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Interesting insights! I respect the marketing and branding strategy that Everlane employed, as their focus on minimalism and transparency likely resonate well with Millennials. Many companies (e.g., Birchbox, Casper) have started out in the digital world and then expanded into brick-and-mortar stores. I’m curious whether these physical Everlane stores are profitable themselves, or if they serve as a marketing agent that pre-empts consumers to purchase from Everlane.com.

On November 20, 2016, WZ commented on Outsourcing Chores: Groceries On Demand :

Great post! I’m curious whether Instacart has considered a subscription model or bulk purchasing discounts in addition to their partnerships with CPG companies. As there are many players competing in the groceries-on-demand space (e.g., Amazon, Peapod, Boxed), I wonder if Instacart will have to adjust their pricing models to provide greater value to their customers.

On November 20, 2016, WZ commented on USPS – The Government Agency that Innovates :

I’m with you on the return package pickup opportunity! As someone who frequently experiences buyer’s remorse, I think USPS could improve on the return package experience by making the process more seamless and convenient. Now that drone technology is increasingly becoming a viable method of delivery, I wonder what that means for the future of USPS. Are they making any investments in this space, or will they continue to use trucks, airplanes, and people as their primary mode of transportation and delivery?

Great post! As a loyal Nordstrom fan, it was interesting to read about all the digital innovations that Nordstrom implemented to fuel their success. One challenge that many consumers face in online shopping is the paradox of choice, given that they have to sift through pages and pages of clothing options which can be tedious and overwhelming. I wonder if Nordstrom will incorporate algorithms or machine learning to offer personalized clothing recommendations to enhance the digital customer experience.

On November 20, 2016, WZ commented on Stitch Fix – Transforming Retail Through Personalization :

Interesting post! I was just talking to my friend about Stitch Fix, and the lazy part of me loves the idea of having personalized clothing recommendations sent directly to me. Their advanced data collection and algorithms play a major role in their success. Because Stitch Fix hopes to expand into the menswear and plus size categories, do you think they will face challenges in giving tailored recommendations because they lack data on these segments?

On November 6, 2016, WZ commented on Show Me the Honey: Plight of the Humble Bee :

Interesting post on bees – there has been a lot of buzz about this topic, particularly given the role of bees in the ecosystem. While I think genetically modifying or cross-breeding bees could result in a more resistant species of bees, I wonder if actually doing these tactics would result in negative and “unnatural” unintended consequences. I think genetically-modified foods and organisms suffer from negative consumer perception since their long-term effect on health is still up in the air. Is there an opportunity to shift beekeeping to different geographies? Perhaps they can be moved to colder climates that, due to global warming, would be a suitable environment for beekeeping and not have the mismatch of pollination season.

I think Exo’s biggest challenge will be consumer perception, as mentioned in your post. U.S. consumers tend to be naturally averse to bugs (seeing them, killing them, and especially eating them), and it will take some time for Exo and other bug-based products to make that mindset shift. I think the way to successfully change minds is to introduce crickets as a garnish vs. the main product, and then eventually introduce products that are primarily insect-based. For instance there are already “cricket tacos” served throughout the country, and the cricket taste is largely masked by all the other taco ingredients. I believe there’s a new pita chip that is coming out with a “light cricket dusting.” Hopefully over the years consumer perception of eating crickets and other bugs will shift, though it will take significant time and investment before cricket consumption is widespread vs. being a novelty.

In a lot of ways, U.S.-based companies have a lot to learn from their European counterparts! I agree that while JetBlue has undertaken meaningful actions to promote sustainability, there is room for improvement. Thinking more broadly about the airline segment, I think there is a significant opportunity to work with upstream suppliers and partners to design more fuel-efficient, sustainable engines and airplanes as well as decrease CO2 emissions throughout the value chain. I wonder if there is a way to educate consumers on the sustainability practices of different airlines. For instance, if JetBlue truly is a leader in sustainability compared to other airlines, it should promote this aspect as another key differentiator. Consumers may be more inclined to choose JetBlue vs. other airlines – and even pay a premium – so they can do their part in fighting climate change.

Hi Pasha! I wrote about this topic as well and I was intrigued by your approach to the guacamole situation. I think Chipotle has a lot of credibility and clout in their promotion of sustainability, not only in their sustainable sourcing but also in the annual Chipotle Cultivate festivals that promote greater awareness of food sustainability. However, given all of the hullabaloo over the recent E. coli outbreaks, how can Chipotle pivot the focus to the effects of climate change? Moreover, how can Chipotle galvanize millennials from talking about climate change on social media to actually taking action? I think the real challenge for Chipotle will be having consumers not only “talk the talk” but also “walk the walk”.

As one of the largest food producers in the U.S., General Mills should set the tone for how sustainability can succeed in the food industry. You mentioned that General Mills not only set emission reduction standards for itself, but it also set standards for upstream partners. I’m curious how this is actually enforced in practice – are there emissions “auditors” that measure whether these partners are actually meeting sustainability targets? Self-reported metrics may not always be accurate, particularly if the shift to sustainability is costly.

I’m also curious whether General Mills wanted to take it one step further and vertically integrate with their farmers, particularly those in developing countries that lack capital and technology. General Mills could provide capital, technology, and education for these growers, and in return have a more stable, sustainable supply of raw materials in the future.