Life is like a box of Greek yogurt


July 3, 2019

Today, fraud bots are getting click happy, and tomorrow’s roads may be crappy, but first…
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Can Chobani’s fair-trade partnership prevent the dairy industry from curdling?

Chobani, the New York state-based yogurt company, announced a partnership with the California nonprofit Fair Trade USA to bring fair trade to the dairy industry, which is struggling to avoid going sour.

What spoiled the milk?

Dairy farmers’ first problem is that milk drinkers went nuts… for nuts. 

Now, udderless upstarts like almonds, soybeans, and even oats are replacing mammal milk in coffee cups countrywide — which caused milk sales to fall by $1.1B last year.

Secondly — and even more problematically — the dairy industry has struggled to address climate concerns about cow-missions and criticisms about poor conditions for both livestock and laborers.

So Chobani is preaching lactose tolerance to end the milk mayhem 

Chobani will require its partner farms to undergo a comprehensive audit — from the gutter to the udder — in order to receive certification.

The yogurt company will pay producers a premium — likely 2% to 4% above market price — to undergo these audits, and it will also pay Fair Trade fees associated with certification.

But then, once its partner farms have been certified as humane, Chobani can market its yogurt as fair-trade — something Chobani hopes will boost its already socially conscious brand.

But dairy farmers are torn on the plan

Chobani revitalized the dairy business in upstate New York when it opened there in 2005. Some farmers think that selling their milk at elevated, fair-trade prices will be a similar boon. 

But others are concerned that few farms will open themselves up to the audits because so many workers in the US dairy industry are immigrants from Central America who are believed to be undocumented.

Double dog dairy ya
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One of Android’s biggest apps was caught making purchases for users without consent

Security researchers at Upstream say the media file-sharing service 4shared is running invisible ads and subscribing users to paid services without their knowledge, TechCrunch reports.

Upstream says the app used suspicious “3rd-party” code that is “directly responsible” for automating clicks and setting cookies (the internet kind) as bread crumbs to keep track of which devices have been used to make purchases — a scheme that could be costing users millions of dollars.

The Elephant (Data) in the room

Hong Kong-based Elephant Data is the mysterious 3rd party that built the component — a company that bills itself as a “market intelligence” solution designed to “maximize ad revenue,” on its, uh, rather nefarious-looking website.

The ad firm didn’t respond to our request for comment, but a spokesperson for 4shared confirmed with TechCrunch that the company was unaware of any sneaky purchasing, and no longer uses Elephant Data services in its app.

Problem is…

4shared wasn’t allowed to push an update to users before the app was resubmitted for approval, so the company couldn’t fully remove Elephant Data’s software from users’ devices.

A platform with 10m users and 100m installs…

2nd time in 2 months

In May, BuzzFeed reported similar behavior from a different trigger-happy fraud shopper on the Android App store with the Alibaba-backed video app VidMate.

» The internet is chill
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Budweiser owner AB InBev brews up a $9.8B Hong Kong IPO

The big brewer behind Budweiser announced plans to raise $9.8B in a Hong Kong IPO, valuing the Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Asia-Pacific business at $64B — or about the value of Heineken.

Move over, Uber… AB InBev is THIRSTY

At $9.8B, the public offering would be the biggest IPO of the year — and also the largest IPO for a food or drink company in history. 

AB Inbev’s Asia-Pacific unit — which includes Budweiser, Stella Artois, and Corona — accounts for 18% of the company’s overall sales. Last year, the unit’s revenue rose 8.6% to $8.46B.

But are Asian markets really THAT thirsty for Bud’s suds?

Budweiser is the 3rd-largest beer brand in China (although it also owns the Chinese beer company Harbin, which is the 5th best-selling brand).

But, much like in America and other Western countries, per capita consumption of beer in China has declined slightly in recent years — raising questions about this sky-high Budweiser forecast.

» BEER

Happy 4th (story): You aren’t the only one going out of town this long weekend

It’s firework weekend, folks! Grab your travel partners and M-80s cuz it’s time to hit the road and leave all of your weekly office stress behind.

Make sure to leave your “bad attitude on road trips” behind as well, misters and misses, because it’s absolute carmageddon out on the highways every 4th of July weekend, and this weekend’s shaping up to be the least open road yet.

According to AAA, 41.4m people will hit the asphalt this weekend — the most on record for the 4th of July since it began tracking holiday travel in 2000. 

The travel trend is expected to drive well into the summer

Despite the looming threat of rising gas prices in the States, a survey conducted by CNBC and SurveyMonkey shows that almost 50% of adult Americans are taking their cars with them on vacation this hot solstice season.

And while 49% of this summer’s roadtrippers are in the 45- to 54-year-old range, the young whippersnappers, AKA millennials, aren’t too far behind on the old trail.  

Millennials be campin

What started as #vanlife has turned into a full-blown market trend as RV rental startups and other players in the “convenience” travel market continue to pick up steam.

This year, companies like Outdoorsy are capitalizing on the new rugged spirit millennials have started to embrace. 

They want to see their travel from the ground level — and, dah-gonnit, they don’t want to stay in no hotels either

» Get your motor runnin’
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No, you’re not dreaming — that’s a $300 value. Snuggle up. 

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