Tuesday, July 5, 2022

BIG Wrap

85-year-old goes into a vegan bar …

After 85 years and having become one of the most popular chocolate bars in the world, KitKat will be available in a vegan version. Bar owner Nestlé, the biggest food company in the world, says it will substitute milk with a rice mixture. Nestlé is not breaking ground with the arrival of KitKat V; Lindt & Spruengli AG, which makes gold-foil-wrapped Easter bunnies, offers oat-milk-based chocolate "Hello" bars while Mars Inc.'s Galaxy bars are...

Spectre of ghost kitchens raises spirits in restaurant industry

Amongst the many business transformations that took shape last year is the rapid proliferation of ghost or virtual kitchens. They have been around for several years as demand for meal delivery increased. The pandemic has dramatically driven up that demand and, with it, the number of ghost kitchens. Is this the future of the restaurant sector?   https://marker.medium.com/how-a-shadow-army-of-ghost-kitchens-took-over-americas-restaurants-b7ac1a099c8c

Doctored-baseball speculation soaring

Major League Baseball has reportedly notified its teams in an internal memo that it has "slightly" changed construction of the official league ball for the upcoming season in an attempt to bring consistency to a ball that in recent years has been flying into the bleachers at remarkable rates. Some players and fans, though, are questioning whether MLB has been making changes in secret all along. According to Sports Illustrated, an in-depth investigation by an...

Are we being overly carful on road to autonomous transportation?

GM's autonomous driving startup Cruise has allowed a peek at its recently produced driverless shuttle. Called Origin, it looks like a van with seats that face each other. Of course, it has no steering wheel or gas pedal. GM's goal is to have Origin offered as an inexpensive ride-sharing option. But technology writer Navneet Alang asks an important question: is the current concept of a "car" what engineers and manufacturers should be striving for?   https://theweek.com/articles/890890/what-car-future-isnt-car-all

Streaming results for Disney+ are supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Walt Disney Co.'s venture into the streaming world has been an incredible journey. In its quarterly update this week, Disney+ announced it has reached almost 95 million subscribers in 15 months. Its projection at launch in the fall of 2019 – between 60 million and 90 million by 2024. Its updated forecast – between 230 million and 260 million by 2024. As CNET reports, those numbers are toppling even Netflix numbers.   https://www.cnet.com/news/disney-plus-hits-94-9-million-subscribers/

Shell bumps up its move toward carbon neutrality

Royal Dutch Shell has been one of the world's biggest players in the oil industry since it was formed early in the 20th century. The company has reiterated its commitment to become carbon zero by 2050 with the announcement it will close some refineries and gradually decrease production of gasoline. Shell has also indicated that it intends to become a major supplier of hydrogen.   https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56022908

Jean therapy: sales drop has Levi’s sweating

Who would have believed that the much beloved product line of Levi's blue jeans would be transitioning to lounge wear. It seems that is one result of the shift to working-at-home during the pandemic era.  Levi Strauss & Co. president and CEO, Chip Bergh, conceded, as the company reported on fourth-quarter earnings, that "casualization" , i.e., loungewear, is taking a noticeable bite out of the sales of jeans.    https://www.businessinsider.com/levis-q4-2020-earnings-denim-sales-down-pandemic-loungewear-interest-2021-1

Does anyone else have that 2008 feeling?

You would think following the implosion of the financial sector in the late 2000s, that the lessons of sub-prime lending by banks would have left a great enough imprint to halt such practices. Banks offered mortgages to unqualified customers and bundled those mortgages for sale as collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs. As we know, that blew up in their faces. Yet it is still happening, according to Frank Partnoy in The Atlantic. Partnoy, who worked in...

Heineken workforce takes major hit from pandemic

The closure of pubs across the world has made its way up the alcoholic beverage production chain to workers at Heineken, the world's second largest brewer. The Amsterdam-based company has announced that it will downsize by about 10% or almost 8,000 jobs. Heineken CEO Dolf van den Brink said that global vaccination is the only way customers will drink enough beer for the company to get back to normal production.   From <https://www.bbc.com/news/business-55984400>

Volkswagen’s robo-taxi hopes are sky high

Volkswagen AG, based in Hamburg, Germany is testing the waters, or rather, testing the atmosphere, of autonomous flying taxis in China. VW said it is interested in the potential of adapting autonomous driving technology to aerial vehicles and that the Chinese market would be ripe for such a product and service. As Reuters points out, VW believes the concept is worth pursuing.   https://www.reuters.com/article/us-volkswagen-china-autonomous/volkswagen-explores-flying-cars-in-china-idUSKBN2A91QG