Domain Daily: Talking Tacos

The Dose

  • Salesforce Jumps Into NFTs

  • Restaurants Reinvented

  • Shrinkflation

NFTs Made Easy

Salesforce is jumping into NFTs. The customer relations software company is launching a pilot program dubbed "NFT Cloud."

The Point: NFT sales have plunged 90% since last September. However, companies are still viewing NFTs as a means of strengthening customer relations. For example, last month, Starbucks said NFTs would be a core component of its revamped engagement strategy. Salesforce wants to make it easy for other businesses to do the same. The initial hype around NFTs was based on their being digital collectibles. But maybe that was never the right way to think about them. Instead, their primary use case may ultimately be, shall we say, more practical. Rather than being known as a creative medium, their niche might be replacing membership and loyalty cards. "The art should look great," said Adam Caplan, Salesforce's head of emerging technology. "But that's not really the point."

What Are NFTs?

Faster Fast Food

Taco Bell's first Defy location is up and running. The concept restaurant caters to mobile orders and third-party delivery services.

The Point: Fast food hasn't exactly been living up to its name lately. With the rise of third-party delivery apps and an ongoing worker shortage, wait times (and drive-thru lines) have become noticeably longer. Taco Bell is looking to fix that. The innovation here is raising the kitchen above street level. By doing so, the new locations will have more drive-thru lanes while not needing a larger footprint. Customers then receive their food via a system of vertical lifts. We aren't mentioning this because it's a technological marvel. It's obviously not. But it shows how the pandemic has forced companies to change even the simplest aspects of their operations.

Check in-app Prices

Smaller Sizes

According to the Associated Press, shrinkflation is on the rise.

The Point: Companies have a few ways of dealing with higher input costs. They can keep their products as is and raise prices. They can swap out ingredients or materials for cheaper versions. Or, in a somewhat deceptive move, they can keep prices the same but give consumers less for their dollar (known as shrinkflation). The AP says that many companies are opting for this third option. In their report, the news outlet cites Pepsi's decision to cut Gatorade bottles from 32 ounces to 28, among a host of examples. We typically think of inflation as an uptick in prices, but this story reminds us that there are two sides to the equation. Keep that in mind as you track your spending at the grocery store.

Inflation Regulation

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