Archive for the ‘business’ Category

The McRib Is Going Extinct

October 27, 2022

The McRib Is Going Extinct

McRib, McDonald’s mechanically restructured pork “rib,” is seasonal, just like the flu. It’s back, but McD’s says this will be a farewell tour.

Maybe there are supply chain problems with the sandwich’s many non-pork components, like: ammonium sulfate, polysorbate 80, sodium benzoate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oils, calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate, soy flour, sodium stearoyl lactylate, ascorbic acid, mono- and diglycerides, ethoxylated mono- and diglycerides, monocalcium phosphate, calcium peroxide, calcium propionate,high fructose corn syrup, xanthan gum, and sodium benzoate. And let’s not forget azodicarbonamide, used to make yoga mats.

Nota Bene: The farewell tour kicks off on Halloween, so it may be more “trick” than “treat.” The McRib may rise from the dead like the zombie meat it is in years to come.

More:

“McDonald’s McRib coming back for a ‘farewell tour,'” Kelly Tyko, Axios

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Image (“How McRibs Are Made”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Vinyl City, USA: Nashville

October 25, 2022

Vinyl City, USA: Nashville

In Tennessee, especially the Nashville area, the number of vinyl plants will rise from two to five overall this year. Through June of this year, vinyl records made $570 million in revenue, up 22 percent year-over-year. Demand hasn’t abated.

More:

“Can Tennessee Solve America’s Vinyl Shortage?” Lyndsey Havens, Billboard

US Vinyl Sales Rise 22% In First Half of 2022,” Aprol Claire Welsh, DJ Mag

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Image (“Leo’s DJ, after Da Vinci”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Kodak Can’t Make Enough 35mm Film

October 20, 2022

Kodak Can't Make Enough 35mm Film
Kodak, which filed for bankrupcy a decade ago, can’t keep up with a new surge in demand for 35mm film. The firm needs to hire more technicians. The growing popularity of analog photograpy and a shortage of silver for emulsions is driving up film prices.

More:

“Kodak is Hiring Film Technicians: ‘We Cannot Keep Up with Demand,’” Matt Growcoot, PetaPixel

“Film photography’s resurgence is leading to huge price increases,” Zachery Eanes, Axios

“Does This Chart Reveal Kodak Self-imploding Again? Are Other Film Manufacturers Following Their Lead?”  James Madison, Fstoppers

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Image (“Exposure”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Trump Shell Game

October 18, 2022

Trump Shell Game

A new new company with a familiar name was incorporated in Delaware on September 15th: Trump Organization II LLC. It registered to do business in New York State on September 21st, the same day that state’s attorney general filed a 220-page fraud lawsuit against Donald Trump, his family, and the original Trump Organization, the umbrella company for the former president’s real-estate and golf resorts. NY AG James has filed court papers to prevent Trump from sheltering assests by shifting them from Trump Org I to Trump Org II in a corporate shell game.

More:

“Trump Forms New Company, Drawing Scrutiny From N.Y. Attorney General,” Ben Protess, Jonah E. Bromwich and William K. Rashbaum, New York Times

“Trump Organization II Mocked as Court Filings Reveal New Delaware Company,” Zoe Strozewski, Newsweek

“Trump Organization assets should be frozen, New York attorney general asks court,” Max Jaeger, Politico

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Image (“Trump Shell Game”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Vinyl Sells Big

January 19, 2022

Vinyl Sells Big

In 2021, U.S. vinyl albums outsold CDs for the first time in 30 years, even though CD sales increased, too.

According to data from the MRC and Billboard, 38.3 per cent of all album sales in the country last year were in vinyl format, accounting for over 50 per cent of all physical album sales (41.72 million sales out of a total of 82.79 million).

2021 vinyl album sales went up by  51.4 per cent to 41.72 million compared to 2020.

Vinyl is more expensive than other formats, so who’s buying LPs? The most devoted fans of artists like Adele, Taylor Swift, and Olivia Rodrigo want these large physical tokens.

More:

“Vinyl outsold CDs in the US for the first time in decades,” Scott Nover, Quartz

“As superstars cash in on vinyl LP boom, small labels and manufacturers struggle to meet demand,” Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times

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Image (“Leo’s DJ, after Da Vinci”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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It’s Beginning ….

December 14, 2020

It’s Beginning ….
On the shelves of Retail America, it began to look like Christmas the day after Halloween. The perfume and electric shaver ads began appearing a few weeks later. Try to dig yourself out of the blizzard of consumerist frenzy.
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33⅓ in 2020: LPs Outsell CDs

September 21, 2020

“Sales of vinyl records surpassed those of CDs in the U.S. for the first time since 1986, marking a key turning point for the format’s nostalgia-fueled resurgence.

People spent $232.1 million on limited-play and extended-play records in the first half of the year, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, eclipsing the $129.9 million they spent on compact discs.

Vinyl was the most popular way people listened to music throughout the 1970s and the early 1980s, at which point it gave way to tape cassettes — followed by CDs and digital formats. Each new format was more convenient than the last and suppressed interest in vinyl.”

— “Vinyl-Record Sales Top Compact Discs for First Time in 34 Years,” Lucas Shaw, Bloomberg

More:

“Vinyl outsells CDs for the first time since the 1980s,” Nick Reilly, NME

“Vinyl Is Poised to Outsell CDs For the First Time Since 1986,” Elias Leight, Rolling Stone

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Image (“Leo’s DJ, after Da Vinci”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Guitar Sales Are Growing

September 17, 2020

Guitar Sales Are Growing

For the past decade, guitars have been a glut on the market, seen as boomer relics of rock music’s bygone ages. COVID home confinement has changed that:

“A half-year into a pandemic that has threatened to sink entire industries, people are turning to the guitar as a quarantine companion and psychological salve, spurring a surge in sales for some of the most storied companies (Fender, Gibson, Martin, Taylor) that has shocked even industry veterans.

‘I would never have predicted that we would be looking at having a record year,’ said Andy Mooney, the chief executive of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, the Los Angeles-based guitar giant that has equipped Rock & Roll Hall of Famers since Buddy Holly strapped on a 1954 sunburst Fender Stratocaster back in the tail-fin 1950s.”

—  “Guitars Are Back, Baby!” Alex Williams, New York Times

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Image (“The Electric Guitar Lesson, after Renoir”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Amazon Drones On the Horizon?

September 3, 2020

Amazon Drones On the Horizon?

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a package. Amazon has received FAA approval to use drones to deliver packages:

“Amazon did not say when customers could expect drones to drop packages at their doorsteps. Obtaining the F.A.A. certificate was an ‘important step,’ the company said, adding that it would continue to test the technology, which has been in development for years.” — “Drone Delivery? Amazon Moves Closer With F.A.A. Approval,” Concepción de León, New York Times

Alphabet’s Wing and UPS already have FAA approval for drone delivery.

More:

“Amazon Prime Air lands FAA approval for drone deliveries,” Carrie Mihalcik CNET

“Amazon receives U.S. regulatory approval to start drone delivery trials,” Nilanjana Basu and Neha Malara, Reuters

Update:

“No, Amazon Won’t Deliver You a Burrito by Drone Anytime Soon,” Aarian Marshal, Wired

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Electric Bike or Electric Motorcycle?

February 10, 2020

Electric Bike or Electric Motorcycle?

Every evening, untold thousands of New Yorkers get dinner delivered by electric bike riders, but those vehicles are technically illegal. NYPD officers have been ticketing deliverymen even though lunch at NYPD HQ gets delivered by e-bikes.

The root problem is definition: when is a bike not a bike? When does a “power-assisted bike” become a moped, motorscooter, or motorcycle? And when do electric 2-wheeler riders need operator licenses? As with e-commerce, ridehail, Airbnb, and consumer drones, lawmakers are fighting a rearguard action after technology got well ahead of regulation, and it’s hitting New Yorkers where they eat. Ironically, NYC says it will let UPS make deliveries by ebike.

More:

“Electric Bikes Are Blurring The Line Between Bicycles And Motorcycles,” Matt Brown, Jalopnik

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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