If you purchase an embarrassing product online, do you still blush? New study says yes

Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

 

From: http://archive.news.indiana.edu/releases/iu/2015/08/wetting-the-bed-embarrassment-as-private-emotion.shtml

By Kelly Herd

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Published research and common knowledge suggest that embarrassment is something we experience only when we are around other people.

But a new research study co-authored by an Indiana University professor found that people often are embarrassed when buying sensitive health care products privately and online — products such as home test kits and medications for incontinence and sexual dysfunction.

The paper, which appears in the latest issue of the Journal of Consumer Psychology, has important ramifications for retailers who have established online environments where they believe shoppers feel more comfortable making such purchases.

That’s simply not the case, according to “Wetting the Bed at Twenty-One: Embarrassment as a Private Emotion,” co-authored by Kelly Herd, assistant professor of marketing and a 3M Faculty Fellow in the IU Kelley School of Business. Other authors of the paper are Aradhna Krishna, professor of marketing at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and Nilüfer Aydınoğlu, professor of marketing at Koç University in Turkey.

“There is a misconception that buying products online insulates consumers from being embarrassed,” Herd said. “But while the product may arrive at the doorstep discretely, the act of purchasing is what triggers the embarrassment. You still feel embarrassment because you’re judging yourself. It’s not about you even thinking about others judging you.”

It is believed to be the first research study of private embarrassment within a marketing context.

The researchers initially set out to confirm their view that embarrassment is an emotion that also can be experienced in private settings, through a random online survey of 177 people who were asked to describe their own publicly and privately embarrassing experiences.

A follow-up survey of 124 people presented them with a potentially embarrassing scenario involving purchasing an over-the-counter medication for incontinence. Herd and her co-authors found that the intensity of embarrassment felt did not lessen when the scenario involved a private, online purchase.

In fact, it often was worse.

“Participants’ desire to escape an embarrassing situation for in-public context suggests that simply removing oneself from the situation makes the negative emotions dissipate; but for embarrassing situations experienced within an in-private context, one cannot easily ‘escape’ the embarrassment,” the authors wrote.

The researchers conducted a third study involving purchases of Viagra for impotence versus pleasure. They surveyed 304 men over the age of 35, reflecting the target market for the erectile dysfunction product.

Not surprisingly, the intensity of embarrassment was higher when Viagra was purchased for impotence rather than for pleasure and was higher when purchased in public. However, the feelings of embarrassment were much lower for those buying it online for non-medical reasons.

“When you buy it in public, it doesn’t matter why you’re buying it, because you perceive that people are going to judge you just for having purchased the product,” Herd said.  “In private, it’s much more nuanced … you know you need it due to performance.”

The paper’s results suggest that sellers of sensitive health care products need to make consumers feel more comfortable when buying them. For example, promoting home health kits online may not be the best way to encourage people to seek help and prevent spreading disease.

“When it comes to getting people to purchase STD testing kits or to buy condoms or to buy incontinence medicine, the general understanding from marketing companies is that if you offer it online, people won’t be embarrassed and therefore are more likely to purchase it,” Herd said.

“However, our results suggest that maybe that’s not necessarily the case. It seems that the Band-Aid that companies are offering, to get people to engage and purchase these products is to offer it online, which of course 20 years ago wasn’t an option, “she said. “Our research suggests that is not the fix.”

She said marketers and public policy makers need to focus on changing cultural and social norms about seeking help for sexually transmitted diseases and consumers’ own self-concepts about condoms and other products they now find embarrassing to buy.

“Embarrassment is clearly an important emotion to understand,” Herd said. “It has similar consequences to stress, and people can go to great lengths to avoid feeling embarrassed and can engage in compensatory behavior for coping.

“Embarrassment may prevent consumers from purchasing necessary medication, practicing safe sex or voicing their feedback on products,” she said. “By gaining a better understanding of embarrassment and considering the under-studied yet highly prevalent circumstances under which it may occur, this research offers insights for marketers, public policy makers and consumers.”

The paper’s title came from responses to the first portion of the research about whether private embarrassment was a real emotion.

“People talked about extremely private events where they still experienced embarrassment,” Herd said. “Of all the online studies I’ve done, it was one where people wrote paragraphs. They told us about experiences that were obviously embarrassing to them, and they were very open about it.”

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Hard Lessons (Thanks, Amazon) Breathe New Life Into Retail Stores

Tiffany & Company has announced a three-year renovation of its flagship store on Fifth Avenue, including an expansion of its retail space.CreditCreditSarah Blesener/Bloomberg

From: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/03/business/retail-walmart-amazon-economy.html?emc=edit_th_180904&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=654264600904

By Michael Corkery

Malls are being hollowed out. Shops are closing by the thousands. Retailers are going bankrupt.

But it may be too early to declare the death of retail. Americans have started shopping more — in stores.

From the garden section at Walmart to the diamond counters at Tiffany & Company, old-school retailers are experiencing some of their best sales growth in years.

The strong revenues start with a roaring economy and an optimistic consumer. With more cash in their wallets from the tax cuts, Americans have been spending more.

The boom also reflects a broad reordering of the $3.5 trillion industry, with fewer retailers capturing more of the gains. Stores that have learned how to match the ease and instant gratification of e-commerce shopping are flourishing, while those that have failed to evolve are in bankruptcy or on the brink.

“The retailers that get it recognize that Amazon has forever changed consumer behavior,” said Barbara Kahn, a marketing professor and former director of the retailing center at the Wharton School. “I shouldn’t have to work to shop.”

Many successful stores are now a cross between a fast-food drive-through and a hotel concierge.

Target’s shoppers can order sunscreen or a Tokidoki Unicorno T-shirt on their phone, pull up to the parking lot and have the items brought to their car.

Nordstrom lets customers in some stores make returns by dropping their items into a box and walking out — no human interaction required.

Walmart is employing 25,000 “personal shoppers” to select and package groceries for curbside pickup.

In recent weeks, all three retailers reported stronger-than-expected sales growth for the quarter. Traffic to Target’s stores and online sites grew at its fastest pace since the company began keeping a record a decade ago.

Doomsayers have predicted that online shopping, led by Amazon, would one day conquer all of retail, rendering brick and mortar obsolete. As store closings set a record last year, no class of retailer was spared — with the carnage hitting Madison Avenue boutiques, shopping malls and big-box stores. In New York and elsewhere, many shops, big and small, continue to struggle.

Sears is among the big retailers that are still struggling, but chains like Target, Walmart and Nordstrom are capitalizing on Amazon-inspired innovations.CreditColey Brown for The New York Times

But the pace of closings has slowed, as the most unprofitable stores have been culled and the weakest companies have collapsed. At this time in 2017, nearly 5,700 stores had shut across the United States, according to Coresight Research, a retail analysis and advisory firm. So far this year, about 4,480 have closed.

Some big retailers, like J. C. Penney and Sears, are still sputtering, despite closing lagging stores and sprucing up ones that remain open. But the stronger players are capitalizing on the industry’s failures. Target said it was picking up new toy customers in the wake of the Toys “R” Us liquidation this spring.

The rebound is feeding the broader economy. Hiring is up, with an average of roughly 50,000 retail jobs being added each month since February, according to the National Retail Federation.

Last year, a wave of retail layoffs fueled fears about the long-term health of a huge part of the job market. One in about every 10 American workers is in retail.

“There has been a shakeout, and 2017 was seen as the bottom,” said Melina Cordero, head of retail research for the Americas at the real estate firm CBRE.

Far from retrenching, many retailers are expanding their physical presence or spending billions to overhaul existing stores.

Dollar General plans to open 900 stores this year, as it deepens its reach into rural America with inexpensive food and clothing. The company is building a huge following in areas where there are fewer places to shop, particularly in the South and in parts of the Midwest.

At the other end of the spectrum, Tiffany said it was embarking on a three-year renovation of its flagship store on Fifth Avenue — the setting for the classic film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and a magnet for tourists.

The newly renovated flagship will probably include expanded retail space as well as hospitality offerings, driven by the success of its in-store “Blue Box” Cafe, which on some days can have a wait list of more than 1,000 people and features a $32 “Breakfast at Tiffany.” Tiffany’s success is built almost entirely on its stores, which account for more than 90 percent of its revenues.

“We have big expectations for this project,” Tiffany’s chief executive, Alessandro Bogliolo, told analysts in a conference call last week. The renovation is expected to reduce the company’s near-term profits, signaling the importance.

One of the most ambitious and costly makeover attempts is taking place at Target. The retailer stormed across the American suburbs more than a decade ago, building hundreds of big-box stores known for affordable, hip clothing and furnishings.

“Our stores are at the center of our strategy, and they are at the center of our success right now,” said Target’s chief executive, Brian Cornell.CreditJeenah Moon for The New York Times

But many shoppers had grown tired of Target’s cavernous stores, and its cool edge had slipped. Target has lately targeted a new market of young urbanites — with plans to open about 30 smaller stores in cities and near college campuses this year.

Many of the new stores are supposed to be all things to all shoppers — what the industry calls an “omni-channel” experience.

Customers can order online and pick up at the store. They can order online and have their purchases delivered home, in some cases, on the same day. Or they can visit the store; employees’ starting salaries were raised in an effort to bolster retention and morale.

“Our stores are at the center of our strategy, and they are at the center of our success right now,” Target’s chief executive, Brian Cornell, said in a conference call last month after the retailer reported its largest quarterly sales growth in 13 years.

Tiffany Tully, 33, said recent changes to her local Target in Minneapolis had made shopping there more pleasant. The clothing displays, she said, feel more carefully curated and “appealing to the eye.” And she likes the convenience of returning Target items she buys online to the store rather than having to ship them, as with Amazon.

“Technically I am a millennial, but I like going to stores,” said Ms. Tully, a stay-at-home mother.

Retailers have been tweaking their store and online strategies for years. But it’s only recently that Amazon’s blistering success has prodded the incumbents to try to reinvent themselves.

Ms. Kahn of the Wharton School said retailers could have made these improvements decades ago if they had focused on what shoppers wanted.

“Most people want to spend less time shopping, not more,” said Ms. Kahn, whose book “The Shopping Revolution” describes the disruption in the retail industry.

She said Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, had understood this when he pioneered the idea of one-click shopping. But many retailers have built their businesses around the opposite idea, like expansive stores that take hours to wade through and commissions that encourage employees to push certain products.

The investments in the new stores and digital offerings are being made at an opportune time, when the strong economy is giving retailers the necessary cash. But any economic weakness could derail their progress before it takes root beyond a few good quarters. Amazon remains the omnipresent cloud, putting pressure on profits and forcing retailers to keep evolving.

“These are big shifts,” said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, a research and consulting firm. “It is like turning around the Queen Mary. You can turn the rudder, but it takes time to gain a purchase.”

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Amazon Model Gives Retailers Path to Vitality.
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For Some, ’Tis a Gift to Be Simple

from: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/30/your-money/affixing-more-value-to-the-ordinary-experiences-of-life.html

By Ron Lieber      Aug. 29, 2014

Last month, I spent a day in a library for the first time in over 20 years. I was there to work, but I appeared to be the only one doing so. Everyone else lolled about as the rain fell outside, helping themselves to the endless shelves of newspapers and magazines or browsing the newest fiction.

My work brings me joy. But as I looked around at the older patrons especially, I was overcome by a single emotion: jealousy. It had been too long since I’d sampled the simple but profound pleasure of losing myself in the stacks. I wanted to feel it again.

That craving stayed with me, and it helped me recognize how important some research from the June issue of The Journal of Consumer Research could be for helping many Americans find peace of mind as they contemplate their retirement savings. The lead article reported that older people often draw as much happiness from ordinary experiences — like a day in the library — as they do from extraordinary ones.

For people who have not saved enough or have broken into their savings because of lost jobs and health crises, the findings offer a glimmer of hope. If you can cover basic expenses, pursuing inexpensive, everyday things that bring comfort and satisfaction can lead to happiness equal to jetting about on international trips in your 70s and 80s.

The study’s authors, Amit Bhattacharjee and Cassie Mogilner, met when Mr. Bhattacharjee was earning his doctorate at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where Ms. Mogilner is an assistant professor of marketing. When they decided to work together, they did not set out to make grand pronouncements about aging.

Instead, they were trying to help answer one of the next big questions in the emerging field of happiness studies. Already, scholars in the field have established that experiences tend to make people happier than possessions. What we do, it seems, has more potential for lasting satisfaction and memory-making than what we have. But Mr. Bhattacharjee, who is now a visiting assistant professor of marketing at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and Ms. Mogilner wanted to know what sort of experiences made people the most happy and why.

To find out, they conducted eight studies in which they asked participants about their recollections of, planning for or daydreaming about various happiness-making experiences. They also checked to see what sort of things their subjects were posting about on Facebook. The researchers’ definitions of ordinary and extraordinary experiences, when they prompted people to discuss one or the other, were simple and focused on frequency; ordinary experiences happen often and occur in the course of everyday life while extraordinary ones are much more rare.

Extraordinary experiences bring great joy throughout life. No surprise there. But what the pair found again and again was that the older people got, the more happiness ordinary experiences delivered. In fact, the happiness-making potential of everyday pursuits eventually grows equal to that of ones that are rarer.

For Mr. Bhattacharjee, 32, the findings helped clarify a few things about his own parents. He had been attracted to research on moral beliefs and well-being in part because of his upbringing in a Bengali-speaking household of Indian immigrants. “My whole life, I felt like I was trying to sort out these competing cultural standards,” he said. “What is good? What is desirable? There are very different sorts of standards that people apply.”

 

Credit: Robert Neubecker

When his younger brother started college, the two siblings plied their empty-nester parents with restaurant gift cards and theater tickets so they could revel in their freedom from full-time parenting duties. “They just had zero interest,” he recalled. “They really relish the ordinary. At some point, I stopped fighting it. And once I started working on this stuff, it helped crystallize for me that their conception of what is valuable is different.”

Different from what a young person might have expected, at least. His parents were never much for the grand journey or the statement vehicle. “I tell people I’ve been buying a new Mercedes and driving it off a cliff each year for 10 or 15 years,” said Mr. Bhattacharjee’s father, Arun, of his and his wife’s efforts to pay for their sons’ higher education.

Now that Arun Bhattacharjee, 73, is more than half a decade into retirement, he devotes his days to reading the newspaper and books and regular strolls near the family home in Audubon, Pa. “I walk in the neighborhood around the block a few times,” he said. “Everybody knows me. Rain or shine.”

His wife, Ratna, 63, still works as an engineer. She and Arun go to India about once a year to see her mother. The family of four did head to Las Vegas for a vacation recently. “I have not lost interest in those kinds of things,” Arun Bhattacharjee said. “But I don’t need that sort of thing all of the time to give me pleasure. I can get it from simple things.”

Why might that be? Mr. Bhattacharjee and Ms. Mogilner explored some of the factors besides frequency that separate ordinary and extraordinary experiences and seized on one in particular: the tendency for extraordinary experiences to be self-defining in some way.

One way to think about this is to consider the various adventures younger people pursue to find themselves. “That sort of exploration to see what fits and feels like you may be the process by which you can start to figure out what sort of ordinary life to build,” Mr. Bhattacharjee said.

Once you know yourself, the deliberate pursuit of more ordinary things can then deliver that same level of happiness. It doesn’t hurt, either, that you may appreciate the ordinary much more once you’re more aware of the decreasing number of years you have left to enjoy it.

Older people are not set in their ways, nor should they want to be, and it would be a mistake to think we know ourselves well enough to be certain of what will give us the most satisfaction when we’re older. Retirement is just the sort of transition point that causes many people to seek new adventures and try on new ways of being in the world. No one should deny themselves that if they can afford it.

But plenty of people won’t have the money to go to faraway places or pay to jump out of airplanes. Low-cost extraordinary experiences may well be nearby, but there ought to be much comfort in the evidence that everyday things that cost little or nothing can deliver the same amount of joy. A garden. The elaborate meal that emerges from it and the spare time to invent the recipes. A return to a neglected musical instrument. All-you-can-consume subscriptions to Netflix and Spotify, with watchlists and playlists that stretch on for years.

As for me, I’m merely middle-aged. But I’m almost positive that the first thing on my retirement wish list will be a brand-new library card.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page B1 of the New York edition with the headline: For Some, ’Tis a Gift to Be Simple. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe
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Going “Back Home” – Looking Back and Moving Forward – Consumer Psychology

Photo by Guillaume Bourdages on Unsplash by Dr. Donna Roberts Source: Going “Back Home” — Looking Back and Moving Forward THE STORY I was 40-something. I walked across the threshold of the house I grew up in. It was . . . From the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, who said, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, […]

via Going “Back Home” — Looking Back and Moving Forward — Media Psychology

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15 Things That Will Probably Be Extinct By 2025

Everyday things that you rely on will be considered dinosaurs in the next 10 years. Check out which of your favorite ones make the list!

Life’s pretty darn good right now with our handy cell phones, our easy-to-use remotes, and our ability to send someone a document with the push of a button. But the things that make our lives so convenient today are about to get an overhaul.

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So take a long look around and say your goodbyes, because “the times, they are a-changin‘!” Here is our list of the biggest things that are going to change in the not-too-distant future:

Fax Machines

The hours waiting for a fax machine to be free, the wasted time feeding individual documents through, and the countless check-ins to make sure the fax was successful.

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If you’re tired of it, rest assured that others are as well! The fax machine will be a thing of the past, soon in the future.

Delivery Jobs

As much as the post office, FedEx, and UPS have tried to accommodate the changing needs of the public, the truth is, they can’t keep up with demand. Unfortunately, real people need things like sleep and food, and sometimes make mistakes which make the delivery business less profitable.

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In an effort to stay efficient, in the near future humans will be replaced by trackable, non-stoppable, and versatile drones.

Cords and Chargers

Look around your house. Do you still see a bunch of cords on the back of your TV, computer, and appliances? Well, cords are out, baby, and Bluetooth, NFC, and wifi are in! The ability for tech devices to communicate without a physical connection, along with wireless charging is growing quickly.

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According to research firm MarketsandMarkets, new forms of wireless charging and communications are expected to grow exponentially over the next five years, making cords a thing of the past.

Credit Cards

Sure, there are people who will always resist change and stick to things that they know, but physically carrying a credit card seems to be heading toward being a thing of the past. Companies like Apple have developed (and continue to improve upon) software that allows you to pay for stuff with your phone.

The feature allows you to scan your phone to buy products in over 250,000 retail stores—with the good news being that it’s totally secure. Seeing as stolen information is a huge problem in the credit card industry, we see this feature being used more in the future, and credit cards, less.

Checks

Can you remember the last time you wrote a check? Do you even know where your checks are? Maybe you wrote one to your mom, your grandma, or your 14-year-old babysitter (but even she would probably prefer Venmo).

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With the ability to pay bills online, email people money that you owe them, and have funds transferred directly out of your bank account, paper checks will soon be a thing of the past!

Having a Different Remote for Every Device

Right now you probably have five different remotes sitting on your family room table—one for the TV, one for the cable box, one for the Xbox, one for the surround sound, and one that you have no idea what it’s for. Soon you’ll be able to throw these babies out!

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Voice-control abilities along with smart devices will be able to control all of the devices in your home with the click of a button from your phone or tablet, or by the sound of your voice.

Landline Phones

New studies show that less than 50 percent of Americans still have land phone lines in their homes, while 38 percent of people have both landlines and cellphones. With people become increasingly comfortable with technology and dependent on their smartphones, landlines will become a thing of the past.

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In fact, most people admit to keeping their landlines around in order just to find their misplaced cell phones!

DVD Players

Except for those who collect ancient artifacts, DVDs may soon be on the obsolete list. With online services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, where you can download and stream videos off of your computer, through your gaming device, or right through your television, DVDs seem to be an unnecessary bulk purchase item.

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Additionally, features like “on-demand” and “catch-up TV” make the need to purchase separate DVDs further unnecessary.

Movie Theaters

Along with us becoming more dependent on video streaming services in the comfort of our own homes, the cinema seems to be on the way out.

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People still do love seeing their favorite films on the big screen—and getting out of the house to be sociable, as well—however, with TV and home theatre systems becoming so much more technologically advanced (like 3D features, impeccable sound, and HDTV) it’s becoming much cooler (and more cost-effective) to stay at home.

Analog TVs

Even though TV went digital in 2009, there are still a few, rabbit-ear analog TVs still floating around. But if you ever watched a “snowy” version of your favorite show (and spent half of the time adjusting the antennas) you know how much better digital is.

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However, the switch to digital was only a start. With awesome, new features on TVs like 3D and super HD, who knows what will come next? All we know is that analog TVs will become conversation pieces.

Digital Cameras

Got a smartphone? Then you probably don’t own a camera (or it’s in a messy drawer somewhere taking up space.) While professional photographers and those who love the process of photographic art will still have separate cameras, the truth is, new smartphones are taking better quality pictures and are more convenient for the casual user.

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Also, the pictures are readily accessible and are able to be edited easily, and shared right away. Why would anyone want to lug around another item that can be lost or broken?

Post Offices

According to a survey done by the post office, last year the typical home received a personal letter about every seven weeks; in 1987 it was once every two weeks. Increasingly, most of us are emailing the things we used to send through traditionalmail like bills, cards, notes, and invitations.

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So if our packages are being delivered by drones and our mail is sent electronically, what is the purpose of the post office? Unfortunately, they’re trying to figure that out as well.

Supermarket Cashiers

Have you noticed the do-it-yourself, check-out machines in your local grocery store? If you haven’t, you will soon! Studies show that in 2013, there were 191,000 self-checkout units worldwide, and the number is estimated to increase to 325,000 units by 2019.

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Checkout machines are smaller than traditional, human-manned machines, faster, and cheaper to run.

Print Newspapers

Look around your neighborhood and observe how many people get their newspapers delivered. Twenty years ago you’d see practically one on every doorstep! Unfortunately, times are changing. The internet, along with mass media, social media, and blogs have diminished the necessity of newspapers in our lives.

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We get our information from other digital sources, which is clear from the drop in newspaper revenue. Studies have shown that nearly two-thirds of newspaper ad revenue has dried up over the past 10 years, and circulation has fallen by a third. Experts do think it’ll hang in longer than expected, but the digital drain will ultimately lead to its demise.

The Yellow Pages

It seems like only yesterday that every home had a big, thick, yellow book filled with any service that you could possibly want including a plumber, manicurist, or doctor. These days the internet has all but consumed the old yellow page business.

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Declines for the Yellow Pages began in 2007, and it was reported that in 2010 print took in $8.7 billion in advertising, and only $3 billion in 2016.
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The Psychology of Stories – Media Psychology – Donna L Roberts, PhD (Psych Pstuff) – Consumer Psychology

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash by Dr. Donna Roberts Source: The Psychology of Stories -Media Psychology – Donna L Roberts, PhD (Psych Pstuff) – Medium The Story Did you have a favorite bedtime story as a child? I loved the fairy tale Snow White. My mother, on the other hand, was not so […]

via The Psychology of Stories -Media Psychology – Donna L Roberts, PhD (Psych Pstuff)  — Media Psychology

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This Infographic Shows How Only 10 Companies Own All The World’s Brands

by Kate Ryan

General Mills, Kellogg’s, and Unilever own just about everything

Source: This Infographic Shows How Only 10 Companies Own All The World’s Brands

Just when you think there’s no end to the diversity of junk food lining supermarket aisles, an insanely detailed infographic comes along to set us all straight. Out of the hundreds of products at our disposal, only ten major corporations manufacture the bulk of what we toss in our shopping carts.

So whether you’re looking to stock up on anything from orange soda to latte-flavored potato chips, Mondelez, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, PepsiCo, P&G, Johnson & Johnson, Mars, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg’s, and Unilever own just about everything you could hope to buy. It seems that six degrees of separation theory has been proven after all, if only because we all drink Diet Coke every now and then.

In order to visually elucidate that point, Oxfam International created a comprehensive infographic that reveals the extensive reach of the “Big 10” food and beverage companies. Unlikely ties between brands we largely don’t associate with one another show how easy it is to be misinformed about the American food system. For example, PepsiCo produces Quaker granola bars, and Nestlé makes Kit Kat bars but also frozen California Pizza Kitchen pies. To the surprise of many, Pineapple Fanta isn’t sourced straight from the mythical Fanta Islands, but canned right alongside Barq’s root beer at the Coca-Cola factory.

Obviously, the horrors extend far beyond our own shattered daydreams. Massive corporations squash entrepreneurial diversity and make it nearly impossible for startups and small businesses to compete. According to Oxfam’s report, “The world’s largest food and beverage companies have a lot of power – but you have more. And because they’re not using theirs enough to help poor communities or the planet, you can use yours to change the way they do business.”

If you’re looking to avoid contributing to the Big 10 world takeover, try shopping at local farmers’ markets and maybe skip out on soda and highly processed foods altogether. Your body will thank you for it in the long run anyway.

Image via Oxfam

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