• <span id="tpsth"><output id="tpsth"></output></span>
  • <input id="tpsth"></input>

  • <optgroup id="tpsth"></optgroup>
    <optgroup id="tpsth"></optgroup>
  • 訂閱

    多平臺閱讀

    微信訂閱

    雜志

    申請紙刊贈閱

    訂閱每日電郵

    移動應用

    商業

    這家公司靠賣沙拉成為獨角獸,秘訣是區塊鏈

    Sheila Marikar 2019年07月29日

    三位年輕人發動了一場沙拉革命。

    在波士頓以南30英里的沃德漿果農場(Ward’s Berry Farm), 5月第一天的破曉時分,陰冷多云,細雨蒙蒙,雨傘非但沒有幫助,反而讓人討厭。今天不適合種西紅柿。“西紅柿真的不喜歡經常低于50度的環境。”農場主吉姆·沃德說。此君的體質比他種的西紅柿更強壯。沃德身穿一件法蘭絨襯衫,卷著袖子,沒穿外套;紅潤的臉頰是他可能感冒的唯一跡象。但農場工作人員正在即興發揮。當幼苗從溫暖的溫室進入潮濕寒冷的地面時,員工們給它們蓋上“棚布”—— 一種可生物降解的防水布。“下面有堆肥,可以給我們一點熱量。”他說。“蓋上棚布后,你會驚訝地發現,幼苗的長勢非常喜人。”

    在堆肥下面,西紅柿苗過得很舒適,但它們真的沒有選擇。今天必須栽種。只有這樣,這些西紅柿才能夠趕在7月進入波士頓地區,成為眾多Sweetgreen客戶的餐盤美味:一旦客戶通過這家沙拉連鎖店的電郵通訊或智能手機應用(或者,如果他們了解季節性生長常識的話)獲知,西紅柿剛好成熟到頂點,他們就會蜂擁而至,爭相品嘗那鮮美多汁的小球體。為了幫助沃德讓這些西紅柿變得更加美味(盡管他深諳此道,因為他已經種了三十多年西紅柿),這片占地一英畝土地的中央還藏著一種秘密武器:一個安裝在棒球棒形狀的木樁之上,非常明亮的橙色六邊形。這個裝置的內部裝有Wi-Fi驅動的傳感器,每隔15分鐘測量十幾種可能影響西紅柿生長的因素,比如氣溫、濕度、光照、降水和風速,等等。“棒球棒”延伸到土壤中36英寸。在那里,傳感器測量土壤溫度和濕度,以及磷、鉀、pH和氮的水平。這些數據被上傳到云端和一個區塊鏈上——這一系列數據使得西紅柿從幼苗到沙拉盤的整個過程都很容易被追蹤到。從那里,你可以隨時通過“食物區塊鏈”初創公司Ripe.io開發的智能手機應用程序訪問這些信息。

    At Ward’s Berry Farm, 30 miles south of Boston, the first day of May dawns cloudy and cold, with a spitting drizzle that renders an umbrella more annoying than helpful. It’s a bad day to plant tomatoes. “Tomatoes really don’t prefer to be below 50 degrees very often,” says Jim Ward, the farm’s proprietor, who has a hardier constitution than his plants: He’s wearing a flannel shirt with the sleeves rolled up and no jacket; his ruddy cheeks are the only indication that he might be cold. But Ward’s crew is improvising, putting “row cover,” a biodegradable tarp, over the seedlings as they go from the warmth of the greenhouse into the damp chill of the ground. “There’s compost down there that will give us a little heat,” he says. “You’d be surprised, when you trap it in with the row cover, it’s pretty nice down there.”

    Good for the tomato plants, cozy under all that compost, but they don’t really have a choice. They have to go into the ground today so that come July, the fruits will be ready for the thousands of Sweetgreen customers in the Boston area who will bite down on the juicy little orbs, once informed—through the salad chain’s email newsletter or smartphone app (or, if they know anything about produce seasonality, common sense)—that the tomatoes are at their peak of ripeness. And to help Ward make these tomatoes extra tasty—though he knows what he’s doing, as he’s been farming for more than three decades—there’s something of a secret weapon lodged in the center of the one-acre patch: a bright orange hexagon that sits atop a baseball bat–shape stake. Inside the contraption are Wi-Fi-enabled sensors that, every 15 minutes, measure more than a dozen factors that could be affecting the tomatoes: like air temperature, humidity, light, precipitation, wind speed. The bat-shape portion extends 36 inches into the soil, where sensors measure soil temperature and moisture as well as levels of phosphorus, potassium, pH, and nitrogen. That data gets uploaded to the cloud and onto a blockchain—a sequence of data that makes the tomatoes easily traceable throughout their journey from fledging plant to salad bowl. From there, the information can be accessed, at any time, from a smartphone app developed by “blockchain of food” startup Ripe.io.

    吉姆·沃德(右)已經有超過30年的西紅柿種植經驗。但他說,他仍然能夠從Sweetgreen資助的Wi-Fi傳感器中學到新東西。

    對沃德來說,擁有這些即時數據是一種啟示。“我做了一輩子農民,我所獲得的關于氮的任何數據,都是通過采集土壤樣本,發送出去,然后等待好幾周才獲得的。但到那時候,通常已經來不及做任何事情了。”他說。“現在,我可以在第一時間擁有這些數據。它改變了一切。”

    這是沃德與Sweetgreen和Ripe.io合作的第二年——用行話來說,就是把他的西紅柿放在區塊鏈上。Sweetgreen是一家擁有95家餐廳的沙拉連鎖店,已經成為注重健康的城市午餐者的寵兒。迄今為止,該公司已經為20個農場安裝了傳感器。它承擔技術成本(就沃德的例子而言,大約是幾百美元),農民們根據自己的意愿使用數據。沃德表示,這項技術使他能夠在氮水平下降,農田需要干預時立即采取行動,而它所提供的反饋可能會改變他今后施肥的方式。(再見,新鮮雞糞!)這些數據也對他長期持有的一些務農理念提出質疑,比如,采摘后立即品嘗時,西紅柿的味道最好(事實證明,口感最好的時間是在3到5天后)。另一方面,這些數據證實了他的其他觀點(“晚上當溫度降到50度以下時,味道就會下降,我對此毫無辦法”)。

    當然,技術也有其局限性。沃德抬頭看了看云朵,聳了聳肩。“主要成分是陽光。這是你們決定的事情之一。”他向四位從洛杉磯總部趕來視察農田的Sweetgreen員工做了個手勢。“這是我無法控制的事情之一。”

    “我們會做到的!”其中一位歡聲說道。

    For Ward, having that instantaneous data at his fingertips is a revelation. “For my whole life as a farmer, any data I ever got about nitrogen, which is something you need in the highest quantity, was gathered by taking a soil sample, sending it out, and waiting a few weeks for the results. By which point it was usually too late to do anything,” he says. “To have it in real time, it changes everything.”

    This is the second year Ward has partnered with Sweetgreen and Ripe.io to, as the lingo goes, put his tomatoes on the blockchain. Sweetgreen, a 95-restaurant salad chain that’s become a darling of health-conscious urban lunchers, has installed the sensors in 20 farms to date. It fronts the tech cost—a few hundred dollars in Ward’s case—and the farmers use the data as they see fit. Ward says the technology has enabled him to take immediate action when, say, nitrogen levels are flagging and the patch needs an intervention, and it provides feedback that may change the way he fertilizes going forward. (Bye-bye, fresh chicken poop!) The data has also challenged some of his long-held farmer’s wisdom, like the idea that tomatoes taste best immediately after they’re picked (turns out, they actually peak three to five days later), and confirmed other beliefs (“Despite anything I can do, when the temperature drops below 50 degrees at night, the flavor drops off”).

    Of course, technology has its limits. Ward looks up at the clouds and shrugs. “The main ingredient is sunlight. That’s one of the things you guys determined,” he gestures to the four Sweetgreen employees who have traveled from the company’s Los Angeles headquarters to check in on the farm, “and that’s one of the things I can’t control.”

    “We’ll get there!” one of them chirps.

    ****?

    從大多數跡象來看,沙拉的概念起源于古羅馬,從那時起,它基本上就成了一道輔助菜——在主餐(通常是一塊肉)到來之前,作為開場的一道菜。沙拉很少被當作主菜來吃,它通常伴隨著一種殉道感:“我就要一份沙拉。”長期以來,沙拉一直都有很多形式,從綠色葉菜到蛋黃醬和米白色,不一而足。但近年來,隨著像Sweetgreen這樣的餐廳不斷崛起,沙拉已經變得越來越美味。焦糖大褐菇代替了生蘑菇,時髦的羽衣甘藍代替了冰激凌,烤芝麻豆腐代替了……以前的沙拉店提供豆腐嗎?

    但沙拉從來都不性感。它沒有卡樂星漢堡(Carl’s Jr.)經歷過的那種閃耀時刻——名媛帕麗斯·希爾頓曾經坐在一輛賓利轎車的引擎蓋上吃卡樂星漢堡——也沒有從一片熱氣騰騰的比薩上撕下一小塊馬蘇里拉奶酪時那種油脂四溢,令人垂涎的“色情”場景。也許這就是Sweetgreen及其競爭對手傾向于回避“沙拉”一詞,而更愿意選擇“蔬菜套餐”和“真正的食物”這類術語的原因所在。但是,無論它們提供的產品是多葉的、松脆的、烤熟的還是溫暖的,當前這一代綠色蔬菜十字軍擁有同一個目標:把蔬菜變成人們渴望的東西。

    尼克·賈梅特是Sweetgreen的三位聯合創始人之一。他說:“當你對味道進行優化時,它會產生那種讓人們對這種產品產生渴望的粘度。”他和內特·茹、喬納森·尼曼現在都是34歲,他們在喬治敦大學讀本科時相識,于2007年創辦了這家連鎖店。(這三位同時躋身《財富》2019年“全球40位40歲以下商界精英”榜單)“我們不能對人們說,請吃我們的食物吧,因為它很健康。”賈梅特說。“這根本行不通。你想吃這種食物,是因為你喜歡吃,是因為它讓你身體感覺良好,是因為你渴望實際的體驗。”

    讓人感覺良好的食物是一個蓬勃發展的行業。據食品業追蹤公司Technomic估算,美國沙拉店在2018年的銷售額超過6.86億美元,較2014年的3億美元大幅增長。2018年,Sweetgreen以1.582億美元的銷售額引領行業,其沙拉盤的平均售價為12美元。(Sweetgreen拒絕就銷售額發表評論,本文中提到的其他沙拉生產商也是如此。)位列前茅的生產商還包括Chopt(它出售切碎的沙拉,2018年的銷售額估計為9810萬美元)、Tender Greens(該公司從Gramercy Tavern等高檔餐廳挖來了多位高級廚師,2018年的銷售額估計為9420萬美元),以及Dig Inn(該公司還經營一個兼做農產品實驗室的農場,2018年的銷售額估計為3780萬美元)。“它們都走上了一條通往純粹的道路。”市場研究公司NPD Group的食品行業分析師大衛·波塔拉廷這樣說道。“消費者想要的是真正的、正宗的、經過最低限度加工的食品。這些公司正在滿足消費者的需求,并使之變得方便。”

    不過,盡管沙拉市場在增長,但綠色蔬菜仍然無法與漢堡和薯條相媲美。以麥當勞為例,其2018年在美國的銷售額接近80億美元,是美國最大的14家沙拉店銷售額總和的10倍以上。在這種背景下,也許并不奇怪的是,盡管人們說他們非常在意吃健康的、本地的食品,但在全國餐館協會(National Restaurant Association)最近進行的一項調查中,大多數受訪者的消費習慣并不像他們所說的那樣。“我們看到,越來越多的消費者開始討論本地的、有機的、非轉基因的、食草的、散養的食物。但他們不一定理解這些術語的意思。”波塔拉廷說。

    第二大挑戰是,美國人外出下館子的興趣持續走低。NPD Group的數據顯示,去年美國人平均在餐館就餐185次,低于2008年的209次。如果這一趨勢像預期那樣繼續下去,沙拉餐廳需要從其他類型的餐館偷取更多“胃的份額”。

    第三個問題是,對于任何企業,特別是對于那些銷售易腐爛、易受細菌侵害的商品的企業來說,增長會帶來大問題。亞倫·艾倫供職的咨詢公司與全球400多家最大連鎖餐廳的一半以上合作過。他說:“‘新鮮’是餐飲服務中最具吸引力的詞,但在全國范圍內推廣新鮮食材,是一項巨大的挑戰。”舉個例子:多年來,Chipotle一直致力于為大眾提供更加健康,注重食材的墨西哥食品,但在2015年和2016年,多州爆發的大腸桿菌疫情幾乎讓這一努力化為烏有。艾倫說,還有一種可能性是,在急于擴張的過程中,像Sweetgreen這樣一個獨特的、專注于當地市場的品牌可能會失去一些最初讓它與眾不同的特質。

    By most indications, the concept of salad originated in ancient Rome, and since then, it’s been largely an ancillary dish, an opening act to sit through before the main event (often, a slab of meat) arrives. On the rare occasions that salad is eaten as an entrée, it’s typically accompanied by a sense of martyrdom: “I’ll just have a salad.” Salads have long come in myriad forms, from leafy and green to mayonnaise-y and off-white, but in recent years, thanks largely to shops like Sweetgreen, they’ve become increasingly gourmet. Caramelized portobellos instead of raw button mushrooms, trendy kale instead of iceberg, roasted sesame tofu instead of?…?did the salad shops of yore even offer tofu?

    But salads have never been sexy. They haven’t had their Carl’s Jr. moment—Paris Hilton gnawing on them on the hood of a Bentley—or that money shot of mozzarella stretching from a slice of steaming-hot pizza, the pools of grease so lubricious they’re practically pornographic. Perhaps that’s why Sweetgreen and its competitors tend to shun the “S-word”—“vegetable-forward meals” and “real food” are their terms of choice. But whether the produce they serve is leafy and crunchy or roasted and warm, the goal of the current generation of greens crusaders is the same: Turn vegetables into objects of desire.

    “When you optimize for flavor, it creates that stickiness, that craveability. It’s what gets people to desire the product,” says Nic Jammet, one of Sweetgreen’s three cofounders. He and Nate Ru and Jonathan Neman—the trio are all 34 years old—met as Georgetown University undergrads and launched the chain in 2007. (The trio are among those featured on Fortune's 2019 40 Under 40 list.) “We can’t tell people to eat our food because it’s healthy,” says Jammet. “That’s never going to work. You should want to eat this because you enjoy it, because it physically makes you feel good, because you desire the actual experience.”

    Feel-good food is a booming business. Food-industry tracking firm Technomic estimates that American salad shops saw sales of more than $686 million in 2018, up from $300?million in 2014. Sweetgreen, whose bowls cost an average of $12 each, is leading the sector with 2018 sales of $158.2 million, according to Technomic. (Sweetgreen declined to comment on sales, as did the rest of the salad makers mentioned in this story.) Also near the front of the pack: Chopt, which slings finely minced salads (2018 sales were an estimated $98.1?million); Tender Greens, which scoops up executive chefs from fine-dining haunts like Gramercy Tavern ($94.2 million); and Dig Inn, which operates a farm that also serves as a produce-innovation lab ($37.8?million). “It’s all about this path to purity,” says David Portalatin, food-industry analyst for the NPD Group, a market research firm. “Consumers want foods that are real, authentic, minimally processed. These companies are meeting those needs for consumers and making it convenient.”

    But while the salad market is growing, greens are still no match for burgers and fries. Consider McDonald’s, whose 2018 U.S. sales were nearly $8 billion—or more than 10 times the annual sales of America’s top 14 salad shops combined. In that context, it’s perhaps unsurprising that, despite people saying they care about things like eating healthfully and locally, as a majority of respondents did in a recent National Restaurant Association survey, their spending habits don’t always line up. “We see consumers increasingly talking about local, organic, non-GMO, grass-fed, cage-free,” says Portalatin. “They don’t necessarily understand what these terms mean.”

    America’s flagging appetite for eating out presents a second challenge. According to the NPD Group, the average American ate at a restaurant 185 times last year, down from 209 times in 2008. If that trend continues—as it’s expected to do—the salad slingers will need to steal more “share of stomach” from other types of eateries if they want to expand.

    The third prong in this fork of foils: Growth creates significant problems for any business, but especially for one that peddles perishable, bacteria-vulnerable goods. “?‘Fresh’ is the most bankable word in food service, but there’s a huge challenge in scaling fresh ingredients at national levels,’?” says Aaron Allen, a consultant whose firm has worked with more than half of the world’s 400 largest restaurant chains. Case in point: Chipotle, whose quest to bring healthier, ingredient-centric Mexican food to the masses was nearly derailed by a multistate E. coli outbreak in 2015 and 2016. There’s also the possibility that, in the rush to expand, a unique, locally focused brand like Sweetgreen loses some of the quirks that made it special in the first place, says Allen.

    綠色蔬菜三人幫:Sweetgreen聯合創始人喬納森·尼曼(左起)、納撒尼爾·茹和尼古拉斯·賈梅特。圖片來源:Photograph by Reed Young for Fortune

    去年11月,Sweetgreen宣布獲得2億美元新融資,其估值由此超過10億美元。到今年年底,該公司的餐廳總數預計將增長到110家,同時新增約120家“前哨店”,即一些安置在合作辦公場所和辦公室的貨架,上面會定期補充在線訂購的沙拉。今年6月,Sweetgreen宣布了首筆收購交易,收購對象是Galley Foods,一家位于華盛頓特區、專門提供新鮮晚餐的送餐服務商。這筆交易預計將為Sweetgreen帶來更多的技術和物流支持,并且有可能最終幫助這家連鎖企業將其吸引力擴展到午餐時間之外。但是,盡管這家成立12年的公司像野草一樣成長,但創始人知道,單靠搶占地盤是無法取勝的。(順便說一句,Sweetgreen正在對野草重新利用:賈梅特目前專注于創建馬齒莧食譜,后者是一種口感香醇的食譜,葉子呈淚滴狀。)

    現在,讓我們一起走進區塊鏈世界。雖然這項技術經常與比特幣及其同類產品聯系在一起,但從本質上講,區塊鏈可以永久性地記錄有時間戳的、不可替代的信息。這些信息由多臺電腦共同維護,可以用來追蹤金錢、身份——沒錯,還有食物。因此,盡管在午餐的語境下提到“區塊鏈”,或許讓人覺得像是濫用科技流行語,但能夠提供一個未經過濾的窗口,從而讓你準確了解你即將放入嘴中的東西,有可能滿足消費者的實際需求。當然,我們可以選擇追蹤蔬菜的最佳味道,也可以精確地找出問題所在,比如大腸桿菌爆發的源頭。在擁有這種能見度之后,這家公司就可以發展壯大,同時不會損害它對所有小事情和本地元素的專注。正如賈梅特所說,“如果我們能夠為基礎設施構建實時追蹤的能力,我們就不僅可以擴大規模,還能夠繼續與不同規模的農場合作,這樣我們就可以找到10個其他的吉姆·沃德”——即Sweetgreen認識并信任的農民。

    盡管該公司仍然處于讓沙拉愛好者直接觀察其供應鏈的早期階段,但這正是聯合創始人的下一個目標。Sweetgreen計劃建立沙拉版的達美樂比薩(Domino’s)追蹤系統——在這個系統中,有一個進度條記錄訂單從裝配線下線到出貨的過程。“不是‘約翰在煎你的比薩。馬上就來!’我們的追蹤器會說:‘嘿,你喜歡西紅柿甘藍凱撒沙拉。我們知道這一點,因為你以前訂過。這些西紅柿是兩個月前用這種種子種下的,當時下了很多雨,正因如此,它們超級甜。在接下來的兩天,它們會很好吃的,現在就點吧!’”賈梅特說。

    與此同時,Sweetgreen依靠其電子郵件通訊(平均每月發送6封)讓粉絲們隨時了解當地西蘭花葉子和有機胡蘿卜的最新情況,并把客戶介紹給幾十名提供這些沙拉配菜的小農戶。今年4月,它的“Open Source”電郵通訊充滿詩意地描述了阿圖羅·桑切斯在加州沃特森維爾的福羅特牧場(Faurot Ranch)種植的甜菜。桑切斯“1983年從墨西哥越境而來,現在是一位自豪的美國公民,也是牧場的共同所有人,他正在努力將自己的傳統農田完全有機化。”

    饑腸轆轆的上班族真的想要滿滿一收件箱的沙拉信件嗎?Sweetgreen的聯合創始人內特·茹認為是這樣。他說:“我們的消費者想更深入一層地了解食物來自于哪里,種植這些蔬菜的農民,或土壤健康。而我們的客戶真的很善于理解這些信息。”他補充說,該連鎖店最近對7000多名顧客進行的一系列調查就是明證。該調查證實,土壤健康顯然是客戶首要考慮的因素。

    賈梅特說:“這就是為什么我們如此努力地圍繞koginut傳遞信息。”他所指的是Sweetgreen與名廚丹·巴伯合作開發的新一代南瓜。去年秋天,作為口碑營銷的一部分,Sweetgreen向忠實顧客郵寄了100個排球大小的赤褐色南瓜,這種南瓜“有一個內置的成熟度顯示器,可以實時顯示口味最佳時間。”(換句話說,做好被采摘的準備時,它會改變顏色,就像許多生長的東西一樣。)“我們想創造主要消費品牌經常創造的那種興奮感,‘讓我們為蔬菜造勢,讓它產生一雙耐克鞋經常造成的那種轟動效應,因為從長遠來看,蔬菜更重要。’”賈梅特說。“我們想把這種食物與幸福感、快樂聯系起來,就像必勝客(Pizza Hut)和麥當勞(McDonald’s)等品牌多年來所做的那樣。”

    為此,該公司推出了一項新的顧客滿意度指標,要求顧客給他們吃的每一份Sweetgreen沙拉評分。“就像Uber或Lyft一樣,”聯合創始人尼曼表示。“想象一下,如果你能夠將這些評分與農場聯系起來,并根據味道來判斷哪些原料獲得更高的評級,你就會開始明白:特定的農場和原料能否提升顧客的幸福感?”

    In November, Sweetgreen announced $200 million in new funding, which boosted its valuation to more than $1 billion. The company is expected to grow to 110 restaurants by the end of the year and operates an additional 120 or so “outposts,” shelves in co--working spaces and offices regularly replenished with salads ordered online. In June, Sweetgreen announced its first acquisition, Galley Foods, a Washington, D.C.–based meal-delivery service specializing in fresh dinners. The deal is expected to provide Sweetgreen with additional tech and logistics expertise—and could eventually help the chain extend its allure beyond the lunch hour. But while the 12-year-old company is growing like a weed (which, by the way, it repurposes: Jammet is currently fixated on recipes for purslane, a meaty weed with teardrop-shape leaves), the founders know they can’t win by land grab alone.

    Enter blockchain. While the technology is often associated with Bitcoin and its ilk, at its core, a blockchain can offer a permanent record of time-stamped, unfungible information that is maintained across several computers and can be used to track money, identity, and, yes, food. So while in the context of lunch, invoking “blockchain” may feel like tech buzzword overkill, the ability to offer that unfiltered window into what exactly you’re about to put in your mouth has the potential to fill an actual consumer need. There’s the option to track vegetables for peak flavor, certainly, but also the ability to pinpoint problems—like the source of an E. coli outbreak. And with that visibility comes the power to grow without compromising the company’s devotion to all things small and local. As Jammet puts it, “If we can build real-time traceability and tracking into the infrastructure, it allows us to completely scale but keep working with farms of different sizes, so we can find 10 other Jim Wards”—i.e., farmers Sweetgreen knows and trusts.

    While the company is still in the early stages of letting salad fans in on a direct view into its supply chain, that’s where the cofounders want to go next. Sweetgreen plans to build its own version of Domino’s pizza tracker, in which a progress bar chronicles an order’s journey down the assembly line and out the door. “Instead of ‘John’s flipping your pizza. It’s on its way!’ our tracker will say, ‘Hey, you like the tomato kale caesar. We know because you’ve ordered it before. These tomatoes were planted two months ago with this kind of seed, there was a lot of rain, and because of that, they’re super sweet. They’re great for the next two days, order now!’?” says Jammet.

    In the meantime, Sweetgreen is relying on its email newsletters—it sends an average of six per month—to keep devotees apprised of the latest on its local broccoli leaves and organic carrots and to introduce customers to the dozens of small farmers who provide those salad fixings. In April, its “Open Source” newsletter waxed poetic about the beets grown on Faurot Ranch in Watsonville, Calif., by Arturo Sanchez, “who crossed the border in 1983 from Mexico” and is now “a proud U.S. citizen and ranch co-owner, working to convert his fields from conventional to completely organic.”

    Do hungry office workers really want an inbox full of salad missives? Sweetgreen cofounder Nate Ru thinks so. “Our consumers want to double-click one layer deeper into where the food’s coming from, or the farmer that’s involved, or soil health,” which is “something our customers are getting savvy about,” he says. As evidence, he points to a recent series of surveys the chain conducted with more than 7,000 customers, which returned results affirming that, yes, soil health is apparently top of mind.

    “That’s why we went so hard with the messaging around the koginut,” says Jammet, referring to the new breed of squash Sweetgreen developed with chef Dan Barber. Last fall, Sweetgreen mailed 100 of the auburn volleyball-size squashes to loyal customers as part of a ploy to generate buzz around the gourd, which features a “built-in ripeness indicator for peak flavor.” (In other words, it changes color when ready to be picked, like many things that grow.) “We wanted to create the same kind of excitement that’s created around major consumer brands, like, ‘Let’s create as much hype for a vegetable as a Nike shoe because the vegetable is more important in the long run,’?” says Jammet. “We want to connect this food to happiness, to joy, the way that brands like Pizza Hut and McDonald’s have done for years.”

    To that end, the company is launching a new customer satisfaction metric that will ask customers to rate every Sweetgreen salad they eat. “Like Uber or Lyft,” says cofounder -Neman. “Imagine being able to correlate that to the farms and to which ingredients get higher ratings based on flavor. You’re able to start to understand: Do certain farms and ingredients create happier customers?”

    ****

    Sweetgreen讓蔬菜變得既可追溯又時髦,就這方面而言,它或許壟斷了市場。但消費者也關心便利性。雖然Sweetgreen是全美店鋪分布最廣的沙拉連鎖店,但它并非無處不在。比如,在人口密度較低的美國中部,當地農產品或許更難采購,人們可能不太愿意花12美元買一碗生菜。這就是Daily Harvest的切入點,該公司采用一種完全不同的方式來兜售以蔬菜為中心的生活方式。Daily Harvest的創始人雷切爾·德羅里提供純素食,以速凍蔬菜為特色的訂閱式套餐。這些套餐包裝在單獨的杯子里(其價格從6.99美元到7.75美元不等),直接發給客戶,而客戶往往會在微波爐中將其加熱。因此,盡管她和她的競爭對手Sweetgreen團隊一致認為,農產品應該更容易獲得,但德羅里不認為按訂單制作的沙拉能夠達到這個標準。

    “在一個主要的城市地區,外賣公司Postmates仍然需要一個小時來遞送我的沙拉。”她斜靠在Daily Harvest位于曼哈頓市中心總部的會議桌上說。“如果你不是住在大城市,當你離開家或辦公室,開車去某個地方的時候,就忘了它吧。”

    我必須得同意她的觀點。在我們見面之前,我餓了,當時還有15分鐘的空余時間,我嘗試著從附近的一家Sweetgreen店點一份沙拉。我使用手機應用程序定制了一份含有蘆筍和甜豌豆的“春季布拉塔碗”。我想,我會像一陣風似地走到移動取餐柜臺,拿起我的14美元沙拉,狼吞虎咽地吃下,以平息肚子的不滿。然后,我到了付款界面,看到沙拉至少要45分鐘才能夠做好。德羅里會意地點頭認可我的故事,并向我提供Daily Harvest的花椰菜米飯和泡菜碗,這是一種不含谷物的泡菜炒飯,除了發酵的納伯卷心菜和切得很細的花椰菜,還包括甘藍、胡蘿卜、蔥和掌狀紅皮藻(一種富含蛋白質和礦物質的海藻)。4分鐘后,我不再餓肚子了。

    Sweetgreen may have cornered the market on making vegetables traceable and trendy, but customers also care about convenience. And while Sweetgreen boasts the largest national footprint of any salad chain, it’s not everywhere—namely, in the center of the country, where population density thins, local produce can be harder to source, and people may be less willing to pay $12 for a bowl of lettuce. This is where Daily Harvest, a company that takes a very different approach to selling the veggie-centric lifestyle, comes in. Daily Harvest founder Rachel Drori offers vegan, subscription-based meals featuring vegetables that are flash-frozen, packaged in individual serving cups (prices range from $6.99 to $7.75), and shipped directly to customers, who typically heat the bowls up in the microwave. So while she and her competitors on team Sweetgreen agree that produce should be more accessible, Drori does not believe a made-to-order salad can hit that mark.

    “In a major urban area, it still takes Postmates an hour to deliver my salad,” she says, leaning into a conference table in Daily Harvest’s downtown Manhattan headquarters. “And if you don’t live in a major urban area, by the time you leave your home or office and drive somewhere, forget it.”

    I have to agree with her. Prior to our meeting, hungry and with 15 minutes to spare, I attempted to order a salad from a nearby Sweetgreen. I used the app to customize a “spring burrata bowl” with asparagus and sugar snap peas, thinking I’d breeze by the mobile pickup counter, grab my $14 salad, and scarf down enough of it to quell the growls. Then I got to the payment screen and saw that the salad wouldn’t be ready for 45 minutes (at least). Drori nods knowingly through my story and offers me Daily Harvest’s cauliflower rice and kimchi bowl, a grain-free spin on kimchi fried rice that, in addition to fermented napa cabbage and finely diced cauliflower, includes kale, carrots, green onions, and dulse (a protein- and mineral-rich seaweed). Four minutes later, I am hangry no more.

    Daily Harvest的創始人雷切爾·德羅里致力于通過速凍的方式,將蔬菜帶給普羅大眾。

    Sweetgreen迎合的是那些為了獲得一份適合發在Instagram的沙拉,愿意付出價格和時間溢價的都市人。德羅里指出,她的目標市場受眾則是那些有這樣的想法,但做不到這一點的人,“他們也想去農貿市場購買食材來制作美味佳肴,但做不到這一點,因為他們沒有時間。”

    Daily Harvest與世界各地的農民合作,為他們提供液氮隧道式速凍設備,在收獲后幾小時內將作物冷凍起來。這一過程被稱為單體速凍(IQF),它能夠使Daily Harvest避開構成傳統冷凍食品的防腐劑。與Sweetgreen一樣,該公司也在努力優化農業生產環節,不過其戰略有所不同。德羅里說:“我們可以說:‘把你今年不準備用的東西給我們,讓我們一起測試一下。’”一位農民正在尋找從芹菜中獲得更多產量的方法,她說:“現在我們擁有唯一的芹菜根冷凍供應鏈。”

    在2014年創辦Daily Harvest之前,德羅里曾經先后供職于四季酒店(Four Seasons)、美國運通(American Express)和吉爾特集團(Gilt Groupe)。彼時,她厭倦了時常推遲午餐,等到下午3店才在休息室狂吃生日蛋糕的生活。自那以后,她籌集了4300萬美元資金,并在全國各地積聚了10萬多名訂戶,其中一些人生活在Sweetgreen等公司沒有提供服務的農村“食物沙漠”。她說,訂戶的細目列表形象地反映了美國人口的布局,即城市、農村和郊區,而在這三個地區,Daily Harvest的客戶群都在增長。

    “在阿肯色州郊區,你買不到海帶面條。”德羅里說。“我們為那些聽說過海帶面條,但無法品嘗的人提供服務,因為即使在亞馬遜上購買,他們也要花60美元買一袋,但不知道該怎么吃。”

    While Sweetgreen caters to an urbanite willing to pay a price and time premium for an Instagram-worthy salad, Drori describes her company’s market as “those who want to but can’t—those who want to go to the farmers’ market and meal prep and make these delicious dishes but can’t because they don’t have time.”

    Daily Harvest works with farmers around the world, arming them with nitrogen tunnels that freeze produce within hours of harvest. The process is called individual quick freezing, or IQF, and it enables Daily Harvest to eschew the preservative bombs that constitute traditional frozen meals. Like Sweetgreen, the company is trying to optimize farming, though its strategy is different. “We’re able to say, ‘Give us what you’re not going to use this year, and let’s test something together,’?” says Drori. One farmer was looking for a way to get more yield from his celery crop, she says: “Now we have the only frozen supply chain for celery root.”

    Drori worked for the Four Seasons, American Express, and Gilt Groupe before starting Daily Harvest in 2014, fed up with the routine of postponing lunch and bingeing on break-room birthday cake at 3 p.m. She’s since raised $43 million in funding and ships to more than 100,000 subscribers nationwide, some of whom live in rural “food deserts” not served by Sweetgreen and its ilk. She says the breakdown of subscribers closely mirrors the U.S. population in terms of urban vs. rural vs. suburban, and that Daily Harvest’s customer base is growing in all three areas.

    “You can’t buy kelp noodles in suburban Arkansas,” says Drori. “We’re serving people who’ve heard of kelp noodles, but they can’t try them because, even if they buy them on Amazon, they’re going to spend $60 on a bag and not know what to do with them.”

    吉姆·沃德把西紅柿放在區塊鏈上。迄今為止,Sweetgreen已經在20個農場安裝了傳感器。

    與Sweetgreen類似,前投資銀行家亞當·埃斯金于2011年創建的Dig Inn經營城市餐廳(28家,主要分布在紐約和波士頓),但它與Daily Harvest一樣專注于熟食。埃斯金估計,Dig Inn今年的蔬菜銷量將達到900萬磅,綠葉蔬菜只占“很小的比例,西蘭花、花椰菜和甜土豆的比例要高得多。”

    大約20萬磅蔬菜來自于Dig Inn自己的農場,它位于紐約州切斯特的“黑土區”,占地16英畝。埃斯金稱這個農場是他的“農業實驗室”。 “我們可以測試不同的種子,不同的品種:我們正在測試新型南瓜、辣椒、甜菜和雪豆。”他說。這是一個“臭鼬工廠”,但它的實驗對象是農作物。這是埃斯金致力于改變蔬菜種植和消費方式的體現。“我們對如何在未來幾十年重建食品體系,并產生影響的愿景只有一個詞:蔬菜。如果更多的人能吃到更多的蔬菜,我們都會過得更好。”

    如果有一件事是這些競爭對手能夠達成共識的,那就是他們的理念:為更多的人提供更多的蔬菜。盡管區塊鏈、單體速凍和農業實驗室或許將在一定程度上決定哪一種以蔬菜為中心的未來生活方式版本將勝出,但終極裁決者仍然是食客的味蕾。就連Sweetgreen的聯合創始人尼曼也承認,這意味著“在沙拉之外創造相關性”。他說,菜單擴展是該連鎖店的首要任務,“今天,我們已經有一半的食物是熱的。去年我們還測試了各種口味。”比如花椰菜炸薯球。

    在沃德農場,吉姆·沃德讓周圍的人傳看一張照片:那是五年前農場為Sweetgreen的粉絲們舉辦的一場聚餐,彼時的土壤還遠遠沒有安裝區塊鏈傳感器。餐桌上有酒,有面包,并非只有沙拉。(財富中文網)

    本文另一版本登載于《財富》雜志2019年7月刊,標題為《Sweetgreen:這些沙拉愛好者能夠最終說服美國人吃蔬菜嗎?》。

    譯者:任文科

    Dig Inn, founded in 2011 by former investment banker Adam Eskin, is similar to Sweetgreen in that it operates urban restaurants (28, mostly in New York and Boston) but shares Daily Harvest’s focus on cooked produce. Eskin estimates that Dig Inn will sell up to 9 million pounds of vegetables this year, with leafy greens representing “a very small percentage. A much larger percentage is broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes.”

    About 200,000 pounds of vegetables come from Dig Inn’s own farm, a 16-acre plot of land in the “black dirt region” of Chester, N.Y. Eskin calls the farm his “agricultural lab.” “We can test different seeds, different varietals: We’re testing new types of squash, peppers, beets, snow peas,” he says. A skunkworks, but for produce. It’s an embodiment of Eskin’s commitment to change how vegetables are grown and consumed. “Our vision of how to rebuild the food system and have an impact over the next few decades is one word: vegetables,” he says. “If more of us had greater access to vegetables, we’d all be better off.”

    If there’s one thing these competitors can agree on, it’s probably that ethos: more vegetables, for more people. And while the blockchain, IQF, and ag experimentation may play a role in which version of the veg-centric future wins out, the ultimate arbiter remains eaters’ taste buds. Even Sweetgreen’s Neman will allow that means “creating relevance beyond just salad.” Menu expansion is a top priority for the chain, he says: “Today, already, half of our food is warm. Last year we tested sides,” like broccoli tater tots.

    Back at Ward’s, the farmer passes around a photo of a sit-down dinner the farm hosted for Sweetgreen fans five years ago, long before there were blockchain sensors in the soil. There was wine, there was bread—there was more than just salad.

    A version of this article appears in the July 2019 issue of Fortune with the headline “Sweetgreen: Can These Salad Evangelists Persuade America to Finally Eat its Vegetables?”

    我來點評

      最新文章

    最新文章:

    500強情報中心

    財富專欄

    日本极品a级片_日本一级特黄大片