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• The Chicago Sun Times reports that the City Council there has voted to impose a partial ban on plastic bags, though "they exempted small mom-and-pop retailers least able to absorb the financial hit for paper bags, which cost three times as much as plastic. Aldermen also excused all Chicago restaurants as well as “non-franchise” independent stores with a square footage under 10,000 feet.

"Stores with less than 10,000 square feet would be included only if they’re part of a chain like 7-Eleven that includes three or more stores."

Compliance dates range from August 1, 2016 to a year later, depending on company size. Fines will range from $300 to $500 for each offense.


Reuters reports that the supermarket price war in the UK continues, as Morrisons announced price cuts averaging 17 percent on some 1,200 SKUs - one month after it announced a first round of price cuts, and one week after Tesco announced a set of cuts in its stores. Like Tesco - and pretty much every traditional food retailer in the UK - Morrisons has seen an erosion of market share because of the impact of discounters such as Aldi and Lidl.


USA Today reports that Taco Bell has revealed that is in its beef - and it ends up that it is 88 percent beef and 12 percent "signature recipe" (which includes spices, thickeners and artificial flavors."

The story goes on to say that Taco Bell says that it does not use grade D beef, as has been rumored, but rather uses "USDA-inspected, 100% premium real beef."

• Market Street, the United Family supermarket chain, said this week that it is introducing "a new loyalty program for guests at its Dallas/Fort Worth area stores. The new guest engagement program is free, offering an enhanced mobile application (app) and a more customized shopping experience, saving guests time and money. The new program features purchase recommendations, product coupons and free offers that are individually tailored to each guest based on shopping habits, creating a personalized experience that allows guests to easily take advantage of relevant offers. More than 167,000 guests who are already registered as 'Smart Rewards' members are automatically enrolled into the new program and have until May 20 to redeem existing loyalty points."
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