retail news in context, analysis with attitude

We’ve had a number of stories here about changes being made at Whole Foods which could suggest some dilution of the retailer’s core values by its new owner, Amazon. But MNB reader Todd Ruberg wrote:

We all have to remember that Whole Foods was a troubled operation before Amazon bought it, and I think the core problem then……retail competition able to distribute Organic and Healthier Food more efficiently and cheaply to the consumer……is still an issue now.

Whole Foods has tried some things on pricing….,mostly targeted or promotional, but as of yet hasn’t overhauled the bigger drivers of that issue. I also think that fixing the retail operation of WF wasn’t their only or even primary goal, as much as access to retail brand and organic/healthy food for their Amazon online offerings and physical space to experiment with delivery lockers, Echo merchandising, etc…

Good point. As always.

Regarding changes in priorities at Campbell Soup, one MNB reader wrote:

I started my sales career with Campbell Soup Company in 1969. How the times and Campbell Soup Company has changed. In 1969, Campbell Soup's portfolio consisted of 46 varieties of condensed soups, 13 SKUs of Franco American pasta products, 5-6 SKUs of Campbell Pork and Beans, 4 SKUs each of Campbell Tomato Juice and V-8 juice, and 3 SKUs of Franco American gravy.

The advertised price of soup was $.10 per can on tomato soup and 8 for $1.00 on most of the condensed soups. Today's retails on tomato soup are well north of $1.00 and the rest of the condensed soups are well north of $1.50 per can.

Condensed soups today, are not much of a bargain for today's consumer. I applaud Campbell for trying to revive the RTS soup category, but these SKUs too are approaching an EDLP of the $3.00 plus.

I applaud Campbell for acquiring and diversifying their CPG portfolio. I am trying to imagine sitting at the table with a bowl of soup and a bowl of popcorn.

On another subject, from MNB reader Monte Stowell:

Regarding advertising on social Internet sites and other online websites, I find the ads are very annoying and are not at all effective for influencing what I might want to buy. I do spend more of my time going to product web sites to learn about a given item I might be interested in buying. It would be interesting to see a study that showed the effectiveness of the $40.2 billion dollars that companies spent with Facebook advertising. I understand that the mediums where advertising dollars are being spent have changed dramatically since the internet has come into play, but my question is, "Is there any research that shows just how effective internet advertising is versus other mediums where advertising dollars are being spent.”

And finally, from MNB reader Karen Alley:

I love that you quote “The West Wing” in today's MNB. That was such a great show. Great writing, great acting, and it made us see the good in the things that can happen in the White House.
KC's View: