business news in context, analysis with attitude

•  Breaking news from the Wall Street Journal this morning:

"U.S. consumer inflation eased in April to an 8.3% annual rate, taking a slight edge off the steepest run of price increases in four decades as energy prices moderated.

"The Labor Department’s consumer-price index reading last month marked the first decline in eight months, down from an 8.5% annual rate in March. The CPI measures what consumers pay for goods and services … The annual rate of inflation has risen sharply since early 2021, when the U.S. economy’s rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated, leading to supply disruptions and other imbalances that have put upward pressure on prices."



•  From Axios this morning:

"The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Tuesday that it is 'doing everything in our power' to improve the supply of baby formula."

The story notes that "the nation's baby formula shortage has intensified in recent weeks due to supply chain issues and a recent recall of Abbott Nutrition products."  It is a problem, Axios writes, because "about 3-in-4 babies are fed formula for the first six months of their lives as a substitute for human milk products."

“We recognize that many consumers have been unable to access infant formula and critical medical foods they are accustomed to using and are frustrated by their inability to do so," said FDA commissioner Robert Califf in a statement.



•  Food & Wine reports that "Heinz's ketchup bottle might be more iconic than the condiment inside — the shape, the slow moving pour, the tapping on the '57.'  But as brands across the globe look for more environmentally-friendly packaging, Heinz might be willing to give the glass away for a package that would certainly be attention-grabbing: a paper ketchup bottle.

"Today, Heinz announced that the brand had teamed up with Pulpex — the Diageo-backed sustainable packing company that also created Johnnie Walker's paper whisky bottle — to develop a renewable and recyclable bottle made from 100-percent sustainably-sourced wood pulp. Heinz adds that, in doing so, they are 'the first sauce brand to test the potential of Pulpex's sustainable paper bottle packaging'."



•  Variety reports this morning that "Redbox Entertainment, the DVD kiosk and streaming video company, has set a deal to be acquired by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment in an all-stock transaction.

"The company will operate more than 38,000 kiosks nationwide as well as digital media services spanning ad-supported and transactional video services.

"The deal comes after Redbox in October 2021 became a publicly traded company after merging with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Last month Redbox laid off 150 employees, roughly 10% of its total headcount, amid a slowdown in business and growing net losses."