Maria Carmen is a contributing editor to our global business news, and handles the translations into Spanish of the articles considered of utmost importance to the Spanish speaking world.
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Hershey, the maker of popular candies like Reese’s, Kit Kat, and Twizzlers, is gearing up for Halloween sales. This year, it appears that customers are shopping for trick-or-treat candy closer to the holiday. Last year, due to supply chain and availability concerns, many customers bought their Halloween candy early. Although it’s too early to predict this year’s outcome, so far, Halloween candy sales have been slower than last year.
As Halloween approaches, Hershey is hoping for a strong performance this weekend to meet its sales targets. In recent years, Halloween has become a critical period for the company, accounting for 25-30% of its annual business.
Hershey is experiencing difficulties on several fronts. Cocoa prices are on the rise, supply chain issues have plagued the cocoa industry, and many consumers are now facing budget constraints and are more sensitive to pricing.
To cater to budget-conscious consumers, Hershey is expanding its presence in dollar stores and discount outlets. They are also exploring the option of selling smaller-sized candies at more affordable prices.
But Hershey executives remain positive that Halloween will bring the candy buying boom that the company needs. Last week, CEO Michele Buck said, “With Halloween next Tuesday, we still have several important selling days to go”.
In order to promote the August premier of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, Pizza Hut rekindled their decades old partnership with the TMNJ franchise to deliver a select number of pizzas in the New York City subway system. Children from the 80’s and 90’s are rejoicing in this nod towards their childhood, as they fondly remember the cartoon turtles, who are famous for enjoying pizza in the tunnels below the city.
According to Lindsay Morgan, Pizza Hut’s chief marketing officer, “Pizza Hut and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have a longstanding history that goes back to the ’90s. Bringing the two together again for a new generation was a no-brainer… We wanted to pay homage to the Turtles’ origins and their love of pizza, while also infusing modern touchpoints and a fun, creative take on pizza deliveries”.
By texting a turtle emoji to a specified phone number, Pizza Hut customers could have their orders delivered to selected spots in subway stations. A YouTube Video explains the promo and documents the excitement of getting pizza delivered directly to your subway stop. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhemwill be in theaters on August 2.
Between January 2022 and January 2023, the price of eggs increased by 70%, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A severe and extended outbreak of the avian flu combined with higher production costs for farmers sent egg prices soaring to an unprecedented $5.30 per dozen in December 2022. Thankfully, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has recently reported that the cost of a dozen eggs has since returned to roughly $1.00.
This dramatic change is a result of the waning of the avian flu and the fact that egg producers have been busy replacing hens. As of May 1, 2023, there were 387 million egg producing hens in the United States, which is a 5% increase over last year. Daniel Sumner, University of California, Davis agricultural economics professor, explained, “There are now more hens and more eggs on the market. That is, supply has increased, and prices have normalized”. Sumner also predicted that, barring another flu outbreak, egg prices should remain moderate for the foreseeable future.
Food companies have taken notice of America’s love for air frying. Since 2017 Americans have spent an increasing amount of money on air fryers, with nearly $1 billion spent in 2022.
Several big name food brands continue to develop products that are air-fried or that can be made in an air-fryer. Campbell Soup’s Kettle Brand recently introduced air-fried potato chips to the market. Nestle is producing a number of frozen products that consumers are encouraged to prepare in the air-fryer, and Gorton’s Seafood, Kellogg, and Hormel Foods have added air-frying instructions to many of their frozen products. Tyson Foods’ air fried line has reached up to $100 million in sales.
According to CNBC, Adam Graves, Nestle U.S’s Pizza and Snacking Division President, says that air frying is “the biggest trend that we’re seeing right now in modern cooking”.
Some people were skeptical that the air-frying trend, which boomed during the Covid-19 pandemic, would quickly disappear. But so far, the opposite has proven to be true. Now that people are expected to go back to the office, they appreciate that air-frying provides a quick, healthy method of cooking, and they continue to purchase air-fryers.
Some estimates suggest that 60% of American homes now contain an air fryer, and while this makes it far less popular than the microwave, the air fryer has recently surpassed the grill to become the fourth most popular cooking appliance in America today.
The Financial Times has released their assessment of the best MBA programs in the United States for 2016, the second time they have released such a survey.
Coming out on top for the second straight year is Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business for its MBA programs for entrepreneurship.
In second place is Babson College’s FW Olin Graduate School of Business. In the show position, the Darden School of Business of the University of Virginia.
In the fourth through seventh positions were:
Dartmouth’s Tuck school
Anderson of UCLA
UC Berkeley’s Haas
The Wharton School of Business
The schools’ rank was decided using several criteria, including the percentage of a school’s MBA’s went on to launch companies, and how many of those new businesses sere still around by the end of 2015.