food

Here’s How We Sold 100 Million Doritos Locos Tacos In 10 Weeks (YUM)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/taco-bell-doritos-locos-tacos-2012-11

dorito taco 11

Taco Bell sold a whopping 100 million Doritos Locos Tacos in 10 weeks — the biggest launch in the history of the fast food chain. The item has since passed 200 million in sales.

Fast Company’s J.J. McCorvey interviewed Taco Bell CMO Brian Niccol who described what it took to make the Doritos Locos Tacos successful.

It wasn’t enough to tell customers, hey, these taco shells taste like Doritos and you should eat them, he said.

Instead, it was about allowing the customers to tell the brand’s story, and having them run with it. 

Niccol explained to Fast Company:

“Once the idea is no longer just a Taco Bell idea and becomes the customer’s thing, it’s almost like they’re going to socialize for us. They own it. They get convicted about it. The next thing you know, they’re telling their friends they gotta go try it. So the second you can get it to move from, we’re telling you should go try this, to consumers actually advocating for it, that’s when the brand moves into an experience that is worth you repeating.”

Taco Bell let the customers have control, and it did it through social, mobile and even had a national TV ad that featured a customer’s story. It worked.

NOW SEE: 13 Fast Food Menu Items With Fanatical Cult Followings >

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Monday, November 26th, 2012 news No Comments

Comcast, Scripps deal brings more internet streaming video on Xfinity TV

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/17/comcast-scripps-deal-brings-more-internet-streaming-video-on-xf/

While some pay-TV providers are tied up in nasty battles with the studios that provide them content, Comcast and Scripps have just inked an agreement to bring the company’s lifestyle programming to cable subscribers over the internet. As noted in the press release (embedded after the break) the multi-year deal brings HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country to Comcast’s TV Everywhere portal, via mobile (and “other” devices) and on Scripps websites. Probably not a minor element in the deal is the inclusion of support for Comcast’s on the fly ad-insertion for VOD, which should push the efforts of both partners along, although potentially unskippable ads could be less viewer friendly.

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Comcast, Scripps deal brings more internet streaming video on Xfinity TV originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 17 Jul 2012 04:38:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, July 17th, 2012 news No Comments

Public Outcry Just Forced A Major Grocery Distributor To Stop Buying ‘Pink Slime’

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/public-outcry-just-forced-a-major-grocery-distributor-to-stop-buying-pink-slime-2012-3


Ground Beef

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — National supermarket operator Supervalu Inc. says it will stop buying ground beef that contains the filler now known as “pink slime” due to customer concerns.

The company owns stores under the Acme, Albertsons, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher’s, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Shaw’s/Star Market, Shop ‘n Save and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy banners.

Federal regulators say the filler meets food safety standards. But critics say the product could be unsafe and is an unappetizing example of industrialized food production.

Supervalu said Wednesday that customer concern prompted it to stop carrying products containing the filler. Public outcry over “pink slime” has grown sharply as images, media reports and online petitions about it have spread.

The low-cost additive, which has been used for years, is made from fatty bits of meat left over from other cuts. The bits of meat are heated, spun to remove the fat, compressed into blocks and exposed to ammonia to kill bacteria. Producers often mix the filler into fattier meat to produce an overall leaner product and reduce their costs.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this month that, beginning in the fall, the National School Lunch Program will let school districts decide whether to buy ground beef that contains the filler. Previously, it was difficult for schools to know whether beef they bought from the feds had it or not.

As a result, a number of schools have said they will stop using meat with the controversial filler.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has spoken out against it, and fast-food chain McDonald’s Corp. decided last year to stop putting ammonia-treated meat in its products.

Shares of Supervalu, which is based in Eden Prairie, Minn., fell 7 cents to close at $6.20 Wednesday and rose 3 cents in after-hours trading.

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Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 news No Comments

Amazon Appears To Be Inflating The List Prices Of Some Discounted Items (AMZN)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-appears-to-be-inflating-the-list-prices-of-some-discounted-items-2012-2

 

Amazon Weird Pricing

You know how when you shop on Amazon there is a price and a then a “list price” which is usually much higher?

The effect is that you feel like you’re getting a big discount shopping on Amazon.

It turns out Amazon might be publishing list prices that are too high.

Mouse Print first noticed the problem with an array of general consumer products such as Kraft’s Mac & Cheese and a 100-count box of Splenda.

As if this afternoon, most of these prices have been fixed, except for a ton of pet food items.

Take for example the dog treats you see above. The retail value of one Merrick Flossies is approximately $4, making a 50-count supply valued at no more than $200. Yet Amazon claims the list price stands at a whopping $422.89, more than doubled what it should cost.

Click here to see more examples of Amazon’s wacky prices >

We tried to contact Amazon for comments, but did not receive a response.

The incident reminds us of last year when Amazon listed a seemingly normal book about flies for $23,698,655.93. Biologist Michael Eisen blogged about the unrealistic selling price, and documented how Amazon’s price for the book The Making of a Fly constantly went up day after another.

Here’s what happened: A professor required this book for a class and students naturally flocked to Amazon to purchase the text. Eventually, only two sellers still had the product available.

Because the book quickly became an exclusive, hot ticket item, Amazon’s algorithm for retailers to competitively price their product catapulted the retail value to more than $23 million.

We’re not sure if this is the same situation with the pet food offerings on the site, but it seems hard to believe the world is running out of doggie treats.

Deli Cat Dry Cat Food

Ok, we know having pets can be expensive but you can’t fool us, Amazon.

Higgins Celestial Blend Bird Food

Who can resist 89 percent off retail list price? Only ten left in stock!

Redbarn Filled Bone – Peanut Butter

Dog foods are getting so fancy these days, but at $6.70, the bone’s a steal.

 

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Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 news No Comments

Top Most Shared Category on Pinterest is … Food and Drink

Using our “Bit.ly Heat” overlay we can see which links/categories are most shared and most clicked.  We can also see, interestingly, that people are looking for high end gifts on Pinterest.com too.  Check out which links are #sharedmost on any webpage by using http://www.sharedmost.com

image.pngimage.png

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Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 news 1 Comment

Layoffs Underway At Two Of New York’s Biggest Flash Sales Sites, Gilt Groupe and Lot18

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/layoffs-gilt-groupe-lot18-2012-1


lot18

Last week BetaBeat’s Nitasha Tiku first reported impending layoffs at Gilt Groupe. We confirmed the rumor from a source who said 50-60 people would be let go in the next week or so.

Some of those cuts happened yesterday.  A source told Betabeat the experience was “super uncomfortable” and the “general atmosphere was terrifying.”

Gilt Groupe isn’t the only flash sales site that has been trimming some of its fat.  RueLaLa let go of many employees and Lot18, the one-year-old flash sales site for wine and gourmet food, also made cuts yesterday.

BetaBeat’s Adrianne Jeffries reported 15% of Lot18’s staff was let go after she spoke with co-founder Philip James. That comes out to about 14 people.

James called the layoffs “a natural part of the way a business grows and evolves.” James, like Gilt Groupe’s Kevin Ryan, indicated the layoffs were happening in places where the site was over-staffed, but said hiring would continue.  “We’re hiring heavily in areas that do make sense for us,” James told BetaBeat.

For Gilt Groupe, the layoffs seem to be a part of the plan to get to cash-flow break-even by Q2.  Best of luck to everyone at the companies.

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Sunday, January 22nd, 2012 news No Comments

Um, Google’s “Search, Plus Your World” Sucks So Far

Google’s “Search, Plus Your World” launched with some fanfare and with jilted partner, Twitter, crying foul.  But the real proof is in the “pudding” and so far, from my own taste testing, the “puddin’s not all that good.” In fact, it’s downright spoiled.

In theory, returning results based on my own activities, photos, shares, etc. plus the social sharing activities of my circles of friends seems to make sense. After all, my friends should share similar interests, etc. However, in reality, this appears to be far from the truth.

Either my friends all suck at what they are sharing OR what I search for has very little to do with (or very little overlap with) what I and my friends are sharing. And I think the latter is more likely the case, because my friends are all awesome and I usually find what they share to be super informative and I always learn something new from them and the insightful curation they do.

So what is wrong with Google’s new personalized search, flavored with +1? And will it ever get better with time and more usage?

My current hypothesis is NO .. it won’t get better with time.  Here are a few reasons why I think so:

– what I search for (what I need at this moment) is not necessarily what I share (what I think my followers would be interested in)

– news items and other cool information that is shared are things I “discover” through the curation of my circles of friends and I like to browse these things to learn; this contrasts with things that I search for at any moment in time, which could include things that I need now, gifts for other people, research for clients in other industries that I am not in. What this means is that those search terms and the sites that I visit don’t necessarily have any bearing on any future searches and what I am interested in.

– finally, among all my friends, I would probably only ask 1 or 2 of them for restaurant recommendations (in New York) because they live here and are known for their expertise in food; I would ask different friends for advice on digital cameras (@designerguy), keyword research platforms (@glenngabe), ad networks (@jonathanmendez), etc. you get the idea. So canvassing my entire social graph for keyword based ways to personalize search results is actually making the results worse (see examples below).

Search ( photos )

[Redacted] – I don’t need to see my own photos from my own Picasa, which I already know is there.

Search  ( italian restaurants in New York  – no quotes )

 

 

Search ( spend polarization – no quotes )

spend polarization search results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 SEM, SEO, social networks No Comments

A Retailer

Source: http://blog.compete.com/2012/01/03/pinterest-a-retailers-best-friend/

Pinterest Women's Clothing

Last May, we wrote about the new kid on the block, Pinterest. A self-proclaimed “virtual pinboard,” Pinterest allows users to collect images, quotes, recipes, etc. from across the web and organize them onto their own “pinboards” which can be shared with other Pinterest users. Examples of common pinboard inspirations are Wedding boards, Food & Drink boards, Travel & Places boards, & Home decor boards.

Although Pinterest had shown promise back in May, there would have been no way to predict the type of success they have seen since. Having grown 84% in Unique Visitors since we last wrote about them and 50% from October to November alone, it seems that Pinterest has piqued the interest of more than a few.

uvs to pinterest

Having recently joined Pinterest myself, I was curious to see how Pinterest might play into the role of marketing. I noticed that a lot of my friends were posted clothing & material items they liked in almost a “wishlist” sort of way, so I was curious to see if this could double as a sort of targeted social advertising.

I decided to look at incoming and outgoing traffic to and from Pinterest.com to see how virtual pin boards might affect consumers.

incoming traffic to pinterest

While most of the Top 10 Referrals to Pinterest.com are among the top sites on the Internet, the more interesting data starts at #11. Etsy.com, Amazon.com, Craigslist.com and Ebay.com all bring at least .39% of all traffic to Pinterest.com – not to mention their growth in referrals this past November. Etsy.com increased its referrals to Pinterest.com by 7%, Ebay by 23%, and Amazon by 50%!

Looking further into the data, we see that Walmart, Toys R’ Us, Target, Zulily, Baby Center, Kohls, Houzz, JC Penney, Best Buy, and Zazzle are all within the Top 100 Referrals to Pinterest.com. What could this all mean? In the context of Pinterest, it would seem that users are inspired and excited by the products they see on these websites and want to add them to their visual collections and share them with friends. But once users leave retailers for Pinterest, are the retailers benefiting?

Well, one could argue that the impressions made on Pinterest users who view the shared item are enough value in themselves. Viewing a cute dress for a little girl on Zulily.com might inspire a Pinterest user to visit Zulily in the future or even make a purchase at a later date. But could there be any retail sales that start directly at Pinterest.com? I checked out outgoing traffic from Pinterest.com to get the scoop.

outgoing traffic from pinterest

As you can see, Etsy.com is the #6 destination from Pinterest.com, swiping 1.5% of all outgoing traffic. Amazon, Ebay, Craigslist, & Houzz are all in the Top 30 destinations users immediately visit after Pinterest.com. Target, Walmart, & Anthropologie are also among the Top 100 destinations from Pinterest.com. Interestingly enough, Anthropologie wasn’t among the Top 100 incoming destinations which means that the content from Anthropologie shared must be expectionally engaging with Pinterest users.

Are you on Pinterest? Have you ever been inspired to buy something after looking at a friend’s virtual pin board? If you are a retailer, or online marketer, what do you think the future holds for Pinterest in this context?

Leave your comments below!


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Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 news No Comments

Verizon posts Galaxy Nexus simulator, doesn’t cap your virtual data

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/12/14/verizon-posts-galaxy-nexus-simulator-doesnt-cap-your-virtual-d/

Want to be an Ice Cream Sandwich champ before you even have a Galaxy Nexus in hand? Big Red’s just opened the e-freezer, launching its Samsung Galaxy Nexus support simulator, complete with programed hands-on tutorials for navigating menus, launching apps, taking beautiful food pictures with creamy bokeh and browsing various single-page Verizon sites. The tutorial isn’t a full sim in the traditional sense — it’s merely a microsite with static pages and limited animations — but it’s the closest many of us will get to playing with the real thing; until tomorrow, at least. Clear your schedule for the next five minutes, and hit up the source link for the smoothest smartphone experience you’re likely to ever have.

[Thanks, Zedster]

Verizon posts Galaxy Nexus simulator, doesn’t cap your virtual data originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 14 Dec 2011 15:44:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 news No Comments

The Most Popular Twitter Hashtags of 2011 [Twitter]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5865096/the-most-popular-twitter-hashtags-of-2011

The Most Popular Twitter Hashtags of 2011Sure you could say that Twitter has devolved into a chaotic mess filled with #AreWeSeriouslyTweetingThisLongHashtag and Bieber freaks, but it’s still boss at figuring out what’s going on at this very second. So taking a look back at the past year, what were the most popular Twitter moments in 2011? It gets a little weird.

It either speaks to my growing uncoolness or Twitter’s tween explosion that I have no idea what channel Pretty Little Liars is on, why Raven Symone is more popular than Natalie Portman on the actress list and how the Sony NGP a more talked about topic than the iPhone and Android. What is going on?!

My favorite list though, has to be the most popular food and drink items of 2011:

McLobster
Fried Kool-Aid
Starbucks Trenta
Devassa Beer
Guinness
BBQ
Mac & Cheese

We’re all so fat it is glorious. Anyway, here are the most popular Twitter hashtags of 2011:

#egypt
#tigerblood
#threewordstoliveby
#idontunderstandwhy
#japan
#improudtosay
#superbowl
#jan25

Hey egypt, japan, jan25 and even tigerblood and superbowl sum up the year fairly well! Good job tweeple. But #improudtosay, #idontunderstandwhy #threewordstoliveby managed to make the top freaking hashtags of the year. Let’s do better in 2012 Twitter. [“>Twitter]

The Most Popular Twitter Hashtags of 2011


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Monday, December 5th, 2011 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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