retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Phoenix Business Journal reports that Bashas’ grocery chain is set to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy organization more than a year after going into bankruptcy protection. “After a week-long trial, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge James Marlar on Friday approved the reorganization plan,” the paper writes. “The decision is expected to be appealed by the company’s secured lenders, which oppose the plan.”

• The Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal reports that family-owned PW Markets, which has been in business for almost seven decades, is closing its seven stores and hopes the lease the locations to other retailers. The family cited increased competition as the primary reason for closing down the business.

• The Associated Press reports that an analysis of new statistics released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that “an estimated 87 million cases of food-borne illness occur in the United States each year, including 371,000 hospitalizations and 5,700 deaths, according to a...calculation that combines a CDC formula with recent population estimates.”

According to the story, while the CDC has said that food-borne illnesses have been “holding steady” for the past five years, “ the CDC only counted instances in which one food - like grilled chicken - was clearly to blame. That was the case in about 45% of the outbreaks. Outbreaks involving multiple ingredients — like chicken salad — were not part of that accounting.”

• The Associated Press reports that “Magic Hat Brewing Co., Vermont's largest craft brewery, has been sold to North American Breweries Inc. of Rochester, N.Y.,” which “owns the Genesee Brewing Company and Dundee Ales & Lagers. It's the primary U.S. distributor of Labatt beers and Seagram's coolers.” Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Drug Store News reports that “Procter & Gamble has announced plans to use renewable, sustainable, sugarcane-derived plastic on select packaging of its Pantene Pro-V, Covergirl and Max Factor brands. The pilot packaging program will be rolled out globally over the next two years, with the first products slated to be on shelf in 2011.”

• The Boston Globe reports that the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is accusing Unilever-owned Bern & Jerry’s is using unnatural ingredients in products that it claims are natural.

“At least 48 out of 53 flavors of Ben & Jerry’s 'All Natural' ice cream and frozen yogurt contain alkalized cocoa, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, or other ingredients that either don’t exist in nature or that have been chemically modified," CSPI said in a statement.

But Ben & Jerry’s says that it is adhering to guidelines established by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and that in cases where certain ingredients do not meet the criteria, the “all natural” claim is removed.
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