• The More We're Offered, The More We Buy
    CNBC has been running an hour-long special report on supermarkets -- the "$500 billion money machine" that only manages to eke out margins of about 2%, give or take.
  • Health And Fitness Ads Need A Makeover
    Is it over, finally? Please say it is. You know what I'm talking about, right? All those January get fit/lose weight/go on a diet/we're-the-answer-to-all-your-physical-woes ads. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for exercising daily, maintaining a healthy weight and eating the right kinds of foods. I'm a certified personal trainer, in fact, in my spare time. No kidding.
  • Mattress Wars Get Hot And Heavy
    I read with great interest that the mattress folks have gone to the mattresses. Sealy and Simmons are at war over the fact that the former is introducing a new line of with its coils encased in fabric. "Pocketed coils," or "Marshall units," as they are known among bedding wonks, have been the latter's shtick since forever, which is to say 1924, giving it the famous bowling-ball-on-the-bed positioning.
  • Chia: Pet Superfood Of The Day
    I can't believe that there are no M&M's with Chia Seeds yet. Nor have I spotted 15 Whole Grain Bread with Sprouted Chia, or Ritz Crackers sprinked with Antarctic Sea Salt and Organic Chia. But I'm sure they're coming. Chia is the hottest seed since flax.
  • Baseball Takes Giants Step To Reach Youth
    Brrrrrrrrr. If this isn't weather for the Hot Stove League, I don't know what is. Better make that the Pellet Stove League, as I read in the newspaper the other day that burning wood, as rooted in our cave-people past as the smell and comfort of a stack blazing logs may be, could be "the next eco-crime."
  • LaLanne's Image Was Stronger Than His Brand
    Jack LaLanne, a one-of-a-kind pitchman for a noble cause, died yesterday. I'd marvel every time he'd pop up on the screen with Larry King, or I'd read about him pulling a flotilla of rowboats in the ocean somewhere. His message of fitness and nutrition seemed heartfelt and personal, he articulated it with an effusive personality and he did things into his later years that would have seemed superhuman for a much younger man.
  • It's Walmart's Ball, And It's Changing The Game
    It's getting hard to not like Walmart, or at least the way it has been throwing around its considerable weight to make the world a better place for the last three years or so. I never thought I'd write that.
  • Taking A Fork To Pessimism
    When I write about high-tech gizmos like the Intel/Kraft Meal Planning Solution, which scans faces for basic demographic input and then constructs a mass-customized menu and shopping list recommendation, there's always a voice in the back of my head wondering if this is what consumers really want or need. Busy as we are, are we resigned to having a computer chip do our meal planning for us?
  • Rising Above Mediocre-To-Bad Customer Service
    I recently received two emails from friends containing links to tales of extraordinary customer service. Make no mistake, the individuals in both stories go beyond the normal call of duty with responses that could not be looked up in any employee manual. But the reason stories like these wend their viral way into so many mailboxes is because people believe this is the way things should be done. And, all too often, they're not.
  • Big Sister Is Planning Your Dinner
    When I first read about a new device that scans your face and then suggests which products you might want to put on the family dinner table that night, an oxymoron worthy of an Austin Powers movie immediately crossed my mind: diabolically brilliant. And that's just the cookie around the filling. Having sized you up as a sure-fire sugar and cocoa addict, it can spit out a few Oreos just to make your acquaintance.
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