In an age where brick-and-mortar grocers are getting crushed by Amazon and food delivery titans, these little pre-cooked birds are a beacon of light. Priced low and sold ready-to-eat, they’ve been a primo attraction for grocery stores looking to lure in shoppers for more than 20 years.
So primo, in fact, that certain chains are now investing big bucks in optimizing their rotisserie chicken supply chains.
How’d it all begin, grandpapa?!
Well kids, back in the early ‘90s, Boston Market (then Boston Chicken) started serving up rotisserie chickens as on-the-go “convenience” meals — and sales went through the roof.
Grocery chains started catching on to the craze: by ‘94, Costco and Kroger were on the chicken train, and by ‘98, Safeway, Albertsons, and many others came aboard.
These chains price their chickens super low (anywhere from $4.99 to $7.99), and consider them to be a “loss leader” — an enticing product they didn’t necessarily profit from, but that would entice customers to buy other things, like high-margin side dishes (conveniently placed by the chickens).
The rotisserie chicken supply chain
The astounding success of rotisserie chicken sales in recent years — and unflinching desire to keep them at a low price-point — has prompted stores to invest heavily in streamlining their chicken infrastructure.
Costco, the undisputed king of rotisserie chickens (they sold 87m of them last year, or 14% of the entire market) is throwing down $300m to build their own poultry processing plant so they can knock out the middle-chicken.
They also, like other grocers, use a number of tricks to make rotisserie chickens seem like a better deal than they actually are, including injecting the meat with up to ½ a pound of salt water.
But that’s kind of hard to complain about when you’re paying $4.99 for a 3-pound bird pre-garnished with lemon and pepper.
Bird is the word
India’s nationwide biometrics ID system keeps getting hacked
For years, India’s biometric system known as Aadhaar has been highly criticized for its glaring security flaws. Recently those flaws were widely exposed after the personal data of its users was put up for sale for under $10 on WhatsApp.
Over 1.19B people have enrolled in the world’s largest biometric ID system, which houses a bevy of personal info (like fingerprints, retina scans, names, addresses, phone numbers, even bank account info) — and puts the identities of those enrolled in the system at risk.
Aadhaar has pretty much been a mess since day one
Created in 2009, the 12-digit biometric identity number was originally formed to prevent fraud. But, in the 9 years it’s been around, it’s acted as more of a direct invite for those looking to steal an entire country’s identity.
In 2010, over 200 government agencies (with access to the accounts) accidentally published sensitive Aadhaar info online, and since 2015, banking fraud has run rampant on Aadhaar users, with identity thieves attempting to open bank accounts in their names.
And, on the same day as the WhatsApp scandal, a local media company reported a major hole in Aadhaar’s security that allows pretty much anyone to become a data admin for the entire system.
But the UIDAI refuses to acknowledge the problem
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has brushed off claims of these pressing Aadhaar security loopholes as “fake news.”
They’ve gone so far as to file an investigation against the journalist for The Tribune (a North Indian newspaper) who reported the WhatsApp incident.
Due to strong wind resources, Northeast Brazil is becoming an electricity powerhouse
Deep in the northeast region of Brazil lies the humble town of Serra Branca, known for harvesting corn… and wind.
In 2016, Brazil was ranked the 5th best wind market in the world — and according to Bloomberg Tech, Serra Branca’s breezes are “so perfect” for powering wind turbines that Brazil’s northeast region is capable of spinning more wind energy than any other region on the planet.
Why is Serra Branca’s wind so dang good?
Consistent breezes reportedly give the entire country a capacity factor (electricity produced vs. its theoretical output) of 39%.
Serra Branca’s location specifically gets higher wind speeds on average than the rest of Brazil, with very little change in the wind’s direction — known to wind-heads as “the perfect climate.”
At 2.7 Gigawatts, they account for the most wind-power capacity in Brazil, and with that much wind, they have a lot to sell.
Meaning it’s gonna be cheeeaaap
French renewable energy company, Voltalia SA, just won two projects in Serra Branca that will reportedly sell the cheapest wind power ever in Brazil.
In a pair of government auctions last month, the company bid to deliver electricity for a record low $29.82 per megawatt-hour, a move that ultimately landed them the projects.
The company is now developing a total of 1k megawatts of wind farms in the northeast region and they expect to invest $867m into those endeavors.
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Hot take — foam rollers are great… but muscle rollers are better. Great for rolling out sore muscles with precision and compression, instead of flopping around on the floor trying to reach a sore spot with a foam roller.
Written in 1922, Babbitt is a biting, cynical take on middle-class America, and the pressures to conform to the societal norms of the business world. A good book to revisit if you’re feeling blue in the digital age.
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