🐤 Hop to it

A key ingredient in this type of beer is under threat, and fans are going to pay the price.

Wednesday | October 25th, 2023
Early Chirp

Happy Wednesday, chirpers! If you’re looking for that special someone to spend the holidays with, you might be swiping through Tinder a little more than usual these days.

But what about the age-old ritual of allowing your parents and friends to pick apart your would-be partner’s perceived flaws? Well, a new feature on the popular dating app invites them to do just that before you ever schedule a date.

-Chris Agee

$121.54 (0.93%)
Dow Jones
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S&P 500
$30.64 (0.73%)
$0.00 (0.03%)
$1,034.18 (3.13%)
Canopy Growth
$0.12 (22.74%)
*Market data for this issue is from October 24th, 2023 at 6:30pm EST

🏦 Markets: Encouraging earnings reports from major corporations including Coca-Cola and Spotify helped reverse the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s recent losing streak. The index finished Tuesday more than 200 points higher.

All three major indexes made gains yesterday, led by the Nasdaq, which added nearly a full percent.

Meanwhile in the world of crypto, Bitcoin has seen its value soar recently, at one point topping $35K for the first time in a year and a half — and soaring in value by 20% over the course of less than a week.


The Breakdown

A quick look around the world.

The Breakdown Shutterstock

🏝️ Reopening Maui: The Hawaiian island devastated by a massive wildfire earlier this year will soon be welcoming tourists once again. According to a statement from Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen, most of West Maui will reopen at the beginning of next month, but certain areas of Lahaina that were particularly hard hit will remain off-limits. Bissen announced a plan to open the island in phases after the governor declared it would reopen earlier this month.

💸 Growing Germany: The International Monetary Fund announced recently that Japan is on track to lose its current status as the third-largest economy on the planet. As that nation’s yen loses its value against the euro, Germany is poised to surpass it by the end of this year. Current projections indicate that the German gross domestic product will hit $4.43 trillion, which is about $200 billion higher than where Japan’s GDP is expected to end up.

⚖️ Abortion ruling: In the wake of last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down the federal abortion protections of the Roe v. Wade ruling, states have implemented various restrictions on the procedure. In Georgia, however, a law banning abortions after about six weeks was passed prior to the high court’s decree and a judge ruled it invalid. This week, the Georgia Supreme Court struck down the lower court’s ruling, though, leaving the ban in place.

🎮 Nintendo deal: Inflation might be making things more expensive everywhere else, but fans of a popular handheld video game device can enjoy a bit of a bargain. As we await the supposed arrival of the mysterious Switch 2, Monoprice has announced that the OLED model is available for just $289.99. That’s $60 off the previous price for a seven-inch screen with a crisp display that makes it the top choice for gamers who want the best handheld experience.

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Halloween Is Coming … Time For The Annual Candy Corn Debates

Chances are you have a pretty firm position on this divisive sweet.

Halloween Is Coming … Time For The Annual Candy Corn Debates Giphy

Year after year, favorites like Reese’s and M&Ms top the list of popular Halloween candies. Then you have licorice and other so-called treats that most kids would see as a trick.

But there’s one candy that has a significant number of fans and haters. And each year we get to take another look at whether candy corn is delightful or disgusting (there is no in between).

Are you “Team Candy Corn”?

You won’t have to look far to find folks who unashamedly sing the praises of this divisive sweet. But the strange thing about most of these fans is that they seem to understand why so many people don’t share their adoration for its unusual texture and taste.

Comedian Shannon Fiedler shared her “vehemently pro candy corn” stance in a recent TikTok post, but in the next breath she acknowledged that it’s “objectively kind of gross.”

Somehow, she concluded that its grossness is “what makes it good,” and she also added that the color, its “waxy texture” and the fact that it only comes around this time of the year combine to make it a great addition to any fall feast.

The other side of the debate

It’s also pretty easy to find folks who clearly don’t get the appeal of these triangular tidbits. A Canadian critic named Jennifer Walker said they’re just “big old lumps of dyed sugar” with “no flavor.”

Abby Obenchain, who also lived in the Great White North, was even more descriptive, comparing a bowl of candy corn to what it would look like if “somebody pulled a bunch of witch’s teeth out.”

Nevertheless, there are enough candy corn fans out there to buy roughly 30 million pounds of the stuff every autumn. If you’re in that group, then congrats: Your season has arrived!

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Love A Good IPA? Well, Get Ready To Pay More For It.

The beer has always had a premium price, and here's why it's getting higher.

Love A Good IPA? Well, Get Ready To Pay More For It. Shutterstock

While lagers and stouts have attracted their fair share of fans for decades, the rapid rise of India Pale Ales (or IPAs, as the cool kids call them) has taken the beer world by storm.

But if you’ve gotten hooked on the flavor and aroma, it could soon cost more to get your fix.

Here’s why

As with many other problems in our modern world, the ravages of climate change are primarily to blame for the forecasted shortage of hops necessary to brew up batches of IPA. Rising temperatures and widespread droughts are devastating crops throughout the regions of Europe where this pivotal ingredient is grown.

Combined with the escalating demand for these beers, consumers will probably start to notice increased prices soon … if they haven’t already.

Of course, old-fashioned inflation is also a culprit. Since transportation, energy, and labor costs are also up these days, the IPA price hikes will be fueled from multiple directions.

Key ingredients

Since IPAs rely on a specific type of bitter hop that is only grown in a limited region of the planet, they’re already substantially more expensive than other types of beer. As it stands, a typical pint of American IPA costs nearly $7 — compared to less than $5 for a run-of-the-mill light beer.

And here’s how that crop is likely to suffer in the coming years:

  • Yields could drop by 18% or more by mid-century
  • Hops might ripen as much as 20 days earlier
  • The unique acidity could decrease by as much as 31%

There are a couple of responses, including one that IPA drinkers might not approve of: turning to lower-quality hops.

Some farmers are moving to higher elevations, increased irrigation, or implemented other steps that could save crops but will only make your next pint cost that much more.

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How A Rebrand Helped This Chinese Vape Company Evade US Regulators

The FDA might be cracking down, but there are some serious shortcomings.

How A Rebrand Helped This Chinese Vape Company Evade US Regulators Shutterstock

“What’s in a name?” It’s a question Juliet asked in the timeless Shakespeare tragedy and countless others have pondered in the centuries since.

Well, one Chinese e-cigarette company has clearly figured out that a name means a lot — especially when you’re trying to avoid having your product confiscated by U.S. authorities.

Illegal vapes

American regulators have cracked down on various types of vaping products in recent years, including the fruit-flavored devices marketed by the Chinese company known in the States as Elf Bar.

But when the Food and Drug Administration tasked customs officials with confiscating these products upon arrival, the company wasn’t willing to just chalk it up as a loss. Instead, it took the simple, but ultimately pretty effective, step of just changing its name.

Elf Bar became known as EBCreate and the manufacturers listed on its packaging also received a new name to avoid being linked to the names on the FDA’s off-limits list.

Surging sales

While Elf Bar’s tactics might seem brazen, this is hardly the only e-cigarette company that has tried to get over on the FDA (and succeeded).

That’s why the Public Health Law Center is pressuring the FDA to do a better job in its role as a regulating force in the industry. Specifically, the group advises the implementation of unique ID codes on any product that falls under the agency’s purview.

In just the few years since 2020, estimates indicate that the number of individual e-cig brands available on U.S. shelves has tripled, and most of them originate in China. This makes the FDA’s job much harder, but the agency’s tobacco director said that there is “a variety of tools at our disposal to take action” against companies like Elf Bar that try to pull a fast one.

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Early Chirp

Written by Chris Agee

90 N Church St, The Strathvale House
Grand Cayman KY1, 9006, Cayman Islands

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