Forbes Favorites 2020: The Year’s Best Food & Drink Stories – Forbes

Forbes Favorites 2020: The Year’s Best Food & Drink Stories – Forbes

Here are seven vital tales of farmers, restaurants, markets and meatpacking plants from this apocalyptic year.

Why Fast Food’s Smartest Operator Is Expanding When Business Is Terrible

Private-equity investor Neal Aronson has spent the past decade buying iconic brands like Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Jimmy John’s, mostly for his restaurant holding company Inspire Brands. Even though Covid-19 was terrible for business, his strategy was simple: Buy more restaurants. Our story featured rare interviews with the financier and proved prescient: Shortly after publication, Aronson and his cofounder Paul Brown engineered the $11 billion acquisition of Dunkin’, the biggest restaurant deal of the year.


Crippled By Coronavirus, Waffle House Faces A Harsh Reality 

With sales down 30% and 420 restaurants forced to close at the end of March, the iconic chain’s owner Joe Rogers Jr. despaired during a rare interview. “We’ve never seen anything like this,” he told us.


Farmers Face Their Worst-Case Scenario: ‘Depopulating’ Chickens, Euthanizing Pigs And Dumping Milk

The spring saw catastrophe on America’s farms. Dairy farmers were forced to decide between dumping their milk and selling their dairy cows for beef. Millions of chickens were culled. Hog farmers in Iowa and Minnesota had to euthanize their pigs. This story was a deep dive into why farmers’ options became so limited so quickly.


Big Meat Supply Chains Are Fragile

When Temple Grandin started her career as a designer of cattle handling systems in the early 1970s, there were still many smaller meatpacking plants in America. No longer. The iconic animal welfare advocate explains how consolidation helped the pandemic overwhelm our meat supply chains, in a piece that has been cited in the New Republic and elsewhere. 


Fears Of A Meat Shortage Are Rising. The Threat Is Far Less Likely.

When Wendy’s stopped selling fresh hamburgers and Tyson Foods’ billionaire chairman warned that the food supply chain was “breaking,” people started to worry. But our perfectly timed contrarian piece explained why an actual widespread shortage of meat in America was never very likely.


Largest D.C. Farmers’ Market Repeatedly Denied Spots To Black Vendors, Farmers Allege

This piece was an investigation into allegations that the largest farmers’ market in Washington, D.C., and its parent organization, Freshfarm, repeatedly denied Black farmers and food purveyors spots at their most profitable market.


Coronavirus To Burst Another Bubble? Carbonation Shortage Threatens Seltzer, Beer And Soda

A scoop that became prime-time news: In April, soda and beer makers were scrambling for access to CO2, the gas that adds the fizz to their products, after the coronavirus caused ethanol plant closures. 


Published at Wed, 30 Dec 2020 13:00:00 +0000

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