NPR run a popular podcast called Planet Money.

I started listening recently – it’s been going a while, so I was pretty late to the party.

One of my areas of curiosity is food – not just eating and cooking it, but how the logistics work and more broadly how the world is going to get fed in 5, 10 or 20 years time.

And so Planet Money Episode #813 (‘The Produce Show’) was in my headphones on my walk down Park Avenue last week.


Visiting a big produce show in New York, the Planet Money team meet a guy called Tony Stallone.

“Any relation to Sylvester?”

“He keeps claiming there is”

Ha – I bet he’s used that line 1000 times but it still got me.

Tony is the produce buyer for Pea Pod, one of the big grocery delivery platforms in the US, with a big focus on the millennial market.


Tony believes millennials can’t cook, so he’s at the show looking for how to deliver the freshest, most ready-to-eat produce to millennials, so they can eat it right away.

There are two things he’s particularly focused on: berries and avocados.


Tony is convinced that if a grocer can keep their berries and avocados beautiful and ripe, the customer is going to buy the rest of their produce at that store.

The berries and avocados are the hook.

Tony knows he needs the hook, and today it’s more important than ever. That’s not to say everything else doesn’t matter, but with attention at a premium the hook is essential.

The hook has to be right for the audience. It has to be compelling. It has to be relevant.

What’s your hook?



Tony Stallone (and others) at the produce show:

Finding your hook: Merchandising the Stallone way

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