Each week, NRN editor-in-chief Sarah Lockyer gives you her take on the top restaurant industry news.
It has been nearly a year since Sysco Corp. announced a potential merger with US Foods, creating a bit of an earthquake throughout the foodservice industry, as two of the largest distributors set out to combine forces and create a near-monopoly on national distribution. In NRN’s top story this week, Jonathan Maze breaks down the latest in the potential merger, with a twist including news that Sysco may be asked to spin off some assets as government agencies seek to ensure competition.
I attended a recent distributors’ conference and the mood there was mixed when it came to discussion on the pending merger. Some thought the Sysco-US Foods deal could lead to major opportunities for other distributors, as restaurants flock toward stability, while others felt a powerhouse like Sysco-US Foods would only continue to dominate the market. One executive I spoke with, who asked to remain anonymous, said he believed the merger only had a 50-percent chance of actually closing. That would mean an $8.4 billion deal would be wiped out — yikes.
While the industry waits to see how food will actually make it to restaurants, chefs are looking to 2015 as a year filled with local sourcing of meats and produce, healthful options and a focus on kids’ menus. Always a predictor of what’s to come in the kitchen, NRN senior food editor Bret Thorn details the expected trends from an NRA survey of more than 1,000 chefs.
Take a look at NRN’s top 10 most popular stories: