retail news in context, analysis with attitude

MarketWatch reports that the American Farm Bureau (AFB) estimates that “a basket of 16 basic food items cost $48.68 over the past three months, up 10.5% from a year ago … The latest survey from the nation's largest farm organization underscores the pressures reverberating throughout the food chain, from the American farm to the executive suites of the largest U.S. packaged-food manufacturers. Besides the elevated costs for basic food ingredients, rising energy prices have boosted processing, hauling, and refrigerating expenses for food makers…”

• The Irish Times reports that Irish retailer Musgrave has withdrawn its bid to acquire Superquinn from Select Retail Holdings, which itself only acquired the legendary Dublin-based retailer in 2005. However, at least another five other retailers reportedly are interested in acquiring Superquinn, though Select Retail Holdings has maintained that it is not actively seeking to sell the company.

• Fast feeder Burger King announced yesterday that it is now using trans fat-free cooking oils in all of its US locations. The chain committed to the transition back in 2007, and set the end of 2008 as a goal for completing the move, and actually achieved the goal ahead of schedule.

KC's View: