This year, we’ve seen that Covid created tangled supply chains, computer chip shortages, and canceled flights.
But Yankee candles??
Amazon Candle Reviews
Actually our story starts a year ago. Among 20,000 Amazon candle reviews, an increasing number of people had scent complaints. One curious researcher (who said her results were not scientific) concluded that that since January, Yankee Candle reviews had dropped a full star. Somewhat typically, one negative comment said “There is no smell at all.” Another added, This is one of the weakest Yankee Candle scents I’ve ever had the displeasure of purchasing.”
Meanwhile, during 2020, you can see that for unscented candles, the reviews have barely changed:
Fast forwarding to now, the spikes continued. As people lost their ability to smell because of Covid, Yankee Candles felt more of their wrath. There might indeed by a correlation:
Our Bottom Line: Externalities
As the impact of a decision on an unrelated group, an externality can be good or bad. Vaccines and good teachers create positive externalities as their benefits ripple far from the source. Meanwhile, pollution and loud music can do harm. One example is the sick people that live miles away from a factory spouting fumes. We also have students doing poorly on exams when a peer played loud music in the dorm during a study hour.
Similarly, Covid’s elimination of smell correlates with Yankee Candle’s unhappy customers.
My sources and more: Having heard about the Amazon Candle reviews on the Rachel Maddow show, I looked for the facts. This is what I found at SF Gate, this article, and a Twitter feed here and here. Fortuitously, The Washington Post had the same story a year ago. Then, for more on Covid’s externalities, you could return to econlife here and here.