retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Boston Globe reports on a new survey from Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health suggesting that “more companies are offering incentives to their employees to better manage their health by taking such steps as getting flu shots or regular cholesterol screenings.”

According to the story, “Companies in the survey said that the average annual value of the health-related incentives that they offered to an employee in 2011 was $460, up from $260 in 2009 ... Generally, incentives take the form of lower health care premiums. If, for example, an employee joins a gym, $50 might be deducted from that employee’s annual health-care premiums. Similar deductions can be offered for joining a weight-loss or a smoking-cessation program.

“Besides such incentives, the average employer spent $169 per employee on health improvement programs in 2011, up from $154 the previous year.”

• The Associated Press reports that the New Jersey Attorney General’s office “has begun a preliminary investigation into a CVS pharmacy's mistaken distribution of pills for the treatment of breast cancer to children instead of the fluoride pills that were prescribed.

“The attorney general's consumer affairs division on Friday ordered a CVS pharmacy in Chatham to explain the mistake and provide the names of all its employees along with all emails, telephone calls, complaints, and other information related to the mix-up.”

CVS has apologized for the mistake and contacted every family that received the wrong medicines. No injuries have been reported.

USA Today reports that spicy Pepper Jack cheeses are all the rage these days: “Pepper Jack as a menu offering on fast-food sandwiches has jumped more than 37% over the past four years, reports Datassential, the restaurant market-research firm. During that period, its availability as a menu offering on fast-food burgers has grown more than 56%.”
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