“Natural.” It sounds like a good choice, but what does it really mean? What about the words “recyclable” or “chemical free”? What do they say about the products that bear them on their labels? As it turns out, not a whole lot. “Natural” is vague at best, “recyclable” refers to anything that could be reused in some way (the possibilities are endless), and most items that claim to be “chemical free,” in fact, contain chemicals—just nontoxic ones.
There’s a lot brewing in the tea industry these days, despite the economic downturn’s effect on sales. Most experts seem to feel this is a temporary fluctuation that will right itself as consumers’ financial prospects improve.
During boon times, management energy is rarely spent worrying about violations of top-level employment agreements when hiring new executives. But when a downturn comes, companies are watching their backs.
Consider Starbucks Corp.’s well-publicized lawsuit against a former division head for breaching a noncompetition agreement to join rival coffee chain Dunkin’ Brands Inc. The ex-Starbucks executive, Paul Twohig, agreed to settle out of court, paying his former employer $500,000 and subsequently delaying his start date, Starbucks disclosed.