business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  From CBS News:

"A Trader Joe's store in Louisville, Kentucky, has become the grocery chain's third to vote to unionize.

"Workers at the store voted 48-36 in favor of the union Thursday evening, according to the National Labor Relations Board, which conducted the election.

"Workers from the Louisville store will now join those from two other unionized Trader Joe's stores at the bargaining table, where they are trying to hammer out a new labor agreement. In July, a Trader Joe's in Hadley, Massachusetts, was the first in the country to unionize; a store in Minneapolis unionized in August."

•  Advantage Solutions is out with a new survey saying that "more Americans are planning to get together for Super Bowl parties this year, as 54% of U.S. adults — and nearly two-thirds of men — expect to watch the game … Whether watching alone or with others, most Super Bowl viewers (66%) plan to buy special food and drinks for the occasion. Of this group, one-fourth plan to spend $50 or less; nearly half (48%) expect to spend between $51 and $100, 16% will spend $101-$150 and 10% will spend more than $150. Among party hosts, more than half (52%) plan to spend more than $100 on food and drinks for the big day.

"Topping the list of food and drinks to be served by party hosts: game-day favorites salty snacks, beer and pizza, with prepared sandwiches and giant subs close behind.

"Grocery retailers will see their fair share of prepared food purchases. Nearly half (49%) of party hosts plan to buy from a supermarket some or all of the ready-made hot and cold entrees and side dishes they plan to serve."

•  From the New York Times this morning:

"Since 1962, when the Minneapolis entrepreneur Rose Totino introduced it to American shoppers, frozen pizza has been an after-school snack, the quickest route to dinner, a midnight temptation of last resort.

"But in the last five years, frozen pizza has become something else entirely: a piece of culinary craft, an authentic taste of Italy, a connection to buzzy pizzerias like Roberta’s in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and Pizzana in Los Angeles and Dallas.

"Sales of frozen food surged during the pandemic, according to IRI and other market research firms, boosting premium mass-produced brands like Talia di Napoli and Table 87, and pushing even the most traditional pizzaiolos toward the freezer aisle."

The Times notes that these frozen premium pizzas are not cheap:  "Three frozen margherita pies from Pizzeria Delfina, a favorite among four New York Times Food and Cooking staffers in a recent blind pizza tasting, cost $104.95 including Goldbelly shipping. Four pies from Pizzeria Bianco, cost $129.95, or about $32.50 per pie. (The same pizza costs $20 at the original pizzeria in Phoenix, and $24 in the Los Angeles store that opened last year.)

"But the pizzas produced specifically for the freezer aisle of grocery stores are more competitively priced. Table 87, Roberta’s, Talia di Napoli and Genio Della Pizza all charge about $11 for a 14-inch pizza that theoretically serves three people, though two seems realistic and one entirely possible."

I'm thinking back, and am having trouble remembering anytime in the past 30+ years that I've bought a frozen pizza at the store and brought it home.  Could it be that, at least in the past few years, I'm missing something?  (Still rather make my own…)