The cupcake craze in the US is something Mintel has been following for the last few years so it’s no surprise that the week kicked off with a sweet bit of coverage in Adweek that quoted senior global analyst Chris Brockman. Chris stated that “the appeal of cupcakes is that they can be humbly versatile, they can be upscale or mainstream, fancy cakes or everyday cakes as well.”

Meanwhile, Director of Insights for Mintel Food & Drink, Marcia Mogelonsky, gave her expert opinion of the impact of rising confectionery prices on the candy industry in CSP Magazine. Marcia pointed out that rising cocoa prices as well as increased energy costs have led to higher candy sales even as the number of units sold has remained relatively unchanged. She was also interviewed for two Bakery and Snacks articles in one week where she discussed the possible sale of United Biscuits to Kraft.

Yet another Mintel expert who was featured in the press this week was Senior Vice President of Mintel Comperemedia Andrew Davidson. He was interviewed by CreditCards.com where he discussed how card issuers have become more cautious in regards to direct mail activity due to the uncertain economic environment. The story was also picked up by Yahoo! Finance. Next in line, Eric Giandelone, director of foodservice research, was sought out by the Christian Science Monitor to give more insight into the Chick-Fil-A controversy and how it will affect the chain’s expansion plans while foodservice analyst Kathy Hayden was quoted in a QSR Magazine story about the future of Burger King.

Not surprisingly, our insight into the hair care preferences of urban Chinese consumers continued to get the media talking this week, as the story was covered by Inside Cosmeceuticals and Cosmetics & Toiletries while our sales outlook of the Black hair care market was featured in the Buffalo News for a profile of businesswoman and former model Beverly Johnson.

Also of note, our knowledge of men’s at-home grooming habits was included in a Daily Finance article and our research on male and female professional care services usage (72% of women vs. 52% of men have visited a salon) was featured in Skin Inc.

Rounding out the week, our pizza restaurant intelligence appeared in the Toledo Blade and our lunch meat sales figures were used by Meat & Poultry.

Still in Asia, our UK OTC Painkillers and Cold and Flu report continues to prove popular, this time featuring in Taiwan in MSN ?????????? ???? and also in Sina.

Over in Singapore, Yahoo! Finance featured our latest Chinese Haircare release. Some 81% of urban Chinese hair care consumers prefer to purchase all-natural products, reports Mintel. The same story continues to prove popular in Europe in BizCommunity and L’Observatoire des Cosmétiques in France.

Beauty was big in the UK press this week, starting with our hair colourants research which was featured in the Daily Mail which talked about whether women should ditch DIY hair dye. In fact, sales of home colourants have increased by 12 per cent to an estimated £321 million in 2011.  Still with home beauty and this time anti-ageing gadgets, our UK and US facial skincare research featured in The Daily Telegraph which said according to a Mintel report last month, the UK facial care market generated £956 million in 2011 and is predicted to top £1 billion in 2013. In the US, demand for skincare specialists is expected to have grown by 38 per cent by 2018.

Onto finance, Which? looked at how the Co-operative is launching contactless credit cards. While recent research suggests that people are still reluctant to embrace contactless cards though. Mintel found that only 25% of contactless card holders are ever using them to make payments. The research reveals only 5% of Brits have used a contactless card – while almost three times as many (14%) say they have been issued with a card and not yet used the contactless feature.

Next it was drinks, starting with hot beverages, the BBC looked at the independent coffee republic of Totnes. Our findings show that two-thirds of consumers, and three in four 16-24-year-olds, buy coffee and other hot drinks when out and about.  Meanwhile, bottled water was featured in the Daily Mail which revealed that sales are due to reach £1.5billion this year, but this will rise to almost £2 billion in the next four years. The same story was featured in the Metro. Finally, Harpers looked at our latest flavoured alcoholic beverages research. Gary Aslam, European customer services, sales and marketing director at Rexam Beverage Can, said research from Mintel continued to highlight strong female interest in moving away from FABs to more grown-up ready-to-share offerings.

In a week when sport and fitness was top of the nation’s agenda, Marketing Week featured our very latest Clothes Sizing report highlighting the nation’s expanding waistline. Although Britons’ waistbands are expanding, the clothes in the high street shops are not. According to the latest clothing report by Mintel, retailers in the UK are failing to expand their sizes in line with the changing shape of the population. The same research was featured in the Daily Mail in the soaring cost of our expanding waistlines: £4.2billion will be spent on plus-size outfits this year – up 40 per cent in five years. Finally, Food Navigator featured our meat substitutes data.

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