Tag Archives: diversity

Global Cuisine in the Supermarket

Why do grocery stores still have an ethnic foods aisle? This seems out-of-date as an estimated 40% of Americans now identify as nonwhite. While some people think this is a racist label, others just find it confusing and makes it hard to find the foods they want.

The origin of the ethnic food aisle date back to the start of supermarkets in the early 1900s. Prior to the 1920s, shoppers visited several independent shops (butcher, baker, etc.) for different foods and supplies. In fact, some stores retrieved all items from the shelves for the consumer – the consumer didn’t shop, or roam down aisles looking for foods. A clerk did the shopping for them.

The first major self-service grocery supermarket was Piggly Wiggly in 1916, located in Memphis, Tenn. The growth of supermarkets and self-service shopping required that foods be organized by like items and tastes so they could be found in the store. Items needed for international cuisine dishes were therefore placed together so that the recipe items could be easily purchased.

Today, the ethnic food aisles seem to be a hodge-podge of items. There might be Chinese ingredients, fish sauces, Mexican spices, Korean noodles, African flour, and others all pulled together in a central place. Even in that format, many shoppers like the variety of the aisle, considering it a place to find new or unusual flavors.

Some stores such as Kroger have integrated global foods into every aisle and seen great success. Other stores prefer to keep items separate so that they can be highlighted differently.

What’s your opinion?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the evolution of grocery stores and shopping.
  2. Show a great video highlighting ethnic food aisle issues: https://youtu.be/4Q–YIt_0Hw
  3. For a longer exercise, divide students into teams and have them visit a local American supermarket. They can diagram aisles and take photos of shelves and foods.
  4. What are their observations about how and where more ethnic foods are stocked?
  5. How could ethnic foods be categorized in stores?

Source:  Business Insider; New York Times

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Modern Potato Head Family

When is the last time you played with Mr. Potato Head toys? Well, it is still around but Hasbro is officially renaming the toy line “Potato Head” without the Mr. and Mrs. labels. The intent of the rebranding is to allow kids to show the many different faces of family, gender, and inclusion – and of course all in its beloved potato format!

Hasbro is not actually getting rid of Mr. Potato Head, who along with Mrs. Potato Head will retain their honorary family titles. However, the company will repackage the toys into a “Create Your Potato Head Family” set with two large and one small potato bodies, along with 42 different accessories in new colors and more inclusive messaging. The change is viewed as part of a larger movement towards greater diversity and inclusion for children and families.

Hasbro is far from alone in revising its toy lines. In 2019, Mattel launched customizable, gender-neutral dolls called “Creatable World” to allow kids to create their own characters. Mattel also has new more diverse Barbie dolls as well, reflecting the changes in society and women’s roles. And, American Girl dolls now has an American Boy to round out its collection.

Let’s play!

 Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Divide students into groups. Have each group 10 of their all-time favorite toys.
  2. Build the list of toys on the board and challenge students to examine the list.
  3. Are these toys gender-neutral, or are they directed at boys or girls only?
  4. Show the Potato Head site and video: https://corporate.hasbro.com/en-us/articles/create_your_potato_head_family_launching_this_fall
  5. Discuss with students how toys can reflect society and cultures.
  6. Show American Girl dolls: https://www.americangirl.com/shop/c/boy-dolls
  7. Show Barbie dolls: https://barbie.mattel.com/shop/en-us/ba/barbie-dolls
  8. What other toys could use this approach?

Sources: AdWeek; New York Times; other news sources

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

Netflix in Africa

Netflix seems to be in a stage of constant product development, as well as market development. While it originally started as a U.S.-based service, the company has moved aggressively into new geographies and now streams its programs in 190 countries and territories. The company now serves more than 100 million subscribers outside of the U. S.

ix has a complex business model in that it must secure content agreements by region and country. Regulatory restrictions also limit what content can be made available. Also, many international viewers are not fluent in English and prefer local-language programming. Such is the case in sub-Saharan Africa where Netflix is producing original content. The region has 1.1 billion citizens and is a largely untapped market. Streaming in Africa is estimated to grow from 3.9 million subscribers in 2020 to 13 million in 2025.

While Netflix is investing in African programming, it faces challenges in piracy, expensive mobile data, slow Internet speed, and a high rate of poverty. There is also plenty of competition in the market from both local and global providers. Pricing and sales requiring U.S. currency are issues as well. Netflix is testing a mobile-only subscription at $4.03 per month (59 South African rand).

Ready to watch?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
  2. Which strategy is Netflix using? Why?
  3. Show video on Netflix global expansion: https://youtu.be/JdtnX_P-4Qc
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market Netflix.
  5. Discuss how to build and use a SWOT analysis grid: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (internal and external factors).
  6. Divide students into teams and have each team build a SWOT analysis grid.
    1. Strengths: what is company good at?
    2. Weaknesses: what needs work?
    3. Opportunities: what is going on in marketplace?
    4. Threats: what should company be wary of?
  7. Based on the analysis, what are the issues and risks that might occur?

Source:  Wall Street Journal; other news sources

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities