Cranberries

In 1816, cranberries began being commercially cultivated in the United States. Centuries before that Native Americans gathered wild cranberries for food, dye, and medicine. Pemmican—a mixture of cranberries, dried deer meat, and fat tallow that would last for months—provided a reliable source of protein and fat. Pemmican became a food staple of fur traders, essential to their survival on long journeys during the winter.

The colonists used cranberries in recipes they were familiar with from their native countries, substituting cranberries for the sour fruit called for in these recipes. In the 1620s, after the British brought honeybees to North America, a consistent supply of sweetener was available and cranberries began being used in pies, tarts, and cranberry sauce that was mostly eaten with white meats such as turkey. Although the commercial canning of cranberries began in 1912, the canned, gelatinous cranberry sauce that most Americans are familiar with did not become popular until 1940.

In 2012, the last year for which data are available,1 there were a total of 1,040 cranberry bogs and marshes in the United States, down from 1,134 in 2007. However, total acreage increased from 41,310 in 2007 to 43,918 in 2012. Most of the cranberries produced in the United States come from Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington State. In 2016, 35% of the cranberries harvested were sold overseas; a decade ago, 10% were. According to Kellyanne Dignan, senior manager of corporate communications at Ocean Spray Cranberries, more than 70% of U.S. shoppers who buy fresh cranberries use them for sauce for a holiday meal.

Today’s market size shows the number of pounds of processed and fresh cranberries sold in 2006 and 2015. Per capita, consumption of fresh cranberries remained flat between 0.08 and 0.10 pounds during this time period. However, processed cranberry consumption reached a high of 1.98 pounds per person in 2006, dropped to a low of 1.67 pounds in 2012, then increased yearly up to 1.93 pounds per person in 2015.

1 2017 data is currently being compiled for the Census of Agriculture by the United States Department of Agriculture. The data will be published starting in February 2019.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2006 and 2015
Market size: (Processed cranberry sales) 5,909,755 pounds and 6,203,247 pounds respectively
Market size: (Fresh cranberry sales) 258,454 pounds and 270,229 pounds respectively
Sources: “Report – Per Capita Cranberry Consumption,” U.S. Cranberries, Cranberry Marketing Committee, 2017 available online here; Whitman-Salkin, Sarah, “Cranberries, a Thanksgiving Staple, Were a Native American Superfood,” National Geographic, November 28, 2013 available online here; Blakemore, Erin, “A Brief History of Cranberries,” Smithsonian.com, November 25, 2015 available online here; “Table 40. Berries: 2012 and 2007,” 2012 Census of Agriculture, USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, May 2, 2014 available online here; “Cranberries,” United States Department of Agriculture, Economics, Statistics and Market Information System, August 10, 2017 available online here; Offner, Jim, “Marketers See Retail as Sweet Spot for Cranberry Sales,” The Packer, September 2, 2016 available online here; Offner, Jim, “Export Market Continues to Grow for Cranberry Industry,” The Packer, September 4, 2016 available online here; “Frequently Asked Questions,” USDA Census of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture, June 16, 2017 available online here.
Image source: alex80, “Cranberries-berry-red-vitamin-1714174,” Pixabay, August 2016 available online here.

Recycling

America Recycles Day was started in 1997 by the National Recycling Coalition. Since 2009, it has been a national initiative of Keep America Beautiful. Events are held around the country to educate people about recycling not only for its positive effects on our environment but also for its importance to our economy. According to Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, of Keep America Beautiful, “America Recycles Day helps to shine a light on our ongoing efforts to educate and inspire people to reduce, reuse and recycle, and when they buy, to buy products made from sustainable and recycled materials.”

On November 13, 2015, President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation declaring November 15 America Recycles Day:

Every American has a role to play in preserving our planet for future generations. Being good stewards of our environment and protecting our natural resources are imperative tasks for ensuring our children and grandchildren live in a clean and sustainable world, and recycling is a pivotal way each of us can do our part. Today, we acknowledge the importance of reusing materials and reducing consumption, and we recognize that a recycling bin may often be a better alternative to a garbage can.

Each year, as much energy is saved recycling and composting as is consumed by 10 million American households. …

Recycling is one way all people can join in the effort of maintaining a sustainable society. Reusing goods and reducing consumption, in addition to donating old or unwanted materials, can have significant impacts on the earth, as well. …

Communities across America must continue promoting activities that encourage people to recycle and to conserve so we do not take for granted today the world our children will inherit tomorrow. We owe it to them to leave behind a stable, secure planet, and that begins with preserving the natural blessings of our Nation. On this day, let us work to fulfill our obligation to our next generation by safeguarding our resources and working with our friends, family, and neighbors to protect the world we share.

On this America Recycles Day we’re recycling our blog post from July 21, 2017, titled Recyclable Materials:

Recycling is beneficial for the environment. It keeps materials out of landfills and helps to reduce the need for harvesting materials from the natural environment. When cities first started recycling programs the assumption was that the cost of the collection and sorting of the materials would be covered by the proceeds of the sale of those materials. In recent years this has not been the case. The value of some materials has dropped dramatically while the cost of recovering them has risen.

Reclaimed paper, a once valuable commodity that was in high demand by the newspaper industry, is one of these materials. As print newspaper circulation dropped dramatically, so did the need for reclaimed paper. Reclaimed plastics is another of these materials. As oil prices remain low, it’s less expensive for manufacturers to make products from new plastic than it is for them to use reclaimed plastic. Since much of the reclaimed materials in the United States are sent overseas, recent legislative action by some countries limiting the amount of imported reclaimed materials has also negatively affected the market making it more difficult to sell such materials.

Today’s market size is the value of a ton of mixed recyclable material for 2011, 2015 and an estimated value for 2017.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2011, 2015 and 2017
Market size: $180, $80, and just shy of $100 per ton of mixed recyclable material respectively.
Sources: Paul Singer, “Recycling Market in a Heap of Trouble,” USA Today for the Lansing State Journal, April 21, 2017, page B1; Obama, Barack, “Presidential Proclamation — America Recycles Day, 2015,” The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, November 13, 2015 available online here; Pulley, Brenda, “America Recycles Day Marks 20th Anniversary, Focuses Nation’s Attention on Recycling Every Day,” Keep America Beautiful Press Release, November 2, 2017 available online here; “America Recycles Day,” National Day Calendar available online here.
Image source: 9355, “recycle-reuse-recycling-recyclable-57136,” Pixabay, September 20, 2012 available online here.

Hunting

This week many hunters across Michigan are preparing to fan out across the state as regular firearm hunting season begins November 15. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, more than 700,000 hunters in Michigan spent $2.3 billion on trip-related expenses and equipment in 2011, the last year for which data are available.

Across the United States, in 2016, there were nearly 15.5 million hunters. Today’s market size shows the total amount these hunters spent on trip-related expenses (58.7%) and gear, accessories, and vehicles (41.3%). According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, hunting in the United States directly supports nearly 195,000 jobs and $7.4 billion in salaries and wages. Hunting also generates nearly $3.5 billion in Federal, state and local taxes annually.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2016
Market size: $27.4 billion
Source: The Outdoor Recreation Economy, Outdoor Industry Association, April 2017, page 18 available online here; Outdoor Participation Report 2017, Outdoor Foundation, August 7, 2017, page 37 available online here; “About the DNR,” Michigan Department of Natural Resources, 2017 available online here.
Original source: National Shooting Sports Foundation
Image source: JamesDeMers, “Hunter-deer-hunting-rifle-67002,” Pixabay, November 23, 2012 available online here.

Canadian Icewine Exports

The Canadian winemaking industry goes back more than 200 years to the early 1800s when Johann Schiller began growing hybridized grapes and making his own wine in Ontario’s Niagara region. The first commercial winery opened in 1866 on Pelee Island. In 1890 there were 41 commercial wineries in Canada, most in Ontario. By 2011 there were 476. Four years later that number grew to 604. Domestic sales of Canadian wines in 2015-2016 were C$2.1 billion. Exports were valued at nearly C$74 million in 2015.

Icewine, a dessert wine that is made exclusively from grapes that are naturally frozen on the vine, began to be produced commercially in Canada in 1978. In 1991 Inniskillin Winery’s 1989 Vidal Icewine won the Grand Prix d’Honneur at Bordeaux’s VinExpo, bringing international recognition to Canada’s icewine industry. Currently, Canada is the largest consistent producer of icewine in the world.

Today’s market size shows the value and volume of Canadian icewine exports in 2011 and 2015. More than a third of icewine exports went to China in 2015, followed by the United States (23.5%), South Korea (13.2%), the United Kingdom (6.5%), and Hong Kong (6.1%). In all in 2015 Canada exported icewine to 31 countries around the world. Although the value and volume of icewine exports have increased during the 2011 to 2015 time period, as a percentage of total wine exports, the value and volume have decreased. In 2011, icewine was 36.2% of total wine export value; in 2015, 25.1%. In 2011, icewine made up 0.84% of total wine exports by volume. In 2015, that dropped to 0.32%.

Geographic reference: Canada
Year: 2011 and 2015
Market size: C$13,354,174 and C$18,623,057 respectively
Market size: 181,093 liters and 234,604 liters respectively
Sources: “Canadian Icewine Exports 2011-2015,” Canadian Vintners Association, August 2016 available online here; “Canadian Icewine Exports – Top 10 Markets in 2015,” Canadian Vintners Association, August 2016 available online here; “Canadian Wine Exports 2011-2015,” Canadian Vintners Association, August 2016 available online here; Statistics Canada, “Table 183-0024 – Sales of Alcoholic Beverages of Liquor Authorities and Other Retail Outlets, by Value, Volume, and Beverage Type, Annual,” CANSIM, May 1, 2017 available online here; “Key Dates & Statistics,” Robert A Bell’s Wines of Canada available online here; “Canadian Icewine,” Canadian Vintners Association, 2016 availalble online here; “The Beginning of Wine Making in Canada,” Robert A Bell’s Wines of Canada, 2014 available online here; “History of Icewines,” Robert A Bell’s Wines of Canada, 2012 available online here; “Statistics,” Canadian Vintners Association available online here; “Canadian Wine and Grape Industry Economic Impact 2015 Fact Sheet,” Canadian Vintners Association, March 2017 available online here.
Image source: Hatfield, Craig, “Icewine From The Niagara Region,” Wikimedia Commons, February 2, 2008 available online here. Use of image does not constitute endorsement of brand shown.

Pizza

According to Restaurant.com, Halloween is one of the top 5 busiest days for pizza sales at pizzerias in the United States. The convenience of picking up a ready-made pizza for dinner, or having one delivered, leaves families more free time to prepare for trick-or-treating. In addition, pizza is an often-served and welcome meal at Halloween parties across the country. Forty-one percent of consumers polled for Technomic’s 2016 Pizza Consumer Report said they eat pizza once a week. Two years ago 26% did.

Today’s market size shows total pizza sales at pizzerias in the United States for the year ending September 30, 2016. However, pizza is not only consumed in the United States. Worldwide, pizza sales totaled $128 billion in 2016. The top 3 regions of the world in terms of sales were Western Europe ($47 billion), North America ($45 billion), and Latin America ($13 billion) according to Euromonitor International. Latin America is expected to see a 45% growth in pizza sales through 2020, followed by China (31%) and the Asia-Pacific region (26%).

Geographic reference: United States
Year: Year ending September 30, 2016
Market size: $44 billion
Source: Hynum, Rick, “Pizza Power Report 2017 – A State of the Industry Report,” PMQ, December 2016 available online here; Hobson, Alex, “Halloween is One of the Top Selling Days for Pizzerias,” ABC Action News, WFTS Tampa Bay, October 31, 2013, updated November 1, 2013 available online here.
Original sources: Euromonitor International, CHD Expert, Technomic
Image source: Riedelmeier, “Pizza-stone-oven-pizza-stone-oven-1344720,” Pixabay, March 28, 2016 available online here.

Online Grocery-Delivery Services

For many years people have been buying books, clothing, and housewares online. Why not groceries? The grocery industry in the United States generates more than $600 billion in sales. Nearly everyone shops for groceries and an overwhelming majority shop for groceries at least once a week. Online grocery-shopping services offer the consumer convenience, but many times this convenience comes at a price. Because the consumer is paying someone else to shop for them, in order to pay these employees companies may charge higher prices for the groceries themselves and charge for shipping or delivery. Also, the consumer has to trust that the online grocery-shopping service employees will select the best produce, meat, and other perishable items and deliver them to their door in a timely manner and in good condition.

Despite many of the drawbacks, consumers are spending billions shopping online for groceries. Today’s market size is the total amount consumers in the United States spent online for groceries in 2016, a more than 160% increase in spending over 2015. Also included are projected sales figures for 2025.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2016 and 2025
Market size: $42 billion and more than $100 billion respectively
Sources: Trejos, Nancy, “Hotels Find Alternatives to Room Service,” USA TODAY for the Lansing State Journal, August 14, 2017, page 5B; Kestenbaum, Richard, “Why Online Grocers are So Unsuccessful and What Amazon is Doing About It,” Forbes, January 16, 2017 available online here.
Original source: Morgan Stanley
Image source: JoyintheCommonplace, “List-plan-phone-to-do-list-1474674,” Pixabay, June 23, 2016 available online here. Original image has been modified.

Craft Beer in Michigan

From 2012 to 2016, the number of craft breweries in the United States more than doubled from 2,420 to 5,234. In 2016, sales of craft beer made up 22%—$23.5 billion—of the overall beer market.

Today’s market size shows the number of craft breweries in Michigan and the number of gallons of beer they produced in 2016.

Geographic reference: Michigan
Year: 2016
Market size: 205 craft breweries produced 769,897 gallons of craft beer
Sources: Dillon Davis, “Standing Tall,” Lansing State Journal, April 23, 2017, page 3P; “Number of Breweries,” 2017 available online here.
Original source: Brewers Association
Image source: Tookapic, “Beer-glass-drink-beverage-alcohol-932320,” Pixabay, September 28, 2015 available online here.

International Data Flow

The World Wide Web. A decentralized network of data stored on servers all around the world. But many countries—China, Russia, Germany, and Belgium, to name a few—are enacting laws requiring multinational companies to store and process country-specific data on local servers. According to the source, relaxing such restrictions has become a priority of President Donald Trump’s administration as they negotiate trade agreements, including the upcoming renegotiation of NAFTA.

Proponents of these laws say that having their users’ data stored locally aids in cyber security. Opponents say that storing data on local servers is more expensive, especially for small to medium sized companies. High tech companies worry about having their source codes stolen. Some companies worry that governments or political groups will use the data stored on these servers for illegitimate reasons. And many argue that limiting data flow also limits job growth and innovation. According to Nigel Cory, a trade policy analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, “data needs to flow to create value.”

Today’s market size is the estimated value of data flowing through international borders in 2014, according to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2014
Market size: $2.8 trillion
Sources: Yu, Roger, “More Firms Push Back on Foreign Data Rule,” USA TODAY for the Lansing State Journal, August 13, 2017, page 4B
Original source: Manyika, James, et. al., Digital Globalization: The New Era of Global Flows, McKinsey Global Insitute, February 2016 available online here.
Image source: Geralt, “Binary-hands-keyboard-tap-enter-2372131,” Pixabay, June 2017 available online here.

“Legal” Marijuana Market

Although the Federal government considers possession of marijuana illegal and classifies marijuana as a Schedule I substance, one that has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse” according to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, all but eleven of the 50 states have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana at the state level. As of the end of 2016, twenty-four states have legalized some form of medical marijuana and eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use. While the legalization of marijuana for recreational use is a new phenomenon—Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize this activity in 2012—decriminalization at the state level began in 1973 and California was the first to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. Despite legalizing this drug, some states and municipalities are struggling with how to regulate this new industry. In Michigan, where medical marijuana has been legal since 2008, the governor didn’t sign legislation to regulate the industry until September 2016. Under the new regulations, the House Fiscal Agency estimates that annual medical marijuana sales will total $771 million, generating $21.3 million in state tax revenue. Michigan has 244,125 registered medical marijuana users and 40,702 registered caregivers.

Today’s market size shows the amount of revenue generated from legal medicinal and recreational marijuana sales in the United States in 2016 and projected sales for 2021.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2016 and 2021
Market size: $6.8 billion and $21.6 billion respectively
Sources: Kathleen Gray and Paul Egan, “Medical Pot Laws Creating a Frenzy,” Lansing State Journal, March 26, 2017, pages 1A, 15A and 17A; “Legality of Cannabis by U.S. Jurisdiction,” Wikipedia, available online here; “Timeline of Cannabis Laws in the United States,” Wikipedia, available online here; “Drug Schedules,” United States Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Department of Justice, available online here.
Original source: Arcview Market Research
Image source: Rexmedlen, “Cannabis-hemp-marijuana-1382955,” Pixabay, May 12, 2016 available online here.

College Football Guarantee Games

College football guarantee games are mostly non-conference games arranged by contract among opponent schools, in most cases many years in advance. These contracts involve payment to one or both of the schools involved. While these types of games have been in existence for many years, payments have skyrocketed in the past decade and a half from several hundred thousand dollars per contract to several million dollars per contract.

In some cases, larger schools hand-pick their opponents, sometimes smaller schools that they’re presumably likely to beat, while paying the smaller schools an amount more than the revenue the smaller schools are likely to earn by ticket and merchandise sales. In other cases, matchups are chosen based on the strength of both teams, thereby giving their schedule a presumed advantage with the College Football Playoff selection committee. A matchup between two strong teams may also generate more revenue from fans and higher ratings from television broadcasts.

Today’s market size is the estimated amount of money exchanged during the regular 2017 college football season for guarantee games involving teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). In 2017 there were more than 200 guarantee game contracts with teams in the FBS.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2017
Market size: More than $150 million
Source: Berkowitz, Steve, “Guarantee Games Grow in Stature,” USA TODAY for the Lansing State Journal, August 30, 2017, page 5C.
Original source: USA TODAY Sports
Image source: Skeeze, “Football-american-scrimmage-line-557206,” Pixabay, December 9, 2014 available online here.

Thrifting

Several decades ago thrifting—shopping at used merchandise stores—was associated with poverty. More recently while some continue to shop at used merchandise stores to save money, many see thrifting as a lifestyle choice, a way to find inexpensive, unique pieces for their wardrobe or to find pieces to repurpose for do-it-yourself projects. The younger generation, especially, has embraced thrifting. Perhaps as a reflection of that, the 2012 Macklemore song “Thrift Shop” became a hit. The official music video on YouTube, as of May 2017, had more than 1 billion views and more than 5 million likes.

The total revenue of used merchandise stores in the United States is today’s market size.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2017
Market size: $17 billion
Source: Princess Gabbara, “How Thrifting Became Chic,” Lansing State Journal, May 7, 2017, pages 1D, 5D; Ryan Lewis, “Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop Feat. Wanz (Official Video),” YouTube, August 29, 2012 available online here.
Original source: Dun & Bradstreet
Image source: PublicDomainPictures, “second-hand-sign-thrift-shop-20113,” Pixabay, March 1, 2012 available online here.

Audiobooks

According to a July 2016 article in The Wall Street Journal, audiobooks are the fastest-growing format in publishing. From 2014 to 2015, sales increased 20.7 percent and unit sales grew 24.1 percent.

Several factors may have contributed to this increase in sales. First, there are more ways consumers can listen to audiobooks: mobile devices, such as smartphones, smartwatches, and tablets; in-car devices, such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; and in-home devices, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home. Second, obtaining audiobooks has become easier. Libraries offer digital downloads of audiobooks as do subscription audiobook services and services such as Apple iTunes and Google Play which allow instant access to whatever the consumer wants to read at that moment. Also, according to Ian Small, CEO of Audiobooks.com, the popularity of podcasting has influenced the millennial generation’s new-found interest in audiobooks.

Today’s market size is the total sales of audiobooks in 2015, 90.4 percent of which is made up of adult titles, with a bit more than three-quarters of that being adult fiction.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2015
Market size: $1.77 billion
Sources: Bacon, Beth, “Trending Up: What’s Fueling and Feeding the Audiobook Boom?” DBW, April 11, 2017, available online here; Maloney, Jennifer, “The Fastest-Growing Format in Publishing: Audiobooks,” The Wall Street Journal, July 21, 2016, available online here.
Original source: Audio Publishing Association

Back-to-College Spending

According to the National Center for Education Statistics fall college enrollment in 2010 was 21.0 million. Enrollment declined to 20.2 million in 2014 but is projected to increase to 20.9 million in 2017. Today’s market size shows the total amount spent on back-to-college items by students and their families in 2010, 2014 and 2017. The figure for 2017 is projected. In 2017, back-to-college shoppers plan on spending the most on electronics ($12.8 billion), followed by clothing ($8.0 billion) and snacks and other food items ($7.5 billion). Spending on dorm and apartment furnishings came in fourth at $5.9 billion. Spending on school supplies ranked seventh at $3.9 billion.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2010, 2014 and 2017 projected
Market size: $45.88 billion, $48.48 billion and $54.18 billion respectively
Sources: Smith, Ana Serafin, “Back-to-School and Back-to-College Spending to Reach $83.6 Billion,” National Retail Federation Press Release, July 13, 2017 available online here; U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, “Table 303.10. Total Fall Enrollment in Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions, by Attendance Status, Sex of Student, and Control of Institution: Selected Years, 1947 through 2025,” Digest of Education Statistics: 2015, December 2016 available online here.
Original source: Prosper Insights & Analytics

Back-to-School Spending

School days, school days
Dear old Golden Rule days
Reading and ‘riting and ‘rithmetic
Taught to the tune of a hick’ry stick
You were my queen in calico
I was your bashful, barefoot beau
And you wrote on my slate, “I Love You, Joe”
When we were a couple o’ kids
— Chorus of the popular American song School Days written by Will Cobb and Gus Edwards in 1907

While reading, writing, and arithmetic are still part of the curriculum, back-to-school supplies have changed quite a bit over the past century or more. Slates have been replaced by notebooks, laptops, and tablets, supplies that are on many a child’s back-to-school shopping list this year along with clothing, shoes, calculators, folders, pencils, backpacks, and lunchboxes.

Today’s market size shows the amount spent on back-to-school items for children in kindergarten through 12th grade in 2007, 2016 and 2017. Figures for 2017 are projected. While parents and guardians do most of the back-to-school spending, the National Retail Federation found that preteens and teenagers plan on spending more of their own money on school supplies in 2017 than they have in the past.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2007, 2016 and 2017 projected
Market size: $18.48 billion, 27.38 billion and 29.58 billion respectively
Sources: Smith, Ana Serafin, “Back-to-School and Back-to-College Spending to Reach $83.6 Billion,” National Retail Federation Press Release, July 13, 2017 available online here; “School Days (1907 song),” Wikipedia, December 2016 available online here.

Public Transportation in the Lansing, Michigan Area

The Capital Area Transit Authority (CATA) is the largest public transit provider in the tri-county area around Lansing, Michigan. The tri-county area consists of Ingham, Clinton, and Eaton counties. CATA has been operating public transportation in the mid-Michigan area since 1972 and has been twice named the best transit system of its size in North America by the American Public Transportation Association.

Ridership grew steadily during the 1970s, before leveling off during the 1980s and most of the 1990s. During the 1980s and 1990s, the number of rides fluctuated around 3-4 million annually. In 1999, CATA took over the Michigan State University bus service. Since then ridership has increased nearly 3-fold. In contrast, the population of the tri-county area grew by 22.6% from 1970 to 2010.

In 2013, CATA set a fourth consecutive yearly record for number of rides. By 2014, however, ridership was down overall despite seeing increased ridership on its Michigan State University routes and increased requests for its paratransit services. In the fourth quarter of 2014, gasoline prices fell which could account for the decreased ridership. Gasoline prices remained low in 2016. Bus ridership both nationally and locally continued to decline in 2016. According to the American Public Transporation Association, nationally bus ridership dropped by almost 3 percent in 2016. CATA saw a ridership decline of 4.6 percent overall that same year. However, CATA saw ridership on its Michigan State University and some of its Redi-Ride and paratransit routes increase by double-digits in 2016.

Today’s market size represents the number of rides annually on CATA vehicles in 1972 and 2016.

Geographic reference: Lansing, Michigan area
Year: 1972 and 2016
Market size: Less than 1 million rides and 10.9 million rides respectively
Sources: “Ridership Mirrors National Trend”, CATA 2017 Community Report, June 2017, page 4; “National Trend Leaves Its Mark on Ridership,” CATA 2016 Community Report, June 2016, page 3; “Ridership Trends Vary by Service Type”, CATA 2015 Community Report: Where Public Transportation Goes Community Grows, June 2015, page 3; “Passenger Trips Reflect Stable Demand”, CATA 2014 Community Report: Moving You Forward With Pride, June 2014, page 3; “Growth in Ridership Remains Strong”, CATA 2013 Community Report: Moving You Toward Your Dreams, June 2013, page 4; “Riding High with Record Ridership,” CATA 2012 Community Report 40th Anniversary Edition: Greater Lansing on the Move, August 2012; “CATA Demand Grows with Community Need,” CATA 2011 Community Report: Greater Lansing on the Move, August 2011; Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, “Tri-County Regional Growth: Choices for Our Future,” Draft Report, August 2002 available online here; “Ingham County, Michigan” available online here; “Clinton County, Michigan” available online here; and “Eaton County, Michigan” available online here.

Hot Dogs

The hot dog is a staple at sporting events, picnics, carnivals, and backyard barbecues. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans consume about 20 billion hot dogs per year. That equates to about 70 hot dogs per person per year, fewer than half of which were bought at retail stores.

Today’s market size is the total retail sales of hot dogs in the United States in 2016.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2016
Market size: $2.4 billion
Source: “Consumption Stats,” available online here; “Hot Dog Fast Facts,” available online here.
Original source: National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, The Neilsen Company

Recyclable Materials

Recycling is beneficial for the environment. It keeps materials out of landfills and helps to reduce the need for harvesting materials from the natural environment. When cities first started recycling programs the assumption was that the cost of the collection and sorting of the materials would be covered by the proceeds of the sale of those materials. In recent years this has not been the case. The value of some materials has dropped dramatically while the cost of recovering them has risen.

Reclaimed paper, a once valuable commodity that was in high demand by the newspaper industry, is one of these materials. As print newspaper circulation dropped dramatically, so did the need for reclaimed paper. Reclaimed plastics is another of these materials. As oil prices remain low, it’s less expensive for manufacturers to make products from new plastic than it is for them to use reclaimed plastic. Since much of the reclaimed materials in the United States are sent overseas, recent legislative action by some countries limiting the amount of imported reclaimed materials has also negatively affected the market making it more difficult to sell such materials.

Today’s market size is the value of a ton of mixed recyclable material for 2011, 2015 and an estimated value for 2017.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2011, 2015 and 2017
Market size: $180, $80, and just shy of $100 per ton of mixed recyclable material respectively.
Source: Paul Singer, “Recycling Market in a Heap of Trouble,” USA Today for the Lansing State Journal, April 21, 2017, page B1.

Wineries in Michigan


Michigan ranks fifth in the United States in wine production. Most wine grapes are grown in Van Buren, Berrien, Leelanau, and Grand Traverse counties, all within 25 miles of the Lake Michigan coast. The top 3 wines produced are Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. Because several other types of fruit are grown in the state, many wineries make wine from fruit other than grapes, such as with cherries or apples.

Geographic reference: Michigan
Year: 2017
Market size: 127 wineries producing 2.4 million gallons of wine annually
Source: Bob Gross, “Wine and Spirits Industries Booming,” Lansing State Journal, April 23, 2017, page 7P.
Original source: Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council

Recreational Vehicles

Low gas prices, favorable interest rates, and a renewed interest in the outdoors are fueling record sales of recreational vehicles (RVs). In addition, more people in their 20s and 30s are interested in buying RVs. Trailers, which make up 87% of the RVs sold, appeal more to Millenials who prefer something less expensive for weekend trips. Baby Boomers, in contrast, prefer buying motorhomes in order to spend most of their retirement years traveling. In 2016, a record number of RVs were shipped, more than 430,000. Manufacturers expect a 3.6% increase in shipments in 2017.

Today’s market size is the estimated total retail value of all RVs that will be sold in the United States in 2017.

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2017
Market size: $18.5 billion (estimated)
Source: Diana Kruzman, “Millennials Fuel Growth in RV Sales,” USA Today for the Lansing State Journal, May 26, 2017, page B4.
Original source: Recreational Vehicle Industry Association

Plus-Size Clothing

Plus-size clothing are generally found in specialty clothing stores or out-of-the-way places in mainstream clothing stores. In 2017, some retailers are experimenting with combining the non-plus-size clothing and the plus-size clothing on the same racks in the same section of their stores. According to Paco Underhill, author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, “[p]art of what they’re trying to do is recognize we live more in a size 12 or 14 or 16 world than we do a size 4 (one)…In a hypermarket store…where you’re selling both clothing and groceries and furniture and electronics and liquor, they want to be very careful not to turn someone off… If you are making that woman feel awkward about shopping for clothing, maybe she won’t buy her dishwasher soap or wine there, also.”

Geographic reference: United States
Year: 2013 and 2016
Market size: $17.4 billion and $20.4 billion respectively
Source: Zlati Meyer, “Meijer to Mix Misses, Plus Sizes,” Lansing State Journal, November 6, 2016, page 26A.
Original source: NPD Group