business news in context, analysis with attitude

In a piece yesterday about the burgeoning competition between Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts, we complimented the latter's new lattes and said we'd probably choose between the two based on which one is closer at the moment of desire.

To which one MNB user responded:

I disagree. I may be in the minority, but I will go out of my way to find a Starbucks. In fact I walked several blocks with my 2-month-old daughter (she was very bundled up) the other day in Chicago in February to get my Starbucks cup of coffee. Many people I know swear by Dunkin Donuts coffee, which I'll drink if absolutely necessary. (Nothing else around) However, I will only buy a small because I cannot stand to drink coffee out of a Styrofoam cup. And maybe that paper cup with the Starbucks logo is a necessity as well. They have done a tremendous job building equity in the Starbucks brand. My diversion of several blocks the other day is a perfect example of that.

Another member of the MNB community wrote:

I’ll make my decision based upon the fact that I can resist Starbucks pastries, but a donut....ummm, donut.... will make me want more than my coffee.

For me, Starbucks is my choice, until they co-brand with Krispy Kreme.

And another member of the MNB community wrote:

I believe that coffee drinkers stay loyal to the one they like. Here in Buffalo, you do not find too many Dunkin' Donuts, due to the fact that we here have a love affair with Tim Hortons. I will go out of my way (as will many others that I know) to get to a Tim Horton's opposed to a Dunkin' Donuts. Not that their coffee is not good, but the flavor profile on the Horton's coffee is unique enough to drive (or walk the extra mile). Same thing with Starbucks - we have a local coffee shop around here with a few locations in the more eclectic sections of the city, a few years ago Starbucks announced they would be opening across the street. Many people were up in arms, saying that "Big Bad Starbucks" was coming in to put the little local guy out of business. Well, it is a few years later and the local guy is going just as strong, if not better and Starbucks has a steady flow as well - what it REALLY comes down to is the COFFEE (in my opinion at least).

In a story yesterday about the end of the mad cow probe by the federal government, we quoted Ron De Haven, USDA's chief veterinarian, as saying: "Our investigation is now complete. We feel very confident the remaining animals, the ones we have not been able to positively identify, represent little risk."

This prompted some responses.

One MNB user wrote:

That has to be the most insanely illogical statement ever made by a public official. I'm glad Ron DeHaven is feeling confident. As for me, I'm no longer eating beef!

MNB user Denise Remark remarked:

I've never seen a cow with it's head in the sand...oh wait, that's a USDA representative!

Another MNB user wrote:

How is it unscientific to test all cows for BSE? Wouldn't it be more unscientific, leaving it up to guess work (much like the remaining cows they haven't found, but consider no threat) to NOT test them all?

If another country is already doing it, why can't we? Oh right, we don't have any money to implement such an unscientific safe guard. How much has the beef industry spent on advertising to convince the consumer their product is safe, while not doing a whole lot to insure that it is? And I wonder how much campaign money our administration is getting from the Cattlemen's Association and the like?

I find it hard to eat beef now, not out of fear of getting BSE, but out of disgust for the practices and efforts being made to keep our food supply safe.

And yet another MNB user chimed in:

For a moment, when I first glanced at the article, I thought the quote was from "Ron De Haven, USDA's chief vegetarian". That's about the only way you could feel confident that the nation's beef supply posed no danger.

Finally, in response to Eddie Basha's characterization of Wal-Mart's march on domination as an "economic holocaust," and some people's feelings that this is inappropriate rhetoric, another MNB user wrote:

You don't have to publish this if you don't want to, but I just wanted you to know Glenn Cantor is not the only one who was offended and angered by the reference used by Ed Basha. It shows a complete insensitivity and lack of understanding on his part. One thing I could tell you is that if I lived in that market I would consider not shopping at his stores. Unfortunately he is not the first person who does not understand why Nazi references are inappropriate, and won't be the last.
KC's View: