Hawaiian barbecue is no-frills and mixed, just like the Filipino-Chinese entrepreneur who made it mainstream: Eddie Flores, Jr.
Hawaii’s quintessential plate lunch of meat, macaroni salad and two scoops of white rice originated in the late 1800s as the midday meal for workers on Hawaii’s pineapple and sugar plantations, with immigrants from Japan, China, the Philippines, Korea and Portugal adding their food traditions. Hence, you’ll find katsu, char siu, adobo, Korean fried chicken and Portuguese sausage on the menu, in addition to native Hawaiian dishes like Kalua pork.
It seems only fitting then that L&L Hawaiian Barbecue was recently rated by Entrepreneur magazine as the top Asian fast food franchise in the U.S. The Honolulu-based restaurant chain serves affordable island comfort food at more than 200 locations from California to Florida, all of which are independently owned, mostly by immigrants. (Panda Express, in contrast, owns all of its outlets.) L&L also has two locations in Japan, with Flores open to more Asian expansion. The company recorded $95 million in sales in 2018.
And the founder and CEO is an immigrant himself.
I met Flores at an L&L inside a Walmart in downtown Honolulu. He’s ambitious and a dreamer, “cocky,” as his wife would say. He’s working to have an L&L in every Walmart on the mainland.
Flores’ family moved to Hawaii from China when he was a youth, the eldest boy of seven children. His Filipino father, a musician, and Chinese mother, have sixth-grade educations and were part of the middle class in Hong Kong. In Hawaii, his father worked as a janitor and his mother a restaurant cashier and dishwasher to make ends meet.
That’s what sparked Flores’ entrepreneurial spirit. “I told myself I’m not going to be poor,” he said.
But it wasn’t easy for the 72-year-old, who had a learning disability and repeated grades four times in China. Still, he learned to be aggressive and business savvy, working in banks and then real estate. In a few years, he became a millionaire and bought a restaurant for his mom in 1976, which would eventually be the first L&L, and the birth of a food empire.
Before poke became Hawaii’s hottest food trend, Flores popularized Spam musubi, a handheld snack of seaweed-wrapped grilled luncheon meat on top of rice. He says he was serving brown rice on his menu before most of the mainland U.S. knew what it was.
“No one ever took a concept of Hawaii to the mainland and made it. We were the first one,” Flores said. “We’re the only true Hawaiian brand serving Hawaiian food.”
To stay true to the brand, potential franchisees spend time in Hawaii to get to know the local icon’s “Aloha spirit.”
His upbringing made him a long-time champion of immigrants, especially the Filipino community in Hawaii. And while he made his fortune in real estate and franchising, he says his real legacy is building the 50,000-square-foot Filipino Community Center, the largest cultural center outside the Philippines. It aims to support the 300,000 or so Filipinos living and working in the state–about a quarter of the local population–with health and educational services as well as entrepreneurial and business incubation. Furthermore, about 60% of the new immigrants in Hawaii are from the Philippines.
“It’s for the pride of the Filipino. Filipinos are relegated to the lowest socioeconomic status here, like janitor, dishwasher,” Flores said. “I believe in political empowerment for the community and teaching them entrepreneurship so they can own their own businesses.”
Many of the Filipinos in Hawaii have little education, so it will take two to three generations to move up, Flores added. “Of the 1,200 board of directors of publicly traded companies here, only three are Filipino.”
Flores has also brought Hawaiian business delegations to the Philippines to explore opportunities with the motherland. But he admits cultural differences make it difficult to do business there. Entrepreneurship doesn’t come naturally for many Filipinos, he explains. Even in the United States, where immigrants grow up believing in the American dream, starting a business requires taking risks and a willingness to fail–an approach that runs counter to the more cautious culture of many Asians.
It’s a reality Flores is working to change, especially as an immigrant who overcame poverty and adversity to become one of the most successful Asian food franchise operators in the U.S.
“We are first-generation immigrants,” he said, “and since we’ve been able to achieve the American dream, I want to give back.”
I’m an international news anchor, Asia correspondent and freelance content creator based in Manila, with 20 years of experience in news, business and lifestyle reporting, producing and anchoring across Asia and the United States, including Singapore, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. In 2017, I launched ABS-CBN News Channel’s morning newscasts Early Edition and News Now as lead anchor and managing editor and hosted the popular “Food Diplomacy” segment. From 2013-2016, I was an anchor/correspondent for Channel NewsAsia and hosted “What’s Cooking,” a weekly food and travel show. Before moving to Asia, I worked in New York as an anchor, reporter and editor for several major media companies, including Forbes, CNBC, HGTV, Yahoo and Bloomberg. Born in Los Angeles, I graduated from UCLA and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism
Edit: I honestly can’t believe I posted this garbage video lol. Forgive the low quality. I intend on replacing this video with something much better. But thank you for those who watched through this atrocity haha. I went into L&L Hawaiian BBQ in Las Vegas to see what it was all about! Check it out :D. Follow me on social media!! Facebook: www.facebook.com/bigpileofwesley Twitter: www.twitter.com/bigpileofwesley Instagram: www.instagram.com/bigpileofwesley Snapchat: bigpileofwesley
In the battle for China’s massive food-delivery market, Alibaba is in the unfamiliar position of falling behind its rival. The behemoth that’s feeding more of the country’s hundreds of millions of hungry customers is Meituan Dianping.
Led by billionaire founder Wang Xing, Beijing-based Meituan recently solidified its share of the country’s $84 billion food delivery market at a record 65%, well ahead of Alibaba’s Ele.me at 27.4%, according to consultancy and data provider Trustdata. The company’s Hong Kong-listed shares have soared 80% this year after it reported a surprise profit in the second quarter.
The stock defied the broader market decline in the city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index, which tumbled 9% since July amid ongoing anti-government protests in the city over the now suspended extradition bill. Wang, who derives the bulk of his fortune from his stake in Meituan, saw his net worth increase from $3.8 billion in the beginning of 2019 to $6.2 billion.
“A lot of people are now positive on Meituan, because they have proven that there is money to be made in the food delivery business,” says Wang Xiaoyan, a Shanghai-based analyst at 86 Research. “There will be fluctuations in its profitability margin, but it won’t bleed as much money as before.”
The company’s results were attributed to its ability to provide better services and the effectiveness of its subsidy strategy. It’s been more aggressive than Alibaba in inking exclusive delivery partnerships with restaurants, while boosting delivery time and reducing costs by matching order data and grouping more deliveries in one trip.
This has allowed users to stick to Meituan’s platform, even though Alibaba has tried to convince them to switch by doling out hundreds of millions of dollars in coupons and meal subsidies. David Dai, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Bernstein Research, says Meituan’s user loyalty is much stronger than Alibaba had initially expected.
“People may say that they are price sensitive, but not everyone would open two apps and compare prices before ordering a meal,” he says. “Meituan has more restaurants, more users and higher delivery efficiency, and this has formed a positive cycle.”
Now, in the face of reduced competition, Meituan is seeking to generate revenue from advertising on its platform, which boasts of 422.6 million annual active users. Restaurants can now pay to place banner ads, or have their offers displayed higher up in users’ search results.
Although Meituan’s market leadership will be hard to displace, Alibaba has already signaled that it won’t give up easily. Analysts say the e-commerce giant views food delivery as essential to its wider strategy, because it’s a high-frequency service that can be embedded in the Alibaba ecosystem to promote complimentary services like online payments. To chip away its rival’s dominance, Alibaba has been focusing on lower-tier cities, which are Meituan’s traditional strongholds.
“If Ele.me is determined to launch another price war, then Meituan has no choice but to follow up,” says Steven Zhu, a Shanghai-based analyst at research firm Pacific Epoch.
And this may well be the case towards year end, when the e-commerce giant launches its Singles Day shopping bonanza and uses discounts to attract shoppers. What’s more, Meituan may also have to pay more to couriers at that time, because cold weather in the winter season usually leads to increased delivery fees. Still, analysts say it has enough room for growth, which could lead to sustained margin improvements.
“Profitability improvement will come more from revenue growth instead of cost reductions,” says Bernstein Research’s Dai. “They can boost their take rate and improve advertising, and the space for revenue growth is still pretty big.”
I am a Beijing-based writer covering China’s technology sector. I contribute to Forbes, and previously I freelanced for SCMP and Nikkei. Prior to Beijing, I spent six months as an intern at TIME magazine’s Hong Kong office. I am a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University. Email: email@example.com Twitter: @yueyueyuewang
My life changed when I discovered food delivery in China – mainly, I got a bit lazier, but it’s just so easier and there’s a ton of tasty western and Chinese food available. Some of the food isn’t even possible to get unless you order it through one of China’s food delivery apps. Right now, there are 2 that are very popular: ele.me and Mei Tuan Wai Mai. I prefer Meituan Waimai, and I breakdown how to use it in this video. I’ll show you how to setup a profile, how to order food, and I’ll even attempt to follow the delivery driver from the restaurant to my home. This is the video you need to watch if you want to learn how to get food delivered in China. Mei Tuan Wai Mai can be downloaded here: http://waimai.meituan.com/mobile/down… Once installed, follow the instructions in the video to setup a profile that includes your address for quick delivery. Tune in Tuesdays and Thursdays at around 3PM EST for new videos, including my series Chengdu: City of Gastronomy (https://goo.gl/kSSxw2), where I randomly pick a card that has a Sichuan dish on it and I hit the city to find it and try it. There’s so much good food in Chengdu, Asia’s first ever city to be named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy. —/// ABOUT ME \\\— I live in China and am constantly exploring and traveling the country and other parts of Asia. Subscribe to my channel to watch more adventures… and to learn a bit about food, cultures, and more. If you’re looking for more videos about living in China: https://goo.gl/e2kSVz —————————————————————————————– \\ Subscribe: http://bit.ly/2e8BCZv \\ Website: http://itchyfeetonthecheap.com/ \\ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org \\ Instagram: http://instagram.com/itchyfeetonthecheap \\ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/itchyfeetont… \\ Twitter: https://twitter.com/itchyfeetcheap —————————————————————————————– 🎵 MUSIC 🎶 Music by Andrew Rothschild Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgkz… Bandcamp: https://andrewrothschild.bandcamp.com/ Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/an… Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/arothsmusic/
When Popeyes launched its fried chicken sandwich on August 12, it got a lot of positive attention — the Twitter announcement got more than 31,000 likes, which is pretty impressive considering that their posts usually get less than 400. What the world didn’t know was that tragedy was soon to strike. Popeyes ran out of chicken sandwiches before the month was over. But what’s the real reason it disappeared? And when will the Popeyes chicken sandwich be available again, if ever? To find out, we have to go back to the beginning. For the longest time, Popeyes only sold chicken pieces and tenders, with no sandwiches on their menu. They have a loyal fan following nonetheless, including the late Anthony Bourdain, who is said to have once eaten at a Popeyes buffet for three days in a row. The Popeyes chicken sandwich, made with their signature crispy fried chicken on a spicy mayo-slathered brioche bun and topped with pickles, was bound to be a hit with fans, but it had a few competitors who wanted to make their presence known when the newcomer started getting attention. Chick-fil-A, a big name in the chicken sandwich game, was compelled to tweet out an equation alluding to the fact that they have the original chicken sandwich, stating: “Bun + Chicken + Pickles = all the [love] for the original.” Popeyes wasn’t having it, tweeting a simple “… y’all good?” in response. While Chick-fil-A’s tweet got more than 23,000 likes, the reply from Popeyes got almost 325,000. Round one goes to Popeyes. Wendy’s, with its notoriously on-point Twitter game, also tried to get in the fight, posting a tweet that said: “Y’all out here fighting about which of these fools has the second best chicken sandwich.” But once again Popeyes’ reply — “Sounds like someone just ate one of our biscuits. Cause y’all looking thirsty.” — got way more engagement from customers. The fast food chicken sandwich war has officially begun. It’s not just social media hype, either. The masses seem to agree that Popeyes chicken sandwich really is superior to Chick-fil-A’s chicken sandwich, calling it better and cheaper. CBS This Morning’s Gayle King, who called 15 different Popeyes locations trying to get her hands on one, said on her first bite, Even celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse gave his version of a five-star review. He posted on Twitter that he was about to try the Popeyes chicken sandwich, and when a fan asked what he thought of it, Lagasse replied with two explosion emojis, the picture version of his famous catchphrase. But not everyone managed to try one of the chicken sandwiches. Just 15 days after they launched, Popeyes made an announcement on Twitter, dashing the dreams of hopeful diners. “Y’all. We love that you love The Sandwich. Unfortunately we’re sold out (for now).” A Popeyes spokesperson told CBS why the sandwich sold out so quickly, explaining: “The demand for the new Chicken Sandwich in the first few weeks following its launch far exceeded our very optimistic expectations. In fact, Popeyes aggressively forecasted demand through the end of September and has already sold through that inventory.” The chain hasn’t said exactly when the Popeyes chicken sandwich is coming back, only that they, along with their suppliers, are quote, “working tirelessly to bring the new sandwich back to guests as soon as possible.” If you want to know the second it becomes available, you can download the Popeyes app and enable push notifications. You’ll get an alert as soon as the sandwich hits stores, so keep gas in your car and a go-bag by the door, because you never know when the call might come. And don’t worry — once the Popeyes chicken sandwich becomes available it won’t be disappearing again. According to a Popeyes spokesperson, the chicken sandwich is permanently on the menu. That’s great for fans of the chain, but the question remains: What are we going to do with ourselves while we wait for its return? Watch the video to find out the real reason Popeyes ran out chicken sandwiches! #Popeyes#Chicken#ChickenSandwich
At 70, Singapore’s “popiah king” Sam Goi still has his sights set on expanding his food and property empire. After earning his royal sobriquet—and his $2 billion fortune—making the paper-thin crepes used to wrap spring rolls known as popiah, he is now branching out. He wants to invest in meat substitutes and other special-diet foods, and play angel investor to food startups like the one he started in 1977, Tee Yih Jia Food.
Goi knows something about building a brand. Privately held Tee Yih Jia (TYJ) today exports Asian food items such as spring rolls, glutinous rice balls and samosas to more than 80 countries. It’s now in the process of doubling its production capacity with a new facility due for completion in 2021.
Goi’s Singapore-listed development company GSH, however, has hit a lull. After a S$75 million windfall in 2017 from its sale of private-equity unit Plaza Ventures, net profits dropped 93% in 2018 to S$6 million on a 9% decline in revenues. That’s pushed GSH’s shares down 13% in the past year, helping pull Goi’s fortune down by $100 million.
Goi arrived in Singapore in 1955 when he was six years old with little but the shirt on his back after his family fled China’s Fujian province in a small boat. Goi dropped out of high school, but used his training in a repair shop to gain a toehold in the food industry.
With S$450,000 borrowed from a bank and his father, he bought an underperforming food company and overhauled it, increasing production from 3,200 popiah skins a day to 25,000. In 1980, he brought in technicians to design the world’s first automated system for making spring roll pastries at the blistering rate of 30 million a day. He then branched out, pumping out fortune cookies, flatbread and samosas.
Goi returned to his hometown in Fujian in 1985 and built his first China factory there, later adding a frozen-food facility, a brewery and a vinegar plant in other parts of China. Goi also snapped up land in China’s second-tier cities long before China’s property boom. Most of Goi’s exposure to property, though, has come through GSH, where he now has a nearly 60% stake.
TYJ also has a subsidiary in Yangzhou focused on developing residential and commercial properties in surrounding Jiangsu province. But Goi’s plans for TYJ are more food-related. Goi’s daughter Laureen, who runs TYJ Food Manufacturing, has been building a state-of-the-art food factory nearly four times larger than the present one in Singapore, with the latest in automation, including driverless vehicles.
The new facility will also have a laboratory developing new products, and TYJ may even invest in and incubate promising food ventures, furthering Goi’s legacy as a foodstuff innovator.
Correction: the original version of this story incorrectly stated Goi’s late son Ben was involved in TYJ’s factory expansion. It is his daughter Laureen. Also corrected is that the new facility is an expansion not a replacement of the existing manufacturing plant.
Pamela covers entrepreneurs, wealth, blockchain and the crypto economy as a senior reporter across digital and print platforms. Prior to Forbes, she served as on-air foreign correspondent for Thomson Reuters’ broadcast team, during which she reported on global markets, central bank policies, and breaking business news. Before Asia, she was a journalist at NBC Comcast, and started her career at CNBC and Bloomberg as a financial news producer in New York. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and holds an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Yahoo, USA Today, Huffington Post, and Nasdaq. Pamela’s previous incarnation was on the buy side in M&A research and asset management, inspired by Michael Lewis’ book “Liar’s Poker”. Follow me on Twitter at @pamambler
A month ago, facing widespread criticism over DoorDash’s policy of reducing pay to delivery workers who receive tips, DoorDash CEO Tony Xu promised to introduce a new payment scheme in which delivery workers could keep their tips without seeing their pay reduced. Now that new model is here, and it’s a powerful incentive for customers ordering DoorDash deliveries to add a tip when they order. Preferably, a generous one.
Under the old system, a DoorDash delivery person (or “Dasher”) would be promised a certain fee, say $7, to make a given delivery. If the customer tipped zero, DoorDash would pay $7. If the customer tipped $3, DoorDash would pay $4, and the Dasher would still receive a total of $7. (If the customer tipped more than $7, DoorDash would pay its minimum fee of $1, and the Dasher would keep the entire tip.)
According to some accounts, the majority of customers who use a food delivery service such as DoorDash don’t tip–perhaps believing that most of the fee they pay to the service goes to the deliverer–while others do tip. Thus, the old system created greater predictability for drivers when deciding whether to accept a delivery. (Dashers are independent contractors who accept or decline each delivery as they see fit.)
Some Dashers liked that model, and New York Times reporter Andy Newman, who spent several days as an undercover deliverer for DoorDash, PostMates, and Uber Eats, found that he generally earned more from DoorDash than from the other two services. There was just one problem with that model, which Xu identified in a series of tweets announcing the change: “What we missed was that some customers who *did* tip would feel like their tip did not matter.”
Want your food to arrive hot? Add a big tip.
Well, it’s about to start mattering big time. The new model is short on essential details, but this is what DoorDash has announced: From here on out, all Dashers will keep 100 percent of their tips and DoorDash will no longer reduce their base pay when they do. Xu has vowed that the new scheme will increase Dashers’ pay overall, and to that end the company is doubling its minimum pay from $1 to $2. The company is adding “promotions,” bonus pay for Dashers to work at busy times, and also “challenges,” in which Dashers who work frequently will receive extra pay for reaching certain goals. DoorDash has not yet released the details of these promotions. It also says the new payment system will roll out to all Dashers by the end of September.
The company has made one thing very clear. DoorDash will give every Dasher 100 percent of the customer’s tip without reducing the Dasher’s base pay, and if a customer adds a tip when placing the order that tip will be included in the pay offered for the delivery. Although the Dasher won’t be able to see the tip amount, he or she will be able to see the total payment for the delivery, including the tip, which obviously will be higher than for an untipped delivery job.
Thus, if a customer ordering a DoorDash delivery adds a big tip when ordering, Dashers will likely scramble to grab that delivery job, knowing it will pay better than usual. Conversely, customers who doesn’t add an upfront tip will likely wait a bit longer for their food to arrive since those jobs will be much less attractive to Dashers. A customer may be planning to tip after the food arrives, but since the Dasher can’t know that in advance and most customers don’t tip, he or she won’t bank on it.
That’s what many people who posted in a Reddit forum for DoorDash drivers are saying. For example, one Dasher posted, “The nice part about this is that you will be able to see what the customer tips up front before accepting the order so those big fat 0 tippers even if they’re gonna tip afterwards I’m not risking it.”
And here’s a comment from another Dasher: “My thinking also is that the low-paying offers (from non-tippers) are going to be passed over repeatedly, so the food may be cold and will arrive late. So not only is it a low-paying job, but the odds are likely that you’ll get 1 star for taking the order. Wow, sounds great, huh?”
For the moment, there are more unknowns than knowns about this new payment scheme, but one lesson is clear. If you’re ordering food via DoorDash and you want it to arrive hot, add a tip when you first order. Preferably a big one.
Pat Brown isn’t an inventor so much as a reinventor. He sees something that works, but not well, and figures out how to do the same thing, only a lot better. And along the way, he’s reinvented himself into perhaps the most unlikely entrepreneur in Silicon Valley.
Brown trained as a pediatrician but, seeing that genetics figure prominently in diseases such as cancer, repurposed himself as a scientific researcher. Within a few years, he’d created something called the DNA microarray, a technology that has allowed scientists to better study genetic code. It was a breakthrough, and for most people that would be a career peak. Not Pat. In 2001, frustrated by limited worldwide access to scientific research, he co-founded the Public Library of Science, a radical revision of academic publishing.
A decade later, he saw a vastly greater inefficiency: meat. Raising and killing animals, he realized, is an environmentally expensive way to produce protein, demanding tremendous amounts of water, land, and energy. “There’s a $1.6 trillion global meat and poultry market being served by prehistoric technology,” he fumes. So Pat, then at Stanford, ditched academics for startup life. Today, he’s the founder and CEO of Impossible Foods, a company that’s reinventing meat.
Unlike entrepreneurs who tally their startups like animal heads mounted in a man cave, Brown wasn’t looking to add founder to his résumé. “I couldn’t have imagined myself doing this,” he told me over a lunch of Impossible burgers in Redwood City, California. “But the most powerful, subversive tool on earth is the free market. If you can take a problem and figure out a solution that involves making consumers happier, you’re unstoppable.”
And so, in 2011, and nearing 60, he launched Impossible Foods. First, he needed investors. “My actual pitch, if you showed it to a business school class, would’ve had people rolling in the aisles because it was so amateurish,” he admits. But he could tell potential investors, with complete conviction: What I am proposing is going to make you even more obscenely rich than you already are. “I didn’t say it in quite those words,” he notes, “but I knew that this was something that was going to be incredibly successful. And that worked.”
Oh, yeah. Starting with a $9 million round in 2011, Impossible has raised nearly $750 million, including $300 million in May. It is now valued at more than $2 billion.
To say Pat Brown is unconventional is to say that cows moo. But it’s important to celebrate him, because, though few of us are as smart, many of us are possessed of the same inspiration. We just lack the conviction that we’re the entrepreneurial type. Yet many of the best founders don’t have an MBA–what they have is a sense of opportunity, a hunch that they’re on to something the rest of the world hasn’t quite spotted. Something they can’t let pass by. I was inspired by Pat to take my own leap away from a secure job and hatch my own startup.
Part of his success is that he’s honest about his capabilities. He has hired well, including a terrific operations team and an ace CFO whom he calls an “investor whisperer.” How did he know he could survive moving from scientist to CEO? He figured that, given the scope of the meat problem (massive and global), few people would actually go about trying to solve it.
He’s not a guy who places limits on himself, and that’s his message. “There’s a big phenomenon of people self-censoring, worrying about the imposter syndrome,” Brown says. “They say, ‘Someone has to do this, but I’m not the guy,’ or, ‘I’m not qualified.’ People limit their own opportunities.”
He pauses to take a big bite of burger. “There’s no road map for what we’re doing,” he continues. “But someone has to solve this problem.” He figures it might as well be him.
Impossible Foods looks to expand as the demand for meat alternatives continues to grow. The company is a leader in the food-tech industry producing plant-based foods that look at taste like meat. David Lee, CFO of Impossible Foods, joined CBSN to talk about the company and the emergence of the meatless market. Subscribe to the CBS News Channel HERE: http://youtube.com/cbsnews Watch CBSN live HERE: http://cbsn.ws/1PlLpZ7 Follow CBS News on Instagram HERE: https://www.instagram.com/cbsnews/ Like CBS News on Facebook HERE: http://facebook.com/cbsnews Follow CBS News on Twitter HERE: http://twitter.com/cbsnews Get the latest news and best in original reporting from CBS News delivered to your inbox. Subscribe to newsletters HERE: http://cbsn.ws/1RqHw7T Get your news on the go! Download CBS News mobile apps HERE: http://cbsn.ws/1Xb1WC8 Get new episodes of shows you love across devices the next day, stream CBSN and local news live, and watch full seasons of CBS fan favorites like Star Trek Discovery anytime, anywhere with CBS All Access. Try it free! http://bit.ly/1OQA29B — CBSN is the first digital streaming news network that will allow Internet-connected consumers to watch live, anchored news coverage on their connected TV and other devices. At launch, the network is available 24/7 and makes all of the resources of CBS News available directly on digital platforms with live, anchored coverage 15 hours each weekday. CBSN. Always On
If you’re interested in the impossible, let’s just say that it’s been an interesting week. First there was bad news at Burger King. Then, there was almost no news at all at McDonald’s.
But now, Subway might have the most important news of all.
First, you might know, thanks to reporting by my colleague Chris Matysczyk, about the surprising thing Burger King admitted this week — namely that it’s preparing its plant-based Whoppers “in the same broiler used for beef and chicken.”
Let’s just say hardcore no-meat-eaters aren’t exactly thrilled about that.
Meanwhile, there was just the faintest hint that McDonald’s might be getting on the meat-less meat bandwagon in the United States.
As my colleague Peter Economy reported, Impossible Foods is reportedly teaming up with a food supplier that works with McDonald’s — suggesting there might some kind of meatless meat coming to McDonald’s at some point in the future.
But now, like a dark horse contender (sorry, horrible analogy), Subway has raced to the front of the pack.
Starting next month, the world’s largest restaurant chain says it will be offering a meatless meatball sub, after teaming up with plant-based meat substitute company Beyond Meat.
I don’t know which will be more surprising to people: the idea of a meatless meatball sub, or the simple fact that Subway is so much bigger than McDonald’s.
Let’s take the second point first: The tale of the tape right now worldwide, or at least as of 2018, which is the most recent year available:
42,431 Subway stores;
37,855 McDonald’s restaurants; and
13,000 Burger King restaurants.
It’s fascinating. If Subway were a TV show, it would be NCIS: extremely successful, even though it’s not exactly socially popular. It reminds me of how people failed to predict the electoral victory of President Trump.
But it’s also why, while the meatless meatball sub is just a test for now in about 685 of these Subway restaurants, Subway’s much larger size means it has a better chance of catching on more quickly than its smaller competitors.
I have no dog at all in the fight over meatless meat (sorry, another bad analogy). But I mean that I like to eat meat, but I also enjoy really vegetarian options.
Personally, I just don’t see the need to create a plant-based meat substitute designed to fool people into thinking they’re actually eating meat.
Even in places like Sweden, they apparently find that weird.
But if you’re betting on whether companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat really have a long-term future, for now at least, I wouldn’t be watching McDonald’s or Burger King. I’d watch how the meatless meatball sub does at Subway.
Frito-Lay North America has maintained its position as the fastest growing segment for PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP) over recent years. PepsiCo Revenues(shows PepsiCo’s key revenue components) have increased from $62.8 billion in 2016 to $64.7 in 2018, growing at a CAGR of 1.5%. During the same period, FLNA saw its revenues increase from $15.5 billion to $16.3 billion, at a CAGR of 2.5%.
A] Division Overview
1) What is on offer?
FLNA makes, markets, distributes, and sells branded snack foods, which include branded dips, Cheetos cheese-flavored snacks, Doritos tortilla chips, Fritos corn chips, Lay’s potato chips, Ruffles potato chips, and Tostitos tortilla chips.
In addition, FLNA’s joint venture with Strauss Group makes, markets, distributes, and sells Sabra refrigerated dips and spreads.
2) Who is paying?
FLNA’s branded products are sold to independent distributors and retailers.
Frito-Lay targets people across demographic sections through its products.
The products are positioned as a quick fix solution for hunger and are thus normally included in the category of fast foods.
3) Available Alternatives?
The segment faces intense competition from other snacks offerings from Procter & Gamble, Kraft Foods, Kellogg’s Company, and General Mills.
FLNA has been able to add $0.8 billion to its revenues over the last 2 years, at a CAGR of 2.5%.
Revenue growth has been driven by continuous innovation, new products, effective pricing strategies and volume growth.
As per the latest PepsiCo Earnings, FLNA revenues increased by 4.5% (y-o-y) in Q2 2019.
The segment is expected to grow at a healthy rate to add about $1.3 billion in revenues over the next two years, driven by growth in variety packs and its trademark Doritos.
Frito-Lay contributes about a quarter of PepsiCo’s revenues, with its share continuously rising.
We expect FLNA to continue to grow at a rate faster than PepsiCo as a whole, taking the segment contribution to 25.6% in 2020, from the current 25.3%.
C] Innovation and Strategies
Over the recent years, Frito-Lay has been successfully able to expand its reach to cater to different categories of consumers.
Frito-Lay was traditionally a dominant player only in the mid-tier snack segment. It did not have a significant presence in the premium or the bottom end of the snacks market.
However, Frito-Lay made its premium products available in high-end stores (such as Citarella) and the deli sections of grocery chains in order to create the right perception of these products.
In the bottom end of the segment, Frito-Lay has Cracker Jack as a brand offering high value for money. Similarly, Taqueros was made available in dollar stores and other retail outlets that typically attract value-seeking consumers.
Additionally, conscious of a consumer shift toward health snacks, the segment has come up with offerings such as Stacy’s Pita Chips and Sabra, which offers packaged Mediterranean dips such as hummus.
D] Most Profitable Segment
Frito-Lay is the most profitable division of PepsiCo, with its operating profit margin being almost 2x PepsiCo’s total operating margin.
We expect the segment to improve its margins from the current level of 30.6% to 31.8% by the end of 2020.
Improved profitability is expected to be driven by healthy revenue growth along with productivity savings.
The recently announced 2019 Productivity Plan, under which PepsiCo will leverage new technology and business models to further simplify, harmonize, and automate processes, and in addition optimize its manufacturing and supply chain footprint, is likely to provide a further boost to the profitability of its already high-margin Frito-Lay segment.
Trefis estimates PepsiCo to add close to $4 billion in revenues over the next two years, out of which $1.3 billion (over 31%) is expected to come from Frito-Lay. As per PepsiCo Valuation(shows valuation analysis) by Trefis, we have a price estimate of $128 per share for PEP’s stock. Thus, the primary factor for the company to report a healthy revenue growth rate, improved profitability, enhanced shareholder returns, and elevated stock price, is a solid and sustained performance in the Frito-Lay division.
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The move gives the Redwood City, Calif., company access to OSI’s network of more than 65 facilities in 17 countries.
Impossible said it also has tripled its weekly production at its manufacturing plant in Oakland.
“We conducted an exhaustive due diligence process to determine how to scale our manufacturing, both in the short term and over the next several years, and we were thoroughly impressed with OSI’s commitment to quality and responsiveness,” Sheetal Shah, senior vice president of product and operations at Impossible Foods, said in a statement.
OSI, the Aurora, Ill., food-solutions provider, “has already installed equipment to make the Impossible Burger, and we’ll start seeing new capacity every week,” Shah said.
Separately, Impossible also received regulatory clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to use soy leghemoglobin as a safe food-color additive in its imitation beef, which gives the alternative its signature bloody look.
Beyond Meat, El Segundo, Calif., at the beginning of May went public at $25 a share. Holders have had a bumpy ride up: The shares have traded as low as $45 and as high as nearly $240.
Amid the Impossible Foods reports, Beyond Meat shares are trading Wednesday up 3.2% to $200.98 on Wednesday.
It’s hard to believe that in 2016, Atlanta-based restaurant Ammazza was forced to close its doors after not one, but two car accidents severely damaged the popular Edgewood Avenue space. But in November 2018, Ammazza opened the doors to a new restaurant in downtown Decatur. And months later, in March 2019, the local pizza joint officially re-opened its Edgewood location. Since November, the crowds have quickly returned and in addition to a new, second space, Ammazza has also welcomed several additions to its menu.
In June, likely to the excitement of foodies dedicated to a plant-based lifestyle, Ammazza announced a new, all-vegan menu. The hearty, all-vegan menu is comprised of five antipasto dishes, eight pizzas, dessert and a kids section.
On the pizza end, there’s the classic Vegan Margherita. A simpler option for those hoping to quell a pizza craving, the Vegan Margherita is made using house tomato sauce, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil and vegan cheese. If a plethora of toppings is more your thing, there’s also the Vegan Piccante. The Vegan Piccante comes loaded with house tomato sauce, fresh basil, spicy calabria peppers, caramelized onions, red peppers, marinated artichokes and vegan cheese.
Need even more toppings? Ammazza offers about a dozen additional toppings (for an added cost) that range from sauteed wild mushrooms to spicy calabrian agave. Pizzas vary in price from $15 to $24, depending on size and selection.
The Antipasto selection on the new menu is brimming with a variety of salads. There are classics like Caesar and Spinach Salad, as well as not so traditional options like the Orzo Salad and Basil Salad. Simple yet robust, the Basil Salad is a medley of field greens, marinated artichokes, olives, red bell peppers, Roma tomatoes and house basil vinaigrette.
And since there’s always room for dessert, Ammazza’s all-vegan menu includes a vegan seasonal fruit tart, as well as a chef’s selection.
Curious about Ammazza’s boozier options? The pizzeria’s beverage director and general manager, Daniel Bridges revealed to the Atlanta Journal Constitution in January that Italian liqueurs and fresh ingredients will be a focus.
“We’re focusing on Italian liqueurs, amaro, and things like that,” Bridges said. “I like to keep my cocktails pretty simple, just use fresh ingredients, and let the spirits speak for themselves. But we definitely sell a lot of beer and wine. We change up the draft list almost daily. We try to stay local and regional with beer, and we have Italian wines.”
Ammazza’s all-vegan menu can be found at both their Decatur and Edgewood locations.
As the owner of Lushworthy.com (a beer, wine and cocktail blog), I’ve penned stories on all things booze-related for nearly a decade. In addition to holding down the fort at Lushworthy.com, my musings and other written works on food and drink can be found across the web. With my writing, I’ve had the opportunity to talk craft beer with rapper Tech N9ne, explore the history of New Orleans’ famed Café Brulot cocktail, sample spirits and cocktails from across the globe, and much more. I’m also a proud, longtime resident of Atlanta, Georgia, and an avid foodie. I keep myself heavily in the know when it concerns news on the latest restaurants, breweries and bars in the city.