Each Friday I compile a list that highlights five things you probably missed in the news that week and why you should care about them.
Here’s your list for the week of Dec. 12:
1. Could new administration OK Sysco-US Foods merger?
Possibly, according to Bloomberg, which found that a Republican-led government could be more amenable to such mergers. The proposed merger was shot down by the FTC, which claimed the merger would restrict competition. The FTC vote, however, split along party lines with Democrats narrowly winning (3-2). One of the Republicans on the committee at the time, Joshua Wright, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times recently saying, “a high level of concentration in an industry simply does not mean the industry lacks competition. Concentration and competition are distinct concepts.” Wright is part of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team and could be in a position to recommend a new FTC commissioner and chairman. Given Wright’s opinion, there’s a chance the Sysco-US Foods merger could be viewed in a more favorable light should the companies give it another go.
Read more: A Second Chance for Sysco-US Foods?
2. House members put child nutrition rules on docket for repeal
Members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of Republican Congressman who are among the most conservative members of the chamber, have released a recommended list of regulations to eliminate, and child nutrition rules are on the list. The caucus has put several regulations that are part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) on the list, saying they “have proven to be burdensome and unworkable for schools to implement. Schools are throwing food away that students are not eating.” While it’s not entirely clear how much of the HHFKA the group would like to remove, they did mention meal pattern and nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools as areas of focus.
3. Vilsack: Trump won’t roll back nutrition policies
On the other hand, outgoing Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says a Trump administration will not “be able to roll back everything that’s been done in the nutrition space.” Vilsack says if changes are made to school nutrition rules, it would be to allow manufacturers more time to reformulate products to meet the standards.
4. Survey: Dining important in senior living communities
If you want to run a successful senior living community, dining is important, but it’s not always easy to pull off. Those were two main findings of a recent survey of senior living executives. Eighty-six percent of those surveyed said they prominently feature dining in their sales and marketing strategies. The executives also indicated that having an outsourced dining program helped them in workforce areas as 65% of those with self-operated dining programs said workforce stability was an issue while 73% of those with a contract-managed program said the greatest value of such an approach was access to experienced dining and foodservice management expertise.
5. New service looks to disrupt corporate dining
A new online ordering system, EAT Club, is looking to take a bite from the corporate dining market by giving office managers a way to provide lunches to their employees without having to have a physical cafeteria. Instead, EAT Club allows employees to order their meals online, which are then delivered to the office building. This isn’t the first company to take this approach in the B&I market, but we’ll see just how disruptive such tech-based service will be.