@didi First, I am jealous that you were able to try this pizza before me. How was it? Second, why did you need to interact with a human? Whenever I order food online, I sometimes find it helpful to converse with a human but pizza is pretty straightforward. I would assume that Zume could set up a call center to address such issues.
@ClareSimonis I personally believe that the government will be forced to deliver universal human income. There just aren’t enough jobs out there to make up for all of the automation. I even see a day where most of today’s engineers become obsolete / unemployed due to artificial intelligence.
@Melon Eusk I can only speak from personal experience but I generally order food when I am hungry as opposed to when I anticipate hunger. I also pick restaurants based on how quickly they can deliver. I haven’t tried Zume yet and I probably don’t need too many more slices of pizza but the value proposition resonates with me.
Psst…Can I tell you a secret? I worked with a certain Minneapolis based retailer almost five years ago and they have bigger problems than Amazon.
Target suffers from a cultural problem whereby they continue to see themselves as a retailer as opposed to a tech company. This affects their ability to pivot, their speed in decision making, and the mindset of their employees. They are based in a city with limited technical talent in a world where capable engineers have an overflow of opportunities in much sexier locales. Target needs a shock to the system and only then will they survive in a technical world.
This is a very interesting topic and well-written article. As a cynic, I am not convinced that Nike would like to bring more jobs to the U.S.
Protectionism is currently en vogue among the world’s politicians but many of the jobs that have been lost to technology are not coming back. We should not be afraid of other countries, in the long run, but robots.  Even if I am proven wrong and Nike opens up a few factories in the U.S., the efficiencies gained from automation will not go unnoticed. Nike’s supply chain will eventually have limited dependence on factory workers.
Memphis meats clearly has a while to go before it can be priced competitively when compared to the incumbent players. Even if consumers can get a $10 Memphis burger from their local pub, will they eat it? This is a very important question that not many food tech companies have been able to solve (look at Hampton Creek’s recent scandal). The average consumer, in a move towards healthier consumption, is spending less money on low-quality, mass-produced, modified proteins and more money on organic, additive-free proteins.
What would you say if I told you that the organic movement was started almost 100 years ago?  From a historical context, price has not been the only factor behind purchase decisions. An underaddressed factor has been the the political power of the protein lobby. Memphis meats may be able to convince me but the protein lobby will not go down without a fight.
Walmart has shown itself to be a very nimble competitor to Amazon. Walmart’s acquisition of Jet.com (and acqui-hire of Marc Lore) was the right move but the rules of the game have changed since Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods. Whatever Amazon is trying to do through its entry into brick-and-mortar retailing, Walmart should be able to do better. You suggest a lot of great initiatives but behind the initiatives are people. Walmart is based in Bentonville, Arkansas and the last time I checked, no one wants to move there. Amazon is building a second headquarters in some lucky U.S. city and Walmart needs to keep up in order to attract strong, technical talent.
Great article but I am pretty skeptical of AB InBev. Though they have take steps to addressing the water crisis, none of their initiatives neutralize their impact on society’s water resources. Further, since water is a critical piece of their supply chain, I don’t think they truly care about it that much. They are purely financially motivated and want to grow their customer base while keeping their costs in line. AB InBev’s reactions to the water crisis seem to be green marketing at best.
Great topic. It is very clear that society needs to be more efficient in terms of food production.
I am sure that the costs will continue to come down as this becomes more popular. But until that happens, should innovators seek out public funding to subsidize the costs (similar to the solar industry)? Also, what plans do you have for all of the “freed-up” farmland?