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This is an interesting article and it brings to mind two thoughts:
1) Dunkin is/will be both a contributor to climate change (through its continued use of single use, non-recyclable foam cups) and a victim of climate change (through global warming effects on coffee beans and the associated cost and quality impacts). In a perfect ecosystem, Dunkin would be incentivized to modify its “bad” behavior but since the connection between foam cups –> global warming –> coffee beans is so convoluted and indirect, Dunkin really has no reason to stop using foam cups.

2) From a brand perspective, I could see their adherence to foam cups actually being an advantage. Given the current political attitude towards climate change (pulling out of Paris Agreement, climate change denial), I can think of a customer segment that views the cups as a symbol of protest against say, the elitist/overpriced Starbucks and their liberal customer segment. We will never know if this factors into Dunkin’s decision to keep the foam cups despite negative attention from the public, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were!

On November 20, 2017, CindyHuang commented on Cuba Libre: Airbnb’s Approach to Diplomacy in Cuba :

The $250 rental income vs. $23 monthly salary figure is shocking and underscores the income disparity between tourists and locals in Cuba. And while this income is great for the hosts, it does bring to mind some of the externalities associated with increasing tourism to Cuba. On the subject of supply chains in particular, Cuba experienced severe shortages of food due to the massive influx of tourists. Hotels and restaurants in the hospitality industry could afford to go to the black market to access scarcer produce (fresh fruit, etc.) to supply hungry tourists – thanks to the high tourist revenue stream, but locals could not. I expect in the longer term some retaliatory regulation will come into effect to mitigate this disparity (and therefore the earning potential for Airbnb hosts). But in present time, it is certainly an interesting, non-steady state opportunity for Airbnb.

Reference for food shortage issue:

On November 20, 2017, CindyHuang commented on Which cow provided the milk for my Hershey’s chocolate bar? :

This article highlights one of the main benefits of traceability in supply chains, i.e. the ability to react to contamination issues and efficiently carry out a product recall. One of the other potential benefits mentioned briefly was improved social and environmental consciousness for the consumer about their purchases. I think this would indeed be interesting data for the consumer, but they would need to see this info in some broader context to compare/contrast purchases. I.e. if this Hershey bar generated say, 0.1 kg CO2 in its production process, is that objectively a good or bad figure? Similar to nutrition labels, could the environmental impact values be given in context of a “recommended daily value” for carbon footprint?

On November 20, 2017, CindyHuang commented on Where in the world will our wine come from? :

It’s quite interesting to read how the different effects of climate change may benefit wine grapes in some ways (overall warmer temperatures, new regions become feasible for growing vines) but harm them in other ways (drought, severe weather). Evidently it is still unclear whether climate change will be a net benefit or detriment to the wine industry. It seems the main risk is an increase in variability in crop quality and yield, as well as flavor/taste – i.e. concept of terroir. Something wine producers will have to grapple with is a bit of an existential thought exercise – is a glass of merlot wine still considered merlot if the climate change-impacted grape tastes very different from the traditional Merlot grape?

On November 20, 2017, CindyHuang commented on Lotte at the Whim and Mercy of Chinese Nationalism :

From reading this article, it seems that Lotte primarily used China as a market/distribution channel for their products. However, I’m curious if they relied on Chinese labor for manufacturing, and whether that would have made a difference with regard to the boycott against Lotte goods and hypermarkets. As we saw in the Fuyao Glass case, one of the key strategies against isolationism was to have a foot in the door of the US, so to speak. Would the “We understand you” PR campaigns have been more effective if Lotte had shown an actual investment in China vs. seeing it only as a large market to sell to?

On November 20, 2017, CindyHuang commented on American Eagle Outfitters flying high on digitization :

This nicely summarized some of the recent developments in apparel retail tech and logistics. I’d also be curious to find out what consideration AEO has given to integrating social media with their other digitization efforts. Seems that since their target market is a very social media-savvy consumer, there could be a lot of opportunity in linking the fitting room trial reward program or data on browsing and buying history, etc., with social media platforms like Snapchat or Instagram. On the other hand, there could be risks/downsides as far as privacy and control of messaging (potential for it to backfire, e.g. cyberbullying).