A.M. Edition for May 10. WSJ’s Heather Haddon discusses the additional fees associated with food delivery. A cyberattack forced the shutdown of America’s largest fuel pipeline. Corn sees its prices pop.
And, Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s debut on “Saturday Night Live”. Marc Stewart hosts.
Would you pay hundreds of dollars for the best cut of steak? What about a cup of coffee or a bottle of wine? From steak to caviar, CNBC Make It breaks down whether luxury foods are worth their high prices.
01:01 — Wagyu Steak – This is the best Kobe steak ever imported to the United States. It costs $450 for 13 ounces and if it was sold in a restaurant it would cost $900. That’s about $90 a bite. That’s because It’s an A5 Kobe steak with a BMS of 12. In the Japanese beef rating system BMS stands for Beef Marble Score. The BMS scale ranges from 3 to 12, with 3 being a normal amount marbling, think what in the butcher shop at your high-end grocery store. The highest rating is 12. Steaks that reach that level are almost white with fat. Very, very few cuts of meat reach a BMS of 12. Over the last 10 years, just five BMS 12 beef loin sets have been imported into the U.S.
05:27 — Nobu Sushi – The omakase menu option at chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s namesake sushi restaurants runs nearly $200 per head. With locations in Beverly Hills, Aspen, and NYC, his restaurants count celebs like Justin Bieber and the Kardashian-Jenner clan. That’s expensive, but it’s by no means the most expensive sushi in the world, let alone New York. We set out to answer whether Nobu is worth the price and how does the quality of Chef Nobu’s menu compare to an average New York City sushi restaurant?
11:59 — Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream – It seems like pricy artisanal ice cream is everywhere these days. Once limited to brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Haagen-Dazs, the premium ice cream freezer at the grocery store is crowded with ice cream that’s handmade and includes top dollar ingredients. While brands like Halo Top, Ample Hills, and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams are for sale in a larger number of stores, the price can result in sticker shock. A pint of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream retails for $12 a pint. Here’s why pints have sky-rocked in price.
17:48 — Coffee – Personal finance experts like Ramit Sethi and Suze Orman are split on whether buying coffee is a waste of money, but what about paying $100 for a cup? Elida Geisha Natural 1029 is currently the most expensive coffee in the world at $1,029 per pound. Is it worth the money?
26:12 — White Truffles – There is something undeniably intoxicating about the smell of truffles. In fact, that potent smell is a major part of why truffles are so expensive. In 2019, someone paid over $130,000 for just over two pounds of white truffles. Interestingly enough, there’s a scientific explanation behind the intense reactions to the scent.
With Americans stuck at home, snack food has become a valuable commodity for the pandemic stressed consumer. North American sales of savory snacks like chips, popcorn, and pretzels climbed to $56.9 billion in 2020. In stressful times, people turn to snacking for comfort and Covid-19 has transformed kitchens across the U.S. into giant vending machines. So, has Covid-19 put an end to the shift to healthier snacks?
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While indoor dining has dropped way down during the pandemic, food delivery has grown considerably. DoorDash and Uber Eats, the two largest delivery apps by market share both saw their sales double from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020.
But while it might be an easy decision for customers to use these third-party delivery apps, the decision for restaurants is not so easy. There is a lot to consider, and it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.
“It may be good for you,” says Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. “I think we can say with good certainty it’s not bad for you.” (Additives are another story.)
After the link appeared between coffee intake and a reduced risk of heart failure in the Framingham data, Kao confirmed the result by using the algorithm to correctly predict the relationship between coffee intake and heart failure in two other respected data sets. Kosorok describes the approach as “thoughtful” and says that it “seems like pretty good evidence.”
Should you drink coffee? If so, how much? These seem like questions that a society able to create vaccines for a new respiratory virus within a year should have no trouble answering. And yet the scientific literature on coffee illustrates a frustration that readers, not to mention plenty of researchers, have with nutrition studies: The conclusions are always changing, and they frequently contradict one another.
It’s hard to think of a bigger restaurant success story over the last decade than Shake Shack. The high-end burger chain began as a hot dog cart in 2001 in New York City’s Madison Square Park by famed restaurateur Danny Meyer. The menu was handwritten written by Meyer on a single sheet of paper in about 10 minutes and is about 85 percent the same today.
But there’s so much more to this story. Like for three years after 9/11 that hot dog cart paid the bills at the crown jewel of Meyer’s restaurant empire, Eleven Madison Park. Or how he wasted over a million developing a line of French fries only to throw them away out of pure pride. If Danny Meyer is the heart and soul of Shake Shack, its longtime CEO Randy Garutti is the engine that powers it. Here’s how they built Shake Shack.
Gum lines the pockets of most Americans and has been a staple in American culture for centuries. For some, gum is all about flavor, and for others, it’s about fear of bad breath, curbing hunger, or alleviating anxiety. For nearly 130 years, the brand Wrigley’s has become synonymous with chewing gum.
Since its start, the gum maker has dominated the chewing gum market, spawning brands from Juicy Fruit to Orbit to 5 Gum. But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the William Wriglely Jr. Co.; over its storied past, the brand has faced turbulent years. Since the early 2000s, the chewing gum market has seen a decline in public sentiment, which hurt significant players. In 2006, the company ended its long-standing tradition of being a family run business with William Wrigley Jr. stepping down as CEO.
By 2008, Wrigley’s faced increasing global competition and was acquired by Mars along with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. According to Euromonitor International, the gum industry’s market value hit $18.6 billion in 2020. Since 2015, Mars Wrigley has held 25% of the global brand share for chewing gum and a 40% portion in the U.S. The Covid-19 pandemic since it began in March 2020 has negatively impacted gum’s most prominent players and could negatively affect Mars Wrigley gum brands’ future.