Nestlé said it has agreed to acquire the Seattle’s Best Coffee brand from Starbucks, further strengthening the Nescafe and Nespresso owner’s coffee business in the US. In this episode of the Xtalks Food Podcast, Sydney talks about this latest acquisition and the longstanding partnership between Nestlé and Starbucks. Their perpetual licensing agreement has allowed Nestlé to sell and distribute some Starbucks products at retail and food service locations outside Starbucks stores around the world. Despite shrinking coffee sales, coffee has been a consistently strong point in Nestlé’s portfolio, with coffee products contributing to more than $25 billion, or approximately 27 percent of Nestlé’s total sales last year. The team is surprised to learn how lucrative coffee is to Nestlé’s overall sales and commend Starbucks for working so closely with the food and beverage giant in the coffee industry when they could have been direct competitors.
Also, in this episode, Sydney talks about a recent review published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice that revealed the challenges of conducting retail food inspections during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as lessons learned regarding food safety best practices. The review identified five key areas of difficulty that impacted food safety best practices at the local level during the pandemic: difficulty prioritizing routine food safety inspections; challenges with conducting virtual inspections; distrust of public health; inspectors facing threats and harassment; and challenges with contact tracing and tracing foodborne illness outbreaks. The review also identified strategies to ensure that food safety best practices are upheld. The team posit that food safety inspectors and foodservice employees should have open and honest communication since they are working towards the same goal.
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