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Top 10: Whole Foods’ trend predictions, PPP and food retailer rankings

Top 10: Whole Foods' trend predictions, PPP and food retailer rankings
(Image credit: (Jonathan Chng/Unsplash))

From drive-thrus and curbside pickup to food trends and Paycheck Protection Program loans, this week’s top news touched on multiple facets of the industry, a sign of how much is truly going on in these times.

The most-read story was about Nestle reportedly starting the sale of North American bottled water brands Pure Life, Ice Mountain, Deer Park, Arrowhead and others with first-round bids expected to be finalized by the end of this month. Morgan Stanley is said to be managing the sale, which is reportedly estimated to earn roughly $5 billion.

Whole Foods annual food trends came in second. Trend predictions include specialty snacks infused with coffee, jerky made with fruits and vegetables, and the key ingredients for bigger and healthier breakfasts. Reimagined basics, alcoholic kombucha and innovative baby food are also among predicted trends.

Pandemic-centric stories also made this week’s top 10, with news that restaurants and other businesses whose Paycheck Protection Program loans were turned into grants could be liable for taxes on funds used to pay business expenses. Trade groups are pushing Congress to amend a rule requiring small businesses to set aside money, meant to keep them afloat during the pandemic, to pay taxes, said Aaron Frazier, the National Restaurant Association’s health care and tax policy director.

Clorox plans to build on the momentum it’s gained during the coronavirus pandemic by focusing on what CEO Linda Rendle calls “small-i” and “big-I” innovation. “If you’re too focused on just the big innovation, your core [product line] over time is not as relevant to consumers,” she explained.

Surveys and studies found which retailers ranked high for customer service, and which were the best in curbside pickup and home delivery, specifically.

New products from Del Monte and Eleven Madison Park (yes, you read that correctly) also caught readers’ attention, as did news about changes that some quickserve chains are making to cater to the rise in drive-thru traffic.

Check out the complete list of this week’s most-read stories in SmartBrief’s food and beverage briefs:

  1. Nestle to accept bids for bottled water brands
  2. Whole Foods releases food trend forecasts for 2021
  3. Business groups push back on PPP funds’ taxable status
  4. How Clorox will keep consumer interest post-pandemic
  5. Survey: Trader Joe’s, Wegmans shine in pandemic service
  6. H-E-B, Walmart rank best for delivery and pickup
  7. Del Monte rolls out veggie-based pocket pies
  8. Eleven Madison Park serves up high-end meal kit
  9. Drive-thrus inspire new quickserve restaurant designs
  10. US restaurants take stock as election approaches

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