Decline of canned tuna sales forces industry to shift: ‘Millennials don’t even own can openers’

Sorry, Charlie, people aren’t buying tuna anymore. Tuna companies are trying to revamp the brand after a decline in sales over the past several years. Established brands like StarKist, Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea amount for about 80 percent of all canned tuna sales — but have seen a drop in consumption by 42 … Continue reading “Decline of canned tuna sales forces industry to shift: ‘Millennials don’t even own can openers’”

Sorry, Charlie, people aren’t buying tuna anymore.

Tuna companies are trying to revamp the brand after a decline in sales over the past several years.

Established brands like StarKist, Bumble Bee and Chicken of the Sea amount for about 80 percent of all canned tuna sales — but have seen a drop in consumption by 42 percent since the late 1980s when reports linking tuna to mercury poisoning were widespread, the U.S. Department of Agriculture data shows.

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The drop has been reportedly blamed on the canned protein’s inability to connect with millennials and younger generations who seek out less-processed or trendier snacks.

“In order to bring excitement back to the category, we have to be more creative,” said Jan Tharp, Bumble Bee’s interim chief executive officer, to The Wall Street Journal.

The parent companies of the three large canned tuna brands have tried to innovate the decades-old staple by rolling out grab-and-go pouches with trendy flavors like Sriracha, buffalo and Korean style, to market to younger demographics.

MILLENNIALS BEING BLAMED FOR DECLINE OF AMERICAN CHEESE

“A lot of millennials don’t even own can openers,” said Andy Mecs, vice president of marketing and innovation for Pittsburgh-based StarKist, a subsidiary of South Korea’s Dongwon Group. Though many tuna cans now have pull tabs.

StarKist is doubling down on its pouch offerings – the brand launched chicken pouches earlier this year – and claims it’s the way to go. According to the brand, sales for the tuna pouches are growing 20 percent annually, Wall Street Journal reported.

Bumble Bee and StarKist both started packaging their tuna with crackers as an on-the-go healthy option. They also have placed it among other healthy-ish items like Kind bars and beef jerky. The placement has reportedly boosted sales by nearly 25 percent, Wall Street Journal reported. Chicken of the Sea has also tried making tuna more travel friendly by selling it in packages that come with a fork and are designed to fit in cup holders.

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Though the big brands are trying to diversify their offerings with pouches and meal kits to boost sales, smaller tuna brands that focus on sustainable practices and higher-quality tuna like Wild Planet and Safe Catch have nearly doubled over the past four years.

“Sales have grown tremendously,” said Bill Carvalho, Wild Planet’s founder and president, told the Wall Street Journal.

The traditional companies have launched their own premium brands – Wild Selections for Bumble Bee and Blue Harbor for StarKist – in hopes to compete with the smaller, fancier brands.

Though tuna may bounce back, as of now it looks like the days of a tuna and mayonnaise sandwich with American cheese are on their way out. Thanks, millennials.

Alexandra Deabler is a Lifestyle writer and editor for Fox News.

Cereals inspired by Hostess Donettes and Honey Buns coming from Post in January

Sick and tired of waiting until an arbitrary afternoon hour to devour your favorite Hostess treats sans judgment? Well, worry no more, because Hostess and Post have teamed up to give you little powdered doughnuts in the a.m.

In a move nearly predicted by a “Saturday Night Live” skit from 1977, supermarket shoppers will soon be able to buy breakfast cereals inspired by Hostess Donettes and Honey Buns, Delish reported last week.

"The latest tiny and sweet offerings from Post can be enjoyed in a bowl with milk or straight from the box, for a breakfast everyone will love," Post Consumer Brands and Hostess stated in a press release.

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The editors at Delish were also treated to an early taste of both items, and described the little Donette cereal bits being “puffier” than Cheerios but crunchier than its namesake doughnut, while the Honey Bun version was likened to Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Social media has since conveyed its eagerness to try Post’s upcoming offerings, with one Twitter account even citing this announcement as evidence of a “cereal golden age.”

The cereals will be available at major supermarkets in January 2019, though Delish says “select stores” may have them in late December.

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News of Hostess-inspired cereals comes after the brand teamed up with Nestle to produce Sno Ball and Twinkie-flavored ice creams earlier this year. And for the record, John Belushi never predicted those, specifically.

Washington-based potato chip company sued for using ‘Hawaiian’ name

Consumers of “Hawaiian” brand potato chips have filed a class-action lawsuit, claiming the name is misleading because the chips are made in Washington state.

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Michael Maeda of Honolulu and Iliana Sanchez of Los Angeles filed the suit against Pinnacle Foods Inc. last month, accusing the parent company of false and deceptive advertising, the Honolulu State-Advertiser reported.

Maeda and Sanchez allege consumers would not be inclined to either pay the high price or purchase the potato chips, which feature tropical Hawaiian landscapes and hula dancers on the package, if they knew the food was made in Washington and not the Aloha State, the Associated Press reported.

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Though the packaging does not state the chips are made in Hawaii, the pair state in the lawsuit that the brand is practicing fraudulent and unfair business practices to sell the snacks.

Tim’s Cascade Snacks sells the Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips, which are made in Algona, Washington, the suit claims.

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The lawsuit, which was filed in state court, was moved to federal court last week, Associated Press reported.

Online shoppers buy less than half of everything they put in their carts, survey finds

Americans bail on nearly half of their online purchases, according to a new study.

Ever added something to your online shopping cart and had second thoughts? New research into online buying processes found Americans only actually buy 58 percent of the items they add to their shopping cart.

Not only that, the average American says they will start to experience second thoughts about buying items in their shopping cart after just 22 seconds.

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The new study of 2,000 Americans uncovered that most Americans have dealt with “shopping cart second thoughts” when shopping online, and found just six in ten items added to carts actually get purchased.

The new survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of e-commerce fraud prevention company Forter, found that whether or not shoppers actually make a purchase may heavily depend on how long the process takes.

In fact, half of Americans agree they’re less likely to buy something online if the entire checkout process takes longer than half a minute.

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That impatience is real when it comes to each phase of the online shopping process, as it turns out.

The average American will only take nine seconds waiting for the next page to load in a checkout before starting to get annoyed and just ten seconds waiting for their credit card to be verified.

In fact, in an age of instant gratification, the average American says they’ll start to doubt their purchase if they have to click just four different buttons when checking out.

Clicking out of the checkout process halfway through is pretty common, too, and with the average American shopping 22 times on average throughout the holiday season, it could lead to a lot of abandoned carts.

One in four Americans, too, has dropped out of buying something when tasked with re-entering their shipping address. Not only that, but nearly one in three have clicked out of purchasing their item when having to re-enter their credit card info, and 63 percent have given up after just seeing the shipping cost.

“During the busy holiday season, it is imperative for merchants to provide a friction-free shopping experience if they want customers to purchase products on their site,” said Forter CEO Michael Reitblat. “Although requiring shoppers to re-enter information is often intended to protect them from fraud, creating too much friction could force them to leave permanently for competitors that offer a seamless checkout process.”

The average American ditches their online shopping cart entirely 11 times a year, according to the results, with 32 percent saying they abandon baskets on e-commerce sites more often than that.

When people encounter negative online shopping experiences, the online retailers also suffer, as 76 percent of Americans say they’re less likely to revisit a website they’ve had a bad shopping experience.

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But while this trend is certainly bad news for companies, it’s good news for consumers’ wallets. The average American estimates they save $342 a year thanks to "shopping cart second thoughts."

“Shoppers expect instant gratification,” continued Reitblat. “That’s why being able to confirm the trustworthiness of a customer automatically without making them jump through hoops is essential for e-commerce merchants looking to beat out the competition.”

IKEA adds salmon meatballs to menu

IKEA is adding another variation its famous meatball selection – salmon.

The immensely popular food item is getting a fishy update as IKEA announced in a press release that they will be introducing a salmon ball made from ASC-certified salmon and MSC-certified cod.

To really drive home the flavors of the ocean, the warehouse chain will be seasoning the balls with seaweed, as well as lemongrass to capture “the fresh taste of cold Nordic sea,” the press release shared.

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“For the product development of the salmon balls we looked at processing of salmon and realized that there is a lot of potential in other parts of this fantastic fish, the smaller pieces that cannot be used as fillets. We worked closely with our suppliers, optimized the process and together created this tasty source of protein with a lower carbon footprint” says Sabrina Anania-Stepanian, product developer IKEA Food Services AB. “I’m really proud of the new salmon balls and can’t wait for our customers to try them in IKEA Restaurants” she adds.

The salmon balls got high marks during its limited release. According to IKEA, over 80 percent of restaurant guests that tried the new item had a positive response.

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The retailer will continue to roll out the salmon balls to select markets as part of the IKEA restaurant.

The salmon ball joins the menu of the original Swedish meatball, chicken meatball and the plant-based veggie balls, which were both introduced in 2015.

Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot toy sparks fights, crowds ‘worse than Black Friday’

If you thought the hottest toy of the season was going to be a giant stuffed carrot from a discount grocery store – you’d be right.

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Shoppers lined up early just to get one of the coveted plushies. (Aldi)

Aldi supermarket has rolled out a giant stuffed version of their holiday mascot – Kevin the Carrot – as well as smaller plush versions of Kevin and his family, and customers in the UK have been lining up to get their hands on them.

Kevin, who was first featured in a holiday commercial for the grocery chain three years ago, was joined in 2017 by his love interest, Kate the Carrot. In 2018, the commercials added three of their vegetable children – Chantenay, Jasper and, suitably, Baby Carrot.

This year, in addition to a growing carrot family, Aldi also introduced a giant plush Kevin the Carrot, which crashed the Aldi’s website from the influx of people desperate to bring the root vegetable home for Christmas.

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The limited supply also caused fights to break out in Aldi’s stores around the UK.

Aldi’s acknowledged the frenzy in a statement on Twitter:

“The buzz around our Kevin the Carrot soft toys range has been extremely high and briefly impacted the performance of our website,” Aldi wrote. "The website is now fully operational again."

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The 3-foot plush version of Kevin the Carrot, the proceeds from which go to the Teenage Cancer Trust, is currently sold out online, but some stores still carry the $25 toy, and the full Kevin, Katie and carrot kids sets.

Alexandra Deabler is a Lifestyle writer and editor for Fox News.

Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot toy sparks fights, crowds ‘worse than Black Friday’

If you thought the hottest toy of the season was going to be a giant stuffed carrot from a discount grocery store – you’d be right.

VEGAN ACTIVISTS STORM STEAKHOUSE, ARE MOCKED BY PATRONS MOOING AT THEM

Shoppers lined up early just to get one of the coveted plushies. (Aldi)

Aldi supermarket has rolled out a giant stuffed version of their holiday mascot – Kevin the Carrot – as well as smaller plush versions of Kevin and his family, and customers in the UK have been lining up to get their hands on them.

Kevin, who was first featured in a holiday commercial for the grocery chain three years ago, was joined in 2017 by his love interest, Kate the Carrot. In 2018, the commercials added three of their vegetable children – Chantenay, Jasper and, suitably, Baby Carrot.

This year, in addition to a growing carrot family, Aldi also introduced a giant plush Kevin the Carrot, which crashed the Aldi’s website from the influx of people desperate to bring the root vegetable home for Christmas.

ALDI'S WINE AND CHEESE ADVENT CALENDARS TO HIT U.S. STORES THIS FALL

The limited supply also caused fights to break out in Aldi’s stores around the UK.

Aldi’s acknowledged the frenzy in a statement on Twitter:

“The buzz around our Kevin the Carrot soft toys range has been extremely high and briefly impacted the performance of our website,” Aldi wrote. "The website is now fully operational again."

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The 3-foot plush version of Kevin the Carrot, the proceeds from which go to the Teenage Cancer Trust, is currently sold out online, but some stores still carry the $25 toy, and the full Kevin, Katie and carrot kids sets.

Alexandra Deabler is a Lifestyle writer and editor for Fox News.

5 Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping scams to avoid this year

Before you pull out your credit card this season, stop and think about whether or not a holiday deal appears to be too good to be true.

From phishing emails to fake apps, scammers will try to find ways to prey on eager shoppers hoping to snag a good deal this week. And with the rise of online shopping, cyber threat intelligence company RiskIQ warns people are "increasingly" at risk, particularly mobile users. During Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2017, companies earned $19.6 billion in sales from online shoppers alone, according to the company.

"As a consumer, it's important to pay attention to detail while shopping online and pay attention to your surroundings," Yonathan Klijnsma, a researcher at RiskIQ, told Wired. "There are usually clues that can help you identify something potentially malicious."

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Here are five scams you should be mindful of this year.

Fake apps

A lot of scammers will launch fake apps, prompting shoppers to essentially download malware. Many of those hoax apps mimic major retailers, using similar logos and brand names (typically they're only off by a letter or special character). They vow to offer a treasure trove of deals for Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

“If it’s something you’re not familiar with, then you want to do your research before you put anything on your phone," Melanie McGovern with the BBB, told WHAM. She later added, “If they’re telling you to download it through Facebook or download it through another third party, that’s when you know it’s time to step back and say maybe I don’t want to do this."

Last year, Consumer Reports offered the following tips before downloading a new app:

Check for any grammatical errorsDon’t allow access to your location or social media profilesOnly download from a verified company or source you trustSearch online to view reviews of the app

Hoax coupons

A coupon for a big brand store may appear legit at first glance, but if you take a closer look you'll probably notice several issues.

In November, for example, a $150 off coupon for Kohl's started circulating on social media. Fact-checking website Snopes.com quickly deemed the coupon a scam and said the fake offer required users to share a link to the post in order to continue its spread.

Kroger also warned customers about an unauthorized $200 Black Friday coupon making the rounds.

"It’s not real! We do not recommend engaging with the site(s) or page(s) that are sharing the coupon or providing them with any personal information," the retail chain wrote on Facebook.

"Users who respond to those fake offers are required to share a website link or social media post in order to spread the scam more widely and lure in additional victims," Snopes.com explains. "Then those users are presented with a “survey” that extracts personal information such as email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and even sometimes credit card numbers."

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Some users may also have to enter personal information to gain access to the coupon or deal — a ploy to gain access to a user's finances or other personal data.

To protect yourself from falling victim to fake offers, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommends checking the expiration date of the coupon, being skeptical of logos and verifying the source that's offering you the deal.

"If a coupon comes to you in an email, hover your mouse over the link (without clicking) and the URL destination address should appear," the BBB explains. "If that address looks like a random assortment of number and letters, don’t click on it. Remember that there should be an “s” after “http” in the URL to indicate it’s a secure site. No “s” may mean it’s a phishing attempt to get your information or to install malware on your computer."

Email campaigns

Don’t open any emails from users you’re unfamiliar with. (iStock)

Like fake coupons, hackers can also promise exclusive deals to prompt users to open phishing emails.

Once a user clicks on the email, then he or she will likely be directed to open a link that will be used to retrieve personal information.

“Consumers should remember that urgent requests for personal information or call for immediate action are almost always a scam,” a Bank of America spokesperson previously told Fox News.

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Amazon urges customers to report any suspicious activity and to never respond to correspondence nor open attachments regarding any orders you know you didn't place.

"Amazon will never send you an unsolicited e-mail that asks you to provide sensitive personal information like your social security number, tax ID, bank account number, credit card information, ID questions like your mother's maiden name or your password," the company confirmed on its website.

Counterfeit items

If you're turning to E-commerce companies such as Amazon of eBay or even social media sites to skip the long lines at retail stores, then you may want to double check the company or site selling the item(s) you're interested in.

Amazon shoppers recently spotted a scam, which allegedly began to circulate Whatsapp, that promised customers cheap products and free delivery. Many scammers may attempt to sell high-end items and then deliver an item that's completely different or another brand.

"Please don't share your order/account/personal details in such websites," Amazon replied to a concerned customer on Twitter last week. "Kindly refer to https://amzn.to/2T8ZqRi  for genuine discounts and offers."

"If you've never heard of the seller before, look into them online and study their terms and conditions carefully before purchasing," Nick FitzGerald, senior research fellow at security vendor ESET, told the Sydney Morning Herald. "There have been countless tales of Facebook sellers delivering counterfeit goods, poor quality items or even outright failing to deliver the products after taking payment, so as always 'buyer beware.'"

Fake Facebook pages

Beware of "like farming" this holiday season. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Scammers may promise gift cards, coupons or giveaways if users "like" or "share" their social media posts. This is known as "like farming," a strategy scammers use to gain access to Facebook user's personal information.

Some posts may prompt users to register in order to claim their fake offers, giving them the information they desire. There are also several other ways scammers can use fake posts or pages to dupe users.

"When the scammer collects enough likes and shares, they will edit the post and add something malicious. That’s often a link to a website that downloads malware to your machine. Other times, once scammers reach their target number of likes, they strip the page’s original content and use it to promote spammy products. They may also resell the page on the black market. These buyers can use it to spam followers or harvest the information Facebook provides," the BBB explains on its website.

The BBB warns people to always be cautious when entering their personal information and to never share posts from pages they don't know, especially if the post is claiming you could earn a reward for sharing it.

"Scammers are counting on getting as many mindless likes as possible, so be sure you only 'like' posts and articles that are legitimate. Don’t help scammers spread their con," the BBB adds.

Facebook told Fox News in August that it's constantly working to ensure protection and safety of its users by thwarting potential scams.

“We have made several recent improvements to combat impersonation and scams, including improved reporting abilities and the release of a new feature that provides people with more context on someone they may not have previously connected with in Messenger,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

Jennifer Earl is an SEO editor for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @jenearlyspeakin.