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The Trump Administration Is Putting a 25 Percent Tariff on Your Favorite European Foods

Plus, Kroger braces for layoffs, and more news to start your day

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A circular cheese plate shot from above with a pair of white hands holding a glass of wine and a knife Shutterstock
Jaya Saxena is a Correspondent at, and the series editor of Best American Food Writing. She explores wide ranging topics like labor, identity, and food culture.

Not the cheese! Anything but the cheese!

As part of a response to European Union aircraft subsidies, the U.S. will impose a 25 percent tariff on a host of food products from the EU, beginning as early as October 18. On the list are Spanish olives, French wine, single malt scotch and whiskey, German waffles and wafers, and various cheeses, liqueurs, olive oils, butters, yogurts, and preserved fruit from all around Europe. The whole list can be found here.

The move is part of President Trump’s ongoing trade wars that could risk putting the U.S. into a recession. And food producers are scrambling to figure out how to deal. According to a release from the Specialty Food Association, a trade association of food vendors and importers, the industry is on edge about how this will all shake out. “We have been trying to shed light on the fact that taxing American consumers on food products is not the right answer to [the EU’s subsidies],” said Thomas Gellert, president of New Jersey specialty food importer Atalanta. “It not only impacts consumers, but many companies and many jobs as well.”

Indeed, it seems likely that specialty import stores will take a hit, as well as restaurants that specialize in European cuisine or wine. The rest of us, meanwhile, have two weeks to stock up on as much Parmigiano Reggiano and Balvenie as possible.

And in other news...

  • Kroger, the unionized grocery chain that owns Harris Teeter, Ralphs and others, is going to be laying off hundreds of employees, most likely those in middle management. It’s facing increased competition from discount grocers, and from online retailers. [CNBC]
  • NYC public schools are banning processed meat like bacon and salami from its lunch program. But we thought red meat was fine now! [Grub Street]
  • A dive into the economics—good and bad—of food halls. [Heated]
  • The pineapple has become the symbol of IVF, as eating pineapple has long been thought to help with fertility. [NY Times]
  • Hershey and Yuengling are making a chocolate beer. [CNN]
  • In May, Burger King UK tweeted that it was selling milkshakes the whole weekend, a cheeky reference to “milkshaking” politicians. Now, that tweet has been banned by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority, for invoking “anti-social” behavior. [BI]
  • Americans are increasingly eating alone, and want better options for meals-for-one. [WSJ]