The Plume


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6 Eating Habits Transforming the Food Industry

Hershey POV: This article examines trends governing the current transformation in urban retail food and beverage. A key to understanding these trends is the "experience economy" -- meaning the desire of increasing numbers of mostly millennial consumers to spend time together as opposed to buying "stuff." The shift to an emphasis on social leisure has important implications for how the food industry adapts to new dining preferences.


Where Digital and Physical Worlds Are Converging

The modern shopper represents a distinctly 21st century conflict: inherent human nature vs. technological advancement.


AI Sets the Stage for a New Round of Retail Innovation

Hershey POV: This article represents a thorough overview and direction-pointer for the Retail Innovation pillar. It clearly distinguishes the stages of retail disruption now playing out concurrently, including e-commerce vs. brick-and-mortar, e-commerce vs. click-and-mortar, etc. The next new thing, the article, demonstrates, is "extreme personalization," requiring retailers to understand that "(t)rue innovation will fuse next-gen technology and CX strategies to better serve and sell based on human empathy, science algorithms and artificial intelligence/machine learning."


Why Direct Mail Can Be an Effective Way to Reach Millennials

Hershey POV: This article offers surprising evidence that millennials respond to postal mail more than we might have assumed. It suggests that mail arriving in a traditional mailbox not only gets millennials' attention, but it also engages parts of the brain concerned with emotion and with "value and desirability." It reflects a valuable marketing insight involving an important demographic.


The 'internet of cows' is taking over farms across the world

Hershey POV: Technology meets meat in this Relationship with Food article. A company called BovControl has created a way for farmers in Brazil, the U.S. and elsewhere to make beef farming more efficient -- through an app that tracks cows' basic biological and medical data to predict when a calf will be born, for example, or when the animal will be at an optimum weight for slaughter. The resulting improved ranching processes speed up meat and dairy production, toward the ultimate goal of reducing global hunger.


How Millennials Are Changing Retail Patterns

Hershey POV: Millennials, with their dependency on digital devices, are disrupting retail patterns. Because they expect to be able to meet their needs on their devices, retailers must set new standards of seamless operation across multiple platforms. This Retail Innovation article says millennials want to be understood, wanted and valued, and that customer-centric experiences foster millennial loyalty. The millennial desire for experiences over material good is also explored as a trend on which retailers can capitalize.


Is This the Rebirth of Brick-and-Mortar?

Hershey POV: Are physical stores dying or adapting? That's the question this article addresses in the context of Retail Innovation, and the answer it gives is definitely that stores are adapting. The article suggests (and gives examples of ) how the benefits of brick-and-mortar stores can be brought to bear in the new retail landscape, blending with the virtues of the virtual in hybrid stores.


Hershey’s Syrup: Shaking Up 'Peak' Summer Season with Extreme Milkshakes

What do you think of when you think of Hershey’s Syrup? For over 90 years, the most likely answer has been “a topping” –  conjuring visions of chocolate drizzle atop a bowl full of delicious ice cream —the perfect antidote to summer heat.