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Month: January 2017

January 24th, 2017

January 24th, 2017

And it reminds me of Starbucks.
Hershey recreates the grocery store with futuristic Medley

Related: Amazon was founded 23 years ago.
Online grocery seen gaining traction in 2017

Elephant in article: they are delicious.
Why America Is Growing The Most Sweet Potatoes Since WWII

Not in the article: entrepreneur dreamed of growing Doritos in the skyscraper.
Weed Entrepreneur Dreams Up a 100-Story Skyscraper to Grow Food

The vast majority of shoppers never look at labels. You know that, right?
Study: Retailers and shoppers don’t know what clean label means

Now that they’ve disrupted our computers with smartphones and Facebook, tech people are going to disrupt our food.
Food tech: why US is leading the race ?

If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, how do we know it happened?
Products, Not Marketing, Are The Future of Big Food

Veggies are always a trend because we are always pretending that we like to eat them.
Barnraiser: The Food Trends Of 2017

Hey guys I think by “ATM” you mean “vending machine”
Pizza ATMs Will Soon Be Everywhere You Go, So Our Drunk Prayers Have Been Answered

People got paid to write this article. I am not making this up.
Disney Princesses Reimagined as Hot Dogs

January 19, 2017

January 19, 2017

Ten or so stories worth reading about the food business… Let me know if I’m missing anything.

Flavored water is still undefeated.
After Bai’s Big Exit, CAVU Raises New $209M Fund To Back More Beverage Winners

Not-Shocking: Copyright avoiding Chinese Faking Food
Nestle Investigating Chinese Fake Food Factories

USDA Continues Its Long March Towards A Check-Off. No, really.
Organic check-off progresses

Amazing story overshadowed by Greatest Company Car Ever
Barnana: How Three Friends Created a Multi-Billion Dollar Business

So basically, things that used to be considered organic aren’t anymore?
USDA Proposes Eliminating 11 Substances from Organic Production, Handling

We bacon lovers existed for hundreds of years without asking for tea-flavored bacon.
Love chai? How about some bacon flavoured tea?

If your category rate moved by -0.3, are you in a panic?
The overall CPG trade promotion rate remained steady at 14.8 percent in 2016

Gorgeous food will make a comeback at the stroke of midnight
Hy-Vee Embraces “Ugly” Produce

40 years as a band, U2 is now your best weapon in the peptide war.
U2-backed food science firm Nuritas signs deal with German company

Green beer getting nervous, St. Patrick rolling over in grave.
Spain Bans Blue Wine for Being the Wrong Color

January 17th, 2017

January 17th, 2017

Ten or so stories worth reading… Let me know if I’m missing anything.

Not the first time this has been attempted, but a game changer if anyone can make it work.
Spray this invisible, edible coating on produce and it will last five times longer

HPP is one of those technologies that will be ubiquitous someday
Under pressure: HPP preserves food, texture and taste

Spoiler: all of them
Which consumers are shaping the food industry?

Sure looks like General Mills has its eyes on an acquisition. Rhythm Superfoods Closes $6 Million Funding Round with Lead Investment from 301 INC

RELATED: Seems like this trend is rolling straight into 2017.
Trend of the Year: Investing in start-ups

“No one is suggesting poor people can’t choose what they want to eat,” except that’s what the article is implying.
In the Shopping Cart of a Food Stamp Household: Lots of Soda

You haven’t had “seafood fraud” until you’ve tasted it.
Almost Half of All Sushi in LA Is Mislabeled, According to Study on Seafood Fraud

The Amazon bulldozer moves on, unabated
Target Holiday Sales Chilly

Green beer getting nervous, St. Patrick rolling over in grave.
Spain Bans Blue Wine for Being the Wrong Color

Last time they ran this contest, The People delivered us Southern Biscuits and Gravy flavored chips. #neverforget
Lay’s Kicks Off “Do Us A Flavor” Contest

…And the enduring annoyance of finding a banana sticker on your shoe.
The Enduring Appeal of Banana Stickers

January 15th, 2017

January 15th, 2017

Ten or so stories worth reading… Let me know if I’m missing anything.

Only half of people see the supermarket as their primary grocery store.
The State of the Grocery Shopper in 2017

Some amazing ideas here—will the family dog be rendered useless if you buy something called the Sera Home Recycler?
6 food tech innovations from CES 2017

Are we supposed to taking legislation called the “Dairy Pride Act” seriously?
US Senator Takes Aim at Dairy Alternatives with ‘Dairy Pride Act’

Have you ever ridden on a “pedal hopper”?

The tremors continue at Whole Foods Market
Truesdell Heads to WFM Global While Romano Moves On

Anyone not confused by the impact of digital on grocery shopping is lying.
Future shop: Digital presence in and out of the grocery aisle

It’s a conference made for women by women in the food world, albeit with annoying autoplay video on the website.
FAB’s Educational Conference Aims to Empower Women in the Food Industry

The “boot list” sounds like it belongs at Nordstrom’s. Co-marketing opportunity?
Earth Fare’s new campaign sends powerful message

Whoever successfully renames “seawood” as a food will win the Big Prize.
Top 7 Food Trends for 2017 from Around the Web

Yes but does it pair well with sour?
You Can Actually Buy Jack Daniel’s Coffee That Tastes Like Whiskey

TL;DR: Way easier to just drink beer for breakfast.
How To Eat Beer for Breakfast

January 13th, 2017

January 13th, 2017


There’s really no theme to this week, just ten stories worth reading. Let me know if I’m missing anything.

Outlook for Grocery Prepared Foods Remains Strong
The trend of people still not wanting to cook food continues unabated. 

10 Fastest Growing Categories In Grocery in 2016
And the winner is…liquid tea??? I guess the kale era is over.

7 Trends Set to Define Grocery Retail in 2017
Online grocery definitely isn’t the punchline that it was a decade ago.

Starbucks to stop serving beer, wine in coffee shops
This sentence would sound completely insane if you didn’t know any better.

IFIC’s List of Food Trends
There’s an endless supply of food trend articles, and I like them all.

Industry sees limited value of certified transitional organic program
The USDA has promised to make “transitioning to organic” easier, but it’s becoming clear that the issue is muddy.

Comments From Ahold’s SVP About Online Product Discovery
It just seems like displacing a decades old process of broker/buyer relationships is going to be a hard nut to crack.

The Animal-Free Future of Milk Is Here
More and more, anti-dairy is emerging as the theme of 2017.

New York City Won’t Be Getting a Margaritaville Anytime Soon
Surprising, given the suburbanification of Times Square.

Oreo Cadbury Eggs. Only in UK/Australia/Canada/New Zealand?? 

January 10th, 2017

January 10th, 2017

The Good News and Otherwise

Lots of exciting news in the news this week, so much even that I’m gonna have to do another issue. Here are ten places to start:

Survey says Americans Are Increasing Their Consumption of Fresh Foods
Do people ever lie on surveys? Asking for a friend.

Whole Foods Begins Its Radical Overhaul of Its Buying Process
Bringing this program to life is going to be very challenging. The company, whose localized buying structure has arguably given the corporation the ability to innovate better than any other grocer, is doing a fundamental pivot that will either save the company or kill it.

Retailers Turn To Value-Added Produce For Growth
This is the beginning of a huge era for branding in the produce aisle. Which I guess means slotting fees, too.

Super Nova Mandarin Bursts On The Scene
See above…mandarins are good at branding. Why not all the other fruits?

Ahold Partners With Range Me for Product Discovery
I’m really curious how many buyers will make online sites such as RangeMe as their portal for product discovery.

Earth Fare CEO Issues “Clean Food” Challenge
They have a “boot list” and ingredient standards. Ominous! But a good idea.

USDA Is Trying To Make Organic Certification Easier For Farmers
And yet it still seems complicated

Four Trends In Snacks
Donuts are not on this list. Nor is beer.

Kellog’s Makes First Venture Investment
All the big CPGs (it seems) are developing investment subsidiaries in order to innovate, disrupt, or try to remain relevant. This concept (it’s similar to strategic investment) isn’t new, but if nothing else, it’s a new way of marketing your desire to stay on trend.

Trader Joe’s Will Now Let You Sample BEER AND WINE Before You Buy It. But only in the Bay Area.

Week of January 9th

Week of January 9th

New Year’s Madness

Thanks to all for feedback on my 2016 review and my preview for 2017. I really appreciate it.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, this newsletter is an aggregation of what I read during the week–a few dozen or more websites, things people send me, etc. Ultimately, this is a repository for ideas and news that influence my workday and company. I try to send at least one newsletter per week, but sometimes more.

That said, let’s get to what’s happened thus far in the new year:

Ten Stories Shaping the Natural Products Industry
By now we all know that Natural Products are a great proving ground for traditional grocery–big CPGs are continually either following trends in Natural or being disrupted altogether.

Jon Foraker’s Predictions for 2017
The year is still young, so here are the CEO of Annie’s visions for the year.

Forbes’ 30 Under 30 In the Food Ecosystem
Nice look at the new generation of food thinkers and tinkerers, summarized at New Hope Network. Also from that site, how natural food accelerators are stoking innovation in food.

Nominations for 2017 Top Women in Grocery
Application deadline is March 20th over at Progressive Grocer. If you know anyone who might fit the prize..

Retailers Chosen for SNAP
SNAP is an online, purchasing pilot program aimed at helping low-income Americans eat healthier. It’s ambitious, but seems like a good idea.

Whole Foods Inks Exclusive Deal for Documentary
You should watch At the Fork. It’s a great documentary about where food comes from, albeit not as frightening as Food, Inc.

Natural Grocers Top 10 Nutrition Trends
Turmeric is gonna be huge this year.

Food and Health Hot topics in 2017
Functional foods, protein is still hot, and definition of healthy claims.

Sprouts To Open 35 More Stores In 2017
Either marching towards domination or an M&A styled exit with some jealous traditional channel.

Fruit Based Snacks Are On the Rise
Honestly, I feel like we’ve seen this movie before.

How Snask Designed the Best Pre-Gaming Beer You’ll Ever Drink

Week of January 2nd, 2017

Week of January 2nd, 2017

Trends for 2017

Last week, we focused on what happened in the food industry in 2016. This week, let’s take a look ahead at what to expect in 2017.

Whole Foods’ 2017 Trend Forecast and also a summation here
I think my favorite is some diet trend called the Flexitarian. Seriously.

Whole Foods Magazine 2017 Retailer Survey
Eye popping datapoint: average reported net profit per store is 4.69%.

Five Leading Trends in 2017 by Food Business News
The placebo effect retains its title of King of All Elephants In the Room.

A Food Spotter Gives Five Trends of 2017
The greatest epicurean trends are always the least healthy.

Six Trends Guiding Innovation in 2017
Mintel is a data company that we all wish we could afford more of.

Personalized Nutrition Is Trending in 2017
What they really mean is that even though you can personally cook or prepare your own food, it’s way easier to just buy it.

How Americans Will Eat in 2017
“Blended Meals” are trending, but it’s a bad catchphrase.

Dietitians Predict Food Trends of 2017
No one ever expected this group to go strong on donuts. SPOILER: no donuts on this list.

Chefs Predict Food Trends of 2017
#5 is healthy kids’ meals…let’s leave it at that.

The Supermarket Guru at Forbes Gives Food Trends for 2017
Whenever I see @PhilLempert on Twitter, I wonder if all of his friends call him The Guru.

The NEXT Forecast says trends are Conscious Consumption and the Values Connections in 2017
Natural products continue their renaissance by sneaking into the value chains.

Functional Ingredients Are On the Rise in 2017
You’ve heard of ashwagandha, right?

New Hope Has Five Trends for 2017
The “plant revolution” is upon us, suggesting an uprising in the meat community.

Key Issues for Suppliers and Retail in 2017 (by IRI)
A data research company has declared data to be more important than ever.

Biggest Superfoods of 2017
The future is watermelon seeds, not plastics.

Best beer of 2017
Because author Lee Breslouer has the best job in the world.