license to thrill
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 8, 2013 11:01 AM
With its most famous resident putting a "For Sale" sign in her front yard, the city of Malibu, California, is looking for new ways to attract tourists and boost income.
CNBC reports that Malibu has signed a deal with Excel Corp. in order to start “licensing apparel, active wear, and even things like sunglasses, watches, and volleyballs” with the extra money going to “fund special projects.”
The city is forking over $90,000 for Excel to design a logo and find licensees.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 18, 2013 04:02 PM
New York City is downsizing its soda sizes, Australia is placing nasty images on its cigarette packs, and sales of organic food are growing in the U.S. Many places in the world certainly seem a lot more aware of health and wellness than they did only a few years back.
Yet amid it all, the doughnut industry continues to thrive, especially in the United States.
Dunkin’ Donuts it plans to open anywhere from 330 to 360 new locations in the U.S. this year, making it one of the fastest-growing quick-service restaurants.
Dunkin’, which has about 7,000 stores in 36 states, opened 291 stores last year in an effort to eventually have 15,000 locations. The brand “sells 1.7 billion cups of coffee every year,” the L.A. Times reports — more than anyone else.
The brand has just announced it will target California for some of its openings in 2015 — a state where Dunkin' has been runnin' on empty, with no stores there since 2002. Executives are confident that it's time to stage a return.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 4, 2013 03:06 PM
Public apologies by high-profile experts are rare, making this week's anti-GMO reversal — call it a GMea Culpa — by British environmentalist, author and Oxford University visiting research associate Mark Lynas particularly stunning.
Lynas spurred the anti-GMO movement in the mid-‘90s, continuing to argue as recently as 2008 that corporate greed was threatening Mother Earth and her inhabitants; but at this week's Oxford Farming Conference, he recanted his position in a very public way.
“I want to start with some apologies," he stated. "For the record, here and upfront, I apologise for having spent several years ripping up GM crops. I am also sorry that I helped to start the anti-GM movement back in the mid 1990s, and that I thereby assisted in demonising an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment.”
“As an environmentalist, and someone who believes that everyone in this world has a right to a healthy and nutritious diet of their choosing, I could not have chosen a more counter-productive path. I now regret it completely. So I guess you’ll be wondering—what happened between 1995 and now that made me not only change my mind but come here and admit it?"Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 19, 2012 01:07 PM
There’s one in Denmark, and there’s one in England. And now there will be one in Carlsbad, California: a Legoland Hotel. Don’t worry, the place won’t be built out of Legos – at least not the whole thing.
The hotel – complete with a dragon-guarded entrance -- is slated to open in early April of next year right outside the Legoland theme park and will feature “interactive Lego features, themed play areas, family pool and kid's entertainment,” according to Lego's website. The 250 rooms at California's Legoland Hotel will all have a theme: Pirate, Kingdom, or Adventure.
Since the hotel is aimed at housing families who are in town to visit the Legoland theme park (and not to those harboring pirate fantasies of one sort or another), each room has two sleeping areas, one with a queen-sized bed and the other with sleeping spaces for up to three kids. After all, it's hard to beat a brand extension you can sleep in.
No wonder Lego is rolling in dough right now.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 5, 2012 12:59 PM
The urban Chinese consumer has greater confidence that green products are better for the environment than their North American counterparts, according to the a new study from DuPont — its China Green Living Survey: Consumer Awareness and Adoption of Biobased Products.
Seventy percent were either very or somewhat confident that green products are better for the environment, while of North American consumers, 65% of Canadians and 60% of Americans held similar beliefs.
The findings have exponential potential for greening-up in the world’s largest consumer market with growing demands for China to meet its sustainability targets. “Greater adoption of biobased products in China could help the country reduce its energy intensity and carbon emissions and advance a new era of green manufacturing,” stated Jeremy Xu, VP, Global Sales and Applications, DuPont Industrial Biosciences.
A majority of Chinese consumers are likely to purchase apparel, personal care, hygiene and household products made from biobased ingredients that offer environmental benefits. More than three quarters of respondents would definitely or likely buy such products in a range of categories including: Detergents 82%, Personal hygiene 81%, Clothing 78%, Personal Care Products 77%.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2012 05:08 PM
For a while, the notion of regulating genetically modified organisms (better known as GMOs) included in food seemed like a good idea, and anti-Big Food advocates in California attracted a lot of support in a state where residents like to be on the cutting edge of just about everything. Calfornians have never minded serving as a bellwether on new regulatory initiatives that end up sweeping the rest of the country, such as automotive emissions.
But the closer today's vote on Proposition 37 loomed, the more that initial support of the idea waned. And this U.S. Election Day, even backers of the anti-GMO initiative seemed resigned to its defeat, although it's still being closely watched. (Update: Prop 37 was indeed defeated at the polling booth.)
What happened? Well, a combination of huge contributions by moneyed CPG brands battered Prop 37's drive to label GMOs in a massive advertising and PR blitz with a "No on 37" drive. And backers of the added regulation alleged dirty tricks by the competition as they sought to sway voters (despite scientific evidence to the contrary) that GMO-containing products are hardly the stuff of "Frankenfood" that really harms consumers.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on September 17, 2012 01:11 PM
The vast majority of American consumers don't care whether their foods contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Food executives and think tanks will tell you that and cite, for example, how Indiana local bakery Aunt Nellie's bombed when it introduced a specifically labeled "non-GMO" bread a couple of years ago.
But California isn't most of America, with a more health-conscious outlook than most states. That's why mainstream food companies are in a hot and heavy contest against GMO opponents over Proposition 37, The Right to Know Genetically Modified Food Act, a piece of state legislation that, if passed in November, would require GMO-containing products to disclose that on labels, and make California the first state to mandate genetically modified food.
Similar to what happened to automakers after California took an extreme position on cutting emissions, essentially imposing that higher standard on cars sold all over the country, food and beverage companies are concerned that California will serve as a bellwether in GMO labeling regulation as well.
In a particular bind in this fight are the many mainstream food conglomerates that now own organic brands, which by definition don't include GMOs: Kellogg, owner of GMO poster brand Kashi; General Mills, owner of the Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, Larabar and Food Should Taste Good brands; Coca-Cola, owner of Odwalla and Honest Tea; PepsiCo; and Dean Foods, owner of Horizon Organics.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 6, 2012 11:16 AM
Lance Armstrong has beaten cancer. For seven straight years, he beat every top cyclist in the world in the Tour de France. He’s also beaten every drug test he’s ever taken. But he coudn't beat Big Tobacco.
In tandem with the American Cancer Society, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others, Armstrong was a proponent Proposition 29, a proposed $1-a-pack hike in taxes on cigarettes that would have raised millions of dollars for cancer research projects. Except that Californians narrowly voted it down on Tuesday. Naturally, the proposed tax was vigorously opposed by tobacco companies, "who dramatically outspent" supporters of the bill as Forbes notes.
Armstrong leveraged his personal brand and platform as a healthy living advocate (via Livestrong) to help lobby California to hike up its cigarette prices, even changing his Twitter avatar to the "Yes on 29" logo. The Golden State is generally thought of as bastion of liberal politics so it would seem that tobacco would have been a target long ago. But California has lagged behind other states in hiking up the prices that consumers have to pay for their smokes, according to CBS News.Continue reading...