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• IRI is out with its latest IRI Consumer Connect survey, concluding that while “food inflation softened in Q1 2019 to 1.7% compared to 2.2% in 2018 … not everyone is freely opening their wallets. Younger millennials (born 1990+) are outspending older generations in food dollars, while older cohorts are more likely to be using a number of money-saving tactics to keep food bills manageable … In fact, younger millennials’ edible dollar sales grew by 21.5% for March compared to a year ago. And edible dollars sales for retirees and senior is down by 3.8% for March compared to a year ago.”

• The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that the iconic New York City restaurant The Four Seasons will close down on Tuesday, a victim of high debt, rising rents, increased labor costs, and, perhaps most critically, the fact that the high-end “white-tablecloth, prim-and-proper model is falling out of favor with younger consumers who prefer more casual options. The whole idea of the ‘power lunch,’ a concept closely associated with the Four Seasons, may have lost its meaning in an era when even high-powered professionals eat at their desks or opt for fast-casual meals, experts say.”

The Four Seasons, which has been around for six decades, actually moved locations last year, but rather than saving the establishment the $40 million relocation costs appear to have crippled it.
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