Economic Outlook for 2011
Retail sales will resume
their modest growth in coming months, following a solid
holiday sales season. As shoppers return to nonholiday
spending patterns, the realities of high unemployment
and a still shaky housing market will keep a rein on
their ability and desire to buy. Higher prices for raw
materials will also bump up prices of some goods, further
dampening demand. Look for overall retail sales to increase
around 3% in 2011, compared with a gain of 3.5% in 2010.
Juice Introduces Slow-Cooked OatmealThe
steel-cut oats will be made with minimal processing,
which helps to retain many of the wholesome aspects
of the grain. The oats are then slowly cooked in water
and soymilk, resulting in a chewy texture. Instant oats,
on the other hand, are processed through steaming and
then rolled into flat flakes. Because rolled oats have
been processed, they require less time to cook, which
is why they're called "instant."
Jamba Juice announced
that it will be adding organic slow-cooked, steel-cut
oatmeal to its breakfast menu.
Juice and the SPC Group, a food-specialty company operating
more than 4,500 stores, announced the grand opening
of their first
international Jamba Juice location in South Korea.The
store opened in the Incheon International Airport, the
primary airport serving the Seoul area and one of the
largest and busiest airports in the world.
Smoothie Franchise Opens"I
had been looking for a site about 18 months," Everitt
said. "And when I came down Brown Street, I saw
that the Dairy Queen had closed. I knew this was the
perfect place. There was a plethora of local businesses
thriving, and I knew Planet Smoothie could, too."
Rhonda Everitt, franchise owner
of Planet Smoothie, said she thought she hit the jackpot
when she found the location at 1105 Brown St., where
Dairy Queen was formerly located.
Higher Food Prices Could Cause Consumer Caution in 2011
Consumers are set to manage their
food budgets more carefully in 2011 as they brace for
higher food prices this year, according to a new report
from the NPD Group. Several major companies have announced
price rises for selected product lines on the back of
higher commodity prices in recent months. And although
Americans are starting to return to restaurants as the
economy improves, unemployment is still high, meaning
that many consumers are still looking for good-value
ways to cook at home. This will lead to continued interest
in coupons and discounts, buying private label foods,
and eating leftovers, according to the market researcher.
and Coca-Cola donate $3 M to UF for Citrus ResearchThe
$1.5 million contribution by each company will be used
to fund research programs focused on Citrus Huanglongbing
(HLB), a disease commonly known as "greening."
HLB is considered one the most destructive diseases
that debilitates the productive capacity of citrus trees.
Cutrale Citrus Juices and Coca-Cola
have joined together to make a $3 million donation to
the University of Florida Foundation in support of long-term
research projects aimed at preventing widespread diseases
that threaten citrus fruits, officials said.
Lets Starbucks Take Over Packaged-Coffee Distribution
A federal court on Friday denied
Kraft Foods Inc.'s request to block Starbucks Corp.
from taking over the distribution of Starbucks-branded
packaged coffee on March 1. The coffee-house chain is
seeking to end a 12-year-old arrangement under which
Kraft has been its principal distributor to retailers.
In U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
New York, Judge Cathy Seibel ruled that Kraft "has
not established that it has suffered irreparable harm,"
indicating the packaged-food giant failed to meet a
key criteria that would have allowed the court to rule
for the injunction.
Club Will Oppose Obamas NAFTA-Style Free Trade
Like the North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA) and the Dominican Republic-Central
America-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), the investment
chapter of this agreement continues to promote off-shoring,
and exposes our domestic environmental, zoning, health
and other public interest policies to challenge by foreign
investors in foreign tribunals. In addition, the procurement
rules of this agreement jeopardize our democratically-determined
federal and state procurement policies. This means that
policies designed to promote clean energy use and reward
environmentally-sustainable companies would be vulnerable
to challenge in international trade tribunals, even
if those policies were developed at the state and local