The Grocery Industry Confronts a New Problem: Only 10% of Americans Love Cooking

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The supermarket and grocery business is likely to suffer strong headwinds in the future, due to long-term shifts in consumer behavior. Although many people don’t realize it yet, grocery shopping and cooking are in a long-term decline. They are shifting from a mass category, based on a daily activity, to a niche activity that a few people do only some of the time.

I’ve spent two decades consulting extensively for consumer packaged goods companies. Early in my career I gathered some data for a client on cooking. This research found that consumers fell into one of three groups: (1) people who love to cook, and cook often, (2) people who hate to cook, and avoid that activity by heating up convenience food or outsourcing their meals (by ordering out or dining in restaurants), and, finally, (3) people who like to cook sometimes, and do a mix of cooking and outsourcing, depending on the situation. At the time,

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There Are 4 Futures for CMOs (Some Better Than Others)

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There are some new faces these days in the boardroom. They have new titles like Chief Customer Officer, Chief Revenue Officer, Chief Digital Officer, and Chief Experience Officer. These executives have responsibilities we might expect to reside within marketing. That leaves Chief Marketing Officers with a decision — do you see the rise of these roles as an opportunity or a threat? Our conversations with marketing leaders suggest that CMOs are indeed at a crossroads with four potential paths:  up, over, down, or out.

The reason for these new roles is that we’re entering a new era of digital transformation. Over the last decade, most companies’ digital agendas have focused largely on technology — moving to cloud-based software, modernizing IT infrastructures, adding digital channels, and digitizing business processes. These efforts have enabled operational efficiencies, cost reductions, and greater agility, preparing companies for the next phase of digital transformation: driving growth. So

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Clara Labs nabs $7M Series A as it positions its AI assistant to meet the needs of enterprise teams

 Clara Labs, creator of the Clara AI assistant, is announcing a $7 million Series A this morning led by Basis Set Ventures. Slack Fund also joined in the round alongside existing investors Sequoia and First Round. The startup will be looking to further differentiate within the crowded field of email-centric personal assistants by building in features and integrations to address the needs of… Read More

Reach Robotics closes $7.5M Series A for its augmented reality bots

 After years of research and development, Reach Robotics has closed a $7.5 million Series A, co-led by Korea Investment Partners (KiP) and IGlobe, to bring its augmented reality bots to market in a big way. The Bristol-based startup is looking to expand into the U.S. and the team is exploring opportunities for growth into other European and Asian markets. Reach Robotics first product,… Read More

ZenIQ lands $4.6 million to help marketers escape ‘dashboard hell’ using AI


ZenIQ, a company that applies AI to help companies with their account-based marketing practices, just raised $4.6 million in seed funding in a round led by Costanoa Ventures. Salesforce Ventures also participated in the round — which is interesting, considering that the company just started offering a similar service. The company’s product is supposed to help by taking in signals about potential customers and providing marketers with the best next action to take in order to land business from a particular account. ZenIQ uses machine learning to help figure out what that action is by integrating data from multiple systems. “Marketers [are in] dashboard hell right now,” ZenIQ CEO Srihari Kumar said. “They have to interpret the data from so many different [services] and try to figure out what to do next.” Overall, the product is supposed to help businesses get the most out of account-based Continue reading "ZenIQ lands $4.6 million to help marketers escape ‘dashboard hell’ using AI"