retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Chicago Tribune reports that Vani Hari, the author of "Food Babe," visited Kraft Foods headquarters yesterday to deliver a petition with more than 270,000 signatures asking the company to remove yellow #5 and yellow #6 dyes from its food. The dyes are used in the US formulation for Macaroni and Cheese, but not the UK formula, and the signees want Kraft to switch because the dyes "have been linked to hyperactivity in children and other health problems."

Kraft has said the dyes are perfectly safe.

The signatures were gathered on

• The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that "the future of retailer OfficeMax may be taking shape in a single store in downtown Milwaukee," which the company has converted to "a new format that is smaller in size but bigger on services it can offer to its key customers - small-business owners.

The story notes that OfficeMax, which has proposed a merger with Office Depot, "has more than 900 retail stores in the United States, Puerto Rico and Mexico, and the average size is 23,000 square feet. The new format in Milwaukee is 8,000 square feet."

• Acosta Sales & Marketing said yesterday that it has acquired three foodservice companies: Wolff Group, with operations across the Midwest and Pennsylvania; Basic Sales & Marketing, with operations in Utah; and Progressive Marketing, with operations in Hawaii. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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