It seems so wonderful at first. You don’t have leave the house to go shopping anymore! Everything just shows up at your door. But after a while you start to sense that something is missing…

You’re starting to get bored with the same old stuff that you get in your food box every week. There’s nothing new in there and since you’ve stopped shopping at your grocery store you’re no longer exposed to new branded products. It’s too much trouble to even change your order now because you wouldn’t know how to change it anyway. And so, you resign yourself to getting more of the same. You’ve sacrificed variety for convenience.

Sound a little far-fetched? It’s not as far away as you think. As more and more grocery stores promise speedy home delivery to save you the trip to the store, your choices are being reduced by the very technology that enables the ordering process. One of the ways this technology is dumbing down your shopping experience is with the assumption that you’ve already chosen the brands you like, and, unspoken but implied, that you will never change! This is especially true once you start reordering your “same as last time” purchases.

Sure, online grocery shopping will certainly attempt to account for this in a very profitable way. They will charge producers for pop-up ads that target the types of previous purchases you’ve made. They will also tell you what other products were purchased by people who have bought similar branded products. But in order to see these pop-ups you must be on their site every week. Not very likely.

What will happen in fact is that many people will not even go back to the site once they’ve set up their initial order. They will simply give the store permission to deliver the same order with the same brands as last time. But viewing the store visit as strictly an act of replenishment, collection, or delivery to replace your larder is forgetting something very important. Discovery! Not to mention, Entertainment!

When you go into a physical store you enjoy what some psychologists call “retail therapy.” The act of setting time aside, making yourself presentable, changing your scenery by physically going to a store, interacting with other people in real time, asking for and receiving suggestions, being exposed to a variety of choices in every category, and stumbling upon that new, impulse, notion buy, all add to revitalization and discovery.

Stumbling upon that new, impulse, notion buy doesn’t really happen online. So the last brand choices you made before you started getting your “regular reorders” are generally the ones you’re stuck with.

And what about new CPG brand producers? Their challenge of building a new CPG brand just got a whole lot tougher! With Walmart adding to the ever-growing list of retail grocery stores offering online delivery, impulse buys are going to become a thing of the past. The growth of online ordering with home delivery will inadvertently create repeat customers who want “more of the same!”

The brands that are already established will benefit greatly from this change because it’s too disconcerting to shop for new brands in the first place. There’s always the anxiety that the new brand you choose will not perform as expected. There’s always the worry that you will have to choose yet another new brand, and another and another until you find a satisfactory replacement. This is hard enough to do with the store visit. Imagine how hard it’s going to be without tactile comparison and displays of new brands that you stumble upon when in a physical store. May as well stick with the old brand even if it’s not performing…

Once again, we see technology that’s being sold to us as improving our efficiency really just dumbing us down to the point where we are willing to accept less choices. To save a little time, will we give up discovery? Will we let the improvement in our food brand choices end with the last trip we made to the grocery store right before we started re-ordering the “same as last time?” Sounds pretty boring, doesn’t it?

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact