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Skittles Thought Going ALL WHITE Was The Best Way To Celebrate Diversity

June is LGBT Pride month, which means all month long we’re going to see every company in existence try to do something Pride-ish.

In an attempt to do their own Pride-related branding, SkittlesUK thought it’d be a good idea to go all white, because nothing says ‘accepting diversity’ like making everything one uniform color.

Their promotional video said, “You see, during Pride only one rainbow deserves to be the center of attention, so Skittles have given theirs up.”

Thank you for your sacrifice, Skittles, but you didn’t have to be so extra. Skittles was already tailor-made for Pride tributes, as their whole marketing revolves freakin’ rainbows!

There are some people calling racism, and while that’s a stretch, it’s kind of funny that Skittles didn’t think that would be an assumption that would attach itself to their campaign.

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They released an additional video saying that they went monochrome because they didn’t want to steal Pride’s “rainbow thunder,” but in the process, still stole Pride’s rainbow thunder, as it’s generating so much heat.

The all-white Skittles obviously got some opposition, but in the end, it was an honest effort to do something different. On top of that, Skittles was donating money to LGBT charities for this, so you can’t get too mad.

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Hit-Or-Miss

How This Dead Worm-Covered Cucumber Fueled The Strangest Facebook Fight

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One of America’s favorite pastimes is complaining about customer service through social media. It’s so much easier to jump on a company’s Facebook page and let your creativity shine through a few keystrokes and thoughtful jabs, but when a company sees that diss and responds with Drake-like precision, it makes the beef worth following.

Tesco grocery store in the UK gets hundreds of Facebook messages in the form of customer feedback, and obviously can’t respond to all of it, but a worm-filled cucumber got their attention, as customer Wes Metcalfe took a witty appraoch to his complaint, leading to a bizarre back-and-forth, filled with heartfelt poems and even funeral plans for the deceased “William the Worm.”

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It started with dreams of a cucumber sandwich.

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After trying to domesticate the animal, they discovered it was on its way to worm heaven, and Rob from Tesco responded with a beautiful poem, really feeling for the customer’s loss.

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Customer West Metcalfe then retorted with funeral updates and yet another poem for the deceased worm.

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Then things just got ridiculous, as the poem exchanges kept coming, and the love for William the Worm really shone through.

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Please stop.

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This conversation should have been over long ago.

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William’s not coming back! Just let him be!

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OK, I think it’s over now.

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R.I.P. William the Worm. May no other worm ever get this much attention.

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News

Deadly, Erection-Inducing Spider Found Living In Supermarket Bananas

A Welsh woman got the surprise of her life when she discovered the cocoon of a deadly spider on a banana meant for her daughter.

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Maria Layton noticed a little more than potassium on the first banana she pulled from the bunch, but when the more visible cocoon on the second one began to move, she sprang into action. She locked the bananas in a sealed container and threw it in her freezer because she had read it was the way to kill such spiders.

Layton knew what to do because Brazilian wandering spiders, aka banana spiders, have garnered substantial media coverage in the UK over the past couple of years. More often, they make their way into people’s homes, carefully hidden in the bananas. But in 2013, a Tesco supermarket had to be shut down for several hours after one was found in a box of bananas.

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The spider gets its name from the way it wanders the forest floor at night and hides in bananas during the day. Banana spiders are considered the deadliest arachnids in the world and can kill victims in as little as two hours.

Their venom can also create a four-hour erection in male victims (and is being studied for use in erectile dysfunction medication), but is more likely to bring about a rapid and painful deterioration of bodily functions if untreated.

So, don’t get any ideas.

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Layton’s bagged bananas were in her house for an entire day before she discovered the spiders, so she frantically tried to get help from authorities or Tesco, to no avail.

“I spent about an hour and a half ringing round trying to get some help,” Layton told the Bristol Post. “[Mean]while I had this potential killer spider in the house.”

Though she managed to get hold of several Tesco customer service representatives, they didn’t offer more than an apology or a refund. A spokesperson stated that it wasn’t their policy to send a professional out to the home to assess the potential danger to the family, despite the company doing so in other cases in Essex and Staffordshire, England.

Tesco’s borderline indifference could be simply attributed to the company not wanting to send anyone to Wales. I get that. It’s the New Jersey of the UK with more complicated accents.

Thankfully, no one’s been hurt in any of these situations, but this is additional bad press for the already ailing Tesco. Good thing corporations aren’t people.

Oh, wait.

H/t Bristol Post

Categories
News

Price War Wages on: Why Milk Is Cheaper Than Bottled Water in the UK

British supermarkets have not been living up to their superlative.

The “Big Four” supermarket chains in the UK (Tesco, Walmart’s ASDA, Sainsbury’s, and Morrisons) are your standard, labyrinthian grocery stores that have faced some competition from the German discount chains Aldi and Lidl over the past couple of decades. Aldi and Lidl offer a no-frills shopping experience where many products are own-brand, similar to Costco and its Kirkland brand, which is enticing customers away from the native chains.

The Big Four have been desperately combating the increasing market share of Aldi and Lidl as post-recession consumers eschew store loyalty for lower prices.

Data from Kantar Worldpanel

While it seems like Aldi and Lidl are barely in the running, their steady growth has contributed to declining sales at the Big Four, which tend to respond to quarterly setbacks with competitive pricing. Throughout 2014, however, the ebb and flow of price wars between the companies escalated from reliable streams of competition to a raging storm in uncharted waters of murky legality.

For most of 2014, milk was cheaper than bottled water in the UK, dipping to 43 pence sterling (65 cents USD) per liter over the holiday season, according to price collation from Brand View. While the published data has been largely reported with an asterisk due to its sole coverage of multi-packs of own-brand milk, it’s these promotional brands’ prices that are trying to draw customers away from Aldi and Lidl.

Why cry over insanely cheap, spilled milk? Because the Big Four collectively committed hundreds of millions of pounds sterling to price cutting thousands of products in 2014 and there’s no end in sight for the spending spree.

Supermarket price wars tend to fall into the realm of competitive pricing, but this long-term battle in the UK is crossing into predatory pricing, malicious price-cutting with the intent of destroying a business. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK is meant to protect consumers from predatory pricing, but, similarly to Federal Trade Commission policies in the US, this offense is extremely difficult to prove and enforce.

The Big Four collectively committed hundreds of millions of pounds sterling to price cutting thousands of products in 2014.

The Big Four, or one company in particular, would have to successfully annihilate another company’s market share in order for the CMA to step in. All the current price wars are accomplishing is increased hybrid consumerism, resulting in lower overall sales for the Big Four.

Basically, they’re destroying themselves.

Privately owned companies Aldi and Lidl don’t have to answer to investors which allows them to focus on bringing discounts to customers (and occasionally infuriating unions). Their business models lend themselves kindly to this type of deal-oriented consumer spending, so their profits have increased even though they haven’t engaged in this price warfare.

Waitrose, a high-end UK grocer that lies somewhere between a Gelson’s and a Whole Foods, and independent convenience stores alike, have also been gobbling up market share due to the shopping cart diversity consumers are seeking.

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Tesco seems to be the first of the Big Four realizing the days of unwavering customer allegiance and one-stop shopping are long gone. As Britain’s leading grocer, Tesco has felt the waves of this paradigm shift the harshest, especially on top of their failed Fresh and Easy venture in the US and a 263 million pounds sterling (nearly $400 million USD) accounting scandal that would make Mel Brooks’ head spin. A slew of different cost-cutting methods, including closing unprofitable stores and moving to less expensive headquarters, were announced at the start of the year in an attempt to instill faith in investors and the public.

The days of unwavering customer allegiance and one-stop shopping are long gone.

Of course, their accounting scandal isn’t disappearing as fast as their profit margins, and with good reason. Profits were overstated in an official report directly reflecting Tesco taking fee payments from suppliers earlier and paying them later than they should have.

Because, you know, who needs happy, stable suppliers?

Begbies Traynor, a firm specializing in corporate restructuring, revealed in a recent report that all of the Big Four have been manhandling suppliers and extending payment terms. The firm also found a 92 percent increase in British food and beverage manufacturers in “significant distress” in the past year and that more than 100 of these suppliers will likely go under by the end of 2015.

“Worryingly, with 3.6 million people employed in the UK food supply chain, the economic and political risks associated with the current price war are now reaching boiling point ahead of May’s election.” -Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor

With most of Aldi’s and Lidl’s inventory consisting of imported goods, their success was not shared with British suppliers nor has the recently appointed grocery code adjudicator, Christine Tacon, proven to be useful during the price war. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which Tacon reports to, simply points fingers at the CMA.

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For our US readers, you’re probably feeling pretty lucky to be an American right now, right? Well, here’s a direct quote from the FTC’s official government website:

“Although the FTC examines claims of predatory pricing carefully, courts, including the Supreme Court, have been skeptical of such claims.”

Relax. Even with Lidl expanding to the US, this black hole of predatory pricing is unlikely to cross the pond with it. The sheer size of the US and the density of the grocery market have already done a decent job of keeping Walmart at bay. And with smaller chains like Publix maintaining strongholds on certain regions, more diversity will certainly be welcomed.

Sorry, Brits. Your government is still a never-ending roll of red tape.

Main picthx The Independent

Categories
Cravings

Turkey and Stuffing Doughnuts Are a Thing in Britain

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Did you know that our neighbors across the pond don’t celebrate our favorite gluttony-filled holiday, aka Thanksgiving? True story. Though the Brits sadly miss out on two weeks worth of leftovers from the big day, they do get to partake in the main event in the form of a doughnut.

Tesco, a popular grocery chain in Britain, carries the Weirdoughs brand of miniature doughnuts which come in a variety of out-there flavors, including but not limited to: Smoky Bacon, Salt and Vinegar, and Cheese and Onion. In honor of the holiday season, the chain has released their latest flavor, Turkey and Stuffing. Now, to be fair, nowhere on their packaging do they say these are your usual sweet doughnuts. Their tagline straight up says, “What do you get when you cross a crisp with a doughnut?” Basically these are like doughy, soft versions of chips, which now that we think about it could be a little weird, but we’re eating Pizza Doughnuts over here, so who are we to judge.

Before you get too grossed out, there’s not actual turkey stuffed inside the doughnut, but the savory baked good is definitely flavored with all the fixin’s of your typical bird. The doughnuts scored a perfect score with the British blog A Review a Day:

The first thing I noticed when biting into these is how much the consistency really helps contribute to the flavour. It’s a lot like eating the real thing, but in dough form. It’s soft, slightly chewy, and it certainly has a very bold stuffing flavour, with a lovely meaty hint behind it.

It looks like the Weirdoughs are only available in the UK for now, but as with everything you can find on the wonderful world of the Internet, we’re betting these things exist on Amazon or Ebay.

H/T + PicThx Metro.co.uk

Categories
Sweets

UK’s Biggest Grocery Store Bans Candy in the Checkout Aisle

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I rarely remember a time where I didn’t pick up a candy bar or some kind of sweet after a grocery store trip. It’s so easy to just reach for those colorful wrappers, knowing they’ll deliver on the sweet promises of sugar. Looks like this will no longer be the case for many of our friends in the United Kingdom.

The UK’s largest retailer, Tesco, is issuing a ban on sweets and chocolates sold at the checkout aisle. A recent survey conducted among customers showed that 65% of shoppers wanted candy removed from checkouts to further temptation when buying groceries and 67% felt it would help them make healthier choices for their kids. Tesco had already taken out confectionary at the checkout in 720 of their larger stores 20 years ago. The retailer will now implement the ban for all of their 1,800 locations which include Tesco Metro and Express convenience stores in both Britain and Ireland.

According to The Guardian, the decision was based on wanting to remove the temptation of sugary snacks at the checkout and to help customers lead heather lives, said Tesco Chief Executive Philip Clarke. The removal was expected to finish by December of 2014 but after the customer survey, it looks like it’s moving ahead much sooner.

Though confectionery will be removed from checkouts, they’ll still be available for purchase in bulk within the store itself. Though unless it’s Halloween or Easter, no one can commit to that much candy. In theory, of course.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

This Magical Tool Translates Blogger Recipes into Grocery Lists

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Tackling new or complicated recipes can be a bit daunting, especially when it comes to finding ingredients that are totally unfamiliar. Luckily, there’s an online tool that simplifies this kind of grocery shopping headache.

Recently-launched Parsly is a UK-based company that does all the leg-work for you when it comes to figuring out meal ingredients. Ever come across a delicious recipe on a food blog (Deep-fried Cheese-Stuffed Doritos, Curry NoodlesMaple Bourbon Glazed Short Ribs) you’re dying to try but have no idea where to start? All you have to do is copy and paste the recipe into their online tool and specify how many people will be eating. Parsly does the rest! The program breaks down how much of each food product will be needed, compiles a digital grocery list, and transfers what you need to your supermarket account for purchase. From there, users can decide if they want to finish the order online or in-store when they pick up their groceries.

As of right now, Parsly has only partnered with Tesco, but they hope to add more retailers soon.

H/T PSFK

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Fresh & Easy Could Leave The United States – Can This Enterprise Be Saved?

It’s a tough world for everyone right now — and grocery store chains, no matter how much they may seem like a staple, are no exception.