business news in context, analysis with attitude

Got a number of emails about the Whole Foods “daily deal” promotion that was run by LivingSocial. One MNB user wrote:

I think you may be drawing the wrong conclusion. Until I see actual data otherwise, my assumption is that the vast majority of people purchasing the deal are current Whole Foods shoppers. Therefore, my conclusion is that people always want free money.

Living Social did this a year or two ago with Amazon - I think it was a $20 gift card for $10. If I remember correctly, it was later revealed that Living Social had paid for the difference itself, probably as a way of building their membership list.

Since it seems to me that the deal benefits Living Social much more than Whole Foods, I'm assuming a similar relationship is in place.

MNB user Michael Galef wrote:

I believe that the wild acceptance of Whole Foods coupons states a couple of items:

The mass appeal of the social coupon and how the format much more effective it is than a offer.

People are looking to eat healthier but prices especially Whole Foods almost prices itself out of the market.  Yet, I have read many articles such as a recent Wall Street Journal that the middle class is shrinking and companies such as P&G are focusing on premium brands vs. value brands.

Many CPG companies will now be figuring out a way to get such a targeted trial coupon including me.

And, from another MNB user:

I like the Whole Foods offer for a different reason. Given the way Groupon’s economics work for business owners, it makes sense the business owners  would prefer Living Social over Groupon to deliver these types of offers.  That this offer sold out so fast shows that Groupon has strong competition in the space. Ultimately, this should benefit the economics of business owners.

Also got the following email, on a couple of subjects, from MNB user Don Skiver. He began by commenting on an email we got yesterday about the “outraged bloggers” story:

I think Steven Ritchey hit the nail on the head!  The internet is a great source of information, especially checking on products/services with customers reviews.  But for so many people it has become their "ten minutes of fame" and created some very self absorbed people that feel their opinion on anything is fact.  Having a realistic expectation of a product or service I think is just common sense.  I totally agree with him on his example, I do not go to McDonald's and expect gourmet food.  I expect to eat filling food, in a clean, safe, fast environment.  I appreciate the fact that if I am in Los Angeles or Kansas City or wherever, it will be predictable.

I also wanted to make a quick comment on Kate's blog, couple of years ago, during our Thanksgiving dinner all the power went out, and I was glad I still had my "obsolete" yellow pages that I could use to call someone on my cell.  In the next decade maybe we won't be slaves to King Oil, but we will be to Mr Electricity . . .

Regarding the Postal Service’s desire to use junk mail to keep it afloat, one MNB user wrote:

Why keep a dinosaur that only adds to the landfills and most people do not recycle all the junk mail - some times we just need to admit the times have changed.

MNB user Tom Devlin had some thoughts about the piece we had about the growth in diabetes:

Ironically just the other day in our office we were having this conversation between the Old and the Young guys at the office. The 24-30 crowd will be in meetings and the topic came up regarding energy drinks. A few “Kids” who are very intelligent individuals admitted to drinking four to five Red Bulls, Monster or some type of energy drink a day. This does not include, soda  in the morning or fast foods several times a day and many times late at night. We all have our failings when it comes to nutrition but I feel these numbers are going to sky rocket much higher when the next generation gets a decade or two  older.

The sad part is one comment from one of our young studs was “by the time I get to your age they will invent a pill to get rid of diabetes and” .... Get this... “eliminate my tattoos at the same time..”

Now, if we could just find one pill to do both, I think we’d be onto something...

Regarding our story about the 290-pound New York state man who suing his local White Castle restaurant for bigger seats, claiming that the chain violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, one MNB user wrote:

I saw this story on CNN yesterday and last night after a grandsons football game we stopped at a Steak & Shake to grab a quick bite to eat on our way home.  While waiting on our food two couples came into the restaurant and were seated across from us…..the one guy was so big it took him several minutes to get into his booth and once there needed to keep his left hand secured to the back of the booth so that he would not fall out on the floor.  I really felt sorry for the gal with him as she was in the corner and could barely move her arms.  When their food came he had three large Burgers, a giant order of fries with cheese and chili and two of their known for milk shakes.  We didn’t stick around to see if he had desert or how he was able to get out of the booth after eating…….

As I left I told my wife about the story on CNN and chuckled as to whether we had just seen their star.  “WHY” would an attorney or judge waste their time of something like this and “WHY” would the media waste time and money broadcasting it to the world and giving others the idea that this might be a way to earn an quick buck?

Well, judges do it because everybody gets their day in court. Attorneys do it because that’s how they make a buck. And we in the media pay attention because it’s a good story ... and our dirty little secret is that more than anything else, we all like good stories.

Finally...thanks to all of you who sent me Brussels sprouts recipes, telling me that my preference for a colonoscopy as opposed to eating the vegetable was a clear indication that I’d never had them properly prepared.

I appreciate your concern. The thing is, I’ve had them different ways, and I simply don’t like them. I even hate them more than I hate beets. But not as much as I hate egg salad.

But thanks.
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