Mars Chocolate North America and The Hershey Co. both hit benchmarks in their sustainability efforts. Mars Chocolate, for example, is using high-oleic acid peanuts (HOAPs). In 2014, the company reported that 51% of the peanuts used for its U.S. products were HOAPs. The company is committed to using 100% HOAPs in its products by 2017. Hershey's said it will source enough certified and sustainable cocoa in 2016 to surpass the amount of cocoa required for the global production of Hershey's, Kisses, Kit Kat and Brookside, its most popular brands.
Iceland's new tourism campaign, "Inspired By Iceland," centers on "the world's first human search engine" as a human alternative to traditional online search engines. In a nod to the country's favorite names, seven residents named Guomundur (male) or Guomunda (female) have volunteered for the chance to offer insider knowledge, advice and local secrets to tourists who want the ultimate Iceland experience.
Forget that the state of boxing is such that people will pay $100 to see a fight between two guys in their pugilistic dotage. The more interesting bout may be the tag team between HBO and Showtime, who are already calling foul against boxinghd.net and sportship.org, two websites hoping for a sucker punch via illegal live stream. Both websites have been advertising free access to the fight. A lawsuit says plaintiffs will incur "irreparable damage" if the pirate streams go live as planned.
McDonald's, as part of its its ongoing existential crisis and unplanned obsolescence, is messing with ways to make the company become what CEO Steve Easterbrook calls "a modern progressive burger company." It is testing a streamlined version of Create Your Taste called TasteCrafted on the west coast. It would cost far less than the $125,000 that one franchisee said the Create Your Taste platform would cost per store.
General Motors today unveils a multibillion-dollar, multiyear investment program for U.S. manufacturing plants in a move to boost production and vehicle quality, per a source. The program includes capital investments in plants and equipment, including body shops and stamping plants, said the source. The investments are expected to create jobs, but it is unclear how many. GM has budgeted $9 billion for global capital spending in 2015, up from last year's $7 billion.
The heavyweights in boxing are the lightweights. No bigger demonstration of this than the fight that just happened, and the one that is about to happen. At Madison Square Garden on Saturday night the top heavyweight in the world fought a title match against the latest "Great Black Hope" (Wladamir Klitschko, white, reverses the race-baiting paradigm of yore) to bring the title back to the U.S. Few Americans know or care. And you could have watched it on plain old TV, except you were probably watching NFL draft coverage, the NBA or NHL playoffs or baseball.
John Lewis and Cadbury, among the first brands to advertise on Instagram in the U.K., are happy with the results. John Lewis' campaign involved a blog-style photo shoot showing off the high-end ranges of its clothes. According to figures provided by Instagram, compiled using Nielsen's brand effects suite, the campaign resulted in greater purchase intent for users aged between 25 and 34 years old. Purchase intent saw a 14-point lift, while ad recall was up by 10 points.
LeBron James returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers this past season after four years with the Miami Heat, bringing the Cavs into the playoffs and up the list of teams with the most loyal fans. But the roster is headed by the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, defending champion San Antonio Spurs, the Heat and the Dallas Mavericks, according to the "Sports Fan Loyalty Index" from brand engagement and marketing consultancy firm Brand Keys. The bottom of the NBA list was populated by the Minnesota TImberwolves and Sacramento Kings.
Audi is piloting a new service in San Francisco called "Audi on Demand." Users can simply go to iTunes and download the app to their iPhone and rent the Audi of their choice for as long as 28 days. Once you get the app, you can peruse the line-up and availability of the car you want and then for prices ranging from just under $200 to more than $1,200 a day.
The riots in Baltimore will have a huge economic impact beyond the immediate physical and emotional damage. It includes lost revenue to cancelled Orioles games, declines in tourism, and a scar on the city's efforts to become an appealing brand for investment. And regular business transactions. A 2004 study on the 1992 Los Angeles riots showed that over the 10 years following the riots there was a cumulative loss of at least $3.8 billion in taxable sales in the city.