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“As seen on TikTok” is the new “As seen on TV”

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“As seen on TikTok” is the new “As seen on TV”

NEW YORK — Near the Twizzlers and Sour Patch Kids at a New York candy store are fruit-shaped soft jelly candies that earned a spot on the shelves because they went viral on TikTok.

A flood of videos last year showed people biting into the fruit gummies’ plastic casing, squirting artificially-colored jelly from their mouths. Store staffers at the candy store chain It’Sugar urged it to stock up, and the gummies did so well that TikTok became part of the company’s sales strategy. The chain now has signs with the app’s logo in stores, and goods from TikTok make up 5% to 10% of weekly sales.

“That’s an insane number,” said Chris Lindstedt, the assistant vice president of merchandising at It’Sugar, which has about 100 locations.

TikTok, an app best known for dancing videos with 1 billion users worldwide, has also become a shopping phenomenon. National chains, hoping to get TikTok’s mostly young users into its stores, are setting up TikTok sections, reminiscent of “As Seen On TV” stores that sold products hawked on infomercials.

At Barnes & Noble, tables display signs with #BookTok, a book recommendation hashtag on TikTok that has pushed paperbacks up the bestseller list. Amazon has a section of its site it calls “Internet Famous,” with lists of products that anyone who has spent time on TikTok would recognize.

The hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has gotten more than 5 billion views on TikTok, and the app has made a grab-bag of products a surprise hit: leggings, purses, cleaners, even feta cheese. Videos of a baked feta pasta recipe sent the salty white cheese flying out of supermarket refrigerators earlier this year.

It’s hard to crack the code of what becomes the next TikTok sensation. How TikTok decides who gets to see what remains largely a mystery. Companies are often caught off guard and tend to swoop in after their product has taken off, showering creators with free stuff, hiring them to appear in commercials or buying up ads on TikTok.

“It was a little bit of a head scratcher at first,” said Jenny Campbell, the chief marketing officer of Kate Spade, remembering when searches for “heart” spiked on Kate Spade’s website earlier this year.

The culprit turned out to be a 60-second clip on TikTok posted by 22-year-old Nathalie Covarrubias. She recorded herself in a parked car gushing about a pink heart-shaped purse she’d just bought. Others copied her video, posting TikToks of themselves buying the bag or trying it on with different outfits. The $300 heart-shaped purse sold out.

“I couldn’t believe it because I wasn’t trying to advertise the bag,” said Covarrubias, a makeup artist from Salinas, California, who wasn’t paid to post the video. “I really was so excited and happy about the purse and how unique it was.”

Kate Spade sent Covarrubias free items in exchange for posting another TikTok when the bag was back in stores. (That video was marked as an ad.) It turned what was supposed to be a limited Valentine’s Day purse into one sold year round in different colors and fabrics, such as faux fur.

TikTok is a powerful purchasing push for Gen Z because the creators seem authentic, as opposed to Instagram, where the goal is to post the most perfect looking selfie, said Hana Ben-Shabat, the founder of Gen Z Planet. Her advisory firm focuses on the generation born between the late 1990s and 2016, a cohort that practically lives on TikTok.

Users trust the recommendations, she said: “This is a real person, telling me a real story.”

Instagram, YouTube and other platforms connected people with friends or random funny videos before marketers realized their selling potential. For TikTok, losing the veneer of authenticity as more ads and ways to shop flood the app could be a risk. If ads are “blatant or awkward, it’s more of a problem,” said Colin Campbell, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of San Diego.

Influencers who get paid to shill for brands are getting better at pitching goods to their followers, telling them that even though they get paid, they’re recommending a product they actually like. “They feel like they are our friend, even though they aren’t,” he said.

Channah Myers, a 21-year-old barista from Goodyear, Arizona, bought a pair of $50 Aerie leggings after seeing several TikTok videos of women saying the cross-banding on the waist gave them a more hourglass-like figure. “It’s funny, I shop religiously at Aerie and I had no idea they existed until I saw them on TikTok,” Myers said.

After those Aerie leggings went viral on TikTok in 2020, the teen retailer expanded the same design to biker shorts, tennis skirts and bikini bottoms, all of which can be found by searching “TikTok” on Aerie’s website. It wouldn’t say how many of the leggings sold.

TikTok, along with other tech companies like Snapchat, is gearing up to challenge Facebook as a social-shopping powerhouse. Shopping on social media sites, known as social commerce, is a $37 billion market in the U.S., according to eMarketer, mostly coming from Instagram and its parent company Facebook. By the end of 2025, that number is expected to more than double, to $80 billion.

Last month, TikTok began testing a way for brands to set up shop within the app and send users to checkout on their sites. But TikTok has hinted that more is coming. It may eventually look more like Douyin, TikTok’s sister app in China, where products can be bought and sold without leaving the app — just like you can on Facebook and Instagram.

“Over the past year, we’ve witnessed a new kind of shopping experience come to life that’s been driven by the TikTok community,” said TikTok General Manager Sandie Hawkins, who works with brands to get them to buy ads on the app and help them boost sales. “We’re excited to continue listening to our community and building solutions that help them discover, engage and purchase the products they love.”

That includes The Pink Stuff, a British cleaning product that wasn’t available in the U.S. last year. That all changed when videos of people using it to scrub rusty pots and greasy countertops went viral on TikTok, pushing the brand to cross the Atlantic. It launched in the U.S. in January on Amazon, with 1.3 million tubs sold monthly, and is getting calls from major stores wanting to stock it, according to Sal Pesce, president and chief operating officer of the The Pink Stuff U.S.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.

 

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Cahokia Heights home catches fire two days in a row

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Cahokia Heights home catches fire two days in a row

CAHOKIA HEIGHTS, Ill. – A home was on fire early Thursday morning in Cahokia Heights, Illinois.

The fire started in the 400 block of Garrison Avenue just before 5 a.m. Flames were seen coming out of the roof of the one-story home.

Neighbors told FOX 2’s Nissan Rogue Runner reporter Jason Maxwell that the house also caught on fire Wednesday. The fire department was able to quickly put that fire out.

The cause of both fires is unknown at this time.

FOX 2 will continue to update this story with more information as it becomes available.

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Column: Justin Fields is set to return after missing 2 games with cracked ribs — and the Chicago Bears and their rookie quarterback are in search of a little respect

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Column: Justin Fields is set to return after missing 2 games with cracked ribs — and the Chicago Bears and their rookie quarterback are in search of a little respect

Justin Fields has the same vibe that most Chicago Bears fans have come to experience.

They’re not getting any respect.

The only thing the rookie quarterback and the Bears (4-8) can do to change the narrative is to win some of their five remaining games, beginning Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers (9-3) at Lambeau Field.

Fields this week was medically cleared to return from three cracked ribs and will start against the Packers after being knocked out of the Nov. 21 loss to the Baltimore Ravens and missing the next two games.

“I just think a lot of the times teams maybe don’t respect us or don’t give us credit,” Fields said. “I mean, you can’t blame them. We messed up sometimes in the games and we’ve pretty much messed up in a lot of games. … We’re going to attack every game like it’s our last game and we’re going to play through it all.”

The Bears are not getting much respect from the oddsmakers in Las Vegas as 12½-point underdogs, but that comes with the territory in this series. The Packers have won the last five meetings and 20 of the previous 23.

Maybe the Bears can sneak up on the Packers or other remaining opponents — the Minnesota Vikings (twice), New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks. The Bears figure to be favored only against the Giants.

“It feels good,” Fields said. “I like being the underdog. It just gives me an extra chip on my shoulder. I like when people doubt me. That just gives me a little extra motivation. So I love it.”

Being an underdog is new for Fields — he was 20-2 as the starter at Ohio State — but it’s all part of his maturation process in the NFL. The most important thing: He was cleared, meaning the Bears do not believe he’s at risk for more serious injury.

Fields said he’s still not certain when the injury occurred against the Ravens and didn’t believe it was on his final play. He said he normally wears protective padding on his midsection and will do so against the Packers.

“I’m going to have to be smart this upcoming game with not taking as many hits as I usually do,” he said.

“There’s pain there, but I mean, the pain’s just not unbearable. I know there’s going to be pain there, but it is what it is. As long as it’s just not crazy pain where I can’t bear it, I’m going to play and practice.”

Fields threw for 174 yards and a touchdown with one interception and four sacks when the Packers defeated the Bears 24-14 on Oct. 17 at Soldier Field. That started a five-game losing streak, and the organization has been in turmoil since.

The best way to calm the storm, if only temporarily, would be to stun the Packers, and the only chance the Bears have of rolling off some victories in the stretch run is getting their offense rolling.

“We really feel like he was improving as the games went by for him individually, our team, our offense,” coach Matt Nagy said. “There are still places where we can certainly improve. As a staff, we felt like we were really getting a good feel for where he was, and then he gets injured. So then for him to come back against a big division opponent and rival, I know that he’s excited for it.”

Meanwhile, Nagy was cryptic when describing a left hand injury that kept Andy Dalton out of practice Wednesday. Nagy declined to say whether Dalton suffered a broken hand, which a source said was the fear. The team plans to evaluate Dalton’s pain tolerance and possible swelling to determine if he or Nick Foles will serve as the No. 2 quarterback in Green Bay.

The Bears hope two weeks on the sideline gave Fields a different perspective that allowed him to get a slightly better feel for what to expect from opposing defenses — and maybe small elements of situational football that he can apply while he searches for the consistency that has been missing for the offense.

“I think he’s just, like most young players, you sometimes have got to go through some ups and downs and navigate your way through that,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. “But he’s a very confident guy. He’s obviously very, very talented, not only as a thrower, but he’s got the added element that you can’t account for — his ability to make the off-schedule play.

“He’s more comfortable in what they’re doing. He’s a heck of a challenge to defend.”

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5 Colorado spas that offer everything from soaks in beer to Himalayan salt room saunas

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5 Colorado spas that offer everything from soaks in beer to Himalayan salt room saunas

Take a tour of The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park and you’ll hear about how Freelan Oscar Stanley – a hotelier and, more famously, inventor of the Yankee steam-powered car – originally came to Colorado on doctor’s orders. Stricken with tuberculosis, Stanley arrived here at the start of the 20th century with optimism that the fresh and dry air, high altitude and ample sunshine would heal him.

Stanley, who survived TB, was just one of many “lungers” who migrated to Colorado seeking a cure. Others who moved here believed the burbling hot springs had healing powers that could treat a variety of ailments. In all, state historians estimate as many as one-third of Colorado’s early settlers moved to the Centennial State for reasons associated with health.

“More came to Colorado for their health than for silver or gold,” says Tom Noel, a state historian who is known as “Dr. Colorado.”

That is to say wellness has deep roots in the state. Several historic destinations and landmarks, including The Broadmoor Hotel and Resort in Colorado Springs and the Colorado Chautauqua in Boulder, were founded as health retreats. Today, the many hot springs and spas, overall active lifestyle, crisp mountain air, and many days of sunshine (and the list goes on) continue to appeal to residents and visitors alike.

After an especially tough year and a half, Colorado’s wellness destinations are seeing an increase in people who want a restorative vacation, whether for a day or a week. Guests are seeking out “travel therapy,” says James Gibson, president of Garden of the Gods Resort and Club, which has a front row seat to the scenic Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs. The resort is home to the STRATA Integrated Wellness and Spa, where Western and Eastern medical science coexist on its treatment menu.

“We are extraordinarily grateful for the power of place here at Garden of the Gods Resort and Club,” Gibson says. The sandstone rock formations that jut into the blue skies, he says, instantly evoke feelings of tranquility and ease.

From sudsy soaks at a beer spa in Denver to pampering “done right” at one of the original spas in the West, here are five ways to experience wellness travel in a state that helped invent it.

Provided by The Broadmoor

The Broadmoor Spa offers a steam room, sauna, aromatherapy room and lounge that are gender specific as well as coed lounge areas that are complimentary with scheduled spa treatment services. Also available are a fitness center, indoor pool and outdoor whirlpool.

The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs

When this luxury resort opened in 1918, it had one of the first spas in the country with dedicated space for both men and women. At the time, guests were advised to dress in their rooms and take the service elevator directly to the baths in The Broadmoor’s “thermo hydrotherapeutic department” (aka spa). A half-hour massage cost a buck and visitors paid $1.50 for a Turkish bath and steam room visit, according to Krista Heinicke, public relations manager and resident historian.

The Broadmoor’s world-traveling founders, Spencer and Julie Penrose, wanted health and wellness to be a centerpiece experience at their resort, where European opulence meets rugged outdoor adventures. Today, guests can fill their itineraries with hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and stand-up paddleboarding excursions. Coinciding with the reopening of The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway, new fitness options include hiking to the top of Pikes Peak and taking the train down, or taking the train to the top of Pikes Peak and biking down the twisting Pikes Peak Highway.

The resort’s renown spa offers traditional treatments such as deep tissue massages and facials as well as more inventive options. The Wine Down package ($445) incorporates grape seed extract and comes with a chardonnay sugar scrub, massage, manicure and pedicure.

The Broadmoor, 1 Lake Ave., Colorado Springs, 800-755-5011, broadmoor.com

1639052821 309 5 Colorado spas that offer everything from soaks in beer

Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post

The therapy room of The Beer Spa in Denver. Customers soak in a cedar hydrotherapy tub filled with a meticulously crafted blend of hops, barley, and herbs.

The Beer Spa in Denver

After becoming intrigued by a beer spa in Poland, husband-and-wife duo Damien Zouaoui and Jessica French decided to open a similar concept in the United States. They zeroed in on Denver because of the city’s robust craft beer scene and Colorado’s health-consciousness creds.

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