Monthly Archives: December 2014

Fresh Sheets (without washing!)


No one likes changing bed sheets, but it’s a necessary activity for cleanliness and good health. However, the group that probably changes their sheets the least is college students. And, since college students have limited space available, their beds winds up doing duty as desk, table, and lounge chair – in other words, getting a lot of use and dirt. Thus, forcing college students to (reluctantly) change their sheets. Until now.

Enter a new product called “AfreSHeet,” the world’s only fitted sheet with seven peel-away, disposable layers. The layers are made from a soft polyester blend with a waterproof coating. A simple design allows the top layer to easily peel off and reveal the new layer below.

The sheets aren’t only comfortable and convenient, they are also environmentally friendly; each time sheets are washed it takes gallons of water and exposes the environment to harsh laundry chemicals. (Plus, plenty of quarters are needed for the laundry machines.) The product is priced at $29.95 for the seven-layer bottom sheet. With AfreSHeet, customers instantly have new, soft, clean and comfortable waterproof sheets to sleep on.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: How often do students change and wash sheets? Would they be interested in an alternative?
  2. Show the company Web site: (includes a video)
  3. Discuss the various promotional tactics that can be used for launching a product.
  4. Have students come up with tactics and list all the tactics on the white board (ex: billboards, print, direct mail, etc.).
  5. Divide students into groups and have each select three different tactics. For each tactic, explain why it was selected and how it will be used.
  6. Debrief by putting together the entire suggested lists on the white board. As a final step, have the entire class vote on the top three tactics to use.

Source: New York Times

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Meat-Free Meats at Vegan Butcher Shop


While the phrase “meat-free meat” seems confusing at first, once you hear about the world’s first meat-free vegan butcher shop, it all makes sense. The new shop is called Herbivorous Butcher, opening in Minneapolis in spring 2015. Using a very successful campaign on Kickstarter for funding, a brother-sister team is building handcrafted meat-free meats.

The pair started by creating foods for their own vegan and vegetarian diets, then started testing and selling-out of their products at local farmer’s markets and food fairs.

The products are 100% vegan, cruelty-free meat alternative. The meat-less meats are crafted from small batches, are cholesterol-free and rich in proteins. Flavors include Italian sausage, smoky house ribs, teriyaki jerky, deli bologna, and pepperoni. The product is a big success with families and other health-conscious groups beyond vegans and vegetarians. Even meat-eaters can find this vegan fare both appealing and responsible.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students. How many of them are vegan or vegetarian? Have them discuss problems with meals and lack of meat for protein.
  2. Show Kickstarter video:
  3. Show company’s Web site:
  4. While the buying process may vary slightly for different products and target markets, the basic 5-step process remains the same: problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior. Have students work on the actions taken in each of the five steps.
  5. Consider assigning different student groups to work on different target markets. Then the process for the different target markets can be compared.
  6. Debrief the exercise.

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune

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Cow Wow – Cereal Milk without the Cereal


Remember eating flavored cereal as a little kid? Did you drink the left-over milk? I did! And, I bet many of us probably still do this today. It’s just too bad that in order to get that sugary milk, we have to eat the cereal part first. Sigh.

But don’t worry. A new company has a solution for this problem – Cow Wow Cereal Milk. Cow Wow makes milk in breakfast cereal flavors such as Fruity Trudy, Chocolate Chip Cathy, Cinny Minny, and Peanut Butter Bessie. The low-fat, organic milk contains nine essential minerals and vitamins with only six grams of added sugar.

While Cow Wow did not obtain investors from an appearance on TV show Shark Tank, the product has taken off around the nation, gaining widespread distribution through grocery and convenience stores. The products are targeted to the 5-12 year old market, but has had surprising success on college campuses and with high school students.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show the Shark Tank video:

(Go to 2:20 mark). Also show the company Web site:

  1. Poll students about their own breakfast and snack habits. Is this a product that they would buy?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a target market for the product.
  3. For the target market, identify the groups that influence the purchase process and determine three products that compete with Cow Wow.
  4. Each team should prepare the following items for discussion about consumer behavior: (1) problem recognition elements, (2) information search, (3) alternative evaluation and selection criteria, (4) outlet selection and purchase process, (5) post-purchase process.
  5. Debrief and compare the buying process for the various target markets.

Source:   New York Times


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