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China Is Aiming For An Epic Economic Comeback With Rice Cookers And Smart Toilet Seats

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China is hoping sales of rice cookers and smart toilet seats will pick up its economy.

The Chinese government plans to focus on driving the economy with domestic consumption rather than trade and investment. According to South China Morning Post, cabinet documents reveal that officials are pushing to develop better products including electric rice cookers, kitchen appliances, air purifiers, smartphones, toys and luxury toilet seats.

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Though China is known as the world’s primary manufacturer of consumer products, the majority of domestic brands are not of the same grade. In the past, calls for change have been made following incidents of product malfunctioning. In addition, it seems that there is a common perception among the Chinese public that Japanese firms produce better rice cookers and other electronics than China does.

The state media had previously scoffed at Japanese smart toilet seats that come complete with heaters and water jets. However, Chinese tourists have been quick to embrace the fad and Japanese merchants are more than willingly to accommodate customers by hiring Chinese speaking staff.

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China’s ruling party is hoping to shift its priorities from steel and farming to concentrate on addressing its own consumer product deficiencies. In March, Chinese tech company Xiaomi unveiled its revolutionary rice cooker that can be controlled via smartphone.

It seems that China fully shifting its view of its citizens as a source of labor and more as consumers.

Written by NextShark

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Hit-Or-Miss

The Twinkies of the Future Will Be Frozen before Shipping

twinkies to be frozen

Twinkies are set to make their return on July 15, and despite the general hurrah, most of us will probably go back to not eating them.

For those of you genuinely concerned about the “quality” of your beloved Twinkie, you may be dismayed to learn that some select shipments will be frozen in order to prolong their freshness. Apparently, despite their mythical “indestructibility,” Twinkies do have a shelf life.

Hostess spokeswoman Hannah Arnold informed Huffpo that a few of the company’s retail customers have requested the treats be frozen prior to shipping, claiming it will allow companies to  “date the product for freshness,” while offering “flexibility in filling their shelves.” Of course, Hostess maintains that freezing the pastries will have “no impact on the quality or taste.”

“Any suggestion that Hostess is changing the integrity of the iconic snack cakes consumers have loved is completely untrue,” stated Arnold. “The new ownership is absolutely committed to baking top quality snack cakes and, in fact, is making major investments to ensure that Hostess products are as good, if not even better, than before.”

Still, I think this whole freezing business is a tad unnecessary. I agree Twinkies have an expiration date, but like Mickey D’s burgers, it isn’t one to fret about. Take this Twinkie specimen for example, still “edible” at the ripe old age of 36.

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H/T + PicThx Huffpo

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Hit-Or-Miss

Twinkies Return July 15, So We Can Go Back to Not Eating Them

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Face it, the Twinkies craze was a little ridiculous. With single boxes selling on ebay for over $200,000 and Facebook fan pages spreading rampantly through the internet soil like viral daisies, the public outcry over Hostess Brands’ demise alone would have been enough to convince any hapless CEO to try to save the company. So that’s what some hapless CEOs from Metropoulos & Co (who owns Pabst Brewing Co.) and Apollo Global Management (whose investments include Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s) did. Following last year’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy and a bit of corporate reshuffling, it appears that Twinkies will finally make their triumphant return to grocery shelves starting next month on July 15 – which will give us plenty of time left this summer to totally ignore them, except when they’re deep-fried at the county fair.

The Associated Press (via Yahoo! News) outlines the breakdown of the Hostess empire: Wonder and Hostess’ other bread brands were sold to Flower Foods. Devil Dogs and Yodels were sold to McKee, which makes Little Debbie Snack Cakes. And investment firm Metropoulos & Co. snatched up Twinkies and a few other Hostess Cakes.

Daren Metropoulos, a principal of Metropoulos & Co., told the Associated Press that the new, barer-boned Hostess Brands LLC has a cheaper costly operating structure than before and that its workers are no longer unionized. He also mentioned the possibility for cross-promotion with Metropoulos’ and Apollo’s other properties.

So while the long-term future of everyone’s favorite cream-stuffed yellow sponge cake is still yet to be seen, it appears at the very least that Hostess is finally back on the right track. As for any residual doubters, I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of a possible Ice Cream-Stuffed Twinkie from Carl’s Jr.

H/T Grub Street, AP + PicThx Boston Herald