Sustainability: A Noble Goal but Is It Viable?

Sustainability: A Noble Goal but Is It Viable?

My family was among the first to recycle cans (back before you got paid for doing that) and we did a lot of paper drives when I was in Cub Scouts. Having grown up as an environmentalist, and even taking environmental studies courses in college, it’s great to see the topic of sustainability discussed in both corporate America and the general public. The Three E’s of Sustainability When discussing the viability of sustainability, there’s often talk of the three Es: Economics, Equity and Environment. Together, these make the three legs...Continue Reading...
Is It Finally Time for Tech?

Is It Finally Time for Tech?

E-commerce? It’s been around for years and most of us don’t think twice about buying something online from Amazon or Target. For many of us it’s a part of our daily activity but, in the grocery industry, maybe not so much. A recent blog by the Food Marketing Institute’s Doug Baker, Vice President of Industry Relations, Private Brands and Technology, raises the question of whether technology is finally going to be a key force in changing our industry. For banking, travel and most industries, everything is digitized. But retail...Continue Reading...
Zest Labs CEO Peter Mehring on the Walmart Lawsuit

Zest Labs CEO Peter Mehring on the Walmart Lawsuit

One-third, or over $85 Billion, of fresh food is wasted each year in the US. Zest Labs is dedicated to helping reduce the massive post-harvest fresh food waste through prevention by proactively managing the fresh food supply chain. Retailers experience roughly 15 percent shrink in produce, primarily due to premature spoilage. Aside from the profound impact on the environment and sustainability, this is a huge hit to retail grocers’ product margins. In 2011 we started developing Zest Fresh, the industry’s first proactive solution for...Continue Reading...
What Drives Loyalty?

What Drives Loyalty?

I’ve been a loyal Oakland A’s fan since I was a young boy back in 1968. Since then, there’s only been one year where I didn’t make the hour-long drive to their ballpark to see a game and I now go to Spring Training every year. Most of us are loyal to a team, a cause, our friends. Many of us can also call out our favorite stores we regularly shop at. What makes us loyal to a given grocery store? A recent article in Food Dive references a new Food Marketing Institute (FMI) report on shopper loyalty. The article states that “most...Continue Reading...
Being Proactive: What We Can Learn from Football

Being Proactive: What We Can Learn from Football

In a matter of weeks, football season will be upon us; players will begin drills, running routes and studying the playbook. You’ll see multiple key elements to every play: offense, defense and the clock. Racing against the clock, the offense aims to be proactive and move the ball downfield while the defense tries to stop them from accomplishing their goals. Interestingly enough, football offers some valuable lessons for those of us in the fresh food supply chain industry – you must be prepared for a wide variety of different...Continue Reading...
Your Fresh Strawberries Are Like Your Cellphone…

Your Fresh Strawberries Are Like Your Cellphone…

You look at your cell phone and the battery indicator says it’s about half-charged. How long will the battery last? An hour? A day? You don’t know because it all depends on how the phone is being used. If you’re just texting, the battery might last the rest of the day. If you’re watching videos or playing a compute-intensive game, it might last you 30 minutes. How long a cell phone battery will last is determined by its total capacity and is impacted by the type and length of use. We keep an eye on our use based on our phone’s...Continue Reading...
Never Going Back Again

Never Going Back Again

If you’re in my age group, this week’s blog title may take you back to the Fleetwood Mac song from their iconic Rumours album. But, alas, I’m not going back to 1977 and I’m also not going back to a particular grocery store. Why? Because the produce I purchased there was horrible. I had just returned from the United Fresh conference in Chicago and needed to make a quick stop for produce to get me through the rest of the week. On my list: a green bell pepper, a head of lettuce and a clamshell of strawberries. I stopped at a major...Continue Reading...
Does the Fox Have an Unbiased View of the Henhouse?

Does the Fox Have an Unbiased View of the Henhouse?

When it comes to monitoring performance, it’s a good idea to work with someone that has independence – meaning they don’t benefit based on the result. Just as you wouldn’t trust the fox to keep an accurate count of hens in the henhouse, you should find an objective, third party to monitor your product performance through the supply chain. For example, consider advertising rates on television. Let’s say a fast food restaurant wants to advertise their new double bacon chili cheeseburger during a baseball game. They’ll want to know how...Continue Reading...
Uh Oh, It’s the Fuzz!

Uh Oh, It’s the Fuzz!

No, I’m not talking about something a character from a 1970s TV show might have said. I’m talking about that feeling when you open your refrigerator in the morning to grab berries for breakfast and are greeted by raspberries that are growing beards and turning to mush. How frustrating. No fruit for breakfast, and a $5 clamshell of raspberries is now going in the trash. I’ll bet you’ve had this experience at least once. But have you wondered why it happens? The simple answer is that, because product wasn’t handled properly, it ran...Continue Reading...
5 Ways to Ensure Meals Stay Fresh and Safe in Transit

5 Ways to Ensure Meals Stay Fresh and Safe in Transit

With so many meal delivery services available today, one of the commonly asked questions from customers is, “How do my meals stay fresh and safe in transit?” Many customers are concerned about the condition their pre-made dishes or raw ingredients will be in when they’ve arrived at their home. And they have a good reason to be worried about that. Spoiled food can not only ruin the meal kit experience, it can turn off customers entirely from a meal delivery service. So how can you ensure the meals you’re delivering stay fresh and...Continue Reading...