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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly
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Marketplace Tech

Packaged food giants turn to acquisitions, startups, and research to stay relevant

by Renata Sago Feb 8, 2019
As food giant Conagra reportedly plans layoffs at newly-acquired Pinnacle Foods, a look at what’s keeping the food business fresh.
Pre-packaged bananas are shown for sale at a Fresh & Easy grocery as Tesco PLC, the UK's biggest retailer, officially enters the U.S. market, opening its first six stores in southern California on November 8, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. Tesco is importing its own system of grocery store operations, making heavy use of pre-packaged produce, in contrast to U.S.-based grocery chains, to reduce overhead and refrigeration costs. The Fresh & Easy markets, which are significantly smaller than typical U.S. supermarkets,  will use its own truck fleet for single deliveries from a centralized distribution center. The chain will operate from a relatively small $10,000 per square foot, producing more than a projected $200,000 a week, twice that per square foot of typical U.S. food stores .
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Did someone say avocado bar?

by Adriene Hill and Maria Hollenhorst Dec 25, 2018
A conversation with the co-founders of Avocaderia, the world’s first avocado bar.
New York City's Avocaderia is the "world's first avocado bar."
iStock/Getty Images

Would you like some earplugs with that appetizer?

by Kai Ryssdal, Phoebe Unterman, and Sean McHenry Dec 4, 2018
Some noisy restaurants ring in at a decibel level that over a long period of time can cause hearing loss.
Popular restaurant design elements like hard, minimal surfaces, open kitchens and attached bars are responsible for restaurants' climbing decibel levels.
Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Liaison

For Campbell's, green bean casserole is an iconic money-maker that also ties it to the past

by Peggy Lowe Nov 19, 2018
Americans' changing eating habits have had an effect on the Thanksgiving staple.
 Americans' changing eating habits have had an effect on the Thanksgiving staple.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

High price of vanilla sends a chill through the ice cream industry

by Mike Moen Jul 12, 2018
Vanilla bean prices have been running between the equivalent of $1,000 and $1,200 per pound, nearly five times what it was a few years ago. And that’s rippling through the ice cream industry. One key reason for the increased cost is…
ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
My Economy

Becoming a food and wine "superhero"

by Emily Henderson Nov 27, 2017
"I'm in a place where I can make a difference."
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
The Big Book

Restaurateur Jen Agg on creating ambiance, treating staff like family and sexism in the kitchen

by Kai Ryssdal and Bridget Bodnar Sep 12, 2017
In a new book, Canadian restaurateur Jen Agg recounts growing up in the restaurant industry and why she thinks it can still get better.
Jen Agg.
Jenna Wakani

Invest in Marketplace today

Ask not what Marketplace can do for you, but what you can do for Marketplace.

As customers buy more organic food, a call for more industry oversight

by Annie Baxter Sep 11, 2017
The market for organic food passed the $40 billion mark in the U.S. last year. As bigger companies get into the organics game, and more imported organic food lands in the U.S., more questions arise for USDA certifiers.
In 2016, organic food sales broke past the $40 billion mark for the first time. Above, a customer shops for milk at a Safeway's "Lifestyle" store in Livermore, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Amazon-Whole Foods alliance could strain the organic supply chain

by Annie Baxter Aug 25, 2017
Online retail giant Amazon is on track to close its acquisition of the natural and organics grocer Whole Foods. Whole Foods has been losing sales in recent years as competitors ramp up their organic offerings at lower prices. Now Amazon…

Stadium chefs hope new food combos will hit home with fans. Brontosaurus Rib, anyone?

by Peggy Lowe May 19, 2017
They expect more publicity than sales of toasted grasshoppers or a patty melt on a funnel cake bun.
Aramark executive chef James Mehne shows off some of Kauffman Stadium's new food items, including truffled mac and cheese, lemon garlic rotisserie chicken and roasted Brussels sprouts.
Peggy Lowe/KCUR