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food / travel

Mozzarella Mogul Arrested For Suspected Mob Ties

LA REPUBBLICA, LA STAMPA (Italy)

Worldcrunch

NAPLES - In an operation dubbed "Bufalo," Italian police have arrested one of the world's top high-end mozzarella producers for suspected ties to a brutal Naples mob clan, La Stampa reported.

Giuseppe Mandara was taken into custody, along with other managers at Mandara S.P.A. on suspicion of collusion with the Camorra, one of the world's most powerful and violent crime syndicates. An estimated 100 million euros in company assets were seized from Mandara.

Mandara, which produces the treasured DOP-certified mozzarella di bufala (buffalo mozzarella) in the area around Naples, exports an estimated 44,000 pounds of cheese each day to the United States, Japan, Russia and New Zealand. The company also produces other cheese varieties including ricotta and provolone.

Beyond mob ties, Mandara is also accused of endangering the public health because of allegedly false claims that their provolone is a special "provolone del Monaco" variety, La Repubblica reported.

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Future

Livestream Shopping Is Huge In China — Will It Fly Elsewhere?

Streaming video channels of people shopping has been booming in China, and is beginning to win over customers abroad as a cheap and cheerful way of selling products to millions of consumers glued to the screen.

A A female volunteer promotes spring tea products via on-line live streaming on a pretty mountain surrounded by tea plants.

In Beijing, selling spring tea products via on-line live streaming.

Xinhua / ZUMA
Gwendolyn Ledger

SANTIAGO — TikTok, owned by Chinese tech firm ByteDance, has spent more than $500 million to break into online retailing. The app, best known for its short, comical videos, launched TikTok Shop in August, aiming to sell Chinese products in the U.S. and compete with other Chinese firms like Shein and Temu.

Tik Tok Shop will have three sections, including a live or livestream shopping channel, allowing users to buy while watching influencers promote a product.

This choice was strategic: in the past year, live shopping has become a significant trend in online retailing both in the U.S. and Latin America. While still an evolving technology, in principle, it promises good returns and lower costs.

Chilean Carlos O'Rian Herrera, co-founder of Fira Onlive, an online sales consultancy, told América Economía that live shopping has a much higher catchment rate than standard website retailing. If traditional e-commerce has a rate of one or two purchases per 100 visits to your site, live shopping can hike the ratio to 19%.

Live shopping has thrived in China and the recent purchases of shopping platforms in some Latin American countries suggests firms are taking an interest. In the United States, live shopping generated some $20 billion in sales revenues in 2022, according to consultants McKinsey. This constituted 2% of all online sales, but the firm believes the ratio may become 20% by 2026.

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