TOP STORIES

 

Dunkin' Adds More Plant-Based Meat -- Market Talk

15:29 ET - Dunkin' Brands strikes a deal with Kellogg to add a breakfast patty from its MorningStar Farms division to the coffee chain's menus at select restaurants. Dunkin' helped put Beyond Meat on the national map for fast-food chains in rolling out its imitation sausage nationally last year. Dunkin' says it wants to make plant-based food and beverages more nationally available and affordable. Beyond Meat down slightly to $124.59 in afternoon trading. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

 

McDonald's Strikes Back at Franchisee Lawsuit -- Market Talk

15:45 ET - McDonald's pushes back at a lawsuit from two current Black franchisees who allege racial discrimination, arguing it's not in the company's interest to see restaurant owners fail. The chain says in a filing Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division that it "repeatedly provided generous financial assistance," to the two franchisees to help them with substantial debts accrued, and that the owners were in breach of their franchise agreement. The suit and another from former franchisees alleges that McDonald's pushed Black franchisees to less profitable locations and failed to support them. (heather.haddon@wsj.com; @heatherhaddon)

 

STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Aldi UK Four-Week Christmas Sales Rise 11%, Boosted by Premium Products

Aldi U.K. said Monday that sales over the four weeks ended Dec. 24 were 11% higher than the same period a year earlier, boosted by demand for premium products.

Aldi U.K., the British arm of Aldi Germany, said it had strong growth in its online wine and specialbuy offerings, with sales up 75%.

 

CEO Behind KFC, Taco Bell Orders Fast-Food Growth To Go (Jan. 2)

David Gibbs had just signed Yum Brands Inc.'s first restaurant acquisition in years and was planning a convention for nearly 1,000 of its fast-food franchisees world-wide when the pandemic crippled the global economy in March.

Suddenly the crisis threatened to wipe out much of the $17 billion the company and its franchisees generate in annual dine-in sales across KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurants in more than 150 countries. Mr. Gibbs, a 31-year Yum veteran who became chief executive officer a year ago, went from advancing the company's expansion strategy to contending with thousands of closed restaurants.

 

FUTURES MARKETS

 

Hog Futures Look to Rise Over Longer-Term -- Market Talk

15:24 ET - Lean hog futures trading on the CME finished up 1.4% to 71.225 cents per pound. For hogs, today's uptick puts prices at their highest levels since October -- but there's room for them to travel higher if high demand persists as the pork supply chain moves less meat than previous years. "[Our] projections assume that the strong demand observed even in the face of the COVID-19 is maintained," says Jason Franken of Western Illinois University. Franken forecasts prices to average 72-78 cents per pound by the middle of 2021. "However, if that is not the case or if hog supply turns out to be greater than anticipated, then lower prices may be realized," he adds. Live cattle futures finished down 2.4% to $1.123 per pound Monday. (kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

 

CASH MARKETS

 
Estimated U.S. Pork Packer Margin Index - Jan 4 
 
Source: USDA, based on Wall Street Journal calculations. 
All figures are on a per-head basis. 
 
Date     Standard Margin       Estimated margin 
         Operating Index         at vertically - 
                             integrated operations 
 
Jan  4       +$ 49.13            +$ 33.81 
Dec 31       +$ 52.44            +$ 36.22 
Dec 30       +$ 39.37            +$ 25.33 
 
* Based on Iowa State University's latest estimated cost of production. 
A positive number indicates a processing margin above the cost of 
production of the animals. 
 
Beef-O-Meter 
This report compares the USDA's latest beef carcass composite 
values as a percentage of their respective year-ago prices. 
 
                                  Beef 
          For Today              Choice  100.8 
      (Percent of Year-Ago)      Select   97.0 
 
USDA Boxed Beef, Pork Reports 

Wholesale choice-grade beef prices Monday rose 52 cents per hundred pounds, to $209.87, according to the USDA. Select-grade prices rose $1.56 per hundred pounds, to $196.53. The total load count was 102. Wholesale pork prices fell $1.12, to $76.13 a hundred pounds, based on Omaha, Neb., price quotes.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 04, 2021 17:06 ET (22:06 GMT)

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