Friday, May 5, 2017

Phil's Friday Rap

What I'm watching this week.

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It's Cinco de Mayo! For many Americans it's a day of margaritas, Mexican beer and guacamole, and rivals other celebrations like Super Bowl and even Thanksgiving. The day actually commemorates the unlikely victory of the 2,000+ Mexican Army in the Battle of Puebla over the 6,000 troops much stronger French military forces. In Mexico a military parade commemorates the occasion; here we drink tequila. Best margarita recipe I've come across is two parts silver tequila, half part fresh lime juice, half part Cointreau – shake and serve. "Feliz Cinco de Mayo!"

Here's what I'm watching:

Food advertising is once again showing how bad it can be in two new campaigns. Rob Lowe is the latest actor to badly resurrect KFC's Colonel Sanders. This time around there is no Southern drawl and the iconic Colonel is in a space suit. Watch the spot and offer your opinion. 7UP's latest effort to become relevant to a new generation of non-soda drinkers misses the mark in "Mix It Up A Little – Granny" when three older women visit an underground fight club.

On the other hand, DiGiorno's  "social experiment" is very smart, and brands should take note. Using facial recognition and emotion tracking software they discovered just how much baking a pizza at home could make you feel – pleasure impulses were even higher when the oven sounded the timer saying the pizza was ready than actually eating the pizza.

For those weather junkies, the updated Sunshine app not only tells you the weather but allows you to interact with it and add how you "feel" based on the weather condition. The app gets smarter and actually gives you tips on how to make you feel better on days that might be gloomy, snowy or too hot.

The state of California population is now 39.5 million strong growing nine percent with the most new residents in San Francisco. California's Los Angeles is also leading the way with a new food event that launched yesterday. The "Feeding 5,000 Food Festival" not only fed the attendees a gourmet feast made from ingredients that would have otherwise gone into the trash, but showcased our food waste problem and its impact on the climate and environment. Unless there is yet another Executive Order to rescind it, the national target is to reduce our nation's food waste by half by 2030.

Knowing food brands might make you fat. Researchers at the University of Michigan have published their study that showed the more 247 preschoolers (average age 4.5 years) recognized food brands, the higher their BMI. Most recognized food brand? Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. McDonald's was the most recognized fast food brand.

Only from our Nation's Capital would a deal be made to keep the government open that ties it to the FDA getting $3 million to fund a campaign to promote biotech foods. Don't get me wrong, we should be educating people properly about what biotech foods are and are not and finally putting the GMO fight behind us. But tying it to the government shutdown just takes its power away as the anti-biotech forces will bundle the two together in order to disparage the education effort.

Congrats to Forager who made Fast Company's "United States of Innovation" list. The platform enables grocers, co-ops, food services, wholesalers, and farmers/producers to tap into the burgeoning local food market to make local food more available to everyone by reducing costs and streamlining the sourcing process. 

And finally, innovation from the U.S. Postal Service! Informed Delivery is a pilot program that allows the receiver of mail that shows you images of the outside of the envelope before they are delivered. Only a test in certain zip codes so far, but check here to see if in your area. Expect those messages on the outside of your envelopes to ramp up as this platform gives even more billboard attention, and it's a throwback to the days of anticipating what the mailman would bring. Smart.

Have a great weekend!

Phil

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