Thursday, 24 November 2016

3D Sweets

A sweet retailer is coming to intu Metrocentre which will launch the world’s first 3D printer for gummy sweets. Katjes Magic Candy Factory will create several new jobs when it opens in the Blue Mall within the shopping and leisure complex on November 29, bringing to the high street the first ever food certified 3D printer for gelatine-free sweets. The 3D printer can produce customers’ selfies in sweet form within minutes, and can also 3D print an edible shape, message, or hand drawn design in one of eight flavours as customers watch in less than five minutes. The company is opening units in seven shopping centres across the UK in the next few weeks, where managers are expecting a rush on Christmas orders for their unique, vegan sweets.

Work Starts at 9:06am

There aren't many companies that insist staff start work every day at such an oddly specific time as Pivotal Software. Employees at the US firm's 20 global offices all have to be at work and ready to go at exactly 9.06am. At that precise time a cowbell is rung, or a gong is hit, and all workers gather for a brief stand-up meeting that lasts for between five and 10 minutes. Then the firm's programmers hit their computers, with no other meetings or distractions for the rest of the day. Pivotal's founder and chief executive Rob Mee says it is all about making the working day as efficient as possible. But why 9.06am? "We thought that if we made it 9am, developers psyching themselves up for the day would think, 'well if it is 9am I'll be late,'" says Mr Mee. "So then we thought, 'why don't we make it 9.05am,' but that is too precise, as programmers don't like over-optimising, so we went with 9.06am. Then it became something fun." And at the end of the day everyone has to leave the office at 6pm sharp because staff aren't allowed to work into the evening.

Heinz Advert Canned

Beans may be good for the heart, but empty tin cans are not so good for hands or fingers - so says the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which on Wednesday banned a Heinz TV ad for encouraging people to beat out a song using empty cans - but Heinz is not alone.The Heinz TV ad, using the catchline "Learn the #CanSong", shows a group of people tapping and twirling empty cans to drum out rhythms.Three people complained that the TV advert encouraged unsafe behaviour, while six more said it could be dangerous if children tried to copy the music. Heinz denied the ad posed a safety risk, but the ASA upheld both complaints, saying it might result in "hands or fingers being inserted into an open tin". TV is the most complained-about advertising medium, with 11,611 complaints about 3,920 different commercials made to the watchdog in 2015.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Business Live!

Business Live returns again this Thursday in the library where you will get the opportunity to hear from Julie who is the owner of Olives at the Station and also head of the Whitley Bay Chamber of Trade. There will be juice and biscuits available plus you will also get a chance to ask Julie some questions. Come and pick up your free tickets and we hope to see lots of you there.   

Don't Rush for Black Friday!

Half of Black Friday deals were actually cheaper before and after the event, a watchdog has found. The consumer group, Which? warned shoppers to “do your research” after it found just 8 per cent of offers were exclusive to the day, while four in 10 could be picked up cheaper after the event and one in 10 items cost less in the months before. Which? tracked 178 deals on 20 popular gadgets and appliances at Amazon, AO, Argos, Currys and John Lewis every day for three months before and two months after Black Friday last year. t found that only 90 out of the 178 deals were cheapest on Black Friday. AO and Currys may also have broken advertising rules after Which? found “numerous” examples of offers that appeared to exaggerate the apparent discount by using an artificially high “was” price. Rules say the “was” price should be the most recent price the item was sold at, for at least 28 consecutive days.


Maltesers, billed as the “lighter way to enjoy chocolate”, have become another treat to shrink in size.In another chocolate tragedy it appears that Mars, which owns the Maltesers brand, reduced its pouch weight by 15 per cent. Mars said rising costs mean it had to make the unenviable decision between increasing its prices or reducing the weight of its Malteser packs. “Like all chocolate manufacturers, we have seen the cost of raw materials rise and, while we try to absorb these pressures as much as possible, sometimes we have to make the difficult decision to reduce the size of some of our products so our consumers can continue to enjoy an affordable treat,” the company said in a statement. Price of cocoa butter and other milk chocolate ingredients has jumped almost 40 per cent this year causing difficult decisions for chocolate manufacturers. 

World's Most Expensive Crisp

A Swedish microbrewery has created exclusive crisps that are made from some of the fanciest ingredients around. But, would you be willing to fork out £46 for just five?St Erik’s have joined the posh crisp battleground with an offering of a premium snack to match their premium beer. A la M&S, these aren’t just any ordinary crisps though, oh no, these ones are prepared by the talented chefs of the Swedish National Culinary Team and use some of the most exclusive ingredients available in the Nordics. They’re made from fine Ammarnas potatoes, Matsutake mushroom, truffle seaweed, dill, leksand onion and India pale ale but of course, for the best taste experience, they should be enjoyed with a pint of St Eriks’ artisanal standard beer. The five crisps are served in a classy black box and cost a steep £46.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Stop Funding Hate

Lego has announced its promotional giveaways with the Daily Mail have ended - amid a campaign to stop firms advertising with some newspapers over "divisive" coverage of migrants. The firm regularly gives away free toys via the paper, but said there would be no more "in the foreseeable future".Lego did not say why the tie-up had ended - but said it had listened carefully to parents and grandparents. Stop Funding Hate has lobbied firms to stop advertising with some newspapers. The group, formed in the summer, has criticised several national newspapers for "portraying migrants in overwhelmingly negative terms" and whipping up hatred before and after the EU referendum. It has urged companies including John Lewis, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer to stop advertising with the Daily Mail, the Sun and Daily Express.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Buster The Boxer

John Lewis unveiled its much-anticipated 2016 Christmas advert and it features a bouncing boxer called Buster. Still preparations for the advert  have started as early as February and the latest campaign was created by Adam&EveDBB and directed by Dougal Wilson, who also worked on the three previous editions. John Lewis estimates that since 2012 its sales have increased more than 35 per cent thanks to the success of its Christmas advertising. The retailer is also said to bring psychologists into the process to help them emotionally engage with viewers.The advert cost £1 million to make, with a further £6 million being spent on buying TV advertising time to show it. Considering John Lewis makes 40% of its profits over the Christmas period you can see why its trying to persuade you to engage with them rather than the competition. The advert had racked up over 1.2 million views only 8 hours after it was launched but had also caused anger from some parents who thought the advert destroyed the magic of Christmas.

Toblerone Trim

The makers of Toblerone have widened the gaps between the chocolate bar’s distinctive triangular chunks in an effort to avoid putting its prices up, in a move fans have described as “stupid”, “ridiculous” and “just plain dumb”. A statement on the brand’s Facebook page said that higher costs for ingredients had meant it had decided to cut the weight of two bars from Toblerone’s UK range. It has reduced 400g bars to 360g and 170g bars to 150g in order to maintain retail prices. The change means that the gaps between chunks are now wider than the chunks themselves. One customer described the new bar as looking “like a weird knock-off of itself”. Explaining the change, the statement on Toblerone’s Facebook page said: “Like many other companies, we are experiencing higher costs for numerous ingredients.

Lost In Translation

Would you help yourself to a beverage labelled Free Tea? That was the choice one shopper made recently at a Japanese convenience store. The non-Japanese man was seen openly drinking from a bottle of lemon iced tea which he had taken from the shelf, resulting in an argument with store staff. "What did I do that was wrong? It's written right there on the label," he apparently questioned angrily. After an explanation by the cashier, it became evident that it was all lost in translation. Free Tea was the brand name, not an offer of a complimentary drink. The confusingly named tea is a product of Japanese beverage giant Pokka Sapporo. The drink "encourages people to be free from a stress-filled society".

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Ginger Coca Cola

Coca-Cola Ginger is the latest limited edition flavour to hit the shelves but it appears to have divided both Coke and ginger fans alike. Launched on Monday, the fizzy drink joins a long list of exclusive tastes including Black Cherry (USA), Vanilla (UK, Canada and USA), Orange (UK, Latvia, Russia) and even Green Tea (Japan). Currently, the ‘world first’ is only available in Australia and New Zealand and is being released just in time for their Summer with the line, ““Great Coke taste with a refreshing ginger twist.” The cans and bottles come in classic Coca-Cola red with the addition of some fancy fold strips.  In a statement released by the company, Coca-Cola said that the launch came as a result of a rise in the number of ginger-flavoured drinks being bought Down Under. Opinions seem divided so far and while some think it’s completely genius while others are left disappointed. 
                                                     Ginger Coca Cola

Kelloggs Sales Not Grrrreeat!

Kellogg's has suffered its seventh successive drop in quarterly sales in the third quarter of 2016. The cereal manufacturer blamed the figures on poor demand for its products in the US and a challenging UK market. The company also cited "portfolio transformations that have taken longer than anticipated to execute".Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos, a consumer and business psychologist at University College London, told BBC World TV that sales could be down because people's breakfast habits were changing. "The younger population will replace cereal with smoothies, fresh fruit and yogurt," he said. "An older generation will have their cereals during the day as a snack and have a box on their desk in their office. "A lot of individuals only spend five or six minutes on breakfast and are looking for quicker solutions. They will have something out of a packet for breakfast so nothing needs to be cleaned afterwards."

Rubbish Kits!

Adidas has released environmentally friendly football kits for two of its biggest teams in Bayern Munich and Real Madrid as part of its ongoing partnership with ocean conservation group Parley to help addresses the major threats which the world's oceans are facing. The new home jerseys have been made from up-cycled marine plastic debris and feature water-based environmental-friendly prints for the crests and sponsors branding. Printed on the back neck tape of each top is “For the oceans”. Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans, said: “At this point, it’s no longer just about raising awareness. It’s about taking action and implementing strategies that can end the cycle of plastic pollution for good. The new collaboration is part of an ongoing partnership with Parley for the Oceans, which has also yielded a new line of Adidas Ultra Boost footwear created from recycled plastic found in oceans from around the world.