Last Month Today – November 2022 in review

Despite Black Friday boost, European retailers remain uncertain about Santa Claus 

According to CNBC, retailers across Europe fear the overall Christmas trading season could be the worst in at least a decade as shoppers cut back, hit by double-digit inflation and soaring energy bills.

However, early indications suggest Black Friday has provided some relief as Europeans snapped up smartphones, Christmas decorations, sweaters and jewellery during a surge in shopping over the weekend, though prospects for the festive season remained gloomy, retailers said.

A survey of 400 businesses across Europe by Germany’s HDE retailers’ association showed just over half of merchants said they were still dissatisfied with sales, versus some 30% who were satisfied.

“The Christmas business is marked by the energy crisis. Retailers are feeling the uncertainty of consumers,” HDE’s General Manager Stefan Genth said, with inner-city retailers still feeling the impact of COVID-19. 

Common ground starts to evaporate under Apple and Twitter

According to CNN and several other sources, including Elon Musk himself, Apple has “threatened” to pull Twitter from its iOS app store, a move that could be devastating to the company Musk just acquired for USD 44 billion.

“Apple (AAPL) has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why,” Musk said in one of several tweets Monday taking aim at Apple (AAPL) and its CEO for alleged moves that could undermine Twitter’s business. In another tweet, Musk claimed that Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. He also criticized Apple’s size, claimed it engages in “censorship” and called out the 30% transaction fee Apple charges large app developers to be listed in its app store.

Removal from Apple’s app store, or that of Google, would be detrimental to Twitter’s business, which is already struggling with a loss of advertisers following Musk’s takeover and a rocky initial attempt at expanding its subscription business.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Musk’s tweets. The company has previously shown it’s willing to remove apps from its app store over concerns about their ability to moderate harmful content or if they attempt to circumvent the cut Apple takes from in-app purchases and subscriptions.

 As days get shorter, the future of vitamin D marketers keeps shining

The vitamin D market size is estimated to be valued at USD 1.3 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 1.9 billion by 2027, recording a CAGR of 7.1% from 2022 to 2027 according to a new report by MarketsandMarkets™.

Increasing consumption of healthy products due to the increasing health and wellness trend has driven the demand for healthy functional ingredients such as vitamin D for use in foods and beverages in these countries. Furthermore, an increase in expenditure by consumers on healthcare and food & beverage products to compensate for vitamin D deficiencies has also driven the demand for vitamin D in these countries. The increasing prevalence of chronic lifestyle diseases and increasing acceptance of products with additional nutrients and ingredients among consumers are projected to drive market growth during the forecast period.

The major natural source of the vitamin is synthesis of cholecalciferol in the lower layers of epidermis of the skin through a chemical reaction that is dependent on sun exposure, specifically UVB radiation. Cholecalciferol and ergocalciferol can be ingested from the diet and supplements. Only a few foods, such as the flesh of fatty fish, naturally contain significant amounts of vitamin D. 

WHO’s re-branding now – the name should not say it all

 Following a series of consultations with global experts, World Health Organization will begin using a new preferred term “mpox” as a synonym for monkeypox. Both names will be used simultaneously for one year while “monkeypox” is phased out.

WHO states that when the outbreak of monkeypox expanded earlier this year, racist and stigmatizing language online, in other settings and in some communities was observed and reported. In several meetings, public and private, a number of individuals and countries raised concerns and asked WHO to propose a way forward to change the name.

The issue of the use of the new name in different languages was extensively discussed.  The preferred term mpox can be used in other languages. If additional naming issues arise, these will be addressed via the same mechanism. Translations are usually discussed in formal collaboration with relevant government authorities and the related scientific societies.

WHO will adopt the term mpox in its communications, and encourages others to follow these recommendations, to minimize any ongoing negative impact of the current name and from adoption of the new name.


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