• Amazon Deepens Health Care Focus
    Amazon continues to show an interest in health care initiatives, this time by hiring a well-thought-of cardiologist. Maulik Majmudar, who is working at Massachusetts General Hospital and spent time at Harvard University, announced his new position on Twitter. He said he is joining the online behemoth in hopes of making a “truly meaningful impact on the health and well-being of hundreds of millions of individuals throughout the world.” Doing what, however? "Majmudar did not specify what kind of role he will be taking on at Amazon," according to the New York Post.
  • Social Media Has Fun With Newly Named Cheez-It Bowl
    The Cheez-It Bowl, formerly known as the Cactus Bowl, is Kellogg Co.’s first title sponsorship of a college bowl game. The first game will be played the day after Christmas  between the Big 12 and the Pac 12 at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz. Twitter users poked fun at the new bowl with comments speculating on what the trophy might look like; some wondered if the winning team gets a lifetime supply of Cheez-Its.
  • Animal Crackers: Free At Last
    In "a symbolic victory for animal rights activists, notably People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,"  the animals on those famous red and yellow Nabisco cracker boxes are no longer in circus cages. Instead, "They show a zebra, an elephant, a lion, a giraffe and a gorilla roaming free side-by-side in a natural habitat, a sweeping savanna with trees in the distance."  In 2016 PETA "which opposes the confinement of wild animals for entertainment, asked Mondelez International, the parent company of Nabisco, to remove the cages."
  • Waffle House To Go
    Lightweight story for the dog days: Atlanta-based chain Waffle House, which has roughly 1,900 restaurants in 25 states, "added a food truck five years ago, but its existence has recently gained some national attention," writes USA Today. "Several media outlets across the country cooked up coverage of the truck's appearance at a June wedding in Columbia, S.C.,  and photos of the colorful red, yellow and black vehicle... spread across social media." The truck has served food at several locales in the South, including Louisiana and Alabama.
  • Gen Z Set To Overtake Millennials
    Here's some news that may make you feel old. Very old. For in fact, "Gen Z will comprise 32 percent of the global population of 7.7 billion in 2019, nudging ahead of millennials, who will account for a 31.5 percent share," according to Bloomberg data. While the generation soon to take over the world sounds nicer than millennials -- at least, less self-centered, according to this post -- the change "presents new challenges to educators, event planners, luxury brands and even golfers -- a game where the average age of U.S. participants now exceeds 50." But it's good for "delivery …
  • Victoria's Secret Sales Sag
    Victoria’s Secret has "had the same positioning for decades, associating sexy with super models, and it just doesn’t work anymore,” one critic noted in this New York Post piece analyzing the brand's fall from grace. The company "watched on the sidelines as a growing number of rivals seized on fashion trends like bralettes and plus sizes — and thrived." Now, "Victoria’s Secret has posted declining same-store sales at its brick-and-mortar US locations for seven straight quarters, while profit margins have gotten squeezed and inventories bloated."
  • Taco Bell Spices Up Menu With Rattlesnake Fries
    Taco Bell is launching two French-fry variations: Rattlesnake Fries and "Reaper Ranch Fries, named after a hot pepper," according to USA Today. The two flavors provide "spicy counterparts to the chain's Nacho Fries and show that the brand is dipping deeper into offering potato-based items, not just the usual Mexican fare."
  • Retailers Falsely Accuse Shoplifters
    The way large retailers aim to get money back from shoplifting -- a problem "costing stores more than $17 billion a year" -- seems less than kosher, according to The New York Times. "[M]any companies employ aggressive legal tactics and take advantage of loosely written state laws, pushing for restitution even when people have not been convicted of wrongdoing." The article cites several instances of seemingly false accusations. "The most powerful company in the world [-- Walmart -- ] called me a thief,” notes one source “I was terrified.”
  • California's Cancer Coffee Warnings May Be Voided
    California may be reversing a court ruling made this spring requiring coffee companies to provide warnings about the dangers of the chemical acrylamide, which is created during the roasting process. "The state agency in charge of regulating harmful chemicals in food and other products recently stated that coffee poses no significant risk of cancer" and "has proposed updating California regulations accordingly," according to the L.A. Times.
  • The Tax Of My Tears: Kleenex To Raise Prices
    Yep, you'll be paying more for tissues -- and diapers -- as Kimberly-Clark, which markets Kleenex and Huggies, becomes "the latest consumer giant to raise [the] price of its product as commodity costs eat into profits," according to CNBC. "It joins peers like Colgate and P&G that have flagged concerns about raising commodity costs in recent weeks."
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