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You’ve been Keedoozled! .png

5 things: You’ve been Keedoozled!

Here’s 5 things you may have missed in grocery

Catch it while you can! Being Keedoozled was what you wanted to be back in the early 20th century. At least until something went wrong. In the late 1930s, grocer Clarence Saunders, the father of Piggly Wiggly, came up with a whiz-bang of an idea. Why not cut down on labor costs and lower prices while also providing innovation which made the shopping experience seamless. Sounds familiar, right? Saunders opened up a grocery store in Memphis called Keedoozle and it was definitely a place to bring the kids. It was fully automated and described as a half grocery, half vending machine store. Products were displayed in glass cases, and selections were moved along via conveyor belt. But it took manpower to operate the conveyor and there were constant problems with the mechanics behind the scenes. The speed, or lack thereof, could not keep up with the demand and Keedoozle ended up folding up the circus tents. So I guess Amazon’s Jeff Bezos isn’t all he is cracked up to be, eh? Saunders probably had his own plans for a rocket, too. —Bill Wilson

Amazon takes stock: Starting Monday, Inc. is being added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, joining Apple, Walt Disney, Walmart and other companies that make up the 30-stock average. The ecommerce giant will replace drugstore operator Walgreens Boots Alliance in the Dow — a move that was prompted by Walmart’s decision to do a 3-to-1 stock split, thereby reducing its stock’s weighting in the index. While S&P Dow Jones placed an emphasis on the retail side of Amazon, there’s another angle to the online giant finally landing on the Dow — it’s joining the ranks of the other “Magnificent Seven” tech companies — Alphabet, Apple, Meta Platforms, Microsoft, and Nvidia — all of which increasingly drive major market gains. —Chloe Riley

Pass me the Monito sauce: The fun continues this week with AI-generated artwork that aims to depict the final outcome of Instacart-created recipes. We already reported earlier this month on the Insta-nausea these images have aroused in some users. But the duh-lectible concoctions keep coming, according to a story in PC Gamer magazine. On the menu this week is a “citrus beef salad” that includes the incredibly rare ingredient known as “Monito sauce,” which is so rare that no one has ever heard of it or seen it or tasted it. A deep-dive investigation on the matter reveals that’s because it doesn’t exist. To be fair, PC Gamer reports that Instacart does include a disclaimer now, noting that its computer-generated recipes “may not be perfect.” It also recommends following recommended food safety guidelines. AI hiccups notwithstanding, we still think this new tech is mo-neato. See what I did there? –Tim Inklebarger

The end is…at Walmart? There are conspiracy theories that take people to a dark place and then there are those that take you to Walmart. TikTokker made a video speculating that a Walmart store near her purposely shut down both self-checkout kiosks and traditional checkout lanes so shoppers would have no choice but to pay for Walmart+ and use its patented Scan & Go. “They’re not going to put more cashiers there,” she ranted on her TikTok video. “They want the lines to be wrapped around the store out the door.” Then she engages in some deep math equations. “Globally, Walmart gets 37 million customers a day. If only 10% of them sign up for Walmart+, baby, pssshhh, millions of dollars a month just for a service that is basically free for them to provide.” Well, not really free as there are costs associated with running the app and all of the tech that goes with it. One poster claiming to be a former Walmart employee said their manager spoke of this strategy often. Good thing Costco sells those emergency food kits because it appears the end of the world is near. Egad! Maybe Costco and Walmart are in on this together?! —BW

Release the Cartken! You’ve seen them on college campuses and some ritzy neighborhoods in Southern California, but food delivery bots are still a rare sight in U.S. cities. Well, that might remain the case for the foreseeable future on this side of the Pacific, but Tokyo is about to get a fleet of the delivery bots. CNBC reports that food and grocery delivery company Uber has partnered with Mitsubishi Electric and robotics company Cartken to deploy the delivery robots by the end of March. Uber Eats says it will be the first international site for the delivery robots. They are already operational in Miami and Fairfax, Virginia, but Uber Eats isn’t stopping there, according to the report. The company is also working with robotics companies Motional, Nuro, and Serve Robotics to begin robot deliveries in other U.S. cities. –TI

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