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🍓 Fancy fruit is taking over

The Hustle

Talk about a nice pay bump. Walmart is raising starting salaries for its truck drivers to $95k-$110k a year, up from an average of $87k. In the last 2 years, the company hired 7k drivers for its internal fleet, and now employs 12k total.

In today’s email:

  • $trawberries: The odd rise of expensive fruit.
  • Chart: The world’s most popular filming locations.
  • Opinion: A simple philosophy on saving and investing.
  • Around the web: A library of banned works, gaming mentorships, a pet chauffeur, and more neat internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s podcast to hear HubSpot’s VP of marketing Jordan DiPietro discuss recent changes in the media ecosystem — like building media companies inside non-media companies.

The big idea
strawberry

The weird rise of fancy fruit

Luxury tastes can manifest in many forms: sports cars, fancy watches, artwork.

The newest way to flex your purchasing power? Six-dollar strawberries and $50 pineapples.

Per The Wall Street Journal, fancy fruits are the latest, weirdest food trend to hit the produce section.

Purveyors of fancy fruit…

… are using catchy names and marketing tactics to position their varieties as the ultimate shopping cart luxury.

Examples include:

  • Oishii strawberries, which growers say offer an “amazing” taste experience. They retail for $6 per berry and have been marketed as the Tesla of fruit due to limited supply and high demand.
  • Pinkglow pineapples, named for their unique pink flesh. They ship in a pink and yellow box with a card, promise no acidic aftertaste, and retail as high as $50 each.
  • Sumo Citrus mandarins, a cross between a mandarin and California navel orange, is identifiable by a nub on the peel that resembles a sumo wrestler’s topknot. These cost ~$3 a pound.

Given rising inflation, shrinkflation, and skimpflation, it may seem especially absurd to fill your cart with luxury fruit.

But despite premium prices, stores say customers have been attracted to novelty grocery items since the early days of the pandemic — and stores love stocking the items because it shows they care about freshness.

But before you go breeding your own berries…

… not every fancy fruit brand is a hit. Grapery, the company behind Cotton Candy grapes, debuted a pinky-shaped grape called Witch Fingers.

According to Grapery CEO Jim Beagle, “Half of consumers refused to try a grape with the name ‘finger’ in it.”

So if you enter the boutique fruit game, maybe avoid names with body parts.

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SNIPPETS

Sunfluencer: Indian singer Chinmayi Sripaada tweeted a photo of her in-laws’ solar panels and answered questions for her 1m followers. Sripaada said the Indian government’s solar info is “inaccessible,” leading people to give up. #clean-energy

Orchard bots: Researchers are developing robots to prune trees as human pruners are aging out or leaving the profession. #emerging-tech

Why, tho: Jack Dorsey’s 1st tweet could be yours as an NFT for ~$48m. The seller paid $2.9m for it in March 2021. #fintech-crypto

Google’s new multisearch feature lets you search using text and images at once — handy for shopping or that thing you saw but don’t know what it’s called. #big-tech

Chart
top filming locations

Selina Lee

These locations are ready for their close-ups

Location booking platform Giggster crunched some numbers to find the most popular filming locations in the world, including:

Central Park in New York City: Home to 42m+ visitors a year and 352 movies, including Spider-Man 3, Elf, Ghostbusters (1984), and Home Alone 2.

Bronson Canyon in Los Angeles: Located within LA’s 4,210-acre Griffith Park, Bronson Canyon is perhaps best known for its eponymous cave, which served as the Batcave in the 1960s “Batman” series.

Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park in northern LA County: Thanks to its unique rock formations and sweeping terrain, it’s often used in sci-fi productions. You’ll spot it in numerous Star Trek films and episodes, Planet of the Apes (2001), and Galaxy Quest.

Interestingly, Giggster found the locations with the highest-grossing films are a bit different.

For example, the top 3 movies shot at LA’s Griffith Observatory — also in Griffith Park — averaged $253.3m in box office gross, while London’s Old Royal Naval College averaged $249.8m.

Why so high? Blockbuster franchises, baby! The Observatory’s credits include Jurassic Park (1993) and Transformers (2007), while ORNC’s include The Dark Knight Rises and Skyfall.

And now, please enjoy some Autobots stomping around on the Observatory.

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Opinion
Morgan's Musings

Save like a pessimist, invest like an optimist

Investing can be complicated, so let me share a simple philosophy: Save your money like a pessimist and invest your money like an optimist.

What does that mean?

Save with the idea that the world breaks every few years — a recession, a pandemic, a terrorist attack. These events rock the economy and crush the stock market. It’s been like that forever and it’ll be like that forever.

The only way to endure that world is to save like a pessimist: keep a big emergency fund, avoid too much debt, and always have a backup plan.

Assume that something terrible is around the corner because, let me tell you, that’s often the case.

But at the same time…

… invest your money like an optimist.

Invest knowing that if you can endure the short-term chain of financial disappointments and setbacks, things usually get better. People are good at solving problems and becoming more productive. We rebuild. We’re amazing at innovating.

Saving like a pessimist is what lets you stick around long enough for your long-term investments to actually grow, compound, and benefit from society’s progress.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

I always think the best answer is a little of both: pessimistic in the short run, but optimistic in the long run.

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TRENDS

Presence-detection tech and biophilic design

Buckle up for a couple of greenlight insights, presented by Trends.

A new whip fixing: Hot car incidents shouldn’t happen, but they do. Legislation incoming in the US will require new vehicles to include a practically priced presence-detection sensor. If your gears are turning, here are a few of your international competitors.

Biophilic design: As in, nature up in our spaces. As in, Pinterest searches for floral ceilings and biophilic office designs are up 200%. We added a bunch of business ideas inside our plant-house report.

Flares like these are fixtures in the weekly Trends newsletter.

Plus, industry reports, growth analyses, and highlights from our community of 17k+ members.

Lookin’ right over here. Get Trends access today 🌞

Get Access →
AROUND THE WEB

🪵 On this day: In 1990, David Lynch’s supernatural murder mystery “Twin Peaks” premiered on ABC, spawning a dedicated cult following that remains strong to this day.

🍻 That’s cool: Need a little white noise? Try Sounds of the Pub, a customizable soundscape of a cozy watering hole.

📚 That’s interesting: The Matinicus Island Library off the coast of Maine collects banned books. The tiny library is run by volunteers and rents books on an honor system.

🎮 Opportunity: Registration is open through April 17 for Xbox’s new mentorship program, designed to offer aspiring talent 1-on-1 virtual coaching sessions with Xbox’s women leaders. (Tip: Make sure to apply for your geographic region!)

🐶 Aww: Meet Ralph “Pop” Miller, a pet transporter who shares his cute passengers and weekly wisdom on TikTok.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

(A roundup of our best reads from the last couple weeks…)

🏀 The guy who quit med school to become an NBA ref  LINK

😴 Are advertisers going to infiltrate our dreams?  LINK

📺 The argument for ads on Netflix  LINK

😂 The rise of VR comedians  LINK

🤳 Is the future of social media boring?  LINK

Shower Thoughts
  1. “Ordering fast-food through DoorDash/Uber Eats breaks the whole point of fast food. It’s expensive and delayed.”  SOURCE
  2. “Taking the first bite of a burger is the only way to know where the front is.”  SOURCE
  3. “There’s a good chance that major historical conflicts were avoided not by world leaders in meetings, but their interpreters momentarily deciding to mistranslate the conversation.”  SOURCE
  4. “Slugs have no right to be as aerodynamic as they are.”  SOURCE
  5. “You have, most [likely], never spent a full day naked.”  SOURCE
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