Return to Transcripts main page
First Move with Julia Chatterley
U.S. could put in new Rules to Travelers from China; Pope Francis says Former Pope Benedict is "Very Sick"; U.S. Considers new Measures for Travelers from China; Planet Fitness Doesn't Plan on Raising $10 Free; UK Ethical Startup Launches Cocoa-Free Chocolate; Time Square New Year's Eve Ball gets Crystal Makeover. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired December 28, 2022 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN HOST, FIRST MOVE: A warm welcome to "First Move", coming to you once again from London. And another busy show for you today
filled with both New Year's resolutions and celebratory substitutions. There's no better way to start the year they're making a few of those
Christmas pudding pounds disappear.
The CEO of gym Giant Planet Fitness is seeing membership at all-time highs. Thanks to ultra-affordable membership plans he says, the Truman's wait
lines without busting budgets. Chris Rondeau joins us with his take on consumer health in more ways than one clearly over workout gratification to
guilt free temptation.
We'll hear from the co-Founders of the WNWN labs they're unethical food start up that aim to produce cocoa free chocolate to market they claim is
indistinguishable from the real thing better for our health and apparently the climate too. And the treats are even safe for dogs crucial for me.
Futures though on Wall Street for now this week, we're on track for another subdued open today. Take a look at that.
This comes after Tuesday's 1.5 percent drop for the NASDAQ. Tesla trenching, I think is what tells the tale falling more than 11 percent of
its seven daily losses in succession. Amid reports that it's now cutting back on Chinese production, slowing demand and for selling fears at play
here of course too.
I think as well as the continued overhang from Elon Musk's Twitter purchase. Tesla shares just to give you some context now down some 70
percent since January of this year. That's its worst year ever in terms of performance as a public company though the stock ticking higher for now pre
market up around 2 percent at last check in now 1.5 percent.
Let's take a look at what's going on in Asia too. Hong Kong rallied after the city's Chief Executive announced the lifting of most COVID Health
restrictions. China's moves to reopen its borders in January have led to an overall positive tone to Asian markets over the past week or so.
But there's clearly lots of concern now about how free movement will strain both their healthcare systems. But what measures other nations, now are
doing it to protect them as well. The United States is considering PCR tests for incoming Chinese tourists According to reports.
And Japan, Malaysia and Taiwan putting in place new restrictions as well. As you can probably guess we begin today's show once again in China. As
China eases it zero COVID policy the number of COVID cases there continues to rise. The outbreak is putting Chinese hospitals and funeral homes under
immense pressure and draining resources. CNN's Paula Hancocks is following the story from Seoul.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As many are celebrating China's decision to ease its COVID border restrictions. Some countries are starting to put
restrictions in place, anticipating an influx of travellers from China in coming days and weeks. Now, there is an explosion of COVID infections
within China and there are concerns that this could begin to cross beyond its borders.
The United States, for example, says that it is looking to put in place new COVID measures due to the rising cases in China for travellers coming from
Mainland, China but also talking about the "Lack of transparent data", this information coming to us from U.S. officials, one of those officials saying
that a decision could be made soon.
Also pointing out that without data it is very difficult and becoming more so for public health officials to try and identify any potential new
variants and also to be able to react quickly to try and reduce the spread of any of those variants.
HANCOCKS: Now other countries also putting plans in place, Taiwan for example, has said that in the coming days it will require all travellers
from Mainland, China to test on arrival a similar situation in Japan.
In fact, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he is restricting plans to increase the number of flights to and from China, because he is
concerned about the increase in infections. They're saying that it is difficult to grasp the detailed situation, India also putting some
restrictions in place.
Now, this is a significant part of the very abrupt dismantling of China's zero COVID policy. But the lack of data, the lack of numbers of infections,
hospitalizations, and deaths coming out of China is concerning many around the world. Paula Hancocks, CNN Seoul.
CHATTERLEY: Now, given concerns about an explosion of COVID cases across China. We're learning that the United States is considering new
restrictions on people travelling from the country. Let's get right now to Arlette Saenz live in St. Croix, where President Biden is vacationing.
Arlette, great to have you with us, there's no rest.
Clearly when this kind of thing is going on around the world, many nations are concerned now what the explosion in cases in China means for
international travellers China reopens. What do we know about what the United States is considering? And how quickly they might choose to act?
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the U.S. is currently considering adding some new travel measures themselves, here when it comes
to those travellers coming from China. U.S. officials say that is because of the rise that they've seen in COVID cases in the country, but also what
they are calling a lack of transparent data about the situation in the country. Now, these consultations are being made in coordination with
public health officials here in the U.S. as well as partners around the world.
And one U.S. official told me this morning that they believe a decision on adding possible testing requirements to travellers coming from China could
come soon. Now, one thing that officials are really pointing to is the data that they are receiving from China about the COVID cases they are. And
there are concerns among public health officials that this would cause more difficulty in trying to identify new variants and also find ways to protect
people from COVID 19.
The World Health Organization just last week, expressed concern about the rising cases as well as saying that more information is needed. Now, as
Paula noted, some other countries have already taken some steps to try to address these travellers coming from China, amid the rising cases you have
Japan that is requiring testing upon arrival. India is also requiring proof of a negative test upon arrival.
Those are steps that are set to go into place in the coming days. So the U.S. is evaluating all of the options at the moment seen some of the things
that these other countries are doing. And they said that they will be making a decision that is based on science and public health.
But it's very clear they have been watching the end of this zero COVID policy very closely. Watching this rise in cases and also continuing to
press for more data and transparency from China. So that the U.S. and other countries around the world can also make plans about things like new
variants and other measures they could put in place to protect their people.
CHATTERLEY: It makes perfect sense and as you said, transparency over the data's key, communication's key. The response it seems from China's already
that nations should be working together. And I just wonder, are letting you can tell me if the answer is no.
Whether there's any sense of coordinating between some of these nations? Perhaps the United States and Europe, for example, because I think there's
also the sort of geopolitics that comes into play here and not wanting to be seem perhaps too. We are taking a measure against China that could be
seen as aggressive in some way despite the concerns about COVID and the sense of coordination, or at least discussion of action.
SAENZ: Yes, we haven't heard yet of specific discussions that the U.S. might be having with European countries. But they have specifically
stressed that they are talking to partners around the world consistently about this issue. Oftentimes, there has been some coordination in the past
when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic and some of the travel restrictions.
But the U.S. is assessing what the information that they have and what they believe will be best for those travelling into this country specifically?
Certainly, those types of conversations have been on the table in the past. They could be in play right now, but we haven't gotten any specific word of
that coordination at this moment.
CHATTERLEY: And I will continue to watch for that. Arlette, great to have you with us, thank you so much for that and what an amazing place you're in
a tough gig? Later in the show, where are we getting the view of Shehzad Qazi, he is the Managing Director of the China Beige Book.
That the biggest private data collector in China fascinating to see what their data says about what all this means? All right, in the meantime,
there seems to be no end in sight to the chaos created by the "meltdown" at Southwest Airlines.
CHATTERLEY: The airline confirming more than 60 percent of flights on Wednesday are already cancelled in all Southwest has cancelled more than
15,700 flights since last Thursday. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says his department will hold southwest accountable.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETE BUTTIGIEG, U.S. TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: Their system really has completely melted down. And I made clear that our department will be
holding them accountable for their responsibilities to customers, both to get them through this situation and to make sure that this can't happen
again. And we all understand when you have a major historic storm, hitting the system and hitting hubs in every part of the country.
We know that that's going to have an effect on the aviation system. But what's really concerning here is that while all of the other parts of the
aviation system had been moving toward recovery, and getting better each day. It's actually been moving the opposite direction with this airline.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I was questioned the U.S. Transport Secretary there when I said the meltdown and that's exactly what he called it. Now there is light
at the end of the tunnel after days of delays. Some passengers at least have been able to get on flights, just listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAYLAN FITZPATRICK, SOUTHWEST PASSENGER: So when we were coming here from Austin, they were saying that I guess a lot of flights they had to change
the plane and downsize. Not sure what for? But basically, they said about 30 people wouldn't make the flight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So how are you so lucky to be able to get on the flight?
FITZPATRICK: We checked in early honestly, that was they said that people that checked in early will get on guaranteed.
BRITTNEY FITZPATRICK, SOUTHWEST PASSENGER: We've been checking the news like every day, and then every hour. I'm on my app, just like please be on
time, please be on time. And then one thing that's concerning me is the gate keeps changing. So I don't want to be at a gate and then all sudden
look at my happiness all the way on the other side. So I'm just hoping God gives us grace to bind the gate and finalize.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTERLEY: CNN's Rahel Solomon is following the story for us. Rahel, when the U.S. Transport Secretary has to get involved, he's calling it a
meltdown and suggesting that a company is unable to locate its own crews. Sometimes passengers, never mind baggage, you know, there's a real problem
taking place. Is there any end in sight?
RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, the way it was described to me, Julia is that if you have a Southwest ticket between now and the end
of the year. You have a one in three chance of making that flight. So Exactly, I mean, pretty dire prediction there, right.
And the reason why is because Southwest has said it has proactively cancelled about two thirds of its operation, not because of the winter
storm, but because its system was so scrambled as you pointed out, not being able to match aircraft with available crews. So they have proactively
cancelled about two thirds of their operations to try to sort it out and to try to get systems back in place.
So it is becoming clear that, you know, relief, I guess is in the eye of the beholder, but it is becoming clear that it is not necessarily going to
be a quick or easy fix the CEO for his part, Bob Jordan saying he's sorry, take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB JORDAN, CEO OF SOUTHWEST AIRLINES: The tools we use to recover from disruption service well, 99 percent of the time, but clearly we need to
double down on our already existing plans to upgrade systems for these extreme circumstances. So that we never again face what's happening right
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOLOMON: And, Julia, I think the question now becomes, do they do what they say that they will do? Do they upgrade those systems? Because the Southwest
Pilots Association has told CNN these problems have been brewing for months for quite some time. They say that they've been warning about these issues.
They've been having these issues for the past 20 months.
CHATTERLEY: Wow, I mean, this, to use a bit of a pun here is a perfect storm of shocking weather of challenges more broadly, of Christmas travel,
which we know was heightened as people try and get around the country. What kind of investment are we talking about? What kind of impact on the
business because if they've known for at least 20 months, there's likely to be old? I'm assuming IT infrastructure in this company that's long needed
SOLOMON: It's a great point. I think that's the big question now, certainly for those of us in the financial journalism, you know, industry? Those who
are not stuck in the airport, the question that we're now asking is what how much is this going to cost southwest, of course, the largest pure play
domestic player here in the U.S.? And so how much will it cost to upgrade these scheduling IT systems?
To put this in perspective, the pilots associations, the pilots union that I just mentioned, they say that these systems have not been upgraded Julia
since the 90s. And you'd have to think back, I mean, what technology were we using in the 90s? We were walking around with those portable CD players
and the headphones and I think we were still using floppy disks.
So I think that really drives home the point that if that is in fact true, what the pilots union says, these are systems that are in dire need of
being upgraded. And perhaps this storm is a catalyst to sort of incentivize the company too. Sort of heighten those plants escalate those plans or
double down as the CEO has said.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and the U.S. Transport Secretary is going to be after them, certainly if they if they don't. Rahel Solomon, thank you very much
for that. OK, let's move on, Pope Francis says his predecessor Benedict is "very sick". And has also prayers for the 95 year old Former pontiff.
CHATTERLEY: Joining us now is CNN Vatican Correspondent Delia Gallagher. Delia, what more do we know about his health?
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Well you know Julia, it was something of a surprise this morning when the pope made these comments
asking for prayers for Pope Benedict and saying he was very sick. Let's take a listen to what he had to say it was just a few hours ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POPE FRANCIS: I want to ask you all for a special prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict, who sustains the church and he's silence. He is very sick. We ask
the Lord to console and sustain him in this witness of love for the church to the very end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Following that the Vatican did issue a statement saying that the Pope Emeritus health had declined in the last few hours. They say due to
advanced age, he's 95 years old. They say his doctors are monitoring the situation, and that Pope Francis had gone to visit the Pope Emeritus.
That is what we know at the moment, Julia. I will say that if the Vatican has come out publicly with this information, it means the situation is
pretty serious indeed. We're monitoring it for any updates and we will bring those to you when we have them, Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Delia Gallagher, thank you so much for that. And as you said, any further developments we're bringing them straight to our viewers. OK,
straight ahead. How to lose pounds without paying pounds or dollars?
Actually, in this case, the CEO of gym chain Planet Fitness is up next. Plus, what about just taking clambake and eat more chocolate? That's
probably my choice. The startup which seeds its cocoa free alternative is better for your weight for workers and perhaps the world too. That's all
coming up. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move", I'm returning to one of our top stories Beijing is responding to reports that the United States is
considering travel restrictions on people arriving from China.
And the statement, China's Foreign Ministry said, we need all parties to work together scientifically against the epidemic to ensure the safe
movement of people between countries, maintain the stability of the global Industrial chain supply chain and promote the resumption of healthy growth
in the world economy. China itself will drop COVID quarantine requirements for arrival starting from January 8.
Much to discuss Shehzad Qazi, he is Managing Director of the China Beige Book, the biggest private data collection network in China and he joins us
CHATTERLEY: Fantastic to have you with us and happy holidays and I love talking to you because your data collection is so fascinating for what we
know and what we don't know that set taking place in China. But I just feel it's too early to even talk about any form of economic recovery. Until we
have a sense of the data on what's going on with COVID, be it scales of illness, be it vaccines, the usefulness of the vaccines that they've had
was sort of flying blind.
SHEHZAD QAZI, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF CHINA BEIGE BOOK: Yes, that's exactly right. Markets are flying completely blind. We have no idea at this point.
COVID data coming out of China used to be pretty useless. But now it's all scrapped altogether, we have no idea how bad it is?
Literally, but of course, there are reports coming out showing us that there's widespread death, hospitals are starting to get overrun, and so on
and so forth. That's one aspect of it, of course, markets right now. You know, they've been very obsessed with the idea for reopening in China.
The real question now, of course, is how quickly can this virus be brought into control? So that people can actually participate in the economy. So if
you get an actual reopening, where workers are working and consumers are consuming?
CHATTERLEY: It's fascinating, isn't it? Do you chose to go down the investor route and there is far greater optimism, admittedly, from low
levels, if we look at the stock market, based on what we're seeing in terms of these relaxation of restrictions. But it sounds like what you're saying,
based on this blow up in COVID cases that we're seeing, anticipating, I think in the coming weeks, that actually there could be a further economic
deterioration, rather than a pickup, at least in the short term.
QAZI: That's exactly, I think the data that we're going to get at the end of this month, going into early next year are going to show some amounts of
further economic deterioration. You know, the reality is that COVID is going to disrupt operations at factories. You're going to see a lot of
continued "Self-quarantining" out from, you know, folks who are trying to avoid getting sick.
So I think economic activity is already by the way, really bad, right? The Chinese economy is struggling by all accounts, whether you looking at
private numbers like ours from November or you look at other official data that has come out. So we have a long way to go in terms of digging into the
economy, trying to dig itself back out of this hole that's in any type of you know, rebound, real recovery is still months and months away.
CHATTERLEY: What about the data that you're collecting, as far as COVID itself is concerned? And I know you're in a quiet period before releasing
your latest data, but just in broad terms, can you give us a sense of the scale that we're talking about? Because there are pretty astonishing
numbers, I think being thrown around whether that's the extent of COVID cases, or even just the transmission rate now that we're seeing.
QAZI: Here, you know Julia, COVID is just running rapid right now, you know, where we are absolutely talking about a wildfire, especially in the
major cities, where all the focuses of the next thing. I think, that we're going to be worrying about is what happens, especially over the upcoming
Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year.
When we see flare ups happening in the rural parts of the country in the less developed parts of the country, which by the way, sometimes happen to
be very, very important also for commodities, producers, manufacturers.
So there's still again, an element of Chinese consumption of global commodities and a global supply chain element linked right to it. So you
know the reality is COVID has not peaked, the peak is ahead of us. The pain and additional bad news is ahead of us right now.
CHATTERLEY: So the peak and the pain of COVID, has not yet been seen. What about the economic downside? Because you always have to balance the
deterioration and the concern about the economy with potential I think first stimulus coming through. Have we seen the downside for the economic
data? Do you think that you've collected so far or again, we could see worse?
QAZI: Yes, look, I think it's probably still a little too early to call the bottom. You know, I think as we said, the economy is likely going to worsen
a little bit more. Now looking out into next year, the upside here is that there is room for stimulus, right?
Once you get this COVID situation under control, you potentially have the ability to do a little bit more fiscal stimulus than you did all of this
year. There is room for monetary stimulus. Some of the borrowing numbers that we looked at last month, were encouraging, they were showing a return
to banks and a return to the credit markets by companies.
So those are some positives, which we would look to see, you know, a getting more traction on as you get into next year. So again, the point I
think right now is, I think you're going to get a better 2023 than 2022. That really isn't the question anymore. It's all about the timing and how
soon do you see a recovery start to take shape? To me, this is more of a second half 2023 story.
CHATTERLEY: What are you watching for then over the next couple of quarters?
CHATTERLEY: And I've already seen stories that catch my attention which is importing of things like packs loaded from Pfizer the import of the
BioNTech Vaccine, at least for foreigners in China, not Chinese citizens. Something like that could be a huge game changer and of course, it ties
into the economics it ties into the geopolitics of this kind of decision like that.
But do you expect any kind of relaxation on that front, because that surely would be a game changer in terms of vaccines, and building up the
resilience for Chinese citizens.
QAZI: I think access to vaccinations and Therapeutics is going to be absolutely required. You can just have a situation where folks just keep
getting COVID over and over again, in China. So that's going to be absolutely necessary. So that is going to probably usher in a far greater
revival recovery on the consumer side of the economy.
So that people are able to go to theatres, restaurants and travel much more freely than they are right now, even despite the openings you're getting.
The longer term picture, of course, is what happens crucially with the Chinese property sector, which is in a deep hole and try to resuscitate
that is going to take a long time. But you're not going to get growth levels of the past.
You're not going to get those booming how that booming housing market that you had previously. And finally, the thing that I'm looking out for is, of
course, what continues to happen when you get a Chinese recovery at home, eventually in 2023? But you get a global economy that is slowing down
because that's going to obviously put pressure on the Chinese manufacturing side on Chinese the export led growth, which the country still is very much
CHATTERLEY: Yes, we've already seen companies that are trying to shore up their supply chains, the likes of Apple, Tesla we know we've got challenges
too. So it's a longer term story as well. Shehzad Qazi, great to chat to you today, thank you so much and we'll speak soon. More "First Move" after
this stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Fist pumps and cheers there at the New York Stock Exchange bad boy mowers, industrial mowers I believe there ringing the opening bell this
morning. Welcome back to "First Move"! U.S. stocks are up and running therefore, this Wednesday the third to last trading day of 2022.
And the bulls are hoping to get some much needed green on the screen today but I have to say hopes for a solid year end Santa Claus Rally appear to be
slipping away fast as investors focus on the many investment challenges that we'll be seeing likely in the New Year.
Tesla bulls are hoping for a bit of a bounce too after an 11 percent drop on Tuesday and a stunning 20 percent tumble over the past five trading
sessions. Also, we've talked about it for the last two days Southwest Airlines still in distress as are their customers many of them at least
shares of the world's largest low cost airline are falling again after a 6 percent drop on Tuesday.
And as we've been reporting the carrier is confirming that more than 60 percent of its flights have already been canceled on Wednesday. In all
Southwest has canceled more than 15,000 flights since that historic winter storm began battering the United States last week. Currently, that stocks
down just 2.2 percent just above $33 a share there.
Now New Year's Day it's just around the corner. And with that comes new or old resolutions perhaps to do better in the New Year. And for many that
means working out more. For the past 30 years Planet Fitness has offered memberships for just $10 a month.
The company is hoping its low price point will keep fitness fanatics coming back in 2023. Planet Fitness says its customer base is strong, literally
with more than 16.6 million members that actually is an all-time high I believe. The company says despite inflation, it believes it could double
the size of its existing member base.
Joining us now is Chris Rondeau. He's the CEO of Planet Fitness. Chris, fantastic to have you with us! What does $10 get me? That's an
extraordinary monthly rate. I think. What --?
CHRIS RONDEAU, CEO OF PLANET FITNESS: Yes, it's extremely affordable. And you know, there's only 20 percent of the population in the U.S. has a gym
membership. And that's the best and most worldwide believes or not, which are still you know, very little.
So we look at a $10 price point really gives it full access to so many people that can get off the couch, get fitness to try and not break the
bank, right? And we've been 10 bucks a month since the early 90s. And don't plan to move it. And this is a lot more work for us to get to be done and
to get people off the couch.
CHATTERLEY: Wow! The risk a line that actually so one in five, actually people in the United States goes to a gym or at least has gym membership,
because there's a difference there between actually having gym membership and attending the gym.
Let's talk about that because you do also offer something called a black card, which is, I believe $24.99 a month.
CHATTERLEY: What's the difference between that higher price point and the $10 a month? What did --?
RONDEAU: Yes, so both memberships have full access of your home club, you know near your house or where you join. And you know the best equipment
money can buy tons of cardiovascular equipment, circuit training, locker rooms, and so on.
Now with the black card, you get additional perks. So we have black card spas in our gyms. And what are included in there are hydro massage beds,
massage chairs, like you see in the gym, if you're a black card member you can use those as much as you want no extra charge at all, and tanning and
And on top of that what we also offer with the black card is you actually can bring a guest with you to work out every day for free. Same guest
different guests, somebody at work somebody at home, and there's no charge for that.
So it's almost a two for one and on top of that the other thing it gives you is reciprocity. And now with over 2300 locations around the world, and
2000 here just in the U.S., you can use any club anywhere for no additional charges. So it's a great benefit. So it's always either its $24.99 it's
actually a better value than the 10 you can make a case.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, if you can get somebody to come with you, then it's to your point it's sort of two for one in that regard. OK, now coming to the
crux, I think of the business model of gym membership. What proportion of those people that are paying $10 each month actually come to the gym?
RONDEAU: Sure, yes. Every month out of those 16 plus million members, about half our members use a store in a 30 day period. In every 30 days that
changes over it's a different mix of that same 50 percent.
So membership workouts are somewhere episodic, at times where you work out a lot, you're getting ready for an event you're getting ready for a
wedding, let's have you within a fall off the wagon a little better your kids soccer games get in the way.
But the beauty of $10 a month memberships is that you know you have to take the summer off because of things were working busy to take time off. You're
not breaking the bank and its only $10 so it gives you the availability and accessibility to work out whenever you can and whenever you have time.
CHATTERLEY: What's the plan to go from where you are today? And I think post pandemic, people are sort of getting back to the gym, to your point
$10, whether you go to the gym or not, yes two Starbucks a month, arguably.
So perhaps people don't decide to cancel, they just keep paying it, which is a benefit to your business as well. How do you go from where you are
today to doubling that membership because that's a push, even with just a fifth of people going to the gym?
RONDEAU: Yes. So in the U.S., we have about 2000 stores, we can - we fit for this market research, at least 4000 locations just domestically right
now, so only about halfway there domestically, here in the U.S. So on top of that, we're now in four countries.
We're in Canada, Mexico, Panama, and Australia. Plenty of runway there, we were just announced, we're going to go to New Zealand in 2023. And what we
found is, you know, intimidation is real.
The judgment free zone is what we stand for. If we people can come in, they've never worked out before. You're not going to feel intimidated or
feel comfortable, you're going to fit right in 10 bucks a month is accessible and affordable. Anybody can have access. And the five countries
we're in here now, we've seen the same thing.
People are people and they don't want to be intimidated. They won't be around a bunch of fit people getting fit, or they want to be around people
like themselves. They're just giving us a shot for the first time and we find that people that the morals are same the yellow purple, the judgment
free zone, and $10 a month or there about.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I like the idea of a judgment free zone because I think this is really important. Talk to me, and I think we've got the video of
the lank alarm.
RONDEAU: Sure, sure. So yes, we've ended that 98 believe it or not, and it's kind of our light hearted way to keep the people behaved. We have
those words. And in our definition of a lank alarm - is one who runs, drops, weights and judges others. So it's kind of a light hearted way
people behave and keep the atmosphere fun and comfortable.
CHATTERLEY: Yes you're like, don't be such a show off, please now the alarms going off. At some point, you've also offered pizza, I believe, and
bagels, which some might argue sort of defeats the purpose of a gym. But I think to your point, it's about building that community is that sort of
what you're looking for in a franchisee as well.
Because we you know, we should talk about the business as well of this, this is about franchisees coming to an opening up as well, which at this
point in time, wherever you are in the world, it's more challenging, the financing is more challenging, the prospects more challenging?
RONDEAU: Yes, the pizza - is kind of our way of everything in moderation, right? And, you know, very, very, very few people can really actually eat
perfect forever in an exercise is somewhat it's a chore in some ways.
And, and you've got to put a lot into it. And we feel like a little reward once a month is good. So it's our way of building community within the
gyms, with our members, with our staff and to break down the barriers.
It's not about being perfect every day and wearing a $200 workout outfit, right? It's about coming in, being good for your heart, good free mental
health, which these days are more important than ever. You've seen it on TV and exercise is helps all of that, right?
And it's kind of what we really want to get across in our franchisees really believe in our culture, which is super important, but be it judgment
free zone and who we stand for in the membership that we want to get off the couch and give it a shot.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, for the price of $10 a month. It's an interesting business model. Yes. Chris, come back and talk to you soon. I want to keep a track
on your progress.
RONDEAU: Thank you.
CHATTERLEY: Chris Rondeau the CEO of Planet Fitness Happy New Year. Thank you.
RONDEAU: Happy New Year!
CHATTERLEY: Alright, today's "Connecting Africa", this year's COP 27 was a chance for the world to debate the climate crisis. One of the debates to
emerge, of course, from that summit, is how to follow climate friendly agendas on a continent that's suffering from energy poverty and still needs
The Africa Finance Corporation is engaged in climate friendly policies and acknowledges that industrializing without fossil fuels still remains a huge
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
SAMEH SHENOUDA, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, AFRICA FINANCE CORP: I think we shouldn't ignore climate change. But we should also be cognizant of the
reality we're in Africa, half of the population doesn't have access to power, and we export most of the raw materials. So the two things that have
to happen is providing access to power through base load.
And base load is usually either hydro or gas. So gas is still very important. And we have abundance of gas in Africa, but also
industrialization. So if you think about climate change, this covers a number of things, including carbon emissions, renewable power, and battery
metals. Africa has 30 to 40 percent of all battery metals in the world.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The question then comes can the continents build efficient processing plants for the raw materials that
you speak of? Because that has been one of the arguments is huge investment, it means that we have to do it in a most efficient manner that
we'll be able to plug into international markets.
SHENOUDA: Definitely it can, but it will happen over time. The other thing that's very important and this is what we are focused on is that a lot of
these products are mined in the middle of nowhere.
SHENOUDA: So you need to build the infrastructure to move it from the mine to an industrial zone. So you need to re-invest in rail, re-invest in
roads, so that the product is transported. And then we invest in special economic zones so that we upgrade to industrial industrialized. And then we
also invest in ports so that these products are exported.
GIOKOS (on camera): How do we scale up and mobilize and catalyze access to electricity?
SHENOUDA: We are a DFI but we are also a commercial player.
GIOKOS (on camera): Yes.
SHENOUDA: The key thing is to send the message very clearly through investing in projects and this is what we've been doing. And the projects
could be either climate friendly or renewable, et cetera. But the key thing is, let's look at what resources we have and what can we do with them?
(END VIDEO TAPE)
CHATTERLEY: Stay with "First Move" more to come.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move"! It's that time of the year when some of us at least indulge in some chocolate treats and perhaps choose at
least temporarily to ignore the health consequences.
Well, - startup says it's offering a healthy alternative to chocolate that looks smells and tastes just like the real thing. Using sustainable
ingredients like British barley. WNWN food labs claim to be the first company to bring cocoa free chocolate to market.
And its - free in more ways than just one, mass produced cocoa is plagued by ethical issues like slave labor and environmental devastation. This
London based company is offering an alternative that's free of dairy pommel caffeine and apparently low in sugar too and it's even safe for dogs.
Joining us now is Dr. Johnny Drain. He's Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of "WNWN Food Labs". It sounds great to me, although I haven't
tasted it which is crucial. Just talk to me about the premise of your business and why you chose to tackle chocolate specifically?
DR. JOHNNY DRAIN, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER, WNWN FOOD LABS: Hi, Julia. Thanks a lot. Yes, so we're a company that's making alternative ingredients
for ingredients that maybe have ethical or sustainability issues and we decided to start that journey with chocolate and that's because unbeknownst
to many average consumers out there, chocolate hides a lot of very dark secrets.
So embedded in the supply chains that bring chocolates from the places in the world in the tropics where the cocoa pods are grown to the end bars
consumers eat or other applications there's a lot of deforestation there's biodiversity loss there is child labor there is slave labor.
DR. DRAIN: And there's an also just general lot of inequality along that supply chain. And we think there is a better way to try to reimagine the
future for chocolate.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, it's a great way of saying it actually in some way future proofing food I think. I do remember, it was around two decades ago, some
of the biggest chocolate makers, Nestle, Mars I think Hershey in the United States as well signed a protocol that was going to tackle their supply
chains and look for compromised workers in that supply chain and protects them.
Are you saying actually, despite perhaps their best efforts, or what they say is their best efforts it's simply still not good enough?
DR. DRAIN: Absolutely. So that protocol was a Harkin Angle Protocol.
DR. DRAIN: --some 20 years ago. And since then, you know, is nonbinding didn't really commit anyone to really do anything. There's a lot of kind
of, you know, smoke and mirrors around it. And change since then, has been, I would say, slow and slim.
And we're still asking the questions why haven't you know the situation for the very hard-working cocoa farmers in West Africa, Ghana and Ivory Coast,
where about two thirds of the entire world chocolate comes from?
DR. DRAIN: Why their conditions changed? Why are we still asking the same questions?
CHATTERLEY: OK, talk to me about the chocolate, then. You have to talk to me about taste, because I mentioned the barley, you also use carob as well.
So it's cocoa free. How are you creating a taste that you say smells like chocolate? Tastes like chocolate, the textures like chocolate, too, because
I have to say, the little skeptic in me has tried carob chocolate versions before and been sort of really disappointed?
DR. DRAIN: Yes, so first of all, just to say that we're not anti-chocolate. We think there are lots of people doing amazing, very valuable work trying
to make the world of chocolate better. We're just taking a slightly different approach, saying, can we create that final flavor profile of
chocolate using slightly different ingredients?
And of course, some of those ingredients could come from the places where cocoa is grown, so providing an alternative source of income from people
that are kind of in this vise like grip of the chocolate industry.
When you make chocolate, basically, there's four key stages, you grow cocoa beans, you ferment them, you roast them, and then you grind them. And we're
basically following that same philosophy, except we're starting with vegetable matter, cereals and legumes like carob and barley that just
aren't cocoa beans.
And within them, they have similar, you know, chemical compounds that are found in cocoa. And then using that fermentation and that roasting, we're
teasing out those slaves, same flavor profiles, flavor compounds that are found in the final flavor profile of a bar of chocolate, which might have
several hundred chemical compounds that give it that aroma and that taste that we know and love.
CHATTERLEY: Oh, my goodness, I'm just looking at some of the images here. And never mind, the chocolate, the dogs, the dog seem to love it. And I
think most dog owners know that chocolate is toxic to dogs in particular. So anything that they can eat too is or safely is good no - the bromine, I
think it's that's what's in it, isn't it that you've managed to and you exclude?
Talk to me about who you want to sell this too, because it's not just about a direct to consumer offering? Though you can tell me when it and will - it
will be available. But this is about perhaps also working with some of the big chocolate makers to get them to provide alternative products? Are you
also speaking to them at this stage?
DR. DRAIN: Absolutely. And you know a lot of those big companies look; six companies dominate 60 percent of the global chocolate market. So there's
some small number of really big players, and they're absolutely interested in what we're doing.
And they've comments to our DMs and, you know, we've chatted to them. Look for us, we want to have all the issues with the chocolate industry are
deeply systemic. And we know that in order to make the lives of those hard working farmers in West Africa, for example, to reduce or mitigate
deforestation and biodiversity loss, we need to work at very large scale levels.
And so we need to work ultimately, with those big people who have that power to move that needle. So, of course, we're interested in working with
them in changing their practices and such that in you know, let's say 15, 20 or 30 years we have a global chocolate industry that is working, you
know, in the interests of the people and the planet, in places where cocoa is grown, and we don't you know - we don't - we love chocolate we don't
ever see a world where there isn't chocolate, we just want to make it better.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, this is such an important point because I think one of the first questions I had was what about the farmers that are managing to work
ethically and we've already got products out there where you can track it back to the cocoa bean?
And you hope that actually that is being done in a sustainable way. Cost, relative cost regulation production? What are you doing as a company are
you profitable? Are you raising money talk to me about these things because in the end you've got to make money to stay in business?
DR. DRAIN: Absolutely. So at the minute, we're still very young, about 18 months old. And we did three limited edition product releases last year. So
we were the very first company in the world to really - free chocolate.
We will be launching a product to retail next year in the UK, and beyond that Europe, North America or Southeast Asia. And of course, you know, the
price point is critically important if we come up with this wonderful product.
But it's too expensive, then, you know, again, we won't have that scale. We won't have that impact that we want. So we're looking to price this at the
kind of mass market chocolate price. So if you look anywhere from one pound, 50 per 100 grams up to, you know, four or five, six pounds is where
it starts to get more premium.
But we want to be squarely in the middle of that and ideally within a few years competing with that cheapest mass market chocolate which is by the
way, the cocoa where most of these problems sort of stem from or are related to.
CHATTERLEY: Hopefully a win-win to use the name of the company. I look forward to trying it. I'm excited. It looked good. Yes I just love
DR. DRAIN: Thank you.
CHATTERLEY: Dr. Johnny Drain, Co-Founder and Chief Tech Officer of WNWN Food Labs great to chat to you! We'll have more after this, stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "First Move"! the most famous New Year's Eve song begins "should old acquaintance be forgot" I'll tell you another thing
that always seems to be forgotten and that's New Year's resolutions. We've been discussing them but that never stops as making them of course.
This year according to a new U.S. survey the number one resolution of perennial favorites, you guessed it is to exercise more calls Planet
Fitness will be happy with that. Number two to eat healthier a WNWN of course for our foe chocolate makers; we did well on the show today a WNWN.
High inflation, a growing New Year's fixation 39 percent of people intend to save more money 20 percent say they'll unplug from social media a bit
more too I wish that one were higher. And last but not least the overwhelming majority of those polled about to spend more time with us here
on "First Move" in the year ahead.
OK, I made that one up. But that's a great resolution. We believe it would make for a more delightful and sparkly 2023 and our resolution is to be
with you every step of the way. Now as the countdown to the New Year begins the New Year's Eve Ball in Time Square is getting a sparkly makeover.
Almost 200 new Waterford Crystal Triangles have been added to the ball. Each one of those is cut by hand. And this year's theme is cut on both
sides of the panes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM BRENNAN, MASTER ARTISAN, WATERFORD CRYSTAL: Each and every year brand new theme a brand new cut pattern. And this is actually one of the
triangles here from this ball behind me so I can't draw this because it's got to go up right here.
And you can see these intertwining beautiful love hearts on this cut on both sides designed by Irish craftsman and this is what's really special
about this and this is part of this brand new theme greatest gift the gift of love.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTERLEY: Go Island and for the first time since before the pandemic revelers in Times Square at least can ring in the New Year with no COVID
restrictions. Whatever celebrations you're planning, I wish them to be bright and sparkly.
And you can celebrate the New Year this weekend with CNN International too. We'll feature special coverage from across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin
America, and the United States and even the Metaverse as the world welcomes 2023 with New Year's Eve live.
Starting in Asia New Year's Eve live will follow the sunset and celebrations peak in major cities around the globe beginning at midnight in
Sydney that's 9 pm Saturday in Hong Kong 8 am Eastern Time, do not miss CNN's celebrations.
And that's it for the show. If you've missed any of our interviews today there will be on my Twitter and Instagram pages you can search for
@jchatterleycnn. "Connect the World" is up next and I'll be back tomorrow.