Yesterday the stores reopened in Austria after a six week lockdown. In a newspaper interview, the managing director of a discount fashion chain with over 180 outlets expressed his joy and relief. Customers could once again pay tribute in his shopping temples fulfilling a “basic human need”. What? When did shopping become a basic human … Continue reading Is shopping a basic need?
OK Rewe, I’m confused. On a separate website that you operate, gemeinsam-nachhaltig.at (sustainable together), you laud and trumpet your “Raus aus Plastik” (Get out of plastic) initiative. You inform gullible consumers, like me, that you are committed to “... 100% umweltfreundliche Verpackungen. Plastik so weit wie möglich aus den Regalen verbannen …” (... 100% environmentally … Continue reading Because there just wasn’t enough plastic
In a recent post I mentioned that some 20.000 new beverages and processed food products hit grocery store shelves every year. Following up on that post, an incredible 75% of these products fail in their first year. Given that Food Product Development is now a master’s program at universities around the world – Australia, United … Continue reading Pointless Products
I like shopping at the farmer’s market. It is a short bike ride from my house. The quality is excellent, and I enjoy bantering with the local produce growers working the stands. Buying what is in season and grown locally is also an easy way to contribute to the local economy and help the planet. … Continue reading Wonky Vegetables
I recently commented on Simon Reynold’s excellent book Retromania and how it aptly explains current stagnation in music, the visual arts, and fashion. Retromania, also affects consumer behavior in the grocery store. Particularly in times of upheaval and uncertainty people turn to processed comfort foods popular in earlier decades. For example grocery stores in the … Continue reading Cookies that taste like other cookies
Yesterday I got my teeth cleaned. As the dental hygienist was poking around in my mouth, I recalled the “bright idea/sell more toothpaste” legend. This trope has been around for years and goes something like this: A man approaches a major toothpaste manufacturer and says he has an innovation which would cost little to implement … Continue reading Brush daily
Today in an homage to Theodor Geisel (opinions of overly PC librarians be damned) I offer you a photo of my pale blue pants with nobody inside them. Normally, I’m inside them. And, as they're my favorite pants, I’m inside them quite often. So, when they ripped, I patched them. Well, actually my wife did … Continue reading Pale Blue Pants (with nobody inside them)
I am flying today for the first time in over a year. Ecological footprint calculations combined with countless articles about flight shame have kept me from the airport. However, I’m travelling to the States, and I don’t have the time or moral conviction of Greta Thunberg. Not surprisingly, Austrian Airlines has picked up on the … Continue reading Flight Shame