McDonald's Move to Only Serve Cage-Free Eggs Makes Major Impact

The quick-serve giant McDonald's set a goal to serve only cage-free eggs by 2025. As the company gradually start to change its egg supply, this has made a significant impact on the farming industry and on the prices of cage-free eggs.

"The expected surge in demand has sparked barn upgrades across the country over the last several years, with producers building facilities that give hens a bit more space. This increase in supply is reducing cage-free eggs’ market premium over regular eggs," writes "Bloomberg.

Back in February, the cost of a dozen cage-free eggs was about 81 cents more than regular eggs. In 2017, cage-free eggs were double the cost of regular eggs at some retailers.

But due to McDonald's recent pledge, which has influenced other restaurants to follow-suit, the price of cage-free eggs have started to decrease as more suppliers are ramping up production to fulfill the demand.

The fast-food giant buys about 2 billion eggs a year in the U.S., which amounts to almost 2 percent of the country's annual production.

“The supply-and-demand equation will change such that pricing will go down,” said Marion Gross, head of supply chain at McDonald’s in the U.S. “More people will be able to afford cage-free eggs.”

McDonald's made the pledge to go cage-free at its 16,000 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada back in 2015 and so far, 30 percent of stores in Canada serve these eggs.

As mentioned before, McDonald's isn't the only company implementing this change.

"Walmart Inc. and General Mills Inc., are moving in the same direction as McDonald’s. Kraft Heinz Co. says 60 percent of its supply is cage-free or free-range globally, while General Mills reached 40 percent last year," writes "Bloomberg."

Burger King previously set the goal of being cage-free by 2017 but wasn't able to achieve it. The fast-food chain is now also aiming for 2025.

This is one of the many ways QSR brands are trying to compete with the fast casual segment. Last year, McDonald's launched a new Dollar menu too. Watch the On-Foodable Weekly below to learn more.

Pita Pit Partners With Canadian Cannabis Company

Pita Pit is jumping on the cannabis bandwagon. This week, it was announced that the food chain struck a deal with WeedMD inc, a cannabis company in Canada to open a new venture.

Together the companies will be opening Pioneer Cannabis Co. Inc., that will be focused on helping entrepreneurs open cannabis stores in the private market.

"Our objective is to be a competitive player in this marketplace as it grows," said Jordan Schwartz, chief executive officer at Pioneer Cannabis Co. Inc.

When Canada legalized cannabis last October, distributors were battling it out to get product, especially in the private sectors. There are two markets when it comes to Canada's new cannabis industry- the private cannabis market and the federal government-ran market.

Multiple provinces in Canada, including Alberta, have opted to have private retailers sell cannabis versus having government-controlled stores.

But Provinces with the government-controlled stores have also struggled to meet the demand for cannabis. Stores in Quebec, for example, have been restricted to open for just four days a week in the past.

Pioneer Cannabis Co. Inc. will be focusing on the private sectors. Even with the cannabis shortages and the initial operational challenges of the new industry, Pioneer and Pita Pit see a lot of potential in this retail market.

"We believe that there's capacity here for the retail network that we're servicing to generate sales in the $30 million to $50 million range that shows profitability and demonstrates that there's a sustainable business here," said Schwartz.

Pita Pit, which has 225+ stores in Canada, plans to use its franchise experience to attract business owners who want to get into the booming cannabis industry.

"We’ve spent years learning and perfecting the skills we have in our businesses such as finding locations and hiring people," said Chris Fountain, chief executive officer of Pita Pit to "BNN Bloomberg" in a phone interview. "Quite frankly, it's probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for something like this."

WeedMD will have a 9.9 percent stake in most of the Pioneer Cannabis stores and the rest of the stake will be divided by Pita Pit and the store franchises.

Learn more about the partnership at "BNN Bloomberg" now.

The edible cannabis market is exploding in both the U.S. states where cannabis is legal and Canada. Listen to this recent episode of The Barron Report below where Host Paul Barron discusses with Nancy Whiteman, founder and CEO of Wana Brands about what the future of the cannabis industry looks like in both the U.S. and Canada and how it will impact the foodservice industry.

6.4 Million Canadians have Reduced or Eliminated Meat From Their Diets

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

The plant-based movement has spread all over the world, especially in Canada.

According to a recent study by the University of Guelph and Dalhousie University, millions of Canadians are consuming less meat, influencing restaurants to offer more plant-based options to accommodate.

Specifically, 82 percent of Canadians still eat meat, but 6.4 million said they have reduced or eliminated meat in their diets. Consumers residing in Ontario, in particular, consume less meat than those in Atlantic Canada.

According to the report, "women are more likely than men to limit or eliminate their meat intake and more likely to replace it with other proteins."

The study also found that the majority (63 percent) of the vegans surveyed were under the age of 38.

Many consumers are choosing to eat plant-based proteins since they are more sustainable.

"By 2050, there will be more than 10 billion people on the planet, and while people will still be eating animal protein, plant-based proteins that are more sustainably produced are a credible alternative."

Restaurants have had to adjust to the consumers' changing diets whether by adding more plant-based meals or giving guests the option to sub a meat protein with a plant-based one.

"We have been making a real effort to be more plant-based, and many restaurants are trying to be a bit more mindful of trends, the environmental impact and food costs. Even in our diets at home, we've found ourselves putting more veggies at the center of the plate," said Nick Benninger, Fat Sparrow restaurateur.

Benninger's restaurant Marbles in Waterloo has embraced the vegan trend completely and offers a vegan prix-fixe menu on Tuesdays. This vegan-themed night has certainly paid off and has become one of the restaurant's most crowded nights.

Read more about the plant-based surge in Canada at “CBC.”

Want more data on the plant-based movement and how it is gaining momentum? Watch the On Foodable Industry Pulse episode below to see how 51 percent of chefs have added vegan items to their menus this year.

The Marijuana Shortage Makes Impact on Canada's Cannabis Boom

People waiting to purchase cannabis legally from a Cannabis NB store in New Brunswick on the first day of legalization in Canada |   Shutterstock

People waiting to purchase cannabis legally from a Cannabis NB store in New Brunswick on the first day of legalization in Canada | Shutterstock

When Canada legalized cannabis in October, estimates on the revenue of the industry skyrocketed.

The edible market, in particular, is expected to hit $ 4.1 billion in both Canada and the U.S. by 2022, as reported by ArcView Market Research.

But it appears as though the Canadian province of Alberta is struggling to get enough product, forcing the province to stop granting new retail licenses.

"While some licensed producers have fulfilled their commitments, not all have," said Alain Maisonneuve, president of Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis in a statement. "We continue to work with them to fill stock. Unfortunately, regardless of our efforts, we are seeing the supply of most products run out."

Read more at “Market Watch” Now.

The cannabis shortage has led National Access Cannabis Corp. (NAC,) a private marijuana retailer, to dedicate five team members to watch out for when new product from Alberta’s provincial regulator is available.

But they better act quick, or the supply could already be gone. This is because this private company isn't the only one doing this, meaning there's a virtual race happening to get cannabis products.

“At 3:30 in the morning all of a sudden $4,000 worth of inventory is made available yet in seven minutes it’s drawn down, meaning that other big competitors are doing the same thing,” said Mark Goliger, CEO of NAC.

NAC, which operates 17 stores currently, may not be able to meet its goal of opening 50 stores by the end of the year due to the lack of product and retail licenses being granted.

Alberta is one of the provinces to opt to have private retailers sell cannabis versus having government-controlled stores.

But provinces with the government-controlled stores are also struggling to meet the demand for cannabis. Stores in Quebec, for example, have been restricted to opening for just four days a week.

This will evidently slow down the cannabis boom in Canada, but it seems to be a temporary problem. But once the distributors can catch up with the demand, Canada may have regulatory challenges like Washington state in the U.S.

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board announced in October that cannabis-infused products that could be accidentally ingested by children like candies and lollipops will no longer be allowed to be sold.

Cities without legal cannabis are still jumping on the hemp bandwagon. The legal cannabis compound CBD, which is known to have multiple healing benefits, is already being added to beverages and foods at restaurants across the country.

Learn more about the cannabis industry boom and its impact on the foodservice industry in the episode of The Barron Report below.

Air Canada Releases Top Restaurants List

Air Canada Releases Top Restaurants List

Every year, the airline Air Canada releases a list of the best restaurants in the Great White North to entice more food-loving travelers to make a trip.

This year, it's not surprising to see that restaurants from the country's most popular culinary destinations like Toronto and Montreal made it on the list, but some gems in smaller towns in Ontario also landed on the list.

The No. 1 restaurant on the list is The Restaurant at Pearl Morrissette.

This French culinary gem features a seasonal "ever-changing multi-course menu" in Jordan Station, Ontario.

“If you let someone see a menu before a meal, they’re usually going to start telling you about everything they see that they don’t like,” said Daniel Hadida, co-chef at The Restaurant at Pearl Morrissette about the blind tasting menu in an interview with “The Globe and Mail.” “We cook with a lot of weird ingredients, but we’re hoping our guests can trust us and try something new.”

Since the restaurant is an off-suit of the popular winery Pearl Morissette, each food course is specifically designed to pair with a wine selection.

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