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Business Bites: Bee-free honey, foodservice industry woes, Gen Z grocery shopping habits

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On this week’s plate: The world’s first bee-free honey; foodservice loses most employees in United States; Gen Z craves convenience while grocery shopping; and more to keep you coming back.

The world’s first bee-free honey 

Honey without bees? Fooditive is showing the industry how it’s done. The Dutch plant-based ingredients pioneer will begin large-scale production trials of the world’s first 100% bee-free honey some time in 2023. The bio-identical honey eliminates the need to farm honeybees, aiding in the world’s efforts to fight their extinction. The patented biotech process, “genetic sequence modification,” which is similar to genome editing, replicates the metabolic processes that occur naturally in honeybee stomachs using honey DNA and a proprietary strain of yeast. In addition to offering all health benefits of natural honey, this sustainable product is created without harming honeybees or the planet. 

Foodservice industry has highest quitting rate in the U.S. 

It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that foodservice workers are abandoning the industry, and in mass numbers at that. According to new research, the accommodation and foodservice industry has the highest quitting rate in the United States. The document management tool SmallPDF analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which unveiled how many employees quit in each industry from April to August 2022. The foodservice industry—including fast-food workers, waiters and chefs—lost an average of 5.8% of its workforce during that period, or more than 773,600 employees every month. As if that’s not enough, the study noted how more than 128,000 workers left in August compared to August last year, signaling uncertain times to come. 

TikTok is the new cookbook for Gen Z 

Contrary to popular belief, younger consumers love to go food shopping, particularly the older individuals in Gen Z. You heard it right, this contingency actually prefers going to brick-and-mortar stores for the “personalized experience,” opposed to having food delivered via Grubhub, Uber Eats or DoorDash. According to college students from Western Michigan University’s food marketing program, they crave the “personalized experience,” despite the convenient delivery and pick-up options available nationwide that are often coupled with high delivery fees, an inconvenience for college students on a tight budget. The panel of students, who discussed the future of food retail during Progressive Grocer’s Grocery Industry Week 2022, added how social media is affecting their grocery choices, from TikTok-inspired meals that “transform the shopping experience.” 

Liquid Death: Innovation and sustainability in a tallboy 

Eco-friendly water, seen in cans or boxes, has been a rising trend over the last decade. More brands are crawling out of the woodwork, including Liquid Death, which has become a social media sensation since its founding in 2019. It is the most followed beverage brand on TikTok at 2.9 million followers, with an Instagram following of 1.3 million. Liquid Death is currently valued at $700 million, outperforming top-rated competitors like La Croix and Spindrift, and the third-best selling carbonated water brand on Amazon. The company captures the attention of the younger generations—one-quarter of its consumers are between 18 and 25 years old—with limited edition artwork and catchy flavor names, coupled with innovative marketing that highlights its sustainable packaging and tallboy can. 

GoodSAM snacks available nationwide at Sprouts Farmers Market 

Healthy snack food brand GoodSAM Foods, boasting a commitment to sustainability and regenerative agriculture, is now available in more than 400 Sprouts stores nationwide. Four different varieties of its fan-favorite chocolate bars will be available: caramel salt, sea salt, mint and its original flavor. All GoodSAM bars are made with Direct Trade, regeneratively farmed ingredients that are non-GMO, vegan, gluten free, keto friendly, sugar free, and made without fillers or chemical-laden sweeteners. 

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