retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Associated Press reports that Safeway has agreed to a $600,000 settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Justice in a case that charged with the retailer with violating "the nation's clear air laws by not promptly fixing leaks of HCFC-22, a potent heat-trapping gas that contributes to climate change, from its refrigerators." Safeway also has agreed "to a nationwide reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from refrigeration equipment at its 659 U.S. stores."


• Yesterday, MNB took note of a Wall Street Journal story saying that "Procter & Gamble is planning a low-priced Tide that may be called Tide Simple." Well, the story has advanced a bit ... the Associated Press reports this morning that the new, lower-priced version of Tide will in fact be called "Tide Simply Clean & Fresh." CEO AG Lafley says that he hopes the new version "will succeed similar to the model of Bounty Basic and Charmin Basic, both introduced in 2005."

At the same time, the Wall Street Journal reports this morning that P&G also is developing "luxury" versions of traditional products - Bounty Dura Towels, Cascade Platinum dishwasher soap, and a Radiant Collection from Tampax and Always - that will sell for a higher price than traditional items while promising better results.


• The Los Angeles Times reports that Campbell Soup Co. has come up with a new product - a soup pod that can be heated up on Keurig single-cup coffee brewers. According to the story, the K-cups "will have a broth inside that can be brewed over a packet of dry pasta and a vegetable blend garnish."

According to the story, "The companies said in a joint statement that they expect to launch three varieties of the new soup, including a chicken broth and noodle soup. The K-cup pods will begin selling next year."


• Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) announced that it has acquired Aztec, described as "a leading provider of market measurement and related services for consumer packaged goods (CPG), liquor and pharmaceutical manufacturers and retailers in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden and the United Kingdom. "

“This agreement directly supports our overarching “Growth Delivered” business strategy and underscores IRI’s ongoing commitment to expanding its geographic footprint and capabilities to meet our multi-country clients’ evolving research needs,” said Andrew Appel, president and chief executive officer, IRI.
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