Friday, 29 November 2013

Paper Bottle

UK shopper will be forced to wait before the release of the UK's first wine in a paper bottle. This different type of packaging is being developed by GreenBottle and are hoping that they can change consumers views to switch to a more eco-friendly bottle.

Smart Wig

Sony have filed for a patent for a SmartWig a technology item which can be worn "in addition to natural hair" and will be able to process data and communicate wirelessly with other external devices. According to Sony the SmartWig can help navigate roads and collect information such as blood pressure. Tech experts see the wearable gadget as being the next big area of growth but will the SmartWig?

Black Friday Flurry

US shops traditionally offer big discounts on the Friday after the US Thanksgiving holiday. The UK has also pushed the same type of promotions with huge sales in a number of retail outlets. A flurry of promotions linked to Black Friday saw fights breaking out in Asda over discounted televisions of which it sold 10,000 in one hour.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Xbox One Million

Microsoft has sold more than one million Xbox One consoles in less than 24 hours, despite some users saying they have been plagued by technical problems. The next-gen console is now sold out at most retailers after going on sale in 13 countries across the world on Friday. Now over to you PS4!

A Warburtons Christmas

Warburtons has Christmas all wrapped up with its first ever Christmas themed packaging which they claim customers could even use as wrapping paper when they have finished the loaf. They hope that the attractive attention grabbing packaging will draw in customers over the festive period.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Curb That Pay

How long would you have to work to earn $17.1m - just one year if you are a chief executive in some of Switzerland's leading companies. Swiss voters are going to the polls this weekend to decide on strict new laws to limit executive pay. The measures, if approved, would limit the salaries of top managers to no more than 12 times the wage of the lowest-paid worker in the same company. Would this work? 

Samsung Pay Up

A Silicon Valley jury has ruled that Samsung must pay £180m to Apple for copying iPhone and iPad features in its devices. Samsung had argued that Apple should not have ownership over technology like what Samsung said was the "basic rectangular" shape of smartphones but Apple believe they need protection for the hard work that goes into innovation. Rumors about how Samsung paid Apple in lorry loads of coins have been found to be false. 

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

App of the Month: Quiz Up

This months free app is a great quiz game which can test your knowledge of a number of different subjects with people and friends from across the globe. It has a great section of business and economics quizzes including logos and slogans and is free to download from the app store.

Peanut Hottie

Peanut-flavour drink Peanut Hottie is expanding into the sachet market. The instant hot drink that is made from roasted and powdered peanuts was launched into Sainsburys last month. They claim no one else is taking a risk in this market like they are & hope to build a large base of peanut butter lovers through social media campaigns.

Easy Jet Profits Take Off

Easyjet saw a 51% rise in yearly pre-tax profits to £478m, partly thanks to the introduction of allocated seats. Allowing passengers to book their seats had had a big impact on profitability which has boosted shares by almost 6%. Easyjet said 60.8 million passengers flew with it during the year ending 30th September. What would this indicate about the market structure of airlines?

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Christmas Dinner Cake

This quirky cake contains a mixture of carrots, sprouts, parsnips, chestnuts and cranberries and has taken its place in the stores of Waitrose/Ocado just in time for Christmas priced at £18. This specialist cake was the idea of Alison Whitmash who got backing for her idea in the shape of £50,000 from Dragons Den's Deborah Meaden. 

Snapchat Deal Disappears

Mobile messaging startup Snapchat has reportedly rejected an acquisition offer from Facebook that would have valued the company at more than $3bn (£1.8bn). The app was launched in September 2011 and according to its website, at least 200 million snap chats are sent every day. The report of Facebook's interest in Snapchat comes a couple of weeks after the world's number one internet social network acknowledged it was seeing a decline in daily use by teenagers in the US.

Sainsbury's Festive Blunder

Eagle eyed viewers of Sainsbury's latest Christmas TV commercial have spotted an unconventional approach to advertising - one which has seen the retailer unwittingly promote products of its Co-Op rival. Three of the rival chains own-brand products were spied in Sainsbury's Christmas themed home video advert. A spokesman for the Co-Op remarked "It seems that our Truly Irresistible Christmas pudding, lemon torte and Christmas cake are so good even Sainsbury's can't resist advertising them.

IAG See Rise In Profits

The IAG, who own British Airways , have seen a rise in their profits. There was an 8% increase in pre-tax profits for the summer quarter of 2013, an increase of 507 million Euros compared with last year. This increase has been aided by the recovery of their Spanish airline, Iberia. Profits for the Spanish airline were 74m Euros in the summer quarter for 2013 whilst were only 1m in the same quarter in 2012. This is due to the company's focus on cutting jobs and paying at the carrier. Profits at BA also increase to 477m Euros compared to 269m Euros in the same quarter last year. BA have benefited from demand for transatlantic flights and the London market, To combat the fall in demand for business travel to London, due to last years Olympics, they were also helped by a 100m Euro 
'bounce back'. 

By Victoria Clayton

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Apple Curved iPhone

Apple is said to be working on curved screens for future versions of the iPhone, as well as sensors that can detect different levels of pressure. The curved screen phones are marketed as being more durable and ergonomic but also better for watching videos and playing games. Watch this space for future developments.

30 Squats To Ride The Subway

In an effort to promote the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and physical fitness, Moscow are allowing subway riders to pay 30 squats instead of 30 rubbles for a trip on the metro. Riders perform the squats in front of a special machine which can tell if the person is in the right position & will dispense a ticket if you complete all 30. Not quite as easy as you think!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Middle Class Thief

Supermarkets have reported a leap in thefts of expensive products such as meat joints and parmesan cheese - with the finger of blame being pointed at the middle classes who have had income squeezed and are looking to still maintain their lifestyles. The cost of retail theft has been estimated at £3.4bn over the past financial year in the Uk - equating to £124 per household. What will stores have to do to cope with this?

Happy Singles' Day

November 11th is China's anti-Valentine's Day, a day when young people celebrate being single. But for many, its also an excuse to log onto China's biggest online shopping platform Taobao where almost all products are sold at half price. In just 6 minutes after midnight $164 million was spent and in an hour two million bras were sold, making a pile that would be three times higher than Mount Everest!

Christmas Dinner Ravioli

Fresh pasta brand Dell'Ugo has launched a limited edition Christmas variety of its stuffed ravioli in support of the homeless. 10p from each sale will go towards Crisis which is the national charity for single homeless people. They have also previously released limited edition pasta for breast cancer awareness. How much do these limited editions help raise for charity or is it something that helps sales?

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Mobile Spending Spree

This year has been dubbed 'The Mobile Christmas' and with 48% growth in mobile shopping, retailers are increasingly targeting shoppers through digital devices. Consumers spending via mobiles and tablets is worth about £8bn a year but over the next five years, the spread of smartphones and tablets will see spending on these devices to triple to £23bn. 

Play While You Pee

Urinal-based games console granted patent after being laughed off by Dragons Den. A British company Captive Media has developed technology letting men shoot and fire at targets with their stream. The divide sits above the normal urinal bowl and plays a mixture of adverts and video games using  an infa-red device to detect where the urine is falling.

The Bear & the Hare

John Lewis released its eagerly anticipated Christmas advert for 2013 on Friday. The whole campaign  cost £7 million, with £1 million spent on filming, £5 million on air time and £1 million on advertising across other media. The storyboards were all drawn out and painted by hand by Disney Genius Aaron Blaise with music provided by Lilly Allen. It has had a mixed reaction so far with some saying it was a copy of a popular Christmas book.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

TV Christmas Advert Battle

By the end of this week, all the main retailers will have launched their festive campaigns - but this year they're spending a lot more cash on the internet to mirror shopping habits. Retailers are expected to spend about £390m on advertising in the last three months of the year. There will be a larger focus on digital online campaigns with M&S stepping into this format for the first time. John Lewis' much anticipated ad is been kept tightly under wraps.

Brands set to 'Stay Classy'

The long awaited sequel to Anchorman has attracted a huge amount of attention around the world with brands queuing up to get involved. Paramount UK has announced seven domestic deals with Tango hoping that the face of Ron Burgundy will push the reach of the product to more than 15 million customers. 

Face Scanning Adverts

Tesco is installing face-scanning technology at its petrol stations to target advertisements to individual customers at the till. The technology, made by Lord Sugar's company Amscreen, will use a camera to identify a customer's gender & approximate age. It will then show an advert tailored to that demographic.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

McDonald's Not Lovin Heinz

McDonald's has said it is to stop serving Heinz ketchup in its stores after 40 years. The world's biggest fast-food chain said it would drop the ketchup after Bernardo Hees, the former head of rival Burger King, took over as Heinz's chief executive. "We have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time," McDonald's said. I wonder why this has happened?

I'm A Celebrity...

Iceland are introducing the first ever frozen food board game as part of its sponsorship of ITV's 'I'm a celebrity..' reality TV show which is starting soon. It follows the concept of the show's bushtucker trial with a game of snakes and ladders and requires players to eat either forfeits or rewards. Will this be the start of frozen food board games?

Ronaldo Is Pants

Cristiano Ronaldo stepped into the world of fashion with a bang this week. The Real Madrid and Portugal forward unveiled his underwear range, CR7. Following in the footsteps of David Beckham he has worked closely with New York designer Richard Chai & Danish textile firm JBS to create a range of underwear and socks for the 28-year-old's debut fashion line.