Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

All I want for Christmas is a blockbuster

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What’s a great holiday gift in a recession, yes a good old fashioned book. Random House just got its new Dan Brown bestseller on the shelves.

Pearson’s Chief Financial Officer admitted that its consumer publisher Penguin does not have a blockbuster for the holiday season but — in a rare glimpse of corporate honesty — said it sure would like to have one.

“ I think we’ve got some good books for Christmas,” Pearson’s Robin Freestone said at the Reuters Media Summit on the upcoming holiday shopping season.

“We haven’t got a blockbuster in the sort of Dan Brown mode or the Stephanie Meyer mode. We sort of pretend we don’t really want a blockbuster but that isn’t true at all.”

from Shop Talk:

Food safety worries? Join the club

peanutcorpAre you worried about the rash of high-profile and often deadly tainted-food scandals involving everything from peanut butter and chili peppers to spinach and baby formula?

You are not alone.

"When I heard peanut products were being contaminated earlier this year, I immediately thought of my 7-year-old daughter, Sasha, who has peanut butter sandwiches for lunch probably three times a week," U.S. President Barack Obama said recently, referring to a salmonella outbreak that has made 683 people in 46 states sick, killed as many as nine and forced the recall of more than 3,000 products. 

from Shop Talk:

Let them eat steak

meatTired of paying high prices for everything from soup to cereal? See your butcher.

While food makers like Kellogg and Campbell Soup have yet to take back price hikes on boxes of cereal and cans of soup spurred by last year's spike in commodity costs, beef companies have to move their premium, perishable product in a environment where restaurants aren't buying and consumers are pinching pennies. 

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