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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw my dad at a wedding last night, I haven't seen him in a while. He lives in Ohio and recently took over a chain of grocery stores (he has been a supermarket and small chain store exec for 30 years all over the world)<br><br>
I brought up that I was vegan and I really didn't get much of a response from him - he switched the subject. But maybe he didn't hear me or really grasp it? It was loud and we were dancing lol.<br>
Anyhoo- I was testing the waters with him because I would like to eventually approach the subject of what he does at his stores. He runs the entire company so I imagine he has some say in where his meat comes from, dairy products, and supply of vegan options. Where produce comes from and where his eggs come from.<br><br>
I have not visited the stores yet- I plan a trip out there with my kids in September. But I would like to approach the subject with him. It is my goal to evoke major change - but I feel that I need to approach the subject gently, he is a meat eater and staunch non recycler at heart. His mind is not too open on the subject of being green or living healthier, and his goal when taking ownership is to increase profits which the family run business has failed to do over the course of 50 years.<br><br>
I don't really think showing him a graphic video would affect him much, him and my mom are mainly animal haters- they never let us have pets, they make fun of my "ugly smelly dogs", and my mom owns about 4 furs that she prances around in.<br><br>
I feel like this is a major mountain to climb, but I feel like I need to say something or make an attempt to invoke change because of the unique position I am in and my connection to someone who is in a position to invoke change.<br><br>
I wanted to bring this up here, because I know some of you are activists and maybe know the right way to go here.<br>
Like I said, this has to be a very very gentle approach and could easily backfire. I have an okay relationship with my dad, but I really don't see him very much at all and haven't lived with him for 14 years. They moved around all over the world a lot and communication is slight.<br><br>
Any advice? I know this is totally crazy and random, but I was giving it thought since last night when I saw him.
 

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I suggest you appeal to his business side. let him know there is a huge demand for what you are suggesting and it can be very profitable. maybe you can do some research and show him the number of vegans and vegetarians there are and how targeting this group could increase business.
 

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I'd work on the relationship first! Build that to the point where you really know eachother well.<br>
Plant some seeds here and there about the growing sector of heath-conscious, eco-conscious, and animal-loving consumers. Ask if he'll start selling one vegan item/brand that is hot right now (like Gardien or Tofurky). That's your foot in the door.<br>
Then go for your real goal. Give him 3 options of significant change (where the middle option is most appealing to him yet also results in actual benefits to animals).<br>
If that fails, keep the relationship going and try again in 6 months.
 

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Sanjay Gupta is having a discussion on how to become heart attack proof, featuring docters from Forks over Knives. Health is an issue that will increase plant based products more than animal rights- at least that's how I see it, from knowing others who follow the diet for health. That could appeal to his business side.<br>
I live in N.E. Ohio. Sorry to hear of more big business takeovers. I'd love to help send him a message!
 

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It sounds like the only way you could possibly get through to him will be with a financial argument. Try to convince that he can make more money by selling some vegan items. Whatever you say, make sure you have plenty of good, reputable sources to back it up. He'll probably want market research relevant to his location before he'll listen to any of it, though, so you're pretty screwed there.<br><br>
Honestly, I think you're just setting yourself up for both a big fight and disappointment here. I'd still say go for it, but expect the worst.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thank you for all the advice! Its definitely good advice to start small. I do need to call him more often, I feel like we have not much to talk about and have nothing in common. Its so funny how our personalities are so much the same, but our ideals differ greatly.<br>
I am hopeful that I can do something - even the smallest thing might make a difference.<br><br>
He is a good guy, he just gets wrapped up in that corporate exec lifestyle- I know he was a hitchhiking long bearded hippie who followed the Dead when he was young- so I know he might have it in him deep down inside!
 

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He's probably still going to sell mostly factory farmed animal products because that's where the money is at. The most you can hope for is that he'll carry some vegan items, but it's all about supply and demand. If he can't sell it, he won't carry it. I ran into this problem at a health food store. I asked them to start carrying a product, but was told that they tried it before and couldn't sell it, but if I wanted to order a case of it, they'd order it just for me, but they wouldn't stock it on their shelves.
 

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One product I can suggest you ask him to carry would be Daiya cheese. It's not just a vegan thing. A lot of lactose intolerant people like it and would probably appreciate him carrying it.
 

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From talking to people that are in the industry I have learned that veggi* products are not profitable to the store.<br>
They are only working on a 2% margin to start with. Those products appeal to a very small segment of the target population in any one given area, so its going to be tough going to get them to stock much more than a couple veggie burgers etc... If it does not move, they cant put it on the shelf.<br>
Meat moves, everyone eats meat. (almost) so they are going to stock meat as much as they can. Its also why they put the meat in the back of the store, it forces people to walk past all of the other items to get to it. Same with milk and Eggs, back of the store.<br>
As sad as it may be, even if he wanted to try to start loading the store with veggie items, he couldn't. They don't move fast enough and shelf time reduces the profit, they have to turn quick to make their money.<br>
Now, one thing that could be done is to see if he could increase the fresh produce section of the store, try trading off processed frozen goods for more natural goods and see how that goes. But again, in order to stay competitive with the other chains, he has to buy at or below the cost they are buying.
 

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Here is some marketing research to help in your efforts:<br><a href="http://cultivateresearch.com/vol_1_VCT_Series_Overview.pdf" target="_blank">http://cultivateresearch.com/vol_1_V...s_Overview.pdf</a>
 

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i don't know how he will keep his job if he doesn't sell whatever he can sell. supermarkets have razor thin margins, and i really would doubt he'd be able to make significant changes in this arena, any more than he could stop selling soda/beer/cigarettes.<br><br>
i'd just focus on your relationship.
 
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