retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently recognized the Food Lion Family of Banners and Bottom Dollar Food with a ninth consecutive ENERGY STAR award. The award, for sustained excellence, is the company’s seventh consecutive honor in this category. The company was one of 50 companies recognized in the Sustained Excellence category and among 110 overall award winners.

• Without admitting any guilt, BJ’s Wholesale Club last week agreed to write the state of Maryland a $40,000 check, which will then be divided among more than 2,000 shoppers. According to the Baltimore Business Journal, “The state’s Consumer Protection Division alleged the Massachusetts-based wholesale club operator provided consumers ‘Buy One Get One Free’ coupons for certain goods, but the coupons’ fine print limited the coupons’ value to an amount that was, in some instances, less than the cost of the item.”

• The New York Times had a brief piece yesterday saying that “Americans eat 31 percent more packaged food than fresh food, and they consume more packaged food per person than their counterparts in nearly all other countries. A sizable part of the American diet is ready-to-eat meals, like frozen pizzas and microwave dinners, and sweet or salty snack foods ... The Japanese eat a large amount of packaged frozen seafood, but it undergoes very little processing and has few chemical additives. Some Europeans eat a similar amount of packaged food per capita as Americans, but much of it is bakery bread and dairy products, rather than things like frozen toaster pastries and artificial nondairy creamer.”
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