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Harley hopes for love at first bike

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Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson’s riding academy has trained more than 220,000 riders worldwide since 2010.
With the rebranding of the academy’s program and a project to teach folks to ride on a Harley-Davidson Street 500, along with the launch of the company’s US military rider training initiative, the brand has grown its rider training by 25 per cent since last year.

Harley riders Harley-davidson's facebook page      Courtesy Harley-Davidson’s Facebook page

Harley believes the growth is key to its sales fortunes because, in order to persuade people to buy its products, they first need to fall in love with riding them.
Spooky times
Fright Fest at Six Flags Magic Mountain has been voted the best theme park Halloween event in the country by readers of USA Today, followed closely by Six Flags Great Adventure.
Flat bubbles
Soda brand 7-Up is struggling because parent company Dr Pepper Snapple Group has decided to focus more on its Sun-Drop brand. After all, there’s only so much shelf space at the grocery store.
“No question 7UP is opportunity,” says company chief financial officer Marty Ellen.
“It’s not performed where we wanted it to. It’s not performed to the level relative to the investment we put behind it, but that’s what we’ve got to figure out.”
Virtual money
Financial powerhouse Bank Of America is scaling down its physical stores as so many people are turning to its virtual ones.
The bank’s branch count has gone down by more than 500 from a high of 6,100 in the fourth quarter of 2007.
Meanwhile BOA has 18.2 million mobile banking customers, a number that’s growing by 5,000 every single day.
Members only
Each year, 91 per cent of Costco members in the USA renew their cards. The warehouse now has 44.6 million member households, which is up from 43.7 million 16 weeks ago.
Including additional cards, total cardholders out there stand at 81.3 million, up from 79.6 million on this time last year.
Whiffle ball
Baseball bat makers are gearing up for a spike in sales. Governing body USA Baseball’s new bat standards covering players younger than 15 are due to take effect in January 2018. All baseball teams governed by USA Baseball, with the exception of United States Specialty Sports Association, must use bats compliant with the new standard.
The standard has been adopted to make aluminum and composite bats deliver ball exit speeds that are similar to those produced by wooden bats.
National Collegiate Athletic Association began using a similar standard in 2011, with high-school baseball following suit in 2012.
Changing tastes
Spice maker McCormick & Company says more than 70 per cent of its McCormick brand spices, herbs and extracts in the USA will be produced from non-genetically-modified organisms within one year.
Appearing on retail shelves right now is its first product to carry the non-GMO designation, vanilla extract.
By the end of next year, 80 per cent of the company’s gourmet line will be organic, up from 10 per cent today.
Popping sales
Six of the 10 top-selling microwave popcorn brands are from Pop Secret.
Going nuts
This month, California Walnut Board will launch its first TV campaign promoting walnuts’ versatility as a recipe ingredient.
Global entrees
Fast-food specialist Chili’s dining chain has moved into its 31st country by opening an outlet in Tunisia.
Driver data
Navigation brand TomTom has announced a partnership with Pon, Volkswagen and Porsche into
the Netherlands.
Under the partnership, TomTom is developing and implementing systems for the connected car and making information about the car such as engine status, maintenance information, fuel consumption and driver behavior available to drivers, who can share that information with others, including dealerships.

Potatoes exploding out of the pot
KETTLE CHIPS’ parent company, Diamond Foods, says 67 per cent of buyers of the snack buy them again. Now, the company is launching of a new brand of vegetable chips, called Kettle Uprooted, which will initially consist of two varieties.
At the same time, Kettle is introducing a line of alternative oil chips with flavor-infused salts, taking advantage of a recent culinary trend. The lineup will initially consist of three varieties, all made with avocado oil.
Finally, Kettle plans to expand its organic-chip lineup to include new flavors and a multi-pack.

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