Why Mickey Mouse Worries About Monopsonies

No, we don’t mean monopoly. A monopoly is the single seller in a large or small geographic area. Monopsony, by contrast, indicates there is a single buyer. Where are we going? Whereas a monopoly has the power to charge too high a price, the amount…

What do Polish Pretzels, Parmesan Cheese, and Champagne Have in Common?

Polish pretzels sound delicious. Called “obwarzanek,” they are round, have a hole in the middle, are boiled, then baked, and can be sesame, poppy, salt or cheese. Although they resemble a bagel, there is one big difference. They have an…

How to Squeeze More Seats on a Plane

An airline seat is really all about cost and pitch. Defined by SEATGURU, “Seat Pitch is the distance from any point on one seat to the exact same point on the seat in front or behind it.” On short haul…

Does Your Barista Do a Repeatable Routine?

Starbucks calls it “transactions per hour” but from our perspective, it’s waiting in line. Researchers say that it takes only 3 minutes in a queue for us to become impatient. Hoping to show their shorter line time and higher sales,…

Are You Buying Less Soup?

Canned food used to be aspirational. The ads in 1918 said that easy-to-use canned foods gave Mom more time to play with the kids. Canned Foods were healthy. They were versatile. You can see where we are going. A perfect…

The WestJet “Christmas Miracle”

During an airport check-in, passengers on 2 WestJet flights to Calgary told a virtual Santa what they wanted for Christmas. They boarded, took off, probably forgot Santa entirely. But then, calling it their “Christmas Miracle,” WestJet greeted those 250 or…

Should the US Postal Service Be a Monopoly?

The 5-digit zip code is rather amazing. Introduced by the US Postal Service in 1963, it became the key to automation. Whereas a single person could sort, at most, a letter in one second or 3600 an hour, zip codes…

Is “MexiCoke” Making a Mistake?

In Nevada convenience store coolers, at Wal-Mart or Costco, people empty the shelves the minute the Mexican Coca-Cola arrives. Coke says the glass bottle is the reason. Coca-Cola drinkers say they prefer “MexiCoke” because it is made with sugar cane,…

Oligopoly: Selling Ice Cream in Finland

The first Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Store was in a renovated garage near the University of Vermont. According to Ben and Jerry, ice cream and Vermont winters complement each other because you feel warmer when the inside of your…

Demand and Supply: Who Buys Bayer?

On a CVS shelf, you see Bayer and CVS aspirin. The Bayer, for 100 tablets /325 mg is $6.29 while the private label is $1.99. Each has the same active ingredients, dosage and directions. Which one will you purchase? It…