DINNER PARTY INTEL...
The topics you have to be able to discuss this week
1. Shrinkflation trend
Figures from the UK statistics office reveal that 2,529 products have shrunk in size over the past five years, but are being sold for the same price. Chocolate bars, toilet rolls, coffee and fruit juice are just some of the goods that have been subject to “shrinkflation”. And in the chocolate category, the stats office says the inflation rate was actually 1.22 percentage points higher since 2012, once the smaller size is taken into account.
The sneaky practice is particularly pronounced in a weak consumer environment, and unfortunately SA has not been immune.
“We can now say with certainty that the economy is on the up . . . Slowly, slowly, what nobody believed could happen, will happen. We will extract the country from the crisis . . . and in the end that will be judged.” Alexis Tsipras, prime minister of Greece, to The Guardian
2. Dystopia beckons
A US company is about to install rice-sized microchips into the hands of its employees. Along with enabling the purchase of items at the cafeteria of Wisconsin-based Three Square Market, employees will use the chip to gain access to company headquarters, log onto computers, use copy machines and even access medical information. Employees are not required to get the microchips, and the company say it does not enable GPS tracking. But that’s little consolation in the face of the slow death of privacy rights of workers.
3. Presidential no-show
Kenyan opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga this week set out his vision for Kenya alone after his rival, President Uhuru Kenyatta, failed to show up to a televised debate. Opinion polls show Raila has begun to close the gap with Kenyatta in the presidential race.
Meanwhile, only one vice-presidential candidate of Kenya’s six minority parties attended a separate debate. Surrounded by five empty podiums, Eliud Muthiora Kariara answered questions posed by two moderators and the audience for an hour.