Warning: This is a disruptive blog post!

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I know I am not the only individual who believes that the word disruption has become exaggerated. Examples:

  • Companies no longer innovate; they implement disruptive innovation.
  • There are no longer niche food companies, there are only disruptive food companies.
  • The Big 3 consulting firms, McKinsey, BCG and Bain, are no longer retained to change organizations, they are bought in to disrupt organizations.
  • Working long hours no longer interferes with your personal life, it disrupts your personal life.
  • Your kids no longer exhibit bad behavior, they exhibit disruptive behavior.

In closing, why have I not read the word disruptive applied to climate change? Climate change is ominously disruptive!

Pizza, Pizza!


Pizza Hut, a NFL sponsor, will be going to their marketing playbook today, implementing a series of promotions, plus leveraging their loyalty program to drive sales on Super Bowl Sunday. They project to sell more than 2 million pizzas. Old adage: Food defines a culture. Pizza, pizza!

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You read correctly, over 2 million pizzas in one day. I am not surprised given the bombardment of pizza ads I watched during the Australian Open last month. I rarely eat pizza on this side of the ocean, thus I googled U.S. pizza consumption to learn why all the pizza brands, both Foodservice and Retail, competed for Australian Open air time. By the numbers:

  • Unfortunately, I only found stats dating back to 2015 (source: Technomic): U.S. Pizza Market sales were $44.43 billion; the Top 50 Chains accounted for 55.7% of total sales.
  • Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza per day or 350 slices per second. Bizarre metrics, but it does make you wonder how many slices will be consumed per second during the Super Bowl?
  • 94 percent of Americans eat pizza regularly. Annualized it is estimated an American eats 46 slices per year.

How much pizza will you consume today?



Great word! Juxtaposition (noun): the fact of two things being seen or placed together with contrasting effect.

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  • Government: JFK & LBJ.
  • Music: Simon & Garfunkel; Rogers & Hammerstein.
  • NBA Basketball in the 80’s: Larry Bird & Magic Johnson.
  • Family Entertainment: Walt & Roy Disney.
  • Family: Sibling rivalry.
  • Past & Future: Estonia.

Can you suggest additional examples of juxtaposition?

Shed Your Smartphone


Unbelievable what I observed on New Year’s Day. Two men playing boules, a game first popularized in France during the 19th century, talking on their smartphones. I concluded it is time for people to shed their smartphones, thus thoroughly connect with friends, plus the world around them.

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It seems every time I venture into public space, people of all ages are surgically attached to their smartphones. U.S. smartphone usage by the numbers:

  • Total U.S. smartphone penetration: 69.0% (source: eMarketer August 2018) Note:7% 18-24-year-olds.
  • eMarketer projects U.S. adults will spend 3 hours, 35 minutes per day on mobile devices (includes tablets) in 2018. Note: That equates to approximately 1,308 hours or 55 days per year – 15% of an individual’s year.

Ready to observe, listen to the world around you.  Shed your smartphone.




A Christmas Cadeau: Jambon Espagnol


Yesterday I was at my local market and noticed they were merchandising whole Serrano hams for a Christmas gift. Validated food gifting is an important cultural custom here in France. Also made me recognize the growing global popularity of Spanish hams.

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I learned about Spanish ham, initially Ibèrico hams, when I attended an English language immersion class in Spain. One of the Spaniards attending the course, gave his closing presentation about the difference between Ibèrico ham and the finest Italian prosciutto. There are two major differences: 1.) Black Iberian pigs are free-range and feast on acorns in the last weeks of their lives which yields a unique, sweet, nutty flavor ham; and 2.) The Spanish cure their hams for a longer period of time.

Several years ago, I read an article about the W.H.O., specifically their International Agency for Research on Cancer, publishing an analysis linking colorectal cancer to the consumption of meats (processed or red). Consequently, the Chinese with their insatiable appetite for pork products and rising incomes, began coveting Spanish ham as healthy. No added preservatives or colorings (sometimes metal) in comparison to their homegrown pork products. Thus, the window of opportunity opened for Spanish hams being in demand worldwide. Overnight Ibèrico hams became the most expensive commercially, boneless approximately $400 and bone-in somewhere between $1,200 to $1,400 (over $70 per pound).

Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!

Psychographic Profiling


Conventional marketers utilize demographic categorization when targeting consumers. In today’s collaborative world of Web 2.0, thanks to social media, smart marketers are currently identifying/targeting social individuals (a.k.a. brand advocates) who have influence over potential buyers. What’s next? The new world of Psychographic Profiling.

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Thanks to mobile technology, marketers can benefit from the expansion of data captured at the numerous consumer technology touch points – transactional purchasing behavior/history, apps, geo-location, etc. Consequently, smart marketers are in stronger position to identify and engage with their target audience via relevant, real time marketing communications. The advent of 5G, the next generation of mobile broadband, will enhance consumer targeting. 5G connections will deliver greater data capacity (instant computing power) and speed than previous generations – 1,000 the data rate of 4G. Consequently, marketers will be able to utilize psychographic profiling thanks to their ability to crunch data in nanoseconds to identify their audience.

Future food industry psychographic profiling buckets:

  • Lifestyles (e.g., “on-the-go”) – Snacking behavior, convenience foods preferences, beverage consumption.
  • Situational Eating Behavior – Location and time of day consumers buy food.
  • Health vs. Indulgence – Special diet needs, labeling knowledge, over the top eating experiences.
  • Social Values – Make the world a better place – sustainability, responsible sourcing, etc.

Are you prepared for psychographic profiling, the next challenge for identifying/targeting consumers?



Lightning & Thunder


During last night’s storm (a.k.a. electrical display) here on the Mediterranean, I questioned why there is a time differential between a bolt of lightning and the sound of thunder? Google time.

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Google explains a bolt of lightning and the sound of thunder actually happen at the same time. A bolt of lightning heats the air along its path causing the air to expand rapidly. The sound of thunder is the byproduct of the atmosphere expanding, but the lightning flash travels faster than the sound of thunder.

More importantly, I thought about what I did pre-Google search regarding trivia questions (e.g., film, sports), scientific or historical inquiries, etc. Google since its inception in 1998, has successfully organized the world’s information, making it universally accessible. How was it possible to live life without Google!

What is the most popular team name in sports? Thunder. Thank you, Google.