In a few days, millions of Americans will ignite their grills and barbecue up a storm in a grand Independence Day tradition enjoyed from coast to coast. Thanks to inflation, though, this year’s celebrations may be pricier than in years past. While Fourth of July favorites like hot dogs and potato salad remain affordable, prices for items like ground beef, pork chops, and lemonade have risen dramatically. 

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), an average cookout for 10 Continue reading

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The fast food industry has long depended on affordability as one of its key selling points, offering customers quick meals that are easy on their wallets. Those days might be in the past, however, as inflation and other factors have sent fast food prices soaring in recent years. According to Finance Buzz, average prices at the country’s most popular chains have increased by as much as 100 percent over the last decade. The 31 percent rise in inflation over the Continue reading

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In the late 1990s, the seafood chain Red Lobster was one of the fastest growing restaurants in the nation as it earned billions of dollars in annual revenue from more than 700 locations. As the years went by, though, poorly planned promotions and wider economic factors took their toll on the company. This video looks at how the pandemic and an endless shrimp promotion brought Red Lobster to the brink of bankruptcy.

Questions:

  1. How did Red Lobster’s endless shrimp promotion Continue reading
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April 3, 2024

Credit card firms provide both consumers and businesses with a convenient way to handle payments that eliminates the need to deal with large amounts of cash all the time. Still, this service doesn’t come for free: not only can customers rack up large amounts of interest on their credit card bills, companies also must pay a fee for every transaction they make. These “swipe fees” can add up quickly. Last year alone, U.S. merchants paid $101 billion in swipe fees Continue reading

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March 29, 2024

Although meal kit services like HelloFresh and Blue Apron both enjoyed a boom in business during the pandemic, only one of those companies continues to thrive today. The video below explores the growing dominance of HelloFresh in the meal kit industry even as it struggles to keep customers, who mainly tend to cancel their subscriptions once the sign-on deals end. 

Questions:

  1. What are the benefits and drawbacks of HelloFresh’s strategy of using discounts to attract customers?
  2. Why is it Continue reading
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March 19, 2024

With more than 51 million monthly active users in the United States, the Chinese e-commerce outlet Temu has expanded significantly in recent years thanks to its huge selection of cheap goods. This video looks at the platform’s low-price strategy and how it’s winning customers the world over in spite of reports of poor quality products and possible ethical issues.

Questions:

  1. Why do you think Temu’s business model is appealing to customers?
  2. Which e-commerce strategy do you think is most effective Continue reading
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March 8, 2024

On February 1st, Universal Music Group (UMG) allowed its licensing deal with TikTok to expire after accusing the platform of providing insufficient payments to artists. In an angry letter, the music giant said that the video-sharing app was “flooded with A.I.-generated recordings,” which diluted the pool of potential revenue for legitimate artists. As a result, TikTok removed all music affiliated with UMG from its platform, a drastic move that escalated in severity last week. After failing to make any progress Continue reading

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March 6, 2024

Last week, tens of thousands of AT&T customers lost cell phone service for about seven hours in a nationwide outage. While some feared that the company’s network went down because of a cyberattack, AT&T clarified that the outage was caused by “the application and execution of an incorrect process used as we were expanding our network.” Of course, the reason for the failure did not really matter to people who were unable to use their phones during an important time Continue reading

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February 28, 2024

Public companies use earnings calls to share information about their recent performance with shareholders and the media. News from these announcements rarely leaves the confines of the business press, but that was not the case yesterday when social media users heard an earnings call comment about the fast food chain Wendy’s. CEO Kirk Tanner mentioned that the company was planning to test “more enhanced features like dynamic pricing and day-part offerings along with AI-enabled menu changes and suggestive selling.”

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February 16, 2024

Last week, we looked at how food prices have remained high even as inflation falls in other areas of the economy. Not only are many consumers struggling to pay their grocery bills, but rent has also become a major financial strain on millions of people. Housing costs skyrocketed in the years after the pandemic, with average U.S. rent growing by more than 15 percent in 2022. According to a recent report by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, half Continue reading

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