August 2019: What To Read In Food, Ag & Data

Food

The Food Service Debrief: PSFK’s Food Service Debrief explores how the food-service industry has leveraged technology to cater to changing consumer demands, giving customers the tools to control their own experience. 

My series on meal subscription services is complete. Originally written for PSFK, I broke it into additional parts in order to continue the exploration of this part of grocery’s growth. I hope you interview with Freshly’s VP of Health and Wellness on looking beyond fads and focusing on health, as well as the piece on the most trendy food subscription services available in the U.S.

Farming & Agriculture 

How These Farms Are Working to Fight Food Waste: More and more consumers, businesses and nonprofits are looking for ways to repurpose food that would otherwise go to waste. On average, an individual American wastes one pound of food each day, which is enough to feed two billion people annually. Put another way, if food waste were a country, its greenhouse gas emissions would rank third in the world, after the United States and China. But while there has been increased attention on wasted food on plates, food waste happens at every stage of the supply chain, starting on the farm.

The Price Of You’re Guac and Avocado Toast Increase: Avocados are getting more expensive thanks to a small avocado crop in California and President Trump’s will-he-won’t-he tariff threats on Mexico. Prices should relevel and fall in late July or early August. 

Wellness

Why Natural & Sustainable Personal Care Is No Longer Just Niche: PSFK interviewed Shane Wolf founder of sustainable & organic beauty brand Seed Phytonutrients, to find out more about the shift that’s happening in B2B natural beauty and personal care distribution. Learn how their new model could benefit everyone involved in this industry could benefit – the farmers, brands, consumers and even the environment. 

Doctors Encourage Psych Patients To Take a Holistic Approach To Their Mental Health: Exercise is increasingly being prescribed as a treatment for depression, but the trick is in getting people to actually do it when they’re depressed. 

Diets: The Good, The Fad, and the Ugly: Kaiser Permanente took a look at the latest trends in dieting and explored each of them. They also discussed how the latest diet trends could help or hurt someone taking part in them over time. Their marketing team created a clever infographic and podcast instead of just a blog post. Great job guys!. 

Leadership

One of the newsletters I regularly subscribe to (hello Mr. Josh Spector!) featured a great piece on how to learn how to actually LEARN how to do something. It’s simple: The best way to learn something is not to study it, it’s to do it. And the best way to get better at doing something is not just to do it, but also to learn about it. No matter what role someone holds at your company if they want to try something new, encourage them to try by simply putting it into practice. 

Marketing Resources That Will Make Your Business Better 

There isn’t one farmer, maker or food company that I know that doesn’t have an Instagram account. But when it comes to using Instagram, few feel worth following if the photos are great, the copy isn’t brilliant and the hashtags are relevant. This little sentence has some links to some pretty great IG related articles, check them out!

For those of you that are more advanced in social marketing, are you excited about the new Instagram Creator Studio as I am? It complements the existing Facebook Creator Studio and boasts an impressive new Insights module, which gives marketers more information about their audience and activities than in the past. If you haven’t updated your social content and web content strategy, it’s time. 

Balancing Perspectives

Farmers are thought of as rural and far to the right. Technology, Foodies and the Fit are thought of as urban and far to the left. But there’s so much in between. Traditional Ag doesn’t have to clash with new thoughts on Sustainable, regenerative Ag. Consumers shouldn’t turn their noses up at conventionally grown food nor should they balk at eating meat; they can eat better meat and balance their conventional and organic veggies. In each newsletter, I’m going to curate a series of articles that look at all sides of food, farming and Ag. Nothing is black and white. 

Women’s Work: The Untold Story of Female Farmers in America – The Female Farmer Project is partnering with North by Northwest Studios to create a documentary about women who work in Ag. The film not only shows how women contribute to (and are redefining) ag, but it also showcases ethnic diversity; a critical factor they believe needs to be understood in conjunction with gender.  Follow the #THISISWOMENSWORK campaign on social media and nominate a female farmer you know to be featured in the film on their site. 

Worth The Watch: 73 Cows – 73 Cows is an award-winning short documentary about the journey and personal conflict of Jay Wilde, the first farmer in the UK to embark upon transitioning from beef farming to entirely organic plant-based farming. Sponsored by email service MailChimp, the film is worth the 15-minute watch, as it allows Jay to share how his emotional connection to his animals changed over time; and while he empathized with animals, he didn’t know how to pivot. Giving up his farm wasn’t an option, so he and his wife spent a decade coming up with a new way to run a farm business. Don’t worry, it’s not one of the crappy ones produced by hippie vegans who didn’t conduct proper research. 

Best of The Best – Industry Spotlight

I LOVE HANK SHAW: If you love watching Maneater on Netflix, then you’ll love Hank Shaw (he was on Maneater once!). Hank is a hunter, angler, gardener and pretty mean cook. My food feed is mostly filled with women, upon discovering Hank, I immediately followed him. His attention to the balance of palette-to-plate (coupled with his practical insights related to hunting) is unique in a sea of same. This recipe for pork tenderloins and cherries was mind-blowing. 

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Data

If you’re a large company hiring someone to work on data, there are many ways to go about the interview process. Depending on the skills and technical set needed, finding the right person has numerous factors. Check this out. Google rolled out lots of SEO and SEM updates this year, while we always expect two major ones, I’ve seen some minor things here that have affected the performance of content, web traffic and ad campaigns (we’ll write more about this later). If you haven’t reviewed the updates from Google Live! 2019, downloaded the new playbook on advertising, If you’re rocking Google Analytics and don’t really know where to start, send me an email, I’d love to help you out!