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Tropicana and Minute Maid secretly reduced the size of their 59-oz grocery store jugs to 52-oz jugs… and didn’t lower the prices. The Hustle Sponsored by Pulp Fiction: Everything you thought you knew about orange juice is a lie Last...
By: Wes Schlagenhauf
October 29, 2018
Tropicana and Minute Maid secretly reduced the size of their 59-oz grocery store jugs to 52-oz jugs… and didn’t lower the prices.
Pulp Fiction: Everything you thought you knew about orange juice is a lie
Last week, the largest orange juice companies in the US quietly reduced the juice in their jugs from 59-oz to 52-oz without lowering prices -- misleading consumers in order to squeeze a few more drops of cash out of the shrinking citrus crop.
And, this marketing ploy is just a short chapter in the long, shady story of the Sunshine State’s signature citrus drink.
If you bought OJ recently, you might have gotten fresh squeezed
Just because Big OJ says ‘not-from-concentrate’ doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention: But, since the containers looked identical and the prices didn’t rise, only power shoppers who optimize for every OJ-ounce would have noticed.
But Big OJ didn’t just trick consumers for sh*ts n’ giggles -- they did it out of desperation.
Florida’s finest juices hide a dark reality: Orange production in the US fell from 382 boxes of oranges per acre in 2004 to just 178 boxes per acre -- and it’s still dropping.
Consumers are realizing orange juice has roughly the same sugar content as soda, and consumption is decreasing rapidly (it fell 6% last year), forcing juice-peddlers to get creative.
This citrus stunt wasn’t the first…
In 1904, struggling growers hired ad man Albert Lasker to help them sell more oranges. Lasker, an inspiration for Mad Men’s Don Draper, wrote the tagline that reinvented the fruit: ‘drink an orange.’
Before Lasker, OJ didn’t exist -- but afterwards, other brands started selling OJ’s health benefits, claiming it was a crucial source of vitamins that could prevent everything from the common cold to ‘acidosis.’ To this day, OJ sales spike significantly during flu season.
But even with misleading marketing, the OJ industry faces an uphill battle: US orange production is expected to fall below 100m boxes in 2020 for the first time since 1964 -- driving prices up when juice junkies are already dropping like flies.
Orange you glad we didn’t say ‘Tropicana’
IBM to acquire open-source software company Red Hat for $34B
Last night, Reuters reported that IBM will acquire US software company Red Hat for $34B, including debt, as it attempts to move from hardware into higher-margin products.
This is IBM’s biggest acquisition by far, and the company will end up buying Red Hat at a 63% premium over its closing share price on Friday.
Red Hat is red hot
Founded in 1993, Red Hat specializes in Linux operating systems, AKA the most popular open-source software in the biz.
The North Carolina-based company charges fees to its corporate customers for custom features, maintenance and technical support, and is expected to top $3B in revenue this year.
This is a big win for the struggling IT giant
IBM shares have lost almost a 3rd of their value in the last 5 years, while Red Hat shares are up 170% over the same period.
With the acquisition, IBM hopes it can ward off competition from cloud juggernauts like Amazon, Alphabet, and Microsoft (who acquired GitHub, another open source software company, for $7.5B 3 days ago).
Not to mention, the deal will make IBM the largest hybrid cloud provider in the world.
Hooked released its first feature-length story to keep its ‘chat fiction’ readers interested
Hooked, a startup that produces written stories in the form of text message threads, released its first feature-length story, “Dark Matter.”
The story, which premiered on Snapchat, is ‘chat fiction’ -- a storytelling format thats seeks to ‘redefine entertainment’ for the social media generation.
How does ‘chat fiction’ work?
“We love reading, just like you, but we know it can get BORING when stories are too long,” Hooked’s app-store description reads.
Chat fiction is designed for readers too strung out on social media to read full pages of text. Each “story is told as a bite-sized text message conversation, as if you were reading someone else's chat history.”
Hooked has raised more than $6m since it was founded in 2014, and it boasts a Tweetable cast of celebrity backers including Snoop Dogg, Ashton Kutcher, Mariah Carey, Jamie Foxx, and LeBron James.
An uphill battle to keep distracted readers Hooked
“Dark Matter,” Hooked’s longest story to date, is being released in 5 daily installments, with the story’s final chapter arriving tomorrow. Hooked and Snapchat will share the story’s ad revenue.
Hooked claims its 1k stories have been read by 100m+ unique users across the Hooked app and Snapchat, and the company has inspired chat fiction competitors such as Yarn and Tap.
But despite its past successes, Hooked’s popularity (like Snapchat’s) is far from certain: After peaking as the number 2 most popular free app last year, the Hooked app has fallen out of the top 200.
Now, the same short attention spans that inspired Hooked in the first place could lead to its downfall...
People friggin’ love Halloween. Spooky-time-spending has been at its peak since the mid-2000s -- and 2018 could be its biggest year ever.
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will drop about $9B on the festivities this year ($86.79 per person) as people look to get their lost on as sexy Mario, or Borat, or the topical duo of the year: Wild Wild Country’s Bhagwan and Sheela.
Halloween ain’t for kids anymore
The NRF’s report shows the rise of social media has influenced massive Halloween spending among millennials, with huge jumps in money spent on adult and pet costumes.
Nowadays, as drunk selfies in an extra-small Ninja Turtles costume are a Halloween must, the demand for seasonal Halloween stores has gone through the roof -- a gift to property owners, entrepreneurs, and job-hunters alike.
Zombie brick-and-mortars are real
Dormant department stores have come back from the dead as hot commodities for seasonal Halloween companies (which capture almost 35% of the annual Halloween market).
Spirit Halloween operates more than 1.3k pop-up stores this year (a 5% increase from 2017), and Party City hired 35k seasonal employees in preparation for Halloween back in the summer.
The Halloween spike has even helped create a new business model: companies like Appear Here, a London-based online marketplace that helps find homes for temporary pop-up shops.
How one man turned a random work trip into a feel-good investment platform that performs
On Dave Fanger’s flight home from visiting one particularly demoralized office, he realized something not so crazy: Sure, people want to make money, but they also want to be involved with companies that align with their values.
You know, the stuff that makes your heart all fuzzy and warm and whatnot?
So, he searched the earth for high-growth, publicly traded companies that don’t just get great returns -- they also do good in the world.
And that’s how Swell impact investing platform was born.
Turns out, people like investing in a better future
For both the world and their bank accounts.
Swell does just that by scouring the public markets for companies with an eye on the future that are ready to blast off like a tech mogul’s first night at Burning Man. Once identified, Swell bundles these companies into themed portfolios like Green Tech, Clean Water, and Renewable Energy.
TL;DR: You get access to innovative companies that have potential for killer returns, and feel good about what you’re investing in.
Invest in any -- or all -- Swell portfolios for a low minimum of $50, then kick back and watch your dollars grow.
The intersection of purpose and profit -- that’s what their platform is all about, and all it takes to get started is checking out the link below.
Recently, Business Insiderran a story titled, “This HBSC exec wakes up at 5:30am to work out, always eats green, and studies at Stanford in her free time.”
I’ll give you a minute to drink that in.
In it, the article outlines the awe-inspiring daily schedule of Melania Edwards, including highlights like:
6:30am catch up with friends
7:00am green juice
7:30am game of tennis
8:30am walk to work
2:30pm hour-long commute to Stanford
8:30pm experiment with new recipes
FREE TIME: mentor women in Papua New Guinea
How does she do it? Is she railing 8 balls in the HBSC bathroom? Is the sheer joy of banking getting her through?
Nay, according to the article it is neither uppers, nor the thrill of compounding interest but, in Melania’s words, “English breakfast tea… my favorite, as I am British.”
To everyone out there consuming moderate caffeine while exerting extreme effort: you’re amazing. Keep doing you. What’s wild is that Business Insider seemed to think this borderline-militant lifestyle is something young people would connect with -- or should aspire to.
At The Hustle, we write tons of stories about high-performing CEOs and founders that flipped their companies for millions. But, we also know there are a million and one ways to define ‘success’ -- and it doesn’t always come cold-pressed and organic with an executive title.
Truth is, nearly anything can be toxic at a high enough dose, including: breakfast tea (16 cups) and productivity (scheduling your life down to the minute with seemingly no regard for the human need to poop or shower).
And real heads know the age-old art of wasting time pays creative dividends with diligent, unfocused study.