Quick Hits

Americans Will Spend Billions On July 4th Celebrations

June 29, 2017

When it comes to Independence Day, most of us are doing the same thing and we won’t spend much money doing it. That’s the finding of the National Retail Federation’s latest study.

The survey found that 219-million Americans will party it up for July 4th and 11.6% won’t. Those of us that choose to will spend just under $74 for a mix of parades, fireworks, travel, and the favorite activity, cooking out.

We don’t just celebrate either, we go all out.

  • 53% will don patriotic apparel like t-shirts, bathing suits, or shoes
  • ...and 40% will put out patriotic decorations.
  • What about flying Old Glory? 65% already own a flag.

Source: 247WallStreet

Study: Americans Choose Clean Water Over Clean Air

Clean air and water are vital to our existence and Americans have a favorite. The“Perspectives on America’s Water” shows that Americans love their clean water just a bit more than clean air (87 to 81 percent) and are even more worried about the infrastructure breaking down. The study showed that city dwellers are really concerned and feel action is needed to overhaul the system before it’d too late.

Nelson Switzer, with Nestlé Waters North America, says the conversation is important. "The takeaways from this study are clear to us: Americans care deeply about the state of their drinking water, and they believe investments in infrastructure and innovation are needed now. It's our hope that these insights will accelerate the pace of conversation and jump-start concrete actions needed to address our shared water challenges.”

People asked hope and expect governments from all cross sections to focus on the problem or 10 years from now the problem will be at crisis level.

Click here to check out the whole study. Source: Nestle Waters North America

The Majority Of Americans Are Confused By Food Labels

Even with improvements, we’re still confused when reading food labels. It can be so frustrating we switch brands and shell out more of our hard earned money. That’s the finding of Label Insight’s latest study. What’s even more interesting is that 64% polled would switch to another brand, even if it meant spending more money, if they understand the label on the higher priced product better.

What about words like “natural,” “healthy,” and “clean”? Only a third of consumers really know what they mean on a label. We’re concerned about that and what we put into our bodies. Luckily, we’re willing to use technology to get schooled! 65% asked are very interested in getting their hands on the tech.

Being brand loyal is not something we’re will to do anymore and that’s good according to Label Insight’s Kira Karapetian. "This study reveals that consumers are not only confused by the ingredients in their food, but willing to adjust their buying habits in order to better understand what they are eating and drinking.” And companies are beginning to listen by using the SmartLabel, that connect shoppers with the info they want. You can also find more detailed information about ingredients on the brands’ websites.

For the full study breakdown click here.

Source: Label Insight

TripAdvisor Names The World's Best Amusement And Water Parks

Now that summer break is here, families are hitting theme parks in droves and it’s happening around the world. What are the best parks? TripAdvisor has got the list. The travel review and rating site has handed out their Traveler’s Choice awards for Amusement and Water Parks, so now you have something to go by.

For the third year in a row, Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando is the number one amusement park and Siam Park in Spain is the best water park for a fourth year running! Actually, Florida is the undisputed amusement destination in the world with six of its parks in the top 10.

Here are the rankings:

Top 10 Amusement Parks in the World:

  1. Universal's Islands of Adventure – Orlando, Florida
  2. Discovery Cove – Orlando, Florida
  3. Europa-Park – Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
  4. Magic Kingdom – Orlando, Florida
  5. Universal Studios Hollywood – Los Angeles, California
  6. Le Puy du Fou – Les Epesses, France
  7. Beto Carrero World - Penha, State of Santa Catarina, Brazil
  8. Universal Studios Florida – Orlando, Florida
  9. Epcot – Orlando, Florida
  10. Disney's Animal Kingdom – Orlando, Florida


Top 10 Water Parks in the World:

  1. Siam Park – Tenerife, Spain
  2. Beach Park – Aquiraz, State of Ceara, Brazil
  3. Waterbom Bali – Kuta, Indonesia
  4. Aquaventure Waterpark – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  5. Thermas dos Laranjais – Olimpia, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil
  6. Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park – Orlando, Florida
  7. Hot Park – Rio Quente, State of Goias, Brazil
  8. Wild Wadi Waterpark – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  9. Aquatica Orlando – Orlando, Florida
  10. Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

For a look at the best parks in the U.S. and more info click here. Source: TripAdvisor

How Your Brain Tricks You When You're Eating Out

The brain is a very powerful thing. So why is it a surprise that it can change the way we taste food? Charles Spence is the head of Oxford University’s Crossmodal Research Laboratory, and he’s been trying to convince us for years that this is true. His new book “Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating,” spells it all out.

Spence says the other four senses play a large role in how we taste. For example, in one test, he had 200 volunteers munch on Pringles potato crisps while listening to various sounds in headphones. He discovered that the snack seemed fresher when accompanied by a loud crunching sound.

Here are some ways the brain and your senses could be changing your taste:

  1. Go for a pricey bottle. Research shows that vino drinkers reported enjoying a wine more when told it was expensive.
  2. Watch those menu adjectives! In one experiment, meat described as “free-range” was rated tastier than an identical hunk termed “factory-farmed.”
  3. Smell is crucial to taste, and someone drinking beer straight from a bottle will miss out on flavor.
  4. Wondering why many desserts are circular? It’s because round food is perceived to taste sweeter.
  5. A dessert served on a white plate was rated 10 to 15 percent sweeter than one on a black.
  6. How the food is oriented on the plate matters. Angles should be pointing away from the diner and long, thin ingredients should stretch from the bottom left to the top right.
  7. Cutlery is crucial. The heavier the spoons and forks, the higher the diners rated the food and the more they were willing to pay for it.
  8. Music has a huge effect on dining habits, with eaters rating pizza and pasta better while listening to Italian opera. (Justin Bieber’s “Baby” was one particular song that turned diners’ stomachs.)
  9. Perhaps revealing a preference for familiar things, diners slightly prefer foods that start with the same letters as their name. Charles likes chili.
  10. Crunchy foods are crucial to enjoyment: Chefs often add crispy elements, such as toasted seeds over soggy salads or croutons to soups.
  11. Coffee tastes twice as intense when drunk from a white mug.
  12. Italian food consumed in a restaurant with red-and-white-checked tablecloths tastes more authentic.

Source: New York Post

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