Published on: July 17, 2006
• R-Calf USA, the lobbying group that represents American ranchers and cattlemen, says that last week’s report of a confirmed case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Canada has only reinforced its belief that all Canadian beef imports to the US should be suspended.
• The Wall Street Journal
reports that “wheat and corn prices are climbing to what could be their highest annual average level in a decade, helping to send an inflationary ripple through grocery aisles.
“The rising price -- due partly to drought conditions in farming areas -- has put increased cost pressure on food makers” that “already face higher costs for everything from fuel to sugar.”
• The Washington Post
reports on the Wonder Bar, “a hunk of chocolate, designed specifically to alleviate the effects of premenstrual syndrome...The irritability, the anxiety, the moodiness -- all of it is allegedly soothed by the Wonder Bar, at $3.69 a pop.”
According to the Post
, the Wonder Bar isn’t just “cunningly conceived” and “flawlessly executed,” but it also apparently is utterly unique – “if there's another packaged food product out there marketed for its impact on PMS, it's well hidden. A Web search turned up nothing.
• The Detroit Free Press
reports that Carter’s Inc., the Charlotte, Michigan-based grocery chain, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and plans to sell all its assets and distribute the proceeds among its creditors.
• The Houston Business Journal
reports that H-E-B has launched a program that gives customers $5 in H-E-B Fuel Bucks for every $25 purchase made at H-E-B of select H-E-B and Central Market-branded products.
The Fuel Bucks can be redeemed at any H-E-B Gas Station for free gas. Purchases made at Central Market stores are not eligible for Fuel Bucks.
• The Wall Street Journal
reports that the Chinese government “is drafting new rules to regulate large-scale shopping outlets, which could impede the expansion plans of foreign retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Carrefour SA.”
If the rules are finalized later this year as expected, “they could raise costs and increase red tape for big retailers by requiring them to file detailed blueprints for proposed new outlets and hold public hearings on the impact on communities.”
• Tesco has acquired Leader Price, the 140-store Polish c-store chain, from Casino for the equivalent of about $130 million (US). The UK-based retailer currently has more than 100 units in Poland and is trying to bolster its market share there.