National Public Radio
A federal court in Germany has settled a legal skirmish that has lasted 12 years: It ruled Lindt & Spruengli, the Swiss chocolatier, could not trademark its gold-foil wrapped easter bunny chocolates. Lindt said it will fight on. "We will continue to defend our Lindt gold bunny in the future whenever necessary," the company said in a statement.
Nation's Restaurant News
After spending a little more than a year as president and chief executive of Sbarro Inc., Jim Greco has resigned from the Italian quick-service company. Sbarro said Greco, who joined the Melville, N.Y.-based company Feb. 1, 2012, left to pursue other business interests. Chairman J. David Karam has taken over the duties of chief executive. Karam joined the board in January 2012.
Capping a rapidly expanding string of honors, the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf was named the World Car of the Year during a ceremony at the New York International Auto Show. The award comes just weeks after the compact hatchback was declared European Car of the Year at the annual Geneva Motor Show. But both honors landed a year before the latest update of Volkswagen's best-selling model finally goes on sale in the U.S.
Convenience Store News
Higher payroll taxes may be having an impact on American consumers' eating habits, as restaurants have suffered their worst three months since 2010. The Knapp-Track Index of monthly restaurant sales shows that sales at casual-dining establishments fell 5.4% in February, after declining 0.6% in January and 1.6% in December. This is the first three months of consecutive declines in nearly three years.
Convenience Store News
Coffee is most popular among Hispanic consumers. According to the newly released National Coffee Association National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) market research study. Per the research 76% of adult Hispanics said they drank coffee yesterday, 13 percentage points ahead of the total population. By comparison, 64% of Caucasian-Americans and 47% of African-Americans said they drank coffee yesterday.
Ever heard of Neft vodka? Neither had Ad Age until it checked out this pretty insane, pretty NSFW music video that goes by the alternative title it can print, "Office Escape 2." The video, created by Great Guns director Ilya Naishuller for the band Biting Elbows, topped the Viral Chart with 11.2 million views last week, including the more than 35 user-generated clips it inspired.
Put on the defensive by the slow ramp-up of the maker's battery cars, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn was confident at the New York Auto Show, promising this will be a "milestone year" for the Leaf electric vehicle. With the maker's second battery-car plant now operating in Smyrna, Tenn., the executive said inventory is up and demand rapidly growing.
"Today" show host Matt Lauer is heading down in popularity as rival anchor George Stephanopoulos of "Good Morning America" is one of the country's favorite broadcasters, per Marketing Evaluations. The firm said Stephanopoulos is nearly twice as popular as Lauer among female viewers, who make up the majority of morning show audiences.
Park City Mountain Resort has tapped Matt Gebo as director of marketing and communications. He was most recently director of marketing, communications and events at Mount Snow in Vermont. Gebo previously held marketing positions at several resorts including Mammoth Mountain in California and Canyons Resort in Utah. He has also been a marketing exec at Colorado Ski Country USA, the marketing arm for 26 Colorado Ski Country USA member resorts.
Hulya Aksu, CEO of CriticMania.com, writes that, selling and listening excepted, most of consumer marketing nuts and bolts don't really involve the consumer. "We should strive to listen and be present with our customers. These moments with them, whether hours or a few short minutes, will serve as the basis of every future experience," she writes.