The Lempert Report LIVE

FDA & BPA, Middle Aisle Shoppers, Child Friendly Marketing

January 31, 2022 Phil Lempert Episode 19
The Lempert Report LIVE
FDA & BPA, Middle Aisle Shoppers, Child Friendly Marketing
Show Notes Transcript

On today’s episode Marc Lore and Gwyneth Paltrow hook up, FDA finally stands up to BPA, Kroger comes to shoppers’ rescue, what’s more important – price or loyalty, a PR machine that won’t stop and wont melt in your hand, on The Lempert Report a new convenience or waste of money at Aldi and Lidl, Jane Wilcox joins us on The Modern Shopper and the Bullseye is on Child Friendly Marketing – or maybe not so child friendly?

Phil:

Welcome to the Lempert Report LIVE. On today's episode, Marc lore and Gwyneth Paltro hookup. FDA finally takes a stand up to BPA, maybe. Kroger comes to shoppers a nd what's more important price or loyalty? Then there's a PR machine that just won't stop and won't melt your hand, On the Lempert Report, a new convenience of waste of money at Aldi and Lidl. Jane Wilcox joins us on the Modern Shopper and the bullseye is on child friendly marketing or maybe it's not so child friendly let's get started. Sally, what's the n ews about Marc Lore?

Sally:

Hi, Phil. Marc Lore is teaming up with Gwyneth Paltrow for , um, a new food delivery service that , um, brings you food trucks on demand. And, you know, it's very exciting because MArc Lore has been really successful in the e-commerce world. He , um, he started diapers.com, which was sold to a Amazon, and he is also was part of jet Dot.com, which became Walmarts. Um, so this is, this is very exciting and I think it's a great idea of , to have a food truck com with a trained chef , um, in the truck making your food so that it is served to you, piping hot.

Phil:

I think, I think the idea is great. Um, and you know, what he found is he had gotten divorced and then he wasn't sure how he wanted to plan for himself meals. Uh, so he said I was living alone, ordering food in and I wasn't cooking, which gave him this idea. Um, and he's also raised 500 million , uh, for this idea it's being piloted in New Jersey right now in four cities. And , uh, they just had Gweneth Paltro join their , uh , board and Gwyneth has a whole bunch of ideas. They know each other before, because mark has been a mentor if you would to Gwyneth , uh, for go and, and some of her other enterprises. And there there's a couple things. So first of all, Gwyneth has said , um , she has a whole bunch of ideas , uh, but she hasn't shared them with them yet, which I find it hard to believe. Um, one thing that's curious to me is one of our ideas is that they cook with higher quality pans. I don't , I don't understand that unless maybe she has a deal , uh , for a cookware company, but there is a potential problem. What mark has said is in order to pull this off nationwide, he needs a million people, workers, not customers. He needs a million workers to pull this off. So great idea. I agree. I would love to have a food truck, you know, pull out in , in front of the office here and cook up food right away, how they can make money on it. I'm not sure unless they start thinking about neighborhoods like the old Dugin man , uh, where you do a whole neighborhood, but just doing it for one person , uh , one family. I'm not quite sure they can make money. Um , you and I have talked about BPA a lot over, over the past , uh , couple decades. Uh what's what's going on with BPA and the FDA these days.

Sally:

Well , um , before we get into it, I , I, you know, this is a , became a really important issue for me when I had babies and , uh , because of baby bottles, having BPA in them and also the , the harmful effects we've heard of about these chemicals are on the immune system and the , and reproductive , um , health of humans. And so, so that's when it became an issue for me. Um , the environmental defense fund has now filed a formal petition to the FDA, basically demanding. You've gotta do something you've got to , um , to pay attention to these, these studies that are coming out and showing us that we are way above the level of exposure that we should be as consumers <affirmative> .

Phil:

And it's about 5,000 times , uh, the level of exposure that mm-hmm <affirmative> , the problem has been that this has been brought to the FDA, any number of times over the past, you know, few years, and for whatever reason, they just don't get into it. So do you think that this time's the charm?

Sally:

I'm not sure it , they have taken , um , some steps in other countries, many other countries, in fact, particularly with products that are for babies and, and children. So I guess we'll see, but , uh , hopefully they will pay attention.

Phil:

Yeah. We can only hope in this latest study that comes out of England. Um, really, you know, is probably the best study so far , and hopefully we can get FDA to pay attention to that. Mm-hmm <affirmative> , um, Kroger's in the news for a whole bunch of reasons. Uh, but why don't you go first and talk to us about what they're doing, what your experience has been in , um, over the weekend. And then I've got another note to share.

Sally:

Yeah. Kroger , uh , Kroger has taken on this zero hunger, zero waste initiative, which is very exciting. They have , uh , directed more than 213 million in food and well in food and funds to help organizations, innovators, and, and people across the country that are trying to waste less we're cuz we're wasting 35% of the food produced and 42 million Americans are struggling with hunger. So they've got a variety of different ways that they are approaching this. Um, some of those ways are , um, with they that they have something called a chef bot that you can find on Twitter. Um, and you can, you can send, I've got three ingredients in my fridge, you know, what can I make with these three things instead of throwing these items away and the chef bot a , um, is supposed to reply to you with an idea. Now I did tweet today with your account Phil this morning. Oh , oh . Some ingredients. So I haven't heard back yet, but we'll see what <laugh> , we'll see what we find out that they , what ideas they have. Um, yeah, so that's one of the things and um, and then they're also giving people, they wanna give people ideas on how to, or organized they're refrigerators so that you can not waste food. And there are some really great ideas in this things that I had no idea. <laugh> .

Phil:

Yeah. So, you know, when I , when I look at this list, I agree. I think it's a great idea and you're gonna talk about what they should do next with it, but their first tip, and I don't know about you, but I'll never done this in my life. <laugh> their first tip is don't stack food on the top of your refrigerator because of the heat that comes up from the top of your refrigerator. Mm-hmm <affirmative> , I've never put food on the top of my refrigerator, have you?

Sally:

Well , I have not, but my mother put loaves of bread on top of the refrigerator. Really? So yes,

Phil:

Mm-hmm, <affirmative> interesting. Okay. So at least we have, we have , uh , a focus group of one <laugh> . So, you know, we , we have these don't stock stack food on top of your fridge. Don't put your products just anywhere telling you where you should put them in the store. Don't over stuff , your fridge , um , common sense, rotate your produce. Common sense. I do disagree . Agree with this . They say, keep the freshest produce in one CRISPR draw and the older produce in the other one. So you know which one to eat first, totally disagree. You should have one for fruits and one for vegetables, cuz the vegetables actually give off gases that can mold , um, and, and expire the fruit faster. So they're wrong on that one. Um, and they should be at different temperatures for your crispers , uh, practice portion control. Absolutely. But you have an idea that goes beyond this, right?

Sally:

Well, yes. You know, when I, when I look at all of this I'm it makes me very excited. I shop at Kroger. I have one less than a mile from my house. I'm there a few times a week or I'm ordering delivery, which I've been doing a lot in the past few years. Um, however, these, these initiatives that they're talking about, I have never heard them heard of them as a consumer in the store or when I'm on the website, which is a few times a week , I'm on the Kroger website and I have not heard of chef bot . I have not heard these fridge , um , ideas. So I went to search this to find out where it is and it's not on kroger.com. These initiatives are on the Kroger company.com . So they're communicating this, oh wow , they're communicating this as ideas about their business to maybe other business people. Um, but consumers, aren't going to the Kroger company.com. They're going to kroger.com.

Phil:

Absolutely. And you know, those are pictures of, of you're a Kroger that you shot over the weekend. And what about a little signage? Just, just giving people, you know, at point of sale , uh , these helpful hints as well. Exactly. Um, so, you know, so that's some good news, a little tweak for Kroger to do, but also I wanna read based on last week's episode , um, I wanna read what , um , what I received from one of the workers at king supers , um, and indulge me for a second. Uh, good morning. Uh , I just saw you on CNN. I'm one of the strikers here in, or a Aurora, Colorado. I was getting paid $12 in 60 cents an as you know, that's not enough, especially here in a high state, since striking more folks are stealing food, seeing them walk in and walk right out with a backpack full of food. I don't know if you know this, but king supers received a huge amount of money to give to workers as COVID was hitting. And we continue to work asked Mr. Bernie Sanders, not one dime went to any of the workers. So I would ask one of the CEOs why the money wasn't distributed to the workers who were working as COVID hit us all as this world gets, greedier more folks will shoplift. This reminds me of the old movie called the purge, have a great Saturday . And thank you for reading and listening. Uh , Stephanie, thanks so much for sending that in. Um, good comments. All um, yeah. Good comments. All. So moving on , um, and, and this relates somewhat , uh , there's a new study that just came out from payments. It's called decode customer affinity , the customer loyalty to merchant survey 2022 . What are the highlights Sally?

Sally:

Well, one thing that we're finding out from this study is that those customers that a store may have that are loosely held onto meaning, you know, they probably shop at a couple of other. In fact, the study told us that , um , looking for the percentage right now, but , um, somewhere between 30 and 40% of people shop at up to three stores. So what this study is telling us is that , um, if these stores can't offer the best prices and are going up on their prices on their , these customers, that these customers are going to leave them and go to the lower price store.

Phil:

And it's really very telling, because what we've talked about before is there's a whole bunch of executives, not necessarily from retailers, but from CPG companies who are suggesting that the price elasticity post pandemic or during the pandemic is, is a lot different than it was pre pandemic. And people are willing to pay more. I would frankly disagree with that. I think people are more concerned about prices now the , than ever before, as we're seeing gas prices going through the roof, we're seeing food prices going through the roof. In fact, I just saw this morning that orange juice is up 15% over what it was , uh , pre pandemic. And it's expected to go up another five or 6% as, as result of the crop shortage. And that's really gonna , um , it's really gonna affect what consumption is. And , uh, one other point , uh , which is no surprise, 77% of the groceries in this study report that low prices would improve their loyalty to grocery stores. The one thing that I would tell the grocers who are watching this, you gotta have low prices. Yes, it's not gonna improve loyalty. What improves loyalty is having a relationship with your shoppers because the guy across the street can always have a lower price. And if, if prices your total game, you're gonna, so it's about relationship having a clean store, obviously having innovation and lower prices, not, not just one thing. And from a marketing standpoint , um, this, this next story baffles me and makes me shake my head and wonder the future of marketing. What is it about?

Sally:

Well, Phil M and MSMS have a new look. Um, the, the company feels like they wanted to create something that is more inclusive. Um, and with particular emphasis on the, the two women characters, the , um, the green M and M in the go-go boots and the brown M and M and the stiletto Hills, they have , um, changed their shoes to make these women , um, less sexy and more empowered, strong women. Um, they've also improved their relationship. So they're not throwing shade at each other and they're actually friends and not competing with each other. Uh , we're also seeing in the red M and M and this one was actually the most interesting to me or, sorry, I'm sorry. The origin M and M , which is the most interesting to me and who typically has this anxious personality and , um, they want, they want to show that this, this M and M embraces his true self worries. And a , and what's really interesting to this about out this to me is that , um, they're saying Mars is saying that this is one of the most relatable characters with gen Z , um , which is the most anxious generation.

Phil:

So , um , I happen to love M and MSS . Um, I am a red M and M person. I will pick out those red ones and probably green after that,

Sally:

The red one, by the way, is no longer a bully <laugh> .

Phil:

So what are you telling me? No . What I'm telling

Sally:

He's nicer.

Phil:

So I think that this is totally absurd. I think that their PR company , um , is doing a great job. Obviously, we're talking about it. A lot of people are talking about it. In fact, Tucker Carlson actually talked about it on his show. Um , he said, he's complaining that the acre of M&MS remove the stiletto heels of characters and their TV ads. The characters are now totally androgynous. Uh , he says, and you wouldn't wanna have a drink with any of them . Hey, Carlson, I've never wanted to have a drink with an M&M maybe, maybe you have, but not me, but I think that this is , um, on most pandering. I , I don't know if this is more inclusive. I think that, you know, having an M&M who wears , uh , high heels and then putting them in, in, you know, flat shoes. I mean, that to me is absolutely absurd. I think it's making a mockery of the real issues that we have about inclusive. This it's not about an M&M and I don't think that their TV commercials are educating kids , uh, to what they, what they should do. Um, I, I don't know. I , I just sort of like think it's absurd, but talking about the absurd I wanna share with , uh, with you, Sally , um, a cartoon, a great cartoon that I saw in the new Yorker magazine, all about macaroni and cheese. And , um, I actually can't read it. I , I don't know if , if you can read it on, on your screen, but for those of you that are new Yorker , uh , cartoon buffs, check it out. It's in the current , uh , New York, I think it's got four pains to it, and it talks about macaroni and cheese and what's the good macaroni and cheese. And the good news is for me, 2022 is all about food. We're hearing more about food than ever before. Not only from the sustainability standpoint, but also just from our love of food. So let's celebrate food, whether it's in the new Yorker, whether it's in the , uh , M&M cartoons, but let's not get carried away. It's still food and M&MS are a fun food. And when you start making that fun food a little less fun, I'm not sure that I'm gonna continue to eat my M and MS. What about you? I ,

Sally:

Well, I agree with you on that, that taking, take , making something so serious and, and not a lot of fun, but I, but I do see this , uh , marketing to gen Z because , um, they are, I have a gen Z child and they are very, very socially conscious and they, they are expecting the world to listen to them.

Phil:

So would they, would they take heed to an M&M TV , commercial? And do they even eat M and MSS ?

Sally:

Um, they definitely eat M and Ms . And I don't know how much, how many commercials they're seeing about M and MSMS ? Um, my , I mean, my, my son who is gen Z has never actually talked to me about an M and M commercial, or I haven't heard of this, this issue coming up, but I do know that he is very careful about , um, about being sensitive to gender identity. And , um, these are, are issues that kids, kids that age really care about. Yep .

Phil:

Okay. So maybe they're seeing something that, frankly I'm not, oh , well <laugh> um , so let's head to the leper report. So today on the Le report, we're gonna take a look at what could be one of the best jobs in supermarket retail. It pays the equivalent of $4 and 30 cents per hour, and you get to work in two of the smallest footprint grocery stores. We thrift the coupon website has launched a new service for die hard bargain shoppers at Aldi and li in the UK, the job title, middle aisle shoppers. And they give shoppers who miss out on those limited edition , deep discounted products, a second chance to buy those items. Here's how it works. Each middle aisle shopper is given the equivalent of $670 by the company to spend on those special buys at the retailers. We thrift then resells those products to those shoppers who missed out on the specials, the company hasn't reported on what their markup is, or the prices that they resell the items for. So I kind of wonder if these die hard bargain hus will really be getting a bargain after all on the modern shopper. We met fresh times , Jane Wilcox, who during the pandemic was charged with opening fresh time markets, new concept store in St. Louis not only was she faced with the challenges of a hundred year old building, but also filling the shelves for the complete episode, just go to spoon.guru and click on the blog. Here's what Jane had to say. So fresh time is known for health nutrition. Uh, talk to me about any new innovations that you see in this store that really aids , um, as, as your mantra dictates aids customers in their, in their health and wellness journey.

Jane:

Well, first of all, the, just the presence of our natural living department here , um, in itself will be a rarity for this space , um, and where our location is. But then also that ability to be able to connect with some of the local vendors and have some of those great natural, organic offerings that, you know, you just can't get in. Some of the traditional markets is really gonna help people who are on that journey to living , you know, a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. So again, that flexibility within that space and then the offerings themselves is gonna be something that people in this community , um, have not seen

Phil:

McDonald's is under fire. Once again, for their advertising to kids practices, a new study reported in BMJ, nutrition prevention and health finds that the fast food giant has been focused on kids in lower middle countries with more Instagram posts, price, promotions, and child friendly marketing than the company does in wealthier nations. The study is called comparing McDonald's food marketing practices on official Instagram accounts across 15 countries, and was funded by an NIH grant. The conclusion is that social media advertising has enabled McDonald's to reach millions of consumers in lower middle income and upper middle income countries with disproportionately greater child, targeted ads and price promotions in lower middle income countries, such reach they say is concerning because of the increased risk of diet related illness, including cardiovascular disease in these regions. And the researchers captured all the screenshots that McDonald's posted on those Instagram accounts from September to December, 2019, they quantified the number of followers, the likes, the comments and video views associated with each account in April, 2020, they then used content analysis to examine the differences in the marketing techniques, the results, the 15 accounts collectively maintained get this 10 million followers and generated 3.9 million likes 164,816 comments and 38.2 million video views. They identified 849 posts. The three lower middle income countries had more posts than the five upper middle income countries and seven high income , approximately 12% of those posts in high income countries included child targeted themes compared to 22% in those lower middle income countries. Now we've seen these studies in reports for decades here in the us and around the globe. And it's no surprise that McDonald's as well. Other fast food brands, target kids. What I would've liked the researchers to do is go a step further, analyze those 164,000 plus comments. What do the kids or their parents have to say? I'd love to see how many are positive, how many are negative? And are there any recommendations for new, healthier and better for you items? Are there any brilliant marketing ideas to get kids to eat less and to eat healthier? Then with that information let's together. Figure out how to use the very effective social media platforms to nudge eating behaviors over towards the better for you side. Thanks for joining us today on the Le report. Don't forget to meet us back here next Monday, same time, same place, whether it's on LinkedIn live or Facebook live. And in the meantime, I hope you'll visit us@supermarketguru.com and sign up for our newsletter. It's up in the upper right. Have a great week, and we'll see you next week.