27 June 2023

Our June Roundup: Chinese consumer boycotts, a new Netflix restaurant and robot chefs

In this month's roundup, we explore Chinese consumer boycotts, bolstering food security, the new Netflix restaurant and robot chefs.

2 minute read

What Drives Chinese Consumer Boycotts of Foreign Brands?

From Morning Consult

With China’s growing economic influence, Chinese consumers are important to many foreign brands. However, boycotts have become a phenomenon that has increased significantly in the past decade, often linked to geopolitical tensions. Chinese consumers are more likely to retaliate against brands for perceived slights against their home country. This is particularly true of younger and more urban consumers. Growing nationalism and a preference for local brands also drives these measures – though interestingly, environmental concerns and labor concerns rank very low on the list of concerns.

This piece examines how foreign brands can mitigate the risk of boycott, and primarily advises moving supply chains out of China in order to help “sidestep some of the thorny geopolitical issues”, despite the fact that this may displease younger Chinese consumers concerned with diminishing employment opportunities.

What will it take to bolster food security in one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable regions?

From AGFunderNews

In this piece, food insecurity in the Oceania region comes under scrutiny – a region with some of the most unique and diverse ecosystems on Earth. Threats to food security here includes rising sea levels and rising temperatures in particular. The piece advises:

Among those things that can spark real change are taking a farmer-first approach to agriculture, adopting new innovations in food that can improve production and supply chains, and weaving indigenous perspectives and sustainability throughout every step, from farm to fork.

It’s all part of a larger concern around transforming the food system into the future. For more information about the role regenerative agriculture might play here, take a look at our recent study.

Netflix will open a restaurant that serves food from ‘Chef’s Table,’ ‘Nailed It!’ and more

From TechCrunch

Netflix is looking to expand beyond streaming, offering up consumers a whole new experience – inside the food service industry! Netflix recently announced their new pop-up restaurant called Netflix Bites, which will feature chefs from their various cooking shows. It’s all part of the company’s attempt to offer up innovative new experiences, stretching the definition of virtual entertainment in this pop-up experiment.

Robot ‘chef’ learns to recreate recipes from watching food videos

From the University of Cambridge

In this update from the University of Cambridge, researchers have programmed a robotic chef with simple salad recipes. The robot ‘learns’ in the same way we do – by watching videos. The paper’s first author, Grzegorz Sochacki, said:

“We wanted to see whether we could train a robot chef to learn in the same incremental way that humans can – by identifying the ingredients and how they go together in the dish.”

Grzegorz Sochacki

The robot was able to detect ingredients and actions of human chefs to understand what recipe was being made. Our partner Colin McAllister had this to say:

“We recently published a study on Winning in the Kitchen where we highlighted the combined need for Convenience, Pleasure, Healthiness and Sustainability when making choices on what and how to eat at home. The prospect, mentioned in this article, of robots optimally doing it all for us is fascinating and for sure will attract a growing segment of the population.”

Colin McAllister

You can learn more about our research into this area here.


That’s it for another month! We hope you are having a wonderful summer, and will be back with the latest industry news that catches our eye next month.

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