Posted by Abe Sauer on December 13, 2012 11:19 AM
China is devouring wine, and in turn China-based vineyards are popping up. Chinese consuemrs are also glugging down coffee, so it should follow that China's coffee bean business would be booming. And it was, until a few weeks ago when coffee prices cratered to a five-year low that might see farmers change crops. Starbucks to the rescue! Kind of.
"We see our work in Yunnan as a tremendous opportunity to continue to elevate the high quality arabica coffee of Yunnan and invest in the local communities," a Starbucks spokesperson told brandchannel. A few days later, Starbucks announced the opening of the brand's first Asia-based Starbucks Farmer Support Center in China's southern coffee-growing Yunnan Province. Can the mermaid from Seattle lift the profile of China beans enough so that "Yunnan" could someday be found alongside Sumatra, Kenya, and Kona beans on its shelves?Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 29, 2012 07:12 PM
Here's the video for Nokia's London light show - "This is Lumia" - with Deadmau5 last night.
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 29, 2012 12:14 PM
Looking to boost its profile globally, one city deep in China's interior turned to its most famous resident: The Panda.
Earlier this year, the “Pambassador” campaign was born, a project aimed at reinventing Chengdu as an economically sustainable, friendly city open to the world. Pambassador stunts have managed to spoof the royal family (upsetting a few Brits in the process), dance Gangnam in London, and "go wild" in Hong Kong while racking up over 404,000 fans on Facebook, hundreds of thousands of YouTube views and 60,000 commitments worldwide from people looking to live in Chengdu.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 28, 2012 10:13 AM
Joel Thomas Zimmerman has a knack for drawing attention to himself. The house-music icon better known as deadmau5 sports a colorful and massive mouse head at live events, and dates the equally outrageous actress/model/tattoo artist Kat Von D has a way of helping the 31-year-old Canadian do such a thing.
And Nokia is happy to take advantage of his ability. Last November, he flew to London to rev up the crowds with a live music and 4D light projection show on London’s Millbank Tower to help promote the company’s Lumia 800. The show was projected onto big screens in six other English cities and live-streamed for those around the globe who wanted to pay attention. Now get ready for more deadmau5 x Nokia fun with another streaming show from London tonight.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 23, 2012 11:01 AM
One very small silver lining in the wake of Super Storm Sand on the Big Apple: public phone booths are being reimagined anew in a public-private partnership between New York City and two companies, Cisco and City 24/7.
During the downgraded-but-still-devastating hurricane, New Yorkers with access turned to the retro public phone in droves to try and connect and get information and this has led to a renewed commitment to transform pay phones into giant touch screens providing services from emergency broadcasts to local business deals. In a public emergency they’ll become two-way distress devices for citizen use and aid with Cisco providing back-end tools integrating New York’s 911 and 311 services.
The smart screens had been in pilot phase but soon 250 of the devices are being installed in all five city boroughs. “We’ll average a couple of installs per day. With the holidays approaching, they won’t all be in for a couple of months,” City 24/7 CEO Tom Touchet, former producer of The Today Show on NBC, told GigaOm.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 19, 2012 05:52 PM
In case it's not marked on your calendar, today is World Toilet Day — and it's no joking matter.
An estimated 2.5 billion people, 37% of the world's population, do not have access to a clean and safe toilet. One in three women worldwide risk shame, disease, harassment and even attack because they have nowhere safe to go to the toilet. Sanitation would make 1.25 billion women's lives safer and healthier, which is why people are being asked to petition governments to provide safe toilets and clean water for the world's poorest people.
As the Gates Foundation tweeted today, "The annual gain in economic productivity if everyone had a toilet is $225B." Putting things in perspective, Matt Damon, co-founder of Water.org, wants it to be known that more people have a mobile phone today than a toilet: “Six billion people have cell phones, but only 4.5 billion have access to improved sanitation.” Bill and Melinda Gates, in case you missed it, are putting serious funds toward reinventing the toilet as part of the foundation's water, sanitation and hygiene platform.
GE sponsored (as part of its Focus Forward three-minute short film series on world-changing ideas) the "Meet Mr. Toilet" documentary by Oscar-winning director Jessica Wu, which debuted this past January at the Sundance Festival earlier this year. It features the late Jim Sim (aka "Mr. Toilet"), who founded the World Toilet Organization and the annual World Toilet Day.
Named a TIME Hero of the Environment in 2008, Sim — who died in 2009 — was frank and enertaining about extolling the need for better sanitation and breaking the taboos about talking, well, shit. In fact, the former mayor of Suwon, South Korea, inspired a toilet museum in his former hometown, which opened earlier this year.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 12, 2012 01:12 PM
"Jingle Bells." "Silent Night." Those are just two of the many Christmas songs to be heard on repeat by anyone currently spending more than an hour in a Chinese Starbucks. Unlike in America, many Chinese consumers go to Starbucks specifically to spend more than an hour.
Americans may be gearing up for Thanksgiving but in China's Starbucks, it's already Christmas. From the cups to the signage to the baristas' shirts to the plastic tree with ornaments, there is no "Happy Holidays" war on Christmas in China. There's even a Starbucks China Christmas website. Despite slowdowns in other areas of the nation, China's Starbucks economy is booming and Christmas in China just might deliver shareholders the best present of all.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 7, 2012 12:01 PM
While it may not rule the morning everywhere, the once family-owned Weetabix cereal brand has been ruling British breakfast tables since the 1930s and now it's turning its powers onto another region of the world: Asia. Earlier this year, China’s Food Group Co Ltd agreed to shell out $1.12 billion to secure a 60 percent stake in the company and distribute the cereal all around the region. Marketwatch hears that the company “is considering listing Weetabix … on the Hong Kong stock exchange.”
"The Weetabix brand will have access to all of Bright Food's distribution channels, including our more than 100,000 retail outlets, which will allow it to be brought to Chinese households more quickly," said Wang Zongnan, chairman of Bright Food, according to China Daily.
“Bright clearly has a distribution capability in China that is very robust and much more than Weetabix could organically hope for,” said Clive Black, director and head of research at Shore Capital, according to Bakery and Snacks. “Therefore, assuming that the Chinese pallet for cereal-based breakfasts exists and grows, then this could be, should be, a material source of long-term growth for Weetabix.”
Still, it won’t be the same old Weetabix hitting breakfast tables in China.Continue reading...