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The Crumb for August 25th, 2017

Lori Bailey / August 25th 2017

Today's Crumb dropped from a late-summer patio situation.


Happy Friday! Settle into your office chair (or this hot-dog-shaped sofa, if you're so inclined) and dig into this past week's food news.

The future of meat

With the human population expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050, It’s gonna get a lot harder to bring home the bacon. That’s why forward-thinking companies are looking to what’s next for meat — whether that means turning to lab-grown options or going meat-free altogether. Mega-meatpacker Cargill made the bold move to invest in Memphis Meats, a startup that manufactures beef and poultry from lab-grown animal cells (and that just garnered another $17 million in VC funding, FYI). A sign that times are a-changin’, even for the steadfast giants of the meat industry. Not to mention the influx of meat alternatives hitting restaurants and grocery shelves. These plant-based options are designed and engineered to woo a new generation of vegetarians, vegans and flexitarians with tastes, textures and experiences reminiscent of the real thing. The takeaway: if you want to meet the demand for meat, it’s time to start thinking ahead.


Breakfast on the brain

In case you were wondering, the breakfast trend isn’t going away anytime soon. But who is pushing the demand for all these short stacks, skillets, and benedicts? Millennials may be driving the trend, but don’t leave out the Gen Z’s and Boomers who also want a good, hearty meal to kick-start the day. Maybe not at quite the same times, though; studies show that people over 60 tend to rise earlier than those under 30, which affects the daypart at which breakfast is served. Oh, and what’s served with it — after all, if “breakfast” happens after 11am on a Saturday, beer is a totally acceptable (if not highly desirable) pairing for an egg-topped burger. Knowing your audience has other implications outside of the menu — for Denver’s Snooze, starting the day off right with their customers means doing right by the environment. They currently divert 90% of their waste from landfills, hoping to get to 100% by the end of next year. Just the icing on the pancake.


Feeling blue

So’s Blue Apron. Things have been just a little tough for them recently. Untimely (and often incomplete) meal kit deliveries, along with factory flubs, made for some dissatisfied customers… and grumpy investors. Add Amazon’s Whole Foods acquisition and subsequent meal kit delivery announcement to clinch Blue Apron’s IPO as the worst in over a decade. All bad news bears for the company, which got hit with multiple lawsuits from investors who claim they were misled to believe in its potential. Seems like the meal delivery market still hasn't quite hit its stride; but, with Blue Apron fumbling the ball, this could be the chance for another player to show the world how it's done.


Just a spoonful of sugar

Or, in this case, 45,485 pounds of it. Kind, the maker of all-natural fruit and nut bars, dumped all that sweetener in NYC’s Times Square (and crafted some of it into the rather eerie shapes of children). Apparently, that’s how much added sugar kids in this country eat every five minutes. Kind is kinda over it, and the Times Square marketing stunt was designed to draw attention to their idea of a healthy treat: a no-sugar-added, 100% fruit snack. The company’s dedication to nutritional transparency doesn’t just drive them to pour sugar on public areas; last year they released the added sugar content across their entire portfolio of products, and the company’s stated goal is to balance healthful ingredients and taste. Kind of awesome.


Put an egg… around it?

At this point, we’ve gotten used to Taco Bell’s evil-mastermind menu concoctions. But this — their new “Naked Egg Taco” — might be going a bit far. On paper, it checks all the boxes. Breakfast? Yep. Egg? Got it. Tacos? Done. Using the egg as the taco shell, though? Brilliant or disastrous… could go either way. (The offer of a free gordita to use as an extra wrapper doesn’t bode well for its structural integrity.) We’ll find out soon enough, as the concept is making its debut tour through NYC, LA, Austin, and Chicago before becoming available nationwide on August 31st. And, lest you believe that this is the Bell’s take on a healthful breakfast — it’s stuffed with potatoes, bacon or sausage, and cheese. Well, now you’ve been informed. Go forth, try it, and let us know what you think.

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