Marc Andreessen misses the point with It’s time to build

Writing on the Andreessen Horowitz blog, influential tech entrepreneur Marc Andreessen published It’s time to build. The essay laments Western civilization’s response to the coronavirus. To Andreessen, who the New Yorker labeled a “farsighted theorist” and sits alongside Bill Gates and Peter Thiel in the pantheon of serious Silicon Valley thinkers, the issue is desire.  He writes: The problem… Continue reading

Where did Zoom come from?

The general consensus is that seemingly overnight Zoom went from an unknown company to essential infrastructure. That’s not true. Prior to the coronavirus, it was a major player in enterprise communications.  The reason most people didn’t know about it, is that it was designed as a B2B company (business-to-business sales) rather than a B2C (business-to-consumer)…. Continue reading

General Mills: From foodservice to retail, the impact of coronavirus

In the age of coronavirus, American consumer product companies, like General Mills, are working overtime to ensure that people stay fed in an era of self-containment. It has been almost two weeks since President Trump declared a national emergency, and numerous states followed with “safer-at-home” orders. In a matter of days, Americans went from eating… Continue reading

Information lag. Coronavirus and the CPG supply chain

Just one week after March 15, 2020, when President Donald Trump claimed the US had ‘tremendous control’ of the coronavirus pandemic, California Governor Gavin Newsome ordered all state residents to stay home. “The order,” the New York Times reported, “represents the most drastic measure any governor has taken to control the virus.” Similar orders may become… Continue reading

What is a CPG company? It’s more than just a brand.

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are everywhere. However, most consumers know the brands not the companies. Sprite, Tide, and Moleskine notebooks are all packaged goods brands purchased and used by millions every day. Coca-Cola, P&G, and Moleskine are the CPG companies that produce them. From an operational perspective, a CPG company manufactures products, sells them… Continue reading

The Campbell Soup Company — Processed food growth in a fresh world

Last week the Campbell Soup Company announced that its recent investment in soup marketing paid off. This news is somewhat surprising. Nearly all research shows that consumers want fresh food. According to IRI, in 2017, fresh sales accounted for approximately 30.5 percent of all food sales, with produce, bakery, and deli meats accounting for most… Continue reading

Retailer Shelf Space: Another potential loss for CPG Manufacturers

In theory, the relationship between CPG manufacturers and retailers is one of mutual interest and cooperation. A retailer needs healthy manufacturers to stock their stores with quality products that consumers want. One of the subtexts to my earlier article on Dean Foods is that retailer consolidation is weakening the power of manufacturers to the point… Continue reading