(Guest post by Greg Forster)
Those of us interested in markets often use the childhood experience of running a lemonade stand to illustrate how business can be a school of virtue. In recent years, unfortunately, we have been more likely to point to the shutting down of lemonade stands as an example of how overbearing regulation is stifling the entrepreneurial spirit in our culture, destroying this and other traditional rites of passage like teenage summer jobs.
This summer, though, we got a delightful surprise. Under the leadership of Adam Butler, general manager of beverages and nuts for Kraft Heinz, Country Time Lemonade introduced the awesomeness of “Legal-Ade.” It’s a system of financial and legal support, covering permits and fines up to $300, to help kids like Autumn Thomasson keep their lemonade stands open over the summer. They also donated to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which helps kids and families run lemonade stands to raise money for cancer research.
It’s also the rockingest advertisement I have seen in a long time. “TASTES LIKE JUSTICE!” Wish I knew that actor’s name, I’d add him to the nomination.
Is it even legal for corporations to get this creative and take a risk standing up to the regulatory state for their customers? Aren’t they required to run to the corner and cower in fear, promising to do whatever the state demands?
Because if they’re not . . . our big corporations are run by cowards.
And they’re probably leaving a lot of money on the table, too. You think this aid program paid for itself in increased sales for Country Time? I’d bet you more than a glass of lemonade it did.
Why do I think so? Here’s one reason. Adam Butler says: “Legal-Ade will be back next year, helping support kids’ rights to run lemonade stands! We look forward to kicking off year two of the program and helping more kids next year.”
Watch out, lemon protection rackets. Autumn has backup.
For bringing lemonade to the world, having a ton of fun mocking PLDD lemon thugs, and making an honest buck doing it all, I nominate Adam Butler and Autumn Thomasson for The Al.