business news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Associated Press reports that Publix Super Markets announced it has suspended milk deliveries from a company called Larson Dairy after the release of “an undercover video that purports to show workers kicking cows in the head and hitting them with metal rods.”

The video also “has prompted authorities to open a criminal investigation at one of Florida’s largest dairy farms,” the story says.

The company released a statement saying that the employee shown in the video has been fired, and that the “unusual use of force is simply unacceptable on our dairy or on any other farm … We have strict protocols involving animal care and clearly the behavior shown in this video goes against everything we stand for and will not be tolerated.” The company also questioned the tactics used to shoot the undercover video.

At least they didn’t call it “fake news.”

Good for Publix, which clearly recognizes that Larson’s so-called “strict protocols” aren’t as strict as they’re suggesting.

If the criminal investigation bears fruit, it’d be nice to know that the offending employee - and any managers who have enabled that behavior - would be subjected to punishment via kicks in the head and beatings with metal rods. I’m not really advocating for violence, but just suggesting that the perpetrators of this kind of nonsense deserve a taste of their own medicine.

• The Wall Street Journal reports that “the hottest thing in coffee now is the supermarket cold case,” with “every major coffee maker from McDonald’s Corp. to Blue Bottle Coffee Co. … piling onto the refrigerated shelves of grocery stores with bottled or canned frappés, iced mochas and cold brew, a drink made from steeping coffee grinds in cool water for several hours.”

The story notes that “younger consumers say they view cold coffee as a healthier alternative to energy drinks and soda. It is often cheaper than a cup of specialty coffee at a coffee shop. And people are increasingly consuming on-the-go and have less patience to wait, as evidenced by the rise of e-commerce and mobile order apps.”

IRI says that “US retail sales of refrigerated ready-to-drink coffee rose 29% in the 52 weeks ended Sept. 10 to more than $289 million.”
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