The Headliner podcast: Strawberries go XXL, we digest the election results and McDonald’s serves up cutlery

15th June 2017

Strawberries go XXL, we digest the election results and McDonald’s serves up cutlery

From its announcement to its result, the 2017 General Election took us by surprise. After copious columns predicting certain victory for May, the media is now forced into contrition and has changed its tune. But have any lessons been learnt?

They’re big, red, juicy and now available in XXL. Responding to a bumper crop of strawberries, retailers have started selling 1 kilogram punnets of the summery treat. But which brand will capitalise on this berry abundance? And, crucially, do the giant ones taste as sweet?

UK shoppers spend more on online groceries than any other country in the world, according to new figures. Driven by convenience; made possible by the country’s geography—the figures are certainly encouraging for e-commerce retailers. But, with less than one-third of consumers buying their groceries online, it’s not yet goodbye for bricks-and-mortar stores.

Hillary Mantel, acclaimed author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies has, in the first of five Reith Lectures to be aired on BBC Radio 4, argued that in death “we enter into fiction” and the lives of the dead “are given shape and meaning by the living”. But not everyone agrees—particularly historians who claim that the fictionalised fill-ins employed by Mantel in her historical tomes pose a serious danger of distorting the truth for future generations.

McDonald’s in France has decided that some burgers are just too fancy to be eaten with your hands. It is now offering plastic cutlery with its range of gourmet burgers. Will this be just the ticket to tempt more discerning diners, or a risky move away from the core identity of global fast food chains?