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We’ve got 60 limited-edition long sleeves up for grabs. For a chance to win one, refer two people by 11:59pm PST tonight. Check out the design and full details below.

In today’s email:

  • Pretzels: They’re having a moment.
  • Chart: Netflix’s missed opportunity.
  • Tinder data: Voting is… sexy?
  • Around the web: RIP leap second, unaired TV pilots, a free RPG, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s 10-minute podcast to hear Zack and Rob break down the big business of pretzels, bad news for NFTs, Black Friday data, and more.

The big idea

Pretzels are having a moment

For years, the biggest decision when choosing a pretzel was rod vs. rolled.

But thanks to a recent wave of innovation, pretzels are one of the hottest and most inventive categories in snacks — pulling in $1.7B in the year ending Aug. 7, up 16% YoY, per Food Dive.

What’s behind the pretzel renaissance?

Previously considered a “sleepy” category, pretzels are having a moment similar to craft beer and specialty coffee due to a combination of factors:

  • A lack of innovation in the space led to an influx of upstarts introducing new, higher-margin options.
  • The rise of online shopping made it possible for consumers to find new brands beyond the old staples dominating the snack aisle.
  • Interest in health and wellness led consumers to choose pretzels over other snacks for their lower salt and sugar content.

The biggest players in the snack world are paying attention, and ponying up — last year Hershey’s bought Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels and Pretzels Inc. for a combined $1.2B.

What’s next?

Industry experts expect pretzel innovation to continue, with new brands continuing to push the boundaries of flavor and format.

  • This could also lead to more acquisitions from industry incumbents looking to diversify their pretzel portfolio.

While new flavors are pushing the limits, nothing will beat the sheer bliss of devouring an Auntie Anne’s Cinnamon Sugar pretzel while roaming the corridors of your local mall.

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eyeball wearing a hat

Volkswagen Italy’s Instagram handle is getting a lot of attention — but not for the reasons you might expect.


Remember that high-tech soccer ball we wrote about yesterday? Cristiano Ronaldo claimed he made contact before a goal Monday, but Adidas confirmed the ball disagreed.

Twitter is no longer enforcing its covid misinformation policy. The controversial change comes after Platformer reported the site is restoring 62k+ suspended accounts with 10k+ followers.

Peanut cut: Nestle plans to sell its peanut allergy drug amid low demand. Nestle bought the drug’s developer for $2.6B two years ago.

Candy Digital, an NFT collectibles firm last valued at $1.5B and backed by Mike Novogratz and Gary Vaynerchuk, reportedly cut around half its staff.

Update: TikTok’s viral pink sauce is officially on the market through Dave’s Gourmet Specialty Foods… but reviews aren’t great.

Bathroom break: It’s fine to use your phone on the toilet — but not for more than 10 minutes, according to a gastroenterologist.

The Phantom of the Opera is extending its 35-year Broadway run to April due to popular demand, but then it’s really closing for theater renovations. Read about the economics of Broadway here.

Streaming power move: Disney purchased Major League Baseball’s stake in BAMTech for $900m, giving it full ownership of the streaming technology company.

TRT and Momternships? Our Trends team brainstormed startup ideas in these rising industries.

Master the elevator pitch with these eight templates to help you convert strangers into believers of your business in one minute.

Zachary Crockett Tweet this Image

Did Netflix make the right move with Glass Onion?

By any metric, Netflix’s Knives Out sequel, Glass Onion, did fantastic at the box office this past week.

So well, in fact, the obvious question now is: Why the heck did Netflix put the movie in just ~700 theaters — and only for one week?

The numbers

Netflix grabbed the rights to Knives Out for $469m after the 2019 movie pulled in ~$165m domestically and ~$313m globally. That movie, which played in 3.4k+ theaters, notched a $41.4m Thanksgiving opening.

For Glass Onion, Netflix chose to put the movie in ~700 theaters for one week, and release it on Netflix on Dec. 23.

  • In its five-day Thanksgiving opening, Glass Onion pulled in $13.3m+. In the same period, Disney’s Strange World earned $18.9m — across 4.1k+ theaters.

If I’m Netflix, here’s what I’m wondering: Would my users be upset if I made my movies available in theaters for longer? And is it OK to risk minimal subscriber churn if it means bringing in tens of millions of more dollars?

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Free Resource

Video: The economics of gas stations

Yes, the price of gas pains us all.

But the truth is: selling fuel hardly nets a profit. Those margins are so gross that succeeding as a gas station kinda seems impossible…

… until you consider the true moneymaker: that shabby, little shop.

On this episode of “Hustlenomics”:

  • Never knock the hot dog roller again
  • The reservoir-to-pump price division
  • How gas stations are staying relevant

But first — guess what percentage of people step inside for bottled drinks and sus sushi.

Cha-ching →
Dating Data

Singles want partners who vote

There’s apparently no hotter accessory than an “I voted” sticker.

Tinder dropped its “Year in Swipe” this week, revealing an interest in political engagement among its users:

  • 47% of surveyed singles said not voting is a deal breaker; 53% said regular voting makes a match more attractive
  • 75% want a match who’s “respectful of or invested in social issues”
  • Activism in Tinder bios increased 84% in 2022

Why now?

A lot happened this year. The war in Ukraine pushed the nation’s flag among Tinder’s top 10 emoji used in bios, as users flocked to show support.

Tinder also launched an in-app “Election Center” ahead of the US midterms to encourage voting, while users cited hot-button issues — including abortion rights and gun control — as driving them to the polls.

For example: A survey from Tinder parent Match found that 78% of singles intended to change their dating behaviors due to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, while ~66% of women said they wouldn’t date someone with differing views on abortion access.

But it’s not all politics

Singles were also into nostalgia, activity dates such as minigolf or drive-in movies, drinking less, and adding star signs to bios.

Also? The “situationship.” The term — which defines a romantic situation somewhere between a casual fling and a formal, committed relationship — was up 49% in Tinder bios.

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☄️ On this day: In 1954, Ann Hodges of Alabama was awoken by an 8.5-pound meteorite that hit her in the hip. A court battle later ensued over who owned the space rock.

🕰️ That’s interesting: What’s the leap second? And why will it end in 2035?

📺 That’s cool: This YouTube channel lets you watch TV pilots that never aired.

⚔️ Cure boredom: An RPG you can play for free in your browser.

🐇 Aww: And now, bunny ASMR.


Follow us on the blue bird app.


🚨 Hustle swag alert 🚨

This is a Hustle Exclusive! Pull two mates aboard the ship by 11:59 P.M. PST tonight, and you’ll get an email from us at 12 P.M. EST Friday with your coupon code.

With the code, you can snag one free limited edition long sleeve, while supplies last. Don’t miss out on this, and don’t be late.

How to qualify:

  1. Refer at least two friends, colleagues, grandparents, or a couple of your haters to The Hustle using your unique referral link.
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  3. Check your email right at 12 P.M. EST this Friday to snag your free swag.

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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylah, and Rob Litterst.
Editing by: Mark “Pretzel rods for life” Dent.

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