Published on: February 12, 2003We got a lot of reaction yesterday to our piece reporting that Starbucks Corp. will test market Godiva chocolates and biscuits over the next three or four months in 50 of its coffee shops in New York, Seattle and Chicago, as well as our commentary that Starbucks would probably soon come up with a Godiva-branded coffee before you know it.
Rather than post all the emails that said the same thing, let us just say that we knew that there is a Godiva coffee on the market, though the phrasing of our commentary didn’t imply that. It’s just that we seem to remember not being impressed with it, and we were thinking that Starbucks could do a better job of creating a Godiva coffee.
We got much reaction to our story yesterday about recommendations made by the Bush administration for “disaster supply kits” that American households ought to have on hand, including a three-day supply of water, one gallon per person per day; food; a battery-powered radio; a change of clothes; an extra set of car keys; and cash, as well as a supply of duct tape and plastic sheeting to seal off windows if a chemical or biological attack occurs.
One member of the MNB community wrote:
“It is so hard for the public to prepare for terrorism. Three days worth of food and water is not going to cut it if it is a radiological attack, a dirty bomb. Nor will plastic sheeting cut it for bubonic plague or ebola. Gas Masks may help with certain types of gas attacks, but some nerve gases will kill you if they get on your hands. How can we reasonably prepare? It reminds me of hiding under a desk in elementary school all those years ago to drill in event of a nuclear attack? It all seems pretty far fetched, especially since most of the day our families are spread out away from home.
“All that being said, it is reasonable to stockpile some amount of food and water - probably more like a weeks worth. Pick out a safe room in the house and have available certain items like plastic to seal off windows and doors, duct tape (every one should have it anyway), radio, batteries, flashlights, etc. plenty of reading materials, etc. My family did this already...after 9/11...And, since you have no idea what is going to happen, you can at least do something that might help in case of an attack. I fully expect my local Wal-Mart to have all the essentials on an end cap by this weekend.”
MNB user Westall Parr wrote:
“I've no doubt that the threat is real.
“But didn't we hear all these ideas and suggestions when it looked like Y2K was going to stop the world from turning on its axis (no pun intended).
“Duct tape and sheets of plastic ?
“The battery operated radio makes sense.
“Gas masks ?
“Does the government have the courage to make that suggestion?
“These are perilous times and what you need most is common sense and a steady hand. Sounds hokey but it will get you through.
“Bathroom is probably the safest room in the house.”
If the bombs start going off, the bathroom also is likely to be the most crowded place in the house…and not just because it may be safe.
MNB user Jo Anne Sharlach chimed in:
“During the 50 years of the Cold War, each neighborhood designated a school, a public building, or whatever as a "safe place" for the entire neighborhood. Most stocked survival equipment and food, and all were clearly marked so that in the event of an incident all neighbors could congregate in these centers. (Rather like the bomb shelters in Britain during WW II or the Red Cross Centers now operated during natural disasters.) These centers usually were augmented by a civil defense siren, which covered a huge area. These alarms were tested in Washington, DC up until about 15 years ago on a weekly basis. The alarms were also used in DC and other centers to alert the populace to a natural disaster, like an approaching tornado. (If the DC area had had its old alert system, perhaps we would not have suffered so greatly during the last two huge tornados that have battered the area in the past five years. The alarms would have alerted the citizens to take shelter and turn on the radio to find out what is happening.) Perhaps it is time for us to go back to the past for answers to aid us during this present time of rampant worldwide terrorism.
And MNB user Kathleen Whelan added:
“This should be an incredible week for Home Depot in particular and grocery stores in general. I hope that the duct tape and plastic film manufacturers have a flexible enterprise forecasting tool. Wouldn't want any out of stocks! Get those flags and yellow ribbons going, too. This will be a big test for supply chain technology as well as military intelligence!”
We got an email from MNB user Ronald Cook about McDonald’s marketing efforts:
“My daughters, now 16 and 8, place McDonalds so far down the list of available fast foods that they are never even on the list. Kaiti, an eight (8) year old prefers the local Chick-Fil-A which does not have a play area to any of the burger places that do have play areas. Taco Bell rounds out the preferred fast food favorites with Wendy's winning the burger option. The Chick-Fil-A option is a favorite due to the fact that the food is of better quality, always fresh and hot and the clerks treat you like they are glad you chose Chick-Fil-A.
“All the play grounds in the world do not make up for poor food and poor
service, even to 8 year olds.”
On the subject of two new dairy-based fruit drinks, from Minute Maid and Snapple, we noted yesterday that it almost doesn’t matter how these products are positioned. Store shelves and coolers are about to get even more crowded than they are already…
One MNB user replied:
“This is only because these two companies "own" and dictate what product must be contained within... It's no wonder some of the smaller retailers have a tough time when they are getting pushed and pulled from all sides.”
We wrote yesterday about the imperious and arrogant American attitude toward Europeans who are anti-GMOs. One MNB user replied:
“I feel that it is the "ugly American" attitude like this and the projection of SuperPower", better than thou and holier that thou, that has brought us to the brink of a world war. Although I don't support Bin Laden, Hussein, or our North Korean adversary, do you suppose it's comments covering all life topics, like these that add fuel to the fire?”
- KC's View: