Caught My Attention 034 (180909)

Several items with grocery retailers this time, along with a couple other things like vertical farming, meal kits, and of course a taste of cannabis.
Meal kits have been very popular in the past couple years, with many options to choose from. But would you order up a Chick-Fil-A kit? Maybe they can be successful, as the kits aren’t the main product, which is how most meal kit plan companies operate (and some have already gone out of business).
(link to NPR the salt: Chick-Fil-A Pecks Its Way Into The Meal Kit Game)
High end cuisine. Pot roast. Bong appetite. Puns galore here… upscale meals by chefs using cannabis.
(link to NPR the salt: Haute Pot: How High-End California Chefs Are Cashing In On Marijuana)
(some audio engineer is on it, the audio version of this story is 4 minutes : 20 seconds long 😂 )
Whenever I visit friends in Norwalk, I try to stop in the renovated Northgate market there because they have a great selection of produce and prepared foods, with good prices. I am intrigued by this market chain, so when I see any news about them I am interested in finding out what’s new. This article talks about some news that they are talking about tearing down one of their original stores, to build apartments in an area that has in the recent few years been gentrifying. It is interesting hearing about some of the history here, along with the reactions to these new plans.
(link to LA Taco: Northgate Supermarket To Turn Historic Downtown Santa Ana Location Into ‘High Quality’ Apartments)
I think non-traditional farming will be more and more traditional as time goes on and as the technologies develop, but how long will it take to get there is a big unknown. When there are big problems in traditional farming, like the recent e.coli lettuce, it makes sense to have veggies grown in controlled environments. Also being able to grow closer to where the people are and in areas where currently it’s not possible to grow year-round, like say North Dakota in the winter or near Las Vegas in the summer. There is a lot of big tech-money being invested, but I really hope that doesn’t just become a bubble that pops because it isn’t making a huge ROI that those investors are used to or expect.
(link to KCRW Good Food: Vertical Farming)
(link to Civil Eats: Can Vertical Farms Reap Their Harvest? It’s Anyone’s Bet.)
Years ago while visiting the Dallas Ft Worth area, my friends said that I must checkout these markets called Central Market. They said they kind of reminded them of Wegmans (my friends were WNY transplants) but better. I actually was impressed when I checked it out and thought my friends were right. HEB is now opening the 10th Central Market location and it’s been 2yrs of construction to “get it right.” An example that shows what kind of detail in service and hospitality (marketing) Central Market has, as construction dragged on they delivered gift baskets to the homes in the neighborhood, asking them to be patient.
(link to Dallas News: Central Market’s new Dallas store opens with exclusive food, wine and a new apple)
Interesting interview with the CEO of Sprouts, Amin Maredia, talking about how he thinks the future of the grocery industry and how the major mainstream chains are no longer looking to expand their footprint, as they have in the recent past. And how those who aren’t keeping up will start going under. (video)
(link to The Street: Sprouts CEO on Whether Companies Are Knocking Down Door to Buy Organic Grocer)
Green Zebra – the new convience store (luxe? maybe not so luxury, but def not the typical slurpie and pack of Camels quickie mart). The best thing is at the end of this article, what her employee manual says, “It mostly boils down to doing the stuff your mom told you to do: Be on time, be nice, say please and thank you, look on the bright side, work hard and have fun.” – also, usually I don’t read the comments, but this one has a couple good observations.
(link to LA Times: Oregon’s oh-so-healthy Green Zebra Grocery plans West Coast expansion: Kombucha Slushie, anyone?)
Here is an interesting concept to keep your ears open for, a service to help local small businesses compete with Amazon. They are building a platform for small businesses to sell to their community and have items delivered the next day. First test will be later this month in Park Slope Bklyn. And the topper, this is being started by a 78-year-old entrepreneur.
(link to Bloomberg: Brooklyn Shopkeepers Test a Service to Fill in Amazon’s Gaps)

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