Black Friday Shopping Shifts Online; Plant-Based Burgers: Popularity and Controversy

Q4 | December 2019

stack of old newspapers, pile of old newspapers

Topic: Pearls of Wisdom

Devin Crago CFA

December 18, 2019

Image used with permission: iStock/hanohiki


Print & Share

Print

Black Friday Shopping Shifts Online; Plant-Based Burgers: Popularity and Controversy

Q4 | December 2019

Reading is one of the principal occupations in our profession. As we digest a wide range of material, interesting ideas and surprising facts – some serious and some light-hearted – rise to the surface. We attempt to share a few of those with you in each of our issues of Nexus Notes.

Black Friday shopping shifts online

For many of us, Black Friday shopping brings to mind crowded stores and the occasional dust-up among shoppers fighting to get that last big-screen TV. However, the popularity of crowded stores is waning as more people turn to online shopping. This year, digital sales on Black Friday set a record of $7.2 billion in the U.S. Of those sales, a remarkable 56% were finalized on a mobile device (tablet or phone). While the convenience of online shopping has been a benefit to consumers, it has pressured holiday retail employment. The trends in the number of employees hired to work in retail stores in the busy October-December shopping season has declined from a peak of 787,000 in 2013 to 629,000 last year, reflecting the expansion of online ordering. (“Record Black Friday Sales: 14% Growth To $7.2B In Digital Revenue”, Forbes, November 30, 2019.)

Plant-based burgers: popularity and controversy

In response to perceived consumer demand, McDonalds recently announced a 28-store trial in southwestern Ontario of a Beyond Meat sandwich called the PLT – plant, lettuce, tomato – which is intended to test consumer appetite for a plant-based burger. Marketed as healthier and just as tasty, these “meat alternatives” appear to be gaining traction: in the 12 months ended in October, U.S. retail meat sales fell 0.4%, while newer meat alternatives grew 8%. However, alternative meats have also kicked up some resistance from incumbent ranchers. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Over the past two years, the beef industry has pushed legislation that restricts terms like “beef” and “meat” to the kind raised on the hoof, not products derived from plants or future ones developed using animal cells in labs.” In fact, 45 bills have been introduced in 27 states to prevent plant-based food producers from using the terms “meat” and “milk” on their packaging. (“America’s Cattle Ranchers Are Fighting Back Against Fake Meat”, The Wall Street Journal, November 27, 2019.)

More Like This...

See another CRM2 blog post that may be of interest to you.

CRM2: The Nexus Approach to our CRM2 Reports

Topic:
CRM2
Excerpt:
With changing securities regulations coming into effect, investment firms are now required to provide individual investors with specific additional in

More Like This...

See another Foundations & Endowments blog post that may be of interest to you.

Charitable Giving Made Easier

Topic:
Foundations & Endowments
Excerpt:
Giving to charities and supporting our community are important to us at Nexus. We donate a portion of our management fees back to the charities and

More Like This...

See another Human Interest blog post that may be of interest to you.

The Case for Openness – An Open and Shut Case?

Topic:
Human Interest
Excerpt:
From time immemorial, mankind has been open. Open to new ideas, open to trade, and open to migration – the three critical ingredients for progress.

More Like This...

See another Inside Nexus blog post that may be of interest to you.

Au Revoir

Topic:
Inside Nexus
Excerpt:
As you may be aware, my time at Nexus is coming to a close. Over the last number of months, I have been working closely with others at the firm to

More Like This...

See another Investments blog post that may be of interest to you.

Say “No” to Absolute Safety

Topic:
Investments
Excerpt:
My colleague Harsh Narsinghani and I were recently discussing how many of our clients were unnerved by geopolitical and economic worries and how it

More Like This...

See another Pearls of Wisdom blog post that may be of interest to you.

“Work, Work, Work, Work, Work, Work”

Topic:
Pearls of Wisdom
Excerpt:
This has been a busy year. I’ve had lots happening on the home front (a wedding!) and lots going on at the office (too long to list!) Managing work

More Like This...

See another Tax Planning blog post that may be of interest to you.

Capital Gains, Charitable Acts, and the New Alternative Minimum Tax

Topic:
Tax Planning
Excerpt:
If you regularly make charitable donations or perhaps sit on the board of a charitable organization, you might be wondering what all the hubbub

More Like This...

See another Wealth Planning blog post that may be of interest to you.

The Case for An Annual Family Roundtable

Topic:
Wealth Planning
Excerpt:
Not long after I joined Nexus, Bill Berghuis imparted some good advice that has stuck with me

On a Side Note…

See another CRM2 Nexus Notes Quarterly article that may be of interest to you.

No posts found.

On a Side Note…

See another Foundations & Endowments Nexus Notes Quarterly article that may be of interest to you.

Charitable Giving Made Easier

Topic:
Foundations & Endowments
Excerpt:
Giving to charities and supporting our community are important to us at Nexus. We donate a portion of our management fees back to the charities and

On a Side Note…

See another Human Interest Nexus Notes Quarterly article that may be of interest to you.

Worth 1,000 Words

Topic:
Human Interest
Excerpt:
A little humour makes the world a better place.

On a Side Note…

See another Inside Nexus Nexus Notes Quarterly article that may be of interest to you.

Where Have All the Boutiques Gone?

Topic:
Inside Nexus
Excerpt:
Many small, once independently managed, firms have fallen into the clutches of larger organizations such as banks, institutional money managers and

On a Side Note…

See another Investments Nexus Notes Quarterly article that may be of interest to you.

From Vineyards to Portfolios: Cultivating Long-Term Wealth

Topic:
Investments
Excerpt:
My wife and I have been stymied so far this summer in getting to the Niagara region for our annual weekend of cycling through the vineyards and

On a Side Note…

See another Pearls of Wisdom Nexus Notes Quarterly article that may be of interest to you.

Pearls of Wisdom

Topic:
Pearls of Wisdom
Excerpt:
Reading is one of the principal occupations in our profession. As we digest a wide range of material, interesting ideas and surprising facts – some

On a Side Note…

See another Tax Planning Nexus Notes Quarterly article that may be of interest to you.

Capital Gains, Charitable Acts, and the New Alternative Minimum Tax

Topic:
Tax Planning
Excerpt:
If you regularly make charitable donations or perhaps sit on the board of a charitable organization, you might be wondering what all the hubbub

On a Side Note…

See another Wealth Planning Nexus Notes Quarterly article that may be of interest to you.

From The Editor: No Time Like the Present

Topic:
Wealth Planning
Excerpt:
I recently heard one of my favourite quotes about planning. It can come in various versions, but to paraphrase, ‘The best time to start planning was