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Global vanilla shortage hurts us where it really counts, in icecream prices

We meet again ladies and brethren lol! This past weekend I was excited to see one of my favorite arti
Global vanilla shortage hurts us where it really counts, in icecream prices
By Hipsternomics  • Issue #32 • View online
We meet again ladies and brethren lol! This past weekend I was excited to see one of my favorite artists, Femi Kuti, perform at NYC summer stage event, for free (can’t beat that!). Now time to jump into this final week of July and the start of August. Hope you’re staying on track with those 2018 resolutions and bucket lists!

🍦Ice-cream lovers, brace for higher prices - As vanilla shortage crisis continues through the summer heat, you may notice some price increases at your favorite local ice-cream shops and your vanilla lattes at coffee shops. Dunkin’ Brands Group (owner of Baskin-Robbins) recently launched a task force to combat the rising costs of raw vanilla in attempt to negotiate with suppliers and possibly reformulate menu items to depend less on vanilla, in order to counter its financial losses. General Mills (owner of Häagen-Dazs), also cited vanilla inflation as a revenue issue.
So how did we get here? - In March 2017, a destructive cyclone hit Madagascar, (which accounts for 80% of global vanilla supply) killed 81 people, destroyed crops and sent the price of natural vanilla skyrocketing. Farmers have not been able to keep up with increasing consumption as it takes three to four years for plants to start producing vanilla beans, and local thieves have also corrupted the supply chain by mix premature vanilla with legitimate vanilla so that buyers don’t get the full yield of vanilla. As vanilla costs reach about six times its usual price, ice-cream shops will look to pass on that cost to consumers. 
Companies mentioned (YTD): Dunkin Brand (+8%), General Mills (-24%), McCormick (+16%)
Prison phone industry to become a duopoly, ruining lives New York city council just passed a bill that would let jailed detainees place domestic phone calls for free, a significant victory for inmates and their families, who become victims of the high costs of the capitalistic prison system. The US jail and prison phone services are outsourced to private providers, whose fees have reached as much as $25 for a 15-minute call. Securus Technologies wants to buy a smaller competitor, ICSolutions, which would leave prison-industry telecommunications dominated by only two providers, Securus and Global Tel Link, creating a duopoly amassing about 84% of the prison phone industry, calculated by The Prison Policy Initiative. Securus, is owned by Platinum Equity, a private equity firm which is run by Tom Gores, the owner of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons.
So what’s the takeaway? - Securus is planning to dominate beyond the prison-phone industry, positioning itself as a “one-stop shop” to governments, making it harder for a prison facility to switch to a different provider. It provides tablets, video visitation, email, inmate account infrastructure, and is expanding into medical services. Organizations have petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to block the sale and prevent these companies from exploiting loopholes within the system.
In other news, Idaho prisoners hack prison payment system for over $250,000 in prison credits. Commissary ‘bout to be LIT!
Chart of the week
How much is your social media data worth? Source: The Economist.
How much is your social media data worth? Source: The Economist.
🙅🏿‍♂️ Arts & Culture 🤴🏾
Michael Soi "China Loves Africa" paintings question China's influence in Africa
Quick Hits
  • The Instagram Rich List shows how much top folks make per sponsored post. From Kylie’s $1m per post to Cristiano Ronaldo and Beyonce at $700k, to Martha Stewart at $2,500 per post 😂. And no, your fav Fit Tea models didn’t make it.
  • Delta and American Airline CEOs try out their airplanes most uncomfortable coach seats, and both claim they fly coach at least 1-out-of-3 domestic flights. 🙄
  • Poorer Americans help fuel economic boom as data showed the bottom 60% accounted for most of the rise in spending over the past two years even as the their finances worsened. Fed’s survey noted 1 in 4 adults couldn’t cover an emergency $400 expense, 1 in 5 struggled with monthly bills.
  • Facebook and Twitter lost combined $130billion in market cap, as investors find the exit door due to slow user growth. Both companies share-price declined more than 20% after reporting 2nd quarter earnings results.
  • Ethiopia emerges as the new labor capital fashion, where your favorite brands like H&M, Calvin Klein, Hilfiger exploits garment workers for $27/month salary. For a global perspective, the average monthly salary of a garment worker making minimum wage in Vietnam is $136 to $175; in Sri Lanka, it’s $66; in India, it’s $78 to $136; and in Cambodia, it’s $170.
  • Want coffee in Venezuela? a cup of coffee served at a bakery in eastern Caracas has jumped to 2,000,000 bolivars from  2,300 bolivars over the past 12 months, an increase of  86,857%. Thats some serious inflation.
Resource of the Week
This weekend’s brief was written at the Lincoln Station, in Brooklyn, while listening to “Strings and Bling” brand new album by Nasty C, a dope South African hip-hop artist, very lyrical. #GotBars. Not ready to jump in to his album, just watch Sway’s reaction to his freestyle.
Thank you for reading through this weekend’s brief! Hope you found some interesting articles to spark your next summer happy hour, coffee date, or summer BBQ. Which article did you find most interesting this week?
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