitchens See the Light The quarantine has given ghost kitchens— aka dark kitchens or virtual kitchens—a boost and the promise of long-term profits. According to Technomic, sales via ghost restaurants from 300 facilities in the U.S. will rise by a projected 25 percent each year for the next five years, an estimated $300 million in yearly sales. These phantom restaurants have a winning strategy as they keep real estate costs low while providing off-premise food without a traditional dine-in space. Farm to Fridge Food In the age of social distancing, self-service smart fridges stocked daily with fresh local food may be the future of grab-and-go eating. Customers simply unlock the fridge, choose their items, and pay on the computer screen. No onsite staff necessary. Colorado-based Mama Gaia's founder and CEO Sarah Lynch says, "We source all of our food wholesale from small, local food vendors." And while the company identifies as more of a tech company than a food business, Lynch is committed to sourcing non-GMO and mostly organic ingredients. "We sell everything from panini and salads to kombucha and coffee to overnight oats and granola. And all uneaten leftovers are donated to local food banks," she adds. The fridges are ideal for corporate offices, apartment complexes, gyms, yoga studios, or breweries. Lynch aims to expand nationally, both through her regular and franchisee models. "Small farmers and food vendors will be able to use our technology to sell food wherever they'd like."

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