Oct 11, 2018

How millennials banished American cheese

American cheese on burgers at a ballpark in Maine. Photo: Whitney Hayward/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

We've chronicled the fall of Big Mayo at the hands of millennials who developed tastes for sriracha, salsa, wasabi and anything else they regard as hipper condiments. Next to go: Big Cheese.

What's going on: American cheese, a long-time burger and sandwich staple, is under attack. Fast-food chains around the U.S. are swapping out Kraft Singles for fancier cheese like asiago, sharp cheddar and smoked gouda, Bloomberg reports. The result is a generational shift away from the orange squares that have populated school lunches for 50 years.

  • Wendy's, McDonald's, A&W and Panera are all introducing high-end cheeses. Panera Bread's classic American cheese grilled cheese is now served with a blend of fontina, cheddar, monteau and smoked gouda — and that's boosting sales, per Bloomberg.
  • Sales of processed cheeses like Kraft and Velveeta will drop 1.6% this year, says market research firm Euromonitor International. It doesn't sound like a steep decline, but it's the fourth consecutive year of lower sales numbers.

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Ivanka Trump plans focus on coronavirus recovery for small businesses

Ivanka Trump speaks at yesterday's White House videoconference with bank and credit card executives. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Ivanka Trump personally lobbied top bank executives to line up the $1.5 billion in commitments to small business that were announced yesterday at a videoconference among the bank executives and President Trump — stoking competitive juices among the execs to drive up their commitments.

The state of play: Ivanka, who has had workforce development in her portfolio going back to 2017, plans an increasing emphasis on small businesses in the weeks ahead as they navigate the rescue bill’s Payroll Protection Program, sources tell me.

Public transit's death spiral

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Public transit systems across the country are experiencing a painful trifecta: Ridership has collapsed, funding streams are squeezed, and mass transit won't bounce back from the pandemic nearly as fast as other modes of transportation.

Why it matters: Transit agencies could see an annual shortfall of as much as $38 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to TransitCenter. At the same time, they're more important than ever, with more than 36% of essential workers relying on public transportation to get to work.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: London mayor says U.K. nowhere near lockdown lifting

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern offered hope in the fight against the novel coronavirus, saying she believes New Zealand has "turned a corner" after two weeks of strict lockdown measures. But London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said the U.K. is "nowhere near" lifting restrictions.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed over 82,000 people and infected 1.4 million others globally as of early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Global recoveries have surpassed 301,000. Spain has reported the most cases outside the U.S. (more than 141,000) and Italy the most deaths (over 17,000). Half the planet's population is on lockdown.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health