This post was supposed to go out last friday but there was an outage with our Content Management System, so only able to get it out today. So a video, to start the week. We have often looked to China, in this blog, to learn about the future of Grocery as the "blank slate" approach they are taking to addressing grocery challenges is serving up some incredibly futuristic solutions. One of the most comprehensive solutions being Alibaba's Hema stores. “There are three pillars to its strategy, serving as a place to shop, a distribution center for online orders, and a robot powered restaurant" – Uptin Saiidi, CNBC These stores combine the grocery store with a distribution center for 30 minute online delivery, as well as automated robot delivery restaurants to pull in visitors. The experience is connected across all stages of the buying process through the Hema app, which enables the shopper to get information about products and supply chain, navigate the store, place orders, as well as to pay. It's a pretty fascinating to get a real life view into what the future of Data and AI powered shopping experience can lead to. The shopping experiences in 10 years time could be very different from they are now. Hope you enjoyed this one.
Last week, a few of my colleagues and I were given the opportunity to attend the annual Natural Products Expo West Show in Anaheim, California. Our attendance was strictly business, but it’s hard not to feel anxious and a bit overwhelmed walking into the 1,600,000+ square feet of exhibiting space at the Anaheim Convention Center. A mere 12 hours from the moment we walked in, that vast open space would be crawling with over 88,000 attendees representing over 3,400 unique exhibitors from around the world. It’s truly hard to describe the immensity of the show. Allow me to back up a bit and explain what the show is and how we fit into the equation. The Natural Products Expo Show, in its 39th year, is precisely what it sounds like: a giant convention where brands, manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors go to show off their newest and hottest products coming to market. If you are a self-described “foodie,” this is undoubtedly your Mecca. I could probably write an entirely separate article on the hundreds of different product types showcased, but I’ll spare you. Instead, you can check out the extensive list by clicking here.
Retailers have been quick to react to consumers’ increasing demand for product data transparency and have been somewhat successful in providing more basic product information. This is most evident in shelf tag health and wellness (H&W) programs we’ve seen implemented in stores over the past several years (think: those small tags on store shelves that call out claims like "organic", "gluten-free," or "heart-healthy"). While these initiatives have been limited to a set number of health attributes, they have provided retailers with a first glimpse into the challenges and opportunities surrounding product data transparency. Now, it is generally accepted that going from a limited set of H&W attributes maintained for a shelf tag program to addressing full product data transparency is a significant leap of capability. But retailers that take this leap will be able to leverage product data in a number of ways, across all use cases, and most importantly, in a scalable manner. Retailers who attack full product data transparency will be able to slice and dice the data to service such use cases as Custom Health and Wellness programs, innovative Category Review Processes, or to make their inventory more discoverable through engaging search and filtering experiences, to name a few use cases.
The numbers can be difficult to swallow. In the U.S., the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s, according to the CDC. Recent data shows that 1 in 5 young people (6 to 19 years) in the United States have obesity. There are a number of factors that contribute to this, from genetics, to metabolism, sleep, physical activity, and outside influences like communities, schools, government agencies, and the media.
Last week saw news come across the internal wire that seemed to paint a picture of the symptoms related to disruption across the CPG industry. The first article, by Google, discusses the need for Brick and Mortar retailers to embrace online grocery. The second article, explores a new partnership between Budweiser and Coleman Natural to brand fresh meat with the Budweiser logo - just in time for spring. And the third article talks about the challenges of Organic Farms as a result of loose labeling standards. All three of these posts can be linked back to fundamental changes in the CPG Food & Beverage vertical. The rest of the week in news focused on developments in the personal care and beauty product types, both articles indicating the changes in that vertical that seem to be following behind, although in some cases leading, the changes and disruption taking place in the Food & Beverage vertical. Enjoy the news and have a good week. How grocers should embrace online shopping - thinkwithgoogle.com The grocery category is on the precipice of major change. Today only 3% of U.S. grocery shopping occurs online, but e-commerce penetration is projected to triple over the next 10 years.1 This will create a major shift in how consumers spend grocery dollars as they embrace digital and expect grocers to do the same. Traditional grocers have a unique opportunity to capitalize on this shift. Their deep relationships with shoppers and ability to meet critical, frequent needs position them to shape new behaviors in grocery. (curated by @nicolemeyerson)
The video this week is an introduction to some of the challenges around shelf space. It's indicative of the hidden complexity in the grocery industry that is a real barrier to disruption, potentially protecting the incumbent players from some of the early digital disruption taking place in other industries. “behind each freezer door is a secondary market that determines what you have the option to buy." Phil Edwards, author There are pros and cons associated with slotting fees, but no matter which side of the fence you are on, there is no doubt that they have a significant influence on what products end up on the shelf. Not a new video, but a good one to think about when reflecting on how the industry may evolve as digital disruption and transparency take hold. Hope you have a good end to your week.
My name is Daniel Hawks, and I am the Product Manager for the Label Insight Explore team. We are the team responsible for the Explore data API and Explore web platform. The past four years of my career as a Product Manager have been spent in the retail and CPG industry, specifically working to help shoppers find the products they are looking for. In my work day, I spend a lot of my time thinking about grocery stores and looking at the hundreds of thousands of food products in the Label Insight database. My private life also revolves heavily around food. I love to cook, my family watches a lot of food shows on Netflix, and I’ve recently started reading memoirs of restaurant industry professionals. I am constantly searching for relatable analogies to help explain the work we do at Label Insight. I must have had food on my mind when our marketing department asked me to write this blog highlighting the work the Explore team has done this quarter. The Explore team’s primary focus is building solutions to deliver Label Insight’s product data to our customers. The two pillars at the heart of our solutions are the aforementioned Explore data API and Explore web platform.
It may be March, but it’s still the beginning of the year, which means people are trying to stick to their “new year, new you” diet resolutions. One of the biggest diet trends we’re seeing these days is the low FODMAP diet. In fact, it was even ranked as the number 9 diet on Google’s “Year in Search 2018” review (with interest peaking in July 2018). The diet, which originated at Australia's Monash University, was intended to help those suffering with GI issues (like irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS) by better controlling symptoms. These symptoms can include things like bloating, constipation, abdominal pain, and more. Discovering a diet that could potentially alleviate these symptoms is a big deal, because, according to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), IBS affects up to one in seven Americans. So what is a FODMAP? This acronym stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols. These are all short-chain carbohydrates. For some context, there are many different types of carbohydrates (long-chain carbohydrates, simple sugars, etc.), and each behaves differently during digestion and can impact people in unique ways. According to the IFFGD, it’s believed that these particular short-chain carbs may cause IBS symptoms because they ferment quickly in the gut (creating gas, which can instigate IBS symptoms) and are not well absorbed in the small intestine.
What’s new in Label Insight onboarding? We've been working hard to improve our already best in class Onboarding platform that powers our Retail Health and Wellness Data solution. Our onboarding platform is an integral part of our solution for retailers and their Health and Wellness product data. We work closely with retailers to ensure that we engage and onboard product data for all of their suppliers. To date, our success rate is approximately 90%, meaning that on average with our retail partners, we manage to get 90% or more of their products onboarded. An accurate and up-to-date representation of a retailers assortments is critical to the success of an effective data driven health and wellness program. Below you can find some of the new features and challenges we've been working on recently to improve the process.
Alot of news came across the internal news channel this week. Starting off with a little self promotion, the first three posts refer to content published by ourselves last week. The first of these being a study on consumer purchasing choices. The second is an opinion peice we published in wholefoodsmagazine, and then the third is an article about watermelon in the beatuy aisle that we worked with Good Morning America on. The rest of the week in news was represented by some interesting peices relating to the adoption of wellness icons in Publix and Target's new "Clean" symbol. This is followed by an op ed about the impact of Aldi on shopping in the UK, and then the curated news is wrapped up with an interesting article about AI and digital disruption and a final article about Kind Bar petitioning the FDA for more regulation - both following on from narriatives we've covered over the last few weeks. The industry continues to evolve at an astonishing pace. We very much enjoy following this change. Have a good week. Survey: 53% of consumers motivated to purchase by 'natural' claim - fooddive.com An online survey from Label Insight showed 53% of U.S. consumers would be prompted to buy a product sporting a label claim of "natural." The January survey of 1,000 adults aged 18 and older asked which loosely regulated claims would be most likely to influence consumers' purchasing choices. (curated by @nicolemeyerson)