There is nothing short of a revolution happening in the food marketplace today and it is not a quiet one, says Walter Robb, the former co-CEO of Whole Foods. “It is disrupting things left and right, all the way up the value chain back into the farmer’s field,” says Robb.
There is nothing short of a revolution happening in the food marketplace today and it is not a quiet one. It is disrupting things left and right, all the way up the value chain back into the farmer’s field. For me, to see these (organic) brands and to see it show up at the Super Bowl, the biggest media stage of the world, is kind of an exciting thing.
Some 75 percent of the food we eat is from 12 plants. Somebody’s woken up to that realizing, wow, there’s a whole lot of stuff that we can create from stuff we don’t even know yet. The Natural Food Expo, which is the next month in LA, 85,000 people are going to that show. This is where the energy and the edge of the food industry
We’ve broken into this area now where there’s an amazing amount of innovation with young companies and entrepreneurs. This is where the growing edge of the food industry is now. It’s not just natural and organic but it’s this innovation around new foods and new food types.
You have to build the tools to really understand your customer personally. I think it’s pretty exciting to see what’s happening. On the physical side, Walmart is doing a lot of things, Kroger is doing a lot of things, and Whole Foods is doing a lot of things to try to integrate digital and physical retail in a way that gives the customer a very rich experience.
I do think in terms of the food service delivery, Grubhub has had phenomenal growth. What’s happened is the world has woken up to how exciting food is again. We kind of went along after World War two for a number of years with this kind of dull drum of production, just regular stuff with the major CPG brands.
If you get a $5 latte and it’s probably a $5 delivery charge at what point does the customers say that’s a great value problem? I don’t know, but I think we’re going to find out. I do think this idea that the customer wants the convenience is here to stay and that they’re used to having that option. In some cases, they will choose it. Where that line is it’s too early to say exactly where they’ll say, that’s too expensive or that’s not a good deal.