retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Regarding the opening of Tim Hortons’ doughnut and coffee shops in NYC, which poses a new challenge to Dunkin’ Donuts, MNB user Ruth Stern wrote:

Better donuts, better coffee, better service and VERY, VERY Clean!

An incredibly well run company! Congratulations NYC !





MNB took note of a New York Times report saying that a new study of rhesus monkeys suggests that a restricted calorie diet – a 30 percent cut - could help people extend their lives for a considerable period of time. The Times notes that since few people could actually cut back their caloric intake by 30 percent, scientists are looking for some sort of compound that might mimic the impact of a calorie-cutting regimen. One of the early candidates: resveratrol.

The good news, I thought: resveratrol is the compound that is found in red wine!

To which one MNB user responded:

Do you think we can lay claim to a new diet?

A nice Chateau Montelena cab three times day? We would not want to overdo it…


Of course not. If you drank that much while on this new diet, you'd probably slip on the ice while walking to work…




We had a story last week about Earthbound Farm and PepsiCo's Naked Juice division are individually adopting new eco-packaging for their products.

One MNB user wrote:

This is good news from a green perspective but since this is food packaging and we use a lot of it. There is a concern for food safety of the recycled materials and how well they will conform to current production equipment and practices. As an example, BPA is getting a lot of press lately but I’m sure there will be other food safety concerns and debates that are not foreseen at this time. Thanks for the good news.



Regarding McDonald’s aggressive sampling program for its new coffee products, one MNB user observed:

Are they playing hardball OR are they having trouble selling it ? The McDonald's owner here in town says the money they had to spend to put in these coffee bars are not paying off. That they still sell the same amount of regular coffee (morning only) as they did before the change. PLUS they do not like this free stuff AT ALL…




Finally, I got a ton of email from the MNB community about my first round of golf, which I played last week at the Iowa Grocery Industry Association conference, and which I reported on last Friday. One of my suggestions, by the way, was that placing RFID chips in golf balls was a business idea waiting to happen…

One MNB user wrote:

Someone already beat you to it. This is the greatest driving range ever.

http://www.topgolf.com/

Think of electronic darts with golf balls. They have a game called Top Pressure which is a Darts/Cricket game only with a sand wedge. I hated the driving range before this place and now I'm there once a week.


MNB user Donna Sires wrote:

I love this idea. I have said for years that someone should come up with small, sticky RFID chips that you can attach to items you always lose around the house like keys, wallets, the cat (on the inside of the collar), cell phones, etc. Then when you can’t find the item you can go to your computer and locate it within your house. I’d buy it.

MNB user Tim Heyman wrote:

My dad gave me one with a RFID chip in one a few years back. I asked dad where he got it and he stated he found it in near hole #3.

Ba-da-bing.

MNB user Robert White wrote:

I’m sending an e-mail in response to your RFID golf balls. It is a great business idea. I believe you would immediately get bought out by a bigger company. Lost golf balls are the key driver to the golf ball industry. I am also new at golf and lose a lot of balls. If I never lost a ball they would last for a long time and I would purchase 50% less golf balls. If your idea expanded the larger companies would be forced to hurt their own sales to compete. This could be an industry changer.

MNB user Patricia Berry wrote:

I have to say, I enjoyed your first experience at golf and agree RFID would be a great idea on golf balls. On the other hand not sure I want to pay $100 for a sleeve of balls to be able to find one in an alligator's mouth or anything like that. I enjoy playing the game so I had to giggle about your experience. Good luck!

Another MNB user wrote:

I loved everything this morning, very, very funny!-you should go on vacation more often. And yes, being a 53 year old, and no golf, but surrounded by all golfers - I don’t miss it, but love all the stories. I went 1 time and couldn’t walk right for 3 days!

More vacation? Sounds like a good idea…

And finally, MNB user Duane Eaton wrote:

Just to keep you out of PC quicksand as you begin your golf venture - there are no “women’s” or “ladies” tees. The correct terms are “front,” “forward,” “senior,” “beginner’s” or “high handicap” tees. Many women golfers play from back tees and many men play from the front. However, there are many senior high handicapper men like myself who insist on playing from somewhere in the middle because our egos just won’t let us move forward, no matter how many snowmen show up on our scorecards.

Snowmen on scorecards? I knew about birdies and bogeys, but snowmen?

Now I’m totally confused.
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