Published on: January 20, 2022
• ABC News reports that "Meijer is pledging to reduce carbon emissions by 50% over the next three years while increasing or building new renewable energy resources.
"The Grand Rapids-based retail giant wants to cut its carbon footprint in half by 2025. That would exceed a global goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50% before 2030 issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change … Meijer says it already has reduced carbon emissions by 17% since 2014 while opening 52 new stores and additional distribution facilities. The company's carbon emissions are down 30% per square foot over the past eight years."
“We are reducing carbon emissions not only because it makes good business sense, but because it aligns with our values and mission of enriching lives in the communities we serve,” Meijer President and CEO Rick Keyes said in a prepared statement.
• From the Boston Globe this morning:
"Workers at another two Boston-area Starbucks locations took steps to unionize Wednesday in keeping with a nationwide organizing campaign at the country’s largest coffeehouse chain.
"The vast majority of employees at a Starbucks cafe in Cleveland Circle and one in the Continuum building in Allston sent a joint letter to Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson earlier this week, asking the company to recognize their efforts and end what they called 'shameless union-busting' … The workers follow their colleagues at two other local Starbucks — 1304 Commonwealth Ave. in Allston and 277 Harvard St. in Brookline — who voted to unionize last month. In 2021, multiple other Boston cafes, including Pavement Coffeehouse, Darwin’s, and three Somerville coffee shops, took steps to unionize, too.
"In total, workers at 26 Starbucks across the country have now announced their intention to form a union. As of October, the company had more than 15,000 locations in the United States."
• The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) said yesterday that there now are 148,026 convenience stores operating in the United States, a 1.5% decrease in the number of stores in operation (150,274) at the close of 2020 … The industry decline was led by a 3.1% decrease in single-store operators (89,336 in 2021 vs. 92,196 in 2020), which account for 60.4% of all convenience stores.The decline of single-store operators continues a multi-year trend; single-store operators made up a record 63.2% of the industry in 2017. Meanwhile, the percentage of single-store operators that sell fuel dropped to 54.6% in 2021, the lowest since the metric has been tracked in 2005."
• CNN has a story about how "Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey, a 25-year veteran of the company, has been hearing it from disgruntled niche beverage fans … The complaints follow a striking decision Quincey made last year to slash the company's portfolio of products in half — killing beloved brands like the diet drink Tab, smoothie brand Odwalla and Zico coconut water in the process. Overall, about 200 brands were on the chopping block."
The story notes that "nobody knows better than Coca-Cola that messing with fan favorites has consequences. When the company tried to change Coke's formula in 1985, customers were so distraught that the company quickly reversed course. The famed New Coke debacle proved that loyal customers were not to be trifled with.
"But there are also consequences to keeping old favorites alive. Underperforming brands, like the ones that have been eliminated, take away precious shelf space from more popular products. That means Quincey must calibrate constantly to ensure every product Coke makes — whether newer entrants like Coke Energy or staples such as Coca-Cola Zero Sugar — deserves to be there, and that every one brings as much value to the brand as possible. Otherwise, Coca-Cola will fall behind its competitors and growth will slow."
At the same time, CNN reports, "is unveiling a new look for flavored Coke products this month, and it has a new Coke variety coming in a few weeks. It's part of the company's renewed focus on its Coke brand, as it dumps niche products and tries to drum up excitement for its core beverages.
"In the United States, new versions of Cherry Coke cans and bottles are magenta, with the white Coca-Cola logo emblazoned on the regular version and a black Coca-Cola logo on the Zero Sugar version. The new Vanilla Coke cans and bottles are cream-colored, and the Cherry Vanilla flavor's new packaging is a mix of the two (heavy on the magenta).
"Coke with zero caffeine as well as Coke with zero caffeine and no sugar also have new looks, keeping with these designs."
• Accelerate 360 said yesterday that it is acquiring Bauer Media Group's US publishing business, which includes print and digital assets for titles familiar to US grocery shoppers, including Woman's World and First for Women, as well as Bauer's bookazine business which produces more than 100 special interest publications per year.
David Parry, CEO of Accelerate360 said in a prepared statement, "This is an extraordinary opportunity to not only add industry leading brands to our brand portfolio, but also add incredibly talented employees with proven abilities in audience development, digital and special interest publications that further expand A360 Media's capabilities and resources.""
Full disclosure: Accelerate 360 is a prime MNB sponsor.