Walmart's Blockchain Technology Can Give Consumers Product Traceability

You’ve probably heard about blockchain as it was initially developed for, the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. But now the technology in the cryptocurrency context is being developed for the foodservice industry.

Blockchain, as defined by Investopedia is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Constantly growing as ‘completed’ blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to it in chronological order, it allows market participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central record keeping. Each node (a computer connected to the network) gets a copy of the blockchain, which is downloaded automatically.

Most recently, in the food service space, blockchain can be seen used by Walmart and Sam’s Club. The grocery giant has been working closely with IBM to create a digitized handheld system that will allow farmers to give consumers full traceability with a produce product.

The blockchain technology is currently open to those in Walmart’s leafy green food supply chain, in an attempt to ease concern with recent outbreaks in lettuce.

The system will be used to report to stakeholders where a particular head of lettuce came from, during what harvest, and on what particular farm. Allowing government investigators to have a clearer investigation if a consumer gets sick. As opposed to tracking down the tainted lettuce for days, they can find the source within seconds, ideally meaning less wasted produce, less sick people and boosting confidence in the food system.

Will blockchain technology transform the food industry? Learn more in the video above and read more at “Forbes”!

Lucuma, Peru's New Superfood is Making its Way to U.S. Menus

With rich geography like the Andes Mountains and the Amazon rainforest, Peru introduced superfoods quinoa and acai berries to the world. Lucuma, the latest nutritious food hailing from Peru is appearing to menus globally.

The fruit resembles a large, orange-fleshed avocado with a caramel taste profile. Health benefits of lucuma are that it’s high in beta carotene, iron, zinc, calcium, protein, and fiber. As well as containing antioxidants and potassium, which are thought to be good for your heart, immune system, and skin.

Growing at altitudes of about 9,000 feet, it is impossible to find fresh outside of South America due to lucuma’s delicate nature it begins to spoil right after picking.

So how are chefs and retailers like Moon Juice and Walmart acquiring it?

Shipped around the world frozen or in powdered form, lucuma has made its way to menus and homes alike.

As a powder, lucuma is often promoted as a sweetener. Juice bars present it as a booster, but it's popularly found in desserts.

La Mar Cebicheria Peruana in San Francisco serves lucuma ice cream with a chocolate mousse. Rosaliné in Los Angeles creates lucuma ice cream bonbons, and Nazca Mochica in Washington offers it in a tiramisu. Chef Erik Ramirez of Michelin “bib gourmand” restaurant Llama Inn, currently uses lucuma in a mousse but plans to make the fruit a bigger deal at his soon-to-open rotisserie chicken spot Llamita in Manhattan’s West Village.

“We’re going to give lucuma more exposure,” said Ramirez. Planning to offer it in a smoothie mixed with Peruvian coffee. “It’s going to be on display in all its glory.”

Learn more about the Peruvian superfruit taking over menus in the video above and at “Bloomberg.”

Is Fast Casual Dying? Emerging Brands Tell a Different Story

Despite major losses on the Nasdaq for national fast casual brands like Chipotle, Panera Bread, and Noodles & Company, fast casual emerging brands like Freshii, Corelife Eatery, and Sweetgreen are growing.

Based on Top 150 Emerging Brands Data

Based on Top 150 Emerging Brands Data

Foodable defines an emerging brand as a concept that finds itself at the beginning stages of development, whether it’s just launching or it’s working through the minutiae of scaling and expansion.

According to Foodable Labs, restaurant traffic overall has gone down 6.8 percent year over year, based on social media mentions of the top 1,000 chains, while emerging fast casual brands have seen an 8.2 percent increase in restaurant traffic.

Nasdaq claims that fast casual is a dying trend, but we believe this is just a shift in the trend.
Emerging brands can’t stay an emerging brand forever, eventually, they begin to scale and gain notoriety across the nation, if done right. National brands like Chipotle are simply seeing natural market forces.

They face greater competition as they continue to expand, as well as more challenges. Whereas an emerging brand is just beginning to build brand recognition. Emerging brands are more nimble when they’re smaller and face less scrutiny.

To learn more about what that exactly means for restaurants, be sure to watch the video above and download the Top 150 Emerging Brands Report.

Is In-Car Commerce the Next Big Foodservice Trend?

On this episode of On Foodable Weekly: Industry Pulse, we're taking a look at in-car commerce startup, Cargo. Cargo provides a solution to the question, what if I don’t want to get out of the car?

Convenience for consumers who utilize ridesharing, Cargo provides snacks, beverages and miscellaneous items like electronics and beauty products for sale. The center console box features an assortment of items provided by big partners like Coca-Cola, SnackNation, Red Bull, Kellogg's and more.

Recently partnering with the rideshare giant itself, Uber and Cargo are disrupting the retail industry.

The global partnership will be available to riders in San Francisco and Los Angeles first. Uber drivers who choose to provide Cargo’s service to their riders can go to their local Uber service hub and pick up the Cargo box.

What’s in it for drivers? Cargo allows not only for a way to upgrade rideshare service and earn shining reviews and ratings but additional income. Uber and Cargo estimates that drivers can earn about $100 extra per month through Cargo boxes.

For every product a driver sells, including free samples, Cargo will pay the driver one dollar and 25 percent of the product’s retail price.

Learn more about Cargo in the video above and at “Inc.com

Supreme Court Sides With the Colorado Baker Who Turned Down Gay Couple

Supreme Court Sides With the Colorado Baker Who Turned Down Gay Couple

The Supreme Court has sided with the Colorado baker this week in the case that placed gay rights against claims of religious freedom. Leaving the question of whether or not a business can discriminate against LGBTQ based on rights that’re protected by the First Amendment.


The 7-2 decision stated that state commission violated the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom ruling against the baker, Jack Phillips, who had refused to create a custom wedding cake for a gay couple.

Read More