Why a Starbucks Christmas Tree Frappuccino Has a Brief Life

The Christmas Tree Frappuccino had a short life. It was here Thursday and gone Monday. But Starbucks had a good reason. Frappuccino History The Christmas Tree Frappuccino was the latest in a limited edition frappuccino line-up. Starbucks tells us that…

The iPod, Starbucks, and Richard Thaler’s Behavioral Economics

Discussing the iPod he designed, Tony Fadell expressed his frustration with products that said “charge before use.” He remembered arriving home excited about a newly purchased gadget. But then his emotional momentum would hit a wall when he discovered he…

The Mystery of the Disappearing Restaurants

Used to be we would prepare dinner at home while eating out was occasional. No more. Now, especially for lunch and dinner, someone else prepares the food. The Mystery The Atlantic called it “The Great Convergence.” The difference between what…

Where Cash (sort of) Rules

Like Mark Twain saying, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” non-cash payments have not eliminated currency.

The World’s Most Expensive Bread

More than a number, the cost of living in the world’s most expensive cities is about bread and wine and who can afford to stay.

The Accuracy of the Mashed Potato Index

Mashed Potatoes could be a good way to decide the direction of consumer spending. Where are we going? To consumer spending indices. The Mashed Potato Index (MPI) A pound container of mashed potatoes will cost you $4 at Stew Leonard’s, a NY…

Was Last Night’s Time Change a Mistake?

Having happily enjoyed an extra hour of sleep, I just returned to standard time. So too did more than 300 million Americans in every state except Arizona and Hawaii. But should we “spring forward” next March? Consumer Spending With the energy savings…

The Downside of Cheap Gasoline

Supposedly a GDP bonanza, the impact of lower gasoline prices on consumers and businesses is a surprise that economists now recognize.

Why We Can’t Call the U.S. Cashless

While an impending cashless society is creating problems for Sweden’s bank robbers, in the U.S. cash is still a popular form of payment.

What Most of Us Never Knew About Father’s Day

Historically reflecting retailers’ quest to boost spending and male financial control in the family, Father’s Day spending is about more than Dad.