April 23, 2019

From the robin’s egg-blue boxes at Tiffany to Coca-Cola’s classic glass bottles, packaging has long played a role in the success of many well-known brands. In fact, it’s become even more important in today’s social media-driven business environment. Along with catching the eyes of passing shoppers in stores, a product’s packaging must also be bold enough to grab the attention of scrolling Instagram, YouTube, and Reddit users. In the last few years, these platforms have been flooded with “unboxing” videos Continue reading

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February 8, 2019

Sorry, candy lovers, but today we’ve got more bad news. Not only will millions of Americans soon be forced to spend Valentine’s Day without their SweetHearts, but there’s also something wrong with the nation’s supply of Hershey’s Kisses. While the chocolate treats will still be available for next week’s big day, they’ll be missing one of their most distinctive features: the tips. Since December consumers have been puzzled by the tips’ absence, fearing that Hershey had changed the candy’s Continue reading

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February 1, 2019

Many years ago, hundreds of delivery men used to criss-cross New York City transporting big bottles of seltzer water directly to customers. As soda and other pre-packaged drinks became popular, however, most of the city’s “seltzer men” began to disappear once demand for their product plummeted. But the old-school seltzer trade isn’t entirely dead in the Big Apple. The video below shows how Brooklyn Seltzer Boys carries on this legacy by combining traditional methods with a new marketing strategy.

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December 6, 2018

Last week, a crowd of Los Angeles fashion influencers and curious shoppers attended the opening of what they thought would be a new luxury shoe retailer. Surrounded by stilettos on pedestals and golden sneakers, the onlookers marveled at the work of an Italian designer named Bruno Palessi. “I would pay $400, $500. People are going to be like, ‘Where did you get those? Those are amazing,’” said a woman as she tried on a pair of leopard print tennis shoes. Continue reading

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November 9, 2018

Visit the candy section of any American drug store and you’ll likely find some Kit Kats stocked unceremoniously alongside an assortment of other brands. But at the Don Quijote market in Tokyo, the chocolate-covered wafer bars occupy a place of honor in the megastore’s vast candy section. That’s because the seven-story market is one of the few places where consumers can browse through dozens of Kit Kat varieties developed exclusively for the Japanese market. From fruit-based variations to bolder flavors Continue reading

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September 4, 2018

A couple of months ago, we took a look at Starbucks’ plan to eliminate its use of plastic straws by 2020. While the coffee chain remains the most high-profile business to ban straws, several cities throughout the country have joined the effort by passing legislation regulating their use. For instance, last month San Francisco passed an ordinance that prohibits restaurants from distributing any single-use plastic utensils or accessories. The cities of Seattle, Malibu, and Vancouver have recently put similar laws Continue reading

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August 17, 2018

If you’ve ever wondered whether it’s safe to eat eggs that have gone past their “sell-by date,” you are certainly not alone. This video looks at the confusing dates that companies place on food packaging and how they encourage consumers to throw out items that are still edible.

Questions:

  1. Why do companies place sell-by dates on food packaging?
  2. What can companies do to make food date labels more straightforward for consumers?
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August 10, 2018

Over the last few years, many Americans have started to cut sugary drinks like soda out of their diets for health reasons. So instead of reaching for a Coke, these calorie-conscious consumers will opt for alternatives like bottled water or ginger ale. According to a recent lawsuit filed in New York, however, the latter isn’t that much better than soda if you’re drinking Canada Dry. Despite advertising on the label that it is “made with real ginger,” plaintiff Julie Fletcher Continue reading

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August 3, 2018

A few months ago, we looked at why our subject for the Chapter 8 profile in Understanding Business was leaving her position as CEO of the Campbell Soup Company. As the video below shows, however, Campbell’s problems began long before Denise Morrison took the top job.

Questions:

  1. Why has Campbell’s struggled to grow steadily in recent years?
  2. What do you think Campbell’s should do to start winning over young consumers who don’t like canned soup?
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July 12, 2018

Americans use an estimated 500 million plastic straws every day. And while these small pieces of polypropylene can be recycled, they are rarely accepted by recycling centers. “Plastic straws are pretty small and lightweight, so when they’re going through the mechanical sorter, they’re often lost or diverted,” said plastics pollution researcher Sam Athey. Instead, straws usually end up in landfills which can then lead to oceans and beaches. Although no one knows just how many straws currently pollute our waterways, Continue reading

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