April 19, 2022

As companies continue to face climbing costs, many businesses are responding by either raising prices themselves or reducing the size of their product offerings. But there’s at least one company who hasn’t surrendered to the effects of inflation: 23-ounce cans of AriZona iced tea remain 99 cents, the same price as when they hit the market 30 years ago. So is AriZona somehow immune to recent price increases? Not in the least, considering that the cost of aluminum has 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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April 12, 2022

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in March 2022 consumer prices rose by 8.5 percent compared to the same period last year, amounting to the largest increase since 1981. Not only must businesses contend with pandemic-related supply chain issues that have persisted for well over a year, but also Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to spiking fuel and food costs. As a result, inflation continues to rise alongside prices for essential goods like housing, groceries, and gasoline. Continue reading

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February 8, 2022

With Super Bowl LVI less than a week away, football fans around the country are stocking up on snacks and drinks for Sunday’s big game. In fact, each year Americans eat more than 112 million pounds of snacks during the Super Bowl, with the most popular items being potato chips, pretzels, and tortilla chips. Although these items will be available and affordable as ever this year, economists at Wells Fargo estimate that the cost of fresh items like salsa and Continue reading

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December 14, 2021

In holiday seasons past, retailers would commonly slash prices by 50 to 90 percent on Black Friday in an effort to entice shoppers into stores. But that was not the case in 2021 as companies reduced prices by “10, maybe 20 percent” according to Zarah Reeves, who usually waits until the Thanksgiving shopping weekend to buy her clothes, appliances, and home goods. “The deals are just horrible [this year],” said Reeves. “I’m looking at these discounts, thinking: That’s it? Never Continue reading

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September 10, 2021

Although demand for wine from California’s Napa Valley has never been higher, supply is low across the region after years of drought, wildfires, and then the pandemic disrupted production. This video looks at the inflationary pressures currently weighing on winemakers as they consider whether or not to raise prices on the latest vintages.

Questions:

  1. What inflationary factors are driving winemakers to raise prices on their products?
  2. What are the potential advantages and disadvantages for businesses when they raise prices?
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September 1, 2021

Over the course of the pandemic, problems with global supply chains have affected companies both large and small, leading some to reconsider their relationships with international manufacturers. Many other businesses are waiting for their products to arrive after weeks or even months of delays. For instance, the toy maker MGA Entertainment said its stock of Rainbow High dolls has been held up overseas due to a shortage of shipping containers. As a result, the company will likely not Continue reading

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August 24, 2021

At the beginning of summer, major airlines had plenty of optimism that rising vaccination rates would entice Americans into traveling again. Initially this hope seemed to be well-placed as demand for flights increased and prices surged accordingly, with the Consumer Price Index finding that airfares rose by 7 percent from April to May 2021. While prices stayed around that level through July, sales started to sag by August as carriers saw the impact of the Delta variant on their bottom Continue reading

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March 19, 2021

Last month, we looked at how NBA Top Shot sells digital basketball cards for thousands of dollars through its online marketplace. Since then, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) like Top Shot cards have skyrocketed in value, with one viral gif selling for $600,000 while a NFT artwork was sold through Christie’s auction house for tens of millions. This video explains how NFTs operate along with their possible drawbacks. 

Questions:

  1. How did some NFTs come to be worth thousands or even millions Continue reading
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February 23, 2021

In February 2020 during a regular season NBA game, Lebron James performed a two-handed windmill slam dunk that he afterwards said was a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant. A clip of James’ dunk placed side-by-side with a nearly identical one of Bryant’s from 2001 quickly went viral and can be easily found from multiple sources on YouTube. Then again, you could also do what social media entrepreneur Jack Settleman did in January: pay $47,500 for a clip of the Continue reading

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