retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Chicago Tribune reports that "a few hundred fast food workers in Chicago on Wednesday voted to join a national one-day strike against their employers on May 15. Strikes are planned for 150 cities, including New York City. The national strike was announced at an event there at midday on Wednesday."

According to the story, "The workers say they want $15 per hour wages and to form a union that would bargain over benefits and wages on their behalf. Fast food workers in Chicago make about $8.25 per hour, the state’s minimum wage."

• IGA yesterday announced that it has joined forces with Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) in its fourth annual IGA Exclusive Brands donation initiative. During this national campaign—running in participating IGA stores from Memorial Day Weekend (May 26) through Labor Day weekend (Sept. 1)— a number of WWP co-branded IGA Exclusive Brand products will be available for purchase in participating IGA stores. By fall of this year, IGA plans to donate $250,000 to WWP.

• The New York Times reports that The Kellogg Co. has agreed "to drop the terms 'all natural' and 'nothing artificial' from some products in its Kashi line as part of a settlement agreement ending a class-action lawsuit."

According to the story, "Plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in 2011 in California, said the company used those terms on Kashi products that contained ingredients like pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium pantothenate and soy oil processed using hexane, a component of gasoline. Such ingredients occur naturally — wheat germ and flaxseed are sources of pyridoxine hydrochloride, for example — but food companies, as well as makers of vitamins, often use synthetic versions to control costs and ensure consistent supplies."

Kellogg's says that it stands behind its ad and labeling practices, but will change the labels in order to end the suit. The company also is writing a $5 million check to resolve the suit.
KC's View: