Episode 294: Brittain Ladd

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Insights on Mergers, Media, and the Future of Produce Consumption


In this episode, Lori Taylor and Britton Ladd discuss various topics related to the grocery retail industry. They cover the importance of fresh produce in grocery retail, the potential Kroger-Albertsons merger, the impact of mergers and acquisitions on fruit and vegetable suppliers, the growing retail media industry, the decline in produce consumption, the power of storytelling in food and grocery retail, the food waste message, and the role of AI in grocery retail. They touch on the concept of the metaverse and its potential impact, highlighting the company Sofoyo as a possible player in this space. However, Brittain expresses skepticism about the metaverse and praises the capabilities of 345 Global, a company that offers a 3D-capable platform for retailers. They also discuss Walmart’s transformation and focus on availability and substitutions, as well as potential acquisitions and partnerships in the industry. The episode concludes with a discussion on the growing interest in fruits and vegetables, particularly among Gen Z, and the potential of companies like Salad and Go to revolutionize the restaurant industry.


  • Fresh produce is a competitive advantage for grocery retailers and plays a crucial role in their success.
  • Mergers and acquisitions in the grocery retail industry can have significant implications for fruit and vegetable suppliers.
  • The retail media industry is growing rapidly, but there are limitations to its potential impact on sales.
  • The narrative of declining produce consumption may not accurately reflect the reality of the market.
  • Storytelling and emotional connections are powerful tools in food and grocery retail.
  • The food waste message may have unintended consequences on sales.
  • AI has the potential to improve efficiency and decision-making in grocery retail, but its full capabilities are still being explored. The metaverse may not live up to its hype, and alternative technologies like 345 Global’s 3D-capable platform offer more practical solutions for retailers.
  • Walmart is focused on improving availability and reducing substitutions in its grocery business, using technologies like Williot’s RFID tags.
  • Potential acquisitions and partnerships in the grocery industry include DoorDash, Uber, Instacart, and CNS Wholesale.
  • The interest in fruits and vegetables is growing, particularly among Gen Z, who are embracing food as medicine and non-traditional ways of taking care of their health.
  • Salad and Go is a company to watch, as it has the potential to become one of the largest restaurant chains in the US by offering affordable, healthy meals.


00:00 Introduction and Overview

03:08 The Importance of Fresh Produce in Grocery Retail

05:11 The Kroger-Albertsons Merger

08:41 The Impact of Mergers and Acquisitions on Fruit and Vegetable Suppliers

11:36 The Retail Media Industry

15:31 Questioning the Decline in Produce Consumption

23:50 The Power of Storytelling in Food and Grocery Retail

27:07 The Food Waste Message and its Impact on Sales

32:08 The Role of AI in Grocery Retail

40:55 The Metaverse vs. Sofoyo

41:24 The Metaverse as a Joke

42:22 The Potential of 345 Global

43:19 Virtual Reality Retail

44:00 Walmart’s Transformation with 345 Global

45:12 The Real Thing vs. the Metaverse

45:30 Doug McMillon’s Keynote at CES

46:55 Walmart’s Core Purpose and Values

47:15 Walmart’s Focus on Availability and Substitutions

48:09 Walmart’s Focus on Strengthening Relationships with Customers

49:05 Struggles of Amazon’s Grocery Business

49:23 Aldi’s Expansion and Branded Products

51:13 Potential Acquisitions: DoorDash, Uber, Instacart, CNS Wholesale

54:06 Strategic Partnerships and Acquisitions

57:31 The Role of Fruits and Vegetables in 2024

01:00:56 Salad and Go’s Potential

01:01:24 Closing Remarks and Appreciation


Website: Brittain Ladd- Latest Global News, Opinion, Analysis on Business, Politics, and Economics

Facebook: Brittain Ladd

LinkedIn: (16) Brittain Ladd | LinkedIn

About Lori

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

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