March 25, 2022

Anyone who’s had to fill up their car lately knows how the cost of gas has shot through the roof in recent weeks. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average price per gallon increased to $4.24 on Monday, the highest rate in more than four decades. Although the inflation-adjusted price does not quite reach the heights of the 1970s energy crisis, consumers must nevertheless deal with the largest month-to-month gas price increases on record. 

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March 15, 2022

The Swedish company Oatly began making oat milk in the early 1990s and steadily grew a dedicated following among health conscious European consumers. But the beverage really took off in the late 2010s when Americans got in on the craze, sending Oatly’s sales soaring and attracting interest from high-level investors. To enable the brand to grab market share while it was available, Oatly received major investments from companies like Blackstone Group as well as celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Jay-Z. Continue reading

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February 18, 2022

Chowing down on a big bowl of crickets probably doesn’t sound very appetizing, does it? According to a range of experts interviewed in the video below, though, our disgust at the thought of eating insects might just be a matter of perception. This extensive report from the New York Times shows how lobsters went from disgusting to delicious in the eyes of American eaters, a branding journey that bugs might also take in the near future.

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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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January 20, 2022

Although heavy traffic in U.S. ports did not end up canceling Christmas last year, the supply chain crisis still led to some empty shelves and expensive items as companies struggled to obtain needed inventory. Now that the holiday shopping season is long over, however, some officials are optimistic that the worst has passed as ports in Southern California work through their backlogs and shipping costs drop from their September 2021 highs. But like so many other aspects of American Continue reading

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January 18, 2022

With so many different products and services on offer these days, it can be difficult for companies to convince customers to purchase a product more than once. And since repeat business is the lifeblood of any enterprise, many firms have turned to subscription models to ensure that they receive steady sources of revenue. Streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+ stand out as some of the most recognizable subscription services, while brands like Peloton adopted this model for the home fitness Continue reading

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January 4, 2022

In August 2018, Apple made history by becoming the first publicly traded company to reach a $1 trillion valuation. Although it took the tech giant 42 years to reach this milestone, its value doubled to $2 trillion just two years later. Then to ring in 2022, Apple’s share price climbed over $186 per share, which turned the iPhone maker into the world’s first $3 trillion company. That’s more than the combined worth of Walmart, Disney, Netflix, Nike, McDonald’s, Exxon Mobil, 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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November 18, 2021

Last year’s Thanksgiving was an unusual one: with travel restrictions largely in place and mass vaccinations still months away, fewer people traveled home to see their families for the holiday. According to AAA, however, that will not be the case in 2021 as the transportation agency expects 6.4 million more people to travel than in 2020. Lifted restrictions as well as clearly defined safety procedures for air travel have made many Americans confident about taking a trip for Turkey Day, Continue reading

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November 16, 2021

The pandemic completely upended the concept of work in the U.S., resulting first in mass layoffs as companies closed down followed by mass resignations when businesses returned. This video looks at how the first problem may have led to the “Great Resignation” as workers continue to leave their jobs and companies struggle to attract talent.

Questions:

  1. Why have employment rates in travel and hospitality struggled to return to pre-pandemic levels?
  2. What are some of the causes of the Great Resignation? Continue reading
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