Day 11 in the 12 Days of IFDA is all about networking. Throughout the year, IFDA events provide the backdrop for networking opportunities between IFDA members. Members frequently report that engaging with the IFDA community is one of their favorite parts of membership. And it is not surprising that our most engaged members tend to be the most successful companies. We invite you to really dig in next year and and enjoy the IFDA community, and more importantly, to engage with the organization for maximum value to you, your team and your company’s success.


Dot Foods will build its first fully-automated warehouse at its corporate headquarters in Mt. Sterling, IL. The 117,000-sq. ft. warehouse, which is expected to cost $63 million, will house some of the company’s frozen product offerings, reported Refrigerated & Frozen FoodFull Story

US Foods acquired Cleveland Pickle. The company’s founders will focus on product development for the foodservice industry, reported Crain’s Cleveland Business. Full Story


McDonald’s is launching its McChicken Biscuit and Chicken McGriddle across the U.S. The chicken breakfast items will reportedly launch in late January, and in some markets, McDonald’s will also serve spicy versions of the two items, reported Business InsiderFull Story

Beyond Meat Inc. is expanding its partnership with Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. Carl’s Jr. will now offer breakfast burritos and sandwiches with Beyond’s sausage and Hardee’s will expand the Beyond products to all of its restaurants. Full Story

Cicis aims to grow its footprint to more than 600 units, pushing beyond its approximately 420 stores. In 2020, the chain anticipates to add another 15 store openings. In the next five years, it plans to start growing the brand to an additional 25 to 40 units per year. Cicis also plans to expand its global footprint into Central America, South America and Dubai, reported Dallas Business JournalFull Story (Subscription Required)

A&W Restaurants is expanding its support center and headquarters by nearly 40% to position for growth in 2020. As part of the effort, the company is creating new staff roles to support franchisees and made promotions at the leadership and team levels. Full Story

KFC opened the first franchised gas station locations in China through partnerships with China Petrochemical Corp. and China National Petroleum Corp. KFC’s parent, Yum China, expects the agreements to accelerate expansion into a previously underserved segment of the market, and it plans to open over 100 stores over three years under these agreements. Full Story


CDC reported a listeria outbreak possibly linked to fresh hard-boiled eggs produced by Almark Foods, with seven cases reported across five states, resulting in four hospitalizations and one death. The products were shipped in plastic pails for use by foodservice operators nationwide. Full Story

Uber Technologies Inc. will pay $4.4 million to resolve EEOC harassment and retaliation charges. The funding will be used to compensate employees who contended with harassment and/or related retaliation after Jan. 1, 2014. Full Story

USDA’s Commodity Credit Corp. revised the Emerging Markets Program to incorporate legislative changes introduced in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. Additionally, the revision updated the regulations to bring the operation of the program into conformance with the requirements in the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards guidance. Full Notice

ITC partially rescinded an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain pasta from Italy in regards to Aldino S.r.l., Industria Alimentare Colavita S.p.A. and Pasta Lensi S.r.l. The review will continue for 13 other companies. Full Notice


GPM signed an agreement to acquire Empire Petroleum Partners’ wholesale fuel distribution operations and retail stores. The transaction will expand GPM’s operations into 10 new states and add 77 retail sites. Full Story

Earth Fare’s digital signage at its store cafe in Charlotte, NC, led to a 10% increase in the cafe’s eat-in food category sales. Strategies rolled out in the test store’s café area were digital menu boards for beverage and eat-in food purchases at the point of sale; branded Earth Fare content driving eat-in food options and targeted messaging; the ability to air live sports; and displays of current and upcoming weather conditions, reported Progessive GrocerFull Story


Nielsen projects ingestible CBD formats could grow their existing user base as much as 250%-375% in a year’s time. It expects over the next decade, categories that consumers use habitually or as part of their daily routine will contribute significantly to CBD growth and ultimately garner high sales due to replenishment frequency. Full Story

Hyve Group PLC acquired the Shoptalk and Groceryshop conferences for $145 million. In 2019, Shoptalk and Groceryshop collectively had over 11,500 attendees, as well as more than 880 exhibiting and sponsoring companies. Full Story

Workers at three United Natural Foods Inc. warehouses ended their strike after the company agreed to resume talks with the Teamsters at a plant in Indiana. The company and the Teamsters local in Fort Wayne, IN, have been negotiating a new three-year contract to replace one that expired in September but haven’t reached terms, reported Minneapolis Star TribuneFull Story

D’Artagnan saw a 30% growth in foie gras sales in New York City since the ban was announced, including 100 new accounts. The company plans to appeal the ban, which it claims will impact more than 10% of its business, or between $12 million and $15 million in revenue, reported ROI-NJFull Story

Dairy Farmers of America restructured its ingredients division to form DFA Ingredient Solutions. The group includes DairiConcepts and Berkshire Dairy, and it offers cheese, sweetened condensed milk, butter solutions, milk and nutritional powders, seasoning blends, dairy concentrates and flavors along with custom solutions. Full Story

WeWork is partnering with SKU, an Austin, TX-based consumer packaged goods startup accelerator. WeWork’s Austin outpost includes its Food Labs program, which provides startups space, resources and community. SKU, in turn, will provide Food Labs entrepreneurs in Austin with mentorship and host events, reported Austin Business JournalFull Story

Brakebush Brothers Inc.’s poultry processing plant in Mocksville, NC, will undergo public water and sewer upgrades. The town was awarded $2 million in grants to help fund the infrastructure improvements, which requires Brakebush Brothers to make a $60 million investment and to create at least 244 jobs. The facility’s production capacity will be 90 million-lbs. of chicken annually when all lines are added, reported Triad Business JournalFull Story

Rosina Food Products Inc. acquired vacant land from Norfolk Southern Railway Co. for $50,000. The food manufacturer started its $58 million expansion project that includes a new 105,000-sq. ft. plant, reported Buffalo Business FirstFull Story (Subscription Required)

DishDivvy launched in Utah, offering home-based food businesses access to local consumers and providing a platform to help them manage and grow their businessesFull Story

Drone delivery startup Manna Aero closed a seed funding round of $5.2 million. The Dublin-based company will launch its first food delivery drone services in Ireland with the fast food delivery service Flipdish. The company hopes to scale to 50,000 delivery drones for the Irish and UK markets, reported Indepent.ieFull Story

Private equity firm Ardian acquired Cerelia from the IK VII Fund. Cerelia is a Paris-based transatlantic baking solutions company with a portfolio including ready-to-bake pie and pizza dough, pancakes, crepes and cookies, and it sells the products in over 50 countries. Full Story


U.S. milk production in the 24 major states totaled 16.7 billion-lbs. in November, up 0.9% from Nov. 2018, according to USDA. October revised production totaled 17.2 billion-lbs., up 1.4% from Oct. 2018. Full Report

EPA issued a final rule establishing tolerances for the pesticide flutianil. Tolerances were established for berry, low growing, subgroup 13-07G; cherry subgroup 12-12A; fruit, small, vine climbing, except fuzzy kiwifruit, subgroup 13-07F; hop, dried cones; and vegetable, cucurbit, group 9. Full Notice

EU officials bypassed a 2020 deadline for setting fishing quotas at sustainable levels advised by scientists. Under reforms to the EU’s common fisheries policy, enacted in 2013, fishing ministers were supposed to gradually phase out the too-high quotas and by 2020, all quotas were meant to be based on a maximum sustainable yield, reported The GuardianFull Story


Over half of the American population will be obese within 10 years if the nation doesn’t collectively adopt healthier eating habits, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In all 50 states, at least 35% of the population will be obese. Twenty-nine states, mostly in the South and Midwest, will be hit the hardest with more than half of their residents considered obese. The study also found certain subpopulations to be most at risk for severe obesity, including women, non-Hispanic black adults and low-income adults who make less than $50,000 per year, reported CNNFull Story