10 Hours Ago
M&M’s ‘spokescandies’ return after Super Bowl ends
That was quick.
The so-called “spokescandies,” a lineup including the red, yellow, green and purple M&M’s, were back as the stars of M&M’s commercials after the conclusion of the Super Bowl.
Earlier in the evening, an ad starring Maya Rudolph taking over as spokesperson and wrecking havoc on the iconic candies. She renamed them Ma&Ya’s and changed them to chocolate-covered clam bites. The original ‘spokescandies’ returned to the relief of consumers.
Last month candy maker Mars said it was replacing the candy icons with Rudolph after facing right-wing criticism over its mascot makeover. On Sunday it declared the spokescandies were “back for good.”
10 Hours Ago
The Chiefs are champs again
The Kansas City Chiefs have won their second Super Bowl under coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the NFL MVP. Final score: 38-35. A classic.
11 Hours Ago
Did you just click the Tubi app? No, that was an ad
Free streaming service Tubi had Super Bowl viewers thinking they flipped the channel on Sunday.
In what appeared to be a return from the commercial break, with Fox broadcasters Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen front and center, suddenly the Tubi interface appeared.
The ad-supported streaming service, owned by Super Bowl broadcaster Fox Corp, brought viewers into its interface, as if they were clicking around in the app. Front and center was Fox Nation original content, like “Yellowstone One-Fifty,” the Kevin Costner-narrated program celebrating the national park’s 150th anniversary. Super Bowl watchers tweeted their confusion.
11 Hours Ago
Chiefs take the lead with seconds left
Harrison Butker redeemed an earlier miss to give the Chiefs a three-point lead with mere seconds left in Super Bowl LVII.
11 Hours Ago
‘Grease’ is the word for T-Mobile 5G commercial
T-Mobile is calling out to “Grease” fans with its Super Bowl commercial.
The wireless company tapped John Travolta to reprise his part in the “Summer Lovin'” duet from the 1970s film to spread the word about its 5G home internet. Travolta gets some assistance from Zach Braff and Donald Faison, costars from the long-running sitcom, “Scrubs.”
T-Mobile has been pushing its 5G internet and creating competition that has been hitting traditional cable providers recently.
Also on Sunday, the company released an advertisement for its internet featuring actor Bradley Cooper and his mom Gloria. The spot features a series of bloopers of the mother-son duo and playful jests about Bradley’s bright pink shirt that Gloria said made him look like a “flamingo.”
11 Hours Ago
Melissa McCarthy travels in musical Booking.com ad
Booking.com features Melissa McCarthy singing an ode to the travel agency website in its second Super Bowl ad ever.
Throughout the 30-second spot, the Emmy award-winning comedy star and producer takes seconds-long visits to luxe locations. While popping into places like a Malibu beach house, a poolside resort, and a mountainside ski lodge, she sings the Booking.com original song “Somewhere, Anywhere.”
Booking.com, a brand housed within Booking Holdings, debuted its first Super Bowl commercial last year starring Idris Elba, adding to the wave of travel promotion looking to capitalize on vacation demand pent-up from the pandemic.
The Super Bowl ad is a part of a larger Booking.com ad campaign with McCarthy. To launch the marketing effort, the travel agency is giving away 10,000 travel credits to 50 winners who enter the sweepstakes on social media.
— Rebecca Picciotto
11 Hours Ago
Jalen Hurts scores a third rushing touchdown
Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts set a record for quarterbacks by scoring his third rushing touchdown of the game. And then he tied it with a two-yard conversion run.
He tied the overall rushing touchdown record held by running back Terrell Davis, too.
11 Hours Ago
Ram addresses ‘Premature Electrification’
Ram’s 60-second “Premature Electrification” spot spoofs commercials for male sex-enhancement drug ads and indirectly takes shots at anxiety points associated with current all-electric vehicles, specifically pickup trucks.
The ad features electric vehicle owners, including couples, discussing problems they’ve had with their electric trucks in an innocent, yet sexually proactive way.
The spot debuts the production version of the all-electric Ram 1500 REV pickup that is expected to begin production next year. The truck debuted last month as a concept at the CES technology show.
It stars actor Jason Jones, a Canadian-American comedian best known for his work on HBO’s “The Flight Attendant” and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”
– Michael Wayland
11 Hours Ago
Chiefs now lead by 8
The Kansas City Chiefs are on a roll. After the longest punt return in Super Bowl history, the team scored a touchdown. They now lead 35-27 with under 10 minutes to go.
11 Hours Ago
Turf war at State Farm Stadium
Kansas City Chiefs’ wide reciever Kadarius Toney step into the end zone and scores a touchdown during Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on February 12, 2023.
Angela Weiss | Afp | Getty Images
A shootout between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs has been overshadowed by the very field Super Bowl LVII is being played on.
Throughout Sunday’s game, players have had a hard time keeping their footing on the grass field at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
The new playing surface, which was installed two weeks ago, reported cost close to $1 million and was was grown at a local sod farm in Phoenix.
Players on the Eagles were seen swapping out their cleats, opting for footwear with higher spikes, in order to get a better grip on the loose surface. During the third quarter, Eagles kicker Jake Elliott skidded during a kickoff and slipped to the ground.
— Sarah Whitten
11 Hours Ago
The Chiefs take the lead
Patrick Mahomes marched Kansas City down the field to open the fourth quarter with a touchdown. The Chiefs now have their first lead.
11 Hours Ago
Comedians roast Mr. Peanut in Planters’ commercial
Planters’ mascot Mr. Peanut gets roasted by a plethora of comedians in the Hormel brand’s commercial.
Jeff Ross, Natasha Leggero, Atsuko Okatsuka, Frank Castillo, Yamaneika Saunders, David Lucas, and Sarah Tiana step on stage to insult the cartoon character.
Despite roasting Mr. Peanut, it’s a relatively tame commercial for Planters, who previously killed him in its 2020 spot and revived him as a baby in its 2021 ad. Mr. Peanut makes a reference to that death at the end of this year’s commercial, saying he wished that Planters had killed him again instead.
– Amelia Lucas
11 Hours Ago
‘Binky Dad’ goes viral in Kia Telluride ad
When parents forget a favorite binky for their baby, things can go sideways quick. It’s why moms and dads will go to extreme lengths to keep or retrieve the child’s treasured item.
That’s the premise for Kia’s 60-second “Binky Dad” ad that features a father driving a 2023 Telluride X-Pro who goes viral for attempting to retrieve a forgotten binky.
The commercial is set to 1976’s “Gonna Fly Now,” which is better known today as the “Rocky” movie theme music.
— Michael Wayland
11 Hours Ago
Eagles kick field goal
Philadelphia went up 27-21 with a field goal in the third quarter. It was one of the seemingly rare times this game the Eagles didn’t go for it on fourth down.
12 Hours Ago
Rupert Murdoch, Elon Musk spotted together
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch was spotted sitting next to Tesla CEO Elon Musk during the Super Bowl.
The chairman of Fox, which is broadcasting the matchup, as well as News Corp was also seated with daughter, Elisabeth. Fox’s broadcasters pointed out the duo of CEOs, while others tweeted about it, during the third quarter.
– Lillian Rizzo
12 Hours Ago
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have reunited for “Air,” the story of the game-changing partnership between Michael Jordan and Nike’s basketball division.
Affleck and Damon reunite as Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro and Nike co-founder Phil Knight. Viola Davis stars as Michael Jordan’s mother Deloris Jordan.
– Sarah Whitten
12 Hours Ago
Rihanna unveils pregnancy
Rihanna brought down the house with her Halftime performance – and also revealed she is pregnant.
The Grammy-winning pop singer donned a red, partially latex outfit. At one point, when the camera zooms out on her, she reveals her belly. After Rihanna rubs her stomach, Twitter was set into a frenzy of speculation she was announcing she is pregnant.
Her rep later confirmed the baby news to The Hollywood Reporter.
This marked Rihanna’s first performance in seven years, and also since becoming a mother in 2022. The singer and rapper A$AP Rocky had a baby boy together last year.
– Lillian Rizzo
12 Hours Ago
The Chiefs are still alive
The Chiefs scored a touchdown after a 10-play drive to open the second half. It’s now 24-21, Eagles.
12 Hours Ago
Rihanna seizes the Super Bowl spotlight
Rihanna performs onstage during the Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona.
Ezra Shaw | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images
Halftime performer Rihanna descended into State Farm Stadium on Sunday, singing hit song “B—- Better Have My Money” before transitioning into a mash-up of “Rude Boy,” “Where Have You Been,” “Only Girl In the World” and “Diamonds.”
Throughout the performance dozens of costumed performers danced on multiple elevated stages that hung from the stadium ceiling.
Here’s Rihanna’s full set list:
- “B— Better Have My Money”
- “Where Have You Been”
- “Only Girl (In the World)”
- “We Found Love”
- “Rude Boy”
- “Wild Thoughts”
- “Pour It Up”
- “All of the Lights”
- “Run This Town”
— Sarah Whitten
12 Hours Ago
‘Creed III’ trailer hits the Super Bowl
The trailer for the next installment in the “Creed” franchise aired during the Super Bowl on Sunday. The film arrives in theaters on March 3. Michael B. Jordan will reprise the role once again, this time battling Jonathan Majors in the movie.
Council Approves Commercial Waste, Pickleball Court Construction Contracts as Part of Consent Calendar – Pasadena Now
The City Council approved contracts totaling $374,469 as part of Monday’s consent calendar.
The calendar, which can be approved by a sweep motion, on one $204,525 contract to Sloan Vazquez McAfee for compliance verification review of commercial waste haulers. The City has been hiring consulting firms to conduct compliance reviews of franchise commercial haulers since 1999. These reviews ensure franchise commercial haulers’ compliance with the non-exclusive solid waste franchise agreement, administrative rules and regulations, and all federal, state or local laws and regulations applicable to the operation of the franchise system.
The City council also adopted a resolution to approve Final Parcel Map No. 083256 for the subdivision of three City-owned existing parcels into two parcels. The subject subdivision is located at 685 E. Union St. on the north side of Union Street between Oak Knoll Avenue and El Molino Avenue. Two of the parcels shared an address of 701 E. Union St., the site of the demolished Banner Bank Building, purchased by the City for creation of open space.
The third parcel was the City-owned surface parking lot located at 100 N. El Molino Ave. Two lots would be created as a result of the subdivision of the existing three lots.
The City Council also a $169,944 contract with Golden Sun Enterprise for Jefferson School Pickleball courts project.
Currently in Pasadena, there are ten pickleball courts: four at Allendale Park, four (two dedicated and two joint-use with tennis) at McKinley School and two joint-use (with basketball) at McDonald Park. Two additional courts are scheduled to be constructed at Vina Vieja in FY 2024. In an effort to increase the number of pickleball courts, staff explored other potential locations throughout the City.
Jefferson Elementary School, located at 1500 East Villa Street, was identified for the addition of two temporary pickleball courts. The City is leasing the Jefferson School site from Pasadena Unified School District through November 30, 2027 for the purpose of hosting Library, Police and Fire Departments programs. The site can also accommodate two temporary pickleball courts that can be used by the public throughout the duration of the City’s lease.
A resolution was approved establishing four new classifications and salaries and updating salaries of five existing classifications, including deputy city manager, business systems analyst, film program coordinator, film coordinator, power resource planning manager, power resource planner I, power distribution supervisor-electrical test and construction.
The council also approved a resolution of intention to renew the Pasadena Tourism Business Improvement District. The PTBID is a benefit assessment district proposed to continue as a revenue source to help fund marketing and sales promotion efforts for Pasadena lodging businesses. The renewed PTBID includes all lodging businesses, existing and in the future, located within the boundaries of the City of Pasadena. The PCOC and Lodging business owners decided to pursue renewal of the PTBID in order to continue a revenue source devoted to marketing Pasadena as a tourist, meeting and event destination. If renewed, the PTBID would generate approximately $5,250,000 in its initial year for the promotion of travel and tourism specific to Pasadena and continue to fund the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau and to support the sales and marketing efforts of the Rose Bowl Stadium.
City’s Economic Development Director Recaps Recent Commercial Real Estate and Leasing Activity in Pasadena – Pasadena Now
A recent memorandum by City Economic Development Director David Klug has revealed details about investments in commercial real estate, leasing and retail activity for the months of August, September, October and November in Pasadena.
Numbers in the report indicate that over 75,000 square feet of office space was leased out by 4 major companies in the last four months.
JP Morgan is leasing 30,000 square feet at 177 E. Colorado Blvd., Philadelphia Insurance Companies is leasing 13,000 square feet at 800 E. Colorado Blvd., Premier Workspaces is leasing 16,702 square feet at 301 N. Lake Ave., and Reliance Steel and Aluminum is leasing 16,285 square feet at 55 S. Lake Ave.
But nationally there is currently 232 million square feet of surplus commercial real estate up for sub-leasing, according to Elizabeth Ptacek, senior director of market analytics at commercial real estate information and analytics company CoStar, CNBC reported.
“To put those numbers into perspective, Amazon’s HQ2 is 8 million square feet. Even more telling, the 232 million square feet is twice the level of surplus from before the pandemic,” the CNBC report said.
The report mentions a move to hybrid work models and higher interest rates as some of the reasons for the surplus commercial real estate space.
Despite inflation and cost of living concerts, retail sales have risen in October.
Nationally, CoStar reported that retail sales rose by 1.3% in October and were 8.3% higher than last year’s levels. The commercial real estate information and analytics company added that “Inflation played a large role in the increase, clearly, as the consumer price index (CPI) rose by 7.7% over the year in October. But even after accounting for rising prices, retail sales still grew an impressive 0.9% during the month.”
They also stated that consumer spending drives about two-thirds of the economy, so good news such as this is a sign that the economy should do better in the fourth quarter than had been expected.
Locally, the demand for retail space is rising.
“Demand for retail space continues to rise in Old Pasadena. Several brokers are touring potential retail tenants, but space is limited,” the report stated.
Due to limited space, Klug’s staff encouraged brokers to consider other business districts in the city as potential sites, the report said.
In other retail space developments, a Canadian developer, the Onni Group, acquired Paseo Colorado, the shopping center in downtown Pasadena, for $103 million in a foreclosure sale in October, the report said. Onni has significant real estate holdings in the Los Angeles area, including the Burbank Towne Center.
Klug reported that Doc Martens will be moving to 17 E. Colorado Blvd. this month, Lather has relocated to 40 W. Colorado Blvd., and Alo Yoga will be moving into 3 W. Colorado Blvd. Brilliant Earth will be starting their tenant improvements at 29 Miller Ave., Klug’s report said.
The Economic Development Update also reported several key commercial spaces that were recently sold and others that are currently on the market.
The key commercial spaces coming on the market for sale are
- The former Fedde Furniture site at 32 N. Sierra Madre Blvd. will be on sale for $8 million,
- Five ground-floor retail units with second-story office suites at 738-742 E. Colorado Blvd., asking price is $7.25 million,
- A 90-unit condominium development at 253 E. Los Robles Ave. on sale for $12.75 million.
- 254 E Union St (west of Post Office/investment sale) — Asking $12,900,000
- 1539 Lincoln Ave (currently owner-occupied and operated as tire shop and part of a three-property portfolio sale) — Asking $5,000,000
The two properties that sold are:
- AvalonBay Del Mar Station apartments at 265-276 S. Arroyo Parkway were sold for $172 million to Fairfield Del Mar Station, LLC.
- Westin Pasadena at 191 N. Los Robles Ave. was sold for $190.8 million as part of a portfolio sale to Brookfield Asset Management Inc.,
Small Business Saturday
The Economic Development Update also included a report on Pasadena’s Shop Small Business Saturday, held on Nov. 26, with the theme “Authentically Yours, Pasadena.”
Held in partnership with the Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau, this holiday shopping campaign continues through the holiday season and “amplifies the people, places and great finds that gives Pasadena its vibrancy and authentic flavor.”
The report said 27 small and independent businesses throughout the city served as official campaign welcome stations and were giving away “Authentically Yours, Pasadena” canvas shopping totes as free gifts.
“Small businesses reported strong sales, exceeding their expectations and daily goals,” the report said. “Overall, the ‘shop local’ campaign brought new customers and awareness to these independent businesses in Pasadena, and according to the feedback received from the businesses was a success.”
This year, the Economic Development office is also sending out “Gratitude” holiday cards as part of the business outreach program.
The full Economic Development Update will be presented before the City Council’s Economic Development and Technology (EDTech) Committee during a special meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 6, starting at 4:30 p.m.
It’s a delicacy that’s becoming a rarity, but a new facility in Bluff is aiming to keep whitebait lovers satisfied, sustainably.
The country’s first commercial whitebait farm, led by Manāki Whitebait, is gearing up to produce 50 tonnes of fish a year.
“In an aquaculture point of view, it’s like putting man on the moon, just mind blowing,” Manāki Whitebait project manager Paul Decker said.
The project is the result of 16 years of research into breeding whitebait.
It originally started in Warkworth, where researchers tried to breed species in captivity.
Teams managed to successfully breed five New Zealand whitebait species, four of which are endangered, by collecting adult eggs and milt, otherwise known as whitebait sperm, and placing them in an incubator.
“Twenty-four days later they hatch and 12 weeks later you eat them,” Decker said.
Researchers manipulated the temperature of the water to mimic the changes of the season, so now the fish can be bred all year round.
They identified the giant kōkopu as the only commercially viable species, and now have 50,000 breeding adult giant kōkopu, more than half the number estimated in the wild.
“This is the beginning of a new era and it’ll make an incredible difference that we’ll be able to consume whitebait as we wish all year round and therefore it must alleviate pressure on wild stock,” Decker said.
Manāki is owned by Tahu Whaoa Group Holdings, the commercial arm of the Ngāti Tahu – Ngāti Whaoa Runanga Trust.
The trust’s general manager Evelyn Forrest said it’s a great breakthrough for Aotearoa.
“It’s been a very long journey of development of scientists working together, a collaborative approach between western science, marine biologists and iwi really supporting this kaupapa,” she said.
The Warkworth facility will remain as a site for breeding fish, and the new facility in Bluff will be for larvae production.
Decker said the biggest expense for commercially producing whitebait in giant tanks is electricity, to ensure optimum water temperature. The second largest cost is water.
“We decided to relocate to Bluff as there’s already a licenced fish facility there with easy access to freshwater and seawater – this is essential for breeding whitebait as we need to be able to replicate their journey from the river to the ocean,” he said.
“In Warkworth we needed to transport salt water in, which proved too costly.”
The project was possible thanks to a $998,000 investment from MPI’s Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures Fund.
Tahu Whaoa Group Holings also matched the MPI funding, along with other investors.
“We know what it’s like to have a taonga species that we love and want to protect, so it’s really awesome that we are able to enhance a population of whitebait by farming here in the Bluff,” Forrest said.
Two-hundred-and-fifty kilograms can be produced every two weeks, with plans to scale up to 50,000kg per year.
Restaurants are expressing strong interest already.
“If we can provide that market via farming whitebait surely that has to be good for our kōkopu for our taonga species,” Forrest said.
The first supply of whitebait for consumption is expected to be available from February next year.
Since ending his 15-year run as James Bond with “No Time to Die” last year, Daniel Craig has not been sitting idle.
The British star has been busy brushing up his fancy footwork, which he enthusiastically showcases in a new vodka commercial directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Taika Waititi.
In the tongue-in-cheek ad for Belvedere Vodka, which premiered last week and runs for more than two minutes, Craig goes from brooding and enigmatic to swaggerlicious and even … fun.
The ad opens with a white-suited Craig standing on a bridge, back to the camera, gazing moodily out at the water. The scene could be straight out of a 007 movie. But then it goes a little unexpected.
With a quick costume change, the 54-year-old sheds the secret agent and unleashes his inner disco diva, shimmying, thrusting and gyrating on the street and then around a hotel to a soundtrack by Rita Ora and Giggs.
The ad ends with Craig taking a drink of Belvedere and commenting “finally.” Dancing is thirsty work. after all.
In a postscript, Waititi makes an appearance as a caricature of himself as director – being fanned by an attendant as another feeds him sushi. “Let’s go again, just be yourself,” he tells Craig, who flashes a smile to reveal sparkling diamanté “DC” grills.
Judging by the mixed responses online, fans are both shaken and stirred.
One Twitter user branded it “the wildest thing I’ve ever seen,” adding she couldn’t believe it was Craig.
Another said: “The moral of that Belvedere vodka advert seems clear: ‘get drunk on this booze & you’ll embarrass yourself in public and Dad-dance in a way not even Daniel Craig can make look cool.’”
A third commentator wrote on YouTube: “Absolutely wonderful!!! Enjoyed seeing Daniel outside the suave, sophisticated ‘Bond’ persona. I so loved this.”
Craig can next be seen reprising his role as wacky detective Benoit Blanc in “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” the sequel to Rian Johnson’s 2019 comedy-drama “Knives Out.”
I’ve watched Ocean Spray’s new Thanksgiving ad about a million times. In it, a family of silent, beige-wearing people are involuntarily taken over by the urge to wiggle after canned cranberry sauce jiggles in front of them.
After I watched it, I felt…weird? The song was surprisingly infectious, but also those people looked like they had been infected—at points in a bad way. I wanted to watch it again.
What is happening?
Reactions to Ocean Spray’s infectious new commercial
Reddit is usually a good place to see people debate life’s biggest questions, so I checked there to see if anyone was talking about the commercial, and of course, they were, especially after it played during the World Series last week. Some people called the ad creepy and confusing. Others said they thought it was an ad for fresh cranberry sauce. I’m not sure why. At least one Reddit user liked it, saying, “The jiggle is dope, embrace the jiggle.”
On YouTube, people were a lot more positive, saying it’s the funniest commercial they’ve ever seen, calling it bizarre but in a good way, and my personal favorite, “I always wondered what the holidays are like for the Wacky Wavy Inflatable Tube Guy that you see outside of grand openings.” I will now probably hear the song from this commercial anytime I see one of those wavy guys bouncing outside a car dealership. #Synergy.
The song from the commercial has extended its tendrils onto TikTok, with some help from Ocean Spray, which launched a campaign on TikTok with the hashtag #JiggleWithUs. They partnered with JoJo Siwa, who released an admittedly charming TikTok, which I’ve also watched a lot of times.
G/O Media may get a commission
The hashtag #JiggleWithUs has 5.7 million views so far. There’s a mix of people who are clearly in Ocean Spray offices, influencers who have tagged their videos as paid partnerships, and people who are just getting in on the fun.
Among my favorites: shuffle dancer Mary Grace with her baby, River, who, toward the end flashes a smile that makes it easy to ignore the fact there’s a jiggling can-shaped blob of cranberry sauce underneath him.
This one features a cat doing the wiggle jiggle.
And this group of kids jiggling is just cute enough that I might keep looking these up. I still can’t decide if I love or hate this song, but at least thanks to TikTok I continue to be charmed.
Clark Park, a 35-year-old YouTuber, is one of many people in South Korea fed up with high food prices.
That’s why he grabbed his camera and joined a huge throng of shoppers clamoring for cheap fried chicken one August morning at Homeplus, a hypermarket chain that had just slashed 12% off its already-heavily discounted prices.
“There were already over 50 people lined up,” Park told CNN Business, adding that many arrived early and waited well over an hour. “We all ran together to the deli as soon as it opened. That’s when I felt the craze of fried chicken.”
Fried chicken has long been a favorite of consumers in South Korea — and now it also underscores the country’s inflationary woes, with food prices across the board weighing more on wallets lately.
The average cost of fried chicken in South Korea was up 11.4% in August compared to the same month a year ago, outpacing price jumps of other popular dining items such as kimchi stew or beef barbecue, according to government data.
Consumers might be feeling an even bigger pinch, depending on how much restaurants or supermarkets pass on their costs: In some cases, retail chicken prices have “gone up by more than 50%” over the past two years, according to Jeong Woo Park, a South Korea economist at Nomura.
People around the world have been dealing with similar struggles in recent months as global food prices soared — and scenes like the chicken run at Homeplus are a reminder of how households are adjusting to broader inflation, which has hit 5.7% in South Korea. They also spotlight how the country relies on other nations for much of its food.
Fried chicken is a huge cultural touchpoint in South Korea, similar to British fish and chips, which have also gotten more expensive this year. Many people see it as a must-have snack at sporting events, and it’s not uncommon for customers to pick it up several times a month.
Anyone visiting the country is bound to stumble on a local chicken and beer, or “chimac,” joint. That’s because one in every 20 restaurants is a chicken eatery, according to the government.
South Korea is the world’s third largest market for fried chicken, outpaced only by the far more populous United States and China, data from market research provider Euromonitor International shows.
Crispy chicken “can be called a national food in South Korea, such as kimchi, bulgogi, and bibimbap,” said Clark Park, the content creator, referring to other staples that locals cherish.
Like other cultural-favorite dishes, it’s also serious business: Korean chicken restaurants booked $7.9 billion in revenue in 2021, according to Euromonitor.
This kind of devotion has created a conundrum for stores, which must take care of their bottom lines without alienating customers.
“All costs related to fried chicken are rising very fast,” said Jeong Woo Park, the Nomura economist, adding that vendors are being hit by soaring costs of oil, rent, labor, delivery services and even chicken feed. In response, he added, some restaurants have started using robots to bring labor costs down.
Sellers have taken vastly different approaches to the situation in recent months. Leading chicken chains have raised menu prices by an average of 2,000 Korean won ($1.50), according to Yunjin Park, a senior research analyst of food and nutrition at Euromonitor, citing the “rising prices of ingredients.” This led to a roughly 10% to 15% jump in the price of fried chicken, she added.
While the difference may seem small, it could easily mean customers will have to fork out nearly $22 for a simple meal, Yunjin Park told CNN Business: “Chicken, which used to be comfort food for Koreans, is now no longer an easy-to-order menu [item] without hesitation.”
By contrast, local hypermarkets are going in the other direction. The August sale that Clark Park attended at Homeplus was for what the chain called “dangdang chicken,” a promotion of fried chicken for about a third of the price most retailers offer.
Other stores are feeling pressured to follow suit, albeit only for short periods. In August, emart, another major supermarket chain, launched a one-week promotion to sell fried chicken at almost 50% off — and sold all 60,000 pieces.
Not everyone can afford to slash prices, though, and some smaller outlets could be forced to close until their costs come down again.
“If you look at how those chain businesses are able to sell at these low rates, that’s basically due to economies of scale,” said Barsali Bhattacharyya, manager of industry briefing at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
“They’re able to buy more products and consequently ask for a better rate from their suppliers. Now, your small mom-and-pop stores are not going to be able to enjoy that advantage, which means they are looking at their costs going much higher.”
One reason South Korea is facing such problems is that it imports almost half of its food, according to the EIU.
It’s one of the Asian economies most exposed to surging prices around the world, because it depends on other countries for many types of food, Nomura economists warned in a June report. Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines are also seen as vulnerable.
Global food prices have soared this year, largely because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Both countries are typically major exporters of essential goods like wheat and sunflower oil.
The worst may already be over: In August, the United Nations’ Food Price Index fell for the fifth straight month, and in Korea, overall inflation also eased more than projected.
But things aren’t expected to improve significantly anytime soon. “We think inflation has now passed its peak, but it will likely remain above 5% for the rest of the year,” Min Joo Kang, ING’s senior economist for South Korea and Japan, wrote in a note to clients.
Other pantry staples are getting more expensive elsewhere in Asia, too.
Last month, Thailand — where the government sets pricing on some food staples — raised prices on instant noodles for the first time in 14 years. A packet from a popular brand there has increased the equivalent of 3 to 20 cents, threatening to disproportionately hurt low-income families.
“Food inflation is a sticky issue for Asia,” said Bhattacharyya.
Because incomes in most of the region fall in the low or middle range, food usually makes up a big share of total consumer spending — in some cases, reaching 30% to 40%, she said.
She concluded: “It was, I think, a matter of time before the global food price crisis hit Asia.”
-— CNN’s Gawon Bae in Seoul and Kocha Olarn in Bangkok contributed to this report.
As the nation celebrates The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, what better time to toast the triumph of the South West firms which have been crowned winners of some terrific titles?
Companies from across the region have been contacting BusinessLive to share the news of their success in being recognised with awards in recent months.
BusinessLive and its sister websites are no stranger to recognising the achievements of businesses in the South West. You can find out more about how to enter the BathLive Business Awards here. Nominations are also open for the GloucestershireLive Business Awards too.
So, from cheesemakers to accountants, here is a selection, in no particular order, of some of the businesses which have been achieving the gold standard in recent weeks.
Butcombe Pubs & Inns (Liberation Group), Bristol
Bristol-based brewery and pub brand Butcombe and its parent company Liberation Group had an evening to remember when it won a clutch of prizes at the annual Publican Awards.
The group, which operates an estate of more than 120 pubs, bars and inns across the South West and Channel Islands, took home a trio of awards as hospitality firms were recognised for outstanding work in the face of the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The firm was named Best Accommodation Operator, Best Premium Food Offer and Best Managed Pub Company (+51 sites) at the event in London, hosted by Top Gear presenter Paddy McGuinness.
Jayson Perfect, group managing director of pubs and inns, at Liberation Group said: “Winning these prestigious accolades is such an honour and pays testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone in the business – from the teams at our pubs, head offices, breweries and distribution centres.
“Hopefully our success will shine a light on this fabulous industry and the incredible career paths we offer, encouraging those with a passion for people and hospitality to give it a try.”
Rumwell Farm Shop, Somerset
The Somerset farm shop scooped nine Taste of the West Awards for its own-made products including seven golds.
The shop, which is based on the A38 between Taunton and Wellington, received an award for each category it entered, with every product made by the team on site, and some featuring its farm produce.
The business won golds for its traditional pork sausage; unsmoked back bacon; homemade faggots; runner bean chutney; spinach mushroom and feta quiche; granary loaf; and jam doughnut. It also took a silver for its new gluten-free doughnut and was commended for its pear and almond tart.
Anne Mitchell, joint owner of the Farm Shop, said: “We’re delighted to have received all these awards and so many golds. These are truly wonderful results – an award for every product we entered, which is amazing!”
The business is celebrating its 25th anniversary in business this year.
Cornwall-based audio and ebook app Xigxag was named one of the most innovative tech companies in the UK in March.
The Gunnislake-headquartered company was announced as a Tech Nation 4.0 Rising Stars winner – the first time a business associated with the publishing industry has won the industry experts’ top accolade for start-ups.
With more than 26,000 downloads since launching, Xigxag offers readers a catalogue that holds more than 95% of the Sunday Times bestseller list.
Kelli Fairbrother, co-founder and chief executive at Xigxag, said the business was proud to represent the “tremendous potential” of Cornwall as an innovation hub within the UK tech ecosystem.
Ms Fairbrother said: “Our aim has always been to make reading easier and more accessible, engaging, and sustainable so that everyone can enjoy more books.
“We are grateful to receive recognition for creating the first-ever listen-and-read concept, the best-ever digital reading app and content platform in the industry – an exciting alternative to big tech.”
The digital advertising agency, which has offices in Exeter and Bristol, was named the best of its size throughout the whole continent at the European Search Awards ceremony in Barcelona in May.
The judges praised Launch for its “team-centric” approach to its work ,as it won the Best Small PPC Agency (under 25 employees) in Europe, and also Best Use of Search in the B2B category, for its work to drive global revenue for an ISO provider based in the UK.
The firm’s founder Jaye Cowle said: “Our mission is to be the happiest agency in the UK. I believe that happy people do great work, regardless of where you work or what you do.
“So, I am absolutely thrilled that the judges recognised this and saw how it is possible to deliver on challenging goals and have a happy work-life balance.”
Beach Retreats, Cornwall
Cornish self-catering specialist Beach Retreats scooped a top title in the international Shortyz awards in recognition of its outstanding social media over the last year.
The Shortyz bring together short-let industry leaders from around the world to shine the spotlight on the sectors success stories. They are decided by a panel of judges and through a public vote.
Designed to inspire guests to enjoy the beauty of Cornwall’s beaches, it was Beach Retreats’ #beachoutofhours campaign that won them the Most Effective Use of Social Media award. The campaign was created in response to the sharp increase in visitors that Cornwall experienced last year.
“It is an honour to receive this recognition for our social media,” said Lowenna Logue, brand manager for Beach Retreats. “These awards are testament to the hard work of the team and are a fantastic start to the season.”
Thatchers Cider, Somerset
The Somerset-based cidermaker scooped four gold medals at this year’s Taste of the West Awards. Among the ciders receiving an accolade was the latest blend to be unveiled at Myrtle Farm – Thatchers Blood Orange.
The company’s special edition brand, The Classics, which is made from classic apple varieties all harvested from just one single orchard in Banwell, Somerset, also picked up a prize. The other two to win were Thatchers’ alcohol-free cider Zero and single variety Katy.
Martin Thatcher, fourth generation of the family to head the business, said: “We absolutely love creating new ciders, whether it’s with a single apple variety, with apples from just one orchard, or with a new flavour. What’s important is that all our ciders are made with a passion for the highest quality, creating ciders that appeal to today’s drinkers.”
Rajastan Royal, South Gloucestershire
The Downend curry house was able to take away a national industry award for a third year thanks to its environmentally-friendly efforts.
Rajastan Royal won Takeaway of the Year in the South West at the annual Asian Curry Awards, which were presented during a ceremony at Grosvenor House in London’s Mayfair, hosted by BBC TV presenter Kate Silverton.
The restaurant reduced single-use plastic by introducing biodegradable carrier bags and offered customers more vegan choices on its menu.
Marketing manager Naseem Talukdar, also founder of charity Plastic Pollution Awareness and Action Projects, said: “We are delighted to receive such recognition and are grateful to everyone who supported us.”
Verinder Powell Associates (VPA), Bristol
The Bristol tax-led accountancy firm which launched on the day the country went into lockdown was named Best New Tax Practice at the Tolley’s Taxation Awards.
Verinder Powell Associates (VPA) received the accolade at an award ceremony at the Hilton Park Lane in London attended by tax professionals from across the UK. The awards are widely recognised as a mark of excellence in the tax sector.
Founded by Rachael Verinder and Carl Powell the 10-strong firm is based in Warmley and works with individuals, start-ups and established businesses.
Ms Verinder said: “We are delighted that our hard work has been recognised by other tax professionals. From a challenging start we have gone from strength to strength, and that’s down to the efforts of our team and the support of our clients and intermediaries. We wouldn’t have achieved this without them!”
The recent Professional Adviser Awards in London brought more success for Gloucestershire-based Attivo.
The independent financial planners, which is headquartered in Cheltenham, was named the Best Financial Advisers to Work For for the third consecutive year. The company’s associate director Ryan Wright was also highly commended in the Rising Star of the Year category at this annual industry event.
The awards, now in their 17th year, recognise the knowledge, skills, and commitment to client care of adviser businesses across the UK.
“We’re delighted to pick up this award for the third year running,” said Stephen Harper, chairman of Attivo. “It confirms our commitment to building the right culture, where our people and teams develop and flourish as they enjoy working with each other and our excellent clients.”
Sharpham Dairy, Devon
The first UK cheesemaker to be certified as a B Corporation (B Corp), 2022 is proving to be a vintage year for Sharpham Dairy and its range of cheeses produced from Jersey Cows and Devon goats.
Located on the Sharpham Estate on the River Dart near Ashprington, the business won five golds and one silver accreditation in the recent Taste of the West Awards. Judges even went as far as comparing its Elmhirst cheese to some famous actors; “Fantastically gooey. Attractive and classy. Think Joanna Lumley and Hugh Grant”.
These accolades followed shortly after the business, run by Greg and Nicky Parsons, was named joint winners of the Sustainability Trophy at the Virtual Cheese Awards.
Mr Parsons said: “It’s been an incredible couple of weeks. To receive these highly acclaimed awards by Taste of the West and Virtual Cheese awards is a real accolade to the hard work the team here has put in, producing the best cheese possible.”
Bridge Health and Wellbeing – Dorset
The physiotherapy business, run by couple Paul and Louise O’Connell, offers chiropractic, sports massage and rehabilitation services, as well as Pilates and yoga, from its space on Bridge Street in Christchurch.
After signing a deal to provide treatment for players with local semi-professional side Weymouth Football Club, Bridge Health and Wellbeing scored another goal when it was named the best family-run health and wellbeing clinic in the UK.
The accolade came at the Global Health & Pharma annual Private Healthcare Awards, which recognise excellence among healthcare providers, products, and professionals across the global industry.
Mr O’Connell, the company’s co-founder and lead physiotherapist, described winning the prize as “mind-blowing.”
He added: “Special thanks must go to our wonderful clients and our families who have been so supportive. Despite all the Covid challenges of the first three years of running our business, we are proud to have realised our dream of creating a dedicated wellness space where clients can get better, build strength and feel happy and healthy in their mind and body.”
Osborne Clarke, Bristol
The law firm was recognised as diversity champion employer at Bristol City Council’s Stepping Up Excellence Awards for 2022. The award was presented at the firm’s Temple Back office by councillor Asher Craig, deputy mayor.
Stepping Up aims to unlock potential and develop talent while ensuring a fair representation of black, Asian, ethnic minority, disabled people and women in positions of leadership. Now in its fourth year, the programme has supported 300 diverse leaders who have graduated or are due to graduate and 170 have secured new roles or set up their own businesses.
Osborne Clarke was acknowledged for playing a vital role in supporting the programme since its inception.
The programme director and architect of Stepping Up, Christine Bamford, said: “Osborne Clarke has supported Stepping Up’s Diversity Leadership programme since the very start, back in 2018. Truly Stepping Up would not have happened without Osborne Clarke’s initial support of venues and mentors.”
Roderick Thomas Estate Agents, Somerset
Roderick Thomas Estate Agents’ Castle Cary branch won the British Property Awards Gold Award for best estate agency customer service in the BA6 – BA10 area for the second year in a row.
Independently judged by a panel of industry experts, The British Property Awards send mystery shoppers to estate agencies, which are scored against a set of criteria. As the winner of the local award, the agency is shortlisted for a number of national awards, to be announced later in the year.
Harry José, branch manager of Roderick Thomas Castle Cary, said: “We’re terrifically proud to have won the prestigious British Property Awards Gold Award for the second year running. Our entire team prides itself on the exceptional level of customer service we offer, and it’s hugely gratifying to receive recognition of our consistently high standards in delivering the very best for each and every client.”
Wentworth Wooden Jigsaw Company, Wiltshire
The Malmesbury-based business was among the South West recipients of the 2022 Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in April.
The company, which was founded in 1994 by Kevin Wentworth Preston and employs 48 staff, makes unique and intricately hand-crafted wooden jigsaw puzzles at its factory in Wiltshire. The puzzles are manufactured using laser technology and are sold in shops, galleries, museums and by charities, as well as directly to customers in the UK, US and Germany.
In 2015, the company prepared a 10-year export growth plan and overseas sales grew by a total of 439% in six years with the proportion of goods exported increasing from 38% to 60%.
The company was recognised with the Queen’s Award for International Trade for its outstanding long-term growth over the last six years.
Sarah Watson, managing director of Wentworth Wooden Jigsaw Company, said: “We are delighted to have won the award, especially in this year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee! Our puzzles have become increasingly popular and I am so proud of our team here, who have worked relentlessly to keep on creating and making fantastic puzzles which continue to delight our customers worldwide.”
Ocean Adventurers, Somerset
The Cheddar indoor play centre scored a double win at the Bristol, Bath & Somerset Tourism Awards. The business picked up the New Tourism Business Award and the Resilience and Innovation Award for 2022.
Ocean Adventurers indoor play centre opened in 2019 and is the largest indoor play centre in the South West.
Director Laura Filer said “We are absolutely delighted to be winners in two categories. The standard of tourist attractions within the South West is incredible and to be listed among such amazing other businesses is incredible.”
Ms Filer said she was “especially proud” of the Resilience and Innovation Award.
The tourism awards recognise tourism businesses that have excelled in a particular area, demonstrated excellence or succeeded against the odds showing resilience and innovation. The awards involve a rigorous selection process including site visits, interviews and a judging panel of industry experts.
Like this story? Why not sign up to get the latest South West business news straight to your inbox.