October 16, 2020

On the surface, food advertisements don’t seem to be overly complicated. As this detailed video shows, though, filming the average food commercial often requires scientific precision as well as robotic assistance. 

Questions:

  1. Why is it important for ad makers to stick closely to what their clients want to see in a commercial? 
  2. Do you think it is worth the expense for companies to use robots and other complicated and expensive filming techniques in their ads? Why or why not?
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October 15, 2020

Despite being one of the largest restaurant chains in the world, McDonald’s experienced a drastic drop in sales at the beginning of the pandemic just like many other businesses. Once the chain recovered from the shock of closing tens of thousands of dining rooms, though, it refocused on streamlining its drive-thru business and menu. McDonald’s also struck a marketing partnership with the rapper Travis Scott for a branded meal that became a bestseller for the month that it was available Continue reading

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September 17, 2020

According to data collected and analyzed by Yelp, nearly 163,700 businesses have closed since the start of the pandemic in March. This marks an increase of 23 percent from July when Yelp last released statistics about closures. To make matters worse, about 98,000 of those businesses will remain closed permanently. 

More than 32,000 of those shuttered businesses are restaurants, 61 percent of which have closed for good. Yelp claims that restaurants like pizzerias, delis, food trucks, and bakeries Continue reading

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September 15, 2020

While makers of staple foods like soups and cereals have seen sales skyrocket during the pandemic, candy companies like Hershey have not been so fortunate. With foot traffic down significantly in convenience stores and other shops, consumers are not making as many impulsive treat purchases as they did last year. Still, matters could get even worse for Hershey in the coming months if the company does not have a happy Halloween.

The nearly $800 million haul that the company brings Continue reading

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August 31, 2020

For decades, ice cream trucks carrying Good Humor products have traveled through American neighborhoods with the folk song “Turkey in the Straw” playing at full blast. Unfortunately, though, this more than two-century old tune has a sinister history outside of its long association with frozen treats. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, “Turkey in the Straw” was a standard number in minstrel shows that relied heavily on racist caricatures. 

“While these associations of ‘Turkey in the Straw’ are Continue reading

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August 18, 2020

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced countless companies around the world to come up with new ways to sell products or else risk going out of business. For instance, many bars and restaurants have made the switch to carry-out service and installed take-out windows to easily access waiting customers. For some lucky Italian entrepreneurs, though, their businesses come with built-in to-go kiosks constructed more than 500 years ago.

Known as “buchette del vino,” or “little wine holes” in English, these Continue reading

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Over the last few weeks, restaurants and retailers across the country have gradually reopened with limited capacity, plexiglass barriers, and other anti-Covid restrictions. According to a recent study of the review site Yelp, however, approximately 140,000 listed businesses that closed in March remained shut down in June. What’s more, 41 percent of those companies have closed for good. Retailers accounted for the highest number of closures at 27,000. Coronavirus lockdown measures also majorly hurt restaurants, with 53 percent of closed Continue reading

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June 19, 2020

Back in April, we looked at how American dairy farmers were dumping thousands of gallons of milk due to drastic drops in demand from businesses and schools. This video illustrates how this problem has grown in the months since and offers potential solutions that could keep supplies and prices stable.

Questions:

  1. How have dairy cooperatives responded to the supply crisis that was caused by the pandemic?
  2. Do you think independent farmers should receive more relief from federal regulators? Why or why not?
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June 16, 2020

Before the pandemic, Starbucks cafes across the country bustled with people grabbing all sorts of caffeinated beverages before work. With millions of Americans now telecommuting, however, these once crowded coffee houses are not nearly as busy as they used to be. As a result, last week Starbucks announced that it would close hundreds of locations across North America and shift its focus to takeout orders.

“This repositioning will include the closure of up to 400 company-operated stores over the next Continue reading

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Before the coronavirus pandemic, takeout and delivery orders made up just a small portion of total sales for most restaurants. With countless customers now homebound, though, to-go business has never been more important for eateries across the country. Many restaurants use apps like Grubhub, Seamless, or DoorDash to handle delivery orders, but these services come with quite a few problems for all their convenience. Besides signing up companies that don’t offer delivery, food startups have also deceived restaurants and Continue reading

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