Tag Archives: Food

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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McDonald’s Offers Adult Happy Meals – Complete with Toy

We’ve discussed the impact of nostalgia on marketing. (Nostalgia is when someone longs for a different time period when they were happy.) We usually think of nostalgia as being an older person longing for an earlier time period or event. Perhaps it is caused by seeing or wishing for something that happened when a consumer was younger.

Marketers know how to use those desires. For example, Mattel recently brought back several older toy lines to gain more adult buyers. And now McDonald’s appears to be following suit by launching a limited edition of “adult Happy Meals” that include not only food, but older versions of collectible toys.

Why the adult meals? Well, that’s easy. McDonald’s hopes to lure back older consumers to the fold by reminding them of the pleasures of toys and burgers (or chicken nuggets). For a limited time, when ordering the adult Happy Meal, one gets slightly warped figures of Grimace, the Hamburglar, and Cactus Buddy (new figure).

The collaboration with Cactus Plant Flea Market for the toys is a little unusual for McDonald’s as CPFM represents younger designs and apparel for a streetwear market.

The meals have different packaging and higher prices. Adult Happy Meals range from $14.09 to $17.99. Demand has been high with most franchises sold out of the meals. And buyers are already flipping their toys on resale sites such as eBay with reports of sellers pricing the toys for thousands of dollars (although a recent search show much lower prices).

Don’t you feel like a kid again?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Have students define the target market for McDonald’s. Then have them define the adult Happy Meal target market (demographics, psychographics, etc.).
  2. View ad: https://youtu.be/sYdNnkz1bik
  3. View brief video story: https://youtu.be/p5ZfSlwMz8g
  4. Have students do a search on social media for the toys. What had the response been on social media?
  5. Also have students search resale sites for the toys.
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team identify a product that could be revamped for a different market segment.

Sources:  Gallagher, J. (13 October 2022). With adult Happy Meals, McDonald’s sparks a collecting frenzy. Wall Street Journal.  

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Forget about Coffee Pods. Use Coffee Balls

Raise your hand if you drink coffee every day. Yep, we thought so – lots of caffeine is used in students’ lives. Coffee is an essential part of our daily routine. The types of brewed coffee may vary, but coffee is consumed around the world and represents a significant export to many countries.

Americans alone drink 400 million cups of coffee every day; 85% of Americans have at least one cup of coffee at home each day. While estimates vary, about 42% of U.S. consumers own a single-cup coffee brewing system (such as K-Cups). Consumption of K-Cups now exceeds 30 billion units annually. That’s a lot of plastic waste!

While consumers love convenience, that convenience carries a cost to the environment with respect to the waste generated. Although many types of K-cups are now recyclable, couldn’t more be done to marry convenience with sustainability?

The answer to that question is a resounding “yes.” A new coffee brewing system is coming first to France and Germany from Swiss company Migros. The brewing system is called “CoffeeB” and it uses compressed balls of coffee grounds which are encased in a thin, tasteless, seaweed base that can be composted. The coffee balls will be available in multiple blends including espressos to decaf coffee and will include organic coffee options as well. No plastic waste!

Drink up!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who drinks coffee? How much? How is it brewed?
  2. Show video of CoffeeB system: https://youtu.be/49eo8F2H7zY
  3. Show Website: https://www.migros.ch/en/content/coffeeb
  4. Divide students into teams. Have them us their laptops to research the coffee industry.
  5. Build an environmental scan of the factors impacting the coffee industry: social, economic, technology, competitive, and regulatory.
  6. What are the opportunities and threats for CoffeeB?
  7. Alternative assignment: Develop a marketing plan for introducing CoffeeB in the U.S.

Sources:  Rothman, L. (6 September 2022). How a ball of coffee could change your morning routine forever. Tasting Table.

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