The Lempert Report LIVE

Women's History Month, Retailer Champions, Octopus Farm

February 28, 2022 Phil Lempert Episode 23
The Lempert Report LIVE
Women's History Month, Retailer Champions, Octopus Farm
Show Notes Transcript

This week we discuss restaurant delivery meltdown, Plastic packaging and the impact on food waste, USDA's retailer champions, the world's first octopus farm, ugly fruit fails, a Meta verse wedding and Women's History Month.  Plus more live updates!

Phil:

Welcome. We're here live from Orlando. I told you this last week, we're broadcasting from the Category Management Association's annual conference. It's live for the first time in two years. People are just starting to come to the conference officially. Doesn't open up till about one o'clock it's in their echo rooms. You're seeing some people starting to come in, but it's really not gonna be jammed here until about one o'clock, but we can't do it at one o'clock as we talked about last time. Cause I've gotta be on the main stage, which is about a quarter of a mile away from here. So with all that, as a lengthy introduction, glad you could join us today. And welcome. And Sally, tell me a little bit about women's history month.

Sally:

Hi, Phil tomorrow will be the first day of women's history month. And this year the theme is really fitting. It's women providing promoting hope. This is a theme that is both a tribute to the ceaseless ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during the ongoing pandemic. So I have just chosen a few women to talk about in the food world.

Phil:

Oh, cool.

Sally:

That really stand out to me. And so I'll run through those really quick and we'll put these up on Supermarketguru.com. If you wanna read a little bit more about them, but , first off , we love retail dietitians, and I wanted to , mention Allison Delaney , who was the Retail Dietitian's Business Alliance RD of the year for 2021. She was awarded this because she is very special. She is the nutrition partners lead at stop and shop. And when the pandemic hit, she was just getting ready to launch this in-store dietitian program. And she quickly pivoted and she launched a fully virtual program in April of 2020. Marion Nestle . We have to mention Marion Nestle . She is a real warrior. Yes, she is a real warrior for the consumer. And she has made it her mission to present the full story about what's in our food, where it comes from, what the marketing practices of the food world are and she's written for the San Francisco Chronicle and written six books. And now she writes her own blog, which is food politics. Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, big hero. She is the CEO of feeding America, which we need really badly right now. And we've all been paying attention to the news and that all of these retailers and big food companies are partnering with Feeding America right now to really take care of food insecure people out there.

Phil:

So Sally, I have a friend of Claires with me . It's a surprise for you . So , so she's gonna join us in, in just a minute or so, but I've gotta tell you something on Farm Food Facts, you know,USFRA's podcast, we've interviewed her a couple times. Oh my Gosh. She is just one of the best, not only women, but industry leaders that, that we have ,, so glad that she made your list. Who else do we got?

Sally:

Yes. Another woman that I'd like to mention that probably a lot of you may not have heard of in the food world yet. Her name is Jilea Hemmings and she , she has, she started Nourish and Bloom in Fayetteville, Georgia, which is right outside of Atlanta, which is the first black owned autonomous grocery store. They've also got robotic delivery there. So they're , they're , they're the only one. And she has been really involved in advocating for diversity and include in the workplace . And she is , is a influential speaker promoting women in technology. She hosts three podcasts. She's been part of several startups , one an innovative meatless entree line for kids. And she's just really, really a standout woman in the food world right now. And then one more that I would love to mention is R achel Leonard who started Amy's kitchen which she started this company when she was pregnant with her daughter and she couldn't find organic food. So her and her husband started making p op pies and that has grown into this company that i s beyond her wildest d reams, from what I've read, that, you know, offers gluten f ree, organic, vegetarian food, all these nice package, frozen foods to meet people's special dietary needs.

Phil:

And the first time I met Rachel was probably at some trade show somewhere. We've remained friends all this year, what Rachel and done to create this . The company is fabulous. And also what I love about, and maybe it'll change one day, but she always tells me how all these major companies wanna buy them . And she and Andy say, no, no , we want it as we want to be in control. So ally , I wanna introduce you to Claire's friend, Erin Fitzgerald, Erin Fitzgerald is with us she's CEO. Hi , of , of us farmers and ranchers in action and , bottom, line, come on in, you gotta come in closer to me. And, and bottom line is she's also on the program. I'm gonna be introducing her in just a couple hours from now . So Sally wants to know, what are you gonna be talking about,

Erin:

Sally, nice to meet you . I it's pretty simple , but I'm so excited to have 30 chances for our climate impacted by climate sector , a r etailer a nd b rands s tep u p and a s always wonderful just makes everybody, you know, so excited and empowered about this.

Phil:

So I will see you back in the main ballroom soon. In the meantime, I also wanna read you a note that we had from last week's broadcast. So one of our friends , um, Joan viewager from LA perspectives, which is a food development company, wrote me a note, and we want all of you to do this. So if I make a mistake or Sally makes a mistake, call us on it . And , and you know, we know that John Panal is gonna do it. We know Frankie Paal is gonna do it, but we want everybody to do it. So here's the email that I got from Joan . Here's what I said after last week's report about COVID 19 , the bottom line, if you wanna reduce your risk of COVID 19, don't drink. That's what I said, the con inclusion statement in this study, because Joan really reviewed it. This is her background actually suggested that those who drank red wine, white wine and champagne just wanted to do glasses a week, appear to have chances to reduce the risk of COVID 19. It was the beer cider and spirits that they suggested increase the risk of COVID 19 . But personally Joan says, I don't think the study is rigorous enough to draw any such conclusions whatsoever. So Joan, thanks for calling me out on that. And again, for all of you please, this is a forum , it's an open forum. We want to hear what you have to say. So with that , Sally let's get started with , this week's insights.

Sally:

Okay , Phil, I wanted to talk about delivery. I have, I have found out about this new company, but first let's talk about what the problem with delivery is. So, so many wrestlers

Phil:

Nobody's making any money.

Sally:

Exactly.

Phil:

Nobody's making any money .

Sally:

Exactly. Yes. You know, these rest trumps had to very quickly adapt to a lot of delivery. It's delivery rates have remained really higher than they were pre COVID, but there's all kinds of issues and it's very , and it's hard to make money.

Phil:

Yeah. And also and looking at this report there's comes from CNN. The interesting thing is a lot of restaurants are talking about the fact that delivery is stressful for employees. They have to balance taking care of in-store customers, obviously filling increasing orders up to go orders before the pandemic 2019 , according to techno Euro monitor delivery accounted for about at 7% of total us restaurant sales, this is delivery pizza. It's everything. Obviously there was a spike during the pandemic. Now it's back down to 9%. So it, it's interesting gorillas we saw last week, you know, the , the 10 minute delivery firm in New York city , , well last Friday, guess what they pulled back. They're saying we can't deliver in 10 minutes anymore. So that promise is no longer. And also to your point, the economics, it costs a restaurant about 30% of the order in fees for these third party providers. So it just doesn't make a lot of sense. There is a lot of innovation going on, just saw a picture of a fast food restaurant that put in three drive through lanes so that they can handle cause people want to do more drive through than ever before. We're seeing that what else we got?

Sally:

Well, just real quickly. There is a company called club feast, a new company that is out of San Francisco in Manhattan, and they're doing something really cool. And they say that they can re the customers can save 40% on restaurant delivery, which also is helping the restaurants as well. But what they're doing is they're they're working with restaurants to create a menu that is large. They can make large batches of, and people are ordering it ahead of time rather than right when they want it on demand. Right. So check out club feast. There's some , it , it's also a great, interesting, it's an interesting approach to reducing food waste. I really like what , what they're doing. That's club feast, and they've got a website clubfeast.com

Phil:

And talking about food waste. What we found is this UK study that really looked at produce, and what they found is that when we're buying bags of produce bags of apples or limes or lemons, two problems number is typically we're over buying. So there's one part of food waste. And second, when this produce is in the plastic, it's not lasting as long. And if in fact you've just lowered your refrigerator to be five degrees, your produce, that's not in bags, it's gonna last longer, it's gonna be fresh and you're not gonna have to throw it out as often.

Sally:

Yes, this is a very interesting study to me. And they, they specifically looked at apples and potatoes and bananas and cucumbers were , was one of the other ones. And it just, it seems like a , a very easy solution. Just take that plastic off and let us just buy it, you know, the amount that we need rather than having to buy an entire back of apples and then not eating the whole bag and it being thrown out.

Phil:

And then don't forget at the beginning of COVID, what happened is there were some retailers like Walmart who said they would only take produce in bags because there were afraid of people like school easing the lime and , and stuff like that and , and touching them hopefully that's over now , U S D A has just announced their us food loss and waste 2030 champions. These are the companies that have committed to reducing food loss and food waste in their us operations by 50% significant by the year 2030 , who are these new members to this very elite and very important group.

Sally:

Yay. We're very proud of these companies. Aren't we Albertson's, Albertson's companies, BJ's wholesale club Danone , north America, Smithfield foods incorporated, Starbucks, Cisco , and Tyson's foods. And they've all got different ways that they're approaching , being more sustainable and cutting down on food waste. I mean, Starbucks has even got a grounds for your garden program, so to help with commercial composting methods. So there's some really cool ideas out there.

Phil:

Very cool. Now this next story that you found , the images really freaked me out. Tell us about this .

Sally:

Well, I think it's freaked a lot of people out actually, did you watch the, the octopus teacher on Netflix?

Phil:

I , I watched part of it and , and , you know, it was shot beautifully, made the octopus look, octopi look great. But this story from one of the ugliest octopus that I've ever seen.

Sally:

Well, that , that , that movie did make me fall in love with this beautiful creature. But in Spain now they have created the first commercial octopus farm. Now, apparently there are some countries that octopus, they just eat a lot of octopus and it is in high demand. So this could be really great for them, but there is some controversy over it. Some organizations do not feel like that this is an animal that should be kept in cap captivity, that it is a intelligent animal and it can feel distress. But also the conditions, the reason this hasn't happened before is the conditions they have to create eight , , so that these Ocotpi can survive and thrive are very, very difficult to , to build.

Phil:

And also just to build up on your point. And again, I watched this from the movie there , the London school of economics did a review of 300 scientific studies. And what they found is octopus as octopi. So as you point out experience distress, they can also experience happiness and that high welfare farming such as we're describing would be impossible. So the question is, you know, is this gonna fly or not? And what are we gonna be doing to our poor little, pretty octopus before they wind up on somebody's dinner plate ? There's some ugly fruit fails. Tell me about that, Sally. I don't have that.

Sally:

Okay . Well we've all , we've seen a lot of programs fill that where we're trying to promote the the fruit, the ugly fruit produce that doesn't look perfect, that not necessarily everybody wants to, to buy in the supermarket. So they reduce the prices and try to sell it other ways. But I don't think it's worked that well. So now there's, there's a new study out. That's saying that, you know, suggesting we should use a remove and replace strategy and that supermarkets can actually make more money using the strategy. And what that means is that they take the blemish fruit and they donate that to food banks, and they always have pretty produce on their, on their shelves and they can charge a higher price for that because people will pay a higher price if it looks great.

Phil:

Yeah . Good point. And to your point, the ugly fruit just hasn't worked even there's some retailers around the globe that have given it away to people. People just don't want it . We've conditioned consume that that apple has to be big and red and shiny and unblemished. So back to our wedding story.

Sally:

Yes.

Phil:

So as I start to say, I screwed up, I'm sorry. It's live. So bottom line is people now have a choice on how they wanna make their weddings, which leads us to this week's metaverse story. So tell me about this . And first let's start off. What is the average wedding cost here in the us ?

Sally:

Well, it's interesting, Phil , I looked this up in the average wedding cost for 2021 was 22,500 it's down for , from 2019 when it was 28,000. So it's interesting that that cost has gone down. I think we all know why, because we've been in a , in different circumstances. Right. But, but yes, you can, you can go on the metaverse now and have a wedding. And there are , there are a couple of that have already done this one in the us . There's been a big Indian wedding. And we know that the that the Indian culture, that they tend to have very, very large weddings that go on for days and days and days. And there that industry in India has been suffering throughout the pandemic. So maybe this is a way to pick business back up .

Phil:

Yeah, I don't think so . You know , the whole idea of a wedding is seeing friends, family and yes, you can do it with avatar , but also one of the things that I think is the creepiest part about this, first of all, the wedding that you described that took place in India cost about 30 grand . So a little bit more than the average wedding, but if you do it the right way, you can have a metaverse wedding for 10 grand . I still don't know where all that money goes to, to , you know, in the , in the metaverse . But the creepiest thing that I find is that you can then give, you know, the , the bride and groom, you know, their presence in the metaverse. So whether it's NFTs or whatever else it is. So you're not even giving them real presence . Right.

Sally:

I guess cryptocurrency is appealing to some people, but yes, I'm not sure I wanna get an , NFT for my , no, for my wedding gift. I'll take the, I'll take the silverware, the real silverware. Yes,

Phil:

Yes. Yeah . I'm with you a hundred percent . So what we're first gonna do before we take comments is we're gonna go back , and, and show you something that we've done with the morning fix. This is just an excerpt of it. And for the full episode, just go to supermarketguru .com . And then after that, we're gonna take your comments, your insights, and kick off the 2022 category management association, annual meeting. So Tony let's play this back. So I think you mentioned this already Sachi um, but to be honest with you, and I know you guys are friends, so I'm gonna put you on the spot. Why did you choose Microsoft with all, all of the technology companies that are out there? And Microsoft certainly is, is one of the leading ones, if not the leader. Um , but what made you choose, you know, Microsoft as the partner to make this all happen?

Sachi:

So , um, I think this is a really easy question to answer actually, when we and maybe I'm being glib about this a little bit too much, but , um, four years ago when I joined bear and we started having these conversations around , what are we gonna do ? How are we gonna accelerate our digital capabilities as Bayer? We started talking to a lot of different entities. You know, you could probably figure out who they are, various companies. And what became clear to us was not often was the , the vision they portrayed to us or the, the bene the way they wanted to work with us align with our own vision. It was it was a , it wasn't until we talked to Microsoft that's , um, when we spoke with Microsoft and they laid out the vision, they see for agriculture, where they see agricul heading, how they see big in that vision, how they see they could work with Bayer It became clear. We were already aligned before even really engaging or working together. So I made the decision to work together pretty easy. To be honest, we realized we're we share the same vision, which is we wanna impact positively the, the farmer and the grower, which is , uh, core to our belief here at Bayer. And Microsoft shared a similar vision that they wanna make sure the customer is at the center of everything they do and everything , every benefit they create. And so based on that, the technical stuff became a lot more easier to talk through because we were heading on the same road in the same direction. It was just now we've decided to be in the same car .

Phil:

So, Ranveer I'm gonna ask you to build on that. What is , uh , what is Sachi and Bayer bring to the party for Microsoft?

Ranveer:

Yeah. And as , uh , Sachi said for us too, so, you know , as I had mentioned earlier, Phil, Microsoft is not an agriculture company, even though we have been doing farm beats and working with farmers, we are not the agricultural experts. Uh, we needed to work with a company that knew about agriculture and in this case , uh, that's what we do. You even with different industries, if you look at how we are working in retail, in , in financial services and other industries, we work with partners who know a lot about that industry, and we are building the tools for that industry. It was the same case here where bay knows a lot about agriculture. They are the largest input company. Uh , climate Corp was the first ag tech unicorn. It , it , uh , it also has more than 180 million acres under management where works with multiple suppliers and customers. And at Microsoft, if we are , if we have to really make a difference in agriculture, in the future of food, fiber, fuel , and feed, we have to work with the leader in this space and that is there . So that's why we are super excited about bringing the depth of expertise, not just in the bare technical side, but the bear sales, its an all , all our partnership with Microsoft. If we have to make a real difference in this space and that's what we, that's what made it , uh , clear that we have to partner with bear if we have to make progress in this future.

Phil:

So, so Sally, thanks for going to hear those stories. Thank you for indulging me as I'm here at the 2022 category management Association's annual meeting, it's gonna get started in just a couple minutes from now. And don't forget for more and to watch this episode as well as archived episodes, go to SupermarketGuru. com. Look at i t on Facebook Live, look for it it on Linkedin Live and make sure you sign up for our newsletter on Supermarketguru. com. And we'll s ee y ou b ack i n s tudio next Monday at our r egular t ime.