Sorry, did you say ‘Business Roundtable’?

August 20, 2019

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Today, the fizz biz is bubbling and fish-heads are huddling, but first…

The Hustle Daily Email

US CEOs flip flop and decide corporations aren’t only accountable to shareholders

Yesterday, 181 American CEOs in the Business Roundtable (BRT) issued a statement that changed “the Purpose of a Corporation” from simply providing value to shareholders to instead benefiting many stakeholders including customers, employees, suppliers, and communities.

Sorry, did you say ‘Business Roundtable’?

Founded in 1972, the BRT is an association of roughly 200 CEOs that lobbies for public policy that’s advantageous to corporations (today’s BRT lineup is headlined by corporate rockstars like Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook, and Jamie Dimon). 

In the past, the group has helped to limit consumer protections, prevent labor law reform, reduce corporate taxes, and open up US markets to foreign investment.

Now, the BRT wants corporations to answer to the constituencies it once lobbied against.

Here’s the flip flop, straight from the Corporate top:

  • 1997 version: “The paramount duty… is to the corporation’s stockholders…”
  • 2019 version: “We commit to… delivering value to our customers… investing in our employees… dealing fairly and ethically with our suppliers… supporting the communities in which we work… [and] generating long-term value for shareholders.”

So, why the pivot?

Simply put, the times they have a’changed, and widening corporate responsibility — not “shareholder primacy” — is now crucial to the success of businesses.

Younger people are less willing to buy products from (and work for) companies that don’t have well-defined corporate responsibility practices (think: Employee protests at Google, consumer criticism during #DeleteUber, emphasis on sustainable and fair-trade products). 

Furthermore, social media has made it easy for consumers to gang up on businesses who “do the wrong thing,” and companies will be able to weather the Twitter tempests more easily.

So now what?

The BRT statement is exactly that: A statement — not a plan of action (plus, only 181 of the BRT’s 192 members signed the statement).

It took the BRT a year to draft the statement, and it will likely take much longer for the group to effect any real change.

But while the statement has its critics, it’s still a huge symbolic change in the way that CEOs and other members of the business community think about the relationship between corporations and everyone else.

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Tiffany’s launches dude-heavy jewelry collection to capitalize on male shoppers

Diamonds can be a boy’s best friend too. At least, that’s what Tiffany’s is banking on.

The Luxury jewelry brand announced it will launch its first full men’s collection last week that will span nearly 100 different designs across jewelry, home goods, and other accessories.  

Why dudes? Why now?

Reed Krakoff, Tiffany’s CAO (chief artistic officer, babayyy) said he’s wanted to launch a men’s collection since joining the brand in 2017.

Tiffany’s primary customer base is female, but men make up nearly half of Tiffany’s sales — mostly buying women’s jewelry — which, to Krakoff, is exactly why a men’s line makes so much sense. 

More men are also buying for themselves these days: Sales of men’s luxury jewelry jumped nearly 22% between 2013 and 2018, and the firm projects sales to increase from $5.8B to about $6.6B by 2023.

Tiffany’s will take anything it can get

Tiffany’s hasn’t performed to its usual standards in recent quarters, largely because of a big decline in tourist sales, and the company hopes men will be an even larger stream of revenue for the company.

The collection, which includes sterling silver dog tags, and $300 yo-yo, as well many other manly male-encrusted dude-zigns, will range from about $200 to $15k for the jewelry, and as high as $75k for the top shelf home goods and accessories.

» Dudes, dads, and doodads
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The Claw craze: Sales of White Claw hard seltzer have surged 320% since last year

Hard seltzer water is the drink of the summer. Studies show there’s been a 210% increase in spending on the entire market compared to last year — and White Claw has accounted for around $71m of those sales; bubbling a whopping 320% from the year prior.

White Claw is so popular that some bars and grocery stores are reportedly having trouble keeping it in stock — but why?

Now, seltzer helps with heartburn… and gets you wasted

According to The Guardian, fans say, “It’s not just a drink. It’s a lifestyle.” The alcoholic seltzer is sparkling at bars and grocery stores across the US. The fruity fizz is rearing its multi-colored cans at beaches, music festivals, and barbecues.

With only 100 calories and 2 grams of carbs, The Claw craze comes as young Americans aim to live healthier and lower-alcohol lifestyles.

It only has 5% alcohol, which is significantly lower than the average alcohol content of wine (12%) and liquor (37%).

All the brands want a piece of the fizz biz

As the Claw craze gets crazier with overall demand, a viral controversy, and its own meme genre, heavy hitters like Smirnoff and Corona have all rolled out their own varieties of the drink to get in on the action.

But, like La Croix in the non-alcoholic bubbly water space, there are few brands that can even compare to White Claw’s popularity in the dizzy fizzy market (Truly being the only one thus far). 

After all, you can’t bro out to White Claw Wednesday with a Zima Hard Seltzer.

» La Claw

Britain’s fish and chips industry is a Cod-forsaken mess

Cod — the divinely flaky altar-piece behind any proper plate of fish and chips — was once something any Englishman could believe in.

But overfishing of Britain’s favorite fish has led to a 31% decrease in the stock of cod in the North Sea since 2015 — and now, some fishermen are losing their faith in Cod.

Cod populations have been drying up for decades

Once pervasive, northern Atlantic cod started declining in the 1970’s, forcing the UK to institute a “cod recovery plan” in 2006.

Populations briefly rebounded. But overfishing continued, forcing the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) to recommended a 47% decrease in the cod catch last year.

Now, Brits may have to scale business back even further

This year, ICES recommended an even larger 63% decrease. Based on the recommendation, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) will decide next month whether or not to allow the UK’s 3 certified sustainable fisheries to continue catching cod. 

That’s a blasphemously bad deal for the English, who are devout when it comes to fish and chips: According to the esteemed National Federation of Fish Friers, 20% of Brits “make a weekly trip to the chippie” (translation: devour cod and fries once a week).

Already, 90% of the cod used at British fish and chips joints is imported, and if the MCS takes away the UK’s few remaining cod-catching’ licenses, prices of England’s favorite fish will rise even higher — enough to strike fear into the heart of any cod-fearing English consumer.

» In Cod we Trust

Has a tech company (of all things) finally solved the hardest part of losing weight? 

You know what they say, “the hard part isn’t losing it, the hard part is keeping it off.” 

But Noom, a new wellness app designed by behavioral psychologists, appears to be changing that. They take a hybrid approach to your health, blending the best parts of artificial intelligence (like personalized nutrition breakdowns and biometric tracking) with the empathy and accountability of real people. 

And folks… it’s actually working. 

The result is a process that helps you change your behavior, not just your diet — and that’s the recipe for sustainable weight loss

Take their 30-second quiz and get yourself a plan (and the accountabili-buddy that comes with it). In just 10 minutes a day, you’ll be smooth sailing towards salad-snacking.

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