Rejoice Michael Pollan, it’s finally happening: wheat bread is almost more popular than white bread. Consumers are increasingly skipping past the Wonderbread for healthier-looking fare that either has “natural” in the name or whole grains visible through the packaging. [More]
There’s a burgeoning artisanal market in the U.S., where goods made by hand or in small batches–and marketed with lots of footnotes and descriptions of quality–are growing increasingly more popular. But why, and is it just a hipster lifestyle ingredient or an actual shift in the larger population? [More]
In the past month, sales of premium light beers fell 11%, reports Advertising Age. Instead of light Coors, Miller, or Bud brands, people have been buying cheaper brews like PBR, or saving up for fancier brands. But we’re not just spending our beer money differently–we’re also drinking less of the stuff. Well, not me. But someone’s cutting back. [More]
Last week, Mercedes showed a bunch of journalists some new safety features it’s working on to prevent deaths in the event of a car crash, and BNET describes them. I hope you like air bags going off all around you–the demo even has air bags for the car. Sadly, the people-scooper feature–something about when you hit a pedestrian, the car “scoops” the body onto the hood and keeps the person there, probably so that his screaming can alert you that you’ve been in an accident–will only be available in Europe. [More]
We got a tip from someone today with a funny pic of a misspelled McDonald’s sign at the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, MO. We thought we’d do a Google search to see if this was old news or not. What we found out was that “Angus” is too ripe a target for word vandals, or even just opportunistic photographers, to pass up.
The Wall Street Journal reports on yet another casualty of the flagging economy: decent haircuts. As consumers confront dwindling bank accounts, they’re taking the scissors into their own hands – sometimes, with disastrous results.
Engine Industries used Google Trends to map the frequency of search terms like “used car,” “new car,” and “buy car” through Google. They found that “people search car-related keyterms most in the summer and least in the winter, with a small spike right before Christmas.”
Walgreens says declining home values and rising unemployment are causing consumers to cut back on everything but essentials like soap and milk. Consequently, the drugstore chain is having to spend money revamping its merchandise selection to match the trend. It’s back to basics if you want to make money. [Bloomberg]
Sallie Mae‘s 2009 study of credit card use shows that students just love binging on plastic. Kids these days have more than four cards on average, and most of them carry a balance pushing $3,000. Many don’t tell their parents, and almost a fifth graduate with more than $7,000 of debt. This is how meltdowns start…
The recession continues to rot America’s cultural core, this time by attacking one of our most cherished traditions: prom. Gone are the ice sculptures and $1,000 dresses. America’s children are now buying dresses off racks and trading limos for the family car. Imagine!
In that strange hinterland between the awesome and the horrific, there will be a Snuggie pub-crawl in Chicago on Saturday April 18th. People in Snuggies – for the uninitiated, blankets with sleeves – will travel from bar to bar, leaving a trail of slaughtered pints in their wake. It’s strictly BYOS, bring-your-own-Snuggie. All hail The Warm Bringer.
If America’s Google searches for the 25th are any indicator, you all enjoyed tasty meals at IHOP, went for a Christmas Day shopping spree at Walmart, and gave up on Rock Band and Guitar Hero and searched for cheat codes. Tell us what you got, and what you gave, in the comments.
Consumer Reports says that despite an overall downturn in appliance purchases, one category is up 13% from last year. Freezers!
The global economy is crashing, credit markets are playing ice age, and you consumers have a simple choice: buy things now or prepare to be stabbed next year.
Spend a little time looking at Google trends and you’ll notice that no one really gave a crap about the FDIC until fairly recently.
The New York Times reports that several supermarket and retail chains, including Safeway, Walmart, and Whole Foods, are beginning to experiment with much smaller store sizes that emphasize things like cafes, prepared meals, and produce. The idea is to emphasize speed over choice, and was apparently triggered by UK competitor Tesco, which has launched over 70 small-format supermarkets in Nevada, Arizona, and Southern California over the past year. Of course, the stores also require less shelf space for products than they did a year ago.
48% of teenagers haven’t bought a CD in a year, meaning that 52% of teenagers still buy more CDs than we do. [LA Times]