October 4, 2023

Over the last few years, thousands of people have attempted to go viral on social media by eating an unbelievably hot tortilla chip. Branded the “One Chip Challenge” by the Austin-based company Paqui, the super spicy snack came packaged in a coffin-shaped box that dared eaters to wait as long as possible before drinking anything after ingestion. This led to countless videos online where people pleaded for water or shoveled ice cream into their mouths as a result of this Continue reading

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April 28, 2023

In 1903, the Milwaukee-based Miller Brewing Company launched Miller High Life, dubbing its then-signature brand “the Champagne of Bottle Beer.” Not much has changed about it more than a century later, except in the 1960s the company shortened its slogan to “Champagne of Beers” and included the saying in the brand’s logo. But while Miller’s famous catchphrase may seem inoffensive enough to most Americans, that view is not shared by the Comité Champagne. This French trade organization determines which products Continue reading

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October 12, 2022

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), six out of 10 Americans suffer from chronic lifestyle-related diseases that often stem from obesity and poor diet. These illnesses are the nation’s leading drivers of death and disability, as well as the central cause behind the $4.1 trillion in annual health-care costs paid by Americans. Obesity rates climbed during the pandemic, especially among children, with studies showing that 45.7 percent of 5- to 11-year-olds are now considered overweight. Given Continue reading

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September 30, 2022

For decades, conservationists have warned drink companies about the dangers of plastic ring packaging commonly used for six-packs of cans. Once these rings find their way into the ocean, they turn into a lethal danger for birds, turtles, and other marine life who can become ensnared in the plastic. In fact, the World Wildlife Federation estimates that plastic products like these kill as many as 100,000 marine animals annually. Drink rings also contribute to the growing global problem of ocean Continue reading

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August 19, 2022

Since 1994, Rap Snacks has sold chips, popcorn, and even instant noodles featuring hip hop stars like Snoop Dogg, Migos, and Lil Baby on the packaging. The most recent addition to this lineup of talent is Nicki Minaj, who launched her “Barbie-Que Honey Truffle” potato chips earlier this summer. While Rap Snacks hoped this high-profile partnership would make a big splash on social media, the brand instead attracted the attention of an entirely different audience: the notoriously litigious toy company Continue reading

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April 15, 2022

As businesses across the globe contend with rising inflation, many companies are cutting costs by reducing the size of consumer goods and hoping buyers don’t notice. This video looks at this growing trend of “shrinkflation” and the risks that companies take when they downsize snacks. 

Questions:

  1. Why are many companies responding to rising costs with “shrinkflation?” 
  2. What risks do companies take when they alter the packaging or size of consumer goods like snacks?
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The pandemic led to widespread disruptions across the world’s supply chains, leading to inflation and higher prices for many commodities. In response to these increasing costs, some companies have elected to reduce the size of their packaging rather than raise prices. For instance, Walmart shrank its Great Value paper towel rolls from 168 sheets to 120 sheets while the Tillamook County Creamery Association reduced its family sized ice cream containers from 56 ounces to 48 ounces. 

“Consumers check the Continue reading

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The Swedish company IKEA is famous across the globe for its meatballs and its wide array of furniture that customers must assemble at home. This video looks at how the retailer encourages sales by creating the “IKEA effect” with its winding floor plan that causes customers to snake through a series of product showrooms. 

Questions:

  1. What sort of strategies does IKEA use to keep costs low?
  2. How does the “IKEA effect” encourage customers to purchase furniture and home goods?
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September 24, 2020

With audiences largely reluctant to return to the movies, it’s not just theater chains that are struggling to adapt to life during the pandemic. Farmers who supply theaters with popcorn have seen orders for their product almost disappear as retail suppliers have seen sales surge. While Orville Redenbacher, Jolly Time, and Pop Secret have benefited from consumers staying home, the Preferred Popcorn company in Nebraska has millions of tons of unsold kernels on hand.

Preferred Popcorn primarily supplies snack distributors Continue reading

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April 10, 2020

Over the last few weeks, shoppers at supermarkets across the country have stocked up on versatile staples like milk, bread, and eggs that are well-suited for hunkering at home. But as many meat and dairy producers ramp up production to satisfy this increasing demand, food companies that serve clients like restaurants and schools are drastically scaling back. With many eating establishments now closed or take-out only due to coronavirus containment, food suppliers have seen demand for their services plummet. As Continue reading

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