In 1984, the average U.S. household spent 16.8 percent of its annual post-tax income on food. By 2011, Americans spent only 11.2 percent. The U.S. devotes less of its income to food than any other country—half as mu ch as households in France and one-fourth of those in India.
Read more at Bloomberg Businessweek
Ten years ago, Americans drank enough soda every year to fill a small aquarium. Fifty-three gallons of the stuff per person. That’s half a liter of Diet Coke on an average day. Compare that to our other favorite liquid-caffeine companion. For every cup of coffee we consumed in 2003, we drank two cups of soft drink. For $1 we spent on joe, we spent $4 on soda.
Now look where we are: Soda is in a free fall, with domestic revenue down 40%. Coffee culture is ascendant, up 50% in ten years. In another decade, the United States could easily spend more on coffee than soda — something utterly unthinkable at the turn of the century.
Read more. [Image: IBISWorld]
Job prospects for young four-year college grads did dim a bit after 2007, but not terribly. Their overall employment rate dropped just a few percentage points and in response, slightly more young adults returned to school than might otherwise have decided to. There’s no sign that many more bachelor’s holders ended up working dead end jobs just to pay the bills.
Read more. [Image: Pew Charitable Trust’s Economic Mobility Project]
Craft distillers not only need to be knowledgeable in such arcane matters as the esoteric habits of yeast and the miraculous properties of copper; they also must be deft in navigating the complex regulatory geography. (As I once heard a tour guide at the Wild Turkey distillery explain: “How do you make bourbon? You take some moonshine, put it in a barrel, and add a bunch of federal regulations.”)
Read more. [Image: Chris Langer]
The Dalkey Archive Press—conspicuously absent from Book Businessmagazine’s list of best publishers to work for— wants to expand its London office. Describing the opening they posted on their website as “sternly worded” would be euphemistic. Don’t bother applying if your cousin is about to get hitched in Brazil, because they’re only considering candidates who:
… do not have any other commitments (personal or professional) that will interfere with their work at the Press (family obligations, writing, involvement with other organizations, degrees to be finished, holidays to be taken, weddings to attend in Rio, etc.)
Still reading? Well, considering how grim publishing professionals’ prospects are these days, maybe you are. If you really want this job, be prepared to get fired over any of the following infractions:
… coming in late or leaving early without prior permission; being unavailable at night or on the weekends; failing to meet any goals; giving unsolicited advice about how to run things; taking personal phone calls during work hours; gossiping; misusing company property, including surfing the internet while at work; submission of poorly written materials; creating an atmosphere of complaint or argument; failing to respond to emails in a timely way; not showing an interest in other aspects of publishing beyond editorial; making repeated mistakes; violating company policies.
Read more. [Image: Flickr]
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They call it “chaotic storage” for a reason. This photo shows a 1.2 million square foot Amazon fulfillment warehouse in Phoenix on November 26, 2012, also known as Cyber Monday, this year’s record breaking online shopping day. It’s a beautiful sea of stuff. Amazon sold over 17 million individual items last year on that day alone, notes ABC News’s Neal Karlinsky and Brandan Baur — and claims it will post bigger numbers this year.
Read more. [Image: AP]
Two years ago, when Nashville lost its only in-town bookstores, the novelist Ann Patchett decided to step into the breach. Parnassus Books, which Patchett and two veteran booksellers envisioned, designed, financed, and manage, is now open for business and enjoying the ride.
Read more. [Image: Heidi Ross]