MONEY online shopping

5 Companies That Happily Lose Money to Get Your Business

Business models might be brilliant, crazy, or both—and can save you big money.

Handy workery
courtesy Handy

Losing money, it seems, is a great business model. In 2011, it was reported that Amazon lost $11 per customer on the annual shipping charges incurred by each Amazon Prime subscriber. For that matter, Amazon has famously lost money for much of its existence through exceptionally low prices, fast and (often) free shipping, and constantly expanding the business into new spheres. Yet experiments like Prime, which has come to be seen as a huge, all-powerful moneymaker, have paid off handsomely: The e-retailer is now worth more than Walmart.

Naturally, the cult of Amazon and its lose-money-to-make-money model has inspired legions of followers. As New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo put it, “giving away real money is a key part of business” for startups like Jet.com, which is using hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to defray the costs involved with marketing a new business and offering the lowest prices on the web.

Of course, one hopes the plan isn’t to simply keep losing money indefinitely. The long-term goal of losing money is to make money by attracting bajillions of customers and perhaps easing back a bit on the discounts once a critical mass has been converted as fans of the company.

At least in the early days, when these businesses are desperate to attract new customers and the discounts remain extraordinary, “consumers could be in for a boon,” according to Manjoo. “After all, from the perspective of customers, what’s so bad about companies giving away their venture-funneled cash?”

We’re certainly not going to complain. Here are five businesses that’ll essentially pass along some of their funding cash to you, in the form of cheap prices on goods and services, so long as you become a customer.

 

  • Jet

    Jet.com
    David Solodukho

    The new all-purpose members-only shopping site is being presented to the masses as a mashup of Amazon Prime and Costco, and a competitor to both as well. Jet promises prices that are 10% to 15% cheaper than anywhere else online, and it boosts shopper orders by using a unique algorithm that offers deeper discounts with every purchase. To get these great prices, customers must pay Jet’s annual $50 membership fee—which is where the company plans on making its money.

    But Jet admits it won’t make a profit for at least five years. In the meantime, it loses money on each order placed by many—if not most—members, who have likely signed up for three-month free trial subscriptions. As the Wall Street Journal noted, in some cases Jet is actually purchasing items from other retailers (like Walmart) to complete orders placed by Jet members. And it’s losing a ton of cash in the process.

  • Groupon

    Papa John's Pizza in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Betty LaRue—Alamy

    Groupon helped bring the concept of loss leaders to Main Street businesses all over America. Restaurants, spas, and what have you were encouraged to offer dirt-cheap daily deals that might lose money when the customer redeems the promotion, but theoretically help the business in the long run when the customer comes back later and pays full price. Groupon fired founder and CEO Andrew Mason in 2013, and as the company’s business model has evolved, its market value has gone from $6 billion to $1 billion and back up to $5 billion. And over the years, Groupon has spent a fortune in marketing and subsidies to acquire and keep subscribers.

    Groupon’s latest discount product is Groupon To Go, a food takeout and delivery service that just launched in Chicago and will expand to Boston and Austin this fall. To attract customers in the space already crowded with food-order specialists like Seamless and Eat24, Groupon To Go is indefinitely giving a flat 10% off orders at chains like Papa John’s, Subway, and Quiznos. These and all restaurants have pretty small profit margins to begin with, so a flat 10% off is substantial. Groupon gets a commission for each order placed, but it’s hard to see how the daily deal purveyor or the restaurants wind up actually making money in the big picture.

  • Postmates

    A bag of food from McDonald's ordered through the Postmates service next to a Postmates delivery bag.
    Chandice Choi—AP

    The courier service, which uses independent workers to offer ultra-fast same-day delivery on everything from hamburgers to sneakers, normally charges at least $5 for a pickup and dropoff, and a $20 delivery fee isn’t unheard of. To make its service an even better value, Postmates is planning on offering delivery for just $1 on some orders. How can it pull that off? Well, the firm recently raised $80 million more in funding, and it’ll use some of that money to subsidize the cost of $1 deliveries.

  • Luxe

    Luxe App on iphone
    courtesy Luxe

    Offered in seven big cities around the U.S., Luxe is a valet service that’ll meet you at a specified location, take the keys, and park your car for you. Not only does it eliminate the hassle of finding a parking spot, but using Luxe or a similar services like Zirx usually costs less than putting the vehicle in a private lot. Again, it’s funding, like the $30 million raised by Zirx, that allows these startups to charge about $15 per day for their services—and to not have to worry about making profits for quite some time.

  • Handy

    Handy workery
    courtesy Handy

    In addition to cleaning services, Handy allows customers to order someone over to fix a faucet, paint a room, and even change a light bulb. Its core product, home cleaning, usually costs $54 for a two-hour booking. But to attract new customers, Handy rolls out discounts that bring the rate down to $29 or even $19. Still, Handy is quick to point out that it has been easing off heavy discounting, and that in most instances the business model works even if a customer books only once.

    “You’re absolutely right that we don’t make money on certain customers on Day 1, but on the average customer, on Day 1, we make money,” Oisin Hanrahan, the co-founder and chief executive of Handy, explained to the New York Times.

TIME Food & Drink

PEZ to Dispense an Animated Movie

The candy company has struck a deal with a production company

PEZ and Envision Media Arts announced Monday that the companies are teaming up to make an animated movie about the tiny brick-shaped candy and its dispensers, written by Brothers in Law screenwriter Cameron Fay.

“The name PEZ was derived from the German word for peppermint… PfeffErminZ. Today, over 3 billion PEZ Candies are consumed annually in the U.S.A. alone,” according to the PEZ website.

No word on the plot, so may the speculation begin about whether the PEZ dispensers will be used as weapons that dispense poisonous candies or fire missiles at enemy combatants . . . or whatever.

TIME Food & Drink

These Heroes Set a New World Record for the Most People Making Sandwiches Simultaneously

Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Invision for SUBWAY Restaurants—AP Sandwich-makers set a new Guinness World Record for most people making sandwiches simultaneously with 1,481 people during an event held at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino on Aug. 1, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Here's how many people Subway recruited to set a new record

Subway “sandwich artists” set a Guinness World Record for the most people making sandwiches at the same time with 1,481 participants at a convention in Las Vegas Saturday.

The stunt was supposed to celebrate the chain’s 50th anniversary and all of the sub sandwiches were donated to the Salvation Army.

It is not the first time the chain has set this record. Subway has come a long way from 2012, when it earned the title with 254 people, and this year it won back the title from TangoTab, which set a new record in Feb. 2014 in Dallas with 1,363 people.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

These Are the Worst Pizzas in America

And 8 healthier indulgences to eat instead

Melted cheese recently melted the Internet, when Pizza Hut introduced their latest artery-clogging frankenfood, the 15″ Hot Dog Bites pie—a large, one-topping pizza with pigs-in-a-blanket backed into the crust. “I tried it and survived,” wrote one taste-tester online. This, about a food our Italian ancestors imagined would be a low-cal appetizer.

Unfortunately, Pizza Hut isn’t alone in offering pies that better resemble manhole covers than Neapolitan delicacies. At most popular restaurants and in frozen food aisles, thin, healthy crusts have gotten thicker, more bloated with cheap carb calories. Toppings have gotten gimmicky, so healthy mozzarella and tomato sauces are sometimes replaced with things like burger meat, ziti or chicken fingers. And serving sizes—especially for “individual” pizzas—have taken these pies to a new level of caloric callousness.

How bad is it? The editors of Eat This, Not That! magazine researched every pie in America and determined the absolute worst for your health and waistline. Indulge once in a while with our relatively healthier choices.

  • 1. Worst Pizza Slice

    Sbarro Stuffed Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza (1 slice)
    810 calories, 40 g fat (15 g saturated fat), 2,180 mg sodium, 73 g carbohydrate, 36 g protein
    That’s the Fat Equivalent of: 10 slices of pan-fried bacon!

    The architecture of this thing makes it less like a slice of pizza and more like a pizza inspired Chipotle Burrito. It relies on an oversize shell of oily bread to hold together a gooey wad of cheese, sausage and pepperoni. The net result is a pizza pocket with two-thirds of your day’s fat and more than a day’s worth of sodium. And the traditional pizza slices aren’t much better; few fall below 600 calories. If you want to do well at Sbarro, think thin crust with nothing but produce on top.

    Eat This Instead!
    Sbarro New York Style Fresh Tomato Pizza (1 slice)
    410 calories, 14 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 790 mg sodium, 53 g carbohydrates, 16 g protein

  • 2. Worst New Pizza

    Pizza Hut Hot Dog Bites Pizza
    Estimated per slice: 460 calories, 30 g fat, 9.9 g saturated fat, 32.7 g carbohydrates
    That’s the Fat Equivalent of: 7.5 Taco Bell Soft Fresco Steak Tacos!

    We’ve seen Pizza Hut do some kooky things in the past to try to woo new fans—remember the Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza, with 16 crust pockets of five totally different cheeses? Their latest monster mashup is Hot Dog Bites Pizza—a cheesy, pepperoni pizza surrounded by pigs in a blanket instead of the standard crust. Combining two fattening, calorie-dense, all-American foods is a lose-lose situation (though you won’t lose weight)—there’s a whopping 3,680 calories in a typical, 8-slice pie, to be exact. Oh, and it’s served with French’s mustard—for dipping all those hot dogs, of course. Yum?

    Eat This Instead!
    Pizza Hut Skinny Beach Pizza, 1 slice, 14” large skinny slice
    400 calories, 12 g fat (6 g saturated), 880 mg sodium, 56 g carbohydrates.

  • 3. Worst Frozen Pizza

    Red Baron Thin & Crispy Pepperoni Pizza (½ pie)
    400 calories, 19 g fat (9 g saturated), 1,020 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrates
    That’s the Saturated Fat Equivalent of: 16 Burger King Chicken Tenders!

    “Thin & crispy” sounds healthy, but the Baron’s pie gives Burger King Chicken Tenders a run for their money in saturated fat content. If you’re in the frozen aisle, choose Newman’s Own Thin & Crispy Uncured Pepperoni, Kashi Stone-Fired Thin Crust Pizza Mushroom Trio & Spinach instead, or—if you absolutely must-have a nostalgic guilty pleasure: Bagel Bites. They’re not the perfect snack, but still decent for a non-diet pizza product.

    Eat This Instead!
    Bagel Bites (4 pieces)
    200 calories, 6 g fat (2.5 saturated), 340 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrates

  • 4. Worst Pizza Wannabe

    Romano’s Macaroni Grill Smashed Meatball Fatbread
    1,420 calories, 59 g fat, 28 g saturated fat, 2,970 sodium, 149 g carbohydrates
    That’s the Calorie Equivalent of: Almost 17 Eggo Confetti Waffles!

    That is not a typo: Romano’s loudly advertises their “fatbread”—baked dough smothered with cheese and toppings—as being “fat on crust, fat on toppings and fat on flavor” but they should have added “fat on you.” Consuming more than half of your daily calories in one sitting is just asking for a 3 P.M. desktop snooze and a fatter tummy. Skip them and choose a simpler pasta instead. (But beware: Ravioli alla Vodka and the Penne Arrabbiata are 2 of only 4 lunchtime pastas with fewer than 1,000 calories.)

    Eat This Instead!
    Ravioli alla Vodka
    660 calories, 37 g fat, 20 g saturated fat, 1,440 sodium, 50 g carbohydrates.

  • 5. Worst Pizza for Kids

    CiCi’s Pizza Buffet Mac & Cheese (two 12” Buffet Pizza Slices)
    380 calories, 9 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 880 mg sodium, 60 g carbohydrates
    That’s the Carb Equivalent of: Shotgunning more than 4 slices of Wonder bread!

    Macaroni and cheese pizza? While it might seem like the best idea ever to kids the world over, this cute concept is potentially disastrous for your health—and your children’s. Why top an already carbohydrate-heavy dish with more carbs, not to mention fat? While the calorie count doesn’t register as high as most problematic pies on this list, that’s only because the slices are tiny; believe us, in CiCi’s all-you-can-eat environment, the damage can add up quickly. But if you bring one of their pizzas home, celebrate their smaller slices as built-in portion control—and go with flatbread. The kids will love the crunch.

    Eat This Instead!
    Cheese Flatbread (2 slices)
    200 calories, 9 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 380 mg sodium, 24 g carbohydrates

  • 6. Worst Seafood Pizza

    Red Lobster Lobster Pizza
    680 calories, 31 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 1,740 mg sodium, 66 g carbohydrates
    That’s the Fat Equivalent of: 442 large shrimp!

    Fare from the sea is typically a healthy way to go, but sprinkle it over a bed of starchy dough and fatty cheese and you have a different story altogether. Billed as a starter, this Lobster Pizza is the only pizza on Red Lobster’s menu—luckily it shares space with one of the world’s greatest appetizers: shrimp cocktail.

    Eat This Instead!
    Chilled Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail
    120 calories, 1 g fat, 590 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrates

  • 7. Worst Mashup Pizza

    Papa John’s Fritos Chili Pizza (2 slices)
    720 calories, 30 g fat (12 g saturated), 1,400 mg sodium
    That’s the Sodium Equivalent of: Dumping 5 salt packets into your mouth!

    Papa John’s seasonal concoction of pizza, beef chili and yes, Fritos is an insult to almost every cuisine known to man. By our estimates, a whole pie would come salted up with nearly 6,000 mg of sodium! A better defense is a good offense, so start your meal off here with a few pieces of belly-filling protein in the form of wings or chicken strips. Consider it insurance against scarfing too many slices later on.

    Eat This Instead!
    The Works Original Crust Pizza (1 slice, large pie) and Chickenstrips (3) with Cheese Dipping Sauce
    400 calories, 26 g fat (8.5 saturated fat), 1,060 sodium

  • 8. Worst Pizza in America

    Uno Chicago Grill Chicago Classic Deep Dish Individual Pizza
    2,300 calories, 164 g fat (53 g saturated, 1 g trans fat), 4,910 mg sodium, 119 g carbohydrates
    That’s the Sodium Equivalent of: 27 small bags of Lays Potato Chips!

    The problem with deep dish pizza (which Uno’s knows a thing or two about since they invented it back in 1943) is not just the extra empty calories and carbs from the crust, it’s that the thick doughy base provides the structural integrity to house extra heaps of cheese, sauce, and greasy toppings. The result is an individual pizza with more calories than you should eat in a day. Oh, did we mention it has nearly 3 days’ worth of saturated fat, too? The key to (relative) success at Uno’s lies in their flatbread pies—and share them!

    Eat This Instead!
    Cheese and Tomato Flatbread Pizza (1⁄2 pizza)
    490 calories, 23.5 g fat (11 g saturated), 1,290 mg sodium, 48 g carbohydrates

    This article originally appeared on Eat This, Not That!

    More from Eat This, Not That!

TIME Children

Picky Eating in Kids Could Be a Sign of Emotional Distress

Child Food
Getty Images

A small portion of children who are selective about what they eat could have anxiety or depression

CHICAGO — Parents of picky eaters take heart: New research suggests the problem is rarely worth fretting over, although in a small portion of kids it may signal emotional troubles that should be checked out.

Preschool-aged children who are extremely selective about what they eat and dislike even being near certain foods are more likely than others to have underlying anxiety or depression, the study found. But only 3 percent of young children studied were that picky.

Less severe pickiness, dubbed “moderate selected eating” in the study, was found in about 18 percent of kids. These are children who will only eat a narrow range of foods. Kids with either level of pickiness were almost two times more likely than others to develop anxiety symptoms within two years, the study found.

More typical pickiness, including kids who just refuse to eat their vegetables, is probably merely “normal dislike,” said eating disorders specialist Nancy Zucker, the lead author and an associate psychiatry professor at Duke University’s medical school. These are the kids who typically outgrow their pickiness as they mature.

Zucker said young children with moderate pickiness are probably more likely to outgrow the problem than the severe group, although more research is needed to confirm that.

The study was published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Dr. Arthur Lavin, a Cleveland pediatrician said picky eating is among the top concerns parents bring to his office, and that the study “helps us understand who we should be concerned about.”

“There’s more going on here than just not wanting to eat broccoli,” said Lavin, a member of an American Academy of Pediatrics committee on psycho-social issues. He was not involved in the research.

The study focused on about 900 children aged 2 through 5 who were recruited from primary care doctors affiliated with Duke’s medical center in Durham, North Carolina.

Researchers did in-home interviews with parents to evaluate kids’ eating habits and any mental health issues. Follow-up evaluations were done two years later in almost 200 children.

Compared with children who aren’t fussy eaters, depression and social anxiety were at least two times more common in kids with severe pickiness; attention deficit behavior and separation anxiety symptoms were more common in moderately selective kids.

Severe selective eating described in the study is akin to a condition called avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, added in 2013 to the latest edition of a widely used psychiatric manual, the study authors said. It can occur in all ages; some of those affected are extra-sensitive to food tastes, smells and textures.

Zucker said severe pickiness may be the first clue for parents that a child is experiencing anxiety or depression and that they may want to seek help from a mental health specialist.

Moderate pickiness is less concerning but affected kids can make family meal-times a battleground, she said. To avoid that, Zucker suggests that parents try introducing new foods at random times during the day.

TIME Food & Drink

Chinese Distillers Accused of Spiking Alcohol With Viagra

Viagra Alcohol China
Raupach/ullstein bild—Getty Images

Erectile dysfunction drugs added to "health-preserving" liquor

Two distillers are under investigation in China for allegedly spiking their alcohol with the anti-impotence drug Viagra, officials said on Saturday.

Chinese investigators discovered over 5,300 bottles suspected of being tainted with sildenafil, the chemical name for Viagra, during a routine inspection of the two distilleries in the southern city of Liuzhou, BBC reports.

According to the city’s food and drug administration, the powdery white drug was added into three different types of “health-preserving” baijiu, a popular spirit analogous to vodka. Some bottles also contained naproxen and indomethacin, which are anti-inflammatory drugs, and tadafil, which is a different erectile dysfunction drug sold as Cialis or Adcirca.

Food safety remains a top public health concern in China, with a scandal involving 100,000 tons of rotting meat making headlines just weeks ago.

[BBC]

MONEY freebies

Free Backpacks, Free Slurpees, Free Bowling All Coming Soon

girls at bowling alley
Sally and Richard Greenhill—Alamy

Take advantage of the flurry of freebies.

This Saturday, August 1, marks the beginning of a busy period for giveaways. Here are five freebies coming up in the very near future, including free backpacks, Slurpees, and games of bowling. Best of all, unlike, say, the deals offered recently for National Chicken Wing Day, there is no purchased required for any of the giveaway promotions below.

Free Backpacks & School Supplies
From noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 1, some 400 participating TCC Verizon Wireless locations around the country will give away backpacks and school supplies per child in the store, while supplies last. Verizon plans on giving out 100,000 backpacks nationally, each with a notebook, folder, pencil case, ruler, and glue stick inside.

Free Fanta Slurpees
7-Eleven is hosting a special FREEkends (short for Free Weekends) promotion throughout August, in which the freebies are available only to members of its 7Rewards loyalty program who use the company’s mobile app. Every Saturday and Sunday in August, qualifying customers can show their smartphones to get a different freebie, starting with a free medium-size Fanta Slurpee on August 1-2. Free Starburst gum and Snickers and Butterginers bars are being given out later in the month.

Free Smoothies
The Juice It Up! raw juice bar chain, which has roughly 80 locations nationwide, is hosting a smoothie giveaway on the morning of Tuesday, August 4. From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., all customers are welcomed to a complimentary small Strawberry Wave or California Cooler smoothie.

Free Root Beer Floats
Thursday, August 6, has been declared National Rootbeer Float Day—at least by A&W restaurants, which are giving away one free rootbeer float per customer from 2 p.m. until closing. No purchase is required, though restaurants will be collecting donations for the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps military veterans who have suffered service-related injuries or illnesses.

Free Bowling
Saturday, August 8, is National Bowling Day, when bowling alleys all over the country welcome visitors to a free game of bowling from 10 a.m. to noon. Bowling alleys host drink specials, contests, and prizes that stretch throughout the rest of the day.

TIME Food & Drink

This Distillery Is Going to Age Whisky in Space

Inside The Suntory Yamazaki Whisky Distillery
Akio Kon—Bloomberg/Getty Images An employee holds a bottle of Suntory Holdings Ltd.'s Yamazaki whisky at the company's Yamazaki distillery in Shimamoto, Osaka, Japan, on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.

The company wants to learn how space whisky compares to Earth whisky

Japanese distillery Suntory is undertaking an alcoholic science experiment to find out how its whiskeys age in space.

The company announced in a release that it would send five different types of whiskey up to the International Space Station on Aug. 16, as well as a bottle of 40% ethanol, to study the “development of mellowness” in a microgravity environment. Identical samples will stay on Earth for comparison when the space whiskey returns. Some of the samples will remain in orbit for one year, some for a period of two years or more (the final number is still to be determined).

Japan Space Whiskey
Suntory/AFP/Getty ImagesPouched whisky, from Japanese company Suntory, which will be sent up to space at JAXA’s space center in Tsukuba, Ibraraki prefecture, outside Tokyo on July 22, 2015.

If project is successful, it will help the folks at Suntory pin down the “mechanism that makes alcohol mellow.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the space whisky will not be for sale, meaning customers are going to have to put their dreams of drinking a truly out-of-this-world spirit on hold. But who knows? If the experiment is a hit, an astro aged bottle might one day appear in liquor store right here on Earth.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

6 Brands Removing Artificial Chemicals From Their Products

Artificial colorings have been linked to everything from attention problems to obesity

Petroleum byproducts. Bug parts. Wood shavings. Duck feathers. If you can imagine it, you’re probably eating it every day as one of more than 3,000 natural and artificial chemicals that appear in our food supply. But after a decade of reporting on abominable additives, preposterous preservatives and crazy calorie counts, the editors at Eat This, Not That! are excited to report on a healthy new food trend: Major food manufacturers are finally stripping unnecessary chemicals from their products. And that may help you and your family strip off the pounds.

General Mills announced this week that it would eliminate artificial colors and flavors from its entire line of cereals, swapping out chemicals like red dyes (some of which have already been banned in most countries) for natural colorings from healthy sources like vegetables, joining Kraft, Nestle and other large companies in a race to clean up their acts.

Why is this such a great trend? Artificial colorings have been linked to everything from attention problems to obesity; in fact, studies show that people who eat highly processed foods tend to weigh more than those who don’t, even when calorie counts remain the same. Yet we really know very little about these chemicals: The Food and Drug Administration’s database of “Everything Added to Food in the United States” is really an America’s Most Unwanted list of additives, preservatives and flavor enhancers that food manufacturers (not the FDA itself, mind you) have decided are “generally recognized as safe.”

If you’ve been trying to cut artificial foods out of your life, take a second look at some of these products.

 

  • General Mills

    What they Promise: GM says that 60 percent of their cereals now don’t use artificial colors—like Cheerio’s and Chex—and that by the end of 2016, 90 percent will be completely free of artificial colors and flavors.

    Products: Eventually, this will include all cereals, including Trix, Lucky Charms and Reese’s Puffs.

    Why this is Great: A few years ago, researchers discovered that the artificial colors Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6 may promote Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in children. In fact, Norway and Sweden have already banned the use of these artificial colors, and in the rest of the EU, foods containing these additives must be labeled with the phrase: “May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”

    When it takes effect: The research is currently underway, and GM estimates that the entire line will be done by 2017, with cereals that include marshmallows, like Lucky Charms, the last to roll out.

  • Kraft

    Brand: Kraft

    What they Promise: The company announced this past spring that they would strip all artificial preservatives and synthetic colors from their iconic blue boxes of macaroni. They will replace the chemicals with those derived from natural sources like turmeric, paprika and annatto, a tree with vibrant orange-red seeds.

    Products: Original Kraft Macaroni & Cheese

    Why this is Great: Yellow 6, one of the colors currently being used in the pasta dish, contains benzidine and 4-amino-biphenyl, two known human carcinogens.

    When it takes effect: January 2016

  • Nestle

    What they Promise: The company announced earlier in the month that it would remove artificial flavors and “certified colors” in addition to reducing salt by 10 percent in its frozen pizza and snack products

    Products: Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Digiorno, Tombstone, California Pizza Kitchen, Jack’s, Hot Pocket and Lean Pockets brands

    Why this is Great: We’re thrilled about the reduction of artificial colors—for the reasons mentioned above—but cheers to also reducing the sodium count. Sodium causes your body to retain water, which leads to pressure on your heart—and a rounder belly.

    When it Takes Effect: By the end of 2015.

  • Subway

    What they Promise: The sandwich chain announced earlier this month that they plan to remove preservatives and artificial colors and flavors from their core products

    Products: Sandwiches, salads, cookies and soups

    Why this is Great: Caramel coloring—which is currently being used in a number of their breads and meats—has been shown to cause cancer in animals and is a possible carcinogen for humans, too.

    When it Takes Effect: Over the next 18 months

  • Pizza Hut

    What they Promise: The popular pizza chain—once home to P’Zones, a calzone they described as “Over 1 pound of pizza goodness”—has been playing it both ways lately. Their just-announced Hot Dog Bites pizza plays to those looking for gross, mash-up pizzas, while in May, they also announced plans to remove artificial flavors from its pizzas. (Previously, they had removed MSG and partially hydrogenated oils.)

    Products: They promise to remove artificial flavors from the entire menu.

    Why this is Great: As the Pizza Hut CEO said: “Today’s consumer more than ever before wants to understand the ingredients that make up the foods that they enjoy.” But we’re also excited that they plan to reduce sodium in their pizzas, which will take effect next year.

    When it Takes Effect: The artificial flavors should be removed by the end of next month. Until then, learn which pies to avoid with this definitive list of The Worst Pizzas of 2015!

  • Panera

    What They Promise: The fast-casual restaurant chain promised to remove a long list of ingredients ranging from artificial preservatives and sweeteners to artificial colors and flavors, outlined in their published No-No List, from all of their products.

    Products: All.

    Why This Is Great: Titanium dioxide, only one of the ingredients getting the axe, is a whitening agent added to yogurts, marshmallows, even sunscreen, and Panera has historically used it in products like their mozzarella cheese. It’s a liquid metal, and worse: The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified it a possible carcinogen in humans. It has also been linked to asthma, emphysema, DNA breakdown, and neurological disorders.

    When It Takes Effect: By the end of 2016

    This article originally appeared on Eat This, Not That!

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TIME Food & Drink

This Is the Best Pizza City in America

chicago-deep-dish-pizza
Getty Images

Sorry, New Yorkers

New York City pizza lovers, it’s time to defend your honor as pizza capital of the U.S.

TripAdvisor released a list of the top 10 pizza cities in the U.S. this week, based on the quality and quantity of users’ reviews. The No. 1 city: Chicago.

“Travelers come from all corners of the country to sink their teeth into Chicago’s deep dish, the big cheese of pizza destinations according to reviewers on TripAdvisor,” Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor, said in a statement.

The ranking comes as a blow to New Yorkers, who have long defended their pizza as superior to Chicago’s deep dish. New York City did, however, come in the second spot, followed by New Haven, Conn., Orlando, Fla., and San Francisco.

The method behind TripAdvisor’s pizza madness was based on three factors: the quality of pizza restaurant reviews, the number of restaurants and reviews and the ratio of pizza restaurants and reviews compared to all restaurants in the city. In other words, a city with a higher proportion of good pizza restaurants might edge of a city with fewer pizza restaurants selling higher-quality pizza.

TripAdvisor’s ranking of the best pizza restaurants in the U.S. will soothe the bruised egos of New York pizza lovers, with Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Juliana’s Pizza topping the list. To quantitatively calculate the best of the best in pizza joints, TripAdvisor focused on restaurants with at least 500 reviews, at least 10 percent of which had to mention “best pizza.”

Here’s TripAdvisor’s full list of the 10 best pizza restaurant in the U.S.:

1. Juliana’s Pizza, New York City

2. Pizza Time of St. Augustine, Saint Augustine, Fla.

3. Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria, Anchorage, Alaska

4. Keste, New York City

5. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco

6. Pizzeria Regina, Boston

7. Antico Pizza Napoletana, Atlanta, Ga.

8. Bill’s Pizza, Palm Springs, Calif.

9. Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, New Haven, Conn.

10. John’s Pizzeria Bleeker St., New York City

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com

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