Friday, July 22, 2016

NYT: Well Blog = An App to Deconstruct Your Food

NYT: Well Blog

An App to Deconstruct Your Food

Stephanie Strom
July 18, 2016 8:58 am
Ever wondered how long you’d have to swim to burn off the calories in an organic peanut butter cup? Or how far the strawberries or burger on your plate traveled to get there?
For answers, ask the Sage Project, one of the latest of the food technology companies helping consumers navigate nutrition. While a number of food apps count calories and track eating habits, Sage goes beyond the food label to give customers additional information about additives and preservatives, how much sugar has been adding during processing or how far a food has traveled.
“Food labels are a data visualization that we see every day, but we don’t get a lot from them,” said Sam Slover, the co-founder and chief executive of Sage. “There are a lot of things about those labels that make assumptions about what you know and what you want to know.”
Do we really need another food app? Apple’s app store already lists more than three dozen apps offering users information and advice about calories, nutrition data and weight loss, but research shows that many consumers have a failed relationship with their food apps. For instance, in January, about 16 percent of the people who downloaded the Lose It app were using it once a day. By June, only 10 percent were using it that often, according to research firm 7Park Data.
“These apps have trouble keeping customers loyal — if you use them successfully, you don’t need them any more, and if you don’t use them successfully, you may not think it’s worth it to try more,” said Byrne Hobart, the lead analyst at 7Park Data. “They’re kind of like the dating apps that way.”
The Sage app hopes to inspire more loyalty by providing a trove of useful and quirky information about the food you eat. It contains data on about 20,000 products, though you still may not find your favorite junk foods. Most of the products in the database are described as “natural” and “organic.” But if you shop at Whole Foods, you’re in luck. Sage has partnered with Whole Foods Market, deconstructing all of the roughly 7,000 items sold in the grocer’s new “365” store chains in Los Angeles and Lake Oswego, Ore.
To begin using Sage, which is available online or as a web-based app, a user signs up and enters any food restrictions and personal preferences. Only want to see products without additives and preservatives? No problem. Interested in digestive health? Sage will comb through its database and show you products with probiotics, high fiber and whole grains.
The app displays a wide variety of information using colorful graphics and animated food characters, and it’s surprisingly fun and entertaining to use. The app told me that Surf Sweet gummy bears, for instance, do have a fair amount of added sugar but also have “good nutrient density,” meaning that, among other things, they supply a high amount of vitamin C (much to my delight). A jump-roping chocolate bar informs me that I’d need to jump rope for 19 minutes — or a snorkeling olive recommends 23 minutes of swimming — to burn off a serving of Justin’s Organic milk chocolate peanut butter cups.
“Customers want a better understanding of how a product is sourced, the quality standards behind it, whether the labor that made it was paid a fair wage, its impact on the environment,” said Jason Buechel, the chief information officer at Whole Foods. “This is a way to give them all that information that isn’t captured on the nutrition label.”
Take the Beast Burger, for instance, a meatless burger sold at Whole Foods. Type the name of the burger into Sage or flip through a list, and you’ll find its basic nutritional profile and calorie content, with highlights of its nutritional strengths.
Using animated food characters — a pear doing yoga, a watermelon riding a bike — the app shows how much exercise would be required to work off the burger. In my case, it’s 20 minutes of running, 22 minutes of jumping rope, 28 minutes of swimming or biking, 44 minutes of dance or 89 minutes of yoga.
Sage also identifies any allergens — corn and seeds in the case of the Beast Burger — and offers detailed explanations of all the burger’s ingredients, and why they’re used should you be interested. For instance: “Calcium chloride, a salt, is used in canned goods to improve stability and quality and as a firming agent in tofu production.”
The system awards “badges” to the burger for things like an abundance of healthy fats and protein and having recyclable packaging, and it explains what diets — dairy free, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian and ketogenic — it does not violate. To make nutrition recommendations like “fiber friendly” or “heart healthy,” Sage uses nutritional standards set by the Food and Drug Administration and the American Heart Association. An in-house team of dietitians and nutritionists have created standards for badges like “healthy fats” or “contains probiotics” — areas where the F.D.A. doesn’t set guidelines.
Finally, the app tells you where the product is made or sourced. The Beast Burger is American made. If you decided to check out Driscoll strawberries, you might learn your batch came from Mexico. 
It also can tailor daily nutritional requirements to a user’s specific weight, height and lifestyle. For instance, Sage came up with a recommended daily caloric intake of about 3,300 calories that is rich in protein for Mr. Slover, given his height, weight and exercise routine — he’s a triathlete. It recommended a 1,600-calorie diet with a lower portion of protein for his mother.
“All those things on a label telling you that a product gives you, say, 10 percent of the daily requirement of protein is based on a default, 2,000-calorie-day diet, a kind of one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t work,” Mr. Slover said.
One thing the Sage app won’t tell you is what you should or shouldn’t eat. You will have to figure that out for yourself. “I’m not a big fan of red, yellow and green scoring mechanisms for food,” Mr. Slover said. “I don’t think they’re well received by consumers or used very much.”

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Best CFOs 2016: Glenda Flanagan provides Whole Foods' wherewithal to blossom

Austin Business Journal (Texas)

July 15, 2016 Friday

Best CFOs 2016: Glenda Flanagan provides Whole Foods' wherewithal to blossom

BYLINE: Allison Brown

LENGTH: 816  words

As the CFO of Whole Foods Market for 28 years, Glenda Flanagan is as much of a homegrown success story as the company she leads.
Flanagan joined the organic grocer's leadership team in 1988 when it had only seven stores. Over the course of her career, Flanagan helped Whole Foods navigate an IPO in 1992 (Nasdaq: WFM) and has played a role in growing the company to 450 locations nationwide.
Flanagan is an Austin native and graduated with her accounting degree from the University of Texas in 1973. After college, she worked in accounting in Houston for what was then Ernst and Ernst. From there, Flanagan and a few fellow accountants launched their own firm. Several years later, Flanagan returned to Austin and was suggested by a friend for the CFO opening at Whole Foods. She quickly began her career there and has remained ever since.
In 2015, Fortune magazine named Flanagan the longest-sitting CFO of the 58 Fortune 500 companies with female CFOs.
Nearly 30 years after joining the team, Flanagan still loves Whole Foods and all it stands for.
"The core values touch my heart and inspire me every day," Flanagan said. "I truly love the people that I work with. I believe in our mission and I can't imagine working anywhere else."
You have been with Whole Foods for almost 30 years - what makes you stay? It's a mission-driven company. The core values touch my heart and inspire me every day. I truly love the people that I work with. I believe in our mission and I can't imagine working anywhere else.
What takes up the biggest portion of your time? I would say being available to be supportive of my closest team, which is the executive team and the global VPs. Everyone has so much on their plates with so many great and exciting initiatives, so being available to support them takes up most of my time.
What are some key aspects or concerns specific to being CFO of a company like Whole Foods? Whole Foods is a very collaborative company which means that it's very important to work with people with whom you share mutual respect, common mission and values.
Are there any notable trends in your industry that are reshaping your duties as CFO? There are a lot of trends that are affecting Whole Foods and the food business in general, especially a lot of trends with government regulations that have a tremendous effect on us. We really do so much as a team, so it's really all of us that have to navigate all of that. We work closely with the board and leadership team to make decisions.
What's the most important lesson regarding financial management that you learned the hard way? When it comes to managing expectations, always under-promise and over-deliver.
Have you had any mentors? I have our two co-CEOs, John Mackey and Walter Robb, and I have learned a tremendous amount from both of them.
What's the best professional advice you've ever received? Our co-CEO John Mackey says: When faced with a difficult decision, pick the one that makes you most excited. When faced with a difficult challenge, expand into love rather than contract into fear.
What advice would you give to someone aspiring to be a CFO? Of course they have to have a strong sense of who they are. Be emotionally resilient, empathetic, constantly learning, flexible and adaptable.
You were part of taking a company public. What would you tell a CFO with this task on the horizon? That was a very long time ago, so that's going to be very difficult to put in a sound bite. I would give some leadership advice in general. Find a company with a great purpose and mission - one whose values are aligned with your own - and surround yourself with people who share those values, who are smart and caring and get out of their way.
You walk into a Whole Foods - what section do you head for? I go to the downtown store every day and I always walk straight into prepared foods. I love our salad bars and food bars, and I eat at least half of my meals there.
What are your career goals? I would say I've had the wonderful opportunity to accomplish far more than I ever hoped or thought I might. It's all from having connected myself with such a wonderful company and wonderful team.
What do you consider your best professional accomplishment? In the time I've been at Whole Foods, we've grown from seven stores when I started to 450 stores today. I've had opportunities to participate in a tremendous amount of growth at the company. We have brought natural and organic products to a great number of customers around the country and provided a fabulous place to work for over 80,000 team members. We have also provided a place for many, many small vendors to sell their product. So a lot of good has been accomplished in that amount of time, and I feel privileged to be a part.
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Austin Business Journal (Texas)

July 15, 2016 Friday

Meet 6 superlative Austin CFOs who keep companies' finances on track

BYLINE: Heather Ladage

LENGTH: 239  words

Don't let the CFO title fool you - the people highlighted in this publication are much more than glorified accountants. Great chief financial officers manage more than just money.
As you'll read in the stories below, some of them have to be experts on global geopolitical events such as Brexit or terrorism impact operations. Some are burdened with keeping up with technology as well as the innovators themselves. And all CFOs have to be people-persons who are familiar with the marketing department just the same as the customer-service crew.
As you read through the following Q&As, I hope you can extract tips that will make you a better professional - even if you aren't in the financial realm. Our winners have a lot to offer professionals of all types.

.              Legacy Award: Glenda Flanagan provides Whole Foods' wherewithal to blossom
.              Large private company: Epicor Software's Kathy Crusco adept at changing with quick technological times
.              Medium private company: Scott Chamberlain of Civitas Learning is a CFO who can take you to school
.              Small private company: Why Josh Behjat will never stunt Hagbros Precision's growth
.              Public company: Amplify Snack Brands' Brian Goldberg has intense appetite for success
.              Nonprofit: How Karen Rucker makes a huge difference for Disability Rights Texas
Did you find this article useful? Why not subscribe to Austin Business Journal for more articles and leads? Visit or call 1-866-853-3661.

LOAD-DATE: July 15, 2016



Thursday, July 14, 2016

Lionfish: CBS This Morning & WLRN

Below post from Briana Madrid, Associate Marketing Coordinator, Florida.
Hi everyone,

More national coverage on Lionfish! In case you missed it, Whole Foods Market Florida and our very own David Ventura were highlighted on CBS This Morning today. The response we have received from the Lionfish program has been tremendous and to see it receive national news coverage and attention, means getting such an important message to so many more people/customers. Also, 2 weeks ago, David Ventura and Yasmany Perez joined Linda Gassenheimer, local radio host on WLRN Topical Currents live show to discuss the awareness/education and culinary highlights of Lionfish.

The links to these two great segments are below.

Special appreciations to David and Yaz for your media savviness and appreciations to the BCA store for having your seafood department and team looking so good for CBS.

Thank you,


Lake Oswego - 365!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Summertime in Portland

Greetings!  PRT has everything from salmon to charcoal to Top 10 Wines to get you through this holiday weekend!  Our team has been working hard and having a blast helping our guests find that perfect Summer item.  Summer in the Pearl brings in a ton of tourists – so we put Local loud and proud right in the front.  Grilling, Top 10 wines, and local galore!

Happy 4th y’all!

Happy 4th of July from Clark

James, our amazing Grocery team member was really turning up the holiday hospitality.