US technology giant Apple has reported the biggest quarterly profit ever made by a public company.Apple reported a net profit of $18bn (£11.8bn) in its fiscal first quarter, which tops the $15.9bn made by ExxonMobil in the second quarter of 2012, according to Standard and Poor's. Record sales of iPhones were behind the surge in profits. Apple sold 74.5 million iPhones in the three months to 27 December - well ahead of most analysts' expectations. They have also become the biggest smartphone seller in China which is a market they have been looking to break for a long time. They were selling 34,000 phones an hour, 24/7 for the entire quarter which has led to Apples cash pile being larger than what the UK spends on NHS.
Thursday, 29 January 2015
About 2,000 jobs are at risk after Tesco revealed the identities of the 43 unprofitable stores that are set to close as part of new chief executive Dave Lewis’s efforts to revive the embattled grocer. The retailer said it would be closing 30 convenience stores – 18 Express outlets and 12 inner-city Metro shops. They have also abandoned 49 sites where they were set to build new stores in the future. This is all in an effort to rebalance Tescos costs and try and make the organisation a leaner more profitable one. There are currently 2,614 Tesco stores in Britain, a figure that increased by 37 during the previous 12 months.
Nutella was creaeted by Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker and founder of Ferrero in the 1940s. During this time, cocoa was in short supply due to World War II rationing. So, to compensate, Ferrero used hazelnuts in his chocolate mix to lengthen his chocolate supply. Nutella is currently sold all around the world and is in such demand that Nutella theft has occurred in places such as Germany and Colombia University.Though Chicago will be the first place to open a Nutella bar in the United States, the idea of Nutella themed restaurants is not unheard of. In fact, a restaurant called Nuttelaria, a Nutella-themed restaurant, opened a couple of years ago in Bologna, Italy and Frankfurt, Germany.
Tuesday, 27 January 2015
A US sweet Moscato wine-based drink that was the brainchild of hip hop star Nicki Minaj is making its UK debut next month. Minaj helped develop the product and also owns a minority stake in the brand Mynx Beverage. The bottle was shown in the music video for Minaj's song 'High School' and also name-checked in several other tracks. Minaj notified her 18.8 million Twitter followers when it rolled out in stores in the US. There are many celebrity endorsed brands out there but very few celebrity owned which makes this different.
Wired magazine has apologised after a fitness tracker giveaway proved too good to be true for some of its UK readers. The tech magazine had run an offer promising new subscribers Misfit's latest activity and sleep monitor. The deal appeared tempting, since the total cost of the package (a £9 subscription for 6 months) was less than a fifth of the price the Misfit Flash retailed for on the High Street (£50). But when details of the offer spread online, the magazine's publisher said it was "overwhelmed" by the response which has led to issues with supplying and some customers missing out.
Popular clothes shop Urban Outfitters has thought up a revolutionary idea for those people who get bored after traipsing around the shops with their friends. A refuse area full of retro console games have been carved into the middle of the store to entertain fed up friends waiting for their mate to try on clothes. A great idea which is cost effective and can ensure all customers whether shopping or not left feeling entertained.
Sunday, 25 January 2015
YouTube provides hours of entertainment for many, but for a select few it also means millions of pounds in advertising. YouTube allows certain content creators to become part of their Partner Program which means ads will play before or around a video, and the content creator will be paid through an AdSense account. The top earners include Taylor Swift, EMI Music and the WWE. The number one earner is a woman who makes videos of herself unboxing and showing off Disney toys and according to OpenSlate she made $4.9 million in 2014 from YouTube ads alone. The above video has been watched 183,927,011 times and her channels has had a total of 4,750,324,337 views.
Industrial design graduate Solveiga Pakstaite’s Bump Mark uses a gelatine-based label to let consumers know when food has passed its prime. This little bump could cut a 4 million tonne mountain of UK food waste and save £12 billion. The result of her work in progress is a label which is attached to food packaging and changes shape when the produce deteriorates. When food is fresh to eat the label is smooth and curved, when it has decayed, a plastic bump emerges. This will not only be a huge aid to those who are visually impaired but will also offer a much more accurate reading which should lead to less waste.
As Rocky he was the heavyweight champion of the world but has Sylvester Stallone got what it takes to sell bread? Britain's top-selling bread brand Warburtons reckons so and, in one of the unlikeliest pairings in advertising history, Stallone will appear with bakery boss Jonathan Warburton in a new TV ad to screen later this year. They will be hoping the ad will help get its bread business fighting fit after a tough 2014. More than £50m was wiped off the brand's bread sales last year as a result of the discounters and consumers moving away from traditional sliced bread.
Thursday, 22 January 2015
The government is planning to bring into force legislation for plain cigarette packaging before the General packaging before the General Election in May. This follows the approach of countries like Australia who have recently introduced a similar scheme. The idea behind plain packaging is that it would largely remove branding from packets bar a small, simple product name. Health warnings would dominate boxes instead. Health minister Jane Ellison said the regulations would help advise and protect younger people from the deadly consequences of smoking.
A 13-year old American boy is thought to be the youngest entrepreneur ever to recieve venture capital after he invented a Braille printer using Lego. He saw a gap in the market after asking his parents how blind people read and after some research he found that Braille printers cost £1,300 and weigh up to 9kg. So as part of a Science project he decided to have a go to build a cheaper and lighter version himself using Lego. He managed to create a prototype and expects the final version to only cost £300. He set up a company called Braigo Labs (a mixture of Braille & Lego) after his father invested some money into his business. He has now received further finance from a venture capitalist and tech giants Intel.
Rihanna has won a legal battle with Topshop over a T-shirt which used her image. The high street store had appealed against a High court ruling that selling the t-shirt bearing her image without her approval amounts to "passing off", a term used to enforce unregistered trademark rights. The photo was an unauthorized snap taken when filming a video in Northern Ireland which was used by Topshop. They said that Rihanna in the wrong as it is unfair if "only a celebrity may ever market his or her own character". Who's side do you take?
Christmas 2015 may seem a long way away but plans of what are going to be on the shelves of stores are already well underway. Quadcopters, drones and sonic boomerangs hovered, looped and whizzed around the heads of trade buyers at the British Toy Fair on the hunt for the must-have toys of 2015. Watch the following clip to see what was on trend for this year...
Monday, 19 January 2015
Britvic has extended its Robinsons squash brand with a new no-added sugar range aimed at children. Three fruit-flavoured single-concetrates are rolling out into stores which are specifically developed for children's palates. The launch follows a 4.1% drop in the value of the overall Robinsons squash range. This is in line with the performance of the category, which has been hit by consumer concerns over sugar content. This range is looking to appeal for children looking for something new is squash.
The wealthiest 1% will soon own more than the rest of the world's population, according to a study by anti-poverty charity Oxfam. The charity's research shows that the share of the world's wealth owned by the richest 1% increased from 44% in 2009 to 48% last year. On current trends, Oxfam says it expects the wealthiest 1% to own more than 50% of the world's wealth by 2016. The research coincides with the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos. The annual gathering attracts top political and business leaders from around the world.
Retail giant H&M and service station operator Welcome Break are among 37 firms to be "named and shamed" for failing to pay the minimum wage. It is the single biggest list of companies exposed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The 37 firms will be fined a total of £51,000 and must also pay affected staff the £177,000 they were underpaid. Most firms blamed logging or IT systems for failing to update changes to staff records. The current minimum wage is £6.50 per hour for adults (21 & over).
Thursday, 15 January 2015
Heinz has rolled out a radio campaign for its Salad Cream brand in a bid to target health conscious consumers. Pushing the message that Heinz Salad Cream has 60 per cent less fat than mayonnaise, Heinz is encouraging customers to make small changes instead of setting big dieting goals. It has run across Bauer, Heart and Capital and has been supported with promoted posts on Facebook, experiential sampling, in-store POS and a limited edition label promoting the ‘60 per cent less fat’ message.Emily Frank, senior brand manager for Salad Cream, Mayonnaise and Condiments, claimed radio has been one of the most powerful media channels for the Salad Cream brand. " We are very excited to launch our latest campaign and hope it encourages our target audience of women aged 25-44 to choose Heinz Salad Cream to bring some Zing to their salads," she added.
YouGov’s BrandIndex Rankings for 2014 have just been released. The Rankings compare BrandIndex Buzz scores for over 850 brands in 32 categories, to reveal the UK brands with the most positive brand noise during the last 12 months. Buzz scores are worked out by asking if respondents have heard anything positive or negative about a brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news, word-of-mouth or friends and family.Buzz scores measure recent brand sentiment and also indicate the direction of recent awareness. Find out which brands came out on top!
Lucozade has added a special edition Grafruitti variant, a combination of mixed berries and citrus fruits with an exotic twist, to its energy range. The launch is being supported by a consumer facing social media campaign. The product tested well in consumer research, with 84% purchase intent from the target market of 16-45 year olds proving there is an opportunity for this new release.
Tuesday, 13 January 2015
The UK inflation rate fell sharply to 0.5% in December, the joint lowest on record, official figures show. Inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index fell from 1% in November to its lowest rate since May 2000, helped by cheaper fuel prices. Chancellor George Osborne hailed the fall in the inflation rate as good news. He tweeted: "Inflation is 0.5% - lowest level in modern times. Welcome news with family budgets going further & economic recovery starting to be widely felt."
A pop-up shop exclusively selling crisp sandwiches - believed to be the first such shop in the world - sold out within two hours of opening its doors.According to its owners, Simply Crispy in Belfast experienced "overwhelming" demand for cheese and onion baps, with queues snaking out of the door and into the street as lunchtime approached.Customers can choose their bread and crisp flavour, and can opt to add cheese or ham to their sandwich, which is served with tomato soup and chips. It costs around £3 for a meal.
No longer shall the egg shell be made from delicious Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate. It will instead be made from “standard cocoa mix chocolate”. The spokesman said the new chocolate had been tested on “consumers” – and had been “found to be the best one for Creme Egg”. They will also now be sold in a 5-pack rather than a 6-pack - a change which has not come with a corresponding change in price. Kraft Foods bought Cadbury in 2010 and its global snacks business under the name of Mondelez International.
Sunday, 11 January 2015
Hula Hoops has been extended with a lighter ‘puffy’ variant – a first for the KP Snacks brand. This is in response to the changing nature of the consumers wants after the regular Hula Hoops brand saw a fall in sales of 7% last year. The 'Puft' brand are air popped so are lower in saturated fats and calories compared to standard Hula Hoops. Many other brands are following the trend of creating lower calorie alternatives as consumers are becoming more conscious of products contents.
The supermarket chain Morrison's is to take over sponsorship of the Great North Run. They stepped in after private health firm Bupa announced in November that it was pulling out after supporting the event for 22 years. The multimillion pound four-year contract is the biggest sports sponsorship deal in the supermarkets history. It is designed to promote Morrisons' brand and association with healthy living at a time of intense competition in the UK grocery sector.
The High Street chain Timpson is offering to dry clean suits for unemployed people for nothing. It hopes this will help them succeed in job interviews. Wearing a suit is generally expected for an interview and clothes stains are said to "turn off" 59% of executives The problem is that getting suits dry cleaned usually costs in the vicinity of £10, which can be prohibitive for unemployed people looking to return to work. This is good PR for Timpsons whom will hope people will remain loyal customers if they help them get a foot on the job ladder.
Tuesday, 6 January 2015
Family firm Ringtons has confirmed two distribution deals which will see its famous tea sold across the US. The 107-year-old Newcastle business, whose customers include luxury grocer Fortnum & Mason, has seen significant market growth over the last year, thanks to its traditional doorstep delivery service, business-to-business and private label divisions all strengthening within this timeframe. Established in 1907 today the company is headed up by the fourth generation of the Smith family and employs more than 500 staff across more than 20 sites throughout the UK, including its North Tyneside factory where all of its tea and coffee is blended, roasted and packed. Ringtones has modified its packaging to conform to US guidelines and launched a website to direct American audiences to their online stores.
Staff at Gateshead clothing company Barbour have begun four weeks of strike action over pay and working hours.The strike is in protest at contractual changes requiring staff to work until 22:30 and removing extra payment for unsocial hours. Unite regional officer Fazia Hussain-Brown said: "Many of the workers struggling to get by on less than the living wage are the sole bread winner and have family or caring responsibilities. "The company should not underestimate the resolve of the workforce nor the impact that four weeks of strike action will have on supplies."
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars sold a record number of cars last year, breaking through the 4,000 mark for the first time in its 111-year history. The luxury car maker sold 4,063 cars, up 12% on last year, and marking the fifth consecutive year of record sales. Sales in the US increased by almost a third, by 40% in Europe and in the Middle East by 20%, the firm said. About 80% of its buyers were entrepreneurs and business owners, with the remainder celebrities. The firm is also currently "mulling" creating a four-wheel drive SUV vehicle in 2015.
Sunday, 4 January 2015
Coromoto famous ice-cream shop in Venezuela which offers a world record 850 number of flavour of ice cream has had to close due to a shortage of milk. Venezuela, which depends on imports for many products, is experiencing shortages of some staples, such as corn oil and powdered milk. According to the latest official figures the scarcity index stands at 29,4%. This suggests that out of 100 goods, 29 were not always available everywhere at the time. The government blames unscrupulous businesspeople, who it says hoard goods to drive up prices.
Apple is sued for claiming iPhones have 16GB of storage when its operating system takes up more than a fifth of available space. A lawsuit has been filed against Apple, accusing the technology giant of promising more available storage space than it actually delivers in its iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices. On some devices the latest iOS8 can take up to 23.1% of the storage of the device which leads to the data limit being hit quicker and forcing customers to pay for storage on Apples iCloud.
Asda is set to trial the sale of "wonky veg" with support from TV chef Jamie Oliver. They will be encouraging shoppers to buy misshapen produce such as crooked carrots, knobbly pears and wonky spuds. Bagged up and promoted using the tagline 'beautiful on the inside' the veg will be sold at a lower price as the supermarket looks to make the appeal of "ugly food" more accessible. Over half of what farmers produce currently has to be thrown away or sold as animal feed despite it having no difference in taste than what is sold at full price in the supermarkets. Would you buy wonky veg?