Tag Archives: manufacturing

New! Ruby Chocolate

We are all familiar with various chocolates – milk, dark, and white – but have you heard of “Ruby chocolate” yet? The new chocolate was developed by a Swiss chocolate maker, making it the first new natural color for chocolate since white chocolate hit the market more than 80 years ago!

Ruby chocolate has a pinkish color and a fruity flavor; it uses a special type of cocoa bean that has a natural berry flavor that has been described as both sour, yet sweet. The product is expected to help grow sales in the stagnant global chocolate market. The new flavor has been tested in various countries, including the U.S., U.K., China, and Japan. The positive response is particularly strong in China where the color red is attractive in the marketplace.

The beans used come from specific regions and countries, and the color is due to the powder which is extracted during processing. No berries or colors are added, making it the first time a natural reddish chocolate is produced.

What’s your favorite chocolate bar?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. This article fits in nicely with the in-class activity of designing a new candy bar (Chapter 1).
  2. Divide students into teams. Assign each team a specific target market and have them develop the marketing mix for a new candy product of their choosing.
  3. Next, show Ruby chocolate: https://www.barry-callebaut.com/
  4. What target market will this appeal to, and why?
  5. Have students now revise their marketing mix to promote Ruby chocolate products.

Source:  Bloomberg News, New York Times, other news sources

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Robots and Us

“May you live in interesting times.” Is it a Chinese curse, or a promise for the future? No matter which it is, we are certainly living in interesting times as technology progresses into robotics and artificial intelligence (or intelligence augmentation).

Today, there are robots in the warehouse, manufacturing plant, retail stores, health care, and more. Cars are now capable of autonomous driving. Digital assistants open doors, set temperatures, monitor security, and answer our daily queries for information. Drones deliver packages and pizzas. The smartphones in our pockets have greater computing capabilities than was ever dreamed of. What was once deemed science fiction, is now today’s reality.

Where did this all start, and more importantly, where is it going? Will robotics give us faster and safer solutions to humanities problems, or will it lead to a jobless future?

What’s your opinion?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. This is a different type of post. Instead of having students develop marketing solutions or new products, use this topic to generate critical thinking by students.
  2. There is a series of videos by Wired that discuss robots and technology: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLibNZv5Zd0dxEjUuwSuvNkAPmc_J4we6M
  3. Show any/all of the videos to generate class discussion about future technologies.
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team view a video and summarize it for the class.
  5. What are the business and marketing implications from the video and discussion?

Source:  Wired   

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Made in the USA?

It’s that patriotic time of year in the USA when citizens (and shoppers) show their support and pride in America. As could be expected, companies that advertise their patriotism can use it as a very effective marketing tool. After all, people want to be proud of their country and its accomplishments. But, what does it really mean when a company promotes its product as being “made in the USA?”

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), if a product is advertised as “Made in the USA” then “all or virtually all” of the product must have been made in the U.S. But, what does “virtually all” mean?

Again, the FTC states that the product should contain no (or negligible) foreign content. This means that all significant parts and processing must be of U.S. origin and final processing must also take place in the U.S. (includes the 50 states, District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories and possessions). These rules also apply to products that might not explicitly claim “made in the USA,” but may use images or American flags or U.S. maps, such as stating “true American quality.”

Take a close look at companies that state “made in the USA” and make sure the claim in legitimate.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What does it mean if a product advertises that it is made in America? What products make this claim?
  2. Show the FTC requirements: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/complying-made-usa-standard and have students examine the requirements.
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team search the Internet for products that claim to be “made in the USA” and examine if the claims are accurate.
  4. For products that do not make a full made in USA claim, what are other messages that could be made to clearly identify origins and processes?

Source:  Truth in Advertising

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