When I first came across a TikTok video about a tinned fish date night, I have to admit that I was both very intrigued and a little turned off. Nonetheless, my curiosity was definitely piqued.
"Tinned fish night" went viral on TikTok this past summer after creator and chef Ali Hooke showcased a fun new date night idea with her husband. In multiple different videos, the two are seen collecting different types of canned fish like sardines, anchovies, and mackerel, and creating a charcuterie-style board full of accouterments like olives, cheese, crackers, and fruit. They then organize their board and grab a beverage, and voilà! Tinned fish date night is ready to go.
This concept of "tinned fish night" soon took off, inspiring many other TikTokers to create their own versions of a tinned fish board. If you're at all in the TikTok world, you'll know this comes as no surprise due to the fact that trendy boards are taking over the internet: butter boards, hummus boards, tinned fish boards—you name it. People seem to love adding their own twist to a classic charcuterie board.
Even though the thought of "tinned fish" as a romantic delicacy is still a relatively new concept being popularized with American audiences, according to Smithsonian Magazine, canned fish originated in France in the late 1700s. Soon this trend made its way through the rest of Europe and eventually the globe. After watching numerous videos about tinned fish boards, I knew I had to try it myself.
I decided to prepare and host my own "tinned fish date night" for myself and a couple of friends. While I can confidently say that this board wasn't a big hit among everyone involved, it certainly got us all talking.
The "recipe" for this TikTok trend has a lot of room for variation. The basic guidelines seem to be a few different cans of fish, some sort of crackers or bread, and then other accoutrements of your choosing.
For the fish, I grabbed Minerva Sardine Pate, Wild Planet Wild Sardines, Patagonia Provisions Mackerel, and Cento Anchovies. I then grabbed two types of crackers, a baguette from the local market, Boursin cheese, a mild white cheese, and a blend of mozzarella and tomatoes.
I wish I could say there was more science behind my choices, but I was just following my gut and the recommendations of various TikTok videos.
I did my best to arrange everything in a way that I felt looked appealing, and for the most part I was happy with the outcome. I only had wooden cutting boards on hand, and since I didn't want to get the boards too wet with fishy smells, I decided to keep the fish in the cans. This is something I've seen TikTokers do, but my friends said it looked a bit too much like cat food.
Once it was all laid out, I passed out plates and serving utensils and told everyone to dig in.
I could instantly see the hesitation in my friends' eyes. The board looked pretty, that's for sure, but none of us were used to dishing out tinned fish and placing them next to cheese and crackers. However, once we got past the initial surprise, I could tell everyone was excited to dig in. The most popular were the canned anchovies—which people loved with the mild cheese and a slice of bread.
Conversely, right off the bat, people confessed they weren't a fan of the sardine pate. Not only did it look like cat food, but the texture was too close in resemblance, too. Another miss was the can of Wild Planet sardines. Everyone seemed to really like the flavor of these sardines, but the skin and texture of them seemed to turn people off.
"I feel like I'm just biting into a big piece of raw fish," one friend said.
I'd say one of the major elements that I completely underestimated when putting together my tinned fish board was just how salty the experience was going to be. The tinned fish was obviously high on the salt content, but the crackers I chose were salty as well, which made for an overpowering experience. My friends were all big fans of the grapes!
"I love the sweetness to cut some of the salty. It acts like a bit of a palate cleanser," another friend said.
The best thing about the experience is that it got us all talking; everyone was engaged with the food and each other. We couldn't shut up about our opinions on which combination was better and which combinations were downright awful. We laughed, took pictures of our creations, and at the end of the night really appreciated such a new experience for ourselves. Overall, this was a fun experience and something I'd do again.
I would certainly suggest trying the tinned fish board trend for your own version of tinned fish date night. However, if you plan on hosting your own tinned fish affair, here are my main recommendations:
The post I Tried the Viral Tinned Fish Board From TikTok—Here's Why It Got My Friends Talking appeared first on Eat This Not That.
When I was a beginner in fitness, I wasted years doing useless things, and I struggled to make changes to my body. Instead, if someone showed me what to focus on—and what to ignore—I would have made far better use of my time and gotten far better results. That's why I'm here to help you out with the perfect 10-minute weight loss workout for beginners, so you know exactly what you should and shouldn't spend your time on.
The truth is being a beginner is actually a great thing, not something to hide. Why? Because you have so much potential ahead. As a beginner, you'll see faster improvements than at any time in your life. The key, however, is to do the right things to burn fat, get lean, and lay the foundations for a lifetime of fantastic health and fitness.
Today, I'm sharing with you this simple, beginner-approved workout that's perfect even if you only have 10 minutes. Since it's so short, you'll get the very best, no-frills, and easy-to-learn exercises for maximum results in minimal time. Just set 10 minutes on a timer, and repeat this circuit as many times as you can with as little rest as possible.
Keep reading to learn about the ultimate 10-minute weight loss workout for beginners. And next up, don't miss The Diet and Exercise Plan To Find Your Waist Again, Expert Says.
The squat is, hands-down, the best lower-body exercise no matter your fitness goal. The great thing about doing the "goblet" variation is it helps you learn how to squat correctly because you're holding a weight in front of you, which activates your core, keeps your weight on your heels, and lets you squat deeper.
Grab the end of one dumbbell in both hands, and hold it by your chest with your elbows underneath. Stand shoulder-width apart with your toes slightly out. Start the movement by sitting backward and spreading your knees apart. Descend below parallel while keeping your lower back flat. At the bottom, drive through your heels and keep your knees apart. Complete five reps.
Whether it's a high school gym class, military boot camp, or facility with pro athletes, everyone does the pushup. Why? Because it works. It's the best upper-body exercise, because it builds foundational strength and targets so many muscles at once. Plus, pushups are a stellar form of strength training, which is known to shrink body fat—research says so!
Get in a pushup position with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Keep your lower back flat and hips in line with your shoulders. Lower yourself, and keep your elbows close to your body as you descend. Push up, and repeat. Complete five reps.
If you're like the vast majority of people, you have rounded shoulders from years of sitting on a chair, working on a computer, using your cell phone, and more. To help you reverse that trend, it's vital to strengthen the muscles in your mid- and upper-back and the inverted row is a super easy way to do so.
Set a barbell on a power rack or Smith machine. From underneath, grab the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, pull yourself up, and touch your chest to the bar. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, keep your elbows close to your body, and keep your body straight like a plank as you row. Complete five reps.
Having a strong core translates carries over to virtually everything you do. Whether you're playing sports or just trying to feel great and avoid injuries, your abs and obliques stabilize and protect your body while moving. And the dead bug is an incredibly effective exercise you can do anywhere to target your midsection and burn fat.
Lie on your back with your hands and knees in the air. Keep your butt off the ground, but your lower-back flush on the ground. Reach with opposite arms and legs while maintaining your starting posture. Alternate sides. Complete five reps per side.
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If there's one food that's emblematic of France, it's the baguette. Made with just flour, water, salt, and yeast, the simple loaf of crusty bread has been a staple of French life for centuries—so much so that the United Nations officially classified it as an integral part of humanity's cultural heritage.
On Nov. 30, UNESCO, the U.N.'s agency for culture, added the "artisanal know-how and culture of baguette bread" to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which consists of approximately 600 traditions from more than 130 countries. According to the agency, cultural heritage includes "traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants."
As highlighted in France's drafted nomination, baguettes differ from other types of bread in that they have their own unique social practices and consumption methods. This includes daily bakery visits and the use of special display racks that fit the bread's signature long shape.
In terms of the production process, aspiring bakers will undergo work-based training that blends school courses and an apprenticeship in a bakery, which is designed to equip them with the "necessary knowledge of the ingredients, tools and process." Although bread consumption has decreased over time, French bakeries still sell more than six billion baguettes every year.
According to Reuters, Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO's director-general, said the baguette's newly minted status "celebrates the French way of life: the baguette is a daily ritual, a structuring element of the meal, synonymous with sharing and conviviality," adding, "It is important that these skills and social habits continue to exist in the future."
The decision to protect the iconic French bread came after France's cultural ministry called attention to the "continuous decline" in the number of traditional bakeries, noting that 400 have closed every year over the the past 50 years, according to the Associated Press.
To help the French "better connect with their heritage," the country's government will create an artisanal baguette day, called "Open Bakehouse Day."
Aside from the French baguette, other culinary traditions on UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage include traditional Chinese tea-making practices, the art of Neapolitan pizza, and the making of kimchi.
The post The Baguette Was Just Declared an Important Cultural Legacy by UNESCO appeared first on Eat This Not That.
As the holidays get closer, bakers everywhere have begun dusting off their seasonal cookbooks and whipping out their favorite winter dessert recipes. Standard go-to's like gingerbread cookies, yule logs, peppermint bark, and others may be gracing tables everywhere right now—but that doesn't mean these items are untouchable. Classic holiday desserts come and go, and many just can't keep up with modern tastes.
While everyone has their favorite seasonal dessert, just as many people have gagged at outdated holiday confections that they had to eat at potlucks or family gatherings. Other holiday desserts that started out as fads still taste great, but as is the case with many trendy foods, they began to slowly disappear once their hype died down. For every timeless holiday confection out there, another seasonal dessert fell by the wayside.
Eat This, Not That! rounded up nine classic desserts that just don't see the same amount of love as they used to. These cakes, pies, cookies, and treats all once defined the holidays, but now just can't compete with the popularity of modern seasonal standards.
The classic fruitcake epitomizes the ultimate holiday dessert that no one wants to make anymore. This seasonal treat consists of a sweet bread loaded with dried fruit, spices, and nuts, which then gets soaked in alcohol. While this iconic holiday dessert once found a place on tables across the country, it just can't keep up with the modern palate. A 2021 Mashed poll found that this seasonal classic ranked as the least popular holiday dessert out there—43% of respondents claimed they hoped to never see this item at any gathering again for the rest of their lives.
When you think of your favorite holiday dessert, the treat probably tastes pretty sweet and features enough green and red to remind you of the holidays. Some iconic seasonal desserts just can't live up to that image, especially baked goods that trace their origin back to the days when sugar and food coloring was less prevalent.
For some, you just can't celebrate the holidays without panettone, a sweet Milanese bread that comes filled with raisins, citrus, almonds, and more. While the bread once made it truly feel like the holidays, many now argue whether this dessert even qualifies as a dessert. Woman's Day even ranked it as one of the worst Christmas foods around back in 2016. While some households still undoubtedly serve up this classic confection, panettone has truly fallen on some hard times.
As the temperatures start to drop, folks everywhere have started planning their annual seasonal cookie swaps. Chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies shaped like snowflakes, and gingerbread cookies continue to make the holidays feel right, but other cookies just can't compete. Some holiday cookies that originally helped define the season fell out of favor, but few truly lost their status like anise cookies. A YouGov poll from 2020 found that anise cookies ranked as the least popular holiday cookie out there. The treat's falling popularity means that you shouldn't expect to see too many of these types of treats getting passed out during the next cookie swap.
You could try to tweak the recipe for anise cookies a bit to keep up with the times, or you could break out one of the 15 Best Holiday Cookie Recipes if you need to impress family and friends with your baking prowess.
Few seasonal treats strike up images of the holidays like Christmas pudding. This dessert, also known as plum pudding, helped define the Dickens' classic Christmas Carol and originally ranked among the most beloved holiday treats. This English confection features some ingredients you wouldn't expect to find in a modern dessert, like suet or breadcrumbs. History found that the roots of the dessert stem from the 15th century and once resembled something closer to haggis. With archaic ingredients like animal fat still baked into the concoction, the classic Christmas pudding just can't keep up with modern baking trends and only a determined few continue to keep this tradition alive.
While you might have a hard time finding this traditional offering, it still ranks as one of the 24 Best Vintage Christmas Dinner Recipes.
You might not traditionally associate rice pudding and the holidays together, but in the South, this dessert and time of year go hand-in-hand. While rice puddings come in a variety of forms, Southern rice puddings feature raisins and citrus to give the dish some seasonal charm. The sweet staple once found its way into homes across the country, but Southern Living notes that few families continue to keep this culinary tradition alive.
Nothing strikes up images of holiday desserts of yesteryear like Jell-O salad. This concoction of green Jell-O, pineapple, and cottage cheese once defined holiday luxury but now repulses most folks who have the misfortune of coming across it. This dessert that once defined the holidays now makes people wretch when they see it brought before them. When one Reddit user posted about how they made their mother's take on Christmas Jell-O salad, it incited a flurry of comments featuring unflattering flashbacks to their cringiest Jell-O salad experiences.
Many remember classic fruitcake as one of their least favorite seasonal desserts, but few have even heard of a white fruitcake. While a regular fruitcake gets its dark color from brown sugar or molasses, a white fruitcake uses confectioner sugar thus is much paler in comparison.
The word's still out on why regular fruitcake gets way more attention, but that hasn't stopped some bakers across the internet from playing with classic white fruitcake recipes. When Reddit user Doctor_Oceanblue made a version of this dish with pecans, dried apricots, and golden raisins and shared it in the r/Old_Recipes subreddit, it was met with praise by other Redditors in the comment section. While this iconic baked good makes perfect sense to serve up during the holidays, it has somehow fallen to the wayside.
Forgotten cookies truly live up to their name in this case. Defined by there simplicity to prepare—as bakers can literally "forget" them overnight after turning the oven off, allowing them to continue to cook as the oven cools—these once iconic meringue-cookie hybrids used to be a signature flavor of the winter holidays. When Reddit user amberh2l shared their recipe for forgotten cookies on the Old_Recipes Reddit board, it made waves with other users reminiscing in response. When another thread posted by user grayson_greyman featured an older lamented copy of a recipe for forgotten cookies, Redditors chimed in with clarifications around the directions for the antiquated recipes.
"Forgetting to take them out is part of the fun, wish they'd explained that better in the recipe! What you're supposed to do is preheat oven, mix it all together, drop them onto cookie sheets. Put cookies/meringues in oven & CUT THE OVEN OFF. Then 'forget' them until the oven is completely cool/the next morning. That's why they are 'forgotten cookies!'" Reddit user smelly_leaf explained.
Few vintage holiday classics look quite as festive as grasshopper pie. This mint chocolate pie has a green tint thanks to a few drops of green food coloring, and once was considered a great pie for the holidays. One Redditor showed off their take on this classic, causing other users to remember how this pie used to make appearances at their own holiday celebrations growing up. Others in another thread remembered this retro treat making appearances over the course of the year, but definitely agreed that they had hard times coming across some of the vintage liqueurs like creme de menthe on a regular basis. Either way, folks used to love this pie during the holidays, and it looks like it just doesn't see the same kind of love it used to.
The post 9 Worst Classic Holiday Desserts No One Makes Anymore—and for Good Reason appeared first on Eat This Not That.
Pizza is the quintessential party food, especially when adorned with your favorite toppings, and while no one can ever agree on what the best topping is, most agree that a pizza equals a party. Cici's Pizza, known for its all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, is capitalizing on the idea by launching one of its biggest pizzas ever, a behemoth called the Piezilla.
This Piezilla is a 28-inch pie that is designed as a crowd-pleasing centerpiece of a party or event and is cut into 64 pieces. At the suggested price of $65, it's meant as an alternative to buying several pizzas. The behemoth pizza is two times the diameter of a traditional 14-inch pie, and it cannot be delivered, it must be picked up at the restaurant. It includes one topping and each additional topping is $6.
Will this one humongous pizza appeal to the masses? And most importantly—is it a good deal? Like the image above, there are a few shots of people enjoying the massive pizza on Facebook, including some eating challenges.
Customers immediately took to Reddit to do the math on the new item. One user comments that the pizza is a decent deal since it is about five times bigger than a 12-inch pizza. Another says that "you could buy nine of their 12-inch pizzas for $62, and have a few bucks left over for a drink." Another goes even further, "Did the math and for 9 12-inch pizzas, it'd be double the surface area of a single 28-inch pizza."
Others have commented on the fact that the pizza cannot be delivered. "How are you supposed to get that into a standard car if you even wanted to pick it up? What's the point of this?" asks another confused commenter. Many others comment that local pizza restaurants have similar massive pizzas that are much cheaper. Other speculate that this pizza could be the bait for internet and TikTok challenges.
Cici's has not had a good few years, transitioning through bankruptcy and being acquired by D&G Investors in 2021.
The chain started to see things moving in a positive direction in 2022 with the expansion of its popular game rooms. The new focus on entertainment has boosted Cici's revenue, with games going from contributing about 1% of the revenue, to 10% to 20%.
But perhaps the novelty of the Piezilla plus the games rooms will be another boost to the chain's bottom line as the brand is clearly looking to be a source of fun and not just food.
The post Would You Spend $65 on One Pizza? Cici's Thinks Its New "Piezilla" Is Worth It appeared first on Eat This Not That.
Move over, Amazon. There's a new quick delivery service in town—and this one operates 24/7.
Need diapers delivered at 3 a.m.? Or maybe you have the urge to do some self-care but don't feel like leaving the house? Walgreens will deliver your bubble bath, your tea, and your warm robe in 60 minutes or less—at any time of the day, thanks to its new same-day delivery that's designed to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"Walgreens knows that taking care of health and wellbeing isn't exclusive to business hours, and that needs can pop up at any time of day," says Stefanie Kruse, group vice president of digital commerce at Walgreens. "As the place customers turn to for their last-minute needs, we know they will find value in being able to access the items they need most, no matter the hour, right to their door."
Well, not to all doors. This service isn't available in 10 states: Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia or Wyoming. Additionally, the one-hour delivery times may vary nationally, and are available for orders of $35 or more. Those in Illinois and in Florida may get alcohol delivered, but other states aren't so lucky.
Still, we're heading in the right direction. The 24-hour service includes about 400 Walgreens stores across the country, and customers can order everything from groceries to over-the-counter medications to personal care items, household essentials, and more. There are a total of more than 27,000 items available.
Need a prescription, too? You may not get it in an hour, but you can receive a same-day prescription by clicking here or by ordering it via the Walgreens app.
Through December 10, get free delivery on all Walgreens orders that have a $20 minimum using code NOW20.
The post Walgreens Just Launched a New Super Speedy, 24-Hour Delivery Service appeared first on Eat This Not That.
French fries are far and away the biggest money maker for fast-food restaurants. That's partially the case because chains create a huge markup on fries, charging customers many times more for fries than what they pay for the raw potatoes. In fact, the markup can be as high as a staggering 3,900%. Plus, most fast-food chains use pre-cut, frozen fries making the golden brown side, even more, cost-effective than fast-food chains that make fresh-cut fries for real potatoes every day. But it's also the case because people really, really love French fries.
And what's not to love? Crispy, salty, crunchy on the outside, warm and soft within, and a perfect vehicle for dips, sauces, and spreads of all kinds. As to which fast-food chain has the best fries? That's a debate that can go on indefinitely. What's not up for debate is that the five chains featured here take their French fries seriously, making fresh batches daily with potatoes they cut right there on the premises.
Peek into the kitchen of any In-n-Out and, along with a lot of patties of beef cooking (including many frying with a smear of mustard applied, AKA Animal Style), you'll see one of the employees sending potato after potato through the slicer. This chain churns out fresh-cut fries aplenty day after day.
Whether fresh-cut fries are the better choice is up to personal preference. Celebrity Chef David Chang said to Vulture that he "hates" the fries at In-N-Out. He blames the show of the worker cutting the fries and says, contrary to popular belief, fresh isn't best when it comes to potatoes. These out-of-season potatoes are not the best tasting and make an inferior fry, said Chang. The next chain has a remedy for those out-of-season potatoes.
Every burger you get from Five Guys is made fresh there at the restaurant each day and the restaurants don't even have any freezers to do it any other way. Also freshly made? The fries, which it takes very seriously.
The chain uses Idaho-grown potatoes, most of the time, that are cut and power washed to remove the outer starch—which is quicker than the traditional soaking method. To ensure it always uses the best quality potatoes, Five Guys sources what it calls 'gap potatoes' from Washington for the two months of the year that the Idaho potatoes are too soft, according to an interview in Food Republic.
The fries also follow a strict cooking process. The fresh-cut potatoes are fried twice on location. After the first cook, the fries must rest for at least 15 minutes before they are refried in the chain's signature peanut oil. Frying the fries twice allows for maximum crispiness.
Mooyah Burgers, Fries, and Shakes may have burgers first in the name, but it's the fries that keep many people coming back. The chain prepares them all on-site, washing, cutting, rinsing, and then double-frying its fries every time. It also carries sweet potato fries.
You go to Wingstop for the wings. But you just might stay for the fries. Per the company's site, its "fries are cut fresh, tossed in [a] signature seasoning, and served hot." And that's true for all the many types of fries on offer, from Cheese Fries to Louisiana Voodoo Fries to Buffalo Ranch Fries, to name a few.
With over 120 locations, BurgerFi is the little burger chain that everyone should be talking about. The chain has been commended for using beef that is free of all antibiotics and keeping its commitment to serving food that customers crave in a healthier and more sustainable way. The chain also has hand-cut fries cut daily and fried in 100% refined peanut oil.
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You may find yourself intrigued by the fact that the Mediterranean diet can offer various health benefits, such as better heart health, weight loss, and a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease. You might also be interested to learn that a new study has found that you can make this diet even more effective when it comes to reducing visceral fat by making a few minor changes, which will turn it into what's known as the green Mediterranean diet.
The study, which was published in BMC Medicine, included 294 participants that took part in a trial that lasted for 18 months. Those involved were asked to eat a specific diet—one of which was the green Mediterranean diet. The main difference between a typical Mediterranean diet and a green Mediterranean diet is that the green version focuses more on polyphenols with green plant-based proteins and also incorporates less red or processed meat.
Read on to learn more about the results of this new study, and for more healthy eating tips, make sure to read about how Eating Omega-3s Can Improve Cognitive Function.
The parameters for the green Mediterranean diet in this specific study included consuming 28 grams of walnuts each day along with three to four cups of green tea and 100 grams of a duckweed shake. This offers protein, iron, and B12, as well as other vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols.
The results of using the green Mediterranean diet were compared to those of the typical Mediterranean diet, as well as a diet that was considered to be healthy due to the fact that it followed recommended guidelines. The outcome showed that a healthy diet could reduce visceral fat by 4.2%, while the Mediterranean diet reduced it by 6%. At the same time, the green Mediterranean diet reduced visceral fat by 14.1%.
"A 14% reduction in visceral fat is a dramatic achievement for making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle," said doctoral student Dr. Hila Zelicha, who was involved with the study, according to EurekAlert! Beyond that, Zelicha explained, "Weight loss is an important goal, only if it is accompanied by impressive results in reducing adipose tissue."
"This study supports the benefit of a diet with more plants, which provide increased fiber and other plant nutrients, along with less red meat," Kim Kulp, RD of The Gut Health Connection, tells Eat This, Not That! "However, this is only one study, and we'll need more research to see if these benefits continue to outweigh a more traditional Mediterranean diet."
Kulp also explains the key differences between the green Mediterranean diet and the typical Mediterranean diet, saying that the latter "includes mostly plant foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes." Beyond that, "fish is emphasized, with a moderate amount of poultry, cheese, and yogurt." Finally, "little to no red meat is included, and olive oil is the main source of added fats."
On the other hand, Kulp says that "The green Mediterranean diet takes this one step further," and while "both diets are high in fiber and phytonutrients (plant nutrients)," Kulp notes that "The Green Mediterranean diet is especially high in polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant that has been shown to protect against heart disease, cancers, and inflammation."
At the same time, Kulp is sure to add, "There may be some medications that could be affected by increasing and decreasing certain dietary components. It's always important to talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian before making any major diet changes."
The post The Green Mediterranean Diet Can Help Reduce Even More Visceral Fat, Study Says appeared first on Eat This Not That.
You may not believe in ghosts but Starbucks' financials sure do. The massive Seattle-based coffee firm made over $200 million worth of revenue this year thanks to an incredibly large contingent of phantom customers due to unused gift cards.
Whether as a corporate giveaway, stocking stuffer, or casual everyday gift, everyone has been given a Starbucks gift card at some point—but a shockingly large percentage of people apparently forget to ever redeem their coffee cash.
Starbucks attributed an astounding $212.7 million in revenue for the 2022 fiscal year to "breakage," or funds from unused gift cards. That's a whole lot of money hiding deep within countless wallets and between sofa cushions.
Notably, breakage has increased mightily in recent years at Starbucks; in 2021 the coffee brand reported over $180 million in unclaimed gift card funds. Since 2019, a year in which Starbucks reported $140.80 million in breakage revenue, the coffee behemoth's total breakage revenue has increased by 51%.
Starbucks gift cards have always been a popular gift, especially during the holidays. Customers collectively spend billions on Starbucks gift cards each holiday season. What is new, however, is the recent uptick in breakage. The trend has become so prominent that just last month a labor coalition called Strategic Organizing Center (SOC) reached out to the SEC with a formal complaint regarding the impact of breakage revenue on Starbucks' overall profitability.
The SOC is made up of various unions working to promote unionization among Starbucks employees. Starbucks has been unwelcoming toward internal unionization efforts among employees, to put it mildly. When it comes to breakage, the SOC argues Starbucks isn't being as transparent as it could be about revenue driven from unused cards, or the impact of COVID-19 for that matter. For instance, the pandemic almost certainly made it more difficult for many people to visit their local Starbucks branch and spend a gift card.
The SOC also argues Starbucks should report on breakage revenue on a quarterly basis— something the coffee brand has not done since 2018. On a related note, that's the same year Starbucks began classifying breakage as "revenue" as opposed to "income." These changes in reporting are unfair to investors, the SOC posits. The labor coalition claims Starbucks would have fallen short of investors' expectations in both 2019 and 2021 if it wasn't for breakage earnings.
"Starbucks discloses so little about breakage that this significant, and likely material, aspect of Starbucks' financial health is a virtual black box for investors," said Michael Zucker, the SOC's executive director, adding that the use of unredeemed credit "could be masking a failure to meet earnings expectations, or even allowing the company to double-count revenue."
In all fairness to Starbucks, the SOC isn't exactly an unbiased party. That being said, Michael Halen, a Bloomberg Intelligence restaurant analyst, did call it "somewhat surprising" that Starbucks provides notably fewer details than some of its peers regarding how it calculates and processes unspent credit. Breakage represents "a very large percent of their transactions and total US sales," he added.
All in all, the gift card business has certainly been kind to Starbucks. Just last year consumers placed $13.5 billion on Starbucks gift cards, and $1.5 billion remained stored on those cards by the end of the fiscal year on October 2nd.
Starbucks gift cards never expire. Still, the coffee brand claims that according to historical redemption rates, a portion of those unclaimed funds will never be redeemed, and are thus "recognized as breakage over time in proportion to stored-value card redemptions." Per Starbucks' latest annual filing, unspent redemption patterns vary by market.
Does all of this mean you should leave Starbucks gift cards off your holiday shopping list this year? Not necessarily, but you may want to remind your loved ones to use their gift by Valentine's Day.
The post Starbucks Gift Cards Are Kind of a Scam—Here's Why appeared first on Eat This Not That.
Taking the necessary steps to stay strong and in solid shape as you grow older is a necessity. According to Harvard Health Publishing, a decline in your physical abilities—such as swiftness, stamina, and strength—is a natural part of aging. Completing daily tasks and activities like bringing groceries to your car and into your home, tending to the garden, maintaining balance on slippery ground, and even playing with your grandkids can become more challenging. Staying physically active is the name of the game in order to preserve your coordination and strength. So we've put together five of the best resistance band exercises to get stronger as you get older.
Muscle helps keep you healthy and fit, and ward off illnesses. No matter what your fitness goals may be, you need to perform regular strength training. You can always use fitness staples like dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells to get stronger, however, resistance bands are an underrated tool that can also be incredibly effective. Working with a resistance band is low-impact, and the tension you get from it challenges your muscles.
Now that we've raved about how awesome resistance bands are, let's get into the exercises to get stronger as you age. Grab a resistance band, and let's get to it. And next up, don't miss 5 Daily Exercises To Improve Muscular Endurance as You Age.
Kick this routine off with some band rows. Set up by wrapping your resistance band around a sturdy surface, like a pole or a beam. Grip the band with both hands, and take a couple of steps back to gain some tension. Keep your core tight, drive your elbows back, and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Next, completely straighten your arms to get a full stretch before performing the next rep. Complete three sets of 15 reps.
Band squats—demonstrated above—will have you putting both feet on a resistance band, placing them shoulder-width distance apart. Hold the band at shoulder height. Then, squat down by sitting back on your heels. Rise back up, flexing your glutes to finish the motion. Complete three sets of 15 reps.
Begin this exercise by placing one foot on the resistance band. Grip the band with both hands at the height of your chest. Place your other foot behind you, keeping your toes firmly planted. Your chest should remain tall and your core tight as you lower yourself until your back knee touches the floor. Drive through the heel of your front leg to rise back up. Perform all reps on one leg before switching over to the other. Complete three sets of 10 reps for each leg.
Overhead band triceps extensions will have you wrapping a resistance band at the bottom of a sturdy beam or pole and gripping the handles. Spin around, and lift your arms up so that the band is right behind you. Bend at the elbows to where your biceps touch your forearms to get a deep tricep stretch. Once they've touched, extend your arms, and flex your triceps hard at the top. Complete three sets of 15 reps.
For this final exercise, tie a resistance band around a sturdy beam, and take a step out to the side to get some tension on it. Hold the end of the band with both hands utilizing a pronated (overhand) grip, and make sure your feet are situated in a wide stance. Keep your core tight as you rotate the band across your body from your upper back. Flex your obliques during the entire range of motion, then return back to the starting position. Complete three sets of 15 reps for each side.
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