New on the Menu: Jack in the Box’s Late-Night Proposition

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“Jack in the Box is expanding its “french fries in a box” concept to two more potato, fat, and dairy concoctions that would make any cardiologist squirm. In the company’s defense, they’re going to try just about anything to keep their franchisees happy right now. Also in Jack’s defense? It doesn’t have the meal in this installment that must worry doctors the most.

Every few weeks Skift Table will wrap up the latest seasonal and new items on chain restaurant menus in the United States. We don’t call out everything (sorry limited-time Pumpkin Spice something), but we will call out items that are notable for what they mean to a chain, the season, or consumer habits.”

See more here.

Promoting Restaurant Technology Through Advertising

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“Most people use social media as a tool for keeping in touch with friends and family, so it makes sense that we wouldn’t want it cluttered with ads for a deal, but rather content that makes the companies we like seem more human, as if they’re just one of us. Restaurants are getting behind this is a big way and joining in on online celebrations for holidays, from Valentine’s Day to Teacher Appreciation Day, following along with major sporting events, or simply sharing memes relevant to their brand.

As technology continues to evolve the way restaurants operate, so too do the messages they communicate to customers via advertising. Whether it be new options for delivery, or an emerging media channel to connect with customers. Nothing happens in a vacuum—it all contributes to the greater ecosystem surrounding a business, requiring a true 360-degree omnichannel view.”

Read more here.

84 Million U.S. Wine Drinkers Fit Into Six Wine-Buying Segments

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“Representing 10% of wine consumers, Engaged Explorers are identified as the younger population of wine buyers. These are the most frequent buyers and they spend the most on high-priced wines than any in the list of six. They are called explorers because they drink many wine styles, from many countries and regions.

At 19% of wine consumers, Premium Brand Suburbans are middle to older age. They spend much less on a bottle of wine than most wine consumers and they are hard wired into staying with wines and brands they know, and members in this group happen to know more about wine than any in the five other segments.

Contented Treaters make up 17% of wine buyers. Like the “Suburbans” this segment comprises middle to older aged, but this group is affluent; they spend up, but they also don’t consume nearly as much wine as their counterparts. They go for a broad range of wines and are interested in a wine’s origin.”

Read more here.

How CPG companies should adapt to “the new consumer experience”

"The traditional five Ps of marketing are obsolete in the era of the new consumer experience"

“It’s a brave new world for CPG brands – and the critical organising principle for food companies should be what I call the new consumer experience, which involves how we shop, what we consume and how we form personal relationships with brands.

And central to the new consumer experience is the millennial-minded consumer.

In this age of the new consumer experience and millennial-minded consumer, the traditional five Ps of brand marketing no longer apply as conventionally interpreted and understood. The emergence and centrality of the new consumer experience is changing everything we were taught in business school or on the job.

Why? Because consumers today want brands that create experiences that resonate with them personally and with those in their tribe or community who share the same values and lifestyles.

For example, telling stories and creating experiences around a CPG brand using social media and other creative online and offline platforms matters as much or more today than the free-standing coupon insert and 60-second television spot has over the last 50 years.”

Read more here.

Romaine’s Woes Are Great News for Other Kinds of Greens

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“Prices for iceberg, green leaf and other types of lettuce are soaring as demand surged in the wake of the romaine recall. A carton of iceberg lettuce at wholesale markets in California fetched as much as $60 this week, U.S. government data show. That’s up from as low as $24 on Nov. 19, the day before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning to consumers about romaine.

The same holds true for other salad staples: the price of Boston lettuce surged 175 percent, while green leaf lettuce gained 160 percent, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. Even kale, a member of the same family as cabbage, was not immune, rising to as much as $16 a carton from a low of $12.

“It’s uncertain how long it will last,” said Trevor Suslow, the vice president of food safety for the Produce Marketing Association, referring to the price spike. “I would imagine it will stay high for a while because of the understandable disruption.”

See more here.

Fast Food Prices Rise to Better Reflect True Costs

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“Dollar cheeseburgers and discount nuggets are getting Americans in the door at their favorite fast-food joints, but the savings end there.

Even as the recent fast-food discount wars rage on, with Burger King advertising 10 chicken nuggets for $1 and Pizza Hut offering $5 pies, fast-food items that don’t make it onto value menus are actually climbing in price. Median fast-food hamburger prices have jumped 54 percent over the last decade to about $6.95, according to menu researcher Datassential. Chicken sandwiches are up 27 percent. Both surpass overall U.S. price inflation during that same time.”

“McDonald’s Corp., the world’s biggest restaurant chain, recently started touting a $6 meal including a burger, fries, a drink and a pie, but it’s also offering plenty of items at the other end of the price scale. Its honey-barbecue glazed chicken tenders are more than $6 without any drinks or sides, and the new Bacon Smokehouse Quarter Pounder meal runs nearly $9 in Chicago.”

Read more here.

NYC Issues Guidance to Employers

Earlier this year, the New York City Council enacted the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act, as we previously reported in our April 2018 alert and August 2018 alert.

The Act mandates sexual harassment prevention programs for all New York City employers and includes both notice and training requirements. Recently, the New York City Commission on Human Rights released responses to frequently asked questions (FAQs), which provide helpful guidance to employers in complying with their obligations under the Act.

Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

Employers with 15 or more employees and independent contractors at any point within the prior calendar year are required to begin training their employees and independent contractors annually (i.e., every calendar year) as of April 1, 2019. Employers only need to train employees and independent contractors who work more than 80 hours in a calendar year and work for at least 90 days. However, employers are not required to re-train their independent contractors if the independent contractors already received the annual training elsewhere.

The Commission is in the process of developing a free online training program that will satisfy the Act’s training requirements and also comply with New York State’s mandatory anti-sexual harassment training requirements. The Commission intends to make the training available to the public on its website on or before April 1, 2019. Alternatively, employers may create and provide their own annual training (or hire an outside party like employment counsel to do so) as long as the training includes the required elements detailed in the Act, such as:

• An explanation of sexual harassment as a form of unlawful discrimination under local, state, and federal law;

• A description of sexual harassment and examples;

• Any internal employer complaint process available to employees for addressing sexual harassment claims;

• The complaint process available through the Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and contact information for these agencies;

• The prohibition of retaliation against employees and examples;

• Information concerning bystander intervention; and

• The specific responsibilities of supervisory and managerial employees in the prevention of sexual harassment and retaliation and the measures they may take to address complaints.

Employers are required to keep a record of all trainings documents, including signed employee acknowledgements that they participated in the required training, for a minimum of three years. Such records must be made available to the Commission for inspection upon request.

Notice Posting

The Act requires employers to post a notice of employees’ rights under the law. The required notice must be posted in English andSpanish in conspicuous locations accessible to all employees (e.g., breakrooms and other common areas). However, if a convenient physical location is not available or electronic posting is the most effective method of reaching employees, the notice may be posted virtually on an electronic bulletin board easily accessible to all employees. If employers have multiple worksites within New York City, they must post the notice at all such sites. If employers have remote workers, they can provide the notice by email.

The notice does not need to be printed in color; a black and white copy satisfies the requirements. The Commission intends to make the notice available in nine additional languages for employers’ use.

Fact Sheet Distribution

In addition to the posting requirements, employers must provide a fact sheet to all new employees at the time of hire and by no later than the end of each employee’s first workweek. The fact sheet can be included in an employee handbook or with other onboarding materials for new employees. It may be distributed by any print or electronic means that employers ordinarily use to communicate with their employees. The fact sheet currently is available in both English and Spanish.

Legal Standard

Finally, the Commission has clarified that the Act does not change the legal standard for gender-based harassment under the New York City Human Rights Law; the existing legal standard remains the same.

For more information about this alert, please contact Carolyn D. Richmond at 212.878.7983 or crichmond@foxrothschild.com, Glenn S. Grindlinger at 212.905.2305 or ggrindlinger@foxrothschild.com, or any member of the firm’s Hospitality Practice Group.

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