Published on: February 10, 2020
• In North Carolina, WTVD reports that "two Earth Fare employees are taking legal action against the closing grocery store on behalf of their more than 3,000 coworkers … the class-action lawsuit, filed by two women in Tennessee and Florida, claims the grocery store chain violated the Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act, a federal law intended to protect workers when large-scale employers close up shop.
Earth Fare said last week it would close all its stores. The WTVD story says that "the WARN Act requires employers with at least 100 workers to give written notice 60 days before any layoffs happen."
• The Associated Press reports that "Uber is still losing money as it expands its food delivery business and develops technology for driverless cars.
"But revenue for its rides business nearly tripled in the final three months of last year as the company picked up more passengers around the world. That prompted it to say it will turn a profit earlier than it expected."
Uber, the story says, "lost $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019, about 24% more than the same time last year … Uber brought in $4.1 billion in revenue, up 37% from a year ago. Its revenue grew around the world, although the biggest gain was in the U.S. and Canada, where it pulled in 41% more than last year.
"Because of the company’s progress in 2019 and its plans this year, Uber expects to turn a profit in the fourth quarter of 2020."
• Advertising Age reports that Heinz Ketchup decided to take advantage of this year's Oscar buzz to post an IMDB page in which it listed all the times that it has shown up in films, including Heat, Groundhog Day, and Benny and Joon, plus When Harry Met Sally, when it showed up in the famous diner scene.
"But after about a week," the story says, "the platform ended up killing the listing, so Heinz and agency Rethink Toronto turned the idea into a contest. Now they're asking fans to share the ketchup’s famous appearances on social media for a chance to win the red stuff for free."
• The Financial Times has a column by Madison Darbyshire essentially saying that "bread is back."
She argues that while "clean eating" has been all the rage - often seen more as a matter of subtraction than addition - "recently, I have sensed a profound shift. Clean eating is out of fashion, and, in a comeback more surprising than Martha Stewart’s, bread is cool again.
"Real bread. Crusty, leavened rye, sourdough, wheat and country white have left the domain of hipsterdom and re-entered the mainstream. It is a popular middle-class pursuit to keep your own vile sourdough starter and bake hard-earned loaves on Saturday mornings. After nine years of rapid proliferation, the number of gluten-free products launched in 2018 fell by almost 40 per cent from 2017."
She goes on: "Trends are by definition cyclical, as evidenced by the surprising resurrection of mom jeans and crocheted bikinis. But I have another theory about the triumphant return of real food.
"If the world is warming, continents are ablaze with unstoppable wildfires and liberal democracy is going up in smoke, who has the energy to care about carbs? You might as well have a cookie. Probably two."
If bread indeed is back, count me as a huge fan. There are few things as great a crusty artisan bread. I made a brisket last night for dinner, and I'm really looking forward to the sandwich I'm going to have in a few hours, and the bread is going to be a huge part of the pleasure.