Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly
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Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
November 15, 2005








Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Hatco Corp.

MAFSI Barometer Signals Regional Sales Disparities
NRA Index Hits 27-Month Low, But Expectations Tick Up
Early Public Company Results Show Some Slowing Growth
Blue Chip Economists Hold Steady Forecasts

Regulatory Report:
Sponsored by:
APW Wyott Innovations
Maine Town Joins List Saying 'No' To Chains
Naples Restaurateur Still Smoking Over Ban, Won't Drop Suit
Trouble Starts With 'T,' Rhymes With 'P' That Stands For Pool
WEEE! — Recycling Ride Starts Up Again In January




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In This Section:
McD's To List Nutrition Skinny On Packaging
Starbucks To Take The Cup For Recycled Cup
Survey Says: More Information, Less Food
Chipotle Chews On IPO; Spin-Off Could Net Big Bucks
Del Taco Gets Nod From CPUC For Energy Savings
Scientists Have Gut Feeling Cheeseburgers Are Good For Us

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Hatco Corp. Regulatory ReportSponsor: APW Wyott Innovations
Industry Report MUFES '06, Feb. 11-13, 2006

McD's To List Nutrition Skinny On Packaging
McDonald's has jumped on labeling. Starting in February, the company will list nutrition information for its menu items on the packaging itself.

The new packaging rollout kicks off in restaurants in Torino, Italy, at the Winter Olympic Games. By the middle of next year, McD's expects the packaging will be in 20,000 stores worldwide.

Rather than the typical grid of scientific data found on retail packaged food labels, McD's plans to list nutrition info in a "consumer-friendly" way using bar charts and icons. Calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates and sodium will be shown as a percentage of a person's daily recommended intake. The idea, according to CEO Jim Skinner, is to give consumers something easy to understand that helps them make nutrition choices.

 

Section sponsored by MUFES '06, Feb. 11-13, 2006

Starbucks To Take The Cup For Recycled Cup
Starbucks Coffee Co. is being honored in January by the National Recycling Coalition for leadership in recycling and environmental conservation. NRC is giving Starbucks its "Recycling Works" award for developing a disposable cup made with 10% post-consumer recycled content.

Starbucks has long offered consumers 10 cents off on a cup of coffee served in their own mugs instead of a disposable cup. The company has spent years working with suppliers like Solo Cup, Mead-Westvaco and Mississippi River Corp. to develop a recycled cup. Part of the process included securing FDA approval, which clears the way for others to use cups containing recycled material.

The company plans to roll out the new cups in January. Starbucks estimates that it will cut its dependency on tree fiber by five million pounds annually.


Section sponsored by MUFES '06, Feb. 11-13, 2006

Survey Says: More Information, Less Food
Restaurant patrons want more nutrition information and less food, according to a recent survey conducted by Aramark Corp. The survey was presented at last month's North American Association for the Study of Obesity annual conference in Vancouver, B.C.

More than half of the 5,279 adults surveyed said restaurants should offer half-portions of menu items. An equal number said they'd order more healthful items if they were part of a value-combo. Consumers also want restaurants to make it easier to find healthful menu choices: 83% said menus should list nutrition info for all items, and 88% said healthful items should be highlighted separately. Nearly two-thirds said finding healthful items on menus was difficult.

Aramark has used research like this as the foundation for programs like Just4U that give diners in its managed facilities more healthful alternatives. The program was just expanded to its vending machines.


Section sponsored by MUFES '06, Feb. 11-13, 2006

Chipotle Chews On IPO; Spin-Off Could Net Big Bucks
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Denver, will soon become an independently traded public company. Parent company McDonald's filed its intent with the Securities and Exchange Commission last month to spin off the chain in an IPO that could raise as much as $100 million.

McDonald's owns 92% of the Mexican QSR concept. The rest is owned by founder Steve Ells and about 40 other investors. Chipotle indicated that it would use proceeds from the offering to pay off a $30 million line of credit from McD's and open new stores. The chain had sales of $430 million in 2004, and now has 450 restaurants.

No timetable yet on when Chipotle will go public, or word on how many shares will be sold at what price.


Section sponsored by MUFES '06, Feb. 11-13, 2006

Del Taco Gets Nod From CPUC For Energy Savings
Del Taco Inc., a 50-unit chain based in Lake Forest, Calif., received an honorable mention in the 2005 Flex Your Power Awards. Sponsored by the California Public Utilities Commission, the awards recognize businesses and institutions in California that are leaders in energy efficiency.

Del Taco got a nod in the category of energy efficiency for its efforts to replace inefficient equipment in its units. The chain replaced fryers and food warming equipment with more efficient models, achieving savings of 101,041 therms and $79,418 annually. The new fryers alone saved the company more than 10% in energy costs per store.

Categories in the Flex Your Power awards program included energy efficiency, demand response/conservation, education and leadership, and innovations in products and services. Judges picked 35 companies and institutions for recognition among the 260 entries.


Section sponsored by MUFES '06, Feb. 11-13, 2006

Scientists Have Gut Feeling Cheeseburgers Are Good For Us
Okay, this just in from the strange-but-true files: A study published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine suggests that cheeseburgers are good for the gut, literally.

While it's fairly common knowledge that a steady diet of cheeseburgers can lead to clogged arteries, researchers at the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands, found that ingesting dietary fat stimulates chemical receptors in the small intestine that reduce inflammation. Eating cheeseburgers releases a hormone that aids digestion and protects the intestines from our own immune system.

A diet without enough fat, the researchers said, can leave people more vulnerable to septic shock, particularly after injury, infection or complications after major surgery. Make mine a double, please.



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