Futuristic trends and dilemmas have caught our eye today. Sainsbury’s is making some intriguing claims about the future of food and how our palettes might change in the next century. The vast extent of China’s facial recognition tech gives those who value privacy cause for concern, and consumers want retailers to up their sustainability game. Enjoy the brain food and have a great weekend.




Friday, 17 May 2019





Hello ,

Futuristic trends and dilemmas have caught our eye today. Sainsbury’s is making some intriguing claims about the future of food and how our palettes might change in the next century. The vast extent of China’s facial recognition tech gives those who value privacy cause for concern, and consumers want retailers to up their sustainability game. Enjoy the brain food and have a great weekend.




United States


Wheeling and dealing ▪ Amazon is reportedly closing in on an investment deal worth USD 575 million with British food delivery app Deliveroo. Meanwhile, the online powerhouse is copping criticism in India for selling toilet seat covers and yoga mats with sacred Hindu imagery embellishments.



Profit, predictions and philanthropy ▪ Walmart is enjoying its best first quarterly results in close to a decade, with a sales increase of 3.4%. The mega retailer has joined fellow retailer Macy’s in predicting price increases for US shoppers on Chinese imports following the latest tariff hikes. And basketball legend LeBron James has teamed up with Walmart’s charity campaign ‘Fight Hunger. Spark Change’.



Intriguing findings ▪ Coca-Cola and Colgate lead the way as the most purchased fast-moving consumer goods, according to a brand footprint report. One billion households throughout 43 countries were analysed to produce the data, which also revealed that out of 18,000 brands, just 17 were chosen more than 1 billion times.




Europe


Growth initiatives ▪ Waitrose has unveiled plans to grow its online business threefold to the value of GBP 1 billion. The British supermarket major has also announced that Today Development Partners will replace Ocado to help the retailer grow its digital arm and develop three automated fulfillment centres.



Bold moves ▪ Morrisons CEO David Potts has turned down GBP 600,000 in personal bonuses, equating to over a third of his entitlement. Meanwhile, the UK grocer has also launched a food waste initiative ‘Weigh What You Need’ to enable customers to buy the exact amount of fresh food they need.



Eco matters ▪ Germany’s Rewe Group has revealed that its Toom Baumarkt subsidiary will begin using reusable plant pallets during transportation. The latest research shows 80% of consumers see it as highly important for retailers to embrace environmentally friendly business practices.




Asia


Alibaba challenged ▪ The Chinese e-commerce giant is coming under pressure from European consumer bodies to comply with EU laws protecting consumers. Alibaba’s Jack Ma has hit back claiming he is worried about Europe’s increasingly strict tech regulation and the impact it has on innovation. Meanwhile, the online giant has invested USD 635 million in furniture retailer Red Star Macalline.



Good luck ▪ Luckin Coffee is set to launch its initial public offering at USD 17 per share as part of long-term strategy to overtake Starbucks for market share in China. Check out what is on the Luckin menu, beyond the usual western caffeinated beverages, there are some local offerings that may surprise.




Future thinking


Food for thought ▪ British grocery chain Sainsbury’s has released a fascinating ‘future of food’ report which predicts the ever-changing food game over the next 150 years. While the decline of meat features prominently, other projections include nutrition patches, jellyfish meals, and drone fruit deliveries timed with ideal degrees of ripeness for the consumer.



Watching you ▪ A Chinese artificial intelligence start-up has gained worldwide attention after revealing its facial recognition tech can identify a person in mere seconds from a database of over two billion people. While this raises alarm bells for many in the west, mass surveillance in China is commonplace, with almost all 1.4 billion citizens in a national facial recognition database.