Perdue’s CAS Commitment, CorkGuru and HOBNOB

This TGIF edition of MRM’s Daily Bite includes news from Perdue Farms, Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture and the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, CorkGuru, HOBNOB,  Italia I Love You and Auntie Anne’s.

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Perdue Investing in CAS

Perdue Farms announces it is investing more than $15 million at its Milford, Del. facility, the country’s largest organic poultry plant, on a higher-welfare controlled atmospheric stunning (CAS) system plus a live-bird handling process that will be the first of its kind in the U.S. Perdue is the only major poultry company in the country to commit to converting 100 percent of its plants to CAS instead of electrical stunning, which eliminates the process of shackling conscious birds.

This move has Perdue poised to meet the higher broiler welfare standards promised by nearly 70 food retailers and restaurant companies nationwide. Most U.S. poultry plants use electricity, a method from the 1960s, to render animals insensible to pain before processing. Employees shackle live birds upside down while they’re still conscious. With CAS, Perdue uses increasing levels of carbon dioxide to calm then sedate the chickens before bringing about an irreversible loss of consciousness prior to processing. Since birds are stunned before handling, no bird is upside-down while conscious. This improves poultry welfare – and creates a better working environment for employees.

“Since implementing the CAS system, we’re seeing measurable poultry welfare improvements throughout the process, as well as improvements in product quality. Our technology uses both carbon dioxide and oxygen in the mix, which creates less stress on the birds as they go through the chambers,” said Bruce Stewart-Brown, DVM, Senior Vice President of Food Safety, Quality and Live Production. “The difference is night and day.”

Perdue’s Milford facility supplies 1.2 million organic and no-antibiotics-ever chickens per week for its consumer brands including PERDUE®, PERDUE® HARVESTLAND®, COLEMAN ORGANIC®, as well as its Foodservice Organic brands. Perdue will continue the gradual conversion of the rest of its harvest plants to Controlled Atmosphere Stunning, with the next installation planned for 2019.

In 2016, Perdue laid out an extensive program to advance animal care. These changes helped Perdue achieve the second highest level in the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare, released February 22. Perdue Farms was recognized for making animal welfare integral to its business strategies, and placed among the top 15% of more than 100 global food companies. Perdue was one of only three U.S. poultry or meat companies to achieve Tier 2 or higher. In the second phase of the CAS process, covered trucks will transport the birds in redesigned crates to a fully-enclosed, temperature-controlled, de-stressing area prior to processing called the “lairage” area. The transport crates are then transferred to the CAS system, so the birds stay calm and are never handled when conscious. This new process, the first of its kind in the U.S., will be fully operational in fall 2018.

Field to Market and USRSB’s Mutual Recognition

Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture and the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB) today announced an agreement establishing mutual recognition of the value and importance of each organization’s work and a commitment to foster an increased level of collaboration. In the agreement, USRSB agreed to recognize the role Field to Market plays in defining sustainable production for feed commodities utilized in beef production. In the same way, Field to Market agreed to recognize USRSB’s role in defining sustainable beef production.

“By collaborating with the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, we can offer tangible solutions to the livestock value chain by exploring opportunities to combine our measurement approaches,” said Rod Snyder, president of Field to Market. “We are particularly excited to bring greater transparency and continuous improvement in feed production, which in turn will positively impact the overall sustainability of beef.”

  • Under the agreement, both organizations committed to:
  • Recognize Field to Market’s Indicators, Metrics and Benchmarks within USRSB documents discussing sustainable feed;
  • Recognize USRSB’s Indicators and Metrics within Field to Market documents discussing sustainable beef production;
  • Encourage USRSB and Field to Market members, where applicable, to utilize the resources of both organizations in pilot projects, potential supply chain agreements and appropriate public facing communication;
  • Share scientific learnings where appropriate; and
  • Participate in the other’s meetings and work sessions, providing feedback and expertise where needed.

“We realize the sustainability of the beef industry must include all facets of the what goes in to putting that hamburger or steak on our tables,” said Rickette Collins, Chair of the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. “By sharing learnings and expertise, USRSB and Field to Market can lead the beef industry to better solutions to the sustainability challenges we all face throughout the value-chain.”

As the first step in identifying opportunities for increased collaboration, both organizations have formed a joint task force to identify areas of engagement as well as explore potential pilot projects. The task force is comprised of members in Field to Market and/or USRSB, including: Cargill, Corteva Agriscience – the agriculture division of DowDuPont, McDonald’s, National Corn Growers Association, Texas Cattle Feeders Association, The Nature Conservancy, and World Wildlife Fund.

CorkGuru’s Digital Wine Platform

CorkGuru  launched a digital wine platform blending the thrill of exploration people experience in wine label tracking apps with inventory management and business intelligence. The result: deeper, more profitable wine programs for restaurants, more tailored selections for guests, and guidance on new experiences to seek out. The Pittsburgh-based company is already established with several  restaurants across the country, including the award-winning Bistecca Steakhouse & Wine Bar at the Meadows Racetrack in Pittsburgh and Chef Matt Harris’ Tupelo in Park City, Utah. The platform now launches more broadly, including a mobile app for guests.

“Restaurants often say ‘paper works’ when it comes to their wine lists, but there’s so much more we can unlock for both restaurants and guests,” said Danielle Gillespie, founder and CEO of CorkGuru. “Typical wine lists can’t capture the moment a guest, craving a full-bodied cabernet, opts for something else because the price point is too high. Smarter wine lists can help restaurants guide guests to the experiences they crave, and those they don’t yet know about.”

Beverage programs used to drive restaurant profits. However, some reports indicate sales have slowed over the past few years, and restaurants now need to get smarter about managing lists and inventory to recapture that value. CorkGuru helps restaurants control this important revenue stream and improve the guest experience through:

  • Wine Cellar Builder – a web-based portal for real-time inventory management
  • Tableside tablet wine lists with dynamic wine descriptions and label images
  • Wine list data and business intelligence through a partnership with Upserve’s Breadcrumb POS

According to a recent Boston Consulting Group survey, more than one-third of restaurant customers rank digital sources as the most influential for discovering restaurant information, and nearly 60 percent have downloaded one or more restaurant apps. CorkGuru helps restaurants cater to these more digitally-empowered guests through:

  • Scrollable and searchable wine entries on tableside tablets based on taste, color, varietal, preferences and food pairings
  • Mobile app allowing guests to locate their favorite wine nearby, build a profile and explore new varietals
  • Special wine promotions, news and invitations from favorite restaurants

“How many times have you been at a restaurant in a position to order wine, but not sure what you want, then feeling pressured to order, you default to something you know, rather than try something new,” said Gillespie. “There are too many good wines and interesting pairings to get stuck in this habit. CorkGuru aims to break guests free from the wine echo chamber.”

Third HOBNOB Tavern To Open

Husband and wife team Sean and Becky Yeremyan are opening a third HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern in Dunwoody’s Perimeter Place (1221 Ashford Crossing) in late summer, top photo.  Serving classic, Southern-inspired comfort food served in a cozy, customer-friendly environment accounts, the brand has expanded from its original Midtown location to include a Town Brookhaven outpost. In addition to tavern fare with Southern flair, HOBNOB also offers one of the most comprehensive bourbon lists in the Southeast.

“One of the key reasons we’re able to expand successfully is our employees,” Yeremyan said. “Guests constantly tell me ‘we love your food, but we really love your people.’ I appreciate hearing that because I believe we have a great team who provide what I call ‘unconditional hospitality.’ As I was studying possible locations, I remembered how many Brookhaven customers told me they live in Dunwoody and would love to have HOBNOB there.”

Bourbon Shelves

Given the Perimeter restaurant’s proximity to retail shops and office buildings, Yeremyan is tweaking the service model to suit its location. “Weeknights will be one of our primary focuses here,” he says. “It will be the perfect place to stop and throw back a beer or sip one of our delicious specialty cocktails after a long day of work or shopping. We’re also going to focus heavily on a new catering menu to help area businesses work through lunch in the most tasteful manner.”

Charleston Brown Water Society Punch and Old Fashioned

At HOBNOB, the party starts with a chef-driven menu featuring gourmet burgers, classic entrees, gluten-free options and more. Complementing the high-quality tavern fare is a craft beverage menu boasting one of the largest selections of bourbons in the Southeast along with an extensive selection of craft beer, wine, boozy and non-alcoholic milkshakes and signature hand-crafted cocktails.

Sampler Platter

HOBNOB Perimeter will serve lunch weekdays, dinner nightly and brunch on the weekends. Guests can also still count on live music and daily specials such as Slider Night, BBQ Thursdays and more. HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern currently has two locations: 1551 Piedmont Ave. NE in Midtown, 404-968-2288; and 804 Town Boulevard in Brookhaven,

Italia I Love You

New Yorkers will be able to celebrate special events where both host and guests will be taken on an authentic and unique journey filled with the richest tastes, music, ambiance and décor typical of Italy. Italia I Love You takes care of every single detail as to make the event truly unique and special bringing together many uniquely-Italian elements to create an immersive experience that won’t be soon forgotten. From the food to the entertainment, from the décor to the make-up and hair. Everything will be authentic Italian.

The Italia I Love You Team

You will have Italian-born actors and actresses share anecdotes on recipes, ingredients and the regions they come from. Make-up artists and hair stylists create memorable looks for the hosts, helping to select the right outfit to feel “beautifully Italian” for the night. Florists and decorators will work their magic and create the ideal ambiance for the event.

No Italian experience is complete without excellent food. The chefs (native-born Italians) are well-renowned in the international culinary world and have trained in Italy in addition to years of experience in New York. The menus, inspired by famous Italian operas, movies or poems, represent different culinary journeys across Italian regions and traditions (always allowing the opportunity to customize the menus based on dietary restrictions).

Have a very special occasion to celebrate with your loved ones? Italia I Love You gives the possibility to enjoy an exceptional dinner prepared by VIP Chefs, such as Paola Aranci, Executive Chef with years of experience at the service of New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio (at Gracie Mansion), the King of Morocco, and many other international personalities.

New Yorkers interested in browsing through the various experiences and booking a uniquely-Italian dinner can do so on the website.

‘House of A’ Essential Pretzel Oils

Following years of painstaking research, countless taste and scent tests and a sourcing trip around the globe, Auntie Anne’s® is bottling up their famous scent for a line of essential oils. This is the first time the brand has bottled its scent, which was previously only available at Auntie Anne’s locations in malls, airports, and countless other venues around the world. Auntie Anne’s “House of A” Heavenly Scent Essential Pretzel Oils will be available in three unique scents: Freshly Baked, Salty, and Cinnamon Twist.  

  • Freshly Baked is reminiscent of the Original Pretzel and the buttery scent that everyone associates with Auntie Anne’s. This product has strong nostalgic qualities and users should be ready for a walk down memory lane.
  • Salty features calming properties and is recommended for those seeking comfort and Zen.
  • Cinnamon Twist uses a proprietary blend of cinnamon and sugar. This classic sweet pretzel scent will bring a smile to every face. Recommended use is for those seeking happiness, laughter, and indulgence.

“At Auntie Anne’s, we’re proud that our scent elicits happiness in pretzel lovers everywhere,” said Heather Neary, president of Auntie Anne’s. “We always want to give our fans what they want, and given how trendy essential oils are right now, we thought there was no better way to satisfy the pretzel-loving public than with products modeled after our signature offerings.”

“House of A” Heavenly Scent Essential Pretzel Oils will be available at All Heavenly Scent Essential Pretzel Oils are 100 percent pure therapeutic grade: no fillers, synthetics, additives, bases or carriers added. Additional benefits include an improved palate, a catatonic state of bliss, relaxation and in rare cases, even increased spousal attraction.

EDITOR’S NOTE” “House of A” Essential Pretzel Oils is a faux brand created solely for April Fools’ Day. There is no actual production or sale of essential oils by Auntie Anne’s, which recommends consuming pretzels, not rubbing them on your skin and hair as a substitute.