Food isn't just fuel. It's culture. Tradition. Fashion. And Big Business too. Whether exploring why undocumented immigrants feed America or how the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company of the 1870's is remarkably similar to Amazon of today this show is about that business. Wonder what working at Trader Joe's is like? Whether cage free eggs are really cage free? Whether marijuana legalization might change restaurants forever. Novices, geeks or industry pros love us. Cornucopia will open your eyes and maybe your mouths too. If not what you eat, what you talk about while you are eating.
Episode 22: Here in San Francisco: The New Gold Rush
In our new series we'll look at how San Francisco and the Bay area both influence and reflect our national obsession with food. In this episode we'll set the scene. Since the gold rush we've been boom and bust, sometimes crazy rich and stupid too. An anecdote from just before Covid-19 changed where and how we eat sums this up quite well. A young guy wearing a PayPal t-shirt was talking loudly to his friends, proclaiming how much he loved a new coffee shop, adding with excitement that " a coffee and muffin only cost nine dollars."
And while we won't yet be exploring the dramatic way the coronavirus is changing things rest assured we'll be diving into that can of pandemic basted worms in episodes this spring.
One last thing. Listen and let us know what you think. Follow us wherever you listen. Hate mail or love letters. Either way we'd love to hear from. Actually, we prefer the fan mail but even if you feel otherwise it would still ne nice (ummm...interesting...deflating...err good anyway) to know what you think.
Ep 021: Open The Refrigerator Door Hal. Can iGrabit's Artificial Intelligence Take on Amazon
In the age of Alexa, Siri and Amazon's never ending reach, it might not be a surprise that a new app can monitor your what you buy and eat and automatically create and send shopping lists to your store for delivery or pickup. What might be surprising is that iGrabit's new app could even the playing field between retail giants and the pipsqueaks, allowing independent stores the ability to offer blink of an eye technology that to date has been the limited to behemoths like Wal-Mart, Amazon, Target and national supermarket chains. Currently available only in South Florida, iGrabit is about to expand to Chicago and New York. While we don't know whether the ability to link shoppers and stores with seamless technology will reduce divorce rates or the need to borrow a cup of sugar from the neighbors, the competitive landscape between brick and mortar and online is changing even quicker than we thought.
EP 20: POV Amazon's Greed, Whole Foods, Costco Trader Joe's and the Myth of The Good Wage
While Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods has received a lot of media attention, there has been little discussion of the impact on Whole Foods' employees. And the impact has been huge. But while Amazon's gutting of employee profit sharing is just plain greedy, it's nothing new. Ever since the last quarter of the 20th century corporations have been reducing wages, gutting unions and getting richer in the process. And the conventional wisdom about good places to work, places like Costco, Trader Joe's and others, ignores the fact that in 1980 the average grocery store worker, when wages are adjusted for inflation made nearly twice as much as today.
Ep 19: POV Nestle Buys Blue Bottle and The Emperor's No Clothes
While Coke, McDonald's, Nestle and the rest of America's food giants capture nearly 90 cents out of every dollar spent on food & beverages their consolidation is beginning to erode, at least a little bit. And amid this shifting landscape paying huge prices for little companies continues unabated. In this episode of Cornucopia Point of View we look at Nestle's $425 million dollar purchase of a 68% share of San Francisco based Blue Bottle Coffee and wonder when investors and analysts alike are finally going wake up, smell the espresso to realize that the emperor is both naked and stupid too.
Ep 18: POV The Retail Hand Job and Whole Foods Amazon
In this episode of Cornucopia Point of View we look at whether the chaos surrounding Amazon's integration with Whole Foods is really all that newsworthy as well as how Whole Foods mastery of theatrical grocery, or the retail hand job is likely to change as Amazon takes over the reins.
Listener Favorite: Before Steve Jobs There Was Piggly Wiggly's Clarence Saunders
After we finished our pilot on the history of the supermarket we realized that Clarence Saunders, the man who created Piggly Wiggly, deserved way more attention. Blending PT Barnum's theatrics with Steve Jobs-like innovations so much of the grocery business even today bear his mark. With an unabashed joie de vivre, Saunders was a self-made man who took on Wall Street and lost, but rose again. Only to lose everything another time and a third time too. Unstoppable, brash and charismatic, he died in the 1950s while trying to develop a computer automated supermarket he wanted to call FoodElectric. Listen as we talk and laugh with Mike Freeman they guy who wrote the book on Saunders Listen and we think that you too will be wondering why hasn't anyone made a movie about this guy yet. Attention Joel and Ethan Coen. Get in touch!