Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

What we all really want to know...
What America Spends On Booze -- Out of every $100 American consumers spend, about $1 goes to alcohol. That hasn't changed much over the past 30 years. But where we spend our money on alcohol has changed quite a bit. We spend a bigger chunk of our booze money in bars and restaurants. We spend less money buying alcohol at the store to drink at home. That doesn't necessarily mean we go out more often. Adjusted for inflation, the price of alcohol we buy at the store has gone down. The price of alcohol at bars has gone way up.

Ice Cream Shortage No Laughing Matter -- As the first heat wave of summer broiled the Northeast on Wednesday, fans of Good Humor's classic Toasted Almond Bar found a shortage of sweet relief. Parent company Unilever PLC said a sales spike during the unusually warm spring and challenges linked to next month's closing of its Hagerstown manufacturing plant have limited its ability to supply ice cream trucks with Toasted Almond, Candy Center Crunch and Chocolate Eclair bars - treats especially popular in the Northeast. The British-Dutch conglomerate said the Toasted Almond shortage should ease by the end of July. "We are confident that all issues will be resolved by mid-summer," Unilever spokesman Jeff Graubard said in an email.

Good job, Wimbledon.
Wimbledon Aces Supply Chain Challenges -- During the Wimbledon fortnight, it is estimated that spectators will consume61,730 pound (28,000 kilos ) of English strawberries and 7,000 liters of cream. And these aren't just any old wild or imported strawberries. The official Wimbledon strawberry is the Elsanta variety, which are Grade 1 English strawberries from specially registered farms in Kent. They are grown to be at peak freshness for Wimbledon, picked fresh the day before being served, transported to Wimbledon by 5:30 a.m. every morning, and are individually inspected before being hulled (removing the green stem from the top of the berry). Strawberries are then served by the punnet (a baskets used for selling fruits and berries) of no less than 10 strawberries topped with (of course) double cream. This is a supply chain over 130 years in the making that runs to perfection.

Soccernomics, beer and pizza -- Yesterday the Daily Mirror, a British tabloid, ran an article claiming that if England were to make it to the final of Euro 2012 it could provide a " feelgood boost worth up to £2BILLION to the economy". According to the story, this boost will be sustained by increased beer consumption (an extra 70 million pints), consumption of ready made food (5 million pizzas and 1.5 million curries), a 42% increase in sales of Three Lion t-shirts plus extra TVs and "St George Cross chairs". It would be interesting to get into the heads of the people who write this stuff to understand how they think people behave. The first question to ask is what they think people will eat if England are knocked out of the competition in the quarter final. Will depression drive the nation to anorexia and fasting?

- Sheena Moore

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