Posts Tagged ‘Popular Culture’

Most Popular Soda in the US

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Most Popular Soda in the US - Coca-Cola

Whether you call it pop, soda, coke or soda pop, if you’re a US citizen it’s likely that you drink soda on a fairly regular basis. In 2007, it was estimated that, on average, Americans drink three quarts of soda per week. So what is it that we’re drinking so much? Well, just take another look at that list of generic names for carbonated soft drinks and it should be pretty obvious; Coke is America’s most popular soft drink.

Coca-Cola was created in 1885 by Georgian druggist John Pemberton and was originally known as Pemberton’s French Wine Coca. You’ve probably heard that the original formula used cocaine, but may not be aware that it was also alcoholic. Of course, that had to change when Atlanta outlawed booze the next year and the resulting drink, which also contained caffeine from Kola nuts, became known as Coca-Cola. It wasn’t until 1903 that the Coca-Cola Company stopped using cocaine in the popular soft drink.

According to “Beverage Digest,” 17.2% of soda consumed in 2007 was Coke Classic. Pepsi Cola held second place with 10.7% and Diet Coke came in third with 10%.

Most Popular Books

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

This may come as a surprise for you but, back in the old days, people used to read books. They were made out of paper and cardboard or something. Sometimes they had pictures, but people would make fun of you for reading those. More often they were just words on paper.

Of course, in the old days we also fought dinosaurs with sharpened rocks.

Basically, people who read books are savages.

Now that we got that out of the way, take a look at the most popular books of all time.

World's most popular book - A Tale of Two Cities

5. Charles Dickens – A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

Copies sold: 200 million

Victorians, were known for pioneering, the usage of, the comma—and the dash. Dickens was known for his humor but, strangely enough, nobody thought this book about the years leading up to the French Revolution was funny.

World's most popular book - Qur'an

4. Allah (featuring Muhammed and the Angel Gabriel) – The Qur’an (around 610-632)

Copies sold: 200 million

The rich and powerful never have to do anything for themselves. This is just as true for the omnipotent as the fabulously wealthy. That’s why, when Allah wanted to write his book, he had his people talk to our people. They had lunch. Then they wrote the third most popular book of all time.

World's most popular book - Xinhua Dictionary

3. Various Artists – The Xinhua Dictionary (1957)

Copies sold: 400 million

Why is a dictionary the third most popular book of all time? It might have something to do with the fact that Chinese has about as many characters as China has people—and China has a lot of
people.

World's most popular book - Quotations from Chairman Mao

2. Chairman Mao – Quotations from Chairman Mao (1964)

Copies sold: Somewhere between 800 million and 6.5 billion

Distributed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution in which Chinese citizens were all but officially required to carry a copy of the book at all times, the book sometimes acted as a Get Out of a Beating Free card. Mao Zedong was also responsible for Chairman Mao’s Poems (400 million copies) and Selected Articles of Mao Zedong (another 400 million).

World's most popular book - Bible

1. God (featuring a bunch of other guys) – Bible (1 BC – 1 CE)

Copies sold: 2.5 – 6 billion

The most popular book of all time (unless you actually believed that Quotations sold 6 billion copies), Bible is the tale of a ragtag group of holy men and their scrappy leader taking on the world in the name of God. At least, part of it is. There’s also a bit about the apocalypse and seals and horsemen. Being over 2,000 years old, it had a head start on all the other books on the list. Some might call that an unfair advantage, but those people are all losers.

Most Popular Song on iTunes

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Most Popular Song on iTunes - Journey's

In the 7 years since its release, iTunes has become one of the most used media players in the world. This is in no small part due to iTunes’ proprietary relationship with the iPod. Another factor is the iTunes store, one of the first retail sources of downloadable media.

A recent Soundscan report has revealed the first track to exceed 2 million sales through iTunes. Of course, such a track would need to be a timeless classic, but not too timeless—old people don’t have iPods, right? It would need to be something released within the last ten years or so with both the musical acumen and lyrical genius to appeal to both teenage girls and aging hipsters.

Of course, it could also be Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”

I can only attribute this phenomenon to the Sopranos series finale in which the song was featured. It certainly isn’t so popular based on its own merit.

Right?

Right?

World’s Most Popular Superheroes

Monday, August 25th, 2008

It’s the stereotypical comic book geek question—“Who would win in a fight?” Considering the comic book industry’s history of bowing to the demands of their fans, the answer to that question really comes down to which superhero is more popular. If you want to know who’d be left standing after an all-out superhero brawl, then the question you really need to be asking is “Who is the most popular superhero in the world?”

After a series of rigorous trials and arcane experiments—i.e. seeing which ones got the most results on Google—I’ve compiled the following list of superheroes most likely to win a grudge match. Also included are the superheroes’ highest ratings by the top critics on Rotten Tomatoes and their highest grosses on an opening weekend.

World's most popular superhero - Hulk

5. The Incredible Hulk
This misunderstood monster made a triumphant return to the box office with 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. Considering the horror that was the Hulk’s previous movie, it’s surprising that Marvel managed to sign an actor of Edward Norton’s caliber for this latest one.
The Incredible Hulk on Rotten Tomatoes: 58%
The Incredible Hulk opening weekend: $55,414,050

World's most popular superhero - Superman

4. Superman
The first superhero’s latest theatrical adventure may not have been the success that it could’ve been, but that didn’t keep the last son of Krypton off the list. Superman is easily one of the most iconic (if not the most iconic) superheroes to grace the pages of a funnybook.
Superman II on Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Superman Returns opening weekend: $52,535,096

World's most popular superhero - Iron Man

3. Iron Man
The fact that Tony Stark is even on this list is remarkable—the other five have appeared numerous times in both the box office and on television. Iron Man, by contrast, never had his own television series and only has the one movie under his belt.
Iron Man on Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Iron Man opening Weekend: $102,118,668

2. Spider-Man

World's most popular superhero - Spider-Man

Peter Parker has problems, but that hasn’t kept him from becoming a giant in the comic book industry. In fact, it’s pretty much the reason he’s up there. I also suspect that part of his popularity is due to having some of comicdom’s most fascinating villains, but I digress.
Spider-Man 2 on Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Spider-Man 3 opening weekend: $151,116,516

World's most popular superhero - Batman

1. Batman
From the 60s TV series to this year’s Dark Knight, Batman has been through the ringer when it comes to moving pictures. Tim Burton’s movies succeeded in bringing the grim and gritty Batman to film while Joel Schumacher nearly killed the franchise by infusing it with the campiness of the dynamic duo’s original television adventures. Director Christopher Nolan’s success with Batman Begins was only compounded by this year’s Dark Knight which, sadly, was marred by the passing of Heath Ledger after what was probably his greatest performance on film. Despite that tragedy (or, perhaps, because of it), Dark Knight now holds the record for the highest grossing opening weekend ever. All that tells us that Batman is the world’s most popular superhero.
Besides, everyone knows Batman can kick anyone’s ass.
Dark Knight on Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Dark Knight opening weekend: $158,411,483

Most Popular Candy Bars

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Most Popular Candy Bar

Everyone has their favorite candy bar, the one they still might occasionally grab while waiting in line at the convenience store.

The Snickers bar, created by Mars Inc. in 1930 is a chewy nougat center with peanuts and caramel on top, all covered in a layer of milk chocolate. It was named Snickers after one of the horses of the Mars family who invented the candy, but sold as the Marathon bar in the United Kingdom. It had global annual sales of over $2 billion last year, becoming the most popular candy bar in the world. However just a few years back, the Mars bar held the top spot among the most popular candy bars, for most of the 20th century.

The Mars bar was created by Mars Inc. as well, in 1936. The international version of the Mars bar has always been different than the United States version, as it does not contain almonds like the original formulation. Both versions are a chocolate malt nougat center with caramel on top and covered in a layer of milk chocolate.

The Mars bar has been renamed to Snickers Almond in 2000, which may have been a huge mistake on the part of Mars Inc. In 2000, annual sales of the Mars bar reached over $2 billion, but by 2002 they had dropped to $1.09 billion.

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Most Popular Ice Cream

Most Popular Ice Cream

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

Not surprisingly, vanilla ice cream is still the most widely consumed flavor. It’s ability to remixed with any variety of toppings, and it’s generally complimentary taste have one it 29% of the market share. But ice cream’s history is much longer and outlandish then one might think. Tracing roots as an ice and fruit to Emperor Nero in the first century, a similar concoction was whipped from ice and milk by a King Tang in 7th century China. It’s seen a gradual development since then, emerging here and there in the form of Italian sorbets and French ice-milk dishes. The first parlor was opened in America in 1776, and it has been served as a luxury item ever since.

Time and technology have allowed for cheaper and much more efficient production. Modern refrigiration techniques dropped the price of ice cream drastically, as you no longer needed large amounts of ice and salt to keep the cream chilled. The continuous process refigerator was successfully introduced by Clarence Vogt in the 1920s, and ice cream cones first gave people a chance to carry it around and spill it on their pants at the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904. It’s been giving us “Good Humor” since Harry Burt’s team of uniformed drivers started delivering it in 1920.

Today, ice cream is widely available in traditional flavors at any retail food merchant, and in niche-market packages from parlors such as Ben and Jerry’s and Baskin Robbin’s, or the more recent Coldstone Creamery. More healthy renditions have become available in frozen yogurt and other fat free varieties, as some of us have a waistline to watch. Make mine mint-chocolate chip any day.

ice cream cones

Based on ice cream consumption figures, the top five individual flavors in terms of share of segment in the United States are:

  1. vanilla (26%),
  2. chocolate (12.9%)
  3. neapolitan (4.8%)
  4. strawberry (4.3%)
  5. cookies n’ cream (4.0%)

Source: The NPD Group’s National Eating Trends Services

In 2003, about 86% of packaged ice cream retail sales happened in supermarkets. Convenience store sales were second at 11.4%, drug stores were third at nearly 2%, with 0.6% occurring at other locations. Source: Mintel

Based on supermarket statistics in 2001*, ice cream volume sales by quality segment were: superpremium (3.5%), premium (51.5%) and regular (45%). Source: IRI

Nearly 80% of supermarket ice cream sales are packaged in half-gallon containers. Source: IRI, 2001

Mexico is the single largest market for U.S. frozen dessert exports, with an estimated value of almost $17 million. Canada was the number two destination for U.S. frozen dessert exports, valued at $6.6 million. Japan ($3.6 million), United Kingdom ($3.4 million), and Hong Kong ($3.1 million) are third, fourth and fifth respectively. Source: USDA/International Ice Cream Association

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Most Popular Video Game Franchise

Thursday, January 4th, 2007

Today’s video game market is bigger and more competitive than ever. With the recent launch of game systems like Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, and the Xbox 360, gamers are able to enjoy their favorite games on a variety of different mediums. With so many different systems to choose from, one might think that it would be hard to dominate the market with just one game. But since it’s release in August of 2006, Electronic Arts’ “Madden NFL 07 Football” has surpassed the competition as 2006’s most popular video game for the major systems.

Madden NFL circa 1990
Madden NFL 90

Based on internal company data, Electronic Arts’ EA Tiburon office in Maitland, California reported selling over 2 million copies of the most popular video game during its first week of retail sales and over 5 million copies of the game since its release. 2006 is the 17th year of production for the Madden NFL Football videogame, which also holds the title of the most popular video game franchise of all time. A recent Orlando Business Journal article reports that the game has had more than $2 billion in retail sales since its first release.

Madden NFL 07 brings back practically every feature that was in Madden 06, but over the years, the game has undergone obvious changes with advances in technology. Some of the changes from the 2006 edition include a new menu presentation, easier to learn moves and excellent new player models, stadiums, and the like that make the game more attractive overall.

Madden NFL 07
Madden NFL 07

One particularly note-able feature of the most popular video game franchise is that you can play “franchise mode” yourself, and create and personalize your NFL team to your liking as you try to achieve the ultimate goal of a Super Bowl victory.

Most Popular Beer in America

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

Can you guess what the worlds most popular beer is? If you guessed Budweiser, you were just partially right. I’ll give you another hint: it was introduced in 1982. Have you figured it out yet? OK, I’ll give you another hint. It is a classic American light lager. Yes you finally got it, Bud Light.

According to Budweiser, it is brewed with two-row and six-row malt, rice, and hops, both American and European varieties. It uses a very different and distinct brewing process to produce a distinctively different, lower calorie beer with a crisp, clean taste.

Even though the micro-brewed beers are more flavorful and are gaining in popularity, the marketing people have help make Bud Light the best selling brand in the US!

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Most Popular Christmas Gift

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

For the first time ever, the most popular Christmas gift in 2006 will be gift cards, according to research by American Express. In 2005, 57% of American shoppers purchased a gift card to give as a Christmas gift. In 2006, American Express predicts that number will reach 66% of American shoppers!

It may be easy to see why the gift card is the most popular christmas gift. A gift card is much more likely to be accepted by the recipient of the gift, and it relieves the stress from the gift purchaser who may not know exactly what the recipient would want. Gift cards also make post-holiday sales more valuable, as the same gift bought with a gift card will often be cheaper right after Christmas than if it was purchased at pre-Christmas retail prices.

starbucks gift card

In terms of specific items expected to be the most popular Christmas gifts in 2006, Elmo TMX and Sony’s PlayStation 3 top the list as the most sought after and hardest to find gifts. Elmo T.M.X. (Tickle Me eXtreme) is an animatronic successor to 1996’s hottest and most popular Christmas present, the Tickle Me Elmo. The toy requires six AA batteries, which are actually included with the toy. Elmo TMX hit store shelves September 19, 2006 and quickly sold out, with auctions selling them shortly thereafter for up to $1,000. The price of Tickle Me Elmo TMX was originally supposed to be a suggested retail price of $39.99, but is now selling for many times that at various retailers and auctions.

Sony’s Playstation 3 was released on November 17, 2006 in the USA leaving very little time for Christmas shoppers to get their hands on one. A 20GB model retails for $900 while a 60GB model retails for $1000. There was such an incredible demand for PlayStation 3 on its release date that a string of related violence occurred during the week following its release. The media reported on robbery after robbery, shootings, and stabbings across the country while prices on eBay skyrocketed to as high as $2,000. If you have yet to purchase the popular gift yourself, and you plan on doing so this season, you were wise to wait. There is no shortage of PS3’s on the market and you can buy them at the suggested retail price online or by auction for possibly even less.

Most Popular Fast Food Restaurant in the US

Monday, April 17th, 2006

There’s no question that more and more Americans are turning to fast food every day to fill their stomachs. For many, choosing which drive-thru window to visit is a daily ritual, but with so many choices on modern day Main St. USA, where are most Americans choosing to pick up dinner, what is the most popular fast food restaurant chain in the US?

According to a new poll by Zogby International, nearly one-in-four (23%) American adults call fast food chain Wendy’s their favorite, with half as many preferring runners-up Taco Bell and McDonald’s (12% apiece). Burger King trailed McDonald’s and Taco Bell at 11%. Rounding out the field were KFC at 8%, and Jack in the Box and Long John Silver’s, at 3% each. Three-in-ten (29%) respondents say they either prefer no fast food restaurant or a chain not offered on the list.

Until 1999, McDonald’s was the most popular fast food restaurant by leaps and bounds. Recent trends in health and some famous “anti-McDonald’s” movies have apparently, fairly or unfairly, giving the golden arches a stigma in American eyes as “the most unhealty” fast food option. McDonald’s is currently spending Millions of dollars in advertising to change this public opinion.

Some fast food restaurants, like Jack in the Box in the western US or White Castle in the northern mid-Atlantic are the most popular fast food restaurants in their respective regions, possibly due to their somewhat “local” appeal.

With more and more fast food restaurants hitting the streets every day, it’s getting harder and harder for one chain to prove they are America’s favorite. Fast food it’s self, however, is in no danger of loosing popularity amongst a population that seems to be growing increasingly large.