• Pandemic Prompts Interest In Coffee Subscriptions
    Without the communal office coffee station or the daily commute past Starbucks, many homebound workers are now fending for themselves in satisfying their caffeine habit. “Increased at-home coffee consumption has translated into a relative boom for some smaller-scale coffee roasters,” per CNN. “Consumers have taken their specialty coffee shop habits home with them by buying pricier beans and trading up to fancier Folgers. They've also been signing up in droves for coffee subscription services that send bags of artisan beans to their doorsteps.”
  • Diesel's Pride Ad Tells Surprise-Ending Transition Story Campaign
    Diesel has released a film for Pride Month created by Publicis Italy that follows one woman’s transition. The ad tells the story of Francesca, who was assigned male at birth. “It traces her transition through time as she comes to embrace her true identity and be recognized as a woman,” per Campaign. “However, it gradually becomes clear that, as well as transgender rights, the narrative is about faith and reconciling religious beliefs with gender identity.”
  • Levi Strauss Pledges To Appoint Black Board Member
    Levi Strauss is doing more than just giving employees Juneteenth off. The jeans maker also pledged to fill a position it calls “head of diversity, inclusion, and belonging,” to add an African American person to the board of directors, and to strive to have 50% of candidates interviewing for jobs be people of color, according to Fast Company. The company also plans to share its employee diversity data and subsequent updates, and teach all employees about racial equity.
  • Already Challenged Retailers Must Address Post-Pandemic Anxiety
    Even before the pandemic and stay-home orders, retailers who depend on traffic to physical locations were facing duress. “Now, as we emerge from the liminal space of nationwide lockdowns into new psychological and social territory, shoppers will be anxious about whether visiting stores will increase their exposure to the virus,” according to the Harvard Business Review. “Adding to the complexity: The United States is now officially in a recession, which will dampen consumer spending for months to come.”
  • Food Trends Hinge On Pandemic Response
    Thanks to the pandemic and subsequent shelter-at-home orders, consumers shifted their kitchen and supermarket choices. “Everything from where we buy food to how we cook it has been altered,” according to Fast Company. “Interest in kitchen appliances has been growing over 50% in the past six months. Meal kits have made a comeback and healthy snacking searches are currently at an all-time high.”
  • Cruise Lines Extend Suspensions Into Fall
    Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises have extended their sailing suspensions through Sept. 30, with some additional voyages canceled through October. Norwegian had planned to resume sailing in August, the line announced in May.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s no-sail order is set to lift after July 24, and major cruise companies have extended their sailing suspensions just past that date, though only eight of Carnival's 27 ships are set to resume sailing in August.
  • Taco Bell Fires Employee For Black Lives Matter Face Covering
    Taco Bell fired an 8-year shift leader over his Black Lives Matter face covering. The employee said Taco Bell's policy says only that face coverings have to be clean. He explained in a Facebook Live video that he wore the face cover because the surgical masks provided to employees proved inadequate in warm conditions — his location’s air conditioning had not been working — and it was difficult to breathe while wearing the surgical mask. Taco Bell said in a statement that due to mask shortages, employees are allowed to use their own mask or face covering and it was …
  • Walmart Tests Store With Only Self Checkout
    A Walmart in Fayetteville, Ark. was equipped with self-checkout kiosks where cashiers used to be. The goal is to redesign the experience in order to shorten lines and reduce checkout time. Customers that prefer or require assistance can have a store employee scan and bag their purchases at the kiosks, according to Today.
  • McDonald's Preps $200M Marketing Effort
    McDonald’s will spend $200 million on marketing through incremental marketing contributions nationwide and in international markets. The company didn’t elaborate on what the messaging would look like, “but it will come with a new CMO at the controls,” points out QSR. “Alistair Macrow, former marketing chief of internationally operated markets, was promoted to global CMO last week.” Upcoming menu innovations are planned, from a possible chicken launch to reinvigorated breakfast.
  • Ford To Reveal Bronco On OJ's Birthday
    Ford Motor Co. will debut its long-awaited Ford Bronco on July 9, which happens to also be the birthday of O.J. Simpson. “Simpson, a former football star, is known internationally for being in a white Ford Bronco that aired on live TV leading a massive police chase on June 17, 1994, after being charged with murder in the slayings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman,” according to the Detroit Free Press. Ford says the overlap of dates is "purely coincidental."
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