Hampton Creek Slings More than Mayo at the Food System - Will it Stick?

In case you missed it, Hampton Creek’s CEO Josh Tetrick created a social media frenzy over the past two weeks. It started on July 26th with his New York Times letter to presidential hopefuls imploring all candidates to address our broken food system. Within a week, Business Insider had released an article (http://read.bi/1ImbmnR) detailing interviews with former employees who raised questions about several alleged business practices of the darling startup. Then, there was Tetrick’s response to the rub (http://bit.ly/1f3YDM7). And the heartfelt letter to his mom, again published in the New York Times (http://bit.ly/1gtNrt0).

Anyone else feel like all this swirl is playing out like a well written telenovela? We just can’t stop watching the thing unfold. No really. We created a Google Alert and are breaking out the popcorn bag every time one of our phones buzzes.

No matter what you think about Josh and Hampton Creek, there’s no denying he’s hit a nerve in the system, especially when he put this straight to the candidates for President of the United States:

“Our outdated food system is the thread running through our most important problems, from diabetes and obesity (health care), to food deserts (race relations), to the decline of our family farms (economy).”

Go big or go home, sir!

It’s hard to read statements like that and not feel a little… frustrated. Or, better: moved to action. Here’s what we’re doing:

  • We make our tools available to restaurants and suppliers large and small, because you never know where the next Hampton Creek is going to come from, and the big guys are doing some pretty great things too, believe it or not.
  • We give restaurants online ordering that helps them order the best food possible for their customers.
  • We refuse to pit supplier against supplier in a race to the bottom, because we know that a healthy food system depends on good distribution systems (http://bit.ly/1RQXINv).

What we’re not doing anytime soon is getting in a media fight with Josh Tetrick. By most accounts, he nailed the response to the Business Insider article and is back to doing his thing at Hampton Creek. Now all he has to do is save the food system…

We’ll keep watching, but we’re not twiddling our thumbs in the meantime.

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