Tag Archives: Environment

Forever Ware to Cut Take-out Waste

Take-out containers and cups account for a large percentage of trash in the U.S. And according to the Energy Department, only 5% of plastic waste in the U.S. is recycled. During Covid, even more take-out containers were needed while restaurants were closed for in-person dining. More trash.

Although we would all like to use recyclable containers for our take-out orders, most of the time we don’t have that option. We don’t mean to cause excess trash, but it happens. Perhaps the solution to that problem is to encourage restaurants and cafes to place take-out orders into reusable containers that can be returned and used again, and again, and again.

This is the basis of Forever Wear – to provide recyclable containers to businesses for them to use with their customers. The restaurant is the point of contact and offers the containers to customers for a fully refundable deposit.

It works like this – restaurants and cafes pay a monthly fee to license Forever Ware software that in turn, allows the restaurant to checkout and track stainless steel containers and mugs. Customers pay a refundable fee to use containers that can be returned to the store, where they are then provided with clean, sanitized containers for their next order.

The restaurants benefit by saving thousands of dollars on disposable containers and decreasing landfill trash. The customer benefits from the clean healthy containers while also doing good and lowering their carbon footprint. 

Sign up and do some good for the environment!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: How much do they think their takeout food containers contribute to a trash problem?
  2. How would use a different system if it reduced waste?
  3. Show Forever Wear website: https://foreverware.org/
  4. Videos are available at: https://www.youtube.com/@foreverware9208
  5. Discuss organizational buying compared to consumer buying.
  6. Divide students into teams.
  7. Have half of the teams develop a marketing program directed at getting restaurants to sign up for Forever Wear.
  8. Have half of the teams develop a promotional campaign to convince customers to use the containers.
  9. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Williams, N. (9 November 2022). Putting a lid on takeout waste. Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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Contagions Apply to Both Sickness and Health

Trends are contagious, both when they are growing as well as when they are declining. Think about it. We see new trends nearly every day, adopt them, but then just as often we quit those trends. This is not just a lone event of one person though. Social networks are strong components in helping us decide what to adopt.

According to research, many health behaviors are fundamentally contagious ideas. Basically, your social network can predict health, weight, and exercise (even stock prices). A timely case that illustrates this movement is Peloton, which reached a high during the pandemic, only to plummet a year later as the pandemic waned.

How do we get ‘infected’ with the contagion? Social networks lead consumers to catch the trend, live with it, and then move on to new trends. During the pandemic, it was all about fitness at home, online training, and connected exercise equipment. We couldn’t go to the gym and many sports were suspended, leading to more investment in home-based fitness. However, now that pandemic restrictions have been removed, we’ve gone back to the gym and sports teams.

Research conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine shows us how trends move in cycles: Pilates, Zumba, Cross Fit, spinning, and boot camps are all examples. Even exercises with staying power, such as yoga and running, move into new variants and practices to survive. Some of the top fitness trends for 2022 include:

  • Wearable technology
  • Home exercise gyms
  • Outdoor activities
  • Strength training with free weights

What trends do you think will stick around?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Divide students into teams. Have each team list past fitness trends they have tried?
  2. What helps a trend stick around?
  3. What leads trends to quickly fade out?
  4. Using Peloton as an example of trends, show video about Peloton’s life cycle: https://www.wsj.com/video/series/wsj-explains/why-peloton-spun-out-what-happened-to-the-bike-and-treadmill-firm/30FEB49E-85EE-4719-9B6D-F7E44D195CE5
  5. View ACSM report on fitness trends: https://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/Fulltext/2022/01000/Worldwide_Survey_of_Fitness_Trends_for_2022.6.aspx
  6. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  7. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various fitness and health trends into each stage.
  8. Next, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle.
  9. Have teams draw a product life cycle. Place different fitness and health trends on the PLC.

Source: American College of Sports Medicine (30 December 2021). Wearable tech named top fitness trend for 2022.; Zumbrun, J. (9 September 2022). Both sickness and health, it turns out, are contagious. Wall Street Journal.

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Gen Z’s top 20 brands

Marketers recognize the importance of understanding demographics when deciding on target markets to pursue. Age is a significant factor as different generational cohorts have different tastes, aesthetics, expectations, and values. While different research firms may define the age cohorts slightly differently, the most-often cited years for Gen Z are 1997 to 2012, making Gen Z between 10 and 25 years old. This group is just forming their tastes and solidifying their values. This of course leads them to favor certain brands and companies over others. But which ones are their favorites?

Since this group makes up a large portion of traditional college students, it is critical for marketers to understand which brands they favor and why. Their evolving preferences can indicate how companies should adapt to the new group of consumers.

A recent study done by Morning Consult, which fields tens of thousands of surveys around the world, measured Gen Z’s favorite brands.  Data was gathered between May and August, 2022, with an average sample size of 2,031 Gen Z adults born between 1997 and 2004. Key insights and rankings include:

  • Tech brands are tops with Gen Z. The most favorable brand is YouTube at 86% favorable impression.
  • Major retailers such as Amazon, Target, and Walmart have high ratings hovering around 80% favorability.
  • In particular, gaming brands hold strong sway, along with food and beverage brands.
  • Top 10 most favorable brands: YouTube, Google, Netflix, Amazon, M&Ms, Walmart, Target, Doritos, KitKat, and Oreo.
  • Top 10 with Gen Z men: YouTube, Gatorade, PlayStation, Google, Walmart, Netflix, Microsoft, Amazon, Nike, M&Ms.
  • Top 10 with Gen Z women: YouTube, Google, Netflix, Target, M&Ms, Doritos, Amazon, Oreo, KitKat, Walmart.

Which brands are your favorites?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What are their favorite brands? (Note: You might have students break into groups to arrive at a list of 20 brands.)
  2. Link to download the report from Morning Consult: https://go.morningconsult.com/2022-q3-pg8764a1-gen-z-favorite-brands-download.html
  3. Divide students into teams and have students analyze a data segment in the report. Teams can present their insights to the class.
  4. Have teams choose a brands that is NOT in the top (i.e., cars, household goods, consumer product companies).
  5. How can these findings be used to market weaker brands to Gen Z consumers?

Sources:  Jackson, S. (2 October 2022). From Amazon to Skittles, a new survey of the top 20 brands among Gen Z adults shows tech and snack brands reign supreme with the demographic. Business Insider.; Morning Consult. Gen Z’s Favorite Brands.

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