business news in context, analysis with attitude

On the subject of A&P’s gradual move to the limited assortment, deep discount Food basics format, MNB user Dan Raftery of Prime Consulting Group wrote:

“I highly recommend a visit to one of the A&P Food Basics stores when you get the chance. You will see a bodega on steroids. The excitement and local flavor of a bodega is preserved, but the variety explodes. In fact, I
estimate that SKU count is 10% - 20% greater than a conventional supermarket of similar footprint. The only thing limited about the variety is the limited exposure to national U.S. brands or A&P brands for that matter. And the employees were quite friendly at the one I visited. What a delight.”

Thanks, Dan. It’s on our “to do” list.

We reported yesterday that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) maintains that poultry producer Pilgrim's Pride knew that listeria bacteria was present at its Pennsylvania plant months before its products were blamed for killing eight people last summer. Which prompted the following email from a member of the MNB community:

“Let me get this straight -- it's okay to cram thousands of chickens wing to wing in a giant coop, then pump them full of antibiotics so that infections don't become epidemics (directly related to the fact that they're crammed wing to wing in a giant coop -- I will never be mistaken for a PETA supporter, but unhealthy conditions are unhealthy conditions, whether it's people or chickens.) The antibiotics then stay resident in the chickens' systems, making the bacteria resistant to the antibiotics. And, oh yeah, 50% of the chickens on the market have the bacteria ANYWAY!

“I then am told that I have to let my son's sinus infection clear up on its own because ‘we don't want to use too many antibiotics, 'cause it makes the infections resistant to antibiotics.’ Crabby kid, sleepless nights (worry, fever, pain, etc., etc., etc.) = really, really crabby mom!

“So -- it's okay to pour 90% of the antibiotic production of the nation down the throat of a chicken -- A CHICKEN!!! but it's not okay to give antibiotics to a kid with a nasty cold.

“Would someone PLEASE explain the logic of this to me? And then they want to know why there's a rise in interest in organic food (read raised in a manner which is healthier for all parties involved). Go figure!”

More commentary on consolidation strategies in general and Safeway in particular, from one MNB user:

“Wasn’t it just yesterday we were talking about Safeway being the gold standard in supermarkets? About Safeway’s seamless acquisition of Dominick’s? Perhaps they could learn something from Royal Ahold`s playbook
and leave company culture and local flavor intact-seems like it works well for them.”

Good point.

And on that note, we wish you a terrific weekend. We’ll see you Monday…
KC's View: