The Lempert Report LIVE

CBD Troubles, Kroger, Milk Woes

January 14, 2022 Phil Lempert Episode 17
The Lempert Report LIVE
CBD Troubles, Kroger, Milk Woes
Show Notes Transcript

On today’s episode we take a look at yet another celebrity brand of CBD and the CBD troubles that lay ahead, Kroger’s New Ghost Kitchen concept, the retail and foodservice label struggle, your brain on sugar and the impact of falling milk consumption – on The Lempert report we look at the forecast for meat alternatives and in Bullseye a dismal attempt at making one of America’s favorite drinks.

Phil:

Welcome to the Lempert Report Live. very special announcement starting next week, January 17th, we're moving. We're moving from Thursdays to Mondays at 11:30 AM Pacific 2:30 PM . Eastern. Why we do on this? Well, you told us that Monday would be a better time for you so that more people can tune in. So don't forget starting next Monday, January 17th, same place, but different day different time will be at 11:30 AM Pacific and 2:30 PM Eastern. And I hope that this schedule works at out better for you. On today's episode, we're gonna take a look at yet another celebrity brand of C B D of course, and the CBD troubles that lay ahead. Kroger's new ghost kitchen concept, the retail and food service label struggle your brain on sugar and the impact of falling milk consumption. Now, today on we report , we're gonna take a look at the forecast for meat alternatives and in bullseye, a dismal attempt at making one of America's favorite drinks. You're not gonna wanna miss that. Sally let's get started.

Speaker 2:

Hi, Phil cannabis is having a big moment right now. Eight states have now legalized cannabis and , uh , Chi Marin is getting in on the game here. <laugh> he's, he's created his own line of stoner food. Um, that is a virtual brand that will be for delivery only.

Phil:

Yeah. And it , and it's called money Chicha . I'm not sure. I would say that that was a great brand name. Uh , but as you said, they're gonna be running it out of ghost kitchens , uh, throughout the country for delivery only. And , uh , it's not just one product. They've got a whole menu , uh , product , uh, dope dumplings, chicken and scallion fried dumplings, Mon Chicho Munchos , which is a decadent , barbecue, chicken Mac and cheese nacho the hybrid, which is salty sweet grilled cheese with GDA breed , cheddar Greer , sliced apple and salted caramel drizzle. And they're also gonna have CBD infused edibles and a selection of vegan options. Um, so here's my problem. I think that C B D first of all, I think C B has a lot of problems. I think it also has a lot of benefits, but, and I happen to like , um , Chich , uh , Marin , I , I think very funny comedian having grown up in the seventies when, when he, and , um , Chong we're , you know, we're together and stuff like that. Um, you know, I , I like it, but I think this makes a joke out of C B , D , and now we don't need a joke out of C , B , D . And one of the reasons for that is , uh , leaf report , uh , just released a study , um , yesterday, I guess that over half of C, D C B D products are mislabeled , uh, only 40% matched the strength and many contain the wrong type of C B D . Um, what they found. They tested 221 products, 35 CBD oils, 40 , um, 40 topical products, 40 edible products, 22 beverages, 55 pet products, 29 coffee and tea products. And what they found , uh , was the 28% of products received the worst grade F for having CBD levels that differed from the label by more than 30% on average CBD content. And the products were off by the label nearly 25%. You know, this doesn't do anything good for this industry when all these questions keep on coming up.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I have to wonder also about the health implications of, and although I also am, I am pro um, CBD for medical conditions to be used that way. Um, but while people are working from home , um, CBD is more popular or they're ordering more food. Um, I'm just imagining people sitting at home getting high and ordering really bad food.

Phil:

<laugh> really bad food. And also, I wanna say probably about two years ago , um , someone sent us in for a product review, some CBD , um , topical one . And I actually shared some with Tony , um, who who's always complaining about having back issues. Um , and, and at the time, sorry, Tony, and at the , and at the time , um, I, I tested it. I tried it, I , I put some, you know, on my back and it actually gave me a headache. And then what I did, I looked and the level of C , B D that was in this. And I don't recall what percentage it was, was just so high. I mean, I wanted my back to feel better and I got a headache. So I think that until the federal government can really get on top of this. And , um, you know, and , and Senator Schumer has introduced legislation , um , to really control CBD products until we get that , um, it's the wild west. And I don't think that, you know, ch getting into this business really helps matters much. What else? Um, we got a lot to talk about with Kroger. Yeah . Let , let's start talking about Kroger.

Speaker 2:

Yeah . So , um, the , the ghost kitchens , uh, as you know, Chach was an , a great example here. The ghost kitchens are a big trend right now, and Kroger is , um, has just opened up their first location at our Ralphs in Los Angeles that , um , now will have 10 different brands , um, as ghost kitchen delivery delivery food only.

Phil:

And what's interesting to me is, you know, this is the next iteration of grocer ons . Um , when we started to look at what grocers were doing, where retailers were putting in restaurants, Hey, we've got a labor problem. I'm gonna get to that in a second Kroger. Uh, we , you've got a real big labor problem. <laugh> um , I gotta tell you , but besides that , um, what we find is this whole idea of ghost kitchens and supermarkets not running them, but having these other other companies run them , um, I think is really a good idea. And when we look at the assortment of what Kroger has done, and I have it somewhere , um , it's really interesting. And, and really something that I think will , um, will work for both the retailer and these independent people who are, you know, creating these ghost kitchens. So that's first. So another study came out from the LA times and this covered , um , only Cal Southern California, Colorado, and Washington. And what they did is they surveyed more than 10,000 Kroger workers. And they found that more than two thirds of them are struggling to afford food. 14% of the Kroger workers are homeless now, or have been during last year. Three quarters of them are food insecure , um, which is seven times the rate of food insecurity in the general population, 14% of Kroger workers report getting food stamps or food from a food bank. Um, this is some serious problems. And also one other point, and then let's discuss this, cuz I know you've got some personal experiences with this. Mm-hmm <affirmative> at your local Kroger adjusting for inflation wages for the most experienced Kroger food clerks. The most experienced have declined between 11 and 22% across these regions since 19. Uh , before I let you talk also, let's not forget right now. There's a strike going on in king supers , um, in the Denver area, more than 8,000 Kroger workers went on strike yesterday. Um, and well , you talk about your experience, then I'm gonna get back to this.

Speaker 2:

Yes, well, I mean, first, first of all, Phil Kroger made a lot of money , uh, recently <laugh> from, from what we understand , um , their profits are up. And I , I think that this is, this is really something that they should be taking a look at with their employees. We have here at, I have a Kroger that is less than a mile from my house. And, and then another one that is a few miles away. And both of these Krogers , um, have people that are homeless, working as bagger and , uh , people that are bringing in the carts there. And, you know, they do a great job and they're, they show up to work every day , but they cannot afford a place to live. And I can't imagine working in a grocery store and bagging up food for other people that you couldn't afford to buy yourself.

Phil:

I know it it's terrible. And if I look at this strike of what's going on , um, it's amazing to me. And typically I like Kroger. I like Kroger's operations. Mm-hmm <affirmative> I like Kroger's people, but this is way outta hand. Um, what they're asking for, what the union is working for , um, is $16 an hour. So what they're asking more healthcare benefit it's , uh , starting pay of $16 an hour. What's so important on this is that Kroger is spending $18 an hour for replacement workers. Um, at , at these stores that are on strike, they've hired temporary staff. They're paying them more then what the union is asking for for $16 an hour. Um, what they've also done is the reducing delivery fees to a dollar for orders that are worth over $35 to try to push people into that. It was announced yesterday that Kroger is also rolling out in Houston. Another is their third test for autonomous vehicle delivery. Um, so I think it's time that we really transform the retail experience because this doesn't work. It doesn't work for Kroger. It doesn't work for the employees, and it's not just about money , um, that we're talking about and having the strike taking place right now to me is really dangerous because what we're finding is so many of these supermarket workers are , have had it with , um, customers complaining with, with everything that's going on. And as a result of it , um , they're just leaving. They mid shift and we have this labor shortage in soup markets . We've got empty shells, taking place. We've got customers that are saying what's going on. And I think for Kroger , um, they they've really made a mistake on this one. I think they , they need to be called out and you don't pay people, temporary workers, more or regular employees, because if you don't have your regular employees, you're out of business. And we look at those retailers who are terrific retailers who take care of their staff folks like Wegmans. And, and I always point to Wegmans where they have a very low turnover. They don't have these labor issues. They train their people. They care about their people. We need to get back to that. So what are we gonna do? <laugh> what are we gonna do? So Kroger pay attention. You , you , you need to get your act together. What else do we got Sally,

Speaker 2:

Phil? There's some, there's some more bad news about sugar. Um, according to studies , uh, sugar is causing , um, cognitive Des deficits in adulthood. Um, the scientists are looking at , um , how a lot of sugar affects the, a amygdala, which is this part of your brain that controls emotional processes. And they're finding that it is , um , causing anxiety and fear and mental illnesses. Um , and beyond that in , in youth and it's causing , um , learning issues.

Phil:

Yeah. I mean, all these studies keep on telling us anything in excess, whether it's sugar or sodium or fat, you know, this isn't good and we need to get these studies in English so that the average American consumer can, can understand it. And having this strong relationship between high sugar consumption and altered behaviors and poor emotional regulation. I mean, the science is clear. So we just need to, to do this in a much smarter way. And as we're talking about sugar , uh , one of the things the , that the whole milk industry has been pushing on for years is having sugar Laden milks as a way to turn around their decline. Um , whether it's chocolate milk, whether it's strawberry milk, they talked about and tested carbonated milk for a long time. Um, obviously we, as consumers are not buying in to that, but if I take a look at what's gone on with milk, it's declined , um , over 40% , um, over the last 40 years. And when I think back to 1979, the average per capita gallons per year of whole milk was 0.4 . And in 2019, it's 5.7, less than a third of what it was back in, in 1979. And when we look at the data and yes, I am prejudice, my grandfather was a dairy farmer. I grew up drinking milk. I still drink milk. I think it's one of our most nutritious and healthiest foods that are out there. What we need is we need essentially to stop this. Um, and, and really for the milk industry to wake up and for consumers to wake up, to understand that this is one of our healthiest foods.

Speaker 2:

Yes, we, we definitely have milk in our house. Our , my children love to drink milk. They always have. And what's interesting to me is as a kid, I always wanted that chocolate milk at school. I loved it, of course , but my kids will not touch chocolate milk. And , um , or, and, and, and they, they don't like the milk that they serve at school. They only like a specific, the specific organic 2% milk , um , that I get at Kroger. And it's so interesting to me, if it has even a hint of a sweetness to it, they don't like it. Um , but they, but they definitely love to drink milk. And, and, you know, we, a lot of people switching, switching to plant protein milks , um, which , uh , is a big trend for the year. I know oat milk specifically is like, is a standout, standout product right now. Um, but yeah, I think we, I think we do have to , um, continue to remind people that, you know, that we need that calcium.

Phil:

Absolutely. Uh , and what's so interesting is, you know, milk has naturally occurring sugars , uh , from the cow. Uh that's in there. So it does have a little touch of sweetness , uh , built into it already. But I'm curious to why, why your kids, you know , don't like chocolate milk. Mm-hmm <affirmative> ,

Speaker 2:

I'm not sure. Except maybe I've just done a good job. Not giving him a lot of sugar. <laugh> yeah , you're right. You're right . Maybe , maybe that's why. Um, no , we , we don't eat a lot of processed foods. Maybe that's why they just don't have the, their taste buds are not , um, haven't adapted to high sugar foods. Um , but I like chocolate milk <laugh> yeah .

Phil:

Yeah . That's really good. I used to , I grew up on, I guess I shouldn't say that , but Nestle's quick, you know that

Speaker 2:

Oh yes, yes . I

Phil:

Understood to make myself okay . <laugh> well, let , let's move on. Wait for milk. And it's time for the leper report. So today on the leper report, we're gonna explore the intersection of plant-based and comfort foods. Over the past few years, industry leaders like beyond meat and impossible foods has made significant headway into pushing their meat alternatives on menus, everything from fast food change to school, cafeterias, to white tablecloth restaurants. Now, the question continues to be whether food service or retail will be the biggest opportunity for the category. Some say, but I, for one embedding on the food service sector, post pandemic for a number of reasons, the first one, it's all about taste while the plant-based brands all tout how delicious they are, the truth based on the varieties that I've tasted so far and I've tasted a lot, is that there's a skill that our home cooks need to in order to prepare these foods properly, a great grill master who may be able to cook great burgers and steaks, and even fish often struggles with meat alternatives. Second is that in many cases, not all these foods would do well with the chef's touch for spices and sauces. Their taste is different. We will need to nudge the consumer's taste buds just a bit to have them accept these alternatives. And lastly, while many of these proclaim how beneficial they are for the environment, and they're trying to cater to the more earth friendly shopper, Hey, a quick read of the ingredients. Some that smack in the face of the nutritional profile that these die hards demand send them running from the meat case, food service satisfies many of these issues and can serve as the training wheels for this important and growing category, right ? To learn more about plant-based join our partner, the food Institute for their 2022 outlook of plant-based and NextGen protein next Tuesday, January 18th, at 2:00 PM, Eastern to register for this important webinar, just go to food institute.com, scroll down a bit. And you'll the events and sign up will be there as well. Now it's time for the bullseye. The first and only time that I tasted this cocktail was in BTA Columbia. I remember the trip vividly. I was at the convention center , a beautiful and ornate building with flowing arches and intricate carving located on seventh avenue. That's their city's distant cousin to new York's fifth avenue. The occasion was a food industry event, of course. And during the cocktail hour, I asked for a margarita, Hey, I was south of the border and expected one of the best margaritas I've ever tasted. Instead I was given a drink that was half gold tequila. Yes. You remember that gold tequila, this stuff that gave us all headaches in college , that's half corn syrup, and then they mixed it with fresco Coke's infamous diet sort of grapefruit brand. Let me start out by saying what your taste buds are now imagining. Yeah, it was terrible. So I was a bit shocked to read the Coca-Cola has teamed up with constellation brands. One of the world's leading spirits and tequila and brand companies to LA a line to launch a line of fresco baked cocktails while they didn't share the varieties just yet the state that the fresh, the mixes will be a new distinctive line of spirits based, ready to drink cocktails distinctive, for sure. And unless they have a brilliant mixologist at the helm, IHU her to think about doing a taste test, maybe it's just to offset Pepsi's Boston beer venture to launch a hard mountain Dew, but I have to ask the question, do we need any of these on our store shells, a 2017 study published in the journal stroke found the diet sodas lead to a higher risk of dementia. The study kept track of over 1400 people over the age of 60 for a 10 year period, and found that those who dranked diet soda every day , compared to those who drank it less than once a week were three times more likely to develop dementia. The study did not only look at dementia, but also at the stroke risk that comes with regularly drinking diet soda and found similar results for this one. Researchers kept track of 2,888 people aged 45 and over for that same 10 year period, they found that those who drank at least one diet soda a day were also about three times more likely to have a stroke called by blood vessel blockage. I guess it's possible that the tequila might offset the risk, but I still question the likelihood of success after all taste does matter. So Sally, let's go to some questions.

Speaker 2:

Well, we don't have any questions, but we do have an interesting comment from John Panal who says that, you know, cheese and butter consumption is up, even though milk is down. So people are eating their , uh, their dairy instead of , um , drinking it. And it is interesting Phil, because, you know, you asked me the other day to see if I could find a correlation between milk consumption and calcium , um , in take. And I couldn't really find that, but I did find that , um, that people are, that calcium intake is, is increasing over the past , um, few years. And also I found that approximately one quarter of individuals take a multi or single ingredient supplement containing calcium on given day. So,

Phil:

Yeah, and, and John points out, you know, if we look at our, our cheese consumption, which is going through the roof, continues to go through the roof. Yes, no question. We're getting our calcium from cheese. Hopefully it's not, you know, processed cheese food, but , but cheese , uh , natural cheeses, number one. Uh , but number two, drink your milk. You know, milk is, is a good satisfying beverage and all the studies that have come out also for those people who wanna lose weight, drinking milk helps satisfy that urge to eat more. Um, so keep on drinking the milk. My grandfather would be proud. And thank you. Uh , so thanks all for joining us. Don't forget. Starting Monday, January 17th, we'll be here. We're switching days and we're gonna be at 11:30 AM Pacific 2:30 PM Eastern time. And don't forget to go to supermarket guru.com and sign up for our newsletters until then have a great weekend.