The Lempert Report LIVE

Dirty Soda, Vegan Allergies, Great Resignation

May 17, 2022 Phil Lempert Episode 33
The Lempert Report LIVE
Dirty Soda, Vegan Allergies, Great Resignation
Show Notes Transcript

Today we look at how supermarkets just might be the key that unlocks the child obesity epidemic, we explain the dirty soda phenomenon, a new waste reduction plan, why the great resignation isn’t as simple as it appears, how the rise of veganism is correlating to the rise in food allergies and in our metaverse review we look at DoorDash’s new concept. On our Lempert report we discuss the latest and probably lamest P&G move and McDonald’s faux pax. 

Phil:

Welcome to the Lempert Report LIVE. Today, we're gonna take a look at how supermarkets just might be the key that unlock the child obesity epidemic. We explain the dirty soda phenomenon, a new waste reduction plan. Why the great resignation isn't as simple as it appears, how the rise of veganism is correlating to the rise of food allergies. And in our metaverse review, we'll take a look at Door Dash's new concept. On our Lempert Report, we discuss the latest and probably lamest, Proctor and gamble move. And McDonald's biggest faux pau . Let's get started. Sally, what's the latest move to fight childhood obesity and how it's focused on the supermarket?

Sally:

Well, this is a really great study. That's come out of the NYU Grossman school of medicine and what the researchers did was they picked eight stores that had recently been renovated. There are city grants that are available to help these stores with these renovations. And so they picked, picked these stores that were also within a half mile of a school. And they , um, looked at the difference over seven years of this new store being there or renovated store and how it affected childhood obesity rates. And they found that the obesity rates dropped. There was a decline by 1%, which doesn't sound like a lot. But when you think of that, in terms of applying that to the 14 million children in America that are obese and you add other policy changes, it could make a huge difference.

Phil:

Absolutely. And even if you look at Jeff Brown and his ShopRite stores in Philadelphia, you know, same kind of situation where when they build these new stores, f ull s ize supermarkets, not little bodegas or dollar s ize stores, but full s ervice, full s ize supermarkets, the community gets healthier. They have more accessibility to fresh foods. They're not overpay for them. This is terrific. And also Jeff Brown and his wife ,actually help other supermarkets around the country, get those grants as they did from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the federal government to do this. So, you know, there's no question that the combination of a supermarket, t he retail dietitian, everything can really change child obesity a lot better than a lot of these other schemes that people keep on talking about.

Sally:

I just said I was agreeing and I hope that they will find more funding for some of these stores to make these renovations

Phil:

Yeah, I agree. I agree, that's the key to it, not putting more dollar stores and more overpriced stores in these markets. So, you know, dirty soda has become this phenomenon that frankly I find really disgusting. You know, the idea that you take a Shirley temple and an egg cream combination, a root beer float with melted ice cream, that wouldn't be too bad. A cream soda made with actual cream in it. A drink made of diet Coke, sugar free coconut, fresh lime and coconut cream. You know what what's going on here? You know, I mean, is this really a trend? I thought we're moving away from soda because of all of the sugar. What I'm hearing in all these cases is we're adding more sugar to soda rather than less, you know and the trend is soda sales are down. So is this something that the soda companies are really trying to push to reverse their sales decline?

Sally:

This may be one of those cases, Phil, where we're looking at the power of TikTok and especially celebrity culture because I'm sure you know who Olivia Rodrigo is. She's a big pop star . My daughter is a big fan of hers but apparently she took one of these dirty sodas. Now that's what they're calling it or SODIS and posted on TikTok and over a million hashtags on dirty soda just from her. So, so these kinds of trends we are seeing can become very, very popular if they take off on TikTok.

Phil:

You know not to kick any brand of soda, but here's another one. Mountain Dew fruit syrups with a shot of half and half there's another one called Sugar Daddy, Mountain Dew mixed with raspberry mango, pineapple vanilla and half and half. I'll keep my bottled water. So talking about bottled water the other day, you know, we talked a lot about the waste of plastic that a lot of these water companies, you know, are saying that, they're trying to reduce waste, but a study came out that found that Triton in particular , that company that bought all the waters from Nestle waters are not living up to their commitments. That they're not doing what they're doing, but now there's some engineers that have come up with a new way that hopefully could make plastic recycling a lot better. What's that about?

Sally:

So it's called FAST-PETase and it's like an enzyme that they have found that can break down plastic a lot faster. So when we're looking at plastic that is filling up our landfills right now, which is what's happening, the plastic is responsible for 12%, I think, of the world's waste. And it can take centuries to break down if it's just thrown into a landfill. Well, this new enzyme will break down the plastic within 24 hours and then they can take that and use it to make new plastic.

Phil:

And the interesting thing also is that globally less than 10%of plastics have been recycled. So we have this huge plastic problem that we keep on ignoring. Yes, it's great that, you know, so many supermarkets around the country have eliminated plastic bags. So many communities make you pay for paper or plastic bags versus just using reusing a plastic bag. But the reality is we really have to stop using as much plastic as we are. Otherwise we have a huge problem. You know, we've got a climate problem, we've got a problem. We have a lot of problems out there. And until we really focus and give some real meat to sustainability and these issues, we're not gonna solve this, this issue. The great resignation is talked about a lot. We also see some of the highest rates of joblessness being in the food service arena. And what we're seeing is that, you know, it's not just about throwing up your hands, but a lot of these lower p aying jobs, t he people who take them are taking them because t he flexible work schedules but they go to another company. And what we're finding is if in fact you w ant t o keep these lower p aid positions, you as an employer, you as a supermarket, you as a restaurant have to do more than just pay them a dollar or $2 more per hour. What do they have to do, Sally?

Sally:

Well, Phil, we're looking at a lot of , let's take, for example, single women. Single moms that are out there, they don't wanna go back to these low paying jobs that don't have benefits that don't have where they feel like they're not getting the respect that they deserve. And you know , if they've got children, they've got childcare problems , they've got, they've got a hard time, you know, living off of a minimum wage job. And so what we're seeing is some of these programs that are helping people get higher quality jobs. So you know the young people that want the pay for the flexible weekend money and the college money and the gas money and all of that. Yes, we wanna try and keep them in those, in that certain type of job, but there are some people that want that higher quality job so that they can support their family.

Phil:

Yeah. And also what this study points out is the training is one of the most important aspects to really keeping people in jobs. And you look at certain retailers like Wegmans which has always had one of the lowest turnovers and always focused on training and so on. And frankly, you know, you have a lot of people working at Wegmans who love to be there and it's because there's that mutual respect. That's back and forth. Becoming a vegan , as we're hearing from just so many people and so many food companies that are coming out with plant-based, everything might have a downside. What's that about?

Sally:

Phil, I find this story so interesting. We have, I have such a pollen allergy and in Nashville, Tennessee, we have one of the worst, highest pollen counts in the world. We live in a valley where it all just lays there, sits there . But what they're seeing happening is that these cases of what's called pollen-food-sit syndrome has risen a lot in the last recent years. And this is because of global warming, worsening pollution and changes in these pollen patterns because of it. And so if you are eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, if you're eating , raw, nuts , foods like that, they're finding that these people are suffering from pollen food syndrome more than ever.

Phil:

And, you know, is there a test now for pollen syndrome or, you know, you just go to the doctor and the doctor, you know, tries to figure it out?

Sally:

Well, I'm not exactly sure how they come to that diagnosis, but I know at the clinic in Royal Brompton hospital in London, they are seeing now five out of every 10 people have PS, whereas 10 years ago, it may have been two out of 10.

Phil:

Wow. So huge, huge problem. Food allergies has always been a problem. And again, that's why as retailers get more involved with eCommerce, it's critical for them to be able to filter by somebody's food allergy so that we can hopefully eliminatethis whole situation. And also with everything, moderation is the key. So it's not eating all meat, not eating all plants, but having a balanced diet and not living in Nashville. That's what I'm hearing from you . DoorDash has come full circle, y ou k now, so the company that's really probably the leader in food service delivery has decided in Brooklyn, that they're opening up a facility w here they have opened up a facility where you can go in and you can eat there. So the place also delivers, but they've got a 20 s eat restaurant where you c an go in there. It's pretty sparse and pretty ugly looking. But you c ould eat at Door Dash i f you want.

Sally:

Yes. And it's, you know, it's more, it was built more to be a virtual food hall . So it's, it's set up more for people ordering online and food being delivered out. It sounds really smart because a lot of people are not ready to go back and get into crowded spaces and, you know, eat together. People have gotten more into ordering their food, but I think we all miss that, that exciting part of going into a food hall and having all of these choices and, you know, each member of your family being able to, or your group, try something different. And what's really exciting to me is that this seems like we talk about the metaverse a lot. This seems like a really exciting opportunity for , for a virtual food hall to happen within the metaverse, because people can actually socialize while they go in and try different foods and order different things.

Phil:

Yeah. And what they have is, you know, sushi , Southern inspired pies and thighs, and I'm not familiar with that chain. I don't know if you are. Dim sum and moon bowls. Yeah,and you know there's other Little Caesar's Pizza is actually going in there as well. So that should be interesting . I also, you know , you mentioned TikTok earlier and I wanted to bring this up. The the most popular TikTok food trend is actually not dirty soda, c uz I think you said that that was 1.3 million followers or views on that. The number one, can you guess what the number one is Sally?

Sally:

I don't think I can. I haven't been reading those trends lately.

Phil:

Okay. So it's, it's 3.2 billion with a B views 3.2 billion views and it's cloud bread

Sally:

Cloud bread . Yes.

Phil:

That's the number one. And, and to me, you know, the whole idea, this whole cloud print thing, you know, and again, you've gotta make it yourself. It's made with egg whites, cream of tartar, sometimes cream cheese, sometimes cottage cheese. There's a whole bunch of, of recipes on the internet for cloud bread. If you want, it has half the calories of regular bread, no carbs, but it's high in saturated fat because of what it is. And it's high in protein because of the fact that it's high in saturated fat. So for me, 3.2 billion views on cloud bread is just amazing to me.

Sally:

We tried it here at our house a year and a half ago, I think. And it was, it was a disaster <laugh>.

Phil:

And now it’s time for The Lempert Report. PAUSE. Nancy Reagan relied on one as did George W. Bush, Winston Churchill and FDR – celebs including Mae West, George Clooney, Cameron Diaz and Maria Shriver all do as well. Albert Einstein, well regarded as one of the most famous scientists of all time loved the teachings of this ancient belief system. And now so does Proctor & Gamble. The team that leads Febreze has teamed up with celebrity astrologer Aliza Kelly to develop and launch the CARstrology Collection – a collection designed to match your astrological sign to your car’s air freshener. Seriously. So, if today happens to be your birthday, you are a Taurus. Taurus is known for sophisticated palates and a deep reverence for the finer things in life. So your CARstrology fragrance is ”lush” that P&G describes as having a sweet vanilla scent with perfectly paired notes of melon, apple & musk. What’s your sign – and would you buy a car freshener based on your astrological sign? And what happens if you and your partner are in the car together and you have different signs? And what about the kids? Are they different signs as well? While this strategy is certainly a personalized one – I just have to wonder if anyone realized that all too often there are multiple people in the same car. Could this fragrance promote ill will? Or prompt arguments when a particular fragrance is just the opposite of another passenger’s sign profile? On Febreze’s social media channels they are promoting CARstrology with a sweepstakes to give away 480 Zodiac specific keepsake boxes along with a TV, streaming, YouTube, radio and gaming app campaign promoting the line. 480 giveaways doesn’t seem like the P&G success model – where for generations their key to owning market share was to send a sample of their products - which most times – outperformed the competition to every household in the US. Almost overnight this strategy propelled them to be number one in their categories. I’m an Aries – yes a fire sign – and my CARstrology scent is called CAR Ember. Seriously? They say it’s an invigorating blend of mandarin and amber melds with the surprising scent of lava. I’ll take a pass. Earlier we spoke about the nuances of the great resignation – as we look at foodservice jobs in particular, there are benefits especially for Gen Z – but with a generation that is known for job hopping what can we do? Sally?

Sally:

Tim Weiderhoft, the CEO of Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade is suggesting that maybe we think about today as not the great resignation, but the great migration while hospitality and restaurant jobs were among the first layoffs. When the pandemic shutdown began in March of 2020, these are also employees that we found out society leaned on and we needed them a lot more than we realized, but they aren't feeling respected. They're working in toxic environments. They have low pay and no benefits. And those are just a few of the reasons why after time off and reflection that many of them do not want to return to these positions. Weiderhoft talks about gen Z employees specifically and suggests that they aren't looking to climb the corporate ladder. They're looking for weekend money, gas, money, and a job to help them support them while they attend colleges. So the job needs to offer up the values that are important to this generation in order to retain these employees. So what are those values? Well here are some of Wow Wows values that are on their website that I really enjoyed reading. We want to inspire others to pursue their passions and make a positive impact on the next generation. We believe life is an adventure and we should live it to the fullest every day . We value our local community and being a positive force with our teams and customers is of great importance to us. We value sustainability and leaving the things better for the next generation. So if you want your workers to stick around, make coming to work more meaningful than a paycheck.

Phil:

Absolutely, absolutely. Right. I'm glad that we're starting to see CEOs publish these things and really have a keen interest in their workforce rather than just, you know, signing paychecks all the time. On today’s Bullseye we talk a bit more about astrology – but with a shift to what’s going on in the retail space. This is not about your sign. It’s about Mercury Retrograde. Mercury retrograde is an optical illusion which means it looks as if the planet is moving backwards from our view here on earth. Astrologers believe that during this perceived backwards motion, technology and communication could get disrupted, putting a damper on anyone's mood. What does this have to do with retail? Well, McDonald’s and Del Taco are just two of the brands that seem to think that marketing for or against Mercury Retrograde can be big business. To “celebrate,” McDonald’s offered a McChicken or McDouble with the purchase of a medium fries exclusively in the McDonald’s App on May 10 and 11, the second retrograde one in 2022 takes place May 10 thru June 3. McDonald’s is partnering with TikTok tarot reader Madam Adam for a “McDonald’s-inspired tarot reading,” Madam Adam, who is a guy by the way, has 1.5 million followers on TikTok and calls himself TikTok’s Tough Love Tarot Reader and self-care enthusiast. On his website you can book a tarot reading for $50 – for a business it’ll cost $350. What’s very odd about this partnership with McDonald’s is that his TikTok readings are not family friendly at all – in fact just about every other sentence is an F-bomb in the few episodes I watched. Hardly, in my opinion, the image that McDonald’s has tried so hard to nurture and build since it started in 1955. What were they thinking? Or is it their new strategy to attract a new audience? I’m not sure that’s going to work – but I am sure that it is going to turn off a lot of parents who buy hose 1 BILLION Happy Meals every year. Back to Mercury Retrograde – Del Taco has been running a Mercury retrograde special since January, the first 2022 retrograde ran from January 14-February 3rd, and will be running a different and new one for each retrograde cycle. For this one – mid May to early June the special is a free chicken cheddar roller with any $3 purchase on its app. Perhaps both chains need to refocus their marketing and dollars towards the quality, taste and healthfulness of their foods. So don't forget, visit us on supermarketguru .com . Sign up for our newsletters. Please add your comments, right in the comment box below these videos, and we will see you here. Same time, same place next week for more of the Lemeprt Report LIVE.