business news in context, analysis with attitude

Responding to last Friday's improved unemployment numbers, one MNB reader wrote:

It is important to remember that these are not new jobs. They existed before the pandemic. It does not indicate economic growth per se,  but that perhaps we are on a path to what existed before.

We're on a path to somewhere.  I think we all can agree on that.

Regarding Impossible Burger's plans to go consumer-direct, one MNB reader wrote:

Makes sense KC, no more meetings with category managers, no more slotting fees, free first fills, etc.

Gosh.  You make it sound so onerous.

MNB reader Bob Thomas had a suggestion based on another MNB story:

Eat more iguanas.  They are an invasive species to Florida and damage seawalls and sidewalks.

Next time I get to Florida, I will.  Not a lot of iguanas in Connecticut.

Regarding the new trend of food trucks going to the suburbs and using order-ahead technology - their way of staying in business during shelter-at-home orders -  MNB reader Tom DeLuca wrote:

Love this!! Generally speaking, I imagine a good amount of the ‘lunch crowd’ likely lives in the suburbs.  “They” are likely missing their normal lunch options now stuck at home, in the burbs, and depending on where one lives, choices of culinary exploration are limited to lifeless chains with predictable menus, all really just a carbon-copy of one another.  Exciting to mix it up a little.

Wouldn’t it be cool if not only pre-ordering, but take the food truck to become more a mobile kitchen…thinking about that dingy that’s towed behind the yacht.  A food-truck that offers home delivery (for an upcharge) from a vespa that’s carried to the suburban intersection where they set up shop within i.e. 3 miles of the truck.  That would be awesome-er!

MNB reader Dean Chilcote chimed in:

I experienced online ordering from a food truck for the first time this week. At my work we have Food Truck Friday (which just recently started back up again) in which a different food truck vendor shows up around lunch time.

This week, the email notification about which vendor it would be contained a website link to pre-order your food. I thought it was so you could order something when they arrived and then go pick it up to avoid the lines but instead it was to order your food days ahead. All I have to do now is go pick it when they arrive. I thought this was a great idea; I don’t have to wait in line and they know how much business they’re going to have. I imagine that more and more food trucks will adopt this model.

Last year I did a Retail Tomorrow podcast with Sterling Hawkins in which our guest was Patrick Fore, CEO of Fleat, which essentially uses a combination of  shopper data and geo-tracking software to provide shoppers with a selection of items that reflect their past purchasing behavior and likely interests based on previous shopping trips.   So their retail clients using the software can bring pre-ordered items as well as a customized selection of things you might want right to you.  Which sort of seems like a prescient idea considering where we are today.

I think this whole sector is primed for disruption and to break out in a big way as smart people and companies move beyond traditional thinking and boundaries.

On Friday's FaceTime, I recommended a wonderful book called "A Kids Book About Racism," by Jelani Memory.

One MNB reader responded:

Thank you for being a voice speaking out – and providing an easy to ready/listen and understand book. 

Working together we can create the needed change – and I pray that my 5 year old son will not experience the racism that his father has and does.

And from another reader:

Great book. However, the title is wrong. Should be "An Adults Book About Racism."

Good point.

For those of you who missed it on Friday, here is a YouTube video of the author reading his book: