When it comes to vending machines, Japan has the rest of the world beat. The country boasts over 5 million (one for every 23 people!) selling everything from socks to noodles and more. Still, even in the United States, a new generation of machines is bringing a new level of customization and convenience to the vending category. Some of our favorites:
Customizable Coke and Ice Cream
For some reason, drinkers in the U.S. are suddenly blushing... at least when it comes to their choice of wine. Compared to France (where rosé wines, also known as blush or pink, regularly outsell white), American consumers have long viewed rosé as something of a poor relation to "real" wine. Which makes its current popularity all the more extraordinary.
It’s a simple idea – but one with multiple benefits. And one that can be applied across myriad categories.
Last week Amazon.com announced something new, and just in time for the holidays: Frustration-Free&trade Packaging. What that means is products that don’t arrive in impossible-to-open clamshells, or in plastic shrink wraps inside of trays inside of boxes all twisted together with wire ties.
It’s that time of year again. The beach has given way to the classroom. But the days of sending your child off to school with some freshly sharpened No. 2 pencils and a new three-ring binder are long gone. These days, progressive schools are turning to ‘smart boards’ as a teaching tool, and tech marketers are targeting returning scholars with a crop of fun and cool new technologies for use in the home or classroom. Here’s a roundup of just a few:
Americans are growing increasingly sophisticated in their food tastes. One sign of this has been the extraordinary growth of farmers' markets/greenmarkets around the country. But it begs the question: if greenmarkets are now mainstream, then what’s leading edge?
We found one answer to that this past Sunday at the 2nd Annual UnFancy Food Show in Brooklyn. The show was a direct reaction to what its founders see as the increasing commodification of New York greenmarkets, as well as the gargantuan Fancy Food Show (which opened at New York’s Javits Convention Center the same day).
Remember the excitement and joy you felt as a kid when you’d hear the song heralding the arrival of the ice cream truck? Now an L.A. hipster has reinvented the experience in a way that even grown-ups can enjoy.
It’s the time of year when the sky’s default color is gray and the doldrums start to take over. In February, who doesn’t need a pick-me-up? We think it’s the perfect moment to check in on the increasing caffeination of – well, almost everything it seems. What started with the coffee and energy drink revolution has now spread far beyond the beverage category.
In the 80s it was designer jeans, in the 90s it was designer coffees. Consumers have long used brands as tools of self-definition, so it should come as no surprise that in the 00s, some folks are deciding that what’s good in this life should be good for the next. Here’s how some consumers are making the leap from lifestyle brands to brands for the afterlife: