Posts tagged with "Nielsen"

Biden campaign launches Arizona ad blitz on heels of abortion ruling

April 15, 2024

President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign launched a paid media blitz about reproductive rights in Arizona on Thursday, April 11—two days after the state’s Supreme Court upheld a near-total abortion ban  dating back to 1864, reports NBC News.

The seven-figure ad buy focuses on former President Donald Trump’s latest abortion stance, in which he again took credit for overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling because of the justices he appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court and said states should decide abortion policy.

The move is part of a larger, more aggressive strategy to seize on Trump’s record on abortion, with the Biden team quickly mobilizing to respond on an issue it sees as the most motivating one for voters in November.

“Because of Donald Trump, millions of women lost the fundamental freedom to control their own bodies,” the ad opens, with Biden narrating and then saying: “Women’s lives are in danger because of that.”

The 30-second spot, which first aired Thursday on MSNBC, will target key young, female and Latino voters, both on television and online, according to the campaign.

“Your body and your decisions belong to you, not the government, not Donald Trump,” Biden says directly to the camera before he vows: “I will fight like hell to get your freedom back.”

The campaign said it hopes to reach voters in the battleground state this month with ad placements on shows like Abbott Elementary, Survivor, Grey’s Anatomy, American Idol, The Voice, and  Saturday Night Live, as well as sports events and entertainment programming on TNT, TLC, ESPN, FX, and Bravo.

“This week, women across the state of Arizona are watching in horror as an abortion ban from 1864 with no exceptions for rape, incest, or the health of a woman will soon become the law of the land for Arizonans,” campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in a statement Thursday. “This nightmare is only possible because of Donald Trump.”

A 60-second spot released on Monday, April 8,  features a testimonial from a Texas woman who says she nearly died twice from a miscarriage because she was denied care.

At the end of that video, the ad text says: “Donald Trump did this.”

Vice President Kamala Harris is scheduled to travel to Tucson on Friday to hold a political event focused on reproductive freedom, where she plans to put Trump front and center on abortion, a Biden campaign official said.

When Biden was asked Wednesday for his message to Arizonans about the state Supreme Court’s Civil War-era ruling, he told NBC News, “Elect me,” adding that he was from the “21st century, not back then. They weren’t even a state.”

Research contact: @NBCNews

Judge orders Rep. Scott Perry to turn over cellphone records in January 6 probe

December 22, 2023

Representative Scott Perry (R-Pennsylvania) must disclose 1,659 documents to government investigators, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday, December 19—finding that the communication records were not protected by the speech or debate clause of the Constitution, reports NBC News.

The court order is the latest twist in a January 6-related investigation that has made its way through courts for months and entangled the Trump ally.

According to the NBDC report, the FBI seized Perry’s phone in 2022— before Jack Smith was appointed special counsel—as part of a federal investigation into efforts to interfere with the certification of the 2020 election. Investigators sought a second warrant to access Perry’s data but had to wait as Perry asserted speech or debate protection over 2,219 records.

Perry had said that he was “outraged” by the move and asked for the cellphone data to be returned.

A federal judge previously ruled that the majority of those records were not protected and ordered Perry to disclose them. The Pennsylvania Republican appealed that decision.

The appeals court largely upheld the judge’s order but ruled that speech or debate protection could apply in some circumstances that the lower court had rejected, requiring a re-review of the records from the district court.

In his ruling Tuesday, Chief Judge James Boasberg said that 396 of Perry’s records are protected by the speech or debate clause. The remaining records, which include messages about alleged election fraud and the role of the vice president in certifying the electoral vote count, must be turned over, the judge said.

“Having now analyzed each of the 2,055 documents still at issue, the Court will order Perry to disclose 1,659 of them, but not the 396 others,” Boasberg wrote in the 12-page filing.

The court filing alleges that Perry used his cellphone in communications that the government believes could be relevant to its investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack.

The congressman had previously argued that the Constitution’s speech or debate clause protected him from the government searching his communications—an argument mostly rejected in the latest court filing. The clause is intended to protect a member’s speech in legislative session and has been construed to protect speech beyond the session as well, according to Tuesday’s filing.

Perry has come under fire for his alleged actions after the 2020 presidential election. The January 6 committee of the House previously obtained some of his text messages in which he asked former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about a conspiracy theory related to the 2020 election.

A lawyer for Perry said in a statement Wednesday that the congressman had an “obligation” to investigate “seemingly credible” information about “discrepancies” in the 2020 election.

“We are reviewing how the district court applied the standards required by the DC Circuit and will decide whether to seek further judicial review,” said the lawyer, John Rowley III.

Research contact: @NBCNews

‘Pharmageddon’ is coming: Thousands of pharmacists plot next walkout over work conditions

October  31,2023

Workers from some of the nation’s biggest pharmacy chains, from CVS to Walgreens, have planned another “walkout” starting Monday, October 30, as they continue to plead for better working conditions, Fox Business first reported.

They’re calling it “pharmageddon,” Shane Jerominski, a licensed pharmacist for over a decade who is helping coordinate the latest protest, told Fox.

From Monday through Wednesday workers at Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid have pledged to call in sick, according to Jerominski. It comes on the heels of a protest earlier this month during which employees at 200 Walgreens (out of 9,000) called out sick. Shortly before that, CVS employees in at least a dozen Kansas stores didn’t show up to work in a separate walkout.

Jerominski says workers are demanding a slate of things to ease the onslaught of duties they have taken on in recent years. Some of the biggest demands include guaranteed hours and better pay for technicians. They also want pharmacists and pharmacy managers to have a direct say in the scheduling.

The hope is that these changes will lead to better staffed stores, improve their work-life balance, and reduce the margin of error that they say could impact patient safety.

“We are a force to be reckoned with and we demand more from those who would see us and those we care for suffer,” a letter sent to Walgreens staff from organizers of “pharmaggedon” said.

It’s hard to pinpoint how many people will be involved in this latest effort, according to Jerominski. However, according to a poll posted on his social media page, The Accidental Pharmacist, over 2,000 people said, “I’m all for this no matter what.”

An additional 1,442 people said they would as long as “hundreds to thousands of pharmacists and technicians” participate, according to screenshots of the poll seen by Fox.

Aside from asking people to call out sick, Jerominski (who told Fox that he is not one of the main organizers of the walkout) also is trying to organize protests in front of CVS and Walgreens headquarters this week to make their movement more visible.

The issue is that major pharmacy chains have been unable to effectively staff their stores and pharmacies. At the same time, they have ramped up vaccine appointments, which made pharmacies fall behind on filling prescriptions, according to the pharmacist.

“Our stores are still thousands of prescriptions behind. Our patients are still going days, weeks or even months without their needed medicine. And they’re pretending that there’s not a problem,” a pharmacist, told Fox Business on Friday, October 27. “Until they acknowledge that there’s an actual problem and work to address the actual problem… we have to keep pushing.”

Amid the growing issues in the industry, a spokesperson for Rite Aid told Fox that the company is committed to “providing safe, productive and supportive work environments for all our associates; including our dedicated pharmacists, who serve our communities by providing vaccines, prescriptions, and day-to-day guidance on whole health.”

A spokesperson for CVS said it’s not seeing any “unusual activity regarding unplanned pharmacy closures or pharmacist walkouts” and that it’s working with its pharmacists to directly address any of their concerns.

Research contact: @FoxBusiness

Judge Chutkan says Trump’s right to free speech in January 6 case is ‘not absolute’

August 14, 2023

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan said on Friday August 11, that she plans to issue a protective order over the handling of evidence in the Trump 2020 election interference case—saying it’s needed to protect witnesses or other interference in the trial, reports CNN.

The former president has a right to free speech, but that right is “not absolute,” the judge said at a hearing on Monday, August 7.

“Mr. Trump, like every American, has a First Amendment right to free speech, but that right is not absolute. In a criminal case such as this one, the defendant’s free speech is subject to the rules,” Chutkan said.

“Without a protective order, a party could release information that could taint the jury pool, intimidate witnesses, or others involved in some aspect of the case, or otherwise interfere with the “process of justice,” she added.

This is the first hearing before Chutkan. According to CNN, she already has shown a habit of responding quickly and tersely on the docket to debates between the parties over scheduling. An Obama appointee and former public defender who has overseen several cases regarding the events of January 6, 2021, Chutkan has been outspoken about the harm the U.S. Capitol attack caused to American democracy.

How Chutkan handles the case is likely to serve as a contrast to U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee in Florida who has been in less of a rush to move proceedings along in the classified documents case against the former president. She already has been heavily scrutinized for what critics say is a favorable treatment of the former president in a previous lawsuit Trump brought last year challenging aspects of the Justice Department’s investigation.

Trump pleaded not guilty to four criminal charges related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election last week. The special counsel said on Thursday that he wants the trial to begin on January 2, 2024—a date that the former president’s team is expected to oppose.

Scope of protective order over evidence

In Friday’s hearing, lawyers are debating the scope of a protective order governing evidence that prosecutors say proves Trump conspired to overturn the election, interrupt Congress, and take away every American citizen’s right to have their vote counted.

Protective orders are a normal part of any criminal case and are typically approved without much drama. In this case, however, the special counsel’s office and Trump’s defense lawyers have battled in court filings over what Trump will be able to discuss publicly.

Among the restrictions the prosecutors are requesting in this case is a rule barring Trump’s lawyers from providing copies of “sensitive” evidence to the former president, including witness interviews and grand jury transcripts from the dozens of witnesses in Trump’s circle who have spoken to prosecutors.

To make their point, prosecutors pointed to Trump’s social media posts since he was indicted last week, including a vague and ominous Truth Social post reading “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” Trump also slammed Chutkan, writing in one all caps post, “There is no way I can get a fair trial with the judge ‘assigned’ to the ridiculous freedom of speech/fair elections case. Everybody knows this and so does she!”

The posts, prosecutors said, emphasized the need for a protective order that would limit whether Trump can discuss or share evidence on his social media accounts during the course of the legal case.

“If the defendant were to begin issuing public posts using details—or, for example, grand jury transcripts—obtained in discovery here, it could have a harmful chilling effect on witnesses or adversely affect the fair administration of justice in this case,” prosecutors wrote.

For their part, Trump’s legal team proposed less restrictive rules, alleging that prosecutors are on a politically motivated campaign to restrict his First Amendment rights. His defense lawyers pushed back on prosecutors’ definition of “sensitive” material that should be subject to additional rules, and asked to expand who can access certain evidentiary materials.

If Trump were to violate any eventual protective order Chutkan issues, he could be held in contempt.

Research contact: @CNN

Make-up that is ‘self’-centered is L’Oreal’s next big bet

January 9, 2020

France’s fashion sense is timeless, simple, and elegant—but it is not entirely unobtainable. In fact, L’Oréal—the Paris-based beauty group— is betting big on its next product to help women everywhere transform themselves in a style that is uniquely and solely their own.

It’s a tiny device that’s only 6.5 inches tall and weighs just over one pound, but will enable makeup mavens to create personalized cosmetics at home, Fortune Magazine reports.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month, the French cosmetics and personal products giant will debut a new hardware device called Perso, which whips up compressed beauty formulas from physical cartridges to create on-the-spot skincare, lipstick, and foundations.

Think of it like a mini makeup Keurig, Fortune suggests—but, instead of getting a specialized espresso drink, you’ll be creating a unique pink lipstick or skin cream.

It’s a long-term relationship with the consumer,” Guive Balooch, head of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator, told the magazine in an interview on the show floor.

For skincare, Perso’s app will take into account the local air quality, temperature, humidity, and other factors that fluctuate and affect the skin. It then creates a recipe that even adjusts depending on if you are applying the skincare formula in the morning or the evening.

Perso’s hardware features a proprietary motor system located at the top of the device, which moves and compresses the formula from the cartridges at the base of the machine in an upward motion to the dispensing tray above for a clean application.

The lipstick option is more focused on playful trends. Perso has a base of three different colors: light pink, red, and purple, and to create a shade, users can take a picture of themselves and the app will then recommend a shade based on hair color, clothing and skin tone. Users can also create shades based on what’s trending on social media at the time.

Perso is essentially all about tech-enabled personalization, a trend making waves in a variety of consumer product categories, including apparel, food and beverage, and footwear.

“Everyone understand the value of personalization and no one owns that more than beauty because it is in their foundation,” Genevieve Aronson, VP of Communications at Nielsen told Fortune Magazine.

Embracing personalization is a way for beauty makers like L’Oréal to boost the industry’s sales. In-store beauty sales total approximately $37 billion in the U.S. market, but annual growth is reported at just 1% over the past two years, according to Nielsen. And yet personalized products are 1.7 times more likely to drive sales, says Aronson. So placing a greater emphasis on personalization can potentially help jolt beauty sales.

“The only way to achieve beauty for all is through technology,” says Balooch. “You can go to a [makeup] counter and find 40 to 50 shades of foundation. But the reality is, there are far more people with different shades than those options.”

In fact, testing for Perso hit a bit of a snag during the development process when Balooch and his team realized that the application wasn’t quite nailing skincare recommendations for individuals with darker skin tones. “It was a lot harder than we had anticipated,” Balooch says, adding that for foundation, 50% of women say they can’t find the exact shade they’d like at the store.

So L’Oréal spent an additional six months testing the product with 400 women, varying from very light to very dark skin. “We realized we had to measure peoples’ skintones, put the product on skin, and then achieve the match,” says Balooch.

Still, some key details need to be ironed out for Perso. Balooch says L’Oréal hasn’t yet solidified distribution for the Perso system and no-pricing structure has been set for the device or the cartridges that would need to be re-ordered over time. The goal is to launch the technology in 2021.

Research contact: @FortuneMagazine

Mochi ice cream goes mainstream

December 10, 2019

Walk into any supermarket today and you’ll find what used to be exotic edibles: They are called mochi—and they are small, frozen, bite-size balls of ice cream encased in rice dough.

In just the past three years, this finger food confection has evolved from an exotic niche dessert to a mainstream product, popping up nearly everywhere, including malls, street fairs, and major supermarket chains, CNN reports.

Mochi was invented in the United States nearly three decades ago, and was originally made using ice cream flavors with an Asian flair.

“It’s been around since the 1990s, but mochi ice cream was mostly available in specialty Asian food stores or on menus of Japanese restaurants in flavors like green tea, red bean and mango,” said Russell Barnett, a food industry veteran and chief marketing officer of Los Angeles-based My/Mo Mochi.

To help bring it to the masses, My/Mo created a flavor list most consumers felt instant familiarity with, such as chocolate sundae, S’mores, cookies & cream, strawberry, double chocolate and mint chocolate chip.

“I grew up eating vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream. Green tea and red bean weren’t a common part of the flavor profile in most households,” he told CNN.

Barnett recognized the inherent appeal of mochi ice cream to Millennials, a group he calls “a snacking generation.” Mochi is a portion-control snack of about 110 calories per ball, easy to hold and eat on the go. “We just retooled and adjusted it for today’s consumers,” he said.

My/Mo Mochi ice cream (which is gluten-free with some dairy free varieties) is produced at a manufacturing facility in Los Angeles and sold in packages of six, CNN reports. They’re also sold individually in portable freezers that Barnett calls self-serve “ice cream bars.”

Currently, My/Mo Mochi is now available in 20,000 stores nationwide. “We are in Target, Kroger, Walmart and everything in-between,” said Barnett. “We are reaching the masses where they shop.”

Competing mochi ice cream brands include Bubbies, Maeda-En and Mr. Mochi, but the My/Mo Mochi brand has captured close to 90% of market share, according to data from Nielsen. The brand’s sales were $175 million in annual revenue in 2019, according to Barnett.

Research contact: @CNN

A Danish startup offers underwear you can wear for weeks without washing

December 26, 2018

Only four men in their twenties would have come up with this concept: Underpants that don’t need to be washed for weeks.

What’s more, these undergarments work so well at repelling dirt and disgusting smells that even Mom would approve (considering you might end up in an emergency room someday).

That’s right. Four Danish innovators created a company in 2015 called Organic Basics—and it’s not about sloughing off on basic chores, like doing the wash. Instead, their innovative, continuously wearable, organic cotton garments are infused with a silver formula coating designed to kill 99.9% of all bacteria and odor—and to make frequent washing noncompulsory.

“It works. You can wear our underwear much longer before washing. You save time and money while we reduce the waste of water and energy,” 27-year-old CEO and Co-founder Mads Fibiger explains.

The team came up with SilverTech after one year of research, they explain on their website: “By spinning sustainably sourced silver thread directly into our Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified organic cotton, we were able to create heat-regulating, antibacterial, odorless underwear, socks, and tee-shirts that could be worn for longer before washing.

“SilverTech became the most crowdfunded fashion campaign in Scandinavia, so we knew very quickly that we were onto something,” they say. “Our women’s SilverTech collection launched the following year and received a similar amount of hype.”

And now, Organic Basics is back with a new generation, Silvertech 2.0—or SilverTech Active. “With SilverTech Active, the founders say, “we simply believe that working out shouldn’t hold you back.

The new underwear is made from sweat-wicking recycled nylon infused with the sustainable silver treatment Polygiene for odor control.  The safe, bluesign-approved treatment is made from recycled electronic, industrial, and photographic silver waste. It uses low concentrations of silver salt (silver chloride) to keep the fabric fresh.

“We use mechanically recycled nylon which is extremely sustainable as a textile choice. The nylon’s raw material is made from mechanically recycled nylon developed in Italy from post-industrial waste fiber, yarn from spinning factories, and waste from weaving mills. And we use a seamless knitting technology—making the garment comfortable to wear even for longer periods of time.”

According to an article by Business Insider, Organic Brands is betting on a younger generation of consumers to choose their sustainable underwear over iconic brands like Calvin Klein and Diesel.

And time seems to be on their side. A 2015 study from Nielsen shows that 66% of global consumers are willing to pay more for a sustainable brand, and among Millennials that number is even higher, 73%.

The underwear is not cheap, so it’s a good thing that these garments are long-lasting: A two-pack of SilverTech Boxers for men costs $64 while a two-pack of Thong for women goes for $56. So far, the company has sold more than 200,000 underwear products to approximately 50,000 customers.

Research contact: christoffer@organicbasics.com

It’s open season on pumpkins

August 21, 2018

Orange you glad it’s almost fall? Just as sure as the leaves begin to change color, Americans will start hankering for all things pumpkin spice.

Starbucks first offered its popular the pumpkin spice latte in 2003. But, according to Nielsen, the pumpkin trend really took off during the 2013-14 fall season, when pumpkin products, alone, brought in $361 million in the United States. That represented a 79% uptick from 2011.

At the top of the pumpkin-flavored best-seller list is pie filling; followed by pumpkin-flavored ice cream and coffee. Even pumpkin-infused beer sales have taken off—up by more than 1,500% during the last decade, The Odyssey Online reports.

Now, Refinery 29 has done a survey of the new pumpkin products we’ll all be munching in just a few weeks—among them, the following:

  • Smashmallow Pumpkin Pie: Smashmallow describes its product as “a premium snacking marshmallow made with organic cane sugar and natural ingredients.” Now, the company says, “Our favorite artisanal marshmallow is jumping on the autumn food trend bandwagon with this new organically made pumpkin pie flavor.” Available:Now at Target in-store locations and online. Price$3.79 (per pack).
  • Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Cookie Straws: Not content with its popular pumpkin spice latte, Starbucks has added another season offering to its shelves. The company now makes cookie straws from toasted white chocolate and pumpkin spice-coated wafer cookies. AvailableNow at Starbucks locations nationwide. Price: $6.99 (per 20-pack)
  • Pumpkin Spice Noosa Mates: Noosa started offering its creamy pumpkin yoghurt made from real pumpkin and spices last fall, and this year it is teaming up with granola-maker Purely Elizabeth to add crunchy topping made from white chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds.
    Available:Now at Target and Whole Foods. Price: $2.49 (per cup)
  • Kellogg’s Pumpkin Spice Frosted Flakes: Even Tony the tiger is getting in on the act, with a limited edition pumpkin-spice flavored Frosted Flakes—described as “a bowl of crispy golden cereal coated in caramelized pumpkin, allspice, and ginger flavors. Available: Now at mass retailers and grocery stores nationwide.Price: Price varies upon location.
  • Godiva Pumpkin Spice Truffles: Godiva has taken pumpkin upscale, with individually wrapped milk chocolate truffles filled with creamy pumpkin spice ganache. Available:September 10 at Godiva store locations and online. Price: $4.95-$11.95 (per 10- and 22-piece boxes).
  • Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Flavored Ground Coffee K-Cup Pods:
    If Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Caffé Latte K-Cups from years past were a little too sweet, then its new simpler version of the fall flavor infused with notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg should do the trick.
    Available:Now at Starbucks locations. Price: $9.99-$11.99 (per 10- to 16-packs).
  • Bobo’s Pumpkin Spice Oat Bar: These small-batch oat bars from a family owned, mother-daughter company will be debuting in a brand new sweet pumpkin spice flavor come fall. Available: September online. Price: $29.88 (per 12-pack)

Research contact: @LizButtchin

Meal kit mania: Feasts for foodies

March 30, 2018

Most of us would love to be gourmet cooks, if we only had the time, money, knowledge, and flair that are required. But now, as long as you have the money and a few pots and pans at home, you can pretend to be Martha Stewart and nobody will be the wiser.

Indeed, a plethora of companies are competing to help you prepare an epicurean feast—among them, Plated, Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Home Chef, Purple Carrot and Peach Dish.

While the food retail landscape isn’t one that sees an over-abundance of frequent, market-shifting innovation, meal kits are proving to be just that, according to polling of U.S. households by Nielsen—which has discovered that fully 25% of the U.S. population would consider trying a meal kit within the next six months and that 9% (or 10.5 million households) have done so already.

Of the 9% of Americans who have tried a meal kit, 6% have purchased exclusively online. And as a result, online meal kit companies are seeing tremendous growth.

These new companies are capitalizing on consumer desires for fast and fresh, in addition to the growing popularity of pre-portioned ingredients for complete meal prep at home.

What’s more, traditional retailers also are enjoying success with a range of in-store meal kit offerings. Notably, in the year ended 2017, in-store meal kits generated $154.6 million in sales, posting growth of more than 26% year-over-year. For context, total brick-and-mortar sales for center-store edibles (grocery, dairy, frozen foods) dipped 0.1% last year to $374 billion.

Interestingly enough, the Nielsen study found that more than one-fourth (26%) of meal kit users already classify themselves as gourmet cooks. By comparison, only 16% of U.S. consumers consider themselves to be gourmet cooks—highlighting the notable appeal of meal kits to this consumer segment.

On the flip side, 15% of Americans consider themselves frozen foodies, yet only 9% of frozen food consumers are meal kit users.

What do meal kit buyers want? Nearly 60% say value for the money is extremely important, and almost half (49%) say low-cost items are important. In terms of what they experience across the meal kit landscape, 56% of consumers disagree that meal kit services are affordable for everyone.

For retailers and pure-play meal kit providers alike, this insight suggests that they need to clearly articulate the value their offerings provide when pitted against traditional options.

Research contact: genevieve.aronson@nielsen.com