Checking out the Web this morning, there is a lot of buzz about Tuesday elections and the aftermath.

In my view, though there may be a change in the Senate to Republican majority, I see more gridlock ahead. The margin of Republican control will be very thin, and President Obama’s veto power will loom large over the next legislative session.

So a little more talk and a little less action, as if that is a formula that will inspire Main Street USA.

 Have you noticed that UK newspapers cover the heck out of the retail supermarket? U.S. coverage of the supermarket sector is very much derived from the the latest financial reports, devoid of any passion or critical eye. In the UK, mass media coverage of supermarkets are always taking supermarkets to task, for mistreating suppliers, to promoting alcohol irresponsibly and driving out the specialty retailer from the market. It's not business, it is personal.

Today, coverage from The Telegraph talks about why UK supermarket are flailing. No, it isn’t Aldi or Lidl, it is their own expansion of C-stores that has robbed consumer patronage from larger stores.

In other news, a county in Oklahoma is trying to get its citizens to eat more produce through a program what they call “Veg Up” . Can it work?

 From the story from

A few months ago, the county received an ‘F’ on their state health report for their fruit and vegetable intake. Furthermore, according to, nearly one in three adults in Stephens County is obese and does not participate in physical activity.

 Veg Up is geared around the amount of fruits and vegetables purchased each year by people in each county, and Stephens County was at the bottom of the list. Several organizations came together to find a way to make everyone healthier.


TK: To its credit, Stephens County is aiming higher. As one city official said, an “F” is unacceptable, “We would like to be a C or D.”

Speakiing of poor grades, what do readers think about the latest consumer research from PBH? Coverage of the report is found in this story.

Why is the health image of fruits and vegetables slipping?


Does the slippage in consumer attitudes about fruits and vegetables provoke a sense of urgency, or is the industry so commodity and brand-focused that it is impossible to bring the industry together en masse to change things up?

 The PBH study did have some encouraging results. According to the report, 54% of consumers admit they eat too little fruit and 53% said they eat too little of vegetables. Changing that “ought to” to “want to” is the high mission of fruit and vegetable marketers, and the mission is far from accomplished.


On the social media circuit:

 Check out the growth of The Packer Market; now about 1,800 members.

 On the Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group, the “introduce yourself" discussion thread has well over 300 comments.


Another compelling thread: Why so much waste by grocers?  Check out this link for a very frank (and revealing)  discussion of food waste at the retail level.