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.
Air travel may finally be recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Although some experts predicted that rising inflation would keep vacationers close to home, Delta Airlines reports a 17% increase in demand for flights in the quarter that ends in June.
Despite rising fares, according to Expedia, there has been a 25% increase in flight searches for summer trips, and an even larger increase in searches for international travel to Europe and Asia.
Airlines are also feeling hopeful about the return of corporate travel. Now that offices are reopening after the pandemic, business people are once again willing to fly to meetings. This summer, a high percentage of seats are expected to be filled by people traveling for work.
The next challenge for the airlines will be to ensure they are prepared for this increase in travelers. Throughout the past year, the airline industry was plagued with thousands of cancellations due to bad weather and internal issues. To ensure that passengers arrive at their destinations in a timely manner, Daniel Janki, CFO of Delta, said that Delta has devoted time and energy to “ensuring that we have the right resources in the right places with the right level of training.”
Drug company Covica Rx has contracted with the state of California to create affordable insulin. Pending FDA approval, this 10-year, $50 million agreement will allow Civica to start making CalRx insulin in late 2023.
People with Type 1 diabetes do not produce enough insulin, and they rely on manufactured insulin in order to survive. Currently, insulin can cost up to $300 for a 10 milliliter vial. But insulin produced by Civica for the state of California will cost no more than $30 per 10 milliliter vial, even for the uninsured. This will save patients who pay out of pocket up to $4,000 a year.
This arrangement is part of California’s CalRx initiative which aims to reduce the cost of medications by producing generic drugs under the state’s own label.
Civica will be producing three types of insulin, glargine, lisprom and aspart, which will all be the equivalent of the insulin produced by the major drug companies. Although California has initiated this project, the medicines will be available all across the country.
The production of affordable insulin is a game changer for Americans with diabetes. NPR.com reported that 1 out of 6 Americans living with diabetes ration their supply of insulin due to the high cost of the drug. University of California College of Law professor Robin Feldman called this an “extraordinary move in the pharmaceutical industry, not just for insulin but potentially for all kinds of drugs.”
Several pharmaceutical companies such as Eli Lilly and Sanofi have announced that they will also be cutting the cost of insulin in the upcoming year.
It is safe to assume that most Americans would consider Amazon and Target to be the most popular online retailers, along with some other well-known conglomerates. And until the Super Bowl last Sunday, that stood true. But now, in a surprising turn of events, a new online shopping platform has become the most downloaded app in the United States, surpassing even the biggest names in the industry.
Temu is an online shopping destination for just about everything, including clothing, houseware items, electronics, and much more. Based in Boston, it shares the same parent company as the Chinese e-commerce icon, Pinduoduo. The target market is anyone looking for great deals. And, with prices like $11 for a smart watch and $8.50 for wireless earphones, it’s not hard to understand the ultra-quick popularity Temu has gained.
In its 30-second Super Bowl slot, word about Temu reached millions of US homes. The ad focused on bargain prices yet feeling like a billionaire. The background song played: “The prices blow my mind. I feel so rich. I feel like a billionaire.”
According to Sensor Tower, since its release in September, the Temu app has been downloaded 24 million times.
Have you ever wished you had an extra pair of hands?
As the automotive and courier service industries have widely adopted self-driving technology, the trend continues to spread to other business areas. Recently, a Canadian-based startup called GlüxKind released the first smart stroller.
The self-driving stroller, dubbed “Ella,” has the potential to change the childcaring experience. Parents or caretakers whose hands are normally tied up when pushing a stroller are now relieved of this burden. Ella drives itself when the child is not inside.
According to Anne Hunger, CPO and co-founder of GlüxKind, the innovative stroller is meant to serve as “an extra pair of eyes and an extra set of hands.” She explains that while the child is inside, one hand is required on the handlebar for safety purposes. But, when a crying baby needs to be held, an independent toddler wants to walk, or the two simply want to explore the world together, the parent has use of two hands.
In order to successfully navigate itself, Ella is equipped with sensors and cameras which take into account the surroundings and sidewalks. A dual-motor system allows for uphill treks and there is an automatic brake assist for downhill navigation.
In this YouTube video, consumers can see how the stroller works in action. A parent is pushing a stroller downhill and suddenly lets go to fetch a toy that his toddler dropped. The stroller stops on its own. Another scene depicts a child who wants to be carried, and the stroller then steering itself.
Ella was one of the Innovation Awards Honoree at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It is available for pre-order in North America, with deliveries planned to begin in April. The stroller is set to retail at about $5,000.