@AT, great post, and I appreciated your comments too, @NicoK! Although @NicoK posited that Lindt could take more action to become vertically integrated, I would like to posit that Lindt may also want to think about diversifying its product strategy in light of climate change affecting cacao bean farming. Why would one company rely so significantly on one plant? Perhaps they could develop more non-chocolate candy brands or acquire other brands.
Although you suggest that they could pursue GMO-cacao as an alternative, I hesitate to think that this could prove effective from a PR standpoint. Public sentiment is in the favor of healthier alternatives, and with chocolate already being considered unhealthy, I don’t think adding GMO ingredients will help its case.
@mbergin – Great post, though I agree with the more pessimistic sentiment of @dcook8872 above, especially because of the challenging regulatory conditions for the alcoholic beverage industry which make trade negotiations even more difficult. I wonder how strong Diageo’s domestic UK market is and if it could see opportunities for further growth there while it whethers the uncertainties of Brexit, or, as @KaiTan suggests, they try to move their headquarters to an EU member country.
Chris – Thank you for writing such a thoughtful article that has provoked so much thought and discussion. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s comments as much as I have enjoyed reading the article so I’m going to use this as an opportunity to add my own thoughts to a couple of people’s comments…
1. Re: George’s comment – I like how you ask how much responsibility does the U.S. government bear in education and vocational training, and should it be incumbent upon the government to take the lead. I would add the question though of how much responsibility the U.S. Federal government bears here, and whether vocational training should be something that is more top of mind for the states (e.g. through community colleges, etc.)
2. Re: Coffee Lover – Very interesting comments! I wonder why we still label companies by their nationalities though even though you suggest it may be an ineffective thing to do. Even though globalization is likely irresistible as you suggest, our continued desire to label by nationality may suggest there is inherent value in having a sense of national identity. What I am bothered by more with respect to Trump’s comments about Apple is why the “Designed in America” label is not enough. Even though iPhones are not produced here for economic reasons, I think the fact that much of the innovation and design is done here is great and something Americans can take pride in.
3. Re: Mike’s comments – I love the way you have asked about who Apple is responsible to, be it American consumers, American workers, or should it even have a greater responsibility to Americans at all. I don’t claim to have answers either, but I don’t think there is enough public dialogue around the benefits of globalization to American consumers (who are also American workers). Perhaps more conversation around this could start to change the tides of isolationism.
@hak, thanks for a great article!
As I was reading, I was also thinking about how there are a variety of other sriracha brands available on the market, many of them being private label. I wonder if the supply chain limitations based on Huy Fong Foods’ operational decisions has allowed this proliferation to occur. I also looked more into the plant in California. Apparently there have been a number of complaints about it by its California neighbors because of its smell (http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-sriracha-may-move-ln-20140416-story.html). Pretty wild, right? Maybe there will be a Srirachapocalypse after all!
Great article @TOM4! I had to miss the Owens & Minor class for a doctor visit (ironically) so it was interesting to learn more about the company from your post. It looks like Amazon is disrupting yet another sector… no surprise there. As you discuss in the article, Owens & Minor will have to really understand what their competitive advantage to hospitals is in order to survive. While I was reading, I also thought about how digitization is making waves in hospital pharmaceutical supply chains, including new trace-ability regulations (see http://www.tracelink.com for an example of a business that is capitalizing on this shift). Perhaps, like TraceLink, Owens & Minor can survive and even beat out Amazon by focusing on quality control within a very specific part of the medical supply chain.
Thank you for such an informative post, @BillNye. I agree with @EL that your article does a good job summarizing the key points, and I thought the discussion about Teledermatology was particularly interesting. As I was reading, I was particularly concerned about what you address in the first of your two questions: “how will privacy and data security be addressed in healthcare as providers move toward online visits?” Given the HIPPA laws and various other constraints placed on medical data, I think this will be one of the most significant challenges in preventing the industry from going more digital. I’m glad that it seems to be working within Kaiser, though I would imagine that patient data and medical records are much easier to share within that more closed-loop context.