Friday Fry #15

by Jeanne

12days PNC Bank has released the "Christmas Price Index" which measures the cost of all the gifts in the song "The 12 Days of Christmas." This annually updated study shows a 2.4% increase in the price of Christmas from 2003 to 2004 by traditional measures, but a 10.5% increase if you are shopping via Internet (shipping!)

Jonesing for a Java Machine   The research and evaluation process for a home espresso machine overwhelms me.  A recent Slate article takes the task on.  We all know the ‘latte factor’,–"$4 a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year amounts to $1,456 per annum."

Who Moved My Cheese?   Award-winning cheesemaker Cypress Grove is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary by doubling it’s creamery size with the recent move in to a custom made-to-order facility. These fine folks produce the ever sublime Humboldt Fog.

Brand Marketing Blunders  The year-end brings it’s usual round-up of "best of" and "top 10" lists. As some of you know that’s how I make my bread to eat my cheese.  I thought that the recent Top Ten Branding Blunders. The list includes the Barbie Break Up, American athletes as brands, and the failed "Mr. Wendy" campaign. 

Hardee’s Strikes Again   As if the Monster Thickburger release wasn’t enough. This week they launched the 46-grams of fat Breakfast Burger.  The ‘burger’ features a fresh, fried egg, crisp bacon, hash brown nuggets, cheese, ketchup and a charbroiled all-beef patty, all on a sesame-seed bun all for $2.39 (US). The company press release, in an effort to rationalize their new product launch provided interesting statistics, "the most frequently consumed "non-traditional" breakfast foods are: Pizza: 51 percent Sandwiches: 41 percent Chicken: 23 percent Other meats: 19 percent Mexican food: 19 percent Burgers: 17 percent".  Thank gawd the gap has been filled.