About the author: Julia Russell | SmartBlogs

Julia Russell Julia Russell edits retail and food and beverage newsletters at SmartBrief and covers industry news for SmartBlog on Food and Beverage. She graduated from the Philip Merrill School of Journalism at the University of Maryland in College Park and did media research for cloud-based marketing software provider Vocus before joining SmartBrief.

There may not be many connections between fine dining and frozen chicken dinners, but Chef Jennifer Johnson is one of them. Formerly a Chez Panisse sous chef under Alice Waters and personal chef to Ann and Gordon Getty, Johnson now devotes her culinary talent to creating premium frozen meals for Hip Chick Farms, a company she founded on a sustainable and ethical foundation with her wife and business partner Serafina Palandech.[…] Continue Reading »

As today’s consumers become increasingly digitized and mobile, it’s no secret that food retailers have some ground to make up when it comes to connecting with shoppers on their smartphones, tablets and other devices. However, retailers that deal in the business of something as traditional as groceries face the challenge of finding a balance between reaching out to shoppers who prefer the more traditional forms of communication like paper circulars and those who are looking to get all they can out of retailers’ mobile applications.[…] Continue Reading »

Restaurants, consumer package goods brands and food retailers alike were making changes and developing strategies that trended toward innovation this week, a topic that drew the attention of SmartBrief’s food and beverage readers. In a move to strengthen its appeal among millennial consumers, McDonald’s revamped its packaging to feature a bold yet simple design. Meanwhile, Chick-fil-A announced the introduction of a trendy superfood salad featuring kale and broccolini, which will replace the chain’s classic coleslaw.[…] Continue Reading »

As mobile payments play an increasing part in consumers’ lives, both restaurants and retailers alike are finding themselves in a situation where they must make decisions about whether they will adapt to this change or be left behind.

So how exactly are they doing now?

The restaurant industry is certainly rising to the occasion of mobile payments, especially in the quickservice sector, according to Laurence Cooke, co-founder and CEO of loyalty and payment platform nanoPay.[…] Continue Reading »

SmartBrief’s food and beverage readers were following Chipotle‘s food safety saga this week, from co-CEO Steve Ells’ apology that was broadcast on television to the chain‘s online outreach to help answer brand fans’ questions about the E. coli and norovirus outbreaks.

Readers were also interested in new strategies from consumer package goods companies, from PepsiCo‘s decision to end its partnership with Muller and pull out of the US yogurt market, to Chobani‘s plans for spicy yogurts, to Kellogg‘s moves to take cereal beyond breakfast eating occasions.[…] Continue Reading »