Monday, September 15, 2003

Morning memo



Today's number: 29

Percentage of workers 16 and over who work more than 40 hours a week, according to the Census Bureau. Eight percent work 60 or more hours.

Today's career talk

When given a task by a boss, spread an inter-office net to colleagues for a broader perspective, suggests Ann D. Clark, Ph.D. and Patt Perkins in their book Surviving Your Boss: How to Cope with Office Politics and Get on With Your Job. There are traps to avoid, however: "Don't fall prey to cutting down your boss when you make these inquiries," the authors say. "Gossip and backbiting, no matter how satisfying at the moment, will generally backfire."

Today's money tip

Shopping robots, or "bots," offer a convenient method of comparing prices on a particular product. Not all bots are alike. Some feature a range of product categories, while others focus on specific types of goods.

If you'd like to do some serious cyberspace shopping or just a bit of Web window browsing, visit www.PriceGrabber.com. It contains product price comparisons and occasional rebate information.

TODAY'S COMPANY: TRADEWINDS BEVERAGE CO.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF BREW: The Tradewinds brand was once part of Hudepohl Schoenling Brewing Co. Its first product, Sweet Tea, appeared in 1993. During the 1990s, Hudepohl Schoenling sold off its beer-making assets and then its beer brands, coming to focus exclusively on Tradewinds by the end of the decade.

LEAFING OUT: Currently, there are 10 teas in the Tradewinds lineup: Sweet, Extra Sweet, Honey Sweet, Green, Unsweetened, Diet Sweet, Lemon, Raspberry, Peach and Lemon-Lime. The company's best seller is Sweet Tea: each week, 25 to 50 fans of the product share their product discovery stories through Tradewinds' Web site (www.tradewinds-tea.com) .

ON THE SHELF: Tradewinds beverages are distributed heavily throughout the Midwest and by a couple of nationwide distributors. They are sold primarily in convenience stores.

BREWING AND BOTTLING: Tradewinds' Queensgate headquarters is the scene of sales and marketing activity. About 50,000 gallons of tea is produced each week for the company by National Fruit Product Co. in Winchester, Va. It is steeped in large brew kettles.




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