business news in context, analysis with attitude

• The New York Times writes about Safeway’s O Organics and Eating Right brands, which its says “are moving in a different direction. Both were built much more like name brands than like store brands — in fact, both were supported by national television and print advertising. And more recently, Safeway has initiated the Better Living Brands Alliance, with the highly unusual goal of selling these two store-brand lines in places other than the chain that created them — school cafeterias, foreign markets and, ultimately, other U.S. grocers. In the judgment of the trade publication Refrigerated and Frozen Foods Retailer, which recently named Safeway as its retailer of the year, the experiment is ‘breaking the mold on what we all thought we knew about private label’.”

• The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Coca-Cola has imposed a hiring freeze for many of its North American businesses through the rest of the year. The story notes that Glaceau, Fuze, Odwalla and Coke North America's Canadian unit are not part of the hiring freeze.

• The International Herald Tribune reports that in the UK, more than one out five consumers say they are dissatisfied with their current shopping experiences, a roughly 10 percent increase over just a year ago.

According to the story, “Disloyalty is highest among supermarket shoppers, at 32.4 percent, which … was potentially good news for discounters such as Aldi, Netto and Lidl, which have been gaining market share among cash-strapped shoppers.”

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