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Learn about big data technology and trends for the consumer packaged goods (CPG) and retail industries.

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Video of the week: Has Category Management Failed us?

We wrap up this week with a video that discusses the evolution of Category Management practice over the last 3 decades, and explores whether Category Management is working presently.   “If all you have is a hammer, then everything starts to look like a nail" – Marc Childs, principal of Childs Davidson Limited   The high level coverage of the evolution of Category Management is very helpful context for those that may not be aware of how we got to where we are.  The second part of the video discusses Category Strategy, and how this, in differentiation from category management, can help to move retailers and brands forward more productively by giving category management some focus and guidelines, therefore aligning category captains and insights within a framework.   It seems clear that to get to the future of grocery retail, there needs to be significant further evolution of the category management practice.  It's fascinating to watch this space to see those changes coming.   I hope this helped give you a slightly new perspective. Have a good weekend.

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Video of the week: How Alibaba got consumers to love grocery shopping

Another video about Alibaba's Freshippo (formerly known as Hema) shopping experience in China.  I'm a little obsessed about the new ideas and the connectedness of these stores.   “If I have any questions at all about a product, I just scan and get the full ingredient list on my phone." – Alibaba   I continue to get excited about the level of data competency that Alibaba displays in the Freshippo execution.  In this video in particular the host talks about the importance of freshness using the example of how some fresh produce has a large "3" printed on the packaging so that you know it arrived and was packaged that day (Wednesday in the video) and is therefore fresh.    The bringing forward and connecting of data competency, logistics innovation, and a digital shopping experience can truly change the way we shop.     As you can tell, i remain very excited about the future of grocery.  Have a good weekend.

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Video of the week: New Retail = Complete Digitization of ALL commerce

In last weeks post of "video of the week" we introduced a video about the "Hema" shopping experience - a new concept in grocery retail that is growing rapidly in China.  This week we follow on from that with a video from Alibaba, the leaders in online commerce in China and their explanation about what the "Hema" stores are all about. “For Alibaba, the future isn't total domination of e-commerce, rather it is the complete digitization of ALL commerce that could be the key to saving retail.  We call this NEW RETAIL" – Alibaba   It is exciting to see this holistic vision being executed.  It's also eye opening when we think about Omni-channel, and Transparency, and Digital Commerce vs Mobile Commerce, each individually as hurdles to overcome, we aren't really seeing the forest for the trees.   A vision like Hema, takes complete, and connected data and systems to execute.  No matter which way you look at the future of grocery commerce, it is, in the least, going to be interesting!! Hope you had a good week. 

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Video of the week: Grocery store of the future (already exists!!)

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. 

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Video of the week: The Hidden War over Shelf Space

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.

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Video of the week: The 4 P's of Category Management

This week we had a team representing at the Category Management and Shopper Insights Conference in Las Vegas. It was an exciting conference with lots of talk of innovation and creative ideas about how to leverage technology across the category management process. It was great to be reminded, at the core, what a fundamental role Category Management plays in the growth of the industry.   “Strategic choices made by suppliers across the 4 P's will usually affect the 4 P's for the retailer," – Sue Nicholls, Category Management Knowledge Group The video below highlights the 4 P's of Category Management: Product, Placement, Price & Promo. Given all the exciting talk of technology and innovation at the conference among industry leaders, we thought it relevant to keep our feet firmly based in the fundamentals of the discipline. We also liked the fact that this video demonstrates how inherently collaborative the category management process needs to be. Hope you have a good end to your week.

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Video of the week: Spaghetti and the Explosion of SKUs

I loved this new video.  Malcolm Gladwell brings his engaging story telling to the story of customer preference clustering 1.0 which took place in the food industry several decades ago and gave rise to the explosion of SKU's across every category that we now see today.  A must view for anyone who has a curious mind.   “There's no perfect Pepsi, only perfect Pepsi's " Howard Moskowitz This story highlighted how clustering of early customer preferences lead to a revolution in how we as an industry sold and marketed products.  We, at Label Insight, believe we're experiencing the beginnings of a new type of revolution led by  clustering 2.0 that will take place in relation to the new attribute driven market.  Good video and exciting times.

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Video of the week: Kroger & Microsoft new shelf tags

I previously posted a video on the new Kroger shelf tags here.  The previous post was an "early impressions" video with some consumer interviews.  This latest video comes from Geekwire via a forbes article and is a deeper dive in to the potential of the technology based on recent showing at NRF's Big Show 2019.   “So, wait, you mean you can help me locate the groceries I want to buy with personalized signals of where they are on a shelf as I walk by?” some asked The emphasis in this silent video (i spent 20 minutes trying to fix the audio on my computer before realizing it's silent) is on the potential to interact with consumers in personalized ways and to deliver personalized information.  Tieing together the shelf experience, with your personal hand held device and /or a shopping scanner also helps to bring the online and in-store experience together as well.  We're very excited to see how this will evolve the shopping experience going forward.

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Video of the week: Building Consumer Trust through Transparency, Compliance and Sustainability

The following video comes from Graph Connect Europe conference - an annual conference drawing connected data experts and enthusiasts alike.  This particular video is by Transparency-One, an enterprise software company for the retail and consumer packaged goods industry that has built the first B2B social network for supply chain transparency on ingredients, companies and certificates. Transparency-One uses Neo4J to allow its customers to increase consumer trust through mapping, searching and analyzing complex supply chains. "We're trying to address the average $10,000,000 per incident in product recalls"  Julian D, Transparency-One At Label Insight we find the future of supply chain management fascinating, with such technologies as Block chain and Market Networks (such as Neo4J) positioning for a very exciting and more transparent future.      

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Video of the week: Transparency gone mainstream?

Is there any better measure of the mainstream zeitgeist than the content of the Super Bowl ads? This year the ads were specifically telling about the importance of transparency in our industry (and probably the more entertaining part of the day!).  The following three commercials represented brands choosing to spend $5-10M for a spot to talk about ingredients. It seems clear that this represents the need for transparency and the pressure companies are feeling to provide consumers with more information, even leveraging transparency as a point of differentiation – and not so subtly, sometimes! Enjoy.

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