Pediatrics Research | Kids and Soda with Warning Label

A new research report in the journal Pediatrics said that in a survey of 2,400 parents from all demographics, just 40 percent chose a soda for their kids that contained a warning label on the package.

Hong Kong: New McDonald’s “Create Your Taste”

McDonald’s customers in Hong Kong have a new “Create Your Taste” innovation called “McDonald’s Next.” Customers, via a kiosk, can customize meals including salads with ingredients including couscous, quinoa, asparagus and crayfish. McDonald’s promotes customers to post their unique customized meals on social media.

Are Consumers Blind To Ingredient Information?

New research shows that very few consumers look to the package ingredients for health information. Increasingly shoppers are interested in making healthy, better for you purchases but perhaps don’t always know what ingredients to look for or perhaps are just too swayed by their own ideas or package claims.

Judging a Pill by Its Color – Global Branding | John Hoeppner | NameQuest

People in three countries have similar expectations on how pills work—based solely on how they look

Wall Street Journal | By Ann Lukits July 20, 2015

People think they can tell a lot about pills from their appearance, a study in Food Quality and Preference suggests.

The study found that people in the U.S., China and Colombia had surprisingly similar expectations about how well pills work—and how easy they are to swallow—based solely on the medication’s visual properties.

Previous research has shown that color and shape of medications can influence consumer expectations. A 2014 study, for example, found that switching to generic drugs, which usually differ in color from brand-name drugs, causes some patients to stop taking the medication.

The latest study, in China, involved two online experiments. In the first, 97 U.S. participants, age 33 years old on average, viewed photos of round, oval and diamond-shaped pills in seven colors, including white. The subjects rated each pill’s anticipated bitterness and ease of swallowing and its effect on mental alertness and headache pain.

The participants saw light-blue pills as the least bitter and red and light-red pills as the most mentally stimulating. They rated white tablets most effective—and light green as least effective—at treating headaches. They considered diamond-shaped tablets the hardest to swallow.

Three new pill colors were included in a second, similar experiment involving 112 U.S., 104 Chinese and 121 Colombian participants. Most subjects were in their 20s and 30s.

All three groups saw white pills as the best for relieving headaches and diamond-shaped pills as hardest to swallow. But color was found to influence pill-swallowing perceptions, though only in Chinese participants. They saw red and blue pills as harder to swallow than all other colors.

Caveat: Looking at images of pills on computer monitors is different from tasting and swallowing real pills. Age and previous experiences with pills may affect people’s expectations, the researchers said.

Good branding move? Hertz installs cameras inside rental cars. | John Hoeppner

George Orwell’s dystopian book “1984” predicted surveillance inside homes but not automobiles.  Hertz says they have installed cameras in their rental cars but has no plans to use them.  Does anyone think this action will strengthen the Hertz brand? – John Hoeppner

FDA Approved 41 New Drugs in 2014, Most in Nearly Two Decades | John Hoeppner Cave Creek, AZ

FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin: The FDA approved seven new drugs last month, pushing its total to 41 last year, the highest number of new molecular entities cleared by the agency since 1996.

CDER already was touting 2014 as a strong period for approvals in early December when it celebrated 35 approvals of NDAs and BLAs up to that point. In particular, the FDA cited 2014 as the best year ever for approvals of drugs with a rare disease indication.

The 41 total approvals, including those for cancer, infectious diseases, diabetes and hepatitis C, represent more than a 50-percent increase over the 27 drugs the FDA approved in 2013. It also beats out the 39 NMEs approved in 2012. The FDA hasn’t approved more drugs since it signed off on 53 therapies in 1996.

Key among 2014’s approvals were therapies to treat hepatitis C, including Gilead’s Harvoni (ledipasvir and sofosbuvir) and AbbVie’s Viekira Pak (ombitasvir, paritaprevir and ritonavir tablets co-packaged with dasabuvir tablets).

Of the total approvals, 11 were cleared under the FDA’s breakthrough therapy designation, which played an increasing role in the approval process, according to Friends of Cancer Research. Such drugs included those for cancer, infectious diseases and rare inherited disorders, the group said.

Specialty drugs and those that treat rare diseases are likely to continue as driving factors behind pharmaceutical growth in the years ahead, the American Pharmacists Association said.

See the full list of drugs approved in 2014 here:

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Four Ways to Innovate through Analogies

The first flight: Orville Wright takes off on Dec. 17, 1903. The Wright Brothers saw an analogy to the machine that they already designed, manufactured and repaired for a living—the bicycle.

Analogy is much more than a linguistic device; it’s a fundamental way of thinking. To make an analogy is to make a comparison that suggests parallels between two distinct things, explicitly or implicitly. And those who are most nimble at seeing parallels and connections, rather than just obvious differences, compete best. (Read the complete article in the Wall Street Journal)

Inventing Products is Less Valuable Than Inventing Ideas

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“Anytime you invent something, you have really invented two things—the thing itself, and an idea,” says Harvard Business School visiting professor Gautam Ahuja, a professor of strategy at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. (Link below to complete article)