bake - July 2018 - 8
The Future off
By 2023, former Starbucks president and chief executive officer
Jim Donald predicts bots will be reﬁlling retail store shelves and
unloading trucks, while the migration of more millennials into
the workforce will bring educated and tech-savvy employees
who strive to "one-up the competition."
Store managers, he says, "will have to be at ease with a team
of rivals - not a team of people who say, 'yes, do this.' They
(millennials) want feedback to drive this business. Executives
have to have the maturity of a boomer but the mindset of a
millennial. Being able to understand all this data is going to
move the industry forward."
In an industry whose sales have been surpassed by foodservice,
an industry rocked by the Amazons of the world, disruption is
everywhere. At the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association's
annual show in New Orleans, the message was clear: to deal
with disruption coming at you from the outside, you need to
disrupt right back.
Disruption was everywhere at IDDBA '18, which enjoyed record
numbers of attendees and exhibitors - in the products and
discussions on the show ﬂoor, in the keynote addresses and
Show and Sell talks.
seven-fold for all merchandise. Since Donald left Albertsons in
Another theme resonating throughout the show was the need
1991, the company has grown from 500 to 2,319 stores, with $60
to treat employees well and give them the tools to innovate
billion in annual sales and 280,000 employees. The fresh portion
and succeed - an especially important point, attendees and
of Albertsons' total sales is now $35 billion.
presenters said, in today's tight labor market.
Donald's new tool is an iPhone with a boom mic that he uses
Donald, an IDDBA speaker who in March was named CEO of
to record 45-second vignettes at Albertsons stores across the
grocery retail giant Albertsons, recounted some of the changes
country, capturing stories from the front lines that he posts
that had taken place since his ﬁrst tenure with Albertsons in
online every Friday. "I'm after spontaneous just-in-time exam-
the 1990s. "Charcuterie was beef jerky, grab 'n go was a cup of
ples of where our company is heading."
donut holes and a meal kit was a hoagie and chips," he said.
ﬁning job responsibilities and titles from management to the
Donald, who boasts an illustrious career that includes senior
front lines. A deli meat cutter might become an e-commerce
leadership roles at Albertsons, Safeway and Starbucks. "I see
specialist. "We are creating new roles for people to make
fresh moving into the center of the arena. The future of fresh is
ﬁguring out the last mile of e-commerce."
"The future of fresh is determined by the diversity of your assoThe most signiﬁcant change? The fresh perimeter at Albertsons
ciates, your leaders and your products. Making sure innovation
has grown sixteen-fold in 17 years, Donald said, compared to
is ﬁrst and foremost is key. If we don't, we're done."
08 < JUL 2018 | bakemag.com
Donald says Albertsons is embracing the future by rede"The future of fresh is out there stronger than ever," says